Indiana will eliminate exemptions that require food stamp recipients look for work, a rules change that could see up to 65,000 food stamp recipients trimmed from the roles.
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) does require what many in the past have called “workfare”–requiring recipients to get job training, or show proof that they are looking for a job to qualify for food stamps. The states, however, have been given wide discretion in how they implement the law and have been allowed to make any manner of exemptions for citizens to escape this requirement. Up until now Indiana had issued fairly wide exemptions.
Now, as of 2015, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has announced that the work requirements in SNAP will be more strictly enforced, meaning that as many as 65,000 recipients may be cut off.
Indiana’s new mandate maintains that, “any able-bodied Indiana adult without children will need to be working at least 20 hours a week, be in job training, or searching for employment in order to qualify.”
The rules change will allow recipients to work up to 20 hours a week and still be eligible for the assistance.
But those running the state’s employment and training program says that the program is not ready for a large influx of new job seekers and will need to be expanded.
Just as Indiana makes its move to begin requiring residents to seek work to be eligible for assistance, New Your City’s mayor is going in the opposite direction.
Big Apple Mayor Bill De Blasio recently announced he was scaling back rules that require recipients of the city’s assistance programs to seek work.
De Blasio claims that he is going to push the city’s workfare requirements toward “education,” as opposed to the job classes that were previously part of the program.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at email@example.com.