Work Requirements Tightened for SNAP Food Aid
Hundreds of thousands of people nationwide stand to lose access to food stamps under rule changes formalized last week by the Trump administration.
Currently people ages 18 to 49 who are childless and able-bodied have to work at least 20 hours per week to qualify. But states are allowed to waive those requirements when they feel it necessary. The new rules will limit those waivers only to areas that have 6 percent unemployment or higher.
Michelle Ness, PRISM’s executive director, says the rule change is misguided and won’t work.
“Punishment is not the most effective way to motivate behavior,” Ness said. “If we want people to be working, taking away food when that doesn’t happen is not the most effective way to get them to work. Let’s talk about what’s the most effective way. Let’s talk about the most effective way that does no harm.”
The rule changes are part of an executive order by President Donald Trump that the administration says are designed to get more people working while limiting public assistance outlays.