USDA announced changes to SNAP rules for the third time in 2019

The New Food Economy reports that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) could possibly suppress enrollment.

The USDA announced a cap allowable income deductions for utility expenses that could take away food stamps from about 8,000 households and “reduce payments for one in five families, though it is also projected to increase payments for 16 percent of families.”

Via The New Food Economy,

It’s been a long year for SNAP policy changes. First, just before Christmas, the Trump administration announced it would tighten work requirements for program eligibility, a move that will impact an estimated 775,000 people by 2020.

Then, over the summer, the USDA moved to “reform” a method used by 40 states to automatically allow families eligible for other federal aid to enroll in SNAP. This is projected to boot more than 3 million people from the program.

In August, the Department of Homeland Security published a final version of a rule that instructs immigration officers to consider actual and potential use of the safety net—including SNAP—when processing green card applications. The rule is set to go into effect on October 15 if various legal challenges are unsuccessful, but some research indicates it has already driven immigrants from the SNAP rolls—long before it was ever officially announced.

While the changes this time could be minor, the proposal is trying to streamline SNAP by making a standard across the U.S. the change is expected to save $4.5 billion over the next 10 years and any damage that may come from it will not be seen for decades after.

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