Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1105.035.00 Work Requirement for 18- Through 49-Year-Olds

IM-38 March 14, 2019; IM-53 May 22, 2017; IM-94 October 19, 2015; IM-32 June 16, 2014; IM-106 December 7, 2006; IM-103 November 6, 2006; IM-101 November 2, 2006; IM-106 October 20, 2006; IM-133 December 21, 2004; IM-194 October 24, 2001; IM-32 April 1, 1999

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) limits the receipt of Food Stamp benefits to any three months in a 36-month period for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are:

  • not working or volunteering (80 hours or more per calendar month), and/or
  • participating in and complying with the requirements of a qualified training program or with employment and training known as SkillUP for 80 hours or more per calendar month.

To receive Food Stamp benefits for more than three months in a 36-month period, all ABAWDs age 18 through 49 must comply with a training/work requirement. Any month the ABAWD is not complying with a training/work requirement and receives a full month Food Stamp benefits is considered a non-work month and counts toward the three-month limit.

EXCEPTION: After receiving Food Stamp benefits for three non-work months, ABAWDS can regain eligibility in certain circumstances (see section 1105.035.40 Regaining Food Stamp Eligibility).

When an EU member turns 18 years old during the certification period, the individual becomes subject to the training/work requirement the month following the month in which the individual turns 18. EU members are exempt the month that they turn 50 years old.

The 36-month period is a “fixed clock”. The “fixed clock” began January 1, 2016, and resets every 36 months. If the ABAWD has non-work months from another state these are counted in the total number of non-work months.

NOTE:  There is no change in the work registration policy.  All Food Stamp participants must be assessed for work registration and assigned the appropriate work registration code.