The Detroit Free Press is reporting that starting October 1st, if you receive food assistance through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, you’re going to be required to work in order to receive benefits.

This was a requirement prior to 2002, but state lawmakers lifted it when unemployment was high throughout the state. Now that national unemployment rates are so low, the federal government is making the requirement mandatory, according to Detroit Free Press.

Anyone who starts receiving food assistance as of October 1st will be required to work an average of 20 hours a week, plus 20 hours on an approved job training program or community service.

MDHHS told the Free Press that after October 1st, the more than 67,000 able-bodied people aged 18-49 already receiving assistance will be given 3 months to find work after they have their first annual eligibility review meeting or they will lose their benefits.

MDHHS Chief Deputy Director Nancy Vreibel told Detroit Free Press in a statement:

“MDHHS is prepared to assist affected individuals in meeting these work requirements so that they can achieve self-sufficiency. The good news is that Michigan’s economy is much-improved, and the job market is far better than it was when the state received the federal waiver.”

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