This direct final rule updates and reorganizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the "Food Stamp Program'') regulations pertaining to the issuance of SNAP benefits.
These changes to the SNAP regulations are put forth to account for the replacement of the paper coupon issuance system with the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system as the nationwide method of distributing benefits to program recipients. This action is in accordance with the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, PL 110-246, (hereinafter referred to as "the 2008 Farm Bill'') which prohibits State agencies from issuing paper food stamp coupons and makes EBT cards the sole method of benefit delivery.
The 2008 Farm Bill also de- obligated paper coupons as legal tender as of June 18, 2009. Therefore, paper coupons no longer have any value and can no longer be redeemed at any store. In line with EBT implementation and the elimination of coupons, these changes remove coupon issuance and EBT pilot regulations that are no longer applicable, revise regulatory language to more appropriately reflect the new EBT issuance system and the Program's new name, and reorganize sections to develop a more cohesive set of issuance regulations.