New Rule Ends Food Stamps for 750,000 Participants

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The Trump administration will cut as many as 750,000 people off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides food stamps to low-income households, under a new regulation announced this week. The rule would increase SNAP work requirements and limit states' flexibility to adapt to the needs of low-income and working families.

The rule focuses on able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) between the ages of 18 and 49 and aims to promote self-sufficiency by requiring them to work or participate in vocational training. States with high unemployment and lack of jobs are currently able to request waivers from work requirements for SNAP recipients, but the new rule takes away this option. Even individuals living in areas that have persistent unemployment above 6.9 percent (almost double the current unemployment rate) would be ineligible for waivers. Able-bodied adult SNAP recipients who don't work would be limited to three months of benefits within a three-year time frame.

Currently, about 36.4 million Americans receive food stamps. The measure would be the first of three administrative initiatives curtailing food stamp benefits to take effect.  The Urban Institute estimated last month that together, the measures would cut 3.7 million beneficiaries from SNAP. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has submitted public comments in opposition to these three rules.

December 12, 2019 - 1:40pm
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