Substantial changes to SNAP proposed by USDA
The Trump Administration is proposing a food stamp rule change that would limit state’s abilities to claim economic hardship waivers that allow recipients to stay on the program even if they don’t meet the 20-hour-a-week work requirements.
Anti-Hunger Advocate Danny Mintz most of those who qualify for the waiver are stuck in a rough job situation.
“The jobs that they work do not offer enough hours or stable enough hours that they would be able to consistently meet the 20 hour a week threshold.”
Mintz, who works with the Louisiana Budget Project, says over 70 percent of those who get the waiver find work within a year.
The waiver applies to childless adults between the age of 18 and 49, and early estimates say the proposed changes could impact 750,000 adults nationwide. Mintz says many of those who receive the waiver likely work jobs that don’t have the substantial paper-trial necessary to get federal benefits.
“They might be working enough to meet the requirements of the waiver, but are working in a casual context, doing yard working, picking up for people around their houses, and just don’t have the documentation.”
The rule changes will have to wait at least 60 days while the USDA take public comments.
Proponents claim that change would push more people into the workforce, but Mintz says revoking the waiver would target vulnerable populations like those with undiagnosed mental and physical illnesses, those with no transportation, and the homeless. He says taking food out of their mouths is unlikely to improve their ability to find and keep a job.
“It’s counterproductive to take food assistance from them and expect that that action will connect them with work.”
Louisiana has qualified for the waiver since 98’.