Food Stamps, Federalism, and Working Families

Brief

Food Stamps, Federalism, and Working Families

September 16, 2008

Abstract

Food stamp benefits can provide an important supplement to the income of working families (families with children under 18 and earnings), who now make up nearly 40 percent of program participants. States can take advantage of Food Stamp Program policy options that increase eligibility and benefits. Seven policy options are particularly important for working families: more liberal vehicle rules, expanded categorical eligibility, transitional benefits for families leaving cash assistance, outreach, longer certification periods, reduced reporting requirements, and waivers of the required face-to-face interviews at recertification.

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