There’s an abundance of misinformation on the Republican changes to SNAP. Republican Representative Shannon Lundgren of District 65 provided me with these facts that the media his chosen to distort or ignore.
The new law :
*Requires welfare applicants to complete a computerized identity authentication process to confirm identity before receiving benefits.
*Codifies Iowa’s income eligibility for the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). Iowa’s eligibility is 160% of the federal poverty level. The federal income limit is 130%.
*Applicants assets must be reviewed prior to enrollment. The bill sets those asset limits at $15,000 liquid assets for the household, and allows for one vehicle to have unlimited value, and a second vehicle to be up to $10,000 of value.
*The state must check all income, employment, and financial institutions to ensure applicants meet all eligibility criteria.
*A real-time eligibility system must be in place by July 1, 2025, and be more user friendly for than the current system.
*Requires cooperation with child support services as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.
This bill is estimated to save the state $8 million and the federal government $42 million annually beginning in FY2027.
Opponents state that there is no fraud in the system. But Iowa has been penalized $1.8 million by the federal government for having an error rate 3.2% higher than the national average.
Iowa still faces significant workforce challenges. This bill builds on work the legislature has done to provide assistance to those truly in need of help while also ensuring that Iowans don’t live off a cycle of government dependency.