The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will roll out a new rule which will stop states from shielding able-bodied adults without dependents from federal work requirements connected to receiving welfare in the form of food aid, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Journal:
For able-bodied adults without dependents, U.S. law limits SNAP benefits to three months, unless recipients are working or in training for 20 hours a week. States can waive those limits in areas where unemployment runs 20% above the national rate, which was 3.6% in October.
The new rule requires the unemployment rate to be 6% or higher for states to issue such waivers. The rule also curbs the amount of discretionary exemptions from federal work requirements that states can issue.
The rule will save the government billions of dollars and encourage more people to work at a time when jobless rates are near a 50-year low, according to officials.
"This rule lays the groundwork for the expectation that able-bodied Americans reenter the workforce where there are currently more job openings than people to fill them," said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.
The USDA says 223,000 people might no longer receive food benefits under the new standard, saving taxpayers $12.8 billion over 10 years.
The new rule takes effect April 1, 2020.