Governor fails to request work exemption for Cuyahoga County SNAP recipients

Plain Press, November 2015   As an October deadline looms, Ohio Governor John Kasich has failed to ask the federal government for a waiver that would allow people living in urban areas with high unemployment to receive food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  If the waiver is not requested, people in Cuyahoga County will not be able to receive full SNAP benefits 2016 unless they can find 20 hours of work per week.

As the Plain Press goes to print in late October, no action on the governor’s part has occurred. In late September, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge urged Governor Kasich to apply for the waiver for the urban counties in Ohio that qualify because of their high unemployment level. Kasich applied for the waiver for some rural counties. Cleveland City Council also weighed in on September 21st passing a resolution asking the governor to apply for the waiver.

According to a report by Policy Matters Ohio, titled Ohio deprives thousands of eligible residents of federal food aid, “Federal rules allow states to waive time limits in areas where working-poor adults cannot find enough work hours (without a waiver, recipients are restricted to food aid for three out of 36 months unless they work at least 20 hours per week). A statewide waiver isn’t allowed in 2016, but may cities and counties remain eligible.”

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