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New SNAP Food Stamp Rules April 1, 2020

The USDA and federal government will be enforcing a number of work requirements that are part of the SNAP food stamp program. The tightened regulations will go into effect April 1, 2020 and could cause as many as 700,000 families to lose their government food benefits.

The regulations being put into place by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) are not new, rather the government is enforcing work rules that are already in place. As the federal government was giving exemptions to some states as well as local counties that allowed more people to get SNAP food stamps than in fact should receive the help.

Who may have their food stamps cut in 2020?

The changes to the SNAP food stamp program are around work requirements. As noted, it may impact anywhere from 600,000 to 700,000 adult recipients. In addition, the adults who will have their SNAP benefits stopped will be considered “work eligible”. The disabled, senior citizens, pregnant women, single moms or dads and families with children will not be impacted.

SNAP food stamps was always meant to be an assistance program that was a stop gap type measure. The federal benefit was aimed to help feed families that are going through a short term hardship or those that live in or close to poverty (provided they continue to work and/or make efforts to get a job or new skills). Instead what has happened is hundreds of thousands of able bodied adults have come to really on SNAP (and other cash assistance programs) as a “way of life”. Many of them unfortunately use government benefits instead of working and/or “fending” for themselves. And everyone else who works hard and pays taxes is in fact giving a portion of their hard earned money to those able bodied adults who do not work.

It is estimated that about 75% of the 2.8 million work eligible adults, or 600,000 to 700,000 people, are not working. Even though the job market is the strongest it has been in a generation, and unemployment rates are at 50 year lows, hundreds of thousands of adults are not working and in effect relying on SNAP food stamps and/or other forms of public assistance. Effective April 1, 2020 those non-working adults will have their benefits cut.

What can a person who can’t work do?

Now if for some reason they can’t get a job (of at least 20 hours per week) they could still keep getting their SNAP food stamps if they participate in federal government SNAP-funded Employment and Training programs. They will need to commit to these job training as well as educational services though. Then, when done with that, they will need to get a job. So anyone who may be impacted on April 1, 2020 still has some options. Or find other ways to get help when food stamps are cut.

Effective April 1, 2020 if an able bodied adult is not working at least 20 hours per week, they will only be eligible for at most 3 months of assistance from SNAP Food Stamp benefits during a three-year period. The federal government will not enforce this and not allow as many states and/or counties to get around that rule. Of course, it is contingent on the continued strength of the economy; if the economy and/or job market slows down then that can always be reevaluated.

Is the food stamp program being abused?

Maybe. There is what we think an eye opening stat that shows how the SNAP food stamp program has grown (maybe uncontrollably) over the years. Think about this figure.

Back in the year 2000 there were 17 million people receiving food stamps. Today there are about 36 million. However, the unemployment rate in 2000 was 4% and now, today the unemployment rate is 3.6%. In other words, the job market is stronger today than it was in 2000, yet twice as many people get food stamps. What would possibly explain that?

Abuse, fraud, people becoming reliant, etc. Who knows, but the fact is that seems to be a huge discrepancy that is hopefully looked into. Maybe by making these changes to the program next year, it will bring more visibility to SNAP food stamps and these challenges.

If you are an able bodied adult relying on food stamps, and are not working, then be prepared to either (1) get a job (2) enter into government approved job training or (3) lose your food stamps. As effective April 1, 2020 there will be changes to the program that stop the exemptions from occurring.

joncmac

Jon McNamara is the CEO of needhelppayingbills.com, a company that he started in 2008 and that specializes in helping low income families as well as those who are in a financial hardship. He also found NHPB LLC, a company committed to helping the less fortunate. Jon and his team also provide free financial advice to help people learn about as well as manage their money. Every piece of content on this website has been reviewed by him before publishing and many of the articles he has personally written. Jon is the leading author for needhelppayingbils.

29 thoughts on “New SNAP Food Stamp Rules April 1, 2020

  • December 10, 2019 at 11:50 am
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    Adults (age 19 to 49), who are not disabled and who are “able bodied”, who are unwilling to work and even gain the basic amount of self-sufficiency, we should not support them. Quite frankly they have serious issues that reach beyond what food stamps can do for them which means by giving these people food stamps we are as a nation wasting money.

