The goal of the Trump administration is to encourage able-bodied adults to get off of assistance and join the workforce.
The Trump administration announced a plan Thursday to tighten work requirements for work-eligible Americans on food stamps -- a move the Department of Agriculture says will nudge those on welfare toward self-sufficiency.
The USDA announced that the rule, which will apply to able-bodied adults without dependents, will restrict the ability of states to exempt recipients from having to hold a job to receive the benefits.
Currently, able-bodied recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) must work 20 hours a week or enroll in job training to maintain benefits, after their first three months in the program. But states can waive the requirement if their unemployment rates are above 10 percent or they show a demonstrable lack of jobs. States can also grant extensions of benefits for 15 percent of work-eligible adults without a waiver, and if they don’t use that waiver, they can bank the exemptions for later.
The new rule only allows waivers for specific cities or counties that have an unemployment rate of 7 percent or higher, and that waiver will be only eligible for one year. States can no longer bank exemptions and cannot grant waivers for geographic areas larger than a specific jurisdiction.