• April 13, 2024

North Carolina Just Passed A Bill That Will Force People To ‘Work For Welfare.’

Some North Carolinians in need will have to work a little harder to maintain food stamp benefits come January.

Undoing eight years of state policy, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration is requiring that childless, able-bodied adults ages 18 to 49 meet time-sensitive work requirements to continue receiving food assistance.

Buncombe, Henderson and Haywood will be among the first 23 counties to see the controversial change.

Nearly half of the state’s 200,000 recipients of food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, will be affected Jan. 1 during a phased implementation. The most urbanized counties with the lowest unemployment rates will see the change first.

Participants will have three months to find a job, enter a work training program or volunteer or their aid will be slashed for a three-year period. People will lose benefits even if they are trying to find work, or are employed for fewer than 20 hours a week.

The program will affect some 1,500 to 1,800 people in Buncombe County, around 5 percent of those receiving benefits, according to initial estimates.

Once disqualified, participants can regain benefits after demonstrating they can maintain work requirements for a 30-day period and beyond.

“If jobs are available, we want to encourage work,” said Sherry Bradsher, deputy secretary for North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.

“People are healthier and feel better about themselves and have a greater amount of dignity when they are working.”

 

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