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The Trump Administration Wants to Deny SNAP Benefits to Parents Who Don’t Pay Child Support

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Currently, about 18 million low-income children receive SNAP benefits.

The United States Department of Agriculture has asked states to start enforcing a punitive measure that experts believe would result in more low-income families going without food assistance. In a memorandum sent on Wednesday, officials urged regional directors to disqualify parents who fail to pay child support from participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Trump administration argues this policy would force non-compliant parents to cooperate with child support agencies. But it would also risk denying benefits to some of the 18 million low-income children who receive SNAP benefits every month, many of whom live in households in the child support program.

“We want states to take action to ensure that SNAP and child support work together to help children,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement on Wednesday. “Increasing the number of states that implement child support cooperation requirements will benefit families, help non-custodial parents assume responsibility for the well-being and stability of their children, and provide more children with the support they deserve.”

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