SNAP ABAWD Time Limits

SNAP time limits for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents went back into effect on January 1, 2016.

Childless adults between the ages of 18 and 49—referred to in SNAP regulations as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)—are now subject to a time limit rule. The rule limits SNAP benefits for people identified as an “ABAWD” to only three full months in any three year period unless they live in a waived area of the state, qualify for an exemption, or are meeting work requirements.

On January 1, 2019, a new three year period began. Anyone who lost benefits due to the ABAWD Time Limit Rule can now reapply and, if eligible, receive a minimum of three months of SNAP benefits.

For more information, contact Dawn Secor, SNAP Policy Specialist, at 518-436-8757 ext. 112 or email [email protected].

Below is a list of resources and tools to help you when working with clients identified as an “ABAWD.” Please check back often for updates.

2019 ABAWD Waivers

Download these resources to learn more about areas in NYS that have been waived from ABAWD Time Limits in 2019:


ABAWD Time Limit Desk Guide for Community Organizations —updated 10/2019
Downloadable pdf desk guide that provides information and action steps for community organizations working with SNAP recipients

SNAP ABAWD Time Limit Checklist —updated 11/2019
Downloadable pdf checklist to help determine if SNAP ABAWD time limits apply to an individual

Flyer For SNAP Recipients— in English and Spanish
Downloadable pdf flyer for SNAP recipients that provides information and action steps on how to keep their SNAP benefits

“Unfit for work” Medical Statement Form with information for Health Care Providers updated 4/2019
Downloadable pdf sample form to document “unfit for work” exemption with information for health care providers who are signing the form

2018-19 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program In New York State: An Eligibility Prescreening Guide
An in-depth comprehensive SNAP prescreening guide to determine potential SNAP eligibility in New York State. Includes information on allowed medical expenses and deductions, the application process, necessary information and documentation, work requirements, the interview process, and calculating a budget.


More Resources

Hunger Solutions New York Comments to USDA on ABAWD Rule – April 2, 2019 


SNAP ABAWD Policy Update and Guidance on the New 36-Month Time Period (18-ADM-09)

Exemption from SNAP Work Requirements for Individuals who are a Regular Participant in a Drug or Alcohol Treatment Program (GIS 19 TA/DC014)

ABAWD Wavier Status And One Time Mailing Of ABAWD Status Notification Letter (GIS 15 TA/DC054)
—Policy and waiver information, as well as OTDA’s notification letter to SNAP recipients

ABAWD Frequently Asked Questions
ABAWD Time Limit information on OTDA’s website under the SNAP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section 

HRA Notice of Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents Status and Waiver Status for NYC
—HRA’s notification letter to SNAP recipients living in New York City

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Video: More Than Half A Million Unemployed Childless Adults Will Lose Food Assistance Benefits in 2016
—The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has released a video on the impact of the reinstatement of SNAP Time Limits in many states in 2016.

Food Bank for NYC
Abundant In Heart, Short On Resources: Need And Opportunity At NYC Food Pantries
—Research brief from the Food Bank for NYC examining the resources with which food pantries operate in New York City at a moment when new benefit cuts could test their capacity once again


Articles highlighting SNAP Time Limits


Food Stamp Changes Could Leave More HungryThe Journal News

How Changes To SNAP Eligibility Will Impact New York’s Hungry
This interview is part of the Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America—a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society

More Than 500,000 Americans Stand To Lose SNAP BenefitsThe Atlantic CITYLAB

Making The Jobless Hungrier Won’t Help Them Find Work FasterOp-ed from the Center for American Progress