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Ohio Gov. Kasich: Able-bodied Adults Will Work for Food Stamps

SNAP recipients will spend 20 hours a week working, training for a job, or volunteering.

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

September 9, 2013 - 3:00 pm

12.3.12-Will-Work-for-Food

Governor John Kasich’s administration announced this week that beginning next month, able-bodied adults in all but sixteen economically depressed areas will be required to work or participate in job training or volunteer work as a condition of receiving food stamps. The Dispatch reported:

To qualify for benefits, able-bodied adults without children will be required to spend at least 20 hours a week working, training for a job, volunteering or performing a similar type of activity unless they live in one of 16 counties exempt because of high unemployment. The requirements begin next month; however, those failing to meet them would not lose benefits until Jan. 1.

The work requirement is actually a federal regulation, part of the 1996 welfare-reform legislation that Kasich helped pass as chairman of the House Budget Committee when he was in Congress. For years Ohio has taken advantage of a federal waiver exempting food stamp recipients from the work requirements. Though Ohio still qualifies for the federal waiver, the Kasich administration decided to only extend it to those counties whose two-year average unemployment rate was more than 120 percent of the national rate

“The governor believes in a work requirement,” Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols told The Dispatch. “But when the economy is bad and people are hurting, the waiver can be helpful. Now, fortunately, Ohio’s economy is improving.”

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, 1.8 million individuals received Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the month of June with an average benefit of $137. The state spent $245 million on the program in June, a decrease of 2.1 percent from the same time last year.

“It’s important that we provide more than just a monetary benefit, that we provide job training, an additional level of support that helps put (food-stamp recipients) on a path toward a career and out of poverty,” said Ben Johnson, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  Johnson estimates that 134,000 adults in 72 Ohio counties will be subject to the new work requirement. They range in age from 18-50, without dependent children in the home and deemed physically and mentally able to work.

Critics say that many will lose their food benefits because jobs are not available or because participants lack transportation.

“The rolls will go down because of this. Some people will leave because of the requirement, and some won’t be able to meet it. It will be similar to what we saw with (welfare) rolls,” said Joel Potts, executive director of the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association, referring to the 2011 federal work requirement for cash assistance. More than 100,000 have left the welfare rolls since the onset of the new requirement. The number of Ohioans dependent on the Ohio Works First (cash assistance) program is down 15% this past year alone.

 

Recently "retired" from homeschooling, Paula is an unapologetic Christian and Constitutional conservative. Though she aligns politically with the Tea Party, she is a member of the Wayne County Republican Executive Committee. She is also a contributor at Ohio Conservative Review. Paula lives in N.E. Ohio with her husband, three dogs, and two parrots.

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Top Rated Comments   
More than 100,000 have left the welfare rolls since the onset of the new requirement. The number of Ohioans dependent on the Ohio Works First (cash assistance) program is down 15% this past year alone.

Tells me it's working. and I'm guessing this program will work to get people back to work and off food stamps. . . in Ohio any way.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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Yeah Gov Kasich! Want to eat? Work! Let's drug test those freeloaders as well. The more of these freeloaders we can knock off the welfare rolls the better. Some day they might come to our homes looking for something to eat, but happy day, we have guns and they don't. Scum bag brown people on food stamps deserve to be shot if they don't work.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
They are really disabled and are still on welfare, or they are in the work program if they really need the money. If they are not there, they are not starving. Good program and wish my state would get it.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
changing food stamp requirements isn't about putting people back to work, its just politics at its worse. its so easy to blame to poor.

the truth is, the only way to get people to work, and off food stamps is to create more jobs! apparently, kasuck's plan is to play politics and stick it to the poor instead of actually doing his job and creating a better job environment. pretty weak.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks. It's always best to identify the true root of the issue. So relieved to see your comment showing an awareness of what should be this simple fact.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Do you have some sort of objection to people working for food?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe he could do the same for the Obama phones...
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
More than 100,000 have left the welfare rolls since the onset of the new requirement. The number of Ohioans dependent on the Ohio Works First (cash assistance) program is down 15% this past year alone.

Tells me it's working. and I'm guessing this program will work to get people back to work and off food stamps. . . in Ohio any way.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
how do you know what the 15% who were removed by the new requirements are actually working? Ill bet you most of those 15% are not working because the economy in ohio sucks, and most people are unemployed for a reason other then they choose not to be. some people are just not fit mentally or physically for a 40 hour work week yet don't qualify for disability. for example, people with aspergers
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Suddenly free stuff doesn't look so wonderful. California should implement it as well. Maybe surfer dude will try and actually find a job instead.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
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