Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents or ABAWDs


You are an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) if you are aged 18 up to 53* years of age. This includes:

  • The month following the month you turn 18.
  • The month you turn 53.
  • If you are able to work, and
  • If you are not living with a dependent child under the age of 18.

*Starting October 1, 2024 an ABAWD is an adult aged 18 through 54 years old

Time Limits for ABAWDs

Due to the end of the COVID-19 Federal public health emergency, the Time Limit Rules will go back in effect starting on December 1, 2023.

As an ABAWD you are allowed to receive SNAP benefits for only 3 months during a 3-year period. This is known as the ABAWD time limit.

The ABAWD time limit does not apply if you:

  • meet the ABAWD work requirements, or
  • are exempt from the ABAWD time limit

ABAWD Work Requirements

There are many ways you can meet the ABAWD work requirements. You can meet this by:

  1. Working at least 80 hours per month, or an average of 20 hours per week.

    Note: Work means employment, self-employment, volunteer work, or working in exchange for goods and services provided instead of cash, or in-kind income.

  2. Participating in a work program at least 80 hours a month.
  3. Working and participating in a work program for a combination of at least 80 hours a month.

Exemptions from ABAWD Time Limits

If you are exempt from the ABAWD time limits, you do not have to meet the ABAWD work requirements. You will not be limited to a 3-month time limit

You are Exempt from the ABAWDs time limits if you meet any of the following:

  • Younger than age 18, or age 53 or older
  • Living in a household with a child under age 18
  • Not able to work because of a physical or mental health reason
  • Pregnant
  • Served in the Armed forces regardless of discharge status; or
  • Experiencing homelessness
  • Age 24 or younger and in foster care when they were age 18
  • Meet a General Work Requirements Exemption
  • Receive any temporary or permanent disability benefit
  • Live in an exempt town

Good Cause for not meeting the ABAWD Work Requirements

If you have a good reason for not meeting the ABAWD Work Requirements, you may be able to be exempt. Good reasons include things out of your control like getting sick, no childcare for a child younger than age 12, or not having transportation. If you are determined to have a good reason, there will be no change to your SNAP benefits. If you think you have a good reason, contact us at 1-855-626-6632.

Do you need help finding training or a job?

If you would like help finding or training for a job, you can ask about our SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) ProgramSNAP E&T can help you gain skills to find work and become more independent.

You can also call or go to your local American Job Center or your local community action agency.