Getting Food Stamps in Pennsylvania Is About to Get Easier?

"Asset test" makes it difficult for eligible residents to get needed food aid.

Maybe we have more proof that Tom Corbett is a secret socialist!

After we pointed out Monday that fast food workers often need food stamps to survive in their jobs, Corbett’s welfare secretary on Monday told the Inquirer’s editorial board she might loosen the state’s “asset test” needed to qualify for the aid. Bottom line: It will easier to have a low-paying job, be a member of the “working poor” and still qualify for food aid.

The Inquirer explains how the test has worked:

The test, begun in the spring of 2012, says that households with people under age 60 are limited to $5,500 in assets in order to qualify for food stamps, now known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). For households with people 60 and older, or a person with a disability, the figure is $9,000.

Houses, retirement benefits, and one car are not counted as assets. Any additional vehicle worth more than $4,650 is counted.

State figures suggest that 4,000 families were turned down for food stamp benefits because they had too much stuff, under the parameters of the test. More than 100,000 other households were denied benefits because they didn’t fill out the paperwork properly. Now, Department of Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth says, “My focus is not waste, fraud, and abuse. My primary focus is getting services to people who are entitled to them.” We’ll see how that goes over with the rest of the state’s GOP.