Work, training requirement for food stamp benefits returning

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The clock is ticking again on some people in North Carolina to keep getting food stamps while seeking full-time work.

Starting Friday a federal waiver for "able-bodied" adults with no dependents ends in 23 counties with low unemployment rates. That means they can keep getting food benefits beyond three months only if they work, train or volunteer at least 20 hours a week.

The waiver began in 2008. Gov. Pat McCrory's administration already had planned to end it in all 100 counties over a one-year period, but legislators directed officials to stop it more quickly, starting July 1.

Sherry Bradsher with the state Department of Health and Human Services told WRAL-TV ( ) about half the adults qualifying for these benefits live in the 23 counties — about 59,000 people.