JACKSON, Miss– Governor Phil Bryant announced a new pilot program on Monday that would provide job-based training and education to SNAP recipients. One catch: deny the program, lose the food stamps.
But is it legal to deny benefits to someone if they won’t take the training opportunity? Actually, yes, says Professor of Law Matt Steffy.
“It’s already the case that after an initial period that most SNAP recipients are subject to a work requirement anyway,” says Steffy, “it isn’t designed to make a harsher environment for SNAP recipients, but to make a more promising environment in the long run.”
It is legal to take away food stamps if someone denies the education aid because it falls under the work clause. The recipient has to be actively working or trying to find a job in order to secure those benefits, as long as that recipient is able to work.
The money for this program comes from a USDA grant. Mississippi was one of 10 states chosen for the grant; 38 states applied. Up to 3,000 recipients will have a shot at 20.5 million dollars worth of education assistance that could train them for potential jobs.