Food stamps while in school?
December 8, 2010 7:59 PM Subscribe
Is it ethical for a (graduate) student to use food stamps? Looking for perspectives from both sides of the argument.
posted by rebent to Work & Money (70 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
On the one hand, your standard graduate student has taken out thousands and thousands of dollars in loans, and is too busy studying to get a job that can support them. With a degree, they will be able to earn substantially more money than otherwise, which means they will be paying more taxes back, which is good in the long run. Also, the amount of money taken per year ($2400) is tiny compared to how much they pay in taxes anyway. Finally, if the government didn't want students to use food stamps, they would add that provision to the application.
On the other hand, they could always take out a few thousand more in loans, because it was their choice to go that route. This is government money that ultimately comes from the people, many of whom struggle to pay their taxes. This isn’t something you should just apply for with the intent of getting extra food money. This is money that should be used for those who are working and cannot make ends meet to feed themselves or their family or for those that literally cannot work (disabled persons). If you have beer in your fridge, then you should not be using food stamps.
Let's say a grad student gets a job and earns about enough to break even. The food stamps allow them to save money to tuck away for the future - for paying for next year's classes, etc. They already went through the steps to inform the government that they were now working, but they were told that they would be contacted in 4-8 months for a benefit reassessment. Does this change anything?
(also, I live in michigan if that makes any difference)