An ABAWD is a person who is applying for, or receiving, CalFresh benefits and is between the ages of 18 and 49, is able to work, and does not have dependent children. An ABAWD customer is limited to receiving three months of CalFresh benefits within a 36-month period, unless he/she:
Exempt from the ABAWD Time Limit
Customers who meet the criteria for an exemption are not subject to the Time Limit and are not required to satisfy the work requirement to maintain CalFresh eligibility. Customers are exempt from the ABAWD Time Limit if they are:
Note: A CalFresh household is a group of individuals who live together and usually purchase food and/or prepare meals together.
If one of these exemptions applies to you or a member of your household, please fill out an ABAWD Time Limit Exemption Screening form and provide it to your worker.
Satisfying the Work Requirement
ABAWD customers who do not qualify for an exemption or live in a waived area are subject to the Time Limit and must satisfy the work requirement to maintain CalFresh eligibility for more than three countable months within the 36-month period. An ABAWD customer can satisfy the work requirement of at least 80 hours per month (or an average of 20 hours per week) through:
Good Cause for Failure to Satisfy the Work Requirement
ABAWD customers subject to the Time Limit who would have satisfied the ABAWD work requirement but did not do so for reasons outside of their control, may be granted Good Cause.
Good Cause reasons include, but are not limited to:
Mandatory Mid-Period Reports
ABAWD customers subject to the Time Limit have 10 days to notify the County of the following changes:
Any other household changes must be reported at the next periodic report or recertification, whichever is sooner.
A countable month is any month in which an ABAWD customer subject to the Time Limit receives CalFresh benefits for a full month while not being exempt, satisfying the work requirement, or living in an area with a waiver of the ABAWD Time Limit.
Note: The month in which an exemption ends is not considered a countable month if the customer qualified for an exemption for any part of the month.
An ABAWD customer who is not exempt from the ABAWD Time Limit and has exhausted their three countable months is ineligible for CalFresh benefits. The customer shall remain ineligible for the remainder of the 36-month period unless they regain eligibility, qualify for an ABAWD exemption, or move to a waived county or area.
Note: For CalFresh households consisting of more than one person, the benefits are only discontinued for the ABAWD customer who is subject to the Time Limit and failed to satisfy the work requirement, not the entire household.
A customer who is ineligible to CalFresh benefits for not satisfying the ABAWD work requirement will remain ineligible until they meet the requirements for regaining eligibility.
An ABAWD customer may regain eligibility at any time if he/she:
If the customer regains eligibility through employment or other qualifying work activity, they must provide verification they satisfied the ABAWD work requirement within a consecutive 30-day period. The consecutive 30-day period does not have to be right before the date of application.
Note: There is no limit on the number of times an ABAWD customer may regain eligibility within the 36-month period.
Additional Three Consecutive Months
In certain circumstances, ABAWD customers may be granted an additional three consecutive months of eligibility after they exhausted their three countable months. This only applies to ABAWD customers who have regained eligibility by satisfying the work requirement within any consecutive 30-day period but then stopped satisfying the work requirement. ABAWD individuals cannot receive the additional three consecutive months if they regained eligibility through qualifying for an exemption, moving to a waived county or area, or applying after the 36-month clock has reset. This allows the ABAWD customer to be given three additional months of benefits to be used consecutively.