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Time Limits to SNAP: Our Response

On Thursday, December 20, 2018, the same day President Trump signed the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill into law, the Administration also announced a proposed rule to fundamentally change the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the cornerstone of our nation’s nutrition assistance safety net, which is critical in helping low-income individuals and families get the food and nutrition they need. We worked alongside our anti-hunger partners in New York City and across the country to advocate for a strong Farm Bill, and we were heartened that legislation was passed to protect SNAP by maintaining eligibility without additional harmful work requirements. We’re dismayed that this executive action rolls back all this progress and threatens to increase food insecurity among low-income New Yorkers.

The proposed rule impacts adults between the ages of 18 and 50 who do not have children – also known as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs). Under current law, individuals in this group who participate in SNAP can only receive benefits for three months, unless they are working at least 20 hours a week. States currently have the ability to waive this rule in areas of high unemployment. However, the proposed executive action restricts states’ right to waive the time limit, creating additional barriers for ABAWDs to receive SNAP as they face unemployment or underemployment. This change would cut SNAP benefits for 755,000 people across the country – including 80,000 New Yorkers.

Thank you to everyone who commented on this proposed executive action. The comment period closed on April 10, 2019.

The Administration is now reviewing all the comments, which will likely take months. In the meantime, nothing changes for those eligible for or currently enrolled in SNAP.

We’ll continue to watch this issue, working closely with Feeding America, and we will keep you updated as we learn more.

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