    See how food stamp use has doubled in a rip roaring economy. There was a day back when the dignity of employment, the willingness to work hard for an income and the opportunity to build skills was woven into the fabric of American society. Holding a job, providing for family and self-sufficiency was a path that demonstrated self-worth that our great country has lost in this current generation.

    Food stamps alone cannot fix what is broken in able bodied adults who do not work – they have bigger issues in life.

    Reply
    • February 10, 2020 at 4:22 pm
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      I agree it’s the culture of poverty. There needs to be reinforcement. Some people do decide to live in poverty. It’s a culture in itself.

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      • March 30, 2020 at 12:01 pm
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        It should not be a cut in anything, including SNAP food stamps, if there’s a national crisis going on Period!
        If Anything it should be Increase of Snap benefits on April 1, 2020 to everyone, and the people who don’t get stamps should get snap benefits, until this Crisis Passes!

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    • March 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm
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      Then you have the new work from home jobs. You can actually earn some extra money on the side if you can find something to do online that actually pays, which is rare.

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  • December 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm
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    Even with the low unemployment rate there are areas of our country where jobs are not available. People are also working for less wages than the past. Please view government labor statistics for these facts. There are also people who are working but are eligible for the SNAP program. Studies have shown food stamps don’t discourage people from finding jobs. I don’t know what the answer is but we can’t let people in poverty areas starve.

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    • February 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm
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      I agree and everything now is so much more expensive then in 2000. If you want to state the facts then post everything. I work and have a family of 4 and I qualify for $100 a month in SNAP food stamps that helps me so much. I don’t want the new April 1, 2020 rules to cut my $100 month benefits. Without food stamps I may not be able to pay for my car insurance or pay for my sons bleeding medication.

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      • February 15, 2020 at 7:03 pm
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        We have no idea what your comment means of “If you want to state the facts then post everything”. What is it we are not posting? We are posting the facts in that SNAP food stamps may be cut effective April 1, 2020. So what are you implying or what are we not posting?

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      • March 6, 2020 at 1:56 pm
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        Then you should be able to get out and get a job especially if you have kids. You don’t want to raise kids on the system of SNAP or TANF because then they’re going to make it a way of life. Why? Simply because when you have kids, if you raise them on the food stamp or government aid system then you’re telling them this is how to live in that you no longer have to support yourself like you did back in history. I know there are some people who really shouldn’t have kids and I saw one particular couple lose three beautiful babies years ago. That’s because there was no income coming in and the dad was required by CPS to go out and get work. He didn’t do a real good job and CPS had been looking for them for about four months only to find them living in an apartment right behind CPS. Needless to say, they ended up taking those kids and putting them up for adoption. That’s because the parents were pushing them over on grandma who was already struggling financially. She was on medications but yet going without food just to keep them fed. Not good to go without food when you’re on medications. I hate seeing families split up but in this particular type of case, it was for the better.

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    • March 6, 2020 at 2:10 pm
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      No available jobs means you’re probably going to have to go where the jobs are just like college grads must do

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    • March 30, 2020 at 11:47 am
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      I was working 26 hours a week getting $86 in SNAP food stamps a month. While people with kids, pregnant, no job people, living on low income sitting home doing drugs are selling their snap benefits for $300 to $700 and also selling their kids WIC coupons. I watch people like this everyday. It just makes me mad to see them getting the most free snap benefits and not doing the right thing of buying food for kids. Half these kids still starve, because of selfish parents. Now the people who busting there buts only get $80 or less in food stamps with more cuts on April 1. That’s definitely not right. They should not get free pass nor should working people feel empathy for people selling their SNAP stamps. Only Disabled and the Elderly I’d except selling them. Due to coronavirus now one of my clients is sick in the hospital. They can’t leave now I’m unemployed. I don’t know what to do now. Just really confused. Now I’m falling into the poor category it seems. Always wanted to be independent.

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  • December 22, 2019 at 5:29 pm
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    Absolutely agree Angelia. Also people fail to realize that people can work and still not make enough to support their families. SNAP has such a negative stereotype attached to it that people are willing to cut the budget and let families starve rather than do some actual research in finding effective ways to have families employed with a career that makes enough financially to support their needs. Instead of people bashing welfare & SNAP recipients research and compassion are needed. Poverty isn’t a choice, nobody chooses to live off of SNAP.

