SNAP and Working Families: Solutions for Good Health

Summary of Findings:

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutritional support for income-eligible families, most of whom have working adults. However, as families increase their income, they may experience a reduction or loss of SNAP benefits that leaves them with fewer overall resources. Children’s HealthWatch research demonstrated that working families that increased their income and whose SNAP benefits were subsequently reduced or cut off were significantly more likely to experience food insecurity, other economic hardships, and adverse health outcomes compared to those with consistent SNAP benefit levels.

Our SNAP-Focused Policy Solutions Include:

  1. Retain Broad Based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) without change.
  2. Increase eligibility limits and remove asset tests.
  3. Create a more gradual decline in benefits across assistance programs that avoid an abrupt reduction or loss of SNAP and provide a smooth off-ramp for families in the workforce.
  4. Adopt the Low Cost Food Plan as the basis for calculating SNAP benefits.
  5. Account for income fluctuations by calculating income over a longer period of time and implement longer recertification periods.
  6. Improve the SNAP benefit eligibility calculation to accurately reflect the real costs of housing.
  7. Expand the medical deduction to include all family members with health care expenses.