With this new regulation, the USDA would exempt certain retirement and savings accounts from being counted as assets that could disqualify you from SNAP, a major step forward to help the tens of millions of families reliant on this assistance get ahead instead of just get by.

Woodstock Institute submitted a letter to the USDA supporting the new regulations. There are some areas that could use clarification, however. The USDA unnecessarily narrows the terminology used to define “exempted accounts” in certain sections of the regulation. Additionally, states that are implementing the regulation should receive sufficient guidance to identify which retirement and education savings count towards the asset requirement and which do not.

We urge you to submit comments thanking the USDA for helping families build wealth and asking them to make necessary changes to strengthen the regulation. You can customize a sample comment letter from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. To submit the comments, go to Regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments on Docket FNS–2011–0008.