Sets Responsible Levels to Preserve the SNAP Program
HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Public Welfare has submitted its final plan to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to reinstate the asset test for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The final proposal sets the limits at $5,500 for households (age 59 and under) and $9,000 for households with older Pennsylvanians (age 60 and above) or disabled individuals.
This final proposal reinforces the department's efforts to provide the state's most vulnerable residents with the services they need while ensuring public dollars are spent wisely.
The final levels are above federal thresholds and adjusted for inflation, making them significantly higher than the asset-testing levels enforced by the previous administration. Pennsylvania last had an asset test in 2008, when the limits in place were $2,000 for a household and $3,250 for a household with an elderly or disabled individual.
The SNAP program takes into account both income and assets when determining an individual or family's eligibility. Certain assets are exempt from the measurement, including but not limited to one's home, primary vehicle, educational savings accounts and pension plans.
"Reinstating asset testing to the SNAP program is an important first step toward preserving limited taxpayer resources for the truly needy," said DPW Secretary Gary D. Alexander. "The asset test ensures every public dollar we have goes directly to those who need it most."
Asset testing is a common practice for public assistance programs, in Pennsylvania and other states. Currently, Pennsylvania uses asset testing for TANF, General Assistance, and certain Medical Assistance programs and until 2008 asset testing was used for the SNAP program.
"This is an important reform that ensures individuals use the personal resources available to them before accessing limited public funds and benefit programs financed by taxes," said Alexander.
For more information about the Department of Public Welfare and asset test for SNAP, visit www.dpw.state.pa.us or call 1-800-692-7462.
Media contact: Carey Miller or Anne Bale, 717-425-7606
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare