For those adults receiving support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, they must work, train, or volunteer at least 20 hours per week to continue receiving support from the government.
The federal waiver which instituted this program was initiated in 2008 during the Great Recession. Now about half of the adults who receive SNAP benefits live in the 23 effected counties totaling about 59,000 people.
The 23 counties were specifically chosen because of their low unemployment rates. The state’s other counties will continue to have the waivers making benefits available to all for free.
Recipients have 90 days after the new rule takes effect to get a job and find an opportunity to work.
According to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Sherry Bradsher, about 80 percent of the state’s SNAP recipients have jobs. But for the 20 percent who don’t, the government will offer job placement assistance.
“From a readiness standpoint, most of these counties have some infrastructure in place to support these individuals,” Bradsher said.
Supporters of this new rule hope it will inspire people to get jobs and stop relying on government handouts.
“When this goes into effect, you’re going to see a lot of them either go and get that 20-hour-a-week job, or they’re going to enroll in some kind of job education,” Republican Sen. Norm Anderson said of the rule in September.
Other people think this rule will be hard for North Carolina residents to follow.
“I think some people are just not going to want to or be able to do this,” said Wake County Human Services Director Regina Petteway.
Do you think this is a good rule for North Carolina?