Direct Final Rule: SNAP Issuance Regulation Update and Reorganization To Reflect the End of Coupon Issuance Systems
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is adopting as a final rule, without change, a direct final rule that made changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations 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 participants. This action is in accordance with the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, PL 110-246, (the 2008 Farm Bill) which prohibited state agencies from issuing paper food stamp coupons and made 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implementation and the elimination of coupons, these changes remove coupon issuance and EBT pilot regulations that are no longer applicable, revise regulatory language to more appropriately reflect the new EBT issuance system and the program's new name, and reorganize sections to develop a more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.