On March 15th, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new report about the harms of work requirements in safety net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid. The report notes that most working-age adults receiving assistance from these programs are already working for pay or they are temporarily between jobs. Others are providing unpaid care to children or family members, attending school, or are out of work because of their own health problems.

From the report: “Meeting basic life-sustaining needs should not be contingent on meeting a work requirement. And taking benefits away from people who don’t meet a work requirement does little to improve long-term employment outcomes, especially for those with the most limited employment prospects, studies show. Instead, it substantially increases hardship, including among people who are not expected to meet these requirements, such as people with disabilities and children.”

This report is particularly timely, as members of Congress begin appropriations negotiations and seek to address the national debt limit, inflation, and reauthorization of the Farm Bill, which includes the SNAP program.