Michigan to enforce work requirements for select food stamp recipients

Certain participants in Michigan’s food stamp program need to begin working or performing community service in order to maintain their benefits, according to a new policy enacted in the state on Monday.

Under the program, instituted by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), each individual between the ages of 18 and 49 and considered "able-bodied" has three months to find a job before losing his or her benefits. Those affected will need to go to job training, volunteer or work a median of 20 hours per week each month in order to obtain the benefits.

New applicants to the program will be obligated to follow the new policy right away.

However, people who have a physical or mental inability to work, are pregnant or live in a household with a child under the age of 18 are exempt.

According to Fox 2, the policy had been in place previously but wasn’t enforced due to high unemployment rates and a weakened economy. The new rules initially were instituted in 14 counties but went state-wide on Monday.

The policy will take effect after those receiving benefits are evaluated for their next eligibility determination. Those beneficiaries will have three months to meet the new work requirements, according to Fox 17.