Report: Pennsylvania welfare chief 'rethinking' asset test

Published: Oct 23 2013 03:43:12 PM EDT
Asset limit goes into effect for food stamp recipients
PHILADELPHIA -

Pennsylvania's top welfare official said she's reconsidering the state's food-stamp asset test.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday that Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth told the newspaper's editorial board she is "rethinking" the 17-month-old test.

The test, implemented under Mackereth's predecessor, Gary Alexander, requires applicants to prove they don't have significant personal assets before they can qualify for food stamps. People younger than 60 cannot have more than $5,500 in assets.

Critics said the application process is so complicated that many deserving people cannot get benefits.

During the first year of the test, the newspaper said, 4,000 applicants were turned down for having too many financial resources, while 111,000 households were denied food stamps because they failed to provide proper documentation.