SSN Commentary

GOP’s Proposed Expansion of SNAP Work Requirements Targets Many Low-Income People in Their Early 50s – But Many of Them Already Work

Policy field

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American University

Originally Published With Katherine Engel in the Conversation on May 22, 2023.

Roughly half of the people who would be affected by a proposed expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program work requirements already do what’s needed to meet those requirements. There’s also evidence suggesting that many of the rest have caregiving or health conditions that prevent them from working.

Formerly known as food stamps, SNAP helps low-income people buy groceries.

Republicans want the federal government to make SNAP benefits for adults age 50 to 55 without dependents or disabilities contingent on spending 80 hours per month on work activities, which may include employment, short-term training and community service. This proposed change is in a package that the Republican-led House of Representatives passed in April 2023 that seeks to cut spending on several social programs.