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SNAP - Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents Percentage Exemption Totals for FY 22

DATE: October 22, 2021
SUBJECT: SNAP - FY 2022 Allocations of Discretionary Exemptions for Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs) - Not Adjusted for Carryover
TO: All Regional Directors
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (the Act) limits the time able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) may participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to 3 months in any 36-month period, unless an individual fulfills certain work requirements or is otherwise exempt from the time limit. However, the Act allocates a number of monthly exemptions to the ABAWD time limit for each fiscal year, based on 12 percent of a state’s estimated number of covered individuals, as defined in section 6(o)(6)(A)(ii) of the Act. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has estimated the number of new discretionary exemptions each state has earned for fiscal year (FY) 2022 in the attached table. States that operated under a statewide waiver of the ABAWD time limit did not earn any new exemptions. Once final FY 2021 data is available, FNS will issue an updated memorandum providing the total number of exemptions available to each state for FY 2022 based on caseload adjustments and the exemptions used in FY 2021.

While states have great flexibility in applying exemptions, states must track and report the amount of exemptions used each month on a quarterly basis to their respective FNS regional office via the FNS-583 form. In addition, exemptions must be properly documented in case records prior to monthly Quality Control sample selections. Regional offices should ensure that their states are apprised of the number of new exemptions earned for FY 2022. State agencies with questions regarding this memorandum should contact their respective FNS regional office representative.

Arpan Dasgupta
Branch Chief
Certification Policy Branch
Program Development Division
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)


Page updated: April 05, 2023