Department of Human Services

Food Stamp OnlinePolicy Manual

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children




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An able-bodied adult with no dependents, who does not meet an ABAWD exemption, may be eligible to receive six months of Food Stamp benefits in a 36-month period.†† The thirty-six month period is a fixed period.†† Do not count a partial month of benefits received by the ABAWD as a countable month of eligibility.If the recipient is exempt for the month, the month is not considered as countable.†† It makes no difference when, within this timeframe, the six months of participation are used.†† The original six months of participation do not have to be consecutive.


If the caseworker is aware that the applicant/recipient received countable ABAWD months within the current thirty-six month period in another state, the months must be considered in the six-month count.†† Ensure that all exemptions are considered and documented appropriately and that only months that do not meet an exemption criterion are shown as countable.


While these individuals are receiving benefits, the caseworker should provide any assistance that is reasonable to help the individual obtain at least a 20-hour per week job or an acceptable training activity before the end of the six months.


In order for the individual to continue eligible after receiving their first six months of eligibility, the recipient must participate in either:


(a)paid work at least 20 hours per week;


Note:If an individual would have worked an average of 20 hours per week but missed some work for good cause, the individual shall be considered to have met the work requirement if the absence from work is temporary and the individual retains his or her job.


(b) volunteer work or work for benefits in lieu of wages or a combination of the types of work for at least 20 hours per week;


(c)attend and comply with an employment and training program for 20 hours per week.†† This includes the Food Stamp E&T Program and other local or state programs such as training at a state Board of Regents Institution or college, Unemployment Benefit Program, or an Adult Basic Education class.†† This may also include:


        20 hours per week in a WIA Program, or

        20 hours per week in a Trade Adjustment Assistance Act Program.


(d) participate in a Workfare or unpaid work experience program through DOLWD (The number of hours is determined by dividing the householdís monthly allotment by the Federal minimum wage to determine the number of hours for the household.†† The number of hours is divided between household members as the household sees fit, if there is more than one workfare participant.)


During the time that the individual is exempt from these work requirements, any period of participation in the Food Stamp Program does not count toward the individualís six-month participation limit.†† If the ABAWD county (non-exempt/exempt) is a funded E&T county, the mandatory work registrant ABAWD individual is still required to cooperate.†† If the individual fails to cooperate then the ABAWD individual is subject to being sanctioned in E&T.


Glossary of Terms

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