Governor Mike Pence announced back in 2014 that the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will have strictly enforced work requirements in SNAP. According to the Indiana FSS Administration website, the new requirements have been very effective.
Indiana’s new mandate maintains that, “any able-bodied Indiana adult without children will need to be working at least 20 hours a week, be in job training, or searching for employment in order to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.(SNAP).
The rules change will allow recipients to work up to 20 hours a week and still be eligible for the assistance.
The mandate went into effect in 2015. According to Indiana State’s Family and Social Services website, the new plan has reduced the amount of welfare recipients greatly.
Here is a statement from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration explaining the new program.
REINSTATEMENT OF WORK REQUIREMENTS FOR ABLE-BODIED SNAP RECIPIENTS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS
For SNAP clients between the ages of 18 and 49 who are not disabled and do not have children or other dependents, benefits are limited to three months in a 36 month period unless they are:
- Working an average of 20 hours per week for a total of 80 hours per month
- Participating in at least 20 hours a week of approved employment and training activities such as through the Indiana Manpower Placement and Comprehensive Training (IMPACT) program
- Participating in a combination of work and employment and training activities for at least 20 hours a week
- Participating in a Community Workforce Experience (CWEP) “workfare” activity for the required hours
To help clients qualify for jobs and become self-sufficient, FSSA offers employment and training services to any SNAP recipient at no cost to the recipient. These services include job search, job readiness and job placement assistance. Additional services such as transportation to training or job interviews and appropriate clothing needed for work are also available.
Also included on the Indiana Family and Social Service webpage, is the finding on how well this new program has worked.
In the first six months after reestablishing time limits for able-bodied adults with dependents receiving SNAP, Indiana has seen the number receiving SNAP benefits decrease by 68 percent.
In July 2015,when time-limited benefits were first reinstated, 49,576 able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages 18 and 49 were receiving SNAP benefits; sometimes referred to as food stamps. As of January 2016 that number had dropped 68 percent to 15,766. Nearly 5,000 Hoosiers who were receiving benefits in July are no longer receiving assistance because they obtained gainful employment and now have an income that exceeds eligibility standards. Those who are still receiving benefits are now required to participate in at least 20 hours of work-related activities a week to maintain their eligibility.
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