The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it is ending a policy that required food stamp holders to show their income when applying for food stamps.
The change was prompted by concerns over the possibility that SNAP recipients could use the program to avoid paying taxes.
The policy, known as “food stamp eligibility,” required applicants to prove their income, including wages, for the last three months of the year.
Under the new policy, SNAP recipients will be able to apply for food assistance if they earn less than $23,600 per year and meet other eligibility requirements.
The agency says applicants will be allowed to apply with one income statement and have their income information sent to the Social Security Administration for verification.
Under a previous version of the program, applicants could use their tax refunds to cover their application costs.
The new rule allows SNAP applicants to use that money toward their payments, a move advocates say is crucial for the long-term stability of the benefit program.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.