BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana shoppers who use SNAP cards are seeing major changes come to the program.
The Department of Children and Family Services says recipients who are mentally and physically capable of working, must now do so at least 20-hours a week, or be in certain training programs, to continue getting benefits.
The DCFS says those who cannot meet that requirement will only receive SNAP benefits for three months during the next three years.
The new requirements come after DCFS allowed a federal waiver to expire. The waiver allowed people to be on SNAP even if they could work but chose not to.
"We believe that the more people working in the state, the better for the state, the better for the individuals, the better for their families," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "We think it truly is a win-win."
Sonnier says 62,000 people in the state who receive benefits were notified last month about the change.
She says that anyone currently on SNAP who cannot meet the new requirements will not be cut off before the end of the year. Critics of the decision say the move will hurt the homeless and convicted felons.