Academy Opposes Proposed Rule to SNAP ABAWD Work Requirement Waivers

04/02/2019 - The Academy opposes the proposed rule that would limit state's flexibility on work SNAP Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents, which the USDA estimates would impact 755,000 people.

Currently, as the regulation stands:

  • People between the ages of 18 and 50 who are not raising children can receive SNAP benefits for only three months out of every 36 months unless they can demonstrate that they were working at least 20 hours per week or participating in job training.
  • To account for unemployment rates of over 10% or areas with a lack of sufficient jobs, states have the authority to temporarily waive the time limit.

The proposed rule would:

  • Limit the flexibility that states are given to waive work requirements, resulting in a decrease in the number of people receiving benefits.

The Academy submitted comments to the USDA outlining its opposition to the rule, stating:

  1. The proposed rule seeks to circumvent the bipartisan, bicameral effort of Congress to review and reauthorize SNAP in the 2018 Farm Bill—a Farm Bill that had historical bipartisan support.
  2. The proposed rule takes state flexibility away from providing waivers without any real investment or plan to support and encourage work, while penalizing low-income individuals who are struggling to put food on the table.

For more information on the Academy's position on food insecurity and SNAP work requirements visit the advocacy center.