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    • March 6, 2020 at 2:11 pm
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      Well, yes and no. Poverty may not be a choice for some but for others it might very well be

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  • January 8, 2020 at 10:34 am
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    The government needs to raise the minimum wage to end food stamps..when was the last time that happened? Wages have not increased in decades. Regular people are not even able to afford a home because of it. The 1% in this country is ridiculously rich and under the current administration getting even more rich. The rest are catching breadcrumbs and cuts to SNAP food stamps and now even that is going to go away.

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  • January 12, 2020 at 4:51 pm
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    Look at the statistics. Actual SNAP abuse percentage is low. I have yet to meet anyone who abuses it. And have talked with one woman (who is severely disabled) about how her SNAP food stamps were cut in more than half. Nothing had changed. She needs SNAP to be able to eat every month. Disability and SSI really don’t pay enough to survive. So, no one is safe if they are cutting the disabled’s SNAP benefits. I’m scared. I’m disabled and have kids that I need to take care of. Even though they said they aren’t cutting the disabled’s SNAP food stamps benefits, I’ve seen a prime example of them doing it and it’s not even April 2020 yet.

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    • March 6, 2020 at 2:12 pm
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      I don’t know about it being low so apparently it’s not from recent findings or they wouldn’t be cutting so many people off. If they’re cutting off 700,000 people, then that’s 700,000 people who probably aren’t entitled to it and should probably repay it.

      Reply
  • January 13, 2020 at 9:43 am
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    I have yet to see any abuse of food stamps at almost age 70. I’m convinced that even if a person is not able to work, mentally challenged, disabled, or in a job program; the harsh reality is that a personal attack is being made by the government upon whomever isn’t RICH. This has been the case since the current president. I wonder what will be next in addition to the SNAP food stamps rules being changed in April? He’s ONLY FOR THE WEALTHY and RICH. As long as he’s in office unfortunately all who are middle class, poor working class, transitioning class or just poor, they ARE GOING TO BE TARGETS and SUFFER. The rules will change for food stams and everything else. A form of Undercover Prejudices.

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    • March 6, 2020 at 1:52 pm
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      Learn how to garden and grow your own food. You know, a lot of that produce you buy at the store often has seeds. You should also be able to get free seeds from what I heard with your EBT food stamp card. I’ve never tried it but I heard you can. I’m not 100% sure how accurate this is but learn to grow your own food instead of facing SNAP food stamp cut backs on April 1.

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  • January 16, 2020 at 8:01 am
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    Many people forget that the USDA has special rules for those who are disabled and elderly. You have to have 35.00 or more in medical cost just to get a raise in SNAP benefits, and that is not a new rule but an old one. If not you will only get 16.00 a month and who can live on that. Check the USDA rules for more information. This is one way to hurt people that are disabled and living on a fixed budget that will not increase even with 15.00 per hour wage increase. It too may be cut on April 1. It is a choice between food or rent and starve to keep a place to live. No one is even addressing this dark side of SNAP.

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    • March 6, 2020 at 2:16 pm
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      That few dollars in food stamps is meant to buy food toward the end of the month when your money runs low. Therefore, it’s not meant to live on, which is why many people are being cut off including in April 1, 2020. They’re choosing to live on it as a way of life. Now do you understand why many people are being cut off? Now you see it. You’re not supposed to “live” on food stamps. Those food stamps are emergency temporary help. Now if you happen to fit into the bracket where you get them permanently, that’s different. Even then, no one supposed to live on food stamps. Instead, when you have no expenses, those few dollars in food stamps are only meant to buy a few essential items in the end of the month when your money runs low

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  • January 27, 2020 at 12:40 pm
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    Disabled people cannot survive off of $68.00 a month in food stamps when your fixed monthly income is gone paying bills plus co-payments that is sent to your home. They owe bills too other than the co-payments made at the doctor office each time you go. The Government system needs to be changed back to when they were giving out food other than foodstamps some years back long ago. They gave out can meats, cornmeal, dry beans , flour, welfare cheese , powdered milk and etc. was good.
    Now you can’t buy a grocery bag of food filled up for $68.00. The poor over here is starving while others come over here and get enough foodstamps to buy 2 grocery carts of food and send their money back home to where they came from. That isn’t right and we couldn’t go over in those countries and get foodstamps to take care of us like those non-citizens of the United States come over here and do.

