When you apply for food stamps in New York, you are required by law to work or participate in a work program, unless you are exempted. New York food stamps work requirements are based on the federal SNAP work requirements as set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA is the federal agency with oversight over the food stamps program.

Each state participating in the SNAP program must comply with the USDA work requirements.

However, states are free to implement additional work requirements for SNAP Eligibility, in addition to the minimum standards set by the USDA.

In this post, we will explain in detail what the SNAP work requirements are for the state of New York.

This includes additional requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD).

Also, we will highlight what happens when you fail to meet the work requirements while receiving food stamps in New York.

Next, we will provide a summary of the New York SNAP E&T Program.

However, we will first show the federal SNAP work requirements as required by the USDA.

"New York Food Stamps Work Requirements"

Food Stamps Work Requirements by the USDA

Below is a summary of the SNAP work requirements by the USDA:

In general, SNAP applicants must meet work requirements to be eligible for benefits.

These work requirements include:

  • Registering for work;
  • Not voluntarily quitting a job or reducing hours;
  • Taking a job if offered; and
  • Participating in employment and training programs, if assigned by the DHHS.

Failure to comply with these requirements can result in disqualification from the SNAP program.

Additional Requirements for ABAWDs

In addition, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) are required to work or participate in a work program for at least 20 hours per week in order to receive SNAP benefits for more than 3 months in a 36-month period.

The following groups are exempted from the ABAWD time limit requirement:

  • Children;
  • Seniors;
  • Pregnant women; and
  • People who are exempt for physical or mental health reasons.

New York Food Stamps Work Requirements

Below is a summary of the SNAP work requirements in the state of New York:

All SNAP recipients ages 16 to 59 are required to work, unless they meet at least one of these conditions:

  • Responsible for the care of a child under age six;
  • Unable to work due to a physical or mental health condition;
  • Needed to provide care for an incapacitated individual; or
  • Applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits; or
  • A student enrolled at least half time in school, a training program, or an institution of higher education; or
  • A regular participant in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment or rehabilitation program.
  • Employed or self-employed 30 or more hours per week or earning at least the equivalent of 30 times the federal minimum wage on a weekly basis.

What happens if you don’t meet the NY SNAP Work Requirements?

According to New York state food stamps rules, anyone who refuses or fails, without good cause, to comply with SNAP work requirements is subject to a penalty.

Additionally, anyone subject to a penalty will be ineligible to receive SNAP while that penalty is in effect.

The length of the penalty depends on the number of times an individual has been previously penalized for not complying with New York SNAP work requirements.

Additional Requirements for ABAWDs

ABAWD stands for “able-bodied adult without dependents.”

Federal law requires ABAWDs to meet additional work requirements to receive SNAP benefits for more than three months in a 36-month period.

  • They must participate in qualifying work activities for at least 80 hours a month, or
  • Be granted an exclusion consistent with their social services district’s ABAWD exclusion policy, or
  • Reside in an area with a waiver approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The federal government has strict rules regarding which areas of the state may waive the work requirements, generally requiring that the area has a high unemployment rate.

Individuals are exempt from the ABAWD time limit if they are:

  • Under 18 years of age, or 50 years of age or older.
  • A full-time caretaker of an incapacitated person.
  • A pregnant woman.
  • Physically or mentally unable to work at least 80 hours a month.
  • Determined to be unable to work due to substance abuse.
  • A recipient of Veterans Affairs disability compensation.
  • A recipient of disability benefits from a public or private source, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or NYS disability benefits.
  • An adult in a SNAP household with a child under 18 years of age.
  • A recipient or pending receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB).
  • A student enrolled in any recognized school, job skills training, or institution of higher education at least half-time and meeting the student eligibility criteria to receive SNAP.
  • An applicant for SNAP benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) jointly or in receipt of SSI.
  • Employed or self-employed and working at least 30 hours per week or receiving weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage times 30 (currently $217.50 per week).

What are the requirements for ABAWDs?

To maintain eligibility for New York SNAP benefits for more than three months in a 36-month period, ABAWDs must complete and document participation in at least one of the following each month:

  • Work (including “in-kind” and volunteer work) for at least 80 hours;
  • Attendance at a qualifying work/training program approved by the social services district for at least 80 hours;
  • Compliance with a Work Experience Program (WEP) assignment for a number of hours equal to the monthly SNAP benefit, divided by the higher of the federal or State minimum wage;
  • Participation in a program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) or Trade Act, which may include job search, job readiness, occupational skills training, or education activities for at least 80 hours;
  • Participation in an employment and training program for veterans operated by the Department of Labor or the Department of Veterans Affairs; or
  • Participation in a combination of work or qualifying work programs for at least 80 hours.

ABAWDs Requirement Suspension

New York State has received approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a statewide waiver of the federal Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) time limit through September 30, 2023.

Therefore, ABAWDs residing in all areas of New York State are not subject to the ABAWD requirements through September 30, 2023.

What is the New York SNAP E&T Program?

In New York State, there are 39 organizations that provide work-focused education and training services through the SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T).

The SNAP E&T Program provides opportunities for SNAP recipients to gain skills, training, or work experience to help them get a job.

The program is aimed at supporting individuals faced with barriers to employment, such as :

  • Criminal or substance abuse history
  • Low literacy
  • Limited work history
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Limited English proficiency, or
  • Lack of a high school diploma.

The SNAP E&T program also benefits eligible youth between the ages of 16 and 24.

New York Food Stamps Work Requirements Summary

We hope this post on New York Food Stamps Work Requirements was helpful.

If you have further questions about the New York SNAP or New York EBT Card, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles about New York SNAP and New York EBT, including:

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