A fundamental difference between unemployment compensation and the food stamp program is their treatment of household income. The result is that food stamp participation among married people is relatively rare.
But an important difference between SNAP and unemployment compensation has remained throughout the recession: the SNAP program checks the income of all household members and bases eligibility on the entire household’s income, not just the situation of the household head.
Naturally, children do not earn much income, so the practical result of the household income rule is that participation in SNAP among the unemployed depends very much on marital status. An unmarried, unemployed household head may have children in the family, but by definition has no spouse, and thereby is unlikely to have much additional family income.
In contrast, an unemployed person with a spouse earning, say, $30,000 a year, has little chance of participating in SNAP because the spouse’s income alone would most likely disqualify the entire household.
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i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.