FoodShare Work Requirement Reinstated
In 1996, SNAP implemented a time limit for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs). Participants in this group could only receive three months of benefits in a 36-month period unless they met work requirements or qualified for an exemption. The work requirement had been waived in Wisconsin since 2002 because of high unemployment rates, but has gone back into effect as of April 1, 2015.
This requirement applies to adults (ages 18-49), unless they live with minor children or meet certain exemptions. ABAWDs who are currently enrolled in FoodShare will not be affected by this requirement until their review or re-certification. The work requirement can be met in one of three ways:
- Work at least 80 hours per month,
- Participating and complying with an allowable work program at least 80 hours per month, such as the FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program, Wisconsin Works (W-2), or certain programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA),
- Both working and taking part in an allowable work program for a combined total of at least 80 hours per month, or
- Participating in and complying with the requirements of a workfare program.
FoodShare applicants and recipients who meet one of the following criteria may be considered exempt from the work requirement:
- In a FoodShare assistance group with a child under age 18, even if that child is not related to the participant,
- Primary caregiver for a person who cannot care for himself or herself,
- Primary caregiver for a child under age 6 who lives outside the participant’s home,
- Physically or mentally unable to work,
- Receiving or have applied for unemployment insurance,
- Taking part in an alcohol or other drug abuse program,
- Enrolled in an institution of higher learning at least half-time. Students must meet special eligibility criteria to enroll in FoodShare, or
- Enrolled as a high school student age 18 or older, attending high school at least half-time.
Participants who are not exempt and do not meet work requirements will only be able to get three months of FoodShare in a 36-month period. A great way for un- or underemployed ABAWDs to meet the work requirement is to enroll in the FoodShare Employment and Training Program (FSET). FSET provides FoodShare participants free assistance in finding a job, gaining work experience, and building skills that are valuable to employers. FoodShare and FSET help working-age adults have the fuel and resources needed not just to carry on, but to move forward on the pathway to success.
You must be participating in the FoodShare Program to enroll in FSET. If you would like to apply for FoodShare, call 877-366-3635 to connect with our FoodShare Helpline. If you are already receiving FoodShare benefits and would like to enroll in FSET, contact your local agency to be referred to the FSET program.