Delaware Public Media

New research estimates impact of proposed Trump administration SNAP eligibility rule

Sep 5, 2019

A disproportionate number of people on food assistance in Delaware may lose benefits because of a draft Trump administration rule.


An analysis shows 16 percent of Delaware households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, lose benefits if the rule is enacted. That's about 11,000 households or about 21,000 individuals.

The examination by the firm Mathematica and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found just Wisconsin and North Dakota expect to have higher percentages lose eligibility.

The rule would remove benefits from those making more than 130 percent of the federal poverty level - or those exceeding federal asset limits.

Giridhar Mallya, with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said states’ looser income and asset limits allow recipients to work and save without penalty.

“There have been numerous studies that show that when individuals and families lose SNAP benefits, they see increases in hunger and food insecurity,” he said.

Data shows the rule is expected to eliminate the SNAP benefits about a quarter of both working and elderly households in Delaware currently receiving them.

“And that means more hunger, more financial insecurity and it can even have impacts on people’s health and well-being,” Mallya said.

Nearly 15 percent of households with children are also likely to lose SNAP eligibility. Public comment on the rule is open through Sept. 23rd.