Effective September 1, 2023, significant changes to the SNAP work requirements are being implemented, with some policies set to phase in over the next year, as stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and reported by the National Association of Counties (NACo).
New SNAP Work Requirements Take Effect, Impacting Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents
The modifications to SNAP work requirements were authorized under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was enacted on June 3. This legislation, while suspending the debt ceiling, also introduced discretionary spending caps and alterations to mandatory programs, aiming to reduce the deficit. Among the changes in SNAP work requirements are for SNAP recipients. The USDA’s statement on June 30 outlined the specifics of the temporary increase in SNAP work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD).
Under the existing rules, adults between 18 and 49 years old were subject to the ABAWD time limit, restricting their SNAP work requirements benefits to three months within a three-year period if they failed to meet specific work requirements. However, the recent act gradually increases the age of those subject to this ABAWD time limit.
Nonetheless, the Food and Nutrition Act provides states with the option to request temporary waivers for areas experiencing an unemployment rate over 10% or where job opportunities are scarce
These waivers may temporarily exempt certain individuals from the increased work requirements.
The changes to SNAP work requirements aim to strike a balance between supporting those in need and encouraging workforce participation among able-bodied adults without dependents. As the policies take effect, there will likely be discussions and debates surrounding their impact on vulnerable populations and the overall economy.