Impact on able-bodied adults without dependents

A new rule on SNAP time limits was published on December 4, but it does not go into effect until spring 2020 (April 1, 2020). Oregon's Attorney General has joined 14 other Attorneys General in a lawsuit against this rule, with the goal of blocking its enactment. This means that for now, impacted individuals should continue using SNAP benefits as normal.

There are new time limits for some SNAP participants in Oregon. These time limits are for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) and affect SNAP participants in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Deschutes, Jackson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties. These rules are new starting January 1, 2019 in Clatsop, Deschutes, Jackson, Linn, Polk, and Tillamook Counties. Individuals considered “ABAWDs” may only receive SNAP benefits for a total of three full months within a three year period – unless the person meets an “exemption” or complies with certain work requirements.

Who Is Affected?

Anyone who can answer YES to all of the following questions:

  • Currently receiving SNAP benefits?
  • Live in Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Deschutes, Jackson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill Counties?
  • Between the ages of 18 and 50?
  • Do NOT have a child under the age of 18 living with you?

Take a short quiz to learn if the time limits may affect you.

Take The Quiz

Who Is Not Affected?

Even if you are considered an “ABAWD” you may not be subject to the time limits and work requirements. Many people meet exemptions which are listed below, but be sure to contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) to report your exemption reason.

  • Working 30 hours or more per week or earning at least $935.25 a month.
  • Self-employed and earning at least $935.25 a month, if there are no costs for the business. If there are business costs, earnings need to be at least $1,870.50 a month.
  • Receiving a disability-based benefit (SSI, VA pension, Worker Comp)
  • Physical, mental or behavioral health limits your ability to work (you may be asked for verification, which can be provided by a wide range of healthcare providers including psychologists, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, etc.)
  • Receiving wrap-around or support services from a community-based organization for physical, mental, and/or behavioral health.
  • You are a refugee and working with a federal refugee resettlement program.
  • Receiving—or have applied for— Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Participating in a drug or alcohol treatment program (inpatient or outpatient).
  • Student enrolled at least half time in a high school or college (special rules may apply)
  • Live in a household with any child under 18. Does not need to be your child, but child must be on your SNAP case.
  • Pregnant—at any stage of pregnancy
  • Providing care for an incapacitated or disabled person that limits your ability to work (you do not need to be living with this person).

Contact DHS

to report if you meet an exemption

  • Benton County
  • Clackamas County
  • Clatsop County
  • Jackson County
  • Linn County
  • Marion County
  • Multnomah County
    971-673-2422 or 971-673-2333
  • Polk County
  • Tillamook County
  • Washington County
  • Yamhill County

Local offices in Deschutes County:

  • Bend
  • La Pine
  • Redmond

Local offices in Lane County:

  • Cottage Grove
  • Florence
  • McKenzie Center
  • Springfield
  • West Eugene

How can I meet the work requirement?

If not exempt, there are multiple ways a person considered an ABAWD could meet the SNAP work requirements, including:

  1. Working for pay, or goods and services, at least 80 hours per month—an average of 20 hours per week
  2. Participating in an eligible work training program for at least 20 hours per week
  3. Volunteering with a non-profit or faith-based organization on a regular basis at least 80 hours per month—an average of 20 hours per week.
  4. Participating in Workfare (see below for more information about this)
  5. Participating in a program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  6. Participating in a displaced worker program under section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974 or,
  7. Searching for work for up to nine hours per week combined with other work activities for a total of 20 hours per week

Meet with WorkSource Oregon

After contacting your local DHS office, you will receive a letter from DHS with instructions about work requirements and connecting with WorkSource Oregon. You will need to attend a work orientation or meet one-on-one with a case manager at a WorkSource office in order for certain work activities to count for meeting your requirements to continue receiving food assistance. If you have not received this letter, contact your local DHS office. More information about the work requirements and the process at WorkSource can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • “Workfare” is unpaid or volunteer work that takes place at a DHS designated non-profit.
  • The number of workfare volunteer hours required is based on the fair labor standard act for the total amount of SNAP benefits you receive. In general, it is a smaller number of hours such as 5 hours/week or 20 hours/month or less.
  • The community organization needs to be an official “workfare” site for a volunteer to utilize this option and fulfill the ABAWD work requirements.
  • Connect with WorkSource about workfare options.

A person can claim “good cause” for not meeting the work or community service hours if they were sick, transportation broke down or there was bad weather that shut down the workplace. As long as someone has a job or community service slot but missed work hours for reasons “beyond their control,” DHS should accept this as “good cause” and not terminate the SNAP benefits. If this is the case, please report this to DHS.

If a person does not have an exemption, after receiving the initial three months worth of SNAP benefits, a person may qualify for a second three-month period of SNAP. Certain criteria must be met, such as having worked 80 hours for one month or moving from a waived area, for this one-time extra three months of SNAP benefits. A person may also re-qualify for SNAP, if they have lost benefits because of not meeting ABAWDs requirements, by becoming exempt, such as becoming newly pregnant, or meeting work requirements.

YES! If DHS terminates SNAP benefits for any reason including alleged failure to meet the new work/volunteer requirements or denies an exemption, DHS must send a written notice stating the reasons why. If you feel the decision is incorrect, you have 90 days from the date of the notice to request a hearing, and can request continuing benefits until the hearing is held. You can contact a local DHS office to request a hearing, or go to for more information on hearing rights.


Portland Metro (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington Counties)English and Spanish(español) (1/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Benton CountyEnglish and Spanish (español) (11/17) [PDF, 444 KB]

Clatsop County English and Spanish (español) (7/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Deschutes County English and Spanish (español) (7/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Jackson County English and Spanish (español) (7/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Linn County English and Spanish (español) (7/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Lane CountyEnglish and Spanish (español) (11/17) [PDF, 444 KB]

Marion CountyEnglish and Spanish (español) (11/17) [PDF, 444 KB]

Polk County – English and Spanish (español) (7/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Tillamook County – English and Spanish (español) (7/18) [PDF, 444 KB]

Yamhill CountyEnglish and Spanish (español) (11/17) [PDF, 444 KB]

English (07/2018)

Spanish (español) (07/2018)

Russian (русский) (07/2018)

Arabic (07/2018)