June 20, 2016

What’s Going on With This ABAWD Thing?

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

ABAWDIf you’re wondering why your site is experiencing an increase on the number of people between the ages of 18 and 49 looking for food at your agency, church or food pantry, the reinstatement of the SNAP (food stamps) policy may be the reason. This policy was waived during the recession, but with the unemployment rate down, the waiver was allowed to expire.

Effective January 1st this policy requires that Able Body Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) to –Work or volunteer for 20 or more hours per week (average 80 or more hours per month)

Work or volunteer for 20 or more hours per week (average 80 or more hours per month)
Participate in a Career Source employment program 20 or more hours per week
Accomplish a combination of both of the above 20 or more hours per week

Individuals who fall in this age range and have no dependents living with them must comply with the work requirements indicated above to remain eligible for food assistance. Otherwise,  they will be sanctioned unless they meet one of the following exemptions:

  • Receives or has applied for Unemployment Compensation
  • Receives Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Is a regular participant in a drug or alcohol treatment program (not NA/AA)
  • Is a student, enrolled at least half-time
  • Is a member of a food stamp household with a child under age 18
  • Is working or volunteering at least 30 hours per week OR earning at least 30 times the Federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) per week
  • Is a caretaker of an incapacitated individual
  • Is pregnant
  • Is obviously physically or mentally unable to work (DCF determines)

Please refer to DCF (1-866-762-2237) any client with questions or who wants to claim “good cause” for not complying and refer to Career Source (1-800-757-4598) those who want to comply and have their sanction lifted.


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