USDA rule could affect 3.1M food stamp recipients

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to tighten automatic eligibility requirements for the food stamp program, a change that could affect about 3.1 million people.

The Agriculture Department says the rule would close "a loophole" that enables people receiving only minimal benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be eligible automatically for food stamps.

Under current law, states may confer eligibility for food stamps, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, if they meet income and other requirements for TANF. USDA says states have expanded that to include households that "barely participate" in TANF.

USDA says this has resulted in people receiving food stamps who don't need it. It estimates that in 2020, 3.1 million food stamp recipients, or 8% of the total could be affected.