Work required for food aid effective Jan. 1 in 4 counties

food market

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan officials say able-bodied adults without dependents in four counties must meet work requirements to continue receiving food assistance after Jan. 1.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday it’s notifying about 14,000 people in Kent, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw counties this week of the change. Recipients ages 18-49 without disabilities that prevent them from working must spend an average of 20 hours per week each month in unsubsidized employment, job training, or volunteering at a nonprofit.

The federal government waived work requirements in 2002 because of high unemployment, but lower joblessness means Michigan no longer is eligible for the waiver. The agency said it expects the waiver to be phased out statewide by October 2018. The four counties are going first because of low unemployment rates.

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