Thousands of Kansans could lose food stamps under a new state policy that congressional Republicans hope to implement nationwide.
Kansas officials indicated that they will reinstate work requirements for food stamp recipients who are able-bodied adults without dependent children. Under the new policy, come October, those aged 18 to 49 will need to work at least 20 hours per week or enroll in a job training program within three months in order to continue to receive benefits from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“We know that employment is the most effective way to escape poverty,” Phyllis Gilmore, secretary of the Kansas Department of Children and Families, said in a statement posted on hayspost.com. Gilmore’s agency estimates that 20,000 Kansas SNAP recipients will be affected.
Federal law allows able-bodied adults without children to receive nutrition assistance for only three months if they don’t get jobs or sign up for training, but states can waive the requirement during periods of high unemployment — something more than 45 states currently do. Kansas will join Delaware, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wyoming and Utah as states that don’t waive the able-bodied work requirement for food stamps. Oklahoma and Wisconsin also intend to allow their waivers to lapse, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
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