Michigan policy now requires people on food stamps to work to keep benefits

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Monday, October 15, 2018
Michigan food stamp work requirements
Michigan reinstates food stamp work requirements.

Some people living in Michigan who use food stamps will now have to work to continue receiving aid or risk losing it.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reinstated a policy on Oct. 1 that applies for able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages of 18-49.

The requirements are in effect for any new applications filed after Oct. 1 or if any existing recipient has a case eligibility redetermination after Oct. 1.

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Requirements include working an average of at least 20 hours per week in unsubsidized, self and/or in-kind employment, participating 20 hours per week in an approved employment and training program (in select counties) and volunteering at a nonprofit organization.

If you don't meet those requirements, you'll only be able to receive these benefits for up to three months within a 36-month period.

Individuals may be exempt if they meet any of the federal criteria include being pregnant, being physically or mentally unable to work and residing in a household with a child under age 18.

The department says that the changes to the food stamp program are a result of the economy doing better.

It explains on its site that Michigan was one of the states that received a federal waiver when the economy was struggling with high unemployment rates more than a decade ago. That waiver meant some of the work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents didn't apply.

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However, now that Michigan's economy has improved, some counties can no longer receive the waiver.

To read more about the changes to the benefits and eligibility requirements, visit the MDHHS website.

In Texas, people receiving food benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or SNAP, program must also meet certain work requirements.

According to the benefits website, most adults between the ages of 18 and 49 with no children can get benefits for three months in a 3-year period.

It could be longer for a person who works at least 20 hours a week or is in a job training program.

You can see more about the Texas program and income limits here.