As the economy makes strides from a disastrous recession, more than a million Americans are about to have their food stamps tossed.
Approximately 45 million Americans are on food stamps as of January 2016, but in two months, SNAP privileges will be withdrawn for more than one million people who rely on federal aid. Since 2009, during much of the recession, the state and federal-mandated three-month unemployment cap for SNAP recipients was waived as jobs were hard to come by.
But last month, as the economy readjusts and unemployment levels shrink, the time limits were reinstated in 22 states, according to the Associated Press. By April 1, SNAP recipients who are still without jobs after the 90-day grace period are out of luck (and out of benefits). The three-month time limit specifically applies to able-bodied adults ages 18-49 who do not have dependents in their household.
In order to waive the time limit, states will have to prove that their unemployment rate is more than 10 percent. However, many states like Mississippi, New Mexico and West Virginia, which are all eligible for a statewide waiver based on their unemployment rates, are choosing to not implement one, according to data collected by NPR. Other states, like South Carolina, will only be allowing recipients to claim waiver-status through March.