Trump proposal could end food stamp benefits for 125,000 Texans, experts say

Trump proposal could end food stamp benefits for 125,000 Texans, experts say

July 25, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it was proposing a new requirement for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The rule, which limits states' flexibility to set eligibility standards, could cut off thousands of Texans.

The Trump administration is proposing tightened requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — also known as food stamps — that could end food assistance for more than 3 million Americans and jeopardize assistance for thousands of Texans.

The proposed rule would curb states’ abilities to set eligibility requirements for the food assistance program that helps feed millions of Americans each month. It’s unclear exactly what the impact of the proposed changes will be in Texas, but state policy experts estimate it could kick at least 125,000 Texans off SNAP. In June, Texas distributed $383.4 million in SNAP benefits to about 1.5 million people — an average of $260 per person.

While food stamps are federally funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it’s up to states to determine eligibility and distribute aid as needed. Assistance through SNAP and other federal welfare programs is usually determined by assessing income, number of household members and employment status.

But each state is different. Since 2001, Texas has required applicants to make no more than 165% of the federal poverty level (about $42,000 for a family of four) to be considered for SNAP benefits. Under the new rule, that number would fall to 130% of the federal poverty line (about $33,000 for a family of four).

Credit by - The Texas tribune

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