What are work requirements in SNAP?
After extensive negotiations, the Fiscal Responsibility Act became law with the key point of contention being the inclusion of work requirements for SNAP.
President Joe Biden signed the Fiscal Responsibility Act into law after much negotiation with Congress. One of the sticking points was the demand by Republicans that work requirements be implemented for many low-income beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps.
What are the work requirements in SNAP?
Prior to the debt ceiling deal, work requirements were already in place to avail of SNAP benefits. The rules require most able-bodied adults from the ages of 18 to 49 to work and earn wages equivalent to 30 hours per week, look for a job, or sign up for a SNAP employment training program for a minimum of 80 hours a month.
The guidelines exempt pregnant women, people with mental or physical limitations, or those who live with children from these requirements.
What are the expanded SNAP requirements?
The Fiscal Responsibility Act has expanded SNAP work requirements to include new age groups. Beginning in October, adults without dependents between 50 and 52 years of age will also be subject to the work stipulations, and by the year 2025, the upper age limit will be further increased to 54. However, this maximum age will again be brought down to 49 in 2030.
New exemptions from SNAP work requirements
Although more individuals will soon need to work to receive SNAP benefits, the new legislation also secured exceptions for veterans, homeless people, and young adults aged 18 to 24 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.