ABAWD Work Rules Participation
comply with the ABAWD Work Program Requirement,
able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) between the ages of 18
and 49 must:
20 hours per week averaged monthly;
in a qualifying Employment and Training (E&T) component 20 hours
per week; or
at a community service site for a specified number of hours per month.
Meeting by Working
A client is
considered to be meeting the ABAWD Work Rules (WR) by working when the
total number of hours that s/he worked at one or more unsubsidized paid
or unpaid job(s) total at least 20 hours per week, averaged monthly (80
hours per month).
ensure that a client’s work hours are accurately accounted for, when entering
an earned income record, you must enter the actual hours worked during
each pay period on the Earnings tab. See Entering Earned Income Data -
Income from roomers and boarders of
a commercial boarding house is considered self-employment income
for SNAP purposes. Income derived from rental property
is considered earned income only if the client is actively engaged
in the management of the property at least an average of 20 hours
Hours worked must
be verified at application and recertification. Between certifications,
an ABAWD client is only obligated to report if his/her work hours fall
below 20 hours per week/80 hours per month or if the income increases
above the program limit.
If there is an
elderly and/or disabled household member in the SNAP case,
there is no gross income limit. These households are only
required to report if a household member begins working less
than 20 hours per week or 80 hours averaged monthly.
If a client claims that s/he is
meeting the ABAWD Work Rules by working at least 20 hours
per week, averaged monthly, you must check the existing verifications
in BEACON to verify hours worked. If there are no verifications
to confirm that a client is meeting the requirement, send
an optional VC-1. For more, see Entering
Hours When Not Available.
who are subject to the WR are strongly encouraged, but not required,
to report if they are involved with training, volunteer work,
or if they begin working 20 hours per week or an average of 80
hours per month. This could help the ABAWD household member continue
receiving SNAP benefits.
who do not report these changes may be subject to retroactive
strikes unless good cause exists. For more information,
please see ABAWD
Work Rules Strikes.
You must not submit Overpayment
Referrals for individuals who do not report these changes unless
the unreported income would have resulted in SNAP ineligibility
because it puts the household income above the applicable income
In some circumstances, a client’s earned
income verification may not include the number of hours worked. The number
of hours worked may be calculated provided the earned income verification
includes the client’s hourly rate. For more, see Entering
Hours When Not Available.
by Participating in a Qualifying Employment and Training (E&T) Program
A client is considered
to be meeting the ABAWD WR when s/he is enrolled in and participating
in qualifying E&T activity 20 hours per week/80 hours per month. Qualifying
E&T activity can include basic education, vocational or technical
training, and/or on-the-job training. Job search and job readiness
activities are allowed, but, unless part of a Workforce
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
program or a program under section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, must
be less than half of the required hours in a qualifying E&T component.
SNAP client who participates in the Work Participant Program (WPP)
for 20 hours a week is considered to be meeting the ABAWD WR. WPP
is offered to TAFDC and SNAP clients through the statewide network
of MassHire Career Centers.
in a qualifying E&T activity must be verified and entered in BEACON
by a Central Office SNAP Path to Work Specialist. To show that
client is enrolled and/or participating in a qualifying E&T activity,
the Specialist will check the Qualifying Component checkbox on the ESP
Referral Disposition and ESP Disposition pages. Once a Central Office
SNAP Path to Work Specialist records the fact that a client is participating
in a qualifying E&T program, compliance will be automatically credited
between the component start and end dates.
A client does not have
to be enrolled in an E&T program through DTA’s SNAP
Path to Work Program
to comply with the ABAWD Work Rules. When a client reports that
s/he is participating in an E&T program, if the program information
has not already been entered on the ESP Activity Disposition page on BEACON,
provide him/her with the ABAWD Training Program Information Request form.
form can be printed via:
SNAP Path to Work Specialists will look for and address scanned documents
indexed as ABAWD Training Program Information Requests, using the
ABAWD Document Search page. Based on the information completed by
Education/Training program staff, the Specialist will determine whether
or not the client is exempt from or meeting the ABAWD WR via program participation
and update BEACON accordingly.
Meeting by Volunteering
A client is considered to be meeting the ABAWD WR by volunteering when
s/he is performing community service work at a
Placement cannot be in the office of
an individual candidate's campaign for public office.
number of volunteer hours that a client must volunteer each month is determined
by dividing the household’s monthly SNAP allotment by the state minimum
wage. If the SNAP household
contains more than one person, this number is further divided by the number
of SNAP clients in the household to get the number of hours that an individual
household member must volunteer.
example: If a household, with a monthly SNAP allotment of $357, contains
two clients who are subject to the ABAWD WR:
community service obligation = 28 hours per month ($357 allotment
divided by $12.75 MA minimum wage); and
client must volunteer for 14 hours per month (the household obligation
divided by the number of eligible SNAP clients, rounded down to the
nearest whole number).
client living in a household that is active at $0 or whose portion
of the monthly SNAP allotment is less than $13, will not be required
to participate in community service. The client will be
considered to be meeting the ABAWD WR and will not receive the
ABAWD WP requirement form unless the benefit amount increases
to more than $13.
A Community Service Program participant may:
a Community Service Program placement approved by the Department;
an approved Community Service site by using the Find a Provider feature
to search for a Potential ABAWD Volunteer Site; or
referral to a SNAP Community Service Program placement identified
by the Department.
client can request approval for a self-arranged volunteer site or a referral
to an approved Community Service site by calling the SNAP Path to Work
Line at (888) 483-0255.
Community Service Program participant must comply with the following Community
Service Program activities:
the required hours per month as specified above;
satisfactorily in this activity, as defined by the organization; and
verification of participation on a monthly basis by returning an ABAWD
Work Program Participation Report signed by the community service
site staff person or other proof of completed volunteer hours.
Clients who are
not exempt from the ABAWD Work Rules and are not complying by working
or participating in a qualifying E&T component will be sent a BEACON
generated ABAWD Work Program Participation Report on the Monday before
the last Saturday of each month. This form is due on the 5th
of the following month, or the next business day if the 5th
falls on a weekend or holiday.
Program Participation Report
will indicate the number of community service hours required based on
the SNAP allotment at the time the notice is generated. If the allotment
changes after the participation report is issued, the client will meet
the requirement if they complete the number of hours indicated on the
BEACON generated report or the number of hours required based on the benefit
for the participation month, even if these hours are less than what was
originally indicated on the BEACON-generated report.
a client requests an ABAWD Work Program Participation Report to
verify volunteer hours, you must reprint the BEACON generated
version for the applicable participation month and give it to
him/her. If the BEACON-generated version has not yet been
issued, you must complete the DTA staff sections of the fillable
version (available on Online Forms) and give this version of the
form to the client.
Work Program – Policy and Procedures
Update: February 19, 2020