Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs)

I never heard of this term until today.

Folks, I went five very long years where nobody would hire me at any level.

So I get some things that you might not be aware of.

One of them is that we have fewer people working in 2018 than we had in 2000 when comparing those working against the population of our country.

It is NOT that they don’t want to work.

It is that we have more population than we have jobs for.

And now, through no fault of their own, we are going to turn our back on them?

SNAP supports work.

While SNAP is intended to ensure that no one in our land of plenty should fear going hungry, it also reflects the importance of work and responsibility.  SNAP rules require all recipients meet work requirements unless they are exempt because of age or disability or another specific reason. (Children, seniors, and those with disabilities comprise almost two-thirds of all SNAP participants.)  Forty-three percent of SNAP participants live in a household with earnings.

Some of these working individuals are ABAWDs, or able-bodied adults without dependents.  ABAWDs must meet special work requirements, in addition to the general work requirements, to maintain their eligibility.

Who is considered an ABAWD?

An ABAWD is a person between the ages of 18 and 49 who has no dependents and is not disabled.  ABAWD stands for Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents.

What is the ABAWD time limit?

ABAWDs can only get SNAP for 3 months in 3 years if they do not meet certain special work requirements. This is called the time limit.

To be eligible beyond the time limit, an ABAWD must work at least 80 hours per month, participate in qualifying education and training activities at least 80 hours per month, or comply with a workfare program.  Workfare means that ABAWDs can do unpaid work through a special State-approved program. For workfare, the amount of time worked depends on the amount of benefits received each month.  Another way one to fulfill the ABAWD work requirement is through a SNAP Employment and Training Program.

The time limit does not apply to people who are unable to work due to physical or mental health reasons, pregnant, care for a child or incapacitated family member, or are exempt from the general work requirements.

Why did the ABAWD time limits go away?  Why are they coming back?

The time limit on ABAWDs is part of the law that governs the operation of SNAP.  It has been part of the law since 1996.  Under the law, States can request to temporarily waive the ABAWD time limit when unemployment is high or when there are not enough jobs available.

Due to the economic downturn, many States qualified for and chose to waive time limits in all or part of the State.  (Even when ABAWD time limits are waived, general work requirements still apply.)  Some parts of the country still have waivers in place.  But, as the economy continues to improve, many places no longer qualify for time limit waivers, unless they have high unemployment or not enough jobs available.

ABAWDs participating in SNAP in locations where time limits are no longer waived need to take steps to meet the special ABAWD work requirements in order to maintain their benefits.

Perhaps the United States Department of Agriculture would care to show me where the economy continues to improve?

From where I am sitting, we have substantially less people working now as a percent of population than we had during the year 2000.

Perhaps this is why our federal government does not count the long term unemployed in the propaganda that they call the U-3 Unemployment Rate?


2 comments for “Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs)

  1. Nutella
    March 27, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Economy improves? Not happening. Maybe for foreign guest workers and visa overstayers, but not for Americans.

    We have fewer people working today than in 2000 because Billy Jeff Clinton raised the visa caps in 1998 and April 2001, flooding our country with excess labor. Millions. Tens of millions.

    These people did not create jobs as promised, and in fact they caused the 2002 and 2008 collapses which threw millions of Americans out of work.

    The “vast economic benefits” promised by Robert Reich, Thom Friedman, Alan Greenspan, and Bill Clinton NEVER MATERIALZED.

    In fact the opposite happened. We now have mass surplus excess workers, and fewer jobs because millions of jobs were destroyed and millions more moved offshore because many of the invaders were industrial spies for our enemies.

    Trump and his buddies are still trying to run around and figure out what the problem is.

    And Reich has three new books out trying to explain why things didn’t quite work out as planned.

    We’ve been looted, folks.

  2. Nutella
    March 27, 2018 at 10:40 pm

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