Certain New York State Residents Will Now Need To Work To Get Food Stamps
Some New Yorkers, who previously did not have to work to receive SNAP will now have to prove they have a job. New York is one of 18 states that does not require older SNAP recipients to work, but Republicans used debt ceiling negotiations to change that. New York currently offers a waiver for the federal government's "Able Bodied Adults without Dependents" requirement. But, now that waiver will go away.
The ABAWD rule requires adults with no children under the age of 18, unless exempted, to work 20 hours weekly or participate in work-related training or education in order to get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Those who don't work or train 80 hours a month are only eligible for SNAP benefits for 3 months during a 3-year period. The ABAWD requirement applies to SNAP recipients ages 18 to 49, but republican House representatives want to increase the working age.
Republican Lawmakers Negotiated To Take The Waiver Away From Older Americans
Republicans used federal debt ceiling negotiations to secure new SNAP requirements, which they had been trying to push before negotiations. They had previously introduced the America Works Act For Food Stamps. Rep. Dusty Johnson, a Republican from South Dakota, sought to change to age requiring SNAP recipients to work to 65. He and a group of more than 20 other Republican representatives wanted to force older people to work at least 20 hours for an additional 15 years to keep their SNAP benefits (without having an exemption). They reached a compromise with the White House to increase the work requirements to include Americans up to the age of 54.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the work requirement incorrectly assumes that SNAP recipients are unemployed,
This requirement is also based on the false premise that low-income people receiving benefits do not work and must be compelled to do so, an assumption rooted in unfounded stereotypes based on race, gender, disability status, and class. Most working-age, non-disabled adults who participate in SNAP are already working for pay or are temporarily between jobs.
Now, anyone between the ages of 50 and 54 will also have to show proof of employment. New Yorkers who are 50 to 52 years old will be required to work to receive food stamps starting in October 2023. Residents ages 53 to 54 will face work requirements in the fall of 2024.
New SNAP Rules Exempt Certain People From Work Requirements
While older New Yorkers will now have to work to receive their SNAP benefits, some groups are exempt, according to NPR,
- those experiencing homelessness of all ages
- veterans of all ages
- youth ages 18 to 24 who aged out of foster care
According to a report by the NYS Office of Budget Policy and Analysis,
Since 2014, poverty rates in New York have surpassed the national average. In 2021, the most recent year for which data are available, almost 2.7 million New Yorkers lived in poverty, or 13.9 percent, compared to 12.8 percent of all Americans. Poverty rates are higher than 13 percent in 17 counties, and in the State’s largest cities.
SNAP is a federally funded program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services in New York State.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food. SNAP helps low-income working people, senior citizens, the disabled and others feed their families.
Currently, people on SNAP in New Yorks State can buy:
Breads and cereals
Fruits and vegetables
Meats, fish and poultry
Seeds and plants (to grow food)