The Washington Post examines how Ohio and other states “are trying to make it harder for needy families to access federal food assistance programs.”
From the article:
Republican lawmakers in Ohio, Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana and others have proposed more restrictive policies to qualify for food aid, cutting benefits to those who have saved up a little money or driving a decent car halfway through, or adding administrative requirements to document small changes in income and efforts to find work.
The measures come even as more than 20 million adults said their households sometimes or often did not have enough to eat during the week ending June 7, according to the US Census Bureau..
If you haven’t followed that, the Post notes that in the Ohio state budget, Republicans “made last-minute changes” to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. “They now require recipients to report any change in income greater than $ 500 within 30 days and document child support agreements,” the Post reports. “The law now also requires new asset reviews, which means those with up to $ 2,250 in checking or savings accounts or those with cars worth more than $ 4,650 could lose. advantages. “
The changes were taken from a bill sponsored by State Senator Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster. In an email to the Post, he wrote: “There is never a bad time to fight fraud, especially in our public benefit systems. Fraud and waste are never acceptable. No one loses any benefits that need help and there is no change in the eligibility criteria. The goal of this legislation is simply to eliminate fraud and waste from the state of Ohio’s public benefit systems. In doing so, more funds and resources will be made available to those Ohioans who really need this help the most. “
The Post spoke with Hope Lane-Gavin, a public policy and external affairs associate at the Cleveland nonprofit Center for Community Solutions, who said Schaffer has been working to prevent fraud in public benefits for a long time. time.
“His organization did not include asset and income limits and child support requirements in the state budget bill,” the Post writes. She said excluding low-income Americans with cars valued over $ 5,000 “is wrong because cars are essential tools for re-employment and upward mobility,” according to the article.
“We were caught off guard, we did not expect this in the midst of a pandemic,” she said. She pointed out that some states, including Virginia, did not count cars when examining people eligible for food aid.
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