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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Database

Project: Effects of Changes to State and Federal Asset Eligibility Policies for the Food Stamp Program
Award Year: 2008
Amount of award, fiscal 2006: $130,000.00 fiscal 2008: $19,587.00
Institution: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Karen Cunnyngham
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: This study will assess how recent and potential future changes to the asset and categorical eligibility policies in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) are likely to affect eligibility and benefits issued by State. The affect on participation will be distinguished by household characteristics, such as working families or families with children. The project will also assess the State-to-State equitability of the program as a result of State differences in asset and categorical eligibility policies. A microsimulation model, based on Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) data, will be used to determine the effects of changes in asset and categorical eligibility policies relative to current policies. Asset policies pertaining to vehicles and retirement savings are of particular interest.

FSP asset limits have, for most households, remained unchanged for 20 years. Legislation since 2000 has given States the option of either adopting the asset policies of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funded programs for all FSP applicants or allowing households eligible for TANF-funded programs to be categorically eligible for food stamps, thus bypassing the FSP eligibility asset tests. Many States have adopted these options that redefine the asset policy for the FSP. Given that States specify TANF asset rules, they tend to vary by State. The study will assess the impact of State-specific asset rules on the equitability of FSP eligibility and the impact of alternative asset rules on program eligibility and benefits issued. A variety of alternative asset and categorical eligibility policies will be considered in the analysis of how they affect eligibility and benefits issued.

Topic: Program Operations, SNAP/Food Stamp Program
Dataset: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)
Output:
Cunnyngham, K., and J. Ohls. Simulated Effects of Changes to State and Federal Asset Eligibility Policies for the Food Stamp Program, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 49, USDA, ERS, October 2008. 

Last updated: Friday, June 13, 2014

For more information contact: Victor Oliveira

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