Officials say homelessness alone isn't automatically an exemption from work or training requirements for food stamp benefits recipients.
State Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman Allison Adler tells The Charleston Gazette-Mail that regulations for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program don't allow for blanket exemptions based on homelessness.
Adler says beginning Oct. 1, exemptions for the chronically homeless will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Officials say homelessness isn't a cause for exemption but can be an indication that a person is "unfit" for work and thus not required to.
The state announced last year it would reinstate a requirement for SNAP recipients to meet a monthly work or training requirement of 20 hours per week, or lose benefits after three months.
The changes took effect in January.