Tag: Josh Protas

Food stamp crackdown feared amid Trump jobs push

Food stamp crackdown feared amid Trump jobs push

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) said about 3.8 million of the 42 million people who participate in SNAP are able-bodied adults without dependents.
But a state can apply to have the federal government waive the work requirement if it can show there aren’t enough jobs in the area.
Those waivers are an issue for the USDA.
Currently, states can qualify for a waiver if an area has an average 12-month unemployment rate of more than 10 percent or the state can show it does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment.
Supporters of changing the waiver rules say stricter requirements will push people back into the workforce.
According to the USDA, the average monthly benefit for an able-bodied adult without dependents is $163.
Protas said some of them are working, but can’t get the required 20 hours a week at their low-wage job to continue to qualify for assistance.
Though work training would keep them in the program, Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, said states are not required to offer a job or training program to every individual and don’t receive enough funds through SNAP to do so.
Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) offered a bill last April to strengthen the food stamp program and exempt able-bodied adults without dependents from the work requirement if their state can’t provide them with a slot in a SNAP employment or training program.
“We don’t want to encourage people to behave improperly.” In a statement to The Hill, a USDA spokesperson said the agency’s goal is to move individuals from SNAP back to the workforce as the best long-term solution to poverty.