The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) it is about to undergo a major change as new requirements are added from September 1, with new policies to be implemented gradually from the next calendar year. These new changes are ordained by the new Fiscal Responsibility Law, enacted on June 3.
This legislation included caps on discretionary spending and changes to mandatory programs to reduce the deficit: work requirements for food stamps recipients are now added. Here’s how these new rules might affect you if you receive SNAP benefits right now.
The new work requirement for food stamps beneficiaries: Are you being affected?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), from September 1 there will be a temporary increase of the work requirements for the able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD). At the same time, there will be new exemptions for veterans, homeless individuals and youth aging out of foster care.
Currently, individuals between the ages of 18 and 49 are bound by the ABAWD time limit, which stipulates that Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) can only receive SNAP benefits for three months within a three-year period if they fail to meet specific work-related criteria. The legislation progressively raises the age threshold for those affected by the ABAWD time limit.
This is how the SNAP work requirements will be applied in the time
The new job changes will not all come into operation at the same time, but will be gradual, as explained below:
- September 1, 2023: The age limit for those subject to ABAWD increases to 50 years old.
- October 1, 2023: The age of individuals subject to ABAWD requirements increases to 52 years old.
- October 1, 2024: The eligible age for AVAWD increases to 54 years old.
These populations will be excluded from this requirements
While more people will soon be required to work in order to receive SNAP benefits, the new legislation includes certain exceptions for veterans, homeless individuals, and young adults aged 18 to 24 who are exiting foster care. This relief will be in effect until 2030.
Additionally, some states have the authority to grant exemptions to the work requirements based on their discretion, considering factors like unemployment statistics and other relevant criteria.
For SNAP beneficiaries within the specified age range who are unable to meet the work requirements or obtain an exemption, they will only be eligible to receive assistance for a maximum of three months within a three-year period.
Now, here are some definitions regarding the mentioned populations, as the USDA explained for you to understand better in which group are you in.
- A homeless person is considered one who has no fixed residence, or whose place to stay is a supervised shelter, an intermediate house, or a place not designed to be a formal dwelling, for no more than 90 days.
- A veteran is a person who has served in the Armed Forces of the United States, including the reserves, who was discharged or released from service and is now in a state of retirement.
- A former foster youth is an individual who is 24 years old or younger, and was in foster care at age 18 (or older, depending on the state’s foster age limitations).
- The USDA also announced that all the new modifications expire on October 1, 2030.