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SNAP Time Limits

If you don't have a child under age 18 on your SNAP case, you may only be able to get SNAP benefits for three months in a three-year period. If you have an exemption or meet work requirements, you can get SNAP benefits for more than three months.

Common questions

Changes as of Jan. 1, 2024

  • Only people who live in Multnomah or Washington county need to meet the work requirements.
    All other counties and all Tribal areas are exempt starting in 2024.
  • The age range for people who need to meet SNAP work requirements has changed.
    The new age range is from 18 to 52.

What you need to do

  • If you get a letter in the mail that says you have "ABAWD status," please contact us as soon as you can.
    This means you may need to start meeting the work requirements. We'll check to see if you are exempt or help you make a plan to meet the work requirements so you can keep your benefits.
  • If you lost SNAP benefits in 2023 because you didn't meet the work requirements, contact us after January 1.
    Depending on where you live, you may be able to start getting benefits again.

How to contact us

  • By phone: 833-947-1694
    • Phone hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday
    • Language interpreters are available
  • By email: snap.abawdteam@odhsoha.oregon.gov
    • Please include in your email:
      • Your full name
      • Your SNAP case number (this will be at the top right of the ABAWD letter you got in the mail)
      • 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

Common questions

"ABAWD" stands for able-bodied adult without dependents. People age 1​8 to 52 who don't have any children under 18 on their SNAP case have an "ABAWD status" unless they are approved for an exemption.

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 exemp​tion.

If you have an ABAWD status, you can keep your SNAP benefits for longer than three months if:

  • You participate in verified work or work-related activities, or
  • You contact us and get approved for an exemption​​
See below for details. 

If you have an ABAWD status and don't have an exemption, you need to do at least one of these things ​if you want SNAP benefits for longer than three months:

  • ​​Work 80 hours a month. This can be paid or unpaid (volunteering or bartering). If self-employed, earnings must be at least $1,160 per month if you have business costs, or $580 if you don't have business costs.
  • Participate in the ABAWD program for 80 hours a month and complete ​the work-related activities listed on your case plan.
  • Do a combination of work (paid or unpaid) and work-related activities listed in your case plan for 80 hours a month.
  • Participate in the Workfare program at the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) rate.​

If you have an ABAWD status and live in one of the following counties, you may need to meet the requirements:

  • From July 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023, people in these counties may need to meet requirements: Clackamas, Deschutes, Jackson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah or Washington 

  • From Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2024 only people in these counties may need to meet requirements: Multnomah or Washington.

You have an ABAWD status if:

  • You are between 18 and 52 years old, and

  • You don't have any children under 18 on your SNAP case.​

Note: The ABAWD status age range will increase starting Oct. 1, 2024, to include people who are 53 and 54 years old without children under 18 in their SNAP case. There’s no action you need to take right now. You’ll receive a notice closer to this date if you need to meet work requirements.

Some people with an ABAWD status are exempt from work requirements. If you think you are exempt, you need to contact us and get​ approved for an exemption.

You may be exempt from work requirements if one or more of these apply to you:

  • You 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.
  • You live in one of these counties:
    • Baker, Clatsop, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, Morrow, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco or Wheeler
      • ​​​More counties will be exempt starting Jan. 1, 2024. Beginning on this date, you may be exempt if you live in any county except Multnomah and Washington county.
  • ​There is a child under 18 living with you who should be receiving food benefits with you.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You are attending school at least half-time.
  • You are caring for a person with a disability, and this prevents you from working.
  • You are attending an alcohol or drug treatment program. This does not include Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) or Narcotic Anonymous (NA) support groups.
  • You are getting unemployment benefits (or have applied and have not been denied).
  • You are working for pay at least 30 hours a week.
  • You are paid at least $935.25 a month for work you do.
  • You are earning at least $935.25 a month from self-employment and have no business costs, or earn at least $1870.50 a month ​and have business costs.
  • You receive money due to a disability.
  • You can't work for health reasons (physical, behavioral or mental health).
  • You are a veteran.
  • You are under age 25 and were in foster care when you turned 18.
  • You are experiencing homelessness. This includes staying at someone else's home for 90 days or less.
  • You have a training plan with a federal refugee resettlement program such as the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO).
  • You are working, volunteering or bartering (working in exchange for something other than money; for example, working for a place to live). You will need to provide proof.

​If you think you are exempt, contact ODHS as soon as possible. We need 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 snap.abawdteam@odhsoha.oregon.gov
    • 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

No. You can choose if you want to participate. This program is one way you can meet the SNAP work requirements.

  • ​If you have an exem​ption from the work requirements, you don't need to participate in the ABAWD program to keep getting SNAP benefits.
  • If you only want three months of SNAP benefits in a 3-year period, you don't need to participate in the ABAWD program.

If you have an ABAWD status and lose your SNAP benefits because you didn't meet the work requirements, you can start receiving SNAP again if you:

  • Have a change in circumstances. This includes things like a new disability, adding a dependent to your SNAP case, or meeting an exem​ption.
  • Move to one of these counties:
    • Baker, Clatsop, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lincoln, Morrow, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco or Wheeler
  • Verify you have completed 80 hours of work activities on your own.
  • Verify you have completed 80 hours of work activities through a case plan with the Oregon Employment Department.​

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) does not discriminate against anyone. This means that ODHS will help all who qualify and will not treat anyone differently. See the USDA nondiscrimination statement for more information.