Food Stamp Rule Changes May Affect Disabled Claimants

By now, it is common knowledge that the appeals process for Social Security disability benefits can take several years. This is several years of fighting for monetary benefits in which a disabled person is without income to afford basic needs of food and shelter. State food stamp programs are often a critical component of meeting some of these needs until social security benefits for the now disabled wage earner of the family are granted. However, those disabled claimants still in the appeals process who currently receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (also known as food stamps) will have these benefits terminated this year. If you are one of these disabled claimants or have a loved one in this situation, steps will need to be taken to preserve entitlement to SNAP benefits.

In 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act limited able bodied adults (age 18-49) without dependents (ABAWD) so to only three (3) months of SNAP benefits in any 36 month period unless they spend at least 80 hours per month working or participating in a qualifying education or training program. States were allowed to waive this 3 month limit if state or local unemployment rates were high. However, with declining unemployment rates, many states are no longer eligible for the waiver.

Florida is one of the states that must now apply this time limit requirement on SNAP applicants who fit the profile of ABAWD. Unfortunately, Social Security disability claimants who are still fighting in the appeals process to prove their disabilities will fall in this classification until such time as they are found disabled. The Social Security disability attorneys of Syfrett, Dykes & Furr are making all efforts to educate ourselves about the medical certification process that Florida used to exempt disabled SNAP recipients from the 3 month time limit. If you or someone you know needs more information about Social Security disability and the SNAP medical certification process, contact Syfrett, Dykes & Furr at {F:P:Site:Phone}.

More information about Florida Food Assistance program and ABAWD, you can also visit – http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida/abawdfaq

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