Governor Sisolak Issues Statement Criticizing Administration's SNAP Benefits Rule Changes

    One final rule; two proposed rules to change eligibility for federal nutrition assistance program

    CARSON CITY, NV - December 06, 2019

      Today, Governor Steve Sisolak issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s rule changes with respect to SNAP benefits:

        “Both the final and proposed rule changes to SNAP are unconscionable, and will have devastating impacts to low-income Nevadans who make up our most vulnerable citizens – including families, children, and veterans,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “While we appreciate the issuance of a temporary waiver, the Administration’s rule changes, both final and proposed, have created uncertainty for the states, and I will be working with DHHS to determine next steps on how to address the increased hardship and hunger that will be created by taking away low-income families’ basic food assistance.”

          Please consult the below informational press release from the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Welfare and Supportive Services for more information regarding the Administration’s final and proposed rule changes to the SNAP program.



              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
              DATE: December 6, 2019
              CONTACT: Julie Balderson, 775-684-0505, jxbalderson@dwss.nv.gov

                Changes to SNAP benefits announced

                One final rule; two proposed rules to change eligibility for federal nutrition assistance program

                  CARSON CITY, NV – Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced two proposed changes, and one final rule change, to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which serves more than 400,000 Nevadans.

                    The final rule, published on December 5, 2019, addresses changes to SNAP recipients classified as Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD).

                      The new rule limits states’ ability to override work requirements for SNAP recipients. The order affects adults who are less than 50 years old who do not have disabilities or dependents.

                        The current rules require the group to work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months during a three-year period, but states can waive the rule if work is not available. The new rule will limit the state's ability to do that unless unemployment reaches a specific rate in that area.

                          Today, the State of Nevada was informed it has received a three-month waiver for this rule which applies to all Nevada counties, with the exception of Washoe.

                            The waiver of the time limit will be in effect from January 1, 2020 through March 30, 2020. As mandated by Nevada law, the State will continue to apply for waivers but, if future waivers are denied, then more than 32,000 individuals will be transitioned off SNAP when they exhaust their three months of benefits.

                              Proposed Changes

                                Additionally, there are two proposed rules; Broad-Based Categorically Eligibility which addresses the types of government benefits that automatically qualify families for SNAP and Standard Utility Allowance regarding the guideline states use to calculate standard utility allowances.

                                  The proposed rule will eliminate the Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) policy and impose a financial asset test on SNAP applicants that were approved under BBCE. The Division of Welfare and Supportive Services estimates about 46,000 SNAP recipients will no longer be eligible, and 7,415 children who are on National School Lunch Program will be affected by the proposed rule.

                                    The second proposed rule for the Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) may show an increase of more than 4% to recipients, according to USDA analysis. Currently, Nevada’s average SNAP benefit per household is $220.06. If the proposed rule on SUA values is approved as written, the average benefit per household in Nevada will increase by $9.44, per month.

                                      Currently 117,968 out of 221,272 SNAP households qualify and receive the Standard Utility Allowance.

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                                          Contact

                                          Ryan McInerney
                                          Communications Director
                                          rmcinerney@gov.nv.gov