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Home / US / Federal judge overturns Trump’s rule that could cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans

Federal judge overturns Trump’s rule that could cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans



“The final rule in this lawsuit drastically and drastically changes decades of regulatory practice, with states declaring and exponentially increasing food security for tens of thousands of Americans,” wrote Chief Justice Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington. pages stating that the agency did not explain properly, generally comply with federal law, and how it “makes sense.”

A coalition of attorneys general from 19 states, the District of Columbia and the City of New York filed a lawsuit in January, challenging the USDA rule.
The rule, announced in December, would require more recipients of food stamps to work in order to receive benefits, limiting the ability of states to waive existing work permits. It was due to take effect on April 1
, but Howell blocked its implementation in mid-March, and Congress suspended work mandates on the food stamp program as part of that month’s coronavirus package.

This requirement could result in 688,000 adults without disabilities and working age without dependents losing their additional food assistance programs or SNAP, as food stamps are formally known, according to estimates by the Department of Agriculture, which were calculated before the pandemic. It was expected to save $ 5.5 billion over five years.

During the outbreak, the number of credited food stamps increased as millions of Americans lost their jobs. According to the resolution, more than 6 million people signed up for benefits, as of May, which is 17% more.

About 43 million Americans received benefits in April, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture.

The famine rose amid the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. Many people lined up at food banks, which distributed more than 1.9 billion meals between March and June, according to the Feeding America network, which consists of 200 food banks and 60,000 barns and food.
According to a survey by the Census Bureau from mid to late September, about 10% of adults live in households where food has occasionally or often been in short supply for the past seven days.

Normally, the food stamp program requires that dependent adults do not work with disabilities and have jobs. They can only receive benefits for three months from each 36-month period if they do not work or participate in training programs 20 hours a week. In 2018, there were 2.9 million such recipients, and almost 74% of them were not employed, the agency said.

The Department of Agriculture did not immediately return the request for comment.

States may waive employment requirements in areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there are insufficient jobs, as defined by the Ministry of Labor. The new rule would make it more difficult for states to obtain such exemptions by strengthening the definition of areas where there are not enough jobs, narrowing the geographical areas of failure and limiting their duration, among other provisions.

The move is one of three efforts by the Trump administration to revise the food stamp program.

Another proposed piece of legislation that would tighten rules determining who is eligible for benefits could end up depriving more than 3 million people of benefits and leaving nearly 500,000 children without access to free school meals. The third proposal will change the method of calculating allowances for utility costs, which will have an ambiguous impact. The agency is still working on the last two proposals.

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