Effective July 1 2016 Louisiana food stamp beneficiaries need to work

Louisiana is another state that is now requiring any person that is receiving food stamps to either be in job training and/or working. The state government is following the rules being implemented by many other local and regional municipalities in ensuring that the SNAP food stamp program is not thought of as some form of free charity aid. Instead recipients of this public benefit need to be contributing to society and the greater good.

While the exact impact is still to be determined, it is estimated that between 50,000 to 60,000 current SNAP food stamp clients will be impacted. This means that effect July 1 they will need to partner with their Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services case manager to enroll into an advanced job training program. If they do not do this, then their monthly food stamp benefit may end in a matter of weeks.

There are many qualifiers around this so called “enhanced job training” requirement though. Maybe the main condition is that the new regulation only applies to able bodied adults. This means that if, as of July 1, 2016 the food stamp recipient is disabled or unable to work (or if they can’t attend job training) they will be exempt from this new rule. Louisiana will not try to force the vulnerable, sick, or ill to work.

Also, the work requirement is for those Louisiana residents without dependents under the age of 18. This could mean that many single parents with younger children or guardians caring for a child will not need to work. At least they won’t until their dependent crosses the age of 18. The thought here is that it is more challenging for a household with young kids to get back into the workforce until their child care needs are met.

Louisiana already has many other employment/job training rules in place for this “ABAWDs,” or able-bodied adults without dependents. The new July 1, 2016 food stamp program changes will be just one more. As examples, any family that receives TANF welfare also need to be working within a short period of time. There are also requirements for public housing programs and many other government benefits. Find a listing of all the public assistance programs in Louisiana.

The good news is that the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services will help the food stamp client find a job. The goal is to support the able bodied individual so they can gain stability. So these 50,000+ residents that may be impacted by the food stamp rule changes will get even more support, not less, when considering the employment services. As part of this, a full assessment will be performed to determine the current needs as well as skillset.

If someone does not participate in these new programs, then as of July 1, 2016 the resident can only receive vouchers from food stamps for at most 3 months. In other words the amount of assistance that is provided will be very limited. This should strongly encourage anyone on public aid programs to enroll into a job training program, or to even better, find a job!

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