Federal food assistance work requirements expanding to 10 Michigan counties

Posted at 2:54 PM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-28 15:09:02-05

LANSING, Mich. —New work requirements for people who are on federal food assistance are being expanded to include 10 more Michigan counties.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says able-bodied adults without dependents in the affected counties will be required to meet the work requirements that had been waived since 2002 if they want to continue to receive food assistance.

The affected counties are Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Clinton, Eaton, Grand Traverse, Ingham and Livingston.

About 16,000 people are impacted in those counties, according to the MDHHS.  Notices are being sent to them this week.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018 in those counties, all able-bodied recipients 18 to 49 years old who do not have a disability that prevents them from working or other federal exemptions must do one of the following to continue to receive food assistance:

  • 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 or training program.
  • Participating in community service by volunteering at a nonprofit organization.

Those work requirements took effect this past January for about 14,000 residents in Kent, Ottawa, Oakland and Washtenaw counties.  They were implemented in those counties first due to lower unemployment levels, according to MDHHS.

MDHHS says that they expect the rest of the state to be phased out of the waivers by October 2018.

More information is available on the state’s website.