Archive for Thursday, July 22, 2010

Food stamp policy changed

July 22, 2010

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— Indiana will no longer reduce a state grocery benefit paid to hundreds of developmentally disabled people simply because they receive food stamps, the state government announced Wednesday.

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration spokesman Marcus Barlow said state officials decided to change the policy after discussions with the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service.

Advocates and legal experts said the 10-year-old policy was a clear violation of federal law that says food stamps can’t be counted against other benefits.

The policy was the target of a lawsuit filed this month on behalf of a 26-year-old autistic Indianapolis man, and has been the subject of an investigation and two stories by The Associated Press.

Barlow said the lawsuit and media attention “brought it to our attention, definitely.”

Since 1964, federal law has barred states from counting food stamps as income or using them to reduce any other public benefits. Legal experts said the law was clear.

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