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Do you live in any of the states that are making it difficult to obtain food stamps?

2021-06-23T06:34:57.941Z

The federal government had expanded access to food assistance programs such as SNAP due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some lawmakers say the aid discourages the unemployed from returning to work. In some states, if you have more than $ 2,250 in your bank account or a car worth more than $ 4,650, you may lose benefits.



Arguing that federal aid is discouraging return to work, a group of states around the country are taking steps to make it more difficult to access government-expanded food aid programs to help needy families during the pandemic of COVID-19.

In Ohio, Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Montana, Republican legislators have proposed establishing more restrictive requirements to qualify for food assistance from programs such as

SNAP

(

food stamps

),

WIC

(for mothers and young children) and another aid program that replaced

free

school meals

after schools closed.

These programs for low-income Americans existed before the health crisis, but the government expanded and strengthened them to assist more affected people and offer them emergency assistance. 

The Republicans' efforts to end food assistance due to the pandemic have as a context a report from the United States Census Bureau that ensures that more than 20 million adults do not have enough to eat each week, with some frequency.

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Actions by some states to end federal aid (or expire state disaster emergency orders) are set against the backdrop of intense political debate about why many companies across the country are seeking employees for their vacant positions, but not they are receiving applicants.

Some state legislators have also argued that aid programs

are fertile ground for misuse and fraud.

"There are a lot of jobs available, and these programs keep people from looking for work. That's something the states want to counteract," Angela Rachidi, an academic at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative body, told The Washington Post. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell told a news conference Wednesday that the expiration of federal unemployment benefits during the summer months is expected to push more workers back into the workforce.

The new restrictions, by state 

In

Ohio

, Republicans made last-minute changes to the SNAP program: Now the state will require beneficiaries to report any changes in their income that is more than $ 500.

And those with $ 2,250 or more in their bank accounts or who own cars worth more than $ 4,650 could lose the benefit.

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In

Arizona

, lawmakers introduced a bill to reduce the number of people who sign up for SNAP, changing eligibility criteria based on household income and other factors.

They also proposed requiring more papers to document their eligibility.

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In

Missouri

, legislators will require SNAP recipients to show that they have applied for child support in order to get or keep the help.

While another bill seeks to impose labor requirements for beneficiaries.

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For their part,

Arkansas

lawmakers

enacted a law that prevents the state from granting unemployed workers additional time with SNAP benefits, something the government had implemented nationwide due to the pandemic.

Another law will also require more documents to determine eligibility.

And, in both

Montana

and

Mississippi

, lawmakers introduced bills to add documentation requirements that lead to more difficulties in claiming or keeping benefits.

Unemployment payments end in eight states 

A total of 25 states have already announced that they will begin rejecting federal funds for the expanded weekly unemployment pay of $ 300.

This despite the fact that the official due date is September 6.

The decision is estimated to affect about 4 million beneficiaries in total.

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Eight of those states - Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming - will stop paying the $ 300 weekly as soon as this Saturday, when more than 400,000 people will lose the benefit.

State unemployment benefits generally replace half of the salary the employee was receiving before being laid off.

The additional $ 300 a week meant that about 42% of the workers received a salary equal to or greater than what they had lost.

With information from The Washington Post

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-06-23

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