According to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), unemployed childless adults who are not disabled but are in need of food between the ages of 18 and 50 will be dropped from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamp Program by 2016.
Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has been decreasing since late 2013 due to the economic improvement. The decrease, according to the study partially represents people getting jobs, but also represent single people who no longer qualify for food stamp assistance, despite still struggling financially.
States are expected to revert back to the former requirement that ‘able-bodied childless adults’ who are not disabled or raising minor children, or enrolled in job training or work 20 hours per week if they want more than three months of financial assistance. Sadly, people who are unable to find jobs will be out of luck, since very few states offer training or workforce programs that meet the requirements.
“The loss of benefits will likely increase hardship for these 1 million unemployed Americans who rely upon SNAP to meet their basic nutritional needs,” Ed Bolen wrote on the CBPP’s website. “With Congress unlikely to act, states need to begin planning for the reduction to ensure that clients and the many organizations and SNAP stakeholders that work with them are aware of the upcoming change and its effects.”
The enrollment decrease could cut off benefits for about 1 million adults, nearly all of whom fall below the poverty line, according to CBPP’s estimates.
“The loss of this food assistance, which averages approximately $150 to $200 per person per month for this group, will likely cause serious hardship among many,” the study states. To prepare, states should “prepare heavily affected local communities” for increased demand at food banks and homeless shelters, says the CBPP.