Food Stamp Requirements Starting in September
Anyone age 16 to 59 who is able to work and is eligible for SNAP has to follow work requirement to obtain benefits, like showing that they’re applying for work, doing employment training through the SNAP program or taking suitable job offers as they come.
There’s an extra set of requirements for able-bodied Americans who don’t have dependents. Currently, only Americans ages 18 to 49 who are able to work and don’t have dependents are subject to the extra requirement.
But starting Sept. 1, that age limit will increase to 50. This October, it will go up to 52. In October 2024, the age limit will rise to 54.
Meeting the New Requirements
Here’s a look at the changes:
- As of Sept. 1, childless workers who are 18 to 50 years old must show they are working at least 80 hours a month for either pay or for goods and services, as a volunteer or enrolled in an education or training program to receive SNAP.
- Participate in workfare for an assigned number of hours each month, depending on the benefit
- On Oct. 1, the age range increases to 18 to 52 years old for workers who will have to meet those requirements.
- A year later, on Oct. 1, 2024, the age range increases to 18 to 54 years old.
- The new requirements will be in effect through Oct. 1, 2030.
- About 750,000 adults could lose benefits, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Applicants are excused from the requirements if they are:
- Unable to work due to physical or mental limitations
- Have someone younger than 18 in the household
- Otherwise excused from the general work requirements
The new requirements were set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, a congressional deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid default. They’re also temporary and will expire on Oct. 1, 2030.
The deal also expanded exceptions to the age limit to include homeless individuals, veterans and anyone age 24 or younger who was in foster care or otherwise in state custody when they turned 18.
Maximum Income Limits for SNAP
To be eligible for SNAP, your household may have to meet:
- Gross and net income limits.
- Resource limits.
- Work requirements, but not all groups are subject to these requirements.
Income limits for SNAP are largely based on the federal poverty level. Gross monthly income — household income before the program’s deductions are applied — must be at or below 130% of the poverty line. Some states, such as Alaska and Hawaii, have higher maximum limits.
Here is the gross monthly income limit for U.S. households at 130% of the poverty level for September 2023 before the new income eligibility standards take effect the next month:
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