1105.000.00 Non-financial Eligibility Requirements

1105.035.15 Exemptions to Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents Training/Work Requirement and Verification

IM-33 June 17, 2024; IM-71 August 31, 2023; IM-53 August 9, 2018; IM-25 March 23, 2017; IM-06 January 20, 2016; IM-100 November 19, 2015; IM-94 October 19, 2015; IM-32 June 16, 2014; IM-100 October 20, 2006; IM-133 December 21, 2004; IM-194 October 24, 2001; IM-32 April 1, 1999

The following individuals are exempt from the Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) training/work requirement:

  • A participant who is pregnant in any trimester
  • Any participant residing in a household with a child under the age of 18, even if the household member under 18 is not eligible for SNAP
  • Any participants, between the ages of 18 through 50, who are exempt from work registration
  • A participant unable to work due to an illness, injury or disability
    • Note: Participants need not be disabled or meet the Social Security Disability standard to be determined unfit for work.
  • Veterans of the United States Armed Forces, including Reserves/Guard, regardless of their conditions of discharge or release.
  • A participant 24 years of age or younger that aged out of the foster care system of any state, district, territory, or tribal organization at age 18 or older
  • A participant who is homeless, lacking a fixed night-time residence


Unless specified below, the applicant/participant’s statement of meeting an exemption does not require verification unless the statement is questionable (see 1102.015.50 Questionable Information).

Veteran and Aged Out of Foster Care:

  • Any document, record, system match, or written/verbal statement from a third party that confirms the participant’s statement is acceptable verification.

Unable to Work Due to Illness, Injury, or Disability:

If a participant meets the SNAP definition of disabled (see 1100.010.00 Definitions) or is receiving temporary or permanent disability benefits from a government or private source, then their exemption has been established.

Participants not meeting the definition of disabled or receiving disability benefits may still be considered unable to complete the ABAWD work/training requirement even if they have been determined not disabled for SSD/SSI or MO Healthnet for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled.

  1. If it is obvious that a participant is physically or mentally unfit for employment based on the worker’s interaction with the participant, neither medical documentation nor an MRT determination are needed. Impairments do not have to be seen to be obvious. The participant does not have to be seen in person to use worker discretion to determine inability to work. Worker discretion that is supported by a thorough comment is sufficient documentation.
    • EXAMPLE: Per discussion with the participant during the interview, they have ongoing medical issues which prevent them from working. We will re-evaluate at recertification or at time of reported changes by the participant.
  2. If the impairment is not obvious, a medical professional’s statement is needed to verify the exemption of the participant, claiming to be physically or mentally unfit for employment.
    1. If the participant’s medical professional indicates they are unable to work, use the medical professional’s statement as verification of the participant’s inability to work and exempt the participant for the months that the medical professional has stated they are unable to work.
    2. If the participant is unable to furnish a medical professional’s statement, use the MRT Processing Center to obtain a determination of the individual’s mental or physical inability to work. The MRT Processing Center will make the medical professional’s appointment for the ABAWD determination.

Email the MRT Processing Center at MRT.ProcessingCenter@dss.mo.gov. Include the following in each email to MRT:

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