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Without Photo Identification

Barriers and Strategies

By Sara Simon Tompkins, Tulin Ozdeger & Jeremy Rosen

New security procedures block homeless people and others without photo identification from entering Social Security Administration offices to apply for Supplemental Security Income. A misconception that photo identification is necessary to apply for food stamps keeps many from receiving them. Police officers sometimes arrest homeless people for failure to present identification. Enforcing constitutional rights and regulatory options for verifying identity, helping clients get identification, and advocacy for systemwide corrections enable those without identification documents to access needed resources and vindicate their civil rights.

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