Before January, 2016, anyone in the county below a certain income threshold could obtain food stamps.
After January, 2016, Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) can only obtain 3 months of food stamps unless they are working, seeking work, disabled, or volunteering, or exempt for some other reason (pregnant, for example).
This has caused a rise in the number of people using food banks in the area.
Fortunately, there are ways for people who need food stamps, who are ABAWDs (nifty new acronym they coined), to qualify without having an actual job (for whatever reason). From the DSHS website:
There's a lot more at their website about this.
ABAWD Work ProgramsWorkfare includes unpaid work in the community and participation in a BF E&T work program.
- Self-directed unpaid work in the community - ABAWDS can meet their work requirement by performing 16 hours a month of volunteer work for a non-profit organization.
- Workfare is unpaid work performed by an ABAWD for a public or private non-profit organization.
- An ABAWD may volunteer at any non-profit agency that agrees to provide volunteer work opportunities for ABAWDS to meet their work requirements.
- Non-profit agencies have agreed to verify that the person has met the 16-hour a month requirement for us not to count a month against the three-month limit. We will request verification of participation:
- At recertification; and
- Before issuing benefits beyond the three countable months.
- The workfare nonprofit agencies will notify us when a participant is no longer meeting the required hours.
So: how many nonprofits need a bunch of poor and hungry (perhaps homeless) volunteers?