If you are applying for food stamps (SNAP Benefits) in Illinois, or are currently receiving benefits, it is important to know the Illinois Food Stamps Work Requirements. This will help you get approved for SNAP benefits, as well as prevent you from losing your benefits.
Additionally, if you are considered an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWDs), there are special rules that apply.
Also, we will explain what the Illinois SNAP work registration notice is about and to who it applies.
To learn more about the Illinois Food Stamps Work Requirements for 2022, including how to qualify and who is exempt from the SNAP work requirements, continue reading below.
Illinois Food Stamps Work Requirements
With certain exceptions, able-bodied adults between 16 and 60 years of age must register for work, accept an offer of suitable work, and take part in an employment and training program when referred to one to be able to receive SNAP benefits in the state of Illinois.
There are two sets of work requirements.
If you are aged 16 – 59 and able to work, you will probably need to meet the general work requirements to get SNAP benefits in Illinois.
The general work requirements include:
- Registering for work
- Participating in SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) or workfare if assigned by the Illinois DHS
- Taking a suitable job if offered, and
- Not voluntarily quitting a job or reducing your work hours below 30 a week without a good reason.
Exemptions to the General Work Requirements:
You are excused from the general work requirements if you are any one of these things:
- Already working at least 30 hours a week (or earning wages at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours)
- Meeting work requirements for another program (TANF or unemployment compensation)
- Taking care of a child under 6 or an incapacitated person
- Unable to work due to a physical or mental limitation
- Participating regularly in an alcohol or drug treatment program
- Studying in school or a training program at least half-time (but college students are subject to other eligibility rules).
The Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) Work Requirement and Time Limit
If you are age 18–49, able to work, and don’t have any dependents, you might need to meet both the general work requirements and an additional work requirement for ABAWDs to get SNAP for more than 3 months in 3 years (the time limit).
To receive SNAP for more than three (3) months you have to:
- Work 80 hours per month (paid, unpaid or in-kind work),or
- Participate in a training program, or
- Do community service or workfare for 20 hours per
Who is Required to Meet the Work Requirement?
An able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) who is:
- age 18 through 49; and
- receives SNAP benefits; and
- does not qualify for an exemption.
Who is Exempt from the Work Requirement?
A person is exempt from the Work Requirement if they are:
- Under 18 or 50 years old or older
- Working at least 20 hours/week
- Living with a child under 18 who is on your SNAP case
- Unable to work due to a medical reason (physical or mental)
- Caring for an incapacitated person
- Receiving or applying for unemployment
A regular participant in drug or alcohol treatment
- Eligible student
What are the Ways to Meet the Work Requirements?
Here are the various ways you can meet the Illinois SNAP Work requirements:
- Work average of 80 hours a month (paid, unpaid, or in-kind)
- GED programs
- ESL classes
- Job training programs
- Attending & studying 20 hours a week for college classes through the Perkins program
- Community service
- Volunteering at least 20 hours per week at a community-based organization or church
SNAP Benefits for 3 Months
Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are employable and are between ages 18-49, are limited to only 3 months of SNAP benefits in a 36- month period if they do not meet the SNAP Work Requirement.
A SNAP application prorated benefit month does not count towards the 3 months.
A person must either meet the Work Requirement monthly or qualify for an exemption to continue to receive SNAP in Illinois.
3-Year Fixed Period
The 36-month period in Illinois is a fixed 3-year period.
It began on January 1, 2021, and ends on December 31, 2023.
A new 3-year fixed period will begin 01/01/2024 and end 12/31/2026.
Worked Requirement Time Limit Waived Temporarily
Please NOTE: The Food Stamps Work Requirement Time-Limited benefits policy below is NOT in effect for any county in the State of Illinois, through June 30, 2023.
That is due to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) waiver approval that allows the entire State to continue to be exempt from the SNAP Work Requirement Time-Limited Benefits policy in this section through 06/30/2023.
The Illinois SNAP Work Registration Notice
All SNAP recipients who are not exempt from the work requirements above must register for work.
For SNAP eligibility purposes in Illinois, each member in the SNAP household who does not meet a Work Provision exemption will receive a SNAP Work Registration Notice (Form 2646).
The form indicates that the person receiving it is considered to be registered for work as required by the SNAP Program
I receive SNAP but I can’t complete the work requirements. Will I lose my SNAP?
No. During the Covid emergency, the Illinois DHS suspended the SNAP work requirements that people without dependents had to do.
The SNAP benefits you receive while we are under the public health emergency will not count towards your limit.
Illinois Food Stamps Work Requirements Summary
We hope our post on Illinois Food Stamps Work Requirements was helpful to you!
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