House bill

What House Bill 7 could mean for SNAP users

COVINGTON, Ky. — An internal Kentucky bill seeks to impose new restrictions on public benefits. While proponents say it would help weed out those looking to take advantage of the system, opponents say it could complicate the process for those relying on benefits.

What do you want to know

  • The Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 7 on Thursday.
  • Supporters say it aims to ensure those who receive benefits are eligible
  • Opponents argue it will make a complex process more difficult
  • Northern Kentucky woman says she feels for those who may lose their benefits

After hours of discussion, the Kentucky House passed House Bill 7 the 17th of March. He is now heading to the Senate.

Crystal Scalf made her normal stop at the Food Stamp Office in Covington on Monday. It can be a long process to get her SNAP benefits, but generally, she said, she doesn’t have too many problems with it, other than all the paperwork and the time it takes for approval.

“Right now I’m actually in a situation where I had to reapply because I submitted the paperwork late. And so they have like, I believe they said, 30 days to work on the case. It will be difficult, because even if I get paid every week, I have to pay my bills, my rent, my water, my Duke (energy), all that, so it’s difficult. They have 30 days to working on the case. I’m like, ‘Oh, this is going to be tight,'” Scarf said.

Scalf may be exempt from certain changes that would come from Kentucky HB 7but for others who receive public benefits, they could be disqualified.

Some of the key changes include work search requirements, limiting EBT cards to items necessary for a family’s well-being, and eliminating exemptions for able-bodied adults without children from a break-up work requirement. These types of exemptions have been granted in the past for hardship.

Scalf has children and works, so it wouldn’t affect her ability to receive her benefits, but she said she felt for those who don’t have reliable transportation or internet access, who could be the losers. .

“There’s good and bad in all of this,” she said. “It’s a big help, certainly, with the economy right now. Everything helps right now, so I’m grateful.

The bill would also establish an oversight and advisory committee, as well as a job placement assistance program.