Did you know that millionaires can receive food stamps? It’s a reality that Rob Undersander, a Minnesota retiree and millionaire, came to learn while volunteering his time helping needy seniors enroll in various government programs.
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia are abusing a loophole that allows them to ignore an applicant’s assets when handing out food stamp benefits. Asset testing is required for cash welfare and Medicaid for long-term care enrollees under federal law.
The “broad-based categorical eligibility” loophole (BBCE) has allowed millions of people nationwide who don’t meet eligibility requirements to enroll in the food stamp program—including millionaires.
Rob learned of this loophole and hoped it wasn’t true. Wanting to test his theory, he applied for food stamps in Minnesota and waited for his application to be denied. Instead, the state gave him $278 in food stamp benefits each month—all of which he donated to charity. The state never found out Rob was a millionaire, because they never asked.
His successful enrollment was proof the food stamp program was broken, so Rob worked with his elected leaders in hopes of changing the law. He advocated for commonsense asset tests to ensure the food stamp program prioritized the truly needy, but was criticized by Minnesota policymakers who simply refused to act.
Despite Rob’s best efforts, the law has not changed in Minnesota. But the Trump administration recently restored hope with its proposed rule that would restore the food stamp program to its original purpose—to serve the truly needy, not millionaires.