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Proposed Rule: FSP Personal Responsibility Provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

Publication Date
Resource type
Proposed Rule
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This rulemaking proposes to amend Food Stamp Program regulations to implement 13 specific sections of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 that add new eligibility requirements, increase existing penalties for failure to comply with program rules, and establish a time limit for food stamp participation of three months in three years for able-bodied adults without children who are not working.

The Department’s proposals would:

  • Prohibit an increase in food stamp benefits when a household’s income is reduced because of either a penalty imposed under a federal, state, or local means-tested public assistance program for failure to perform a required action or for an act of fraud;
  • Allow state agencies to disqualify an individual from participation in the program if the individual is disqualified from another means-tested program for failure to perform an action required by that program;
  • Allow state agencies to sanction program households if they are sanctioned under TANF for failure to ensure their minor children attend school, or if the adults do not have (or are not working toward attaining) a secondary school diploma or its equivalent;
  • Make individuals convicted of drug-related felonies ineligible for food stamps; make fleeing felons and probation and parole violators ineligible for food stamps;
  • Require states to provide households’ addresses, social security numbers, or photographs to law enforcement officers to assist them in locating fugitive felons or probation or parole violators;
  • Allow states to require food stamp recipients to cooperate with child support agencies as a condition of food stamp eligibility;
  • Allow states to disqualify individuals who are in arrears in court-ordered child support payments; double the penalties for violating program requirements; permanently disqualify individuals convicted of trafficking in food stamp benefits of $500 or more;
  • Make individuals ineligible for 10 years if they misrepresent their identity or residence in order to receive multiple program benefits;
  • Limit the program participation of most able-bodied adults without dependents to three months in a three-year period during times the individual is not working or participating in a work program
Page updated: November 24, 2021