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Federal and state regulations make work rules a condition of eligibility for SNAP benefits. In Massachusetts, this rule went back into effect January 1, 2016. There are exceptions to this rule. If one or more of the exemptions below apply to you, you do not have to meet the ABAWD work program rules. If you do not meet any of the exemptions, then you must meet the ABAWD work program rules. If you fail to meet the ABAWD work program rules, you are only eligible for 3 months of SNAP benefits during a 36-month period. SNAP's current 36-month period (or clock) is January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017.
If you are exempt from the general SNAP work rules, then you are already exempt from the ABAWD work program rules.
You are exempt from the ABAWD work program rules if you:
You can use the ABAWD work program exemption forms to tell us about your exemption(s). If we cannot verify your exemption, we will ask you for verification.
Areas of Massachusetts that have unemployment rates of over 10 percent are included in the waiver. Areas of Massachusetts that do not have enough jobs for the individuals living there are included in the waiver. This means that if you are a resident of one of the listed areas, you are exempt from the ABAWD work program rules.
This information can change every year. The current list of waived areas is effective January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. Some areas that qualified for this waiver in 2017 no longer qualify in 2018.
There are three ways you can meet the ABAWD work program rules:
If you already take part in an E&T program, let us know. Complete the ABAWD training program information request form.
For more information about approved sites or volunteer options call the SNAP Path to Work line at (888) 483-0255 or visit the SNAP Path to Work website.
Non-profits can help SNAP participants meet the ABAWD work program rules. SNAP participants can volunteer to meet the ABAWD work program rules. By volunteering, an ABAWD gains valuable work experience. If you want to host ABAWD volunteers, complete the questionnaire. Send the completed form to DTA SNAP E&T Unit.
If you have questions or concerns, call the SNAP Path to Work line at (888) 483-0255.
The DTA Assistance Line is open from 8:15 A.M. to 4:45 P.M.