CHN: Bill Introduced to Remove SNAP Time Limits

A bill recently introduced in the House would lift the harmful time limits on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to ensure all low-income adults have access to food. Under current law, childless adults aged 18-49 without a documented disability are subject to a harsh three-month time limit of SNAP benefits in a three-year period, unless they meet a strict work reporting requirement. The Improving Access to Nutrition Act (H.R. 2809), introduced on May 16 by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) with 23 co-sponsors, would lift the time limit from SNAP benefits to ensure that these unemployed and underemployed adults have access to nutrition assistance. The Coalition on Human Needs endorsed the legislation, as did several of CHN’s members, including Bread for the World, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Food Research & Action Center, Feeding America, and others. In a letter of support for the bill, CHN noted that “some workers lose vital assistance because they work hours provided by their employers are volatile; others find it difficult to document the work they have done.”

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration proposed making it harder for states with elevated unemployment rates to qualify for waivers of the time limit. By the Administration’s own calculations, the proposed rule would take food away from 755,000 low-income Americans. Late last year, Congress enacted and President Trump signed a new farm bill that rejected stricter time limits.