SNAP Rule #230A - ABAWD Geographic Waiver

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Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) regulations provide that certain able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) are subject to a maximum of three months of benefits over a 36-month period, unless they work 80 hours per month or participate in and comply with requirements of a work program. Individuals who reside in certain geographic areas can qualify for an exception to this time limit under 7 C.F.R. 273.24(f).

The Department submitted a request to the U.S.D.A. - Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to waive these work requirements for certain ABAWDs residing in geographic areas that have unemployment rates at or above 10% or have insufficient jobs for recipients residing in those areas. The geographic areas include 260 qualifying cities, towns, unorganized territories, townships, and reservations that qualify individually or as part of a federally defined labor market area. U.S.D.A. - F.N.S. approved the Department's waiver request on September 27, 2023. ABAWDs residing in these areas will no longer have to meet the work requirements to receive SNAP effective retroactive to October 1, 2023. Retroactive rulemaking is permissible under 22 M.R.S. 42(8) as this update provides a benefit to nearly 2,000 SNAP recipients who meet the ABAWD definition and does not adversely impact applicants, participants, beneficiaries, or providers.

This rule will not have an adverse impact on municipalities or small businesses.

Effective Date: November 26, 2023


Office: Office for Family Independence

Routine technical

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