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Work requirements for food stamps take effect Monday

Some people who qualify for food stamps in Michigan will have to work to eat starting Monday.

The state is tightening the rules for food assistance for certain able-bodied adults.

State Health Department officials said able-bodied adults 18 to 49-year-olds without dependents will have to work at least 20 hours a week or lose their benefits. This requirement will now apply to every county in the state.

Exemptions include being disabled, pregnant, a victim of domestic violence, or physically or mentally unable to work the required amount.

There are three ways people can fulfill those work requirements: employment, job training or community service through state-approved nonprofit organizations.

State officials said they want to make sure people are getting the skills they need to be able to grow out of the system and compete in the workforce.

The federal government waived the work requirements in 2002 during high unemployment times in the state. Now that waiver is going away for people receiving food assistance benefits.

These new requirements will take effect when the person has their next eligibility re-determination. The person will have a grace period of three months to meet the work requirements.

October 1, 2018 6:41 pm