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There are changes coming to SNAP benefit recipients that will take place beginning October 1st, the start of the new federal fiscal year.

SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is implementing new work requirements for certain SNAP benefit recipients.  But, for some reason, these new requirements are temporary.   And, like anything the federal government is involved in, it can get a little complicated.

According to a recent report from Yahoo Finance:

SNAP changes were authorized under the Fiscal Responsibility Act enacted on June 3. The act suspended the debt ceiling but also included discretionary spending caps and changes to mandatory programs to reduce the deficit, including work requirements for SNAP. 

In the USDA’s June 30 statement regarding the implementation of SNAP provisions, the department goes into greater detail about the temporary increase to SNAP work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) — and the new exemptions for veterans, homeless individuals and youth aging out of foster care. 

Currently, adults aged 18 to 49 are subject to the ABAWD time limit, which says that ABAWDs can receive SNAP for only three months in a three-year period if they do not meet certain work requirements. The act gradually increases the age of those subject to the ABAWD time limit. 

  • Sept. 1, 2023: The age of those subject to ABAWD increases to 50. 
  • Oct. 1, 2023: The age of those subject to ABAWD increases to 52. 
  • Oct. 1, 2024: The age of those subject to AVAWD increases to 54. 

However, the Food and Nutrition Act allows states to request a temporary waiver in areas with an unemployment rate over 10%, or without enough jobs. 

And that's where the Louisiana parishes come into play.  The FNS, Food & Nutrition Service, approved Louisiana's request to grant a waiver to 33 Louisiana parishes from the time limit rule due to high unemployment rates or insufficient jobs available. The following parishes will be exempt from ABAWD requirements.

Assumption, Avoyelles, Bienville, Catahoula, Claiborne, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Madison, Morehouse, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Richland, St. Bernard, St. Helena, St. James, St. John The Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Tensas, Terrebonne, Union, Washington, West Carroll and Winn. 

To Qualify for ABAWD Work Requirements, ABAWD recipients must:

  • Work at least 80 hours a month. Work can be for pay, for goods or services (for something other than money), unpaid, or as a volunteer; 
  • Participate in a work program at least 80 hours a month. A work program could be SNAP Employment and Training or another federal, state, or local work program; 
  • Participate in a combination of work and work program hours for a total of at least 80 hours a month; 
  • Participate in workfare for the number of hours assigned to you each month (the number of hours will depend on the amount of your SNAP benefit.) 

*Note: Starting Oct. 1, 2023, these rules apply to people age 18-52.  

You are excused from the ABAWD work requirement and time limit if you are any one of these things: 

  • Unable to work due to a physical or mental limitation; 
  • Pregnant; 
  • Have someone under 18 in your SNAP household; 
  • Excused from the general work requirements (see above); 
  • A veteran; 
  • Experiencing homelessness; 
  • Age 24 or younger and in foster care on your 18th birthday. 


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