New DHHS Rule: Lottery Winners Could Lose Food Stamp Benefits

Oct 25, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine - Under a new rule, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services will soon count gambling winnings as income in determining eligibility for the SNAP program, more commonly called food stamps.

“This rule specifically focuses upon food stamp eligibility if you have lottery ticket winnings of $5,000 or more in a calendar month,” says Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

Under the new rule, if someone wins more than $5,000 in one month, they immediately lose their food stamp benefits and will need to reapply for benefits, with the winnings part of the asset test to determine eligibility.  

Mayhew says taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for welfare benefits going to big lottery winners.