BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Some Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients will have to go to work in order to keep their benefits starting on Sunday, Oct. 1.

That is when federal work requirements and time limits will go into effect for certain SNAP recipients, according to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. The changes will affect those that are considered to be “Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents” or ABAWDs.

DCFS said, “Beginning October 1, 2023, individuals aged 18 to 52 in the ABAWD category are limited to three months of SNAP benefits within a 36-month period unless they meet the federal work requirement or receive an exemption.”

So what are the work requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents who receive SNAP benefits? DCFS provided the requirements seen below.

  • Work in a job that is either for pay or volunteer for a minimum of 80 hours per month
  • Take part in a SNAP Employment and Training program for at least 80 hours per month
  • Work and or take part in any combination of the above for a total of at least 80 hours per month.

According to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, “If an ABAWD-classified SNAP recipient fails to meet the ABAWD work requirement, or is not exempt, they will lose their benefits after three months.”

People who live in one of the 33 parishes listed below will not be subject to the 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
  • Winn

DCFS also provided a list of exemptions from the ABAWD work requirement and time limit for SNAP recipients:

  • physically or mentally unable to be employed;
  • pregnant;
  • caring for dependents;
  • veterans;
  • individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • individuals aged 24 and younger who were in foster care on their 18th birthday;
  • working at least 30 hours a week. Earning $217.50 or more per week;
  • receiving unemployment benefits, or have applied for unemployment benefits;
  • going to school, college, or a training program at least half-time;
  • meeting the work rules for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or
  • participating in a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program

Those parishes were granted a waiver by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. DCFS said, “A waiver does not waive general SNAP work requirements, only the SNAP time limit and work requirements.”

If you would like to learn more about SNAP Employment and Training, click here.

Developing the untapped talent of the individuals we serve is a major priority of our department’s growing SET for Success workforce development initiative,” said DCFS Secretary Terri Ricks. “We’re working with community and technical colleges, community-based organizations and professional development providers to offer no-cost SNAP E&T programs throughout Louisiana. It’s exciting to see so many people embracing these opportunities.”

If you think you are exempt from being an Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent, email DCFS at or call 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578).

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