Who is an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD)? 

This is any person receiving SNAP benefits who: 

  • Is at least 18 but not yet 50 years of age
  • Doesn’t have a child under the age of 18 receiving SNAP benefits with them  

What are SNAP time limits? 

Federal rules limit SNAP benefits to three months in a three-year period for Able-Bodied  Adults Without Dependents. Due to the Federal Public Health Emergency related to the COVID Pandemic, this rule was suspended April 2020 through January 2023, but has since been reinstated.

Note: You are able to receive SNAP benefits for more than the three-month time limit if you meet the “work requirements,” or have an “exemption.”

What are the work requirements for ABAWDs? 

An Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents can receive SNAP for longer than three months if they participate in verified work activities. These activities may include one of the following: 

  • Working, no less than 80 hours a month. This may be paid or unpaid (volunteering or  bartering). If self-employed, earnings must be at least $1,160 per month including  business costs or $580 without business costs. 
  • Participate in the Oregon Employment Department’s (OED) ABAWD program for no less than 80 hours a month completing  the work-related activities listed on their OED ABAWD case plan. 
  • A combination of no less than 80 hours a month of working (paid or unpaid) and  participating in work-related activities listed in their OED ABAWD case plan. 
  • Participating in Workfare at the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) rate.  

Do all Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents have to do the work requirements?

No. They may choose not to participate in the OED ABAWD Program and simply receive three months of SNAP. In addition, they may have a reason which prevents them from working. We call these reasons “exemptions.” Below is a list of allowable exemptions for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents. If a person believes they meet an exemption, they need to let ODHS know as soon as possible. Only ODHS can determine if a person meets an exemption. The ODHS staff will let them know if verification is required.  

Exemptions are grouped into a few categories:

The first category is exemptions that prevent the person from working and thus being able to meet the work requirements. In Oregon, a verbal statement is accepted for these: 

  • Unable to work due to mental, behavioral, or physical health issues. This is one of the most common reasons to exempt a person. It is meant to be broad. There are many ways to meet this exemption. Examples may include: 
    • A person receiving disability income or accident insurance payments.
    • A person receiving wrap-around services. Wrap-around services are defined as a range of services provided by community agencies addressing a person’s needs which include medical or health issues preventing them from obtaining or maintaining employment. 
  • A doctor’s statement is not required. However, they may be asked follow-up questions to help make the determination. 
  • Enrolled in School at least half-time. This includes students attending: 
    • High School. 
    • College. 
    • Training Programs. 
    • Adult Basic Education, General Education Development, or English as a Second  Language classes. 
  • Refugees engaged in Training Plans with a local Federal Refugee Resettlement Program. 
  • Participating in an Alcohol or Drug Treatment Program. This may be either an in-patient or out-patient program, it cannot solely be attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings. 
  • Responsible for caring for a person who requires assistance in caring for themself. It is not necessary for them to live together. This does not include people who are getting paid to provide care.  
  • A person is pregnant.

The second category of exemptions are considered equivalent to the work requirements. These work-related exemptions require verification and include the following: 

  • Working 30 hours a week or earning at least $935.25 a month 
  • Self-employed and earning at least $935.25 a month without business costs  and $1870.50 with business costs  
  • Applied for or receiving Unemployment Benefits. This includes persons in the appeal process doing the federally required weekly activities 
  • Participating in a TANF JOBS plan 
  • You are working, volunteering or bartering (You will need to provide proof).

There is a third category of exemptions known as discretionary exemptions. Oregon may determine the criteria for these exemptions, and may expand these, at its discretion, to a limited number of people subject to the SNAP time limits. Due to the limited number of discretionary exemptions available, Oregon will apply them in the following counties. These counties were selected because they either have no local WorkSource centers, are considered extremely rural, or have limited access to employment services:

Counties where discretionary exemptions will be applied when appropriate:
Wheeler  Lake  Crook
Gilliam  Harney  Curry
Sherman  Morrow  Union
Wallowa  Hood River  Wasco
Grant  Baker  Malheur

A person is also exempt from the SNAP time limits if they live on the Tribal Lands of the Burns Paiute Tribe; Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw; Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians; Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde; Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation; Coquille Indian Tribe; or Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.


If you think you might be exempt, contact ODHS as soon as possible. ODHS needs to approve your exemption.

  • By phone at 833-947-1694
    • ​Phone hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. 
    • ​Language interpreters available.
  • By email at [email protected]
    • Please include in your email:
      • Your full name
      • Your SNAP case number
      • Your contact information and a good time to reach you.

For more details, visit the SNAP Time Limits FAQ and contact your local ODHS Office (see list below) if you have any questions about your SNAP benefits.

Contact Your Local DHS Office:

  • 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