SNAP eligibility temporarily expanded

More Nebraskans temporarily are eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, after passage of a bill May 20.

Sen. John McCollister
Sen. John McCollister

Nebraska families making up to 165 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for SNAP benefits under LB108, introduced by Sen. John McCollister of Omaha. Previously, a family was eligible for the program with a gross income of 130 percent or less of FPL and an adjusted net income — after deducting expenses such as housing and child care — of 100 percent of FPL or less.

LB108 does not change the net income standard, which is set by the federal government. SNAP benefits are entirely funded by the federal government and all administrative costs associated with LB108 will be covered through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

To the extent that federal funds are available, newly eligible Nebraskans will be encouraged to participate in SNAP Next Step — a state Department of Labor program that assists unemployed individuals in finding work.

Expanded SNAP eligibility under the bill will terminate Sept. 30, 2023, when the gross income eligibility limit will return to the previous level.

LB108 passed on a 33-11 vote and takes effect immediately.

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