But Kelsey Bergfeld, director of Advocates for Ohio’s Future, a health and human services coalition opposed to the change, said the federal rules are exceedingly complicated on whether cars are or aren’t excluded from an asset test.
She said a car doesn’t count if it helps with income like if the person is a delivery driver, but does count as an asset if a person uses it to get to their job. For cars that count, the first $4,650 in market value is excluded from the asset test and the extra market value is counted against SNAP applicants in the $2,250 asset limit. States have significant flexibility to apply less restrictive vehicle asset rules and many states have adopted this flexibility.
Under the budget’s proposed $2,250 asset limit, any value to your car over $4,650 is counted toward the $2,250 asset limit.
“Caseworkers would have to learn this complicated policy - e.g. when a car can be excluded for being a taxi driver vs. if you are temporarily unemployed vs. if that specific car is for work for someone under 18, etc.,” Bergfeld said in an email.
The proposal is part of the state operations budget. The House and Senate have already passed their two different versions and now need to reconcile the differences in the coming weeks before sending the bill to Gov. Mike DeWine for a signature.