SNAP ABAWD Time Limits

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

This page is designed to help community organizations working with SNAP recipients understand the return of the time limits in SNAP for childless adults between the ages of 18 and 49. Beginning January 1, 2016, this group—referred to in SNAP regulations as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)—will face a harsh and complicated time limit rule in NYS. The time limit rule requires that people identified as an “ABAWD” be limited to receiving SNAP benefits for 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. Below is a list of resources and tools to help you when working with clients who have been identified as an “ABAWD.” Please check back often as we develop this site.

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



ABAWD Time Limit Desk Guide for Community Organizations —updated 10/2018
—Downloadable pdf desk guide that provides information and action steps for community organizations working with SNAP recipients

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

SNAP ABAWD Time Limit Checklist —updated 10/2018
—Downloadable pdf checklist to help determine if SNAP ABAWD time limits apply to an individual

“Unfit for work” Medical Statement Form with information for Health Care Providers —updated 4/2016
—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


GIS 15 TA/DC054 ABAWD Wavier Status And One Time Mailing Of ABAWD Status Notification Letter
—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