While focusing on stupid tweets Trump posts, his embarrassing behavior abroad, and looming impeachment, the Trump administration will tighten work requirement on Americans receiving benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Currently, SNAP serves 36 million Americans even during periods of low unemployment.
- Adults between ages 18 and 49 with no dependents can receive only three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period if they do not meet the 20-hour-per-week work requirement.
- Or, enrolled in education or training programs for 80 hours a month.
- States with high unemployment rates can waive those time limits.
- Takes effect on April 1, 2020.
- 6 percent the minimum unemployment rate for a county to receive a waiver.
- Curbs the amount of discretionary exemptions from federal work requirements that states can issue.
The USDA estimates that the new rule will affect about 1.1 million people and that 223,000 might no longer get benefits after it takes effect. The USDA projects it will save the government $12.8 billion over 10 years following implementation.The Wall Street Journal:
Department of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told reporters on the call. “This is about restoring the original intent of food stamps … moving more able-bodied Americans to self sufficiency.”The Washington Post:
Critics of the rule were swift to respond.
“It is deeply disappointing that despite overwhelming opposition to this proposal, the White House has finalized a rule that stiffens work requirements for millions of SNAP participants, which will likely lead to hundreds of thousands of people losing their benefits,” said Share Our Strength’s senior vice president, Lisa Davis.
The other two proposed rule changes, not yet final, aim to cap deductions for utility allowance and to limit access to SNAP for working poor families.