The Trump administration is now receiving comments on a proposed rule that will eliminate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for over 750,000 unemployed and underemployed individuals and cut $15 billion dollars from the program over 10 years. Trump originally wanted this to be included into a farm bill he signed into law; however since it did not make it into the bill he plans on using regulatory rule-making to enact this proposal.
The proposal tightens the current work requirements for SNAP recipients. To maintain benefits, able-bodied 18-49 year olds must work a minimum of 20 hours a week. The proposal raises the age limit for these work requirements to 59 year olds and limits the eligibility for families that qualify for other welfare programs to receive SNAP benefits.
The proposal would also eliminate states’ ability to waive the work requirements for unemployed individuals living in areas with high unemployment rates. Any waiver issued would only been good for a year and require approval from the governor.
SNAP is one of the largest federal government safety net programs, with over 42 million recipients in 2017 at a cost of $68 billion.
Media Resources: The Inquirer 3/5/19; Chicago Tribune 12/20/18; U.S. News & World Report 12/20/18; Washington Examiner 2/22/18