The federal food stamp program used to be one way in which the government could help people who were having trouble maintaining a decent standard of living. But some new changes to these regulations prevent many people who were previously eligible from getting food stamps.
New SNAP Rules
As of December 2019, you have to be working 20 hours a week or enrolled in a job-search program in order to get food stamps. If, for any reason, you are not working 20 full hours and you don't have any dependents, you may not be eligible for food stamps anymore. This obviously creates problems for people who, for one reason or the other, might be financially strained but are unable to work.
Elena Gormley's Story
Social worker Elena Gormley writes about how these new regulations not only affect her clients but even her personally. The fact is that social workers do a great deal of work for very little money. And there are times when they might find themselves in the same boat as their clients.
Gormley herself had decided to go back to school in order to get her Master's in Social work. So it wasn't possible for her to work more than 15 hours at the same time. And after her Master's, she was enrolled in an internship which didn't pay her either. So it would have been very helpful for her to be able to get food stamps. However, she was unable to do so because she didn't have any dependents and was not enrolled in any other assistance program
Conflict of Interest?
Gormley talks about how social workers really find themselves in an untenable position. They don't get paid that much which means that sometimes they have to seek assistance from the same places they send their clients to. However when they do this, they are accused of "gaming the system." They are told that those resources are for their clients and not for them. So, in Gormley's opinion, it's very important to start a conversation about these topics and give social workers the help they deserve as well.
To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health section of our blog.
Image courtesy of Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock
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