Food Stamp Benefits Cuts May Affect SNAP Recipients in 2019

The Trump administration is proposing a rule change that would cut food stamp benefits for some recipients. The rule would tighten the work requirements for able-bodied adults without children.

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Introduction

In 2019, food stamp benefits may be cut for some SNAP recipients. This is due to the new “Public Charge” rule that will go into effect on October 1st, 2019.

Under the new rule, immigrants who receive SNAP benefits (or any other form of public assistance) may be denied a green card or visa. This could affects many low-income families who rely on food stamps to help make ends meet.

If you or someone you know may be affected by this change, please read on for more information.

What are food stamps?

Food stamps are a government-funded program that provides supplemental food assistance to low-income households. The program is administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is typically known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP benefits are currently available to households with incomes up to 130% of the federal poverty level, which is about $32,000 for a family of four. However, proposed cuts to the program could lower that threshold significantly, potentially affecting millions of Americans who rely on SNAP benefits to help make ends meet.

If you or someone you know might be affected by these proposed changes, it’s important to understand how the food stamp program works and how the proposed changes could impact your household.

How do food stamps work?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, helps low-income individuals and families afford groceries. The program provides benefits in the form of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which can be used to purchase food at participating retailers.

To be eligible for SNAP benefits, applicants must meet certain income and resource criteria. Income guidelines are based on household size, and Resource criteria include things like cash on hand, savings, and stocks/bonds. Once an applicant is determined to be eligible for SNAP benefits, they will receive an EBT card which can be used to purchase food at participating retailers.

Food items that can be purchased with SNAP benefits include fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, seeds/plants to grow food, and non-alcoholic beverages. SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase items such as alcohol, tobacco, pet food, household supplies, or prepared foods.

In 2019, the maximum monthly SNAP benefit amount for a family of four is $632; however, actual benefit amounts will vary based on household size and income.

What are the eligibility requirements for food stamps?

To be eligible for food stamps, you must meet certain income and asset guidelines. The income limits vary by household size, and the asset limits vary by family status (e.g., whether you have dependents or not).

In general, households must have an income of less than 130% of the federal poverty level to qualify for food stamps. However, some households with higher incomes may still be eligible if they have significant expenses (e.g., for child care or medical care).

In addition, all households must meet certain asset limits. For example, households without dependent children can have assets of no more than $2,250 (or $3,500 if at least one member is disabled or 60 years of age or older). Households with dependent children can have assets of no more than $3,500 (or $5,500 if at least one member is disabled or 60 years of age or older).

How will the food stamp benefit cuts affect SNAP recipients in 2019?

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the food stamp benefit cuts will affect approximately 16 percent of households that currently participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or roughly three million people.

The cuts will take effect on November 1, 2019, and will result in an average decrease of $9 per household per month. For a family of four, that amounts to a loss of $108 in benefits for the year.

The USDA claims that the food stamp benefit cuts are necessary to “encourage self-sufficiency” among SNAP participants. However, critics argue that the cuts will only serve to harm low-income households who rely on SNAP benefits to put food on the table.

If you or someone you know is currently receiving SNAP benefits, it is important to be aware of these upcoming changes and plan accordingly. For more information on how the food stamp benefit cuts may affect you, please visit the USDA website or contact your local SNAP office.

Who will be most affected by the food stamp benefit cuts?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it is proposing a rule that would cut food stamp benefits for some recipients in 2019. The cuts could affect as many as 3.1 million people, or about 5 percent of all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants.

According to the USDA, the proposed rule would tighten eligibility requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). Under current rules, ABAWDS can receive SNAP benefits for up to three months in a three-year period unless they are working or participating in a work program for at least 20 hours per week. The proposed rule would raise the work requirement to 25 hours per week and extend the time limit to just one month in a three-year period.

The USDA estimates that the proposed rule would save about $15 billion over 10 years and reduce the number of SNAP participants by about 1.2 million in 2019 alone. The agency says the cuts are necessary to encourage able-bodied adults to find work and become self-sufficient.

Critics of the proposed rule say it would disproportionately affects low-income households, including those with children and seniors. They also argue that it would make it more difficult for people to find work because they would need to search for jobs that offer at least 25 hours of work per week.

What are some ways to offset the impact of the food stamp benefit cuts?

The recent food stamp benefit cuts may have a significant impact on SNAP recipients in 2019. Here are some ways to offset the impact of the cuts:

-Apply for other assistance programs: If you are eligible for other assistance programs, such as TANF or SSI, you may be able to use those benefits to help offset the cost of food.
-Cut back on non-essential expenses: Review your budget and see where you can cut back on non-essential expenses, such as cable TV or eating out. This extra money can be used to help offset the cost of food.
-Shop at cheaper stores: Compare prices at different stores and see where you can get the most bang for your buck. Stores like Aldi or Lidl are often much cheaper than traditional grocery stores.
-Grow your own food: If you have a green thumb, consider growing your own fruits and vegetables. This can help reduce your overall food costs.
-Coupon: Use coupons whenever possible to get discounts on groceries.

What are some other potential impacts of the food stamp benefit cuts?

The food stamp benefit cuts that are set to take effect in 2019 may have other impacts on those who rely on them. For one, the cuts could lead to more people resorting to food banks and other emergency food assistance programs. This could put a strain on these programs, which are already struggling to meet demand. Additionally, the cuts could lead to increased rates of food insecurity and hunger, as well as other negative health outcomes.

What can be done to prevent the food stamp benefit cuts from happening?

As the new year approaches, many families across the country are wondering how they will make ends meet. For those who rely on food stamps to help put food on the table, the uncertainty is especially daunting.

In 2019, there is a very real possibility that food stamp benefits will be cut. The reason for this is that the current Farm Bill, which sets funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is set to expire at the end of September 2018. If Congress does not act to reauthorize SNAP before then, benefits will be cut.

So what can be done to prevent these cuts from happening? First and foremost, it is important to contact your representatives in Congress and let them know that you oppose any cuts to SNAP benefits. You can also donate to or volunteer with organizations that work to combat hunger and food insecurity. And finally, you can spread awareness about the issue by talking to your friends and family about it and sharing information on social media.

No one should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. By taking action now, we can help make sure that no one goes hungry in 2019.

Conclusion

The current food stamp program, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), may see some cuts in benefits in 2019. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the amount of food stamps benefits each household receives is based on the cost of the “thrifty food plan” for a family of that size, plus 20%. The “thrifty food plan” is an estimate of how much it costs to feed a family of a certain size a healthy diet. The USDA periodically updates the estimate to reflect changes in the cost of food.

For 2019, the USDA is proposing to lower the estimated cost of the “thrifty food plan” by 1.3%. This would result in a cut to food stamp benefits for an average family of four of about $25 per month, or $300 per year. The cuts would go into effect in October 2019.

The Trump administration has proposed cuts to SNAP benefits in each of its last two budget proposals, but Congress has not enacted those cuts. It’s unclear whether Congress will enact these proposed cuts for 2019.

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