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Are there work rules for SNAP?

Produced by Patricia Baker and Victoria Negus
Reviewed January 2018

Any member of your family who is age 16 to age 60 and not exempt must register for work as part of the SNAP application process and accept any suitable job offers. 106 C.M.R. § 362.310. SNAP work registration rules are different from the ABAWD three-month time limit and ABAWD work rules. See What is the “ABAWD” 3-month time limit for childless adults age 18 to 50?

When you sign the SNAP application, you are also agreeing to register for work. This means that, unless you are exempt, you agree:

  • You will not quit a job unless you have a good reason (“good cause”). This applies to jobs that are 30 hours per week or more. 
  • If you are working 30 hours or more, you will not reduce your hours to less than 30 hours a week unless you have a good reason. 
  • If you are offered a job, you must accept it unless you have a good reason to refuse.

See What is considered “good cause” if you recently quit a job? for more good cause reasons.

Are there exemptions from the work rules?

Yes. The SNAP rules provide key exemptions from these “work registration” rules including if you:

  • get TAFDC or EAEDC
  • are pregnant (in your third trimester or later)
  • are physically or mentally unfit for employment 
  • earn more than $217.50 per week
  • are a student attending school at least half-time
  • have applied for or get Unemployment Benefits
  • care for a child under age 6 or a person with a disability (this person does not need to live with you)
  • are in a substance abuse treatment program

For a complete list, see 106 C.M.R. § 362.310(B)

These exemptions are most important if DTA thinks you voluntarily quit a job within the past 60 days, or if you are on strike.  They are similar to but more limited than the ABAWD time limit exemptions.

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