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SNAP - Statewide Able Bodied Adults Without Dependent Waivers Effective Immediately for Eligible States

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PDF Icon Policy Memo (134.30 KB)
DATE: February 25, 2009
SUBJECT: SNAP - Statewide Able Bodied Adults Without Dependent (ABAWD) Waivers Effective Immediately for Eligible States
TO: All Regional Directors
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The recently-enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which was signed by President Obama on Feb. 17, 2009, suspends restrictions on; Able Bodied Adults Without Dependent (ABAWD) participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as of April 1, 2009 continuing through Sept. 30, 2010, unless state agencies choose to impose specific work requirements. States may already qualified for a statewide waiver of ABAWD; restrictions prior to the ARRA effective date, based on the state's eligibility for extended unemployment benefits as indicated by the Department of Labor's Trigger Notices. To receive such a waiver, a state must submit a request and receive approval by FNS.

In order to allow state agencies to better meet the needs of unemployed people during the economic downturn and to allow greater flexibility in implementing the ARRA provision, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is allowing all states who meet the criteria for statewide waivers to implement this policy effective immediately. The most recent DOL Trigger Notice No. 2009-6, effective Feb. 22, 2009, indicates that 35 states or geographic areas are "ON" the Trigger Notice:

Alabama, Alaska*, Arizona*, Arkansas, California*, Connecticut, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia*, Idaho, Illinois*, Indiana, Kentucky*, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan*, Minnesota*, Mississippi*, Missouri*, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon*, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island*, South Carolina*, Tennessee, Vermont, Virgin Islands*, Washington, Wisconsin.

Of the above states, 17 have current FNS-approved statewide waivers (denoted by *). The remaining states may lift restrictions as provided for in the ARRA effective immediately without requesting an FNS-approved waiver in advance, although state agencies must notify their FNS regional office of the effective date of statewide implementation. FNS recognizes that implementation of changes in ABAWD policy requires operational and system changes and may take longer in some states than in others. For some state agencies, it may not be feasible to make this change prior to the ARRA effective date. However, for those state agencies that are able to do so, this policy allows greater flexibility.

Arthur T. Foley
Pro gram Development Division

Page updated: December 10, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.