Welfare advocates push Pa. House lawmakers for more time to study food stamp asset test

    Welfare advocates are among those asking lawmakers to intervene in the Corbett administration’s plans to re-instate an asset test for food stamp recipients. 

     

    A committee of state House lawmakers sat for testimony from advocates arguing the irrationality of an asset test on food stamps recipients.Food assistance benefits are federally funded, and administered by the state.Louise Hayes, an attorney with Community Legal Services, based in Philadelphia, says the test will be onerous for the counties that take food stamps applications.Asset information is still being collected, she says, but since the test was nixed in 2008, counties have skipped the lengthy validation process.”What they haven’t been doing since 2008 is collecting the bank statements, finding out how much is your second car,” said Hayes. “They ask the questions, they put it in the computer, but they don’t ask for the paperwork for all of that. And that’s the big caseworker burden.” It falls to the governor and the Department of Public Welfare to change the eligibility rules for the food stamp program.But in Colorado, Washington D.C., and Nebraska, changes have been with legislative action.

     

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