Final Rule: SNAP Agricultural Act of 2014 Nondiscretionary Provisions
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is amending Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Program) regulations to codify certain nondiscretionary provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the “2014 Farm Bill”).
This final rule excludes medical marijuana from being treated as an allowable medical expense for the purposes of determining the excess medical expense deduction under SNAP. This rule also amends multiple SNAP regulations pursuant to nondiscretionary changes under the 2014 Farm Bill related to Quality Control (QC). This rule updates the QC error tolerance threshold to no more than $37 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. For FY 2015 and thereafter, the QC tolerance level will be set annually based on an adjustment in the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP).
In addition, this rule eliminates USDA's ability to waive any portion of a State's QC liability amount, except as provided in SNAP regulations that requires State agencies to use SNAP High Performance Bonus Payments only for SNAP administrative expenses including investments in technology, improvements in administration and distribution, and actions to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.
Finally, this rule amends SNAP regulations pertaining to the use of SNAP benefits to pay for container deposit fees. The 2014 Farm Bill prohibits SNAP benefits from being used to pay for container deposit fees in excess of any State fee reimbursement required to purchase food in a returnable bottle or can.
This rule will become effective on Nov. 2, 2015.