Food stamp participation in 13 Alabama counties dropped by 85 percent after they instituted work requirements to receive the benefit.
AL.com reports that high unemployment due to the economic recession led the state to temporarily waive the work requirement for able-bodied adults without dependents to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. While 54 counties reinstated the work requirement on Jan. 1, 2016, 13 counties reinstituted it on Jan. 1, 2017.
According to the Alabama Department of Human Resources, reinstituting the work requirement has led to a major drop in SNAP participation for those 13 counties. AL.com writes:
“As of Jan. 1, 2017, there were 13,663 able-bodied adults without dependents receiving food stamps statewide. That number dropped to 7,483 by May 1, 2017. Among the 13 counties, there were 5,538 adults ages 18-50 without dependents receiving food stamps as of Jan. 1, 2017. That number dropped to 831 - a decline of about 85 percent - by May 1, 2017.”
John Hardy, the Alabama Department of Human Resources spokesman, told AL.com, “Based on the trend, the number of (able-bodied adults without dependents) recipients for SNAP benefits is expected to continue to decline statewide and in the formerly 13 exempted counties.”
In May 2016, it was reported that approximately 35,000 fewer people were receiving food stamps since January 2016 as a result of the work requirement.