The 13.6% increase in food stamp benefits that was contained in the 2009 stimulus bill officially expired in November 2013, and with this people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) saw a $20 drop in their monthly allocation. The food stamp cut would reduce benefits for around 47.7 million Americans.
SNAP was designed to combat hunger among poverty-ridden Americans, especially children, the elderly and the disabled. Enrollment in this program had doubled since 2004 and the recession led to escalated costs, from 35 billion dollars in 2007 to 80 billion dollars in 2012.
The cut of 5 billion dollars for the fiscal year 2014 is equivalent to 21 fewer meals a month for a family of four; or 16 fewer meals for a family of three as pointed out by the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. During the fiscal year 2014, the spending cuts is expected to be $5 billion and over fiscal years 2015 and 2016 the spending cuts will be another $6 billion.
The impact will be different for each state because some states have a larger population relying on food stamps. The food stamp cut will have an impact on the millions of Americans receiving SSD benefits. In October 2013, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced a 1.5% increase in social security benefits for every single recipient of Social Security including the disabled and the retired. In the United States there are millions of people receiving both SSD benefits and food stamps. In 2011, there were 8 million people receiving both benefits. The issue is that the benefit offered by the $15 COLA to Social Security benefits will be counteracted by the $20 food stamp cut. The cuts are likely to have an impact on some SNAP participants including 22 million children in 2014, and 9 million people who are either elderly or disabled, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Never before has SNAP experienced such a reduction in benefits that impacted all participants. As many recipients of both types of benefits point out, though $20 a month does not seem like much, it does have value when you go to purchase things.
Meanwhile, there are also issues such as the eligibility of an individual for receiving social security disability benefits. Social security disability lawyers handle cases dealing with SSD eligibility, and to determine eligibility the candidate’s medical records are reviewed thoroughly. In this they are usually assisted by a medical record review company that helps to organize and summarize the relevant medical records. Individuals wrongly denied SSD benefits and those looking to apply for these benefits can approach a reliable social security disability lawyer.