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Proposed USDA rule change could kick some Hoosiers off SNAP benefits

Posted at 7:22 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 22:03:52-04

INDIANAPOLIS – A proposed USDA rule change could kick more than $3 million people off SNAP benefits across the country, some of those in Indiana.

The federal agency said it wants to cut out a loophole where people could take advantage of SNAP benefits without needing them.

But in Indiana, it would also undo a statewide law change that raises the limit of assets a person can have and still receive SNAP benefits – from about $2,000 to $5,000.

This means if you have $3,000 in savings but otherwise qualify for benefits, you would be kicked off if the rule change goes into effect.

Emily Weikert Bryant, the executive director of a statewide food bank group, says this could hurt Hoosiers who are trying to save money while on snap.

"When we are encouraging people to save so that when they're no longer on federal benefits, they have a cushion so they can get past that first medical bill, that first car breakdown,” she said. “Things that are inevitably going to happen because they happen to everyone. They were only eligible to have a very small amount of savings, which is contradictory to everything you would tell someone who is low income.”

A representative with FSSA said the agency is still trying to determine exactly how many Hoosiers would be impacted if the rule change goes into effect.

The rule isn’t final yet. The public comment period ends in late September. To make your voice heard, click here.