Arkansas Approves New Requirement for Some SNAP Recipients

May 9, 2019

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Pader Moua, MPH
Policy Analyst

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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.
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