NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Work Requirement Exemptions Extended for 2015

December 16, 2014

Residents in 28 states will be exempted from work requirements to receive food stamps, reports William Patrick at

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program -- more commonly known as the food stamp program -- grants benefits to able-bodied adults without dependents for just three months out of a three-year period, unless those individuals work or participate in a program aimed at getting them into the workforce.

But those requirements changed in 2009, when the federal government allowed states to suspend work requirements. What happened? According to Patrick:

  • In Florida, 2.6 million residents were receiving food stamps in 2010 when the unemployment rate was at 11.2 percent. This year, the unemployment rate is at 6.3 percent, yet 3.5 million residents are receiving food stamps.
  • There were 17 million Americans enrolled in the program in 2000; today, there are 47 million SNAP recipients.

In addition to the 28 states receiving full waivers from the work requirements this year, 14 states will receive partial waivers from the work requirements.

Source: William Patrick, "SNAP: 'Temporary' work waivers approved for seventh straight year,", December 12, 2014.


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