People who are on food assistance in Michigan will now have to work or volunteer to continue to receive food assistance.
The rule went into effect on Monday. The federal work requirement had previously been waived in Michigan because of high unemployment, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Able-bodied individuals may only receive food assistance benefits for up to three months within a 36-month period without meeting the work requirements, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The work requirement is for able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 without dependents. There are three ways to meet the work requirement:
- Work an average of at least 20 hours per week each month in unsubsidized, self and/or in-kind employment.
- Participate 20 hours per week in an approved employment and training program, averaged monthly (available in select counties only).
- Participate in community service by volunteering at a nonprofit organization.
People who meet any of the following federal criteria are exempt from meeting work requirements:
- Are physically or mentally unable to work.
- Receive Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance due to disability or blindness, or receives Supplemental Security Income or State Disability Assistance.
- Are pregnant.
- Receive or are an applicant for unemployment benefits.
- Participate in a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program.
- Attend training or college at least half-time and meet the student eligibility criteria to receive food assistance.
- Care for an incapacitated person or a child under age 6 (they do not have to live with you).
- Reside in a household with a child under age 18.
Here in Florida, the federal work requirement was set aside in 2009 because of high unemployment. However, the work requirement was reinstated on Jan. 1, 2016.