Landmark Skybox

Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
The Weather Network
Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : state news free February 16, 2020

12/5/2019 12:33:00 PM
Illinoisians will face tighter rules for food stamps
New rules apply to 'able-bodied adults without dependents'
Peter Hancock
Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — The Trump administration is about to impose new regulations that would tighten eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, in a way state officials say could cut off benefits for an estimated 140,000 Illinoisans.

The new rules apply to a category of SNAP recipients ages 18 to 59 known as “able-bodied adults without dependents,” or ABAWDs. Currently, who meet the program’s income eligibility limits are limited to three months of benefits during any 36-month period unless they work at least 20 hours a week or are enrolled in a job training program.

Those conditions were part of a 1996 welfare reform law passed during the Clinton administration. But the law also allows states to waive the work requirements if the applicant lives in an area marked by high unemployment or where there is a lack of sufficient jobs.

The new rules, which will take effect in April, will tighten the regulations governing those waivers by limiting them to counties with unemployment rates above 6 percent. It is one of several changes to SNAP eligibility being implemented or considered by the Trump administration.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, said in a document published Wednesday that about half of all able-bodied adults receiving SNAP live in areas that have received waivers “despite low unemployment levels across the majority of the country.”

“The strong economy is creating opportunities for all,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said during a telephone news conference Wednesday. “Now is the time for us to engage with this subset of SNAP participants so that they can know the dignity of work and the lasting transformation that it provides.”

But Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker blasted the new rules, calling them “cruel” and suggesting they are being enacted for other political purposes.

“President Trump is now resorting to the ugliest possible tactics to distract the American people from his impeachment and gin up support from the far right – denying food to the most vulnerable people in our society,” Pritzker said in an email statement. “This is cruel and my administration has fought him at every turn.”

USDA estimates the rule change will make about 668,000 people nationwide ineligible for SNAP, resulting in an estimated $5.5 billion savings over five years.

Meghan Powers, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, said about 140,000 people in this state would lose eligibility, although she added the agency has been working to find other ways to extend eligibility to those individuals.

“Many SNAP participants face serious barriers to employment, such as mental illnesses, substance use disorders, justice involvement and significant physical limitations, and would not be able to immediately meet the work requirements,” she said in an email statement. “IDHS has been working for months to appropriately exempt any individuals with these barriers so they do not need to meet the work requirements. However, we also recognize that some of our customers can and want to work. To that end, IDHS has also engaged in a robust effort to prepare for this rule change so we can help as many SNAP participants as possible find employment and training that would meet the work requirement.”





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   










Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact UsLife
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved