ABAWD Eligibility and Requirements
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
An able bodied adult(g) without dependents (ABAWD) participant may qualify for a maximum of three months of NA benefits in a three-year period. The ABAWD three-year period is the same for all NA budgetary units in Arizona. The current period began on 01/01/2022 and ends on 12/31/2024.
The ABAWD exemptions change for applications received on or after 09/01/2023. See the prior policy for the ABAWD exemptions before 09/01/2023. FAA has an approved ABAWD waiver through 09/30/2023 that suspends the ABAWD time limit. Though the ABAWD time limit is waived, FAA staff must continue to follow the procedures and AZTECS keying procedures for reporting purposes.
An ABAWD participant may receive more than three months of NA benefits, during a three-year period when the participant meets any of the following:
An NA work requirement exemption
An ABAWD exemption
The ABAWD work requirements
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ABAWD Limited Eligibility
When an ABAWD participant does not meet an exemption or the ABAWD work requirement, benefit months count towards the three-month benefit time limit.
NOTE Any prorated benefit months a budgetary unit receives do not count toward the ABAWD three-month limit.
FAA has an approved ABAWD waiver through 09/2023 that suspends the ABAWD time limit. When the three-year period ends the ABAWD countable months reset to zero, starting in the first month of the new three year period. (See Example 1)
NOTE During the ABAWD time limit waiver, the ABAWD participant can receive more than three months of NA benefits.
The ABAWD time limit does not apply to participants who meet any of the following exemptions:
17 years of age or younger
51 years of age or older
Mentally or physically unfit for work
Residing in an NA budgetary unit where a member is age 17 or younger
NOTE When a participant resides with a minor child, the minor is not required to be eligible for NA benefits but is required to be included in the same budgetary unit. This exemption applies through the month in which the minor turns 18.
Veteran who served in the United States Armed Forces, regardless of discharge or release status
Former foster care youth 24 years of age or younger who was in the custody of foster care(g) (link to FAA6.Q01F.22) when they turned age 18, or a higher age, when the maximum age for foster care is higher than 18
An NA Work Requirement Exemption. (See NA Work Requirement Exemptions for additional exemptions which can be used for ABAWD.)
(For more detailed information about exemptions, see ABAWD Exemptions.)
The ABAWD Work Requirements
ABAWD participants that do not meet an ABAWD exemption or an NA work requirement exemption must meet the ABAWD work requirements to receive NA benefits beyond the three-month time limit. An ABAWD can meet the work requirement by doing any of the following:
Working at least 20 hours per week (or an average of 80 hours per month). This includes self-employment, paid work, in-kind and volunteer unpaid work, or any combination of these activities.
Working with average weekly earnings equal to or more than the Federal minimum wage(g) multiplied by 30 hours, regardless of the number of hours worked.
Participating in and complying with one of the following:
The SNAP CAN Program, other than a job search or a job search training program, 20 hours per week or an average of 80 hours a month.
NOTE The program may contain job search or job search training as a subsidiary component when the component is less than half of the required 20 hours per week.
Workforce Investment Opportunities Act (WIOA) Program or any component of WIOA.
Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Act.
Participate at least half-time (as defined by the program) in a Recognized Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) approved, funded, or operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
Working as a migrant or seasonal farm worker not living in their home project area, and meet any of the following:
Following the job stream
Working a minimum of 30 hours weekly
Under contract or agreement to begin employment within 30 days
(See Migrant Farm Workers or Seasonal Farm Workers for additional information.)
Participating and complying with the CA Jobs, Tribal NEW, or Tribal TANF Employment Program.
ABAWD Good Cause
An ABAWD participant is determined to have good cause for not meeting the ABAWD work requirement when, due to circumstances beyond the control of the participant, the participant missed work, but would have worked an average of 20 hours per week. Good cause for not meeting the ABAWD work requirement could include, and is not limited to, any of the following:
Illness of other household members, requiring the presence of the participant
Household emergency
Unavailability of transportation
(For additional good cause reasons, see NA Work Requirements Good Cause Reasons.)
ABAWD Reporting Requirements
ABAWD participants are assigned to NA reporting requirements as follows:
When the certification period for a budgetary unit containing an ABAWD participant is longer than three months, the budgetary unit is assigned to Simplified Reporting.
When the certification period for a budgetary unit containing an ABAWD participant is three-months or less, the budgetary unit is assigned to Standard Reporting.
NOTE ABAWD participants must report a drop in work hours below 80 per month for both Simplified and Standard Reporting. This requirement is in addition to NA reporting requirements. This requirement also applies to budgetary units containing ABAWD participants subject to the three-month time limit if they do not have a work exemption.
ABAWD Reporting Requirements
NA budgetary units with ABAWD participants are assigned to Simplified Reporting requirements. The budgetary unit is also required to report when the work hours of the ABAWD participant drop below 20 per week or an average of 80 per month.
Participation in the SNAP CAN Program, WIOA, or the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) of 20 hours per week must be verified. The work program must verify the participation of the participant. The FAA worker can assist with verification by speaking with the work program case manager.
Verify the ABAWD good cause reason when questionable.
Verify the ABAWD exemption when questionable. For more information on verification, see ABAWD Exemptions.
1) The ABAWD three-year period runs from 01/01/2022 through 12/31/2024 (36 months). Jack, an ABAWD participant, applies for NA on 01/10/2022. Jill, another ABAWD participant, applies for NA on 12/16/2024. The three-year period starts for each of them on 01/01/2022.
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last revised 08/28/2023