Millions of Americans have had their lives upended seemingly overnight because of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic that has reached every US state. Unemployment is up and many people are finding that they may need some help to make sure food stays on the table at home throughout the duration of this crisis.
Legislation making its way through Congress provides $15 billion in additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as Food Stamps. The additional money will help ensure the program will be able to assist people who were recently laid off or furloughed due to Covid-19.
For many people, this will be the first time they have applied for Food Stamps and the application process will be new to them. To start off, you will need to begin the application process by visiting your states SNAP website. That is because SNAP is a Federal program run by the individual states.
You will be asked to provide proof of identity of all members of your household, proof of income, and proof of residence. *Note* some states will require you to submit additional documentation. Refer to your states application for more information.
After you submit your application you will be interviewed by an employee of your states Department of Health Services (or equivalent) who will determine whether you are eligible for benefits. If your application is approved then your benefits will be effective based off your application date.
These are certainly unique and scary times, but the SNAP program can be a vital tool for individuals and families who suddenly found themselves in need of assistance.
I have a strong feeling this is just going to be the first of many stimulus measures the Federal government will take to stem the fallout of this crisis. Never before has an entire global economy basically shut down overnight. Every single industry is going to be affected by this pandemic.
It's hard to imagine the price tag of this when all is said and done, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the multi-trillions, especially if this is a prolonged crisis that lasts many months or years.
Senator Bernie Sanders campaign announced he will be "accessing" the future of his campaign after another demoralizing night of primaries that almost certainly made his path to the nomination all but impossible.
Vice President Biden romped Sanders in Arizona, Illinois, and Florida, handily beating the Senator in each contest. In Florida alone, Biden beat Sanders by a whopping 600,000 votes. The Senator didn't fare any better in the other two states that voted. Ohio's primary was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
I'm not a betting man, but I can't imagine that Sanders will continue his candidacy much longer. The math is not on his side and he risks alienating millions of voters who want to see Democrats unite to take on President Trump in the general election. The writing couldn't be more clearly written on the wall than it is right now.
How Senator Sanders decides to handle these next days and weeks will determine how united the Democrats are for the general election. I honestly believe he will do the gracious thing and full his wholehearted support behind Biden. This primary hasn't had the vitriol and outright hostility that dominated the 2016 race and I think even die hard Bernie supporters recognize (even if they won't say it out loud) that this election is different.
The Sanders campaign didn't give any further information about the Senator's thinking, but I have a feeling we will be hearing something from him within the week.
I wonder if this year will finally be the straw that broke the camel's back and the DNC will change how the primary process plays out. Super Tuesday showed us that a large swath of voters disagree with what the early states were thinking.
Surprise! The race has come down to pretty much exactly who most people expected it would come down to.
I agree that it's hard to not draw comparisons to 2016, but Biden is a very different person than Secretary Clinton. He also, should he be the eventual nominee, has undoubtedly learned the lessons from Clinton's mistakes in 2016 and certainly won't repeat them this time around.
I'm really interested to see how this next major round of primaries pans out and where everything stands when they are done. My prediction, which I encourage everyone to take with a giant grain of salt, is that Biden will do pretty well tonight, but won't have any blowout victories that will convince Sanders to bow out. If Sanders has shown Democrats anything, it's that he is willing to fight to the very end.
It's really hard to predict what will happen, but this is a good reminder how fragile (and interconnected) the human population really is.
While it's easy to panic and think the world is going to come crashing down, it is also important to remind ourselves that a whole, whole lot of things have to go wrong before this is a pandemic on the scale of the Black Plague or the 1918 Spanish Flu.
It can't help to follow the CDC's suggestions and practice good hygiene both at home and out in public. That and don't fall prey to people looking to make a quick buck on this scare.
I remember reading last month that a number of states and Washington, D.C. have sued to block the new regulations from going into effect, but a haven't heard whether any court has granted them a temporary stay (which in effect blocks the rule pending litigation) or not.
The states that sued argued Congress, not the Executive, has the sole authority to determine how the SNAP program works, writing "[U]nder well-settled law, the executive branch does not get to go forth with policies that Congress specifically rejected."
I'm guessing the court will rule sometime soon because the rule is set to go into effect in April of this year.
Senator Sanders won the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire for a second time, but his 2020 margin of victory over Pete Buttigieg was less than 4,000 votes compared to nearly 57,000 over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary. While a win is a win, I can't help but think this should be a major cause of concern for the Senator as he looks forward to a long primary season.
New Hampshire was supposed to be prime territory for Senator Sanders. It's next door to his home state of Vermont and, while it may not lean as left as Vermont at the state level, the Democratic Party in the state has certainly drifted leftward the past number of years. Or so I thought.
Bernie may have won the most votes in New Hampshire of any one candidate, but the establishment candidates - Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden - collectively received more than twice as many votes as him. That's not just the polar opposite of 2016, it's the polar opposite and then some. In other words, Bernie very well may have lost by 80,000 votes if there was only one instead of three establishment candidates in the race.
Perhaps I'm overthinking the results and should give Bernie props for another win in New Hampshire, but something seems different this year. He received more than 77,000 fewer votes in 2020 than he did in 2016. That, at least to me, shows that his win in 2016 had far more to do with many people in New Hampshire being against Hillary Clinton than being for Bernie.
These all seem really straight forward on the face of it and are great things to take into account when determining a retirement strategy.
I agree with you that developing a strategy for claiming Social Security is crucial. Unfortunately for millions of seniors, it's the only retirement strategy they have. That number is only going to grow as our population ages as people who never had a pension begin to enter the system.
That worries me more than anything else.
J.K.Logic Wrote: But if you are looking for a big takeaway, general theme of tonight.. it was who is capable of beating Trump. And it makes sense with Super Tuesday just weeks away. These candidates only have a few weeks to convince voters that they in fact are the best candidate for the job.
I think that's pretty much the only question most Democrats, especially those who aren't wedded to any one candidate, care about. Even though there are so many more candidates this year than 2016, it's almost inevitable to be a replay of that primary between the "establishment" and "anti-establishment" candidate.
Senator Sanders seems, at least for now, to have the upper hand on the anti-establishment side. And, perhaps surprisingly, Mayor Buttigieg seems to have the upper hand on the establishment side. That will truly be tested come South Carolina and Nevada. If he is able to perform even moderately well in those two states then that may be the death knell of the Biden campaign.
Or perhaps I'm just blowing smoke out of my you know what and have no idea what will happen! The Democrats have never had such a crowded primary field before *and* we've never had an incumbent President like we have now, so playing the guessing game, while fun, is probably a fools errand.