New Statewide ABAWD Time Limit Waiver Approved

Published on Jun 28, 2021 in Adults, CalFresh, State Administration

The California Department of Social Services CalFresh Branch request to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to waive the three-month CalFresh time limit for unemployed adults without minor children in ALL California counties has been approved through June 30, 2022.

Read USDA’s waiver approval letter. PDF

The state is to be commended for securing this waiver extension, which will waive the time limit in the aftermath of the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. As food insecurity rose in tandem with unemployment, it is vital that the harsh and punitive time limits be waived to alleviate hunger among Californians unable to secure employment.


The three-month CalFresh time limit for unemployed, childless adults, also known as “able-bodied adults without dependents” (ABAWDs), is a federal law that was waived 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.” The rule has not been shown to improve employment outcomes, only to cut people off from vital food assistance while they are struggling to find steady employment.

Learn more about SNAP/CalFresh time limits and why the policy should be discontinued on Nourish California’s ABAWD Time Limit page and from our partners at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Questions? Contact Jared Call at 323.401.4972



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