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Title: Authorizes States to Require Federal Welfare Work Requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 1947 that authorizes states to require federal welfare work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out pilot projects to develop and test methods that authorize states to run a work program for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- Requires states wishing to implement a project to submit to the Secretary of Agriculture a plan that complies with the following requirements:
- The pilot project intends to offer work activity to individuals;
- The pilot project will operate for at least 3 years but no more than 5 years;
- The pilot project has a “robust system” for data collection; and
- The pilot project covers the whole state.
- Requires an adult participant in the pilot program to participate in a mandatory work activity for a minimum of 20 hours per week per household.
- Defines “work activity” as including, but not limited to, of the following activities:
- Employment or training in the public or private sector that is not subsidized by any public program;
- Employment or training in the public or private sector in which the employer receives a subsidy from public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing the individual;
- Activities in preparation to seek employment, including life skills training, substance abuse or mental health treatment, or supervised rehabilitation activities;
- Structured programs run by public or nonprofit organizations for the benefit of the community;
- Career and technical training programs not exceeding 12 months;
- Regular attendance in secondary school or a course of study to receive an equivalent certificate;
- Caring for 1 or more children to enable another recipient of public benefits to participate in a structured community service program.
- Requires pilot projects to include specific programs to which individuals between 50 and 60 years of age are assigned.
- Requires the state to exempt the following individuals from the work requirements:
- An individual who is participating in a work program under a state program funded by the Social Security Act for at least 20 hours per week;
- An individual needed in the home for care of a disabled family member, or 1 or more dependent children under 1 year of age;
- An individual who is a parent and is eligible for or receives Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income; or
- An individual who has good cause for nonparticipation as determined by the state.
- Specifies that individuals with a period of nonparticipation of work activity without good cause are subject to penalties, ranging from the removal of the individual from the household benefit amount to the discontinuance of the entire household benefit amount.
- Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to provide an evaluation of the pilot project in each state that enters into the program, to report the results of these studies annually, and to submit these results within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate.