Arkansas Approves New Requirement for Some SNAP Recipients

May 9, 2019

White books


Pader Moua, MPH
Policy Analyst


Some recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Arkansas will be newly subject to work-related requirements by October 2021.

During the 2019 regular session, the Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation requiring all SNAP recipients who are age 16 to 59, do not have a dependent younger than age 6, and are not otherwise subject to work requirements, to participate in the SNAP employment and training program (SNAP E&T).

States are required to operate a SNAP E&T program, but they can decide whether to make SNAP E&T participation mandatory and have flexibility in determining who must participate.

Non-exempt[1] SNAP recipients age 16 to 59, a group which includes the able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) population, are already required to register for work and to accept a suitable job if offered. If working, these recipients are also prohibited from decreasing work hours to below 30 hours and from voluntarily quitting a job of 30 or more hours per week without good cause. As ABAWDs already are required to work 20 hours a week or participate in a qualifying program, the impact of this new requirement may be more noticeable among non-ABAWDs.

[1] Some exemptions include school attendance at least half-time, being physically or mentally unfit for unemployment, or caring for a child under age 6 or an incapacitated person.