ABAWD Exemptions
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
This subject includes information about NA Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) exemptions.
Policy
When an NA participant meets an Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents(g) (ABAWD) exemption, the participant is exempt from the work requirement. When exempt, the ABAWD participant is not limited to a three-month time limit.
The entire month is exempt when an exemption occurs any time during the benefit month.
An ABAWD participant could qualify for more than one ABAWD exemption. The worker uses the ABAWD exemption that exempts the participant for the longest time. For exemptions that require verification, the participant is exempt once the proof is received.
The following participants are exempt from the ABAWD work requirement. FAA applies the exemptions in the following order:
1) Age
Participants are exempt from ABAWD work requirements when they meet one of the following:
Under 18 years of age
The participant is exempt through the month in which they turn 18.
Age 53 and over
The participant becomes exempt the month in which they turn 53.
2) Residing with a Minor Child (Under Age 18)
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.
3) Mentally or Physically Unfit for Work
Participants who are mentally or physically unfit for work are exempt from the ABAWD time limit and work requirements. Unfit for work can include anything that affects the ability to work, maintain employment, or restricts the range of employment opportunities including, and not limited to, any of the following:
Mental conditions
Learning disability
Emotional challenge
Difficulty handling stressful situations, or being around people
Physical condition
Recovering from surgery
Physical limitations due to disability
Receipt of temporary or permanent disability benefits from a governmental or private source
Life circumstances
Victim of domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or stalking
A participant does not need to have a disability to be unfit for work. Unfitness for work may not always be visible. Unfitness for work may be temporary or permanent.
Participants considered temporarily unfit for work are exempt until renewal unless verification is received that specifies an expected end date for the exemption reason.
Participants with a long-term or permanent disability are exempt from the ABAWD work requirements and the ABAWD three-month time limit.
4) Pregnancy Exemption
Participants who are pregnant in any trimester are exempt from ABAWD work requirements.
6) Veterans
Participants who served in the United States Armed Forces and who were discharged or released, regardless of the conditions of the discharge or release. The United States Armed Forces includes all of the following branches:
Air Force
Army
Coast Guard
Marine Corps
National Guard
Navy
Space Force
NOTE This includes participants who served in a reserve component of the Armed Forces.
7) Former Foster Care Youth Aged 24 or Under
A participant age 24 or under who was in the custody of foster care(g) when the participant turned age 18, or a higher age when the maximum age for foster care is higher than 18.
8) Exempt from the NA Work Requirements
See NA Work Requirement Exemptions for exemptions which can be used for ABAWD.
9) Geographical Exemption
Participants who reside in a geographical exempt area are exempt from the ABAWD work requirements.
The Geographic Exemption is applied when an ABAWD does not meet any other exemption and is living in an area that is exempt from the ABAWD time limit.
Beginning 10/01/2023, the Geographical Exemption is active for all areas of the state except Maricopa county.
NOTE When an ABAWD participant lives on an American Indian Reservation in Maricopa county, the participant is geographically exempt.
Verification
The participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
Participant statement verification can be used, unless questionable.
When the exemption is questionable, examples of acceptable verification that can be used include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
ABAWD Homeless
Proof of homelessness includes, and is not limited to, a written statement or collateral contact completed by an individual aware of the participant’s circumstances.
ABAWD Veteran
Proof of veteran status includes, and is not limited to, any of the following:
Service department records, such as a DD Form 214.
Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, original Certificate of Discharge.
Report of Transfer or Discharge, Military ID Card indicating service in the armed forces.
Correspondence or contact from the Department of Veteran Affairs including benefit payment or award letter.
Veteran Affairs ID Card.
Correspondence or contact from the Department of Veteran Affairs indicating service in the Armed Forces.
Driver's license indicating veteran status.
Foster Care Youth
Proof of foster care youth includes, and is not limited to, any of the following:
Data sharing with other state or federal agencies.
Collateral contact to other social service workers or agencies, such as the agency administering the foster care program or Medicaid.
A written statement from or collateral contact completed with an individual aware of the participant’s circumstances.
ABAWD Exemption for Pregnancy or Unfit for Work
Proof of pregnancy or unfitness for work includes, and is not limited to, any of the following:
Insurance or police reports supporting the claim.
The Verification of Unfitness for Work for Adults (FAA-1533A) form.
The Verify Unfit for Work for Adults (A024) notice.
NOTE When a completed A024 notice is in a case file(g), FAA may use the A024 notice as verification when FAA received the completed notice no more than 30 calendar days before an NA application.
When not questionable, a written statement from, or collateral contact completed with an individual aware of the participant’s circumstances.
A written statement or collateral contact completed by a medically qualified source(g) that must include all of the following:
The condition, circumstance, illness or disability that impedes the participants ability to participate in employment or work.
The projected duration of the condition, circumstance, illness or disability.
When the duration for the condition, circumstance, illness or disability cannot be determined at the present time, includes an indication of re-examination and reevaluation.
Proof of receipt of temporary or permanent disability benefits from governmental or private sources including, and not limited to, one of the following:
VA disability benefits
Workers Compensation
SSI (or pending application for SSI)
State-issued temporary or permanent disability benefits
Participation in a Vocational Rehabilitation program
Social Security Disability benefits
Maternity leave or disability leave pay from an employer
Legal Authorities
last revised 12/04/2023