Just 13 Ohio counties will be eligible for a waiver for heightened Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) requirements in the face of a federal rule change beginning in April.
That’s compared to 42 counties with a waiver now.
Federal regulations require able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) to work, go to school, get work training or volunteer for 20 hours a week to qualify for food assistance. Otherwise, they can only receive SNAP benefits for three months out of every three years.
States can request waivers from that requirement for counties with poor economic conditions, but a change announced by the Trump Administration in December makes it harder to qualify.
Previously, counties needed an unemployment rate of at least 2.5 percent to be waiver eligible. The change requires an area have a minimum unemployment rate of 6 percent, and a 24-month period where the average unemployment rate exceeds 120 percent of the national rate.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) said 42 counties currently have waivers, including Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning and Stark. None of those Northeast Ohio counties will be eligible under the new unemployment threshold.
The 13 counties eligible to apply for the waiver as of April: Adams, Coshocton, Gallia, Jackson, Jefferson, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Ottawa, Pike, Scioto, and Vinton.
This is the current applicaiton for eligilble counties to recieve a federal waiver in April. Below it is a letter to county directors from ODJFS detailing the current waiver requirements and listing the Ohio counties where a waiver is in force.