The Agenda

SNAP Asset Limits

The growing number of Americans receiving SNAP payments has become a source of political controversy. Yet what many fail to recognize is that, as Casey Mulligan observes, eligibility standards for SNAP have been relaxed; specifically, asset limits have in many cases been waived. There are perfectly valid reasons to pursue this strategy, e.g., in light of deleveraging across the economy, perhaps we don’t want families with low levels of net income to draw down their savings to pay for food; relaxing or suspending asset limits may reduce SNAP’s administrative burden, etc. Regardless, we’re not dealing with an apples-to-apples comparison when we consider SNAP eligibility before and after the 2008 crisis.

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