If the administration’s proposed changes to broad-based categorical eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are implemented, 1.1 million people in households with children would no longer meet SNAP’s income test, and 1 million would live in households no longer passing its asset test. This means over 2 million people in households with children would lose access to an average monthly SNAP benefit of $240 per household, reducing total benefits by just under $165 million monthly. Children in these households could also lose automatic certification for free and reduced-price lunches through the National School Lunch Program, which is linked to SNAP benefits; though not explicitly written in the proposed rule, the administration has verbally estimated 500,000 school-age children could lose automatic certification if the rule is implemented. With 11 million children (15.2 percent) already experiencing food insecurity in their homes, the loss of SNAP benefits and direct certification for free and reduced-price school meals will increase food insecurity, which jeopardizes children’s health, development, academic success, and longer-term economic outcomes.
This brief was corrected September 23, 2019. The proposed changes to broad-based categorical eligibility would reduce total benefits by millions of dollars monthly, not annually. The text on pages 1, 2, and 4 has been updated accordingly.