Work requirements being reinstated to thousands receiving food a - WNEM TV 5

Work requirements being reinstated to thousands receiving food assistance benefits

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Some Michigan residents are being put on notice.

If they are able-bodied adults without dependents and live in 10 of Michigan’s counties, they will soon be required to meet work requirements to continue receiving food assistance benefits.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) this week is notifying approximately 16,000 people who will be potentially affected by the change, which is effective Jan. 1. The counties being affected are: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Clinton, Eaton, Grand Traverse, Ingham, Ionia, Kalamazoo and Livingston.

Able-bodied adults without dependents in those 10 counties have a three-month federal time limit for receiving food assistance benefits without meeting work requirements that have been waived for more than a decade.

Michigan began receiving a waiver from the requirements in 2002 due to high unemployment. The reduction in the state’s jobless rate over the last several years means the state is no longer eligible.

In January 2017, the requirements were reinstated in Kent, Oakland, Ottawa and Washtenaw counties. Now the second phase of the reinstated requirements is beginning.

MDHHS expects the waiver to be phased out statewide by October 2018 or sooner.

Able-bodied adults are recipients ages 18 to 49 who do not have a disability that prevents them from working or who meet other federal criteria that exempt them from requirements. They can meet the reinstated work requirements to receive food assistance by:

  • Working an average of 20 hours per week each month in unsubsidized employment.
  • Participating for an average of 20 hours per week each month in an approved employment and training program.
  • Participating in community service by volunteering at a nonprofit organization.

Some federal exemptions to the reinstated work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents will remain. They include exemptions for individuals who are physically or mentally unable to work for 20 hours, are pregnant or care for a child under age 6 or someone who is incapacitated.

Able-bodied adults without dependents can call their MDHHS case specialist with questions or visit for more information on the work requirements, exemptions and other information.

>>Click here for more from the state on the changes<<

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