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    • February 1, 2020 at 7:47 am
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      Normally we don’t approve racist/ignorant comments but we did approve this one.
      This comment is factually incorrect. Not to mention with strong undertones of racism which we will not comment on. We will stick to the facts on this comments that are supported by data and math….and numbers don’t lie.

      -The disabled can work. The disabled can get a job too to increase their income to pay for more food.
      -The economy is the strongest it has been in 50 years. Unemployment rates at historical lows. The so called “poor” can work, and get multiple jobs if they need money for food.
      -Regarding immigrants/newcomers, first of all many states do not give “illegal immigrants” benefits like food stamps. Second for those states that allow benefits, they get ZERO preference when applying for assistance such as food stamps. The benefits are mostly are INCOME based programs…so if your income is low enough and you qualify then food stamps, etc. are available regardless of race, ethnicity. The point being if person X has an an income of Y, then another person with the same income can get the exact same amount of help….race, religion, ethnicity is not a factor.
      -Immigrants are some of the hardest working people in this country. This is a fact, as based on DATA. As but one example, they start about twice as many businesses as “native” Americans. In general, the data shows that immigrants just flat out work harder than others.

      Anyway, we sadly see too many racist/ignorant comments. Most of them are so poorly written, almost unreadable, so we can’t approve them. At least this one was somewhat coherent so we approved it. But we also wanted to correct it as sadly too many people think the same incorrect thoughts as Benjamin.

      Reply
      • March 6, 2020 at 2:19 pm
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        With so many available opportunities to work from home, you must sift through the websites and see which ones are legit. You can work from home even if it’s just for a few bucks or so toward the end of the month depending on what you’re doing

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    • March 6, 2020 at 2:18 pm
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      Wow! $68 in food stamps? You can trade me places because I only get $15 or 16, not to mention if I get a reduction on April 1, 2020.

      Reply
  • March 4, 2020 at 10:06 pm
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    I see people buy $60.00 king crab legs at Sam’s Club. How can you afford this if your feeling a family on food stamps?

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    • March 6, 2020 at 2:20 pm
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      Having a bag of expensive seafood once in a while is fine if you get SNAP food stamps, but not all the time. Let’s say you’re celebrating a very special occasion. That’s fine, just not all the time

      Reply
    • March 11, 2020 at 2:25 pm
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      I don’t believe a person would spend that much on their food stamps. I use to be on it when I was about 30 years of age, been working every since. I am now about to retire. I have never seen SNAP food stamps abuse like you just stated, that’s absurd!

      Reply
  • March 5, 2020 at 4:48 am
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    I know two able bodies junkies right now who get food stamps. The male is 29 and his sister is 27. This April 1, 2020 rule change is the best thing that can happen to them. They live with a family member who is the biggest enabler. For anyone going on these government programs such as SNAP food stamps drug screening should be a part of it, including those who go on disability, and also tobacco use. In addition, the above two mentioned adults also smoke cigarettes.

    Reply
  • March 6, 2020 at 2:23 pm
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    If they’re getting Social Security, you can go to the Social Security website and raise concern. The more info you know about the person, the better. The name and address of the person in question is really all you need. I know of someone who was investigated for SNAP food stamp rules violations because apparently he was doing some odd work on the side and someone didn’t think he was disabled. He must’ve make some money on the side or maybe he must’ve gotten into a disagreement somewhere and got turned in. After investigation I guess, they got their financial throats cut. I guess after some red tape, they were restored

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  • March 12, 2020 at 5:14 am
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    Everyone talks about abuse at the bottom but what about at the top – CEOs make a kabillion dollar bonus and we fight over the breadcrumbs. The amount we spend on food stamps is a very small percentage of everything the US spends money on. The ones who are punished in all of this are the elderly and kids! The percentage of kids that qualify for subsidized meals at school is extremely high everywhere. I know one place is 98%, another is 78%. So now the kids won’t get fed at schools and home if SNAP food stamps are cut on April 1 – well done America! I would rather have a little abuse and ensure a kid gets a banana then watch a CEO hoard money and tell us why people don’t deserve a living wage!

    Reply

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