Simplifying new food stamp rules, clearing up the confusion

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — There is some confusion about who will be affected by the new food stamp eligibility rules announced by the Trump administration earlier this week.

Work-eligible, able-bodied adults without dependents and between the ages of 18-49 can currently receive three months of benefits during a three-year period. That is only if they do not work 20 or more hours per week.

If you have kids and get welfare benefits, you will continue getting food stamps. If you are an adult of sound mind and body, have no dependents, and are able to get a job, you must work at least 20 hours a week to continue receiving your benefit.

There is a provision for states to issue a waiver. If the city or county has an unemployment rate of six percent or higher, the administering department can issue a waiver that is good for one year, but will require the governor to support the request.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Ohio’s unemployment rate is at 4.2 percent and Columbus’ unemployment rate is at 3.5 percent.

The rule, announced Wednesday, will limit the ability of states to exempt work-eligible adults from having to obtain steady employment in order to receive benefits.

USDA officials say the rule would save roughly $5.5 billion over five years and cut benefits for about 688,000 recipients.

Congressional Democrats and advocates for the poor were quick to condemn the administration’s actions. 

The new rule is expected to take effect in April 2020.

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