Indiana Will Soon Require Work for Food Stamps

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

Some people in Indiana who currently receive food stamps may be forced to head to work soon.

Those who are benefiting from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and are able-bodied adults without any dependents will be required to work or be in a work-training program for 20 hours a week in order to get assistance. Of the nearly 900,000 people who receive SNAP benefits in Indiana, about seven percent, or 65,000 people, meet those criteria. 

This isn’t anything new. Prior to 2011, recipients of SNAP were required to work at least 20 hours a week or be in a work-training program. However, that portion was suspended during an economic downturn, when work was scarce.

“Ultimately, the goal of this is to get these people the sort of training and assistance they need to get back to work full time, so they won’t need SNAP assistance,” Marni Lemons, a Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) spokesperson, said.

Still, there are some provisions. If someone falls on hard times, they will be able to receive SNAP for three months during a three-year time frame. It is up to them to choose whatever months the assistance is needed.

Last year, the work requirements were instated in Ohio.

“I ultimately believe it helped me get a job,” said Tristan Scranton, who went through the program, is now living without SNAP and is going to college part time while working full time. “My resume wasn’t very well organized. I think it will definitely help weed out people who abuse the system, and ultimately make it better for the state.” 

FSSA representatives told WANE the department is hoping to enforce the work requirement across the state between March and May of next year. They will inform those affected with a letter.

Sources: WANE / Image via Indiana 2-1-1