Homelessness Alone Not an Exemption from Food-Stamp Work Requirements, Officials Say

Charleston Gazette-Mail - Homeless people in West Virginia will not automatically be exempt from requirements to work or train in order to keep their food-stamp benefits, officials say. Instead, homeless people will be evaluated and exempted from the requirements on a case-by-case basis. Read

Regulations for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program do not allow for blanket exemptions based on homelessness, said Allison Adler, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees SNAP, confirmed that homelessness is not cause for exemption but can be an indication that a person is "unfit" for work and thus is not required to.

The DHHR told the Gazette-Mail in June it planned to exempt residents of homeless shelters and those who don't stay at the same place for more than 90 days.

Starting Oct. 1, the state's policy will say exemptions for the chronically homeless will be considered on a case-by-case basis, Adler said.

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