Federal and Kansas changes relax food assistance work requirements for able-bodies adults

DCF implements other food assistance waivers during pandemic

Bag Of Groceries (2)

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard today announced several steps the agency is taking to temporarily ease restrictions on Kansans who are currently receiving or applying for food assistance.

“The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows states to suspend time limits on food assistance eligibility for unemployed and underemployed individuals known as able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS),” Howard said. “Additionally, a proviso approved by the Kansas legislature would temporarily allow DCF to apply to the United States Department of Agriculture for a waiver of time limits if Kansas’s high unemployment persists after time limits are reinstated on the national level.”

The agency says this is a temporary waiver in effect from April 1, 2020, through the end of the national public health emergency.

Typically, ABAWDS must work or participate in an approved employment and training program for at least 20 hours per week. DCF says people not meeting this requirement are limited to receiving food assistance for only three months out of a 36-month time frame.

Beginning in April, these individuals continued to receive food assistance if otherwise eligible. The agency says if an individual’s case closed at the end of March or previous months they should reapply.

Additionally, DCF says it has applied for and received federal waivers allowing the agency to:

  • Temporarily extend certification periods so individuals do not have to update their paperwork as often
  • Waive interviews for food assistance applicants, if the agency can verify information through other
  • Waive face-to-face interviews for quality control

The agency also implemented express eligibility determinations, waiving additional documentation when possible.

Those interested in applying for food assistance can visit the DCF website at www.dcf.ks.gov.

For more information on COVID-19 visit: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.