Tags: food stamps | Indiana | benefits | job training

Indiana to Limit Food Stamps for Single Workers to 3 Months

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 07:46 AM

Able-bodied adults without children will be expected to enter a training program or go to work if they want to remain eligible beyond three months for food stamps in Indiana, the Indy Star reported.

To be eligible for food stamps, an individual has to earn less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $15,170. Under federal rules put in place during the Clinton administration,  an able-bodied person wanting to stay on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program after three months needs to be enrolled in a training course or hold a job.

Indiana could have requested a waiver to this rule based on the state's economic climate. Instead, the state will re-establish time-limited benefits as a way to encourage residents to enter the workforce, according to Lance Rhodes of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, the Star reported.

Some 65,000 people currently receiving food stamps could see them cut as early as this spring under the new policy. Their benefits would be limited to three months over a three-year period, according to the Star.

Opponents say there may not be enough training programs or jobs available for those set to lose their benefits.

"I think it's an easy out to say that people should go back to work after three months," said Democratic state Rep. Gail Riecken. "It doesn't really get to the root of the problem," which is a lack of jobs and training programs.

Some ostensibly able-bodied individuals also have underlying medical conditions that make finding work difficult, the director of a food bank told the Star.

The state was on track to lose the right to request a waiver on time-limited benefits because of an improving economic climate, the Star reported. But advocates say Indiana should have retained the waiver for as long as possible.

Statewide, about 877,000 residents are receiving food stamps, down from 926,011 in 2013. Indiana's rate of unemployment dropped to 5.8 percent from 10 percent in 2009, though there are pockets where unemployment is higher.

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Able-bodied adults without children will be expected to enter a training program or go to work if they want to remain eligible beyond three months for food stamps in Indiana, the Indy Star reports.
food stamps, Indiana, benefits, job training
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2014-46-21
Tuesday, 21 Oct 2014 07:46 AM
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