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Questions and Answers: Final Rulemaking Requirements for ABAWDs

EO Guidance Document #
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (269.29 KB)
DATE: December 4, 2019
SUBJECT: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Final Rulemaking: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, Questions and Answers for States
TO: State SNAP Directors
All Regions

On Dec. 5, 2019, the FNS final rule, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, will publish in the Federal Register. The rule revises the conditions under which FNS would waive, when requested by states, the able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) time limit in areas that have an unemployment rate of over 10 percent or a lack of sufficient jobs. In addition, the rule limits the carryover of unused ABAWD discretionary exemptions.

FNS expects all SNAP state agencies (states) to read the final rule as published in the Federal Register. As a supplement to the rule, FNS is providing these questions and answers, which are intended to provide states with clear answers on some of the practical policy and implementation questions that they may have. The Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has designated this memorandum as not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act. FNS intends to issue additional questions and answers after states have had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the rule.

Please contact your respective FNS regional office with any questions about the rule or this guidance.

Sasha Gersten-Paal
Acting Director
Program Development Division


Page updated: January 11, 2022

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.