Nation
6:28 am
Mon June 15, 2009

Stimulus bill adds jobless benefits; removes food stamps

WASHINGTON – WASHINGTON (AP) - Food stamps for some people just vanished.

When unemployment benefits rose as part of the economic stimulus bill, the change made some Americans ineligible for hundreds of dollars a month in food stamps.

Here's the problem: laid-off workers have seen a $25 weekly bump in their unemployment checks, pushing them above the income limit to receive food stamps.

That can amount to hundreds of dollars per month in benefits.

And state labor departments are telling jobless recipients they cannot refuse the stimulus increase in order to keep food stamp benefits coming.

One think tank expert says Congress knew this would happen, but didn't choose to raise income ceilings.