New SNAP requirements: Debt ceiling deal increases demands on those receiving assistance
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling deal includes changes to work requirements for recipients of food assistance.
President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached a compromise on the debt ceiling over the Memorial Day holiday weekend to avert a potential economic crisis that would be brought about by a default. Congress managed to quickly pass the legislation with a bipartisan vote in both chambers and President Biden signed it into law on Saturday.
One of the most salient points of the agreement was the change in work requirements for some recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Biden-McCarthy agreement expands SNAP work requirements
The deal, called the Fiscal Responsibility Act, would expand requirements for SNAP, which was formerly known as food stamps. As the program currently stands, there are already work requirements in place for most able-bodied adults without children from the ages of 18 to 49.
These recipients must either be earning wages equivalent to 30 hours per week, looking for a job, or signed up for a SNAP employment training program for at least 80 hours a month.
The new deal would roll out higher age limits over the next few years, lifting the maximum age to 54 by the year 2025. However, this maximum age will again be brought down to 49 in 2030.
Other sectors exempted from SNAP work requirements
However, President Biden was able to secure waivers for veterans, homeless people, and young adults exiting foster care from work requirements. This relief would also expire in 2030.
Some states can issue exemptions to the work regulations depending on their discretion, taking into account factors such as unemployment statistics among others.
SNAP beneficiaries who fall within the age range who are not able to comply with the work requirements nor secure an exemption, are only eligible to receive aid for three months over a three-year period.