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FNS Issues Proposed Rule: SNAP Purpose and Work Requirement Provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a proposed rule to update SNAP rules to include requirements outlined in the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. Among others, this law made changes to who is subject to these requirements and updated the purpose statement of SNAP to include assisting low-income adults in obtaining employment.

Certain adults aged 18 to 52 without dependents can only receive SNAP benefits beyond three months in a three-year period unless they meet specific work requirements. We refer to this as the “time limit.”

The proposed rule released by FNS aims to align SNAP regulations with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which states have already begun to implement.

Overview of Key Changes

New Exceptions

Veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness, and individuals aging out of foster care, as defined in the proposed rule, are no longer subject to the time limit.

Increased Age Range

The age range for individuals subject to the time limit is gradually increasing until it reaches 54.

  • Sept. 1, 2023: the age range increased from 18 to 49 to 18 to 50.
  • Oct. 1, 2023: the age range increased to 18 to 52.  
  • Oct. 1, 2024: the age range will increase to 18 to 54.

Discretionary Exemptions

The Fiscal Responsibility Act reduced the number of individual discretionary exemptions available to state agencies annually.

Updated Purpose of SNAP

SNAP’s purpose statement, which is included in the Food and Nutrition Act, now includes language on assisting low-income adults in obtaining employment and increasing their earnings, thereby enabling households to access a more nutritious diet.

Comment Period

Once published, the proposed rule will undergo a 30-day comment period. We encourage all interested parties to provide their feedback during this period. Your input and feedback on these proposed changes are invaluable. We appreciate your continued support and dedication to ensure the effectiveness and accessibility of SNAP for those who need it most.

Additional Information on Time Limit


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Page updated: April 18, 2024