Rule would cause 3.1 million to lose SNAP benefits.
September 24, 2019
Everyone deserves enough to eat. Yet the Trump Administration has proposed rules that would dramatically reduce the number of people eligible for benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), our nation’s largest nutrition assistance program.
Today, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law filed comments with the Food and Nutrition Service in opposition to these proposed rules, which would cause 3.1 million people around the country to lose SNAP benefits, including tens of thousands of Illinoisans.
Specifically, the proposed rules would limit the ability of states to make it easier for people to qualify for SNAP benefits if they already qualify for another federal aid program, through changes in a policy called broad-based categorical eligibility.
The Shriver Center argues that broad-based categorical eligibility helps working families with high costs meet their needs, and that the proposed rule would harm families that are already financially strained. Moreover, the proposed rule threatens to widen the racial wealth gap and fails to promote self-sufficiency by punishing prudent behaviors like saving and asset-building.
The Shriver Center calls on the Food and Nutrition Service to withdraw the proposed rule in its entirety and to leave current, long-standing policies and guidance in effect. Over 75,000 comments were filed by the comment deadline, most in opposition to the rule change.
Update: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reopened the comment period on the proposed rules in October 2019. The Shriver Center submitted additional comments in opposition.
Systemic inequities and the legacy of structural racism make it harder for low-income people and people of color to achieve financial stability.