USDA Proposes Change To Close 'Loophole' In Food Stamp Eligibility

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USDA Proposes Change To Close 'Loophole' In Food Stamp Eligibility
The Trump administration says a loophole allows people to automatically qualify for food stamps even if they don't meet the eligibility guidelines.
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The Trump administration wants to close what it calls a loophole in food stamp eligibility. 

The issue centers around what's called "categorical eligibility." That allows people to automatically qualify for food stamps if they receive cash or other kinds of benefits from state-run programs. 

The Trump administration says the definition of qualified benefits is too broad. It says some states consider handing out a brochure a "benefit," and that that allows families who wouldn't otherwise meet the eligibility requirements to sign up for food stamps.

The proposed rule would define benefits as something "ongoing and substantial." People would need to receive assistance valued at $50 or more per month for at least six months before they would be eligible for automatic enrollment in food stamps. 

The USDA estimates that in 2020, 3.1 million people would be automatically eligible for food stamps under the broad definition of benefits.