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Johnson outlines revision of SNAP benefits

U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson
Evan Walton
U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson

U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson is leading an effort in what he says is closing the loophole that states have ignored in work requirements for individuals to obtain federal benefits.

Johnson joined the Sioux Falls downtown rotary club to discuss his intention behind his proposed America Works Act.

The federal benefits Johnson intends to change are the requirements for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents.

Johnson’s “The America Works Act of 2023” suggests increasing the hours needed to work to receive SNAP benefits and raising the age limits for beneficiaries to 18-65.

Johnson said he understands the importance of appropriate distribution of SNAP benefits.

“Listen, I grew up on food stamps and we need a robust safety net in this country, we are too rich to let people who are working hard fall short,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the changes he proposes are better for the people receiving the benefits and for the public.

“I think we owe it to Americans to remind them there is simply no pathway out of poverty that doesn’t include work as a fundamental component,” said Johnson.  

The act would limit states from allowing individuals to use an exemption wavier for more than a year at a time.

Currently, individuals who receive federal benefits are required to work at least 20 hours a week.

Johnson’s proposed act would increase working hour requirements to 80 hours a month with a three-month limit of SNAP benefits if hours are not met.

Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.
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