States’ Vehicle Asset Policies in SNAP
Because of the outdated nature of the SNAP Policies, new legislation allows for States to create their own policies. There has been a strong effort to re-structure vehicle policies.
States are now allowed to use SNAP with the method for valuing vehicles that the state has established under a TANF/MOE-funded cash or non-cash assistance program so long as it is not more restrictive than federal SNAP rules.
Alternatively, states may employ in SNAP the vehicle asset rule from a TANF/MOE-funded benefit or service program for households that are authorized to receive that TANF/MOE benefit. Under the SNAP, households that receive TANF/MOE-funded benefits are categorically eligible for SNAP benefits and do not have to meet the SNAP asset test in order to receive benefits. In some states, all food stamp households are eligible for the TANF/MOE-funded benefit program. In others, only a small number of households are eligible for the services. For households that do not receive such benefits, the state must apply an alternative vehicle policy. They may use federal SNAP rules or import the rule from a TANF/MOE-funded assistance program.
These new policy options have given states that ability to craft vehicle asset rules in SNAP that work best for them. It also gives states the ability to make the rules consistent with other programs, such as TANF and Medicaid, ensuring that the SNAP rules do not work against other programs’ goals.