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DHHS to Require Able-bodied Recipients of Food Supplement Benefits to Work

Photo: Renee Nelson

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is looking to make changes to the food supplements (food stamps) program. The changes, if making it through the rule-making and public hearing process, will go into effect October 1.

Under the new plan, recipients who are able-bodied, will be required to work in order to receive the benefits. $15 million a year is currently provided to this group which includes nearly 12,000 people.

According to WGME, DHHS says the change will effect those between ages 18 and 49 with no dependents living with them, and who are not pregnant and who are not disabled. They will have to meet the work participation requirement or their benefits will stop after three months.

A person must work a minimum of 20 hours a week or volunteer for a community agency for a certain number of hours in order to meet the work requirements. Also, those participating in the Maine Department of Labor’s Competitive Skills Scholarship Program will meet the work requirement.

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