West Virginia Senate advances work requirements expansion for SNAP benefits

The West Virginia Senate on February 23, 2024, passed Senate Bill 562, which aims to raise the age of able-bodied adults without dependents who must meet work requirements to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in the state.

Current federal requirements mandate that able-bodied adults without dependents are required to work if they are between the ages of 18 and 52. SB 562 would increase the age to 59 for able-bodied adults without dependents in West Virginia to meet SNAP work requirements, with certain exceptions.

State Senator Rollan Roberts (R), a lead sponsor of the bill, referred to the bill as a “compassionately structured, three-year plan to gradually wean able-bodied adults without dependent children off of SNAP benefits.” 

Kelly Allen, director of the Center on Budget and Policy, argued, “I’m not sure how that achieves the workforce goals of the Legislature, given we’d now be dedicating job training resources to folks who are nearing retirement age vs. those who might be in the workforce for decades to come.”

The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 32-2 and now moves to the West Virginia House of Delegates for consideration.

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