Food Stamp Work Requirement Goes into Effect in Michigan

Commentary & Community

Food Stamp Work Requirement Goes into Effect in Michigan


Many Michigan residents who receive food stamps are now facing a new requirement: work or train for work.


This requirement affects those receiving benefits under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Which the state administers. To comply, a food stamp recipient must do one of the following:

  • Work 20 hours-a-week in an unsubsidized job
  • Spend 20 hours-a-week in an approved job training program
  • Volunteer at a nonprofit organization


This requirement does not apply to all food stamp recipients, however. Recipients who have a disability, who are unable to work a 20-hour work week, or who are receiving unemployment benefits are exempt. Recipients who are not exempt but who do not complete the work requirements are only eligible for three months of benefits in a 36-month period.


Federal law ties SNAP eligibility to work or work training, but the government can waive that mandate in areas with high unemployment. That is what happened in 2002. The requirement was re-imposed for some counties in Michigan previously, but now it is being put back in place for the entire state.


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