Free food for all?

Aug 2019
Most of the hubbub over foods stamp enrollment has to do with ABAWDs. That is a 20 year perspective, not the oat three days.
There are so many, they can (as a group) have a noticeable affect on enrollment. Jump to the bottom for a working definition of ABAWD.

Obama got the title of "the food stamp President" (paraphrased). Actual it was Bush that put all of the ABAWD waivers into effect, to open the flood gates. Any objective consideration of food stamp enrollment shows Bush made the changes to increase enrollment and total payout, and Obama just let them continue.

As a sidebar: There were no more free "Obama phones" in use with Obama than for many years previous.

If anyone can document evidence to the contrary, (that Bush did as much or more than Obama for welfare programs) I will offer rebuttals.

When Rs are benevolent to welfare programs, they want the D's to get credit. That is what the voters expect, so that is what they get. No complaints from the Ds.

Of all of the articles (blogs, news release, etc) I have read, ABAWDs are very often not addressed as such. They are address simply as "recipients" or "food stamp families".

What is an ABAWD?
Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents.
Aka, non-disabled, childless, adult household (generally age 18-55, non student).
Such individuals who apply for food stamps are expected to be employed, half time at minimum wage, or better. Only ten hours per week at twice minimum wage. If they are not, they are limited to three months of benefits in a 36 month period.

There are exemptions for individuals, meaning they do not need to be employed.

The Feds can offer waivers for geographical regions (such as cities, counties, or even whole states). This gives the states the choice of keeping all regulations in place, or waiving the requirements, and not limit benefits to 3 months in 36.

There are many, many, one person food stamp households with zero gross income, month after month, year after year. Most of them are ABAWDs.

Sidebar: the average food stamp household size is about 2 persons.

In California, certain individuals are exempted from work requirements, ABAWD s included.

  1. Exempt from CalFresh work registration requirements. Individuals are exempt from CalFresh work registration requirements if they are:
      • Attending school at least half-time
      • Physically or mentally unable to work
      • Complying with CalWORKs Welfare to Work requirements
      • Caring for a dependent child under the age of 6
      • Caring for an incapacitated person
      • Receiving, or have applied for, unemployment
      • Participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program
      • Employed or self-employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week
  2. Determined physically or mentally unable to work at least 20 hours per week on average (even if temporarily). Individuals may be considered physically or mentally unable to work if they are:
      • Receiving, or have applied for, temporary or permanent public or private disability benefits
      • Obviously unable to work based on the County’s observation. If an individual is facing one of the following barriers, they may be determined unable to work:
        • Chronic homelessness
        • Alcohol or drug addiction
        • Domestic Violence
      • Medically-certified as physically or mentally unable to work
  3. Participating in an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) training program for at least half time Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents
There many reasons someone can be exempted from any work requirements.