Currently, the global spread of the coronavirus has forced federal courts to issue an injunction to stop the Trump administration’s proposed cuts in grocery stamps. The U.S. Food Benefits Reduction / SNAP took a different light when the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11th.
That condition forced U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell to file a national decision on Friday prohibiting the amendments from going into effect April 1. The first of three revisions that could ultimately remove nearly 4 million people from food aid.
“Right now, as a global pandemic is a widespread health risk, it is important to ensure that government officials at both federal and state levels can flexibly address residents’ nutritional needs and ensure their well-being through programs like SNAP,” said the The court’s opinion states.
The court also notes that the changes to SNAP were arbitrary and capricious and will be prevented pending final judicial review.
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District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine celebrated the announcement in a press release Friday night.
“This is a huge win for our country’s most vulnerable residents who rely on SNAP for food,” said Racine. “The rule of the Trump administration would have starved hundreds of thousands of people unable to find work, including 13,000 residents of the district. That could have been catastrophic amid our current public health emergency. “
About 700,000 people would have been removed from SNAP if the program changes went into effect next month. The changes would discourage states from exempting eligible adults from maintaining permanent employment in order to receive benefits.
According to the Associated Press, working adults with no dependents and between the ages of 18 and 49 can only receive three months of SNAP benefits over a three-year period if they fail to meet the 20-hour requirement. However, states with high unemployment rates or demonstrably lacking jobs can waive these deadlines.