Implementation of Regulatory Changes to ABAWD Waiver Standards and Discretionary Exemptions
On Dec. 5, 2019, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will publish the final rule, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents. It is available for public inspection at the Federal Register.
The final rule changes the definition of the geographic areas that can be waived and other criteria under which an area may qualify for a waiver of the SNAP participation time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The provisions related to waiver standards take effect April 1, 2020. In order to have a waiver as of April 1, 2020, and thereafter, states must request a waiver that meets the new standards in 7 CFR 273.24(f) and should submit that request as soon as possible to their respective FNS Regional Office contact(s) and copy email@example.com. FNS encourages states to submit these waiver requests no later than Feb. 1, 2020, to ensure timely processing. The final rule also limits the “carryover” of states’ unused ABAWD discretionary exemptions as described in 7 CFR 273.24(h). This change will take effect on Oct. 1, 2020, the start of Federal fiscal year (FY) 2021.
This resource provides a summary of the rule’s provisions. We strongly encourage state agencies to review the final rule in full as it provides additional detail.
Please contact your respective FNS regional office with any questions about the final rule or its implementation.