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Food Benefits

​If you get an ABAWD notice in the m​ail, you need to take action to keep your SNAP benefits.

Learn more​​  En español​

​​​​​​​​Oregon has two employment and training programs f​or people receiving SNAP.​

Both programs help people receiving SNAP reach their employment goals. These programs are voluntary.

SNAP Training and Employment Program (STEP)

Who c​​an participate in STEP

The STEP program supports employment, training and education opportunities for people in Oregon who:

  • Are receiving SNAP benefits,
  • Are at least 16 years old, and
  • Are not receiving TANF benefits. (TANF is Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. If you are receiving TANF and would like employment and training support, please reach out to your ODHS Family Coach.)

How STEP works

  • STEP helps people access skills, training and education to get the job they want.
  • The program includes one-on-one support. 
  • In some cases, STEP may even cover the cost of training, textbooks, gas, bus tickets, housing and utility costs, child care and work clothes. 
  • Participating in STEP will not change your SNAP benefits.

Learn more about ST​EP

If you are receiving SNAP and would like more information about STEP:

  • Call 800-699-9075 and ask for a referral to a SNAP Employment and Training Navigator. 
  • ​​Phone hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) Program​

Who can participate in the ABAWD program

This program is only for people getting SNAP benefits who: 

  • Are 18 to 49 years old,
  • Don't have any children under 18 years old on their SNAP case, and
  • ​Don't meet an exemption or live in a waived county

Benefits of participating

Because of federal rules, people with an ABAWD status can usually only get three​ months of SNAP benefits in a 3-year​ period unless they meet work requirements or have an exemption. 

If you participate in the ABAWD program and complete 80 hours of work-related activities each month, you can continue receiving SNAP.


Some people with an ABAWD status can keep getting SNAP benefits without participating in the ABAWD program. Visit the SNAP Time Limits page to see who is exempt. If you think you are exempt, ​contact ODHS as soon as possible. ODHS needs to approve your exemption.

To participate​ or request an exemption​

If you want to participate in the ABAWD program, or want to request an exemption, please contact ODHS:

  • 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
    • Please include in your email:
      • Your full name
      • Your SNAP case number
      • Your contact information and a good time to reach you​
      • A list of any exemptions you think you might meet, work activities you are currently participating in, and proof of these if necessary​

How the ABAWD Program works

  • ABAWD participants work with WorkSource Oregon to create an employment plan to reach their goals and keep their SNAP benefits.
  • The program includes one-on-one support. 
  • In some cases, the ABAWD program may even cover the cost of training, textbooks, gas, bus tickets, housing and utility costs, and work clothes.​

What to expect if you participate

You can visit the Oregon Employment Department website​ to watch a video about the program and the next steps you will take. Some of the opportunities include:

  • Supervised Job Search
  • Job Search training
  • Job Retention
  • Work Experience
  • Work Experience with Subsidized Employment
  • Internship
  • Internship with Subsidized Employment
  • On-the-Job Training
  • Pre-Apprenticeship
  • Apprenticeship
  • Pre-Apprenticeship with Subsidized Employment
  • Apprenticeship with Subsidized Employment
  • Self-Employment Training
  • Basic Education/Foundational Skills Instruction
  • Career/Technical Education or other Vocational Training
  • Short-term Training
  • English Language Acquisition
  • Integrated Education and Training/Bridge Programs
  • Work Readiness Training​

Learn more about the ABAWD program

Visit the Oregon Employment Department w​ebsite for program details​.

SNAP time limits are returning July 1, 2023 for some ​people who have an ABAWD status. Learn how to meet the work ​requirements ​and who is exempt.​​