Saturday, December 07, 2019

Hern applauds new food stamp work-requirement rule for able-bodied adults without dependents


Hern applauds new USDA rule strengthening requirements for SNAP recipients

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, the United States Department of Agriculture published a final rule entitled “Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program (SNAP): Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents.”

In February, Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01) sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in support of this proposed rule with the support of 64 Members of Congress.

“I’ve been a strong supporter of this new rule since the moment they announced it,” said Rep. Hern. “There is nothing quite as empowering as a job. No federal program has the power to pull a person out of poverty, no government handout can help a person find independence and success. Only through gainful employment can a person find true stability. We should be encouraging our people to work, contribute to the economy, and put themselves on the path to independence rather than chaining them to the crutch of social programs. Programs like SNAP were never meant to be a long-term solution, but merely a temporary assistance. This ruling will help the American people rise up from poverty and find a better life for themselves. I applaud Secretary Perdue’s commitment to reforming this program!”

Background Information:

The rule promotes work for able-bodied adults (ABAWDs) between the age of 18-49 without dependents and does not apply to children and their parents, those over 50 years old, those with a disability, or pregnant women. The Food and Nutrition Act limits the amount of time ABAWDs can receive SNAP benefits to three months over a 36-month period, unless recipients work or participate in an employment workfare program for minimum hours.  The law allows states to apply for waivers of this time limit due to economic conditions. The waivers resulted in 3.8 million ABAWDs on SNAP in 2016, 2.8 million of which were not working at all. The final rule adjusts the criteria for when and where state may waive these limits.  Under USDA’s rule, states retain flexibility to waive the time-limit in areas of high unemployment and to exempt a percentage of their ABAWD caseload.

You can find more information on these changes here.

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