2014 Farm Bill: Changing the Treatment of LIHEAP Receipt in the Calculation of SNAP Benefits [February 12, 2014] [open pdf - 348KB]
"The Agricultural Act of 2014 ('the 2014 farm bill') was enacted on February 7, 2014. Included in the law's reauthorization of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a change to how Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payments are treated in the calculation of SNAP benefits. This change is expected to reduce some households' monthly benefit amounts, particularly households in states that have adopted the so-called 'Heat and Eat' practice, where states leverage a nominal LIHEAP benefit into a larger SNAP benefit. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that this change will reduce SNAP spending by approximately $8.6 billion over the 10-year budget window of FY2014-FY2023. Based on CBO's May 2013 baseline, this is approximately a 1% reduction in forecasted program spending over the 10-year period."
CRS Report for Congress, R42591