The Social Security Act (SNAP)

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Government public assistance in America came about in 1935 with the passing of the Social Security Act (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); A Short History of SNAP, 2014). This act remains the most significant piece of social legislations ever enacted in the United States. It also paved the way for greater federal involvement in health and welfare (Ambrosino, Ambrosino, Heffernan, Shuttlesworth, 2016). There are three main aspects of the Social Security Act. These are Social Insurance, Public Assistance and Health and Welfare Services. Out of those three aspects, I will be further discussing Public Assistance or more commonly known as welfare. There are different benefit programs of public assistance. These are Supplemental Security…show more content…
It was first piloted in 1961 by the Kennedy administration and called The Food Stamp Program. By 1964, the program had expanded to 40 counties in 23 states with 380,000 participants (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); A Short History of SNAP, 2014). The program was successful and made permanent in 1964. This allowed Congressional control over the program, therefore allowing regulations to take place within the program. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s there were major program expansion changes. The successful growth of the program was made possible by new legislation changes. In 1974, the program began operating nationwide with a participation of almost 14 million. According to A Short History of SNAP (2014), The Food Stamp Act of 1977 allowed, “The integrity provisions of the new program included fraud disqualifications, enhanced Federal funding for States’ anti-fraud activities, and financial incentives for low error rates. In 1988, there was an introduction of the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT is an electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize the transfer of their government benefits from a Federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); A Short History of SNAP, 2014). This was first tested to determine if it could enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the program operations for both program administrators and recipients. The test was successful and today almost all transactions are completed using the EBT card. The latest major change happened with The Farm Bill of 2008. Major key changes that happened within this new legislation were strengthening integrity, simplifying administration, maintaining State flexibility, improving health through nutrition education, and improving access (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
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