Michigan residents might have to work for food assistance
The requirements for food assistance are changing in the state of Michigan.
"I think it's reasonable. You know, 20 hours is not that bad. That's not bad hours at all. It's pretty easy hours to me," said Quinshana Louden, of Lansing.
Right now, 14 Michigan counties, including Ingham, require able-bodied 18 to 49 year olds who don't have dependents to work at least 20 hours per week in order to receive food assistance.
"For a number of years, Michigan has had a waiver from federal work requierments for able-bodied adults without dependents. And that went into effect back in 2002 when the state's economy was very bad. And with the improvements in the state economy in the last several years, Michigan has reached a point where we're not eligible for a statewide waiver anymore," said Bob Wheaton, of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The remaining 69 Michigan counties, which includes Jackson, will have to follow the same requirements starting Oct. 1, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
"This does not affect anyone who has children living with them at home or any dependents living with them at home," Wheaton said.
If you are currently receiving food assistance from the state, your benefits will not be immediately cut in October. Your future eligibility will be determined by your case worker during your next evaluation.
Michigan human services officials say their goal is to provide people with short-term assistance and help them achieve self-sufficiency.
"There's a three-month time limit for receiving food assistance without meeting the work requirement," Wheaton said. "... Beginning at that point, you would have three months under the time limit where you still would not lose your food assistance."
Jody Mosley, of Lansing, says he's at risk of losing his food assistance.
Mosley says he's fallen ill as a result of living on the streets
and can't find work.
"I can't work right now. I am sick right now as we speak. If I lose my food assistance, I mean, basically, I mean people gotta find other means."
To learn more about work requirements for food assistance, contact your case worker or your local human services office.