Here’s How Trump’s Food Stamps Rollback Impacts LGBTQ+ People

by Matt Baume
December 5, 2019

The Trump administration will begin denying food to 2.2 million families in need, with new food stamp rollbacks expected to disproportionately impact LGBTQ+ people. The move comes as the United States Department of Agriculture has proposed limits on eligibility for food stamps, as well as new restrictions on calculating utility costs.

Currently, people who cannot afford food but are eligible to work are limited to receiving only three months of benefits within a three-year period if they do not meet a 20-hour work requirement. States where unemployment is unusually high and jobs are particularly scarce can waive that limitation, providing assistance for a longer duration through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Under the Trump administration’s latest proposal, states would have less leeway to waive the limitation. Governors would be able to overrule waivers, and unemployment in the state would have to exceed six percent.

In addition, eligibility will be based on historical data, rather than current data, so families in need will be unable to obtain support during economic downturns.

Under further rule changes, citizens will no longer be allowed to fully factor utility costs into their expenses, with the program essentially treating money spent on electricity during the winter as an optional luxury. Participants may be forced to choose between paying for heat or food.

That’s expected to reduce spending SNAP spending by $5.5 billion, while denying food to around 688,000 people.

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