About 1 million needy people will be out of food stamp benefits now that the American economy is starting to improve, reports CNN Money.
That six-figure estimate was determined by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which is reportedly urging Congress to put a change to federal law that currently limits how long someone can receive food stamps when they’re unable to lock down a job.
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Adults without children can receive food stamps for only three months unless they are working or attending job training program at least 20 hours a week under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.
The three-month cut off was established in the mid 1990s, CNN Money reports, as a happy medium between lawmakers. The intent was to lay down a safety net for Americans in need, but also give them an incentive to work.
The Great Recession, however, challenged that law, leading to most states to waiver the three-month cap due to the surge in unemployment. But as the economy improves, extensions on food stamp benefits will soon come to an end as many states will reinstate the three-month limit. Though the economy is becoming more robust, those most in need are still faced with difficulty finding employment.
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The Center estimates that the law could cut off benefits for as many as 1 million adults, most of whom fall under the poverty line.
“The loss of this food assistance, which averages approximately $150 to $200 per person per month for this group, will likely cause serious hardship among many,” the report reads.
The Center is urging states, in response to the cutoff, to “prepare heavily affected local communities” for increased demand at food banks and homeless shelters.