US to cut off food stamps for one million next year
The United States will cut off about one million of the poorest people from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as food stamps in 2016, a new report says.
The reason is the re-imposition of a three-month limit which deprives unemployed adults aged 18-50 who are not disabled or raising children of SNAP benefits.
The abovementioned group will lose their food stamp benefits after three months, even if they are still looking for jobs, according to the report issued by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The limit initially imposed in 1996 bans such people from receiving food stamps for more than 3 months in any 36-month period when they are unemployed or are not receiving any job-related training for at least 20 hours a week.
The limit also affects those SNAP recipients whose state operates few or no employment programs for them and cannot offer them a job or training program.
The 1996 welfare law is the most severe limit as it denies basic food assistance to people who are looking for employment and are ready to do any job or participate in any work program.
The food assistance averages approximately $150 to $200 per person per month for this group and its annulment will cause serious problems for many people.
SNAP provides food-purchasing assistance for low and no-income people living in the US. It is a federal aid program, administered by the US Department of Agriculture, though benefits are distributed by states.
It is also the largest nutrition assistance program in the US. The SNAP caseload has increased as a result of the Great Recession and rising food prices.