Nearly 140,000 Illinoisans at risk of losing SNAP benefits under Trump administration rule

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Nearly 700,000 Americans who rely on the federal food stamp program will lose their benefits under a new Trump administration rule that would tighten work requirements for recipients.

In Illinois, the change would put nearly 140,000 residents at risk of losing snap benefits, according to the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Chicago Sun-Times reports that those impacted by the new rule represent nearly 8% of the 1.78 million Illinoisans receiving SNAP benefits as of August 2019.

Currently, adults between the ages of 18 and 49 can receive only three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period if they do not meet the 80 hours a month work requirement.

The new rule imposes stricter criteria states must meet in order to issue waivers. Under the Trump administration plan, states can only issue waivers if a city or county has an unemployment rate of 6% or higher.

The waivers will be good for one year and will require the governor to support the request. Illinois' unemployment rate is 3.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The changes are expected to take effect April 1.