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Waiver That Allowed 20,000 Kansans To Receive Food Stamps To Expire Oct. 1

A federal waiver that allowed about 20,000 unemployed Kansas residents to receive food assistance will be allowed to expire at the end of the month.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families says able-bodied adults with no dependents would need to work for at least 20 hours per week to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP or food stamps.

"We know that employment is the most effective way to escape poverty," DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said in a news release. "As long as federal work requirements are met, no one will lose food assistance; the law only affects those individuals who are capable of working and have no dependent children." 

The 2009 stimulus bill allowed all states to waive the work requirements for able-bodied adults who had no children. Since then, states have been allowed to keep using the waiver as long as they meet certain criteria. Kansas no longer meets the criteria because of its low unemployment rate, but the state was offered the chance to use an earlier higher unemployment rate in order to continue the waiver if it wanted to do so.

Starting October 1, adults will have three months to either find work or enroll in a federally approved job training program. Oklahoma and Wisconsin also plan to let their waivers expire.