USDA rule could remove 33,000 Coloradans from food assistance

DENVER -- About 33,000 Coloradans would lose food stamp benefits under the Trump administration’s proposal to tighten automatic eligibility requirements for the food stamp program.

The Agriculture Department said Tuesday that the rule would close “a loophole” that enables people receiving only minimal benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be eligible automatically for food stamps without undergoing further checks on their income or assets.

The state of Colorado has reviewed the proposed rules and determined the potential impacts in our state.

According to the data from the Colorado Department of Human Services, Colorado serves more than 456,000 individuals in food assistance on a yearly basis including impoverished families, elderly, disabled, veterans, children, and people facing crisis.

The data shows that the proposed rule changes would alter eligibility guidelines and decrease the number of families served in Colorado in the program on a monthly basis.

The following chart, provided by the Colorado Department of Human Services, shows what the impacts would be like in the state if the rule was put in place in June 2019.

Coloradans over the 130% of Federal Poverty Line for Gross Income - Demonstrated in One Month (June 2019)

Age 60+, without children in the household :       7,371
Age 18-59, without children in the household : 6,442
All ages, with children in the household :             19,701
 Total:                                                                                         33,514

According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, the public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule change; the deadline for public comment submission is Sept. 23, 2019. You can comment here.

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