A coalition of 14 states, along with New York City and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit Thursday to block the Trump administration from eliminating food stamp benefits for hundreds of thousands of people.
Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), able-bodied Americans between 18 and 49, who do not have dependents, can get food stamps for a maximum of three months during a three-year period — unless they are working or enrolled in an education or training program.
A new rule to take effect April 1 would limit states' ability to extend those benefits tying it to an unemployment rate of at least 6%, The Hill reported.
"The waivers that the rule curtails are critical to ensuring access to food for low-income people who live in areas with limited employment opportunities," said the complaint filed in federal court, The Hill reported.
The complaint says the rule would deprive "between 688,000 and 850,000 vulnerable Americans of much-needed nutritional assistance."
The latest rule will save the U.S. government $5.5 billion over five years by removing about 688,000 people from food stamps, Brandon Lipps, a USDA deputy undersecretary, said last month, Reuters reported at the time.
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