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ISSUE DATE: 12/2018

No provisions.


Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) are applicants/recipients between the ages of 18 and 50. Unless an ABAWD meets mandatory work provisions, regains eligibility, or meets an exemption listed below, they are eligible for SNAP for only 3 months in any 36-month period.

Minnesota uses a rolling clock to measure the 36-month period. The 36-month rolling clock begins with the month benefits are being determined for and looks back an additional 35 months. The 36-month look back period continues to roll each month thereafter, even during times the person does not receive SNAP or is exempt from the time limit. You must explain these provisions to ABAWDs during the intake and eligibility determination process.

For information on how to treat income of ineligible able-bodied adults, see, 0016.39 (Income of Ineligible Able-Bodied Adults).

For information on reporting requirements, see 0007 (Reporting).


When there is an indication that an ABAWD received SNAP in another state that does not have a waiver of the mandatory work provisions, the number of full countable months used in the other state must be verified by contacting the other state.

SNAP recipients subject to the time limit and work provisions can decide if they want to participate in SNAP Employment and Training services to help meet those requirements. Not all counties offer SNAP E&T services and some counties and tribal agencies are waived due to the unemployment rate. See TEMP Manual TE02.05.68 (ABAWD SNAP E&T Waived Reservations), TE02.05.69 (ABAWD SNAP E&T Waived Counties). ABAWDs are referred to SNAP E&T when SNAP eligibility is determined or when the participant’s exemption from ABAWD provisions ends. However, participation is voluntary.

The 3 entitled months do not have to be consecutive. Do not count a month if for that month the person:

Meets the 20 hour per week (80 hours per month) work requirement.


Is exempt from the 3 month time limit.


Receives only prorated (partial month) benefits.

The 3 month entitlement limit applies only to ABAWDs receiving SNAP.

A person meeting any of the following exemptions is not subject to the 3 month limit:

Receiving cash assistance. When an ABAWD is receiving RCA and there is no Refugee Employment Service Provider available to provide Employment Services, the ABAWD must be referred to the SNAP E&T Provider in the county that the ABAWD lives in.

Under age 18, or age 50 or older.

Residing in a unit with a unit member under the age of 18, even if the unit member is not eligible for SNAP.

Medically certified as pregnant.

Exempt from work registration. See 0028.06.12 (Who Is Exempt From SNAP Work Registration). Code his/her work registration status carefully on the MAXIS STAT/WREG panel. This information is used by MAXIS when sending workers appropriate DAIL messages. It is also used for reporting and funding purposes.

A person is unfit for employment if he or she is currently homeless. Homeless is specifically defined for this purpose as:


Lacking a fixed and regular nighttime residence, including temporary housing situations.



Lacking access to work-related necessities (i.e. shower or laundry facilities, etc.).

People with a statement from a qualified professional which indicates inability to work at least 20 hours per week due to a mental or physical illness, injury or incapacity that is expected to last for a minimum of 30 days. See 0011.39 (Qualified Professionals).

Lives in any of the counties or Indian reservations where all participants are exempt from ABAWD provisions. See TEMP Manual TE02.05.68 (ABAWD SNAP E&T Waived Reservations), TE02.05.69 (ABAWD SNAP E&T Waived Counties).

You must retroactively count (or uncount) an ABAWD’s month of benefits as 1 of the 3 months of entitlement to SNAP benefits if you later learn that your determination of the ABAWD’s exemption status, or whether or not the ABAWD met monthly work requirements, was incorrect. You must make this change in MAXIS. As long as the client meets an exemption for some part of the month, he/she is exempt for the entire month.


Able-bodied adults may "earn" ADDITIONAL MONTHS of eligibility, or avoid using 1 of their 3 entitled months, when they work or participate in work activities an average of 20 hours per week (80 per month). These do not have to be consecutive months. For each month that the person works or participates in work activities at this level, the person “earns” a month of SNAP benefits. Countable work or work program activities are:

Working in paid employment, including self-employment. This includes use of accrued sick or vacation time, if available.

Participating in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services equal to or more than the ABAWD work requirement of 20 hours/week, averaged 80 hours/month.

Participating in Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) services equal to or more than the ABAWD work requirement of 20 hours/week, averaged 80 hours/month.

Participating in SNAP E&T activities. NOTE: For an ABAWD, participation in Job Search is not a countable activity unless it makes up less than 50% of the required 80 hours per month, or the ABAWD is co-enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). See 0028.03.03 (Employment Services/SNAP E&T Required Components).

Participating in Work Experience. However, instead of averaging 20 hours a week, the required number of hours of participation is the unit's monthly SNAP allotment divided by the higher of the federal or state minimum wage.

See MINIMUM WAGE in 0002.41 (Glossary: Medically Necessary...). Also see TEMP Manual TE12.05 (Minimum Wage).


An ABAWD who has used his/her 3 months of eligibility in the past 36 months may re-apply.

An ABAWD who has lost SNAP eligibility by exhausting their initial 3 months out of 36 months may qualify for a second 3-month period if they have worked or participated in work activities for 80 hours during any 30 consecutive days, as described above under EARNING ADDITIONAL MONTHS. If the person’s job or work activity ends, or if the hours are reduced below 80 hours per month, the person qualifies for the second 3-month period of eligibility. This provision does not apply if the person voluntarily quit the job without good cause.

The new 3-month count starts the 1st day of the 1st full month in which SNAP benefits are provided under this second 3-month eligibility period. A partial month is not a counted month. The second 3-month period runs for 3 consecutive countable months regardless of whether or not the participant receives benefits in all 3 months. This second 3-month period is only available once in any 36-month period.


An ABAWD who has used up the initial or second 3 months of SNAP eligibility can regain eligibility when during any 30 consecutive days the person has:

Worked 80 hours or more.

Participated in, and complied with, approved work activities of 80 hours or more.

A combination of work and participation in a work program for a total of 80 hours; or participated in, and complied with, a workfare program.

NOTE: The hours must be completed before eligibility can be granted.

The 30 consecutive days may occur at any time after the ABAWD used the initial 3 countable months. Once the participant has worked the required number of hours, eligibility can be granted back to the date of application.

Once eligibility is granted, eligibility will continue as long as you prospectively anticipate that the person will work the required number of hours for the next month. The ABAWD should follow their reporting requirements. Your Employment Services Provider (ESP) will track hours of participation in work program activities.

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