Illinois, the King of Food Stamp Waiver Abuse
It's Now SNAP
In efforts to fight stigma associated with the name "food stamps" a federal law changed the name of the program tp the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP as of October 1, 2008. The Food Stamp Act of 1977 became the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.
The USDA rule change affects people between the ages of 18 and 49 who are childless and not disabled. Under current rules, this group is required to work at least 20 hours a week for more than three months over a 36-month period to qualify for food stamps, but states have been able to create waivers for areas that face high unemployment.
The Administration’s new rule impacts able-bodied adults between 18-49 years old who do not have dependents. In order to qualify for SNAP benefits, adults in this category have had benefits capped at three months within a 36-month span, unless they provide sufficient proof of at least 20 hours of work per week.
Mercy! What changed?
Nothing. It's been this way since 1996.Trump merely decided to enforce the rules.
Moreover, enforcement excludes parents with kids and it excludes disabled. Also work training programs and volunteer work also count.
Q: So what did Trump do?
A: Stop granting waivers for able-bodied persons 18-49 with no dependents and no disabilities.
Illinois the King of Food Stamp Waivers
Every state has granted wavers at some point but once again, no one tops Illinois. 101 of 102 counties in Illinois have waivers.
If Not Now? When?
Wirepoints asks Trump's New Food Stamp Rules in Illinois: If Not Now, when?
It’s been nine years since the Great Recession. Stock markets are at all time highs. The national economy is booming. Minority unemployment is at record lows. Even Illinois is riding the nation’s coattails with a record low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
If Illinois can’t help get single, childless, able-bodied Illinoisans back into meaningful work and off of food stamps now, then when?
Iowa and Wisconsin have managed to reduce their enrollment levels back down to what they were in 2009. Missouri has done even more, cutting today’s enrollment by 20 percent compared to 2009. And Indiana and Kentucky have managed to reduce their enrollment by 30 percent over the same time period. Meanwhile, Illinois has added 250,000 residents to its rolls, up 17 percent, since 2009. Illinois has headed entirely in the wrong direction.
If governor Pritzker really wants to champion the residents who rely on food stamps, he would focus on passing the economic and spending reforms that would create hundreds of thousands of more jobs, helping lift those people out of government dependency.
Instead, Pritzker's only plan is a slew of higher taxes on Illinoisans and job creators.
Illinois Food Stamp Enrollment vs National Average
Work, Volunteer, or No Food Stamps
Enforcement Excludes Those
- Aged 17 or younger, or aged 50 or older
- Mentally or physically unfit for work
- Living with any child in your SNAP household (does not have to be your own child)
- Caring for an ill or incapacitated household member or relative
- Enrolled as a student at least half-time
- A victim of domestic violence
Too Much to Ask?
Can't find a job? Then volunteer. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently so, especially in Illinois where the state gave exemptions to 101 of 102 counties.
Does any state have more counties with exemptions? If not, Illinois is king.
Illinois also leads the nation in people fleeing the state.
Only two states lost population in the last decade. The other is West Virginia. But Illinois lost more.
Why Is Illinois Hemorrhaging Residents?
A 2016 poll by Southern Illinois University found that nearly half of Illinois residents wanted to move to another state, citing taxes, weather, ineffective and corrupt local government and a lack of middle-class jobs. A March poll from the university found that two-thirds of Illinois residents think the state is going in the wrong direction.
Between 2017 and 2018, 114,000 more residents left Illinois than moved in from other states. Those who left mostly moved to Florida, Texas and Indiana, IRS data shows.
When young people go out of state for college, they are less likely to return home after graduation, said Nyle Robinson, the board’s interim executive director. This is especially concerning for the rural, downstate regions that have been losing residents.
Illinois ranks second nationally in losing college students to other states, topped only by New Jersey, according to the U.S. Education Department. “It’s certainly concerning,” Robinson said. [How upsetting. Illinois should go for the Blue Ribbon. nothing else will do.]
PEW did not answer the question although it did provide an interesting stat that I was not aware of on college kids getting the hell out.
- High Property Taxes. We pay over $14,000 on a $400,000 home. Only New Jersey has a higher rate. Please note that only New Jersey has a higher student exodus.
- High Sales Taxes: Illinois is /#7 at 8.75%.
- High Corruption: Illinois tops every other state easily
- Terrible business climate: Workers' Compensation rules, tax rates, etc. If the state pasees Governor JB Pritzker's tax proposal, Illinois' Business Climate Would Drop to 48, ahead of only California and New Jersey.
- Climate: Why stay?
Corruption, Second to None
No other state can boast of having four governors who went to prison.
So, we might not be done yet.
Meanwhile, please note that Illinois pensions are among the worst funded in the entire nation. Things are even worse in Chicago where Each Chicagoan Owes $140,000 to Bail Out Chicago Pensions.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's only solution is the same as that of predecessor Rahm Emmanuel: Raise Taxes.
Get The Hell Out Now
These facts, and they keep piling up, is what prompted me to write on October 4, Escape Illinois: Get The Hell Out Now, We Are
Also consider Chicago Headed for Insolvency, Get the Hell Out Now.
In 2020 we are moving to Utah. We have had enough.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock