ABAWD Eligibility and Requirements
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
An able bodied adult(g) without dependents (ABAWD) is limited to receiving three-months of NA benefits in three years.
NOTE During 2022, because of an approved ABAWD time limit waiver, ABAWD participants can receive more than three months of benefits.
Policy
Quick Access Menu:
ABAWD Limited Eligibility
The ABAWD eligibility is limited to any three months of NA benefits in three-years. When an ABAWD participant meets an exemption or the work requirement, benefit months do not count toward the benefit time limit. When an ABAWD participant does not meet an exemption or a work requirement, benefit months count towards the three-month benefit time limit.
NOTE Any prorated benefit months a household receives do not count toward the ABAWD three-month limit.
The three-years is a fixed period. A new three-years begins on 01/01/2022 and runs continuously for three years. All ABAWD counters reset to zero benefit months starting in the first month of the new three years. (See Example 1)
An ABAWD participant may receive only three countable months in the three years unless the participant meets one of the following:
An ABAWD work requirement
An ABAWD exemption
The ABAWD time limit does not apply to participants who are:
17 years of age or younger
50 years of age or older
Mentally or physically unfit for work
Responsible for a dependent child or residing in an NA budgetary unit where a member is age 17 or younger
Pregnant
Otherwise meets an NA Work Requirement Exemption
(For more information about exemptions, see ABAWD Exemptions.)
The ABAWD Work Requirements
ABAWD participants are subject to the NA work requirements unless they meet an exemption. (See NA Work Requirements for more information about these requirements.)
ABAWD participants must meet additional work requirements to receive NA benefits beyond the three-month time limit. An ABAWD can meet the additional work requirement by doing any of the following:
Working at least 20 hours per week (or an average of 80 hours per month). That would include self-employment, paid work, in-kind and volunteer unpaid work, or any combination of these activities.
Working with average weekly earnings equal to 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).
Work 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 or Seasonal Farm Worker – NA for additional information.)
Participate and comply 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
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.
Verification
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.
Examples
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.
Legal Authorities
7 CFR 273.24(a)
7 CFR 273.24(b)
7 CFR 273.24(f)
FNS Waiver
last revised 01/10/2022