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Asset test for food stamps
Find out all you need to know about the asset test for SNAP in Pennsylvania.
|What Counts as an Asset?|
|Frequently Asked Questions|
|Why the Asset Would Hurt PA|
|Questions about the asset test? Contact the Coalition Against Hunger: 215-430-0556.|
Effective May 1, 2012, Pennsylvania will impose an asset test for food stamps (now called SNAP).
Under the Corbett administration's plan, most households with more than $5,500 in assets would no longer qualify for SNAP. For seniors age 60 and over and people with disabilities, the limit would be $9,000.
The plan will disqualify more than 4,000 Pennsylvania households—disproportionately seniors and people with disabilities—from food assistance, according to estimates from the state Department of Public Welfare.
"We all know that savings is crucial in helping people transition from poverty to self-sufficiency," said Carey Morgan, Executive Director of the Coalition Against Hunger. "Forcing families to drain their savings before receiving any help will only make it harder for them to get back on their feet. A family with less than $5,500 in savings would be wiped out by one major medical emergency or would unlikely be able to afford the first and last month's and security deposit usually required to rent a home of their own."
The asset test will also increase bureaucratic red tape in applying for SNAP, making it harder for all Pennsylvanians to get the help they need. Under the new asset test, caseworkers will now have to comb through the bank statements and calculate the car values of more than 880,000 SNAP households—the vast majority of whom would not be affected by the asset test.
What’s more, the asset test would not save Pennsylvania a dime of taxpayer money. SNAP benefits are fully funded by the federal government. By instituting an asset test, Gov. Corbett is turning away federal SNAP dollars that would otherwise be pumped into our economy as SNAP benefits are spent at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and small businesses across the state.
"The bottom line is that an asset test is a complete waste of Pennsylvania taxpayers’ money at a time when our state can’t afford to squander any of its resources," Morgan said.
In the News:
- "New asset test for PA food stamps set to begin," by Mark Scolforo, Associated Press (April 27, 2012)
- "Top PA House Republican asks Corbett to reconsider food stamp asset test," by Charles Thompson (March 16, 2012)