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Low-Income People Targeted By The Proposed SNAP Work Requirements

It is believed that expanding SNAP work requirements would serve food assistance benefits to people much better than before.

May 22, 2023

Around half of the people would be affected by the expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) work requirements and such people have already started working to whatever is needed to meet those requirements. The rest have caregiving or health conditions preventing them from working.

SNAP was known as food stamps in the previous times and its main aim was to help low-income people to buy groceries. Republicans are advocating for a requirement that adults between the ages of 50 and 55, who do not have dependents or disabilities, must engage in work-related activities for a minimum of 80 hours per month to qualify for SNAP benefits. These activities may involve employment, short-term training, or community service. Also, the Republicans seek to cut spending on multiple social programs.

At present, the requirements apply to adults under 50 without dependents and the ones who are not disabled. The low-income Americans spent most of their time working, caring for others, or dealing with their personal well-being from 2012-2021. Half of the people worked at least 20 hours a week.

The ones who tend to meet the work requirements worked for around 41-50 hours a week which is full-time work.

The GOP bill is based on the belief that individuals receiving SNAP benefits and assistance from other programs are capable of working but currently unemployed. The bill asserts that implementing work requirements can lead to higher employment rates and increased earnings. Hardly do they know that this is a misconception.

Measures like this will increase the debt limit which in turn will lead to a global economic crisis. If the SNAP work requirements are expanded, around 275,000 low-income people between 50-55 would be benefitted, especially the ones with health conditions and who care for others.

This is concerning because the United States has significantly high costs associated with professional child care, elder care, and care for individuals with disabilities. New work requirements will force people to make hard choices between caregiving arrangements for their loved ones and retaining their benefits. Poor people are unable to put food on their table if they lose SNAP benefits because they might not be able to work because of poor health.

Besides this, SNAP is associated with many other trends apart from getting enough to eat such as having better health, spending less on health care, and becoming financially secure. Buying groceries with SNAP stimulates the economy where they live and also supports low-income communities.

The research also reveals that the work requirements don’t get more people to enter the labor force. Instead, the people are at risk of losing their benefits due to unclear guidelines and paperwork hassles.

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The content provided in this article draws inspiration and includes quotes from various reputable sources, including news articles, government data, and interviews. Affordable Housing 411 strives to ensure accuracy and credibility, but the information presented may be based on some external sources. We encourage readers to refer to the referenced materials for more in-depth insights and verification.

Engel Katherine and Morrissey Taryn. “Proposed SNAP work requirements target many low-income people who already work”. Salon, May 22, 2023,
Proposed SNAP work requirements target many low-income people who already work |

Last Updated: September 20, 2021