Reports said the proposal would tighten food stamp qualifications by requiring recipients to work or be enrolled in a vocational training program.
The new rule changes the criteria for allowing waivers, making fewer eligible to receive SNAP benefits beyond the three-month limit.
The new rule is the first of three proposals targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Program, known as SNAP, which feeds more than 36 million people.
Almost 700,000 people will lose their SNAP benefits next year due to a new USDA rule, but the change isn't expected to affect Hoosiers. Benefits would be cut roughly 688,000 recipients.
The US generally limits the amount of time that adults can receive food stamps when they are aged 18-49 and who do not have dependents or disability benefits.
Currently, states can waive the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor. If enacted, these new qualifications will become active on April 1, 2020.
"This is an unacceptable escalation of the administration's war on working families, and it comes during a time when too many are forced to stretch already-thin budgets to make ends meet", said US Congressional Representative Marcia Fudge, an Ohio State Democrat.
"Pay attention. This is what cruelty looks like", tweeted the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in response to the completed rule, which would be the first of a series of proposed food stamp cuts to take effect.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said the rule change will promote work across the country and push people toward self-sufficiency.
Brandon Lipps, deputy under secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Nutrition and Consumer Services, did not say when the department will finalize the other two proposed rules.
According to an Urban Institute study published last week, the Trump administration's three proposed SNAP changes combined would strip federal food aid from 3.7 million people. "This is about restoring the original intent of food stamps ... moving more able-bodied Americans to self sufficiency".
SNAP isn't the only public benefits program the Trump administration is trying to shrink. The Food Research & Action Center is a national nonprofit organization that works to end poverty-related hunger.
The final rule is the administration's latest initiative to impose work requirements in government assistance programs.