Almost 700,000 People Will Lose Food Stamps with the Changes in Requirements

The administration of President Donald Trump formalized the work requirements for receivers of food stamps, which will lead to hundreds of thousands losing their access to the SNAP program.

The changes will take effect in 2020 on April the 1st, and according to agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue, they’re reforming the SNAP to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of the population and to show respect towards tax payers who’re funding the program.

He further explains that American people are generous and they believe it’s their responsibility to be of aid to their fellow citizens when they’re struggling.

This is a commitment beyond SNAP; however, just like other welfare programs, it’s not designed to be a way of life.

Why Are there Changes Being Made to the SNAP Program?

The changes in the SNAP program will affect people between the ages of 18 and 49 who don’t have children and not disabled.

This is an extension of the 2018 executive order of Donald Trump called Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility whose goal was to increase work programs and limit public help.

According to the new rules, to become a SNAP receiver, a person will be required to work at least 20 hours per week for more than 3 months over a 36-month period.

States have been able to make waivers for places with high unemployment rates with the current rules.

However, with the changes made, there will be a limit to states that waive these standards- there has to be a 6 percent unemployment rate or higher for a waiver to take place.

However, this means that around 688,000 individuals will lose access to this benefit.

The changes will save $5.5 billion over a 5-year period.

According to the USDA, there were 2.9 million people on the SNAP who were able-bodied and without dependents and 2.1 million weren’t working.

What Do Critics Have to Say about New Changes?

According to people who’re against this new rule, work requirements have been found to not be of aid to unemployed people finding work and actually make it harder for them to find food.

Taking people who don’t work out of the program will cause harm to more than those involved directly. Namely, a lot of these people share these benefits with their family, including children and elderly.  

Until now, people who didn’t work and stayed with their family or friends could contribute with groceries to their home thanks to the SNAP.

Perdue claims that they need everyone who can work to work and USDA representatives claim that the most vulnerable groups like children, disabled people, and the elderly won’t be affected.