CalFresh ABAWD Time Limit Waiver Approved: Three Counties Will Lose Waiver Sept 1, 2018


The California Department of Social Services CalFresh Branch announced today that the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved an extension of the waiver of the three-month CalFresh time limit for unemployed adults without minor children. Though the statewide waiver will expire August 31, 2018, 55 of 58 counties will continue to waive the time limit through at least August 31, 2019. The three counties losing the waiver, due to their relatively lower unemployment rate, are San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.

The state is to be commended for securing the waiver extension, which will continue to waive the time limit for the majority of CalFresh participants who would otherwise be subject to the harsh and punitive three-month time limit. It will also provide additional time to prepare and train program administrators in other counties in the implementation of the complex ABAWD time-limit rules in order to mitigate loss of benefits for CalFresh recipients.

Read the waiver approval letter from FNS. PDF


The three-month CalFresh time limit for unemployed, childless adults, also known as "able-bodied adults without dependents" (ABAWDs), will go back into effect September 1, 2018 in three California counties, and will likely continue to affect new areas beyond 2018.

This is a federal law that was waived in the state for many years due to high unemployment. Individuals considered to have ABAWD status may only receive CalFresh benefits for a total of three full months within a 36-month period, unless the person meets an exemption or complies with certain harsh "work requirements."

Stay up to date on the return of the time limit on CFPA's ABAWD Time Limit page. link

Learn more about the return of the three-month time limit from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. PDF

Questions? Contact Jared Call at 213.482.8200 ext. 201