New Requirments for some Food Stamps Recipients

Photo credit: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture/Flickr.

Gov. Bill Haslam is reinstating food stamp work requirements for most Tennessee counties starting Feb. 1.
Haslam said Monday that Tennessee will re-establish federal work requirements in 70 counties for able-bodied adults without dependents who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
That requirement was waived in 2008 amid recession. It won’t be reinstated for 16 economically distressed counties.
Currently, the work requirement is in place in nine counties, including seven in the Nashville area.
Those receiving SNAP benefits in Coffee County and are able-bodied adults without dependents will have to meet the requirements to continue getting assistance. The only nearby county where the new requirement will not be reinstated in Grundy County.
Haslam says it’s now difficult to justify the waiver amid record-low unemployment rates and substantial job growth. The governor’s office says other states have restored work requirements, as well.
The change affects 58,000 of about 1 million Tennesseans on food stamps.
The administration says Haslam will also propose legislative changes to reduce welfare fraud, waste and abuse.
The 58,000 able-bodied Tennesseans who would be required to work beginning February 1 can do it in several ways, including:
• 20 hours weekly on job
• 20 hours weekly in training or education
• 20 hours weekly in an approved volunteer program