Shocker: Food stamps now harder to get due to federal work requirement for some people

As of Sunday, many working-age adults with no children were no longer eligible to receive SNAP benefits — a program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

The rules were agreed upon during debt ceiling negotiations between House Republicans and President Joe Biden in June.

As The Hill noted of the previous rules of the program, on Sept. 30, adults aged 18 to 49 who had no dependents to claim were able to receive three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period.

Those who worked at least 20 hours per week or who were students were exempt.

As of Oct. 1, people who are up to age 52 must also work or be students in order to get around the work requirements.

Beginning next October, those who must work in order to receive SNAP benefits will include all able-bodied adults without dependents who are aged 18 to 54.

Pregnant women, veterans, the homeless and adults who are under 25 but were raised in foster care are exempt from the changes to the program.

That was part of a deal brokered by Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during the summer’s debt ceiling negotiations as laid out in the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.

McCarthy argued at the time of the negotiations, “What work requirements actually do — help people get a job.”

Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York concurred.

The chair of the House Republican Conference said, “A job provides financial stability, a rising income, and most importantly, an opportunity to pursue the American dream.”

CNN reported at the time that the rule changes were expected to affect an estimated 750,000 people over the age of 50.

Roughly one-third of those people were expected to lose their SNAP benefits.

Work requirements for the program currently state:

“If you are age 16 — 59 and able to work, you will probably need to meet the general work requirements to get SNAP benefits.

“The general work requirements include registering for work, participating in SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) or workfare if assigned by your state SNAP agency, taking a suitable job if offered, and not voluntarily quitting a job or reducing your work hours below 30 a week without a good reason.”

The work requirements add:

“If you have to meet the general work requirements but you don’t, you are disqualified from getting SNAP for at least a month and must start meeting the requirements to get SNAP again. If you get back on SNAP and then don’t meet the requirements again, then you are disqualified for longer than a month and you could be disqualified forever.”

According to NBC News, more than 42 million Americans are enrolled in the SNAP program.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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