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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 16, 2019 09:39 AM
From: Representative Mike Tobash
To: All House members
Subject: Work Requirements for SNAP

In the 1990s, our nation experienced a welfare reform shake up that ignited the concept of requiring welfare recipients who were able-bodied adults without dependents (ABWADs) to work. Under the federal law, the ABAWD is limited to three months of food stamps benefits in a 36-month period. After the three months, the recipient is required to work. States do have the ability to waive the work rule and in 2009 there was a blanket waiver of the work requirement granted to all states.

Since then the blanket waiver has been removed but some states, including Pennsylvania, continue to request waivers for the work rule. I believe the Commonwealth should help those in need, but welfare should not be considered a simple hand-out for the taking. Those who are able to work should work or prepare for work or volunteer in exchange for taxpayer paid assistance. It is important that all Pennsylvanians ask that those who are able to help themselves do the important work needed to grow our state.

In order to move Pennsylvania back to the principles of requiring ABWADs to work for their welfare benefits, I will be introducing legislation that prohibits the department from applying for waivers of the work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. As a condition for SNAP benefits, recipients will be required to work, perform community service, participate in a work program or be enrolled as a full-time student. This requirement will be in place for ABAWDs and will not apply to single parents with custody of a child under the age of twelve.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation. Last session, the bill number was House Bill 1659.

Introduced as HB435