Monday, June 5, 2017

What would happen if proposed SNAP cuts are implemented?

The President’s proposed budget calls for reducing SNAP by $4.6 billion next year and $192 billion over the next decade. The budget lists four items that are expected to achieve these savings.

  1. The budget proposes requiring states to shoulder some of SNAP’s benefit costs beginning in 2020, with an average match of 10% increasing to an average of 25% by 2023. This proposed shift will likely pressure states to reduce SNAP participation through reducing eligibility, employing more complex administrative procedures, or implementing more stringent work requirements.
  2. The budget calls for requiring able-bodied adults to work. Able Bodied Adults without Dependents are 18- to 49-year-olds who do not have dependents and are not disabled. They are already limited to three months of SNAP participation within a 36-month period. In fiscal year 2015, only 19% of SNAP households fit the main criteria for ABAWD status and that many of them cycle in and out of wor. It is unlikely that the dramatic savings envisioned could be squeezed from this group alone.  
  3. Trump wants to “target benefits to the neediest households.”  In 2015, 42% of SNAP households had gross monthly income less than or equal to 50% of the federal poverty level, and those households received 57% of all benefits. And most SNAP participants are children, elderly, or disabled.
  4. Finally, the budget calls for closing eligibility loopholes. In fiscal year 2015, state-calculated error rates averaged 3.66%, ranging from 0.42% in Florida to 7.61% in Nevada.   

Source: Urban Institute, 5/30/17, SNAP Cut Proposal