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Michigan Begins Enforcing Work Requirements for Food Stamps

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: A grocery store advertises that they accept food stamps in the South Bronx on September 19, 2013 in New York City. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau report, over a quarter-million people in the South Bronx are living in poverty, making the 16th …
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Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is beginning to enforce federal work requirements mandating all able-bodied adults to work 20 hours a week to receive food stamps after three months.

State officials began enforcing the work requirements statewide on Monday, although 14 counties in the state had already implemented them.

Starting Monday, new food stamp applicants between the ages of 18-49 who are able-bodied and without dependents will have to work, volunteer, or participate in job training for 20 hours a week immediately to receive benefits. People already receiving food stamps will be given a three-month grace period to find work after meeting with a case manager.

There are exemptions for individuals who are physically or mentally incapacitated, pregnant, or caring for children under six years old or disabled individuals.

Michigan had work requirements in place until 2002, when the government took away the requirements because of high unemployment. When the unemployment rate improved, the federal government insisted that Michigan bring back the work requirements.

President Trump had urged Congress to pass federal legislation to implement food stamp work requirements nationwide in the 2018 Farm Bill.

The House version of the Farm Bill narrowly passed by a 213-211 vote and included the work requirements provision. The bill passed with no Democratic support. The Senate bill did not include the food stamp provision. The previous year’s Farm Bill expired at midnight on Sunday.

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