My Letter On Biden’s Deal For Work Requirements

Yesterday came the news that a presumptive deal between the White House and House Republicans to avoid a debt default includes new work requirements for SNAP recipients. What follows is the letter I sent via Resistbot to my House and Senate electeds.

It is my understanding that President Biden has caved on welfare work requirements and has agreed to raise the ABAWD (able-bodied adults without dependents) cutoff from 50 to 54. Please resist this change.

While I’m disabled, and technically should remain exempt from work requirements, when you’re disabled, especially when your primary disability is autism, you’re often stressing that someone will determine that you aren’t, in fact, disabled.

Were that to happen, under the proposed new rule, suddenly I’d be potentially ABAWD for the first time in years. If not for the pandemic emergency suspending work requirements, I’d have aged out of ABAWD eligibility when I turned 51 anyway.

If you cannot manage to beat back this rule change, please fight to include a provision that grandfathers in (or out, depending how you view it) anyone who would have aged out of ABAWD in the years before the new rule.

Being disabled and low-income is difficult enough in a world that determines your worth and value based upon your ability and your wealth. They shouldn’t also be able to change the rules in a way detrimental to people my age mid-game.

The Associated Press reports that the changes will be phased in between now and 2025, and then go away again come 2030, making this basically screwing people over for most of a decade in the name of a "feel good" (if you’re a sociopath) accounting trick.

Reuters notes that this change shafts Gen-X, which generationally-speaking I guess also makes this par for the course. It’s somehow always our fault.