Come 2009, deep into the recession, there were so few jobs that the federal government allowed states with high unemployment to ask to waive those work requirements.
News Story (Florida)
WGCU-FM (Fort Meyers, Florida)
May 12, 2016
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Tags: Public Benefits
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services of Greater Miami (LSGMI)
But starting this year, with Florida’s economy doing better overall, the state couldn’t ask for another waiver. On top of that, during last year’s legislative session the state passed a law that prevented the Department of Children and Families, which administers SNAP in Florida, from asking for a waiver on its own. Instead DCF would have to get legislative approval. But that legislation did not take effect until Jan. 1, so it is unclear why DCF did not request a waiver for areas within the state that would still have met eligibility requirement before that date. There is no deadline for such a request.
“I did not appreciate… what this was going to do,” said Liam McGivern, as attorney with Legal Services of Greater Miami. He represents Perry and other people in her situation pro bono. He has filed a law suit on Perry’s behalf against DCF. “When I started looking into it I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be a real mess,’ but then when we saw the implementation of it… it’s far worse than we thought it was going to be.”