Rural New Yorkers may have a more difficult time getting food stamps. During budget ceiling negotiations, Republicans in Congress pushed for major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This change may greatly impact NY residents who live in areas where there aren't as many opportunities to work.

Food Stamps Help Bridge Gap For 20 Percent Of Americans Who Struggle With Hunger
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Some New Yorkers, who previously did not have to work to receive SNAP will now have to prove they have a job. New York is one of 18 states that does not require older SNAP recipients to work, but Republicans used debt ceiling negotiations to change that. New York currently offers a waiver for the federal government's "Able Bodied Adults without Dependents" requirement. But, now that waiver will go away.

The ABAWD rule requires adults with no children under the age of 18, unless exempted, to work 20 hours weekly or participate in work-related training or education in order to get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Those who don't work or train 80 hours a month are only eligible for SNAP benefits for 3 months during a 3-year period. The ABAWD requirement applies to SNAP recipients ages 18 to 49, but republican House representatives want to increase the working age.

Residents Of Rural New York May Find It More Difficult To Fulfill SNAP Work Requirements

The reason it may be harder for New Yorkers who need SNAP benefits to complete the new work requirements is based on many factors, including broadband connectivity issues, higher fuel costs, and less job opportunities. According to the Daily Yonder, employment opportunities in rural areas have not bounced back as strongly from the pandemic as they did in urban areas.

The good news is that rural America added nearly 738,000 jobs in the last two years. The bad news is that these gains didn’t completely offset the 953,000 jobs rural America lost during the first year of the pandemic. In 2022, there were 1.1% fewer jobs in rural counties than there were in 2019. Metropolitan counties had on average about 1% more jobs last year than before the pandemic.

The new work requirements will be phased in by 2025. New Yorkers who are 50 to 52 years old will be required to work to receive food stamps starting in October 2023. Residents ages 53 to 54 will face work requirements in the fall of 2024.

Trump Administration Sets New Work Requirement Rules For Food Stamp Recipients
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New SNAP Rules Exempt Certain People From Work Requirements

While older New Yorkers will now have to work to receive their SNAP benefits, some groups are exempt, according to NPR,

- those experiencing homelessness of all ages
- veterans of all ages
- youth ages 18 to 24 who aged out of foster care

According to a report by the NYS Office of Budget Policy and Analysis,

Since 2014, poverty rates in New York have surpassed the national average. In 2021, the most recent year for which data are available, almost 2.7 million New Yorkers lived in poverty, or 13.9 percent, compared to 12.8 percent of all Americans. Poverty rates are higher than 13 percent in 17 counties, and in the State’s largest cities.

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