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Work For Food Stamps Program Begins In Louisiana

Work For Food Stamps Program Begins In Louisiana

EBT Blog
By: Maria Hernandez

Jul 04, 2016

In Louisiana they are beginning to implement a work program that starts July 1st. This program orders all able-bodied adults to participate in a work training program in order to qualify for Louisiana food stamps. For all recipients of the SNAP program, if you are not in school or work and have no dependents who are under the age of 18, you now must take part in job training. This was ordered by the Governor, John Bel Edwards. To find out how to receive benefits, how to apply for Louisiana EBT.

“These new requirements are part of a broader commitment to getting Louisianans back to work,” Edwards told KATC. “I promised last year that Louisiana would create an innovative program to connect SNAP participants with the job training they need to be successful. With these new standards, our state is taking advantage of existing successful Louisiana workforce programs to help train and employ more of our citizens.”

Because of the high unemployment rates in the state, LA has been exempt for the past 19 years from the time limit the program normally has on able-bodied adults who are claiming food stamps in Louisiana. This new restriction means that food stamps are now only available for 3 months in a 36 month period, unless the SNAP member undertakes work.

Currently, all able-bodied adults can claim a maximum of $194 in food aid each month through the SNAP program, also known as the Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program. It is estimated that around 70,000 people receiving Louisiana food stamps are considered able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD), but out of those, only 52,000 with be affected by the new program changes. The remaining people is already working, or exempted one way or anot4her from the job training requirements.

“We want to be that safety net while at the same time trying to get these people to become self-sufficient,” Sammy Guillory, deputy assistant secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

Currently, the department is working with the local technical colleges along with the Louisiana Workforce Commission to assistant with rolling out this job training program.

“It is a model template, and I think that you're going to see interest from around the country because no other state is doing this,” said Edwards.

Officials believe this new job training program for food stamp recipients will be successful with established job training programs.

“We've developed a Louisiana solution that meets the challenges of Louisiana's workers, and I am optimistic that we will see more people go into the workforce in the long-term,” Edwards said.

Guillory has made it very clear that people receiving Louisiana SNAP benefits that do not comply with the new policy will face consequences.

“Ultimately, if they do not comply and do not have a very good reason for not complying, they can lose their SNAP benefits” Guillory said.

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