Able-Bodied Adult without Dependents

ABAWD is an acronym for an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents. 

ABAWDs are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applicants or recipients who are:

  • Between 18-49 years of age;
  • Not pregnant;
  • Not residing in a household where a household member is under age 18; and
  • Mentally and physically fit for employment.

DHS resumed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) Time Limit Rules on July 1, 2023, due to the expiration of the federal public health emergency.

Beginning on July 1, 2023, SNAP recipients ages 18 through 49 who do not live with a child under 18, and who are considered physically and mentally able to work, must follow the Time Limit Rules. This means they will have to begin reporting their work hours to remain eligible for SNAP benefits.

The newly enacted federal Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 will gradually increase the age of those subject to the Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limit Rules.

Effective September 1, 2023, Georgia and all other states must begin screening for the new ABAWD exceptions and applying the ABAWD Time Limit Rules to individuals between the ages of 18 and 50. Effective October 1, 2023, SNAP recipients ages 18 to 52 will be subject to Time Limit Rules.

ABAWDS in these categories can only get SNAP benefits for three months in three years unless they meet the ABAWD work requirement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do ABAWDs need to do?

After July 1, 2023, ABAWDs who do not live with a child under 18, and who are considered physically and mentally able to work must follow these Time Limit Rules to keep their SNAP benefits:

  • Spend at least 80 hours working each month (2o hours/week) doing one or more of the following activities.
    • Working (employment or self-employment);
    • Participating in the SNAP Employment and Training Program (E&T); or
    • Participating in an employment or training program other than E&T, such as a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA) training program.


  • Participate in workfare program, such as Comparable Workfare, for the number of hours you are assigned each month.


  • Any combination of working and participating in an employment/training program for a total of 20 hours per week, totaling 80 hours per month.

Does everyone need to meet these time limit rules?

An ABAWD may not have to follow any of these Time Limit Rules if they are:

  • Younger than age 18 or age 51 or older beginning September 1, 2023, or age 53 or older beginning October 1, 2023;
  • Living with someone in the same house who is younger than age 18, even if that person is not eligible for SNAP benefits;
  • Not working because of a physical or mental health reasons;
  • Pregnant;
  • Experiencing homelessness;
  • A veteran who served in the U.S. Armed Forces; and/or
  • An adult up to age 26 who left foster care at age 18.

What should I do if I think one of the above reasons applies to me?

Call DHS at 1-877-423-4746 as soon as possible if you think one of these might describe you. If DHS finds that it does, you will not need to follow these Time Limit Rules.

What happens if an ABAWD does not follow these Time Limit Rules?

DHS will count each full month that you receive SNAP benefits but do not meet these Time Limit Rules without good reason. Once DHS has counted three full months, you will lose your benefits until December 1, 2023.

What is comparable workfare?

Georgia’s Comparable Workfare program is an unsalaried placement at a supervised worksite with a public or private non-profit provider. All state, federal, county, and city government agencies are potential workfare sponsors. Comparable workfare provides participants with opportunities to develop basic work habits, practice skills, and demonstrate the ability to learn new skills to a prospective employer.

ABAWDs may self-initiate a Comparable Workfare activity at community service program sites that are serving a useful community purpose in the field of health, social service, environmental protection, education, urban and rural development, welfare, recreation, public facilities, public safety, or child care.

Download this pdf file. Comparable Workfare: A Guide for ABAWDs

Download this pdf file. Comparable Workfare: A Guide for ABAWDs - Spanish

Download this pdf file. Comparable Workfare Activity Form 805

Download this pdf file. Comparable Workfare Activity Form 805 - Spanish

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