As part of the federal debt ceiling negotiations last year Congress implemented revisions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that require “able-bodied adults without dependents” to meet certain work requirements to keep their benefits.  Beginning !0/1/23 “Able-bodied” adults without dependents (people between 18 and 52 who are physically and mentally fit for work and lack dependents who are minors) must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Work 80 hours per month. This includes any combination of:
    • Paid work
    • Self-employment
    • Volunteer work
    • In-kind work: working in exchange for food, rent, or other needs. Proof must include the value of the work and the number of hours worked.
  • Participate in an approved Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training activity a minimum of 80 hours per month;
  • Participate in a combination of work and an approved Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training for a minimum of 80 hours per month.
  • Show good cause for not meeting work requirements such as having an illness, not having transportation, or unreasonable working conditions.

Interestingly, the measure only applies to people living in Maricopa County – the rest of the state is off the hook. Weird that it only applies to Maricopa County, huh. I looked into that and it must be because Maricopa has the lowest unemployment rate (the federal law excludes areas with higher unemployment rates).

There are also exceptions for people experiencing homelessness, veterans, and former foster care youth.

A full list of exceptions is here: Work Requirements for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents | Arizona Department of Economic Security

People can apply for SNAP online at