Food Stamps Eligibility Expected To Drop Off By One Million In 2015

Food stamps eligibility could drop off this year as regulations tighten once again. SNAP recipients will most likely be cut off as the economy improves, say sources.

After last year’s loss in benefits resulted in a decrease in the amount of food that state benefits will buy, some have speculated that the problem will continue to put a stranglehold on the poor. Initially, there was a cap on how long recipients could depend on the program. If you weren’t undergoing at least job training or working 20 hours per week, your food stamps would get terminated after three months.

The reason for the cap was to encourage the unemployed to look for work, but the economy grew worse and many states lifted the cap to allow those unable to find work to sustain themselves longer.

The economy is reportedly improving now, and as a result, more conservatives in Congress are pushing to once again limit the benefit. One story run last year stated they were cutting it off entirely, but the article in question was hosted on a satire news site.

While the loss of food stamps eligibility may sound drastic, the number dropped off around the same amount in 2014 as well, from 47.3 million to 46.5 million by September. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities‘ Ed Bolen stated what could happen as a result of the continued increase in food stamps requirements.

“It is going to be an additional number of people losing benefits in 2016, even with normal caseload dynamics.”

“The loss of benefits will likely increase hardship for these 1 million unemployed Americans who rely upon SNAP to meet their basic nutritional needs. With Congress unlikely to act, states need to begin planning for the reduction to ensure that clients and the many organizations and SNAP stakeholders that work with them are aware of the upcoming change and its effects.”

If the economy continues to improve and bring us out of the Great Recession, food stamps eligibility requirements are expected to get more strict, requiring citizens to either find a job before the cut-off date or have dependents or a disability to help them qualify.

The imposition of Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act could also make things much more difficult for the poor, as tax penalties allegedly rise. With the decrease in SNAP benefits, the average low-income United States citizen will need to stretch their dollar a little further or get a better job.

How do you feel about the decrease in food stamps eligibility predicted for 2015?

[Image via Emma Lee / NewsWorks]