West Virginia House OKs work requirement for food stamps

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House has voted 78-19 to impose the federal 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients statewide.

It would apply to people ages 18 to 49 who aren’t disabled or military veterans, have no dependent children and get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

A provision was removed by the Judiciary Committee that also would have subjected food stamp applicants and everyone in their households to an asset test to determine whether they are poor enough to qualify.

Currently, 46 of 55 counties have waivers from the requirement.

Advocates say it will eliminate fraud and get people back to work, even if only volunteer work.

Opponents say it will push struggling poor people out of the program, cut federal funding to West Virginia and increase demand on food pantries.

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