New work requirements for some state food assistance recipients

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – There are changes ahead for able-bodied adults without dependents who are currently receiving food assistance from the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is changing work requirements in 10 Michigan counties, including Ingham, Eaton, Clinton and Livingston counties.

Starting January 1 food assistance recipients in the 10 counties will have three months to meet the reinstated work requirements.

The work requirements include:

  • Working an average of 20 hours per week.
  • Participating in an approved employment and training program for an average of 20 hours per week.
  • Participating in community service by volunteering at a nonprofit organization. The amount of time an individual must volunteer would depend upon how much he or she receives in food assistance.

A news release from MDHHS says the state, because of a significant reduction in the state’s unemployment rate, is no longer eligible for a federal waiver from the work requirements that was first received in 2002.

Able-bodied adults are people between ages 18 to 49 who do not have a disability that prevents them from working. There are exemptions for pregnant women, individuals who are physically or mentally unable to work for 20 hours, as well as people who care for a child under age 6 or someone who is incapacitated, according to the agency.

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