At the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government declared a public health emergency (PHE). As part of the PHE, Congress enacted The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021.
The FFCRA temporarily changed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility criteria for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs). The CAA changed these criteria for students enrolled in an institution of higher education.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the PHE PHE for COVID-19 ended on May 11, 2023.
ABAWDs are Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents. This rule may apply to you if you are between the ages of 18 and 49, do not live with a child under 18 in your SNAP household, and are considered physically and mentally able to work.
What was the flexibility for ABAWD Time Limits?
The FFCRA required Nebraska's SNAP program to temporarily suspend the time limits for ABAWDs beginning April 1, 2020. Typically, individuals aged 18-49 with no dependent children under 18 who are considered physically and mentally able to work are limited to 3 time-limited months of SNAP benefits in 36 months unless they meet the ABAWD work rules or an exemption.
See the below documents to see if you are subject to these rules:
This suspension of time-limited months expires on June 30, 2023. As of July 1, 2023, the time limits for ABAWDs will resume. If you do not meet the ABAWD work rules or an exemption, you will be subject to time-limited SNAP benefits.
For SNAP purposes, you are a student if you are enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education. This means you are enrolled in the following:
Programs like remedial education, continuing or community education, professional development, English for Speakers of Other Languages, and workforce development/training programs are not considered part of a regular curriculum. If you are in a program like this, you are not a student for SNAP purposes.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 required states to add two student exemptions for the SNAP Program temporarily. These temporary student exemptions applied to students who met either of the following:
If you are initially applying for SNAP, this temporary exemption will end on June 10, 2023.
If you recertify your SNAP after June 30, 2023, and you are considered a student, you or your situation must fit into specific categories called student exemptions. As always, students must also meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements to receive SNAP.
See the below documents to see if you meet another student exemption: