LePage: “Able Bodied” Food Stamp Recipients Must Work

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants to require food stamp recipients to work while receiving benefits.

The Republican governor’s administration said Wednesday that Maine will no longer pursue a waiver from the federal government that allows recipients in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to receive ongoing benefits without having a job.

Recipients between ages 18 and 49 would have to work at least 20 hours a week, volunteer or participate in a work-training program. People living with dependents and those who are pregnant or are disabled would be exempt.

The Department of Health and Human Services says that about 12,000 people would be impacted by the requirement. Spokesman John Martins says Maine has used the waiver since 2010.

The change must go through the rule-making process.