Skip to main content
ClearingHouse Community Menu ≡

ABAWDs and the SNAP Time Limit: Litigation & Policy Strategies

with Andrew Hammond, MacKenzie Speer, & Saima Akhtar

The three-month time limit on SNAP benefits for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) was suspended during the Great Recession. But as unemployment rates have gone down, states have begun to reinstitute the time limit. As a result, SNAP recipients with significant barriers to work are losing this vital food assistance. Poverty law advocates across the country are working to make sure states’ implementation of the SNAP time limit is lawful. What legal handles are they using?

In this episode of the Advocacy Exchange, our monthly conversation with advocates advancing change, we talked with Andrew Hammond and MacKenzie Speer of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law and Saima Akhtar of the Empire Justice Center about the litigation and policy tools advocates across the country are using to protect SNAP benefits for recipients who could soon face a harsh time limit. 

For more on this topic, be sure to read Hammond and Speer’s Clearinghouse article, SNAP’s Time Limit: Emerging Issues in Litigation and Implementation


Class Action ComplaintMo v. Carroll, No. 4:16-cv-00780 (N.D. Fla. Dec. 15, 2016).

Class Action ComplaintBrooks v. Roberts, No. 1:16-cv-01025 (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 19, 2016).

Kelsey Farson Gray, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2013, at 71 (Dec. 2014) (table estimating number of ABAWDs in each state).

State Employment and Training (E&T) Plan Templates 6 (n.d.) (form includes space for state to list number of ABAWDs for upcoming fiscal year; states use this form to complete their State Employment and Training Plan, which is public document that advocates can request).


↑ Go up to the top.