What is an ABAWD?
An ABAWD is an able-bodied adult without dependents. ABAWDs who do not meet any of the ABAWD Work Program Exemptions are subject to the ABAWD WP requirement and time limit.
Mandatory Population and Requirements
All nonexempt ABAWDs between the ages of 18 and 49 must:
comply with General SNAP Work Requirements and
work for 20 hours per week averaged monthly or
participate in a qualifying Employment and Training (E&T) component 20 hours per week or
volunteer at a community service site for a specified number of hours per month
Regardless of certification type, ABAWD WP-required individuals must report:
whenever the household’s gross income exceeds the gross income limit for the household size
when work hours drop below 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month
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.
See ABAWD Work Program Participation and Community Service Compliance.
ABAWD WP-required individuals are strongly encouraged to report if they are involved with training, volunteer work, of if they begin working 20 hours per week or an average of 80 hours per month. This could help the ABAWD WP-required household member to continue to receive SNAP benefits.
Individuals who do not report these changes may be subject to retroactive sanctions unless good cause exists. For more information please see ABAWD Work Program Sanctions.
You must not submit Overpayment Referrals for individuals who do not report these changes.
Notifying Clients Subject to ABAWD WP Requirements
must read the ABAWD Requirement Script when
any member of a SNAP household is determined to be subject to the ABAWD
WP requirement at application, recertification or when a case maintenance
change results in a change in requirement status. You must
document that this conversation occurred in the case Narrative.
non-exempt ABAWD is issued an ABAWD
Work Program Requirement Notice upon approval of an application or
recertification and when the client goes from an exempt to a non-exempt
status. This notice informs the client that s/he will become ineligible
for SNAP if s/he fails to comply with the work requirement for any 3 countable
months during the current 36-month ABAWD clock.
Non-exempt ABAWDs who are not known to be meeting the work requirement receive an ABAWD Work Program Community Service Participation Report prior to each participation month. This document reminds the ABAWD of his/her WP requirement, the consequences for failing to comply, and tells the client how many hours s/he must volunteer to meet the requirement.
Community service requirements that are met via court system participation may be countable for ABAWD Work Program Community Service. Clients must provide verification of the hours served each month, but they are not required to use the ABAWD Work Program Community Service Participation Report to do so. These cases must be referred to an E&T Specialist to review. Once the community service site is entered in BEACON, you must monitor and enter subsequent participation.
Ineligibility for Failure to Comply
Non-exempt ABAWDs who fail to comply with the WP requirement for any three countable months (which do not have to be consecutive) in a 36-month period are ineligible for SNAP benefits for the remaining months in the 36-month period unless they become exempt from or begin meeting the WP requirement. See ABAWD Work Program Sanctions.
A countable month is one during which a non-exempt ABAWD received a full (not prorated) SNAP allotment while:
not exempt from the ABAWD WP requirement;
not residing in an area that has been waived; or
not fulfilling the requirement as described above
The 36-Month Period
The same 36-month period applies to all SNAP clients, regardless of the application date. The 36-month clock that began on January 1, 2015 will run until December 31, 2017. A new 36 month clock begins on January 1, 2018 and will run until December 31, 2020.
BEACON reviews and updates the ABAWD WP exemption reason and requirement statuses of each household member on a nightly basis and whenever the case is wrapped-up. If not already selected, BEACON automatically updates each client’s exemption reason to the the most permanent applicable exemption reason. To accomplish this, it relies on data that is available elsewhere in the case record. For this reason it is imperative that all pages of the BEACON record accurately reflect each client’s circumstances at all times.
Clients ages 18-49 who are exempt from the ABAWD WP requirement receive a BEACON-generated ABAWD Work Program Exemption Notice, with the exception of Bay State CAP clients, those exempt due to age, those exempt due to disability, those meeting TAFDC/EAEDC WP requirements, ineligible household members, and ABAWDs in households that receive $0 benefit.
Case Manager Responsibilities
To support BEACON automation, when processing an application, recertification, or performing case maintenance, you must:
read the ABAWD Requirement Script when any member of a SNAP household is determined to be subject to the ABAWD WP requirement at application, recertification or when a case maintenance change results in a change in requirement status. You must document that this conversation occurred in the case Narrative.
inform all potential ABAWDs how the WP requirement impacts them;
explore all possible exemptions and review the Work Requirements-FS page, ensuring that the WP requirement and exemption statuses reflect each household member’s current circumstances;
enter any available ABAWD documents in BEACON (i.e. ABAWD Work Program Exemption form, SNAP Work Requirement Medical Report form, etc.);
update all BEACON pages to reflect the most current information known about each client. This is important because BEACON will not recognize:
that a client is exempt from the ABAWD WP requirement based on pregnancy if the Pregnancy page does not reflect this fact; or
that a client is exempt based on student status unless the School Status and Education pages confirm this information. See Entering ABAWD Work Program Data; and accurately enter the income and number of hours worked at all job types (including, but not limited to wages, in-kind work, earned rental income, and other self- employment income, etc.) to ensure that the client is credited with all hours worked.
Clients who are determined ineligible for not complying with the ABAWD WP requirement for any three months during a 36-month period may regain eligibility, if otherwise eligible, by:
working at a job for 80 hours during a 30-day period;
participating in a qualifying Employment and Training Program for 80 hours during a 30-day period;
working at a community service site for a specified number of hours per month determined by dividing the anticipated monthly SNAP allotment by the state minimum wage (currently $11 per hour);
working and participating in a qualifying SNAP E&T Program component for a combined total of 80 hours per month during a 30-day period; or
meeting an exemption from ABAWD WP requirements.
There is no limit on how many times an individual may regain eligibility by meeting the work requirement. See Regaining Eligibility.
Clients who regain eligibility may remain eligible for the balance of the three-year period as long as they continue to comply with the SNAP WP requirement.
Additional Months Exception
Clients who regain eligibility by complying with the ABAWD WP requirement during a 30 consecutive day period and subsequently fail to comply with the WP requirement are eligible to participate in SNAP for an additional three consecutive months without complying. This exception is limited to a single consecutive three month period during the 36 month clock. BEACON automatically assigns these additional three months when a client qualifies for this exception.
ABAWD Work Program – Policy and Procedures