Issue Brief 19-09
February 15, 2019

When Congress reauthorized the farm bill late last year, it omitted controversial proposals for stricter time limits and work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has now submitted a proposed rule that would restrict waivers from time limits and work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), which states can currently request based on high unemployment. The new rule would:

  • create new core standards for waiver approvals

  • restrict statewide waivers and substate grouping

  • limit the carryover of exemptions

Because of the recent partial government shutdown, the rule was not published in the Federal Register until February 1; comments will be accepted through April 2, 2019. This Issue Brief summarizes the proposed rule, and reviews work and eligibility requirements under current law.