Proposed Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Heating and Cooling Standard Utility Allowances and Earned Income

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Nov 15, 2018
Karen Cunnyngham, J.B. Wogan, and Sarah Lauffer

The House and Senate versions of the 2018 Farm Bill differ on proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The House version (H.R.2, The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) would, among other things, change how SNAP agencies determine total SNAP benefits for households. Specifically, the bill would change the way agencies account for earnings and housing expenses when calculating a household’s benefit. The Senate version leaves these provisions untouched.

This issue brief, the second in a series of briefs analyzing the impact of proposed changes to SNAP, describes how these changes could impact program participants, including children. With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mathematica is using a microsimulation model developed for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to estimate how the changes proposed in the House version of the farm bill would affect SNAP participants. The model simulates fiscal year 2017 federal and state SNAP policies using fiscal year 2017 SNAP Quality Control data.