Low income Americans are getting some safety nets in place as part of the recently passed debt ceiling deal.

The deal suspends the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit through the start of January 2025. And while it imposes work requirements on some low-income Americans to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, homeless veterans like Steve Page are exempt.

What You Need To Know

  • Bipartisan legislation suspending the U.S. government's debt limit though January of 2025 was recently signed into law by President Joe Biden

  • Among other things, the bill adds work requirements for some low-income Americans receiving SNAP benefits

  • Homeless veterans like Steve Page, though, are exempt from the new rules

Homeless veterans fall under the umbrella of those not required to have a job in order to receive benefits.

For Page, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, the last four months have been tough — he's homeless and has been staying in a unique spot.

"Boats belong in the water, and it's a little inconvenient to get up and down," says Page, who's been living on a boat in his daughter's side yard.

With his only income coming from Social Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Page says he can't afford to stay anywhere else.

He recently went apartment shopping and found a 500-square-foot place for $1,400 a month, before utilities, and Page says that's just too much for him to afford.

"We don't make enough, where are we supposed to live?" he said. "You gotta be real creative."

But experts say there is some hope for homeless vets like Page.

Thanks to the debt ceiling deal, the Congressional Budget Office estimates some 78,000 people in his situation would be enrolled in SNAP.

But for about 750,000 people aged 50-54, a work requirement could put them at risk of losing the nutrition assistance.

Fortunately for Page, veterans would be exempt under the bill.

"It gives you hope, because after you retire your hands are done," he said.

Homeless people of all ages will also be exempt thanks to the changes in the debt limit legislation, which will stay in effect until 2030.