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65,000 Hoosiers Could Be Affected By Food Stamp Changes

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Lance Cheung
/
USDA

 Approximately 46 million people nationally receive money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  

Of the 871,000 Indiana residents who use SNAP, 7-percent – about 65,000 people -- are at risk of losing their SNAP benefits in October if they do not find a job or enter a work training program.

Indiana is one of many states to waive the work requirement for food stamp eligibility enacted in the 1996 Welfare Act.  The law limits able-bodied individuals without dependents to three months’ benefits in a 36-month timeframe if they’re not employed or in a job training program.

Family and Social Services Administration spokeswoman Marni Lemons says the FSSA’s goal is to train people so they will not need food stamps.

“It was never intended, nor will it be intended in the future, as a way to permanently feed people for the rest of their lives,” Lemons says.

Following the Great Recession, Indiana’s unemployment rate was high enough to qualify the state for a waiver. But as that rate fell, Indiana dropped below the waiver threshold.

The national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates many states will lose their waivers in 2016. 

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