Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ The federal judge strikes down the Trump rule that could have cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans

The federal judge strikes down the Trump rule that could have cut food stamps for nearly 700,000 unemployed Americans



“The last rule in this lawsuit radically and abruptly changes decades of legislative practice, leaving states distorted and exponentially increasing the food insecurity of tens of thousands of Americans,” Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, wrote in -page decision stating that the agency has not adequately explained how the rule compiles federal statutes or how it “makes sense”.

A coalition of attorneys general from 19 states, the District of Columbia and New York City filed a lawsuit in January challenging the USDA rule.
The rule, announced in December, would have required more food stamp recipients to work to receive benefits by limiting states̵
7; ability to waive existing labor mandates. It was scheduled to take effect on April 1, but Howell in mid-March prevented it from being implemented, and Congress suspended labor mandates in the food stamp program as part of a coronavirus virus relief package that month.

The claim could have resulted in 688,000 non-disabled adults of working age without dependents losing their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, or SNAP, as food stamps are formally known, according to estimates by the Department of Agriculture calculated before the pandemic. It was expected to save $ 5.5 billion over five years.

Enrollment in food stamps has risen during the outbreak as millions of Americans lost their jobs. More than 6 million people have signed up for benefits since May, a 17% increase according to the ruling.

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

Hunger has risen in the midst of the economic upheaval created by the pandemic. Many lined up at food banks, distributing more than 1.9 billion meals between March and June, according to Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantry and meal programs.
Approx. 10% of adults live in households where there was either sometimes or often not enough to eat in the last seven days, according to a Census Bureau study from mid to late September.

In normal times, the food stamp program requires non-disabled adults of working age without relatives to have jobs. They can only receive benefits for three months out of each 36-month period, unless they work or participate in training programs 20 hours a week. There were 2.9 million of these recipients in 2018, and nearly 74% of them were not employed, according to the agency.

The Department of Agriculture did not immediately return a request requesting comment.

States can waive the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Ministry of Labor. The new rule would have made it more difficult for states to receive these exemptions by tightening the definition of areas where there are insufficient jobs, narrowing the geographical areas with exemptions and limiting their duration, among other provisions.

The move is one of the three Trump administrations’ efforts to revise the food stamp program.

Another proposed regulation, which would tighten the rules on who is eligible for support, could end up depriving more than 3 million people of their benefits and leaving nearly 500,000 children without access to free school meals. The third proposal will change the way quotas for utilities are calculated, which will have a mixed impact. The Agency is still working on the latter two proposals.

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