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The Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents Time Limit


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ABAWD time limit is currently waived nationwide until the public health emergency declaration is lifted.

Further, the ABAWD time limit is currently waived statewide until June 30, 2022.

Welcome to the CalFresh Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Time Limit webpage. This page outlines general information about the ABAWD time limit in California.

About the ABAWD Time Limit

The ABAWD time limit is a federal requirement. People who are considered to be ABAWDs are limited to three full months of CalFresh benefits every 36-months (3 years) beginning January 1, 2020. ABAWDs may receive benefits for longer than three months if they are working, excused from the time limit, or are living in an area that is waived from the time limit.

Not all counties in California have a time limit. Some counties are waived from the ABAWD time limit rules if the county meets certain criteria – like having a high unemployment rate. Counties that do not meet the criteria to be waived must have the time limit rule in place.

Who is considered an ABAWD for CalFresh?

A person is considered an ABAWD if they are between the ages of 18 through 49 and are not:

  • Disabled; or
  • Living with a child under the age of 18 in their CalFresh household.

What are the special requirements for ABAWDs?

People who are ABAWDs must do certain work-related activities to remain eligible for CalFresh. They must be working or doing approved work activities for at least 80 hours per month. This includes paid work, unpaid work, and in-kind work. In-kind work is working in exchange for a service, such as working off rent. The county can help connect ABAWDs with local work opportunities in the area in order to meet the work requirement.

ABAWD Time Limit Counties in California

The ABAWD time limit is waived in all California counties through June 30, 2022. This means no ABAWDs living in California will have to meet the work requirement to keep receiving CalFresh benefits. ABAWDs who have lost their CalFresh benefits may reapply and continue to receive CalFresh if otherwise eligible.

Latest News

Statewide ABAWD Time Limit Waiver Approved

The USDA FNS has approved California’s statewide ABAWD time limit waiver request effective July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. The statewide waiver was approved based on the State’s eligibility for extended unemployment benefits, a criterion for statewide waiver approval provided by SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.24.

ABAWD Final Rule Dismissed

On March 24, 2021, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement on D.C. Circuit court’s decision regarding the ABAWD rule stating that the USDA voluntarily moved to dismiss their appeal on the ABAWD Final Rule which the court accepted. The decision from last fall that overturned the entire rule is upheld and the ABAWD Final Rule is officially vacated. While the ABAWD Final Rule is gone, previous ABAWD time limit policy is still in effect.