Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD)

Created on: 
Nov 19 2019

Online Processing

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.

Who is an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD)?

Clients aged 18-49 who are physically and mentally able to work with no minor children in the household are considered an ABAWD. See EAZ Manual – WAC 388-444-0030 Do I have to work to be eligible for Basic Food benefits if I am an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD)?

How long can a non-exempt Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) receive Basic Food?

Effective January 1, 2018, all non-exempt ABAWDs are only eligible to receive three full months of Basic Food in a 36-month period when they are not meeting the ABAWD work requirements.  See EAZ Manual – WAC 388-444-0030 Do I have to work to be eligible for Basic Food benefits if I am an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD)?

When does ACES update the Work Registration/Exempt Reason for a client who is exempt from work registration?

On the Work Registration/Participation – Food page, ACES defaults the Exempt Reason for a pending or active client on a Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) when the following criteria are met:

  • Age (AG) if the client is less than 16 years old or 60 and older.
  • Federally/State Determined Disabled (FD) if the client is 16 to 59 years old and has one of the following Approval Source codes in the Disability / Incapacitated / Psychiatric section:
    • Blind Services (BL)
    • Disabled/Blind & ADATSA Shelter (DP)
    • Disabled/Blind & ADATSA Treatment (DA)
    • HWD DDDS Approval (CD)
    • HWD DDDS Waived (HD)
    • Gov’t Disability Benefits (GT)
    • ODI & DDD Services (OD)
    • ODI & PED (OP)
    • NGMA/ODI (OI)
    • ODI Re-exam Waived (OW)
    • PEP & Blind Services (PB) (if active on a GA-A/B/D/X AU)
    • PEP & GAX Approved Non-ADATSA (PX) (if active on a GA-A/B/D/X AU)
    • RR Retirement Disability (RR)
    • SSDI (SA)
    • SSI (SI)
    • VA 100% Disability (VB)
    • PEP & GAX Approved ADATSA Shelter (XS)
  • Ineligible Alien (IA) if the client is 16 to 59 years old and citizenship status is Undocumented Alien (U).
  • Student (ST) if the client is 16 to 59 years old, student status is Half Time (HT) or Full Time (FT), and Education Level is not Personal Employment Plan (PE).
  • Employment (EM) if the client is 16 to 59 years old and the total of any of the following Earned Income types is greater than or equal to federal minimum wage x 30 hours per week x 4.3:
    • Blood/Plasma (BS)
    • Board and Room Income (BR)
    • Census Income (CI)
    • Earned Income (EI)
    • Farming/Fishing Income (FF)
    • Migrant Worker Income (MI)
    • On the Job Training (OJ)
    • Seasonal Farm Worker Income (SF)
    • Seasonal Income (SI)
    • Self-Employment Earned Income (SE)
    • Subsidized Employment FS Countable (SC)
    • Workforce Investment Act OJT (WJ)
    • Countable Work Study (WS)
    • Excluded Work Study (WT)
    • State-Funded Work Study (WZ)
  • UC Benefits (UC) if the client is 16 to 59 years old and has one or more of the following Unearned Income type codes:
    • Unemployment Compensation (UC)
    • Federal Stimulus UC Payment (UX)
    • UC due to Seasonal Farm Work (UF)
    • Temporary Unemployment Compensation (UT)
  • Physically or Mentally Unable to Work (TI) if the client is 16 to 59 years old and has Unearned Income type L&I Benefits (LI).
  • Drug/Alcohol Treatment (DR) if the client is 16 to 59 years old and the Living Arrangement is updated to ADATSA Residential/Contracted (AR) or Non-ADATSA Treatment Center (NA).

NOTE: When ACES sets the Exempt Reason to a code listed above, Participation Status is set to Exempt Not Participating (NI) and the fields cannot be changed. When one of the following Exempt Reason codes already exists on the Work Registration/Participation – Food page, ACES doesn’t update them automatically based on the above criteria:

  • FS Only-Participation WorkFirst (PC)
  • Caretaker (CA)
  • Refugee Work Exempt (RF)

When does ACES update the Work Registration/Participation Status to ABAWD (AB)?

On the Work Registration/Participation – Food page, ACES updates the Participation Status to ABAWD (AB) for pending or active clients on a Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) when:

  • The client is age 18 to 49 years old; and
  • There is no minor child in the AU; and
  • The client is not exempt from work registration.

When does ACES update Work Registration/Exempt Reason to Exempt Area (EA)?

On the Work Registration/Participation – Food page, ACES updates the Exempt Reason to Exempt Area (EA) when the Participation Status is ABAWD (AB) and the residential address has a county or Indian Country code identified as exempt.

When does ACES update Work Registration/Exempt Reason to Pregnancy (PR)?

On the Work Registration/Participation – Food page, ACES updates the Exempt Reason to Pregnancy (PR) when:

  • A future due date is added in the ongoing month, and
  • Participation Status is currently ABAWD (AB), and
  • The Exempt Reason is currently blank.

Which benefits months does ACES update when Participation Status and Exempt Reasons change?

When Participation Status and Exempt Reasons change, ACES updates the Participation Status and Exempt Reason fields in the following benefit months:

  • On a pending Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) or when a client is added to an active AU, ACES updates pending clients for all benefit months the client(s) is pending; or
  • On an active Basic Food AU, ACES updates the ongoing benefit month for active clients.

Online Processing

ACES uses the information entered on the Work Registration/Participation - Food page along with client demographics to determine eligibility for Basic Food.

How do I view a client's Work Registration/Participation Status in ACES.online?

To view a client’s Work Registration and Participation Status in ACES.online, take the following steps:

  1. From the Client Summary page, select Work Registration from the Details dropdown menu. 
  2. The Work Registration page displays the client's participation status. 
NOTE: This is a view only page and changes cannot be made.

How do I record Non-Qualifying Work Months when an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) isn’t participating?

When an ABAWD client isn’t participating in a required activity, take the following steps:

  1. On the Work Registration/Participation – Food page in ACES 3G, update the following fields:
  • Non-Qualifying Work Months field – Enter the [MM/YYYY] for each month the ABAWD client failed to meet requirements.
    • There are fields to enter the 1st, 2nd and 3rd non-qualifying months. Dates entered in these fields must be in chronological order.
    • This information copies forward from month to month and isn’t protected so it can be changed as needed. ACES terminates the client when a date is entered in the 3rd Non-Qualifying Work Months field if the month/year entered is before the benefit month being processed.
EXAMPLE: A client has already used Non-Qualifying Work Months 07/2019 and 08/2019. Then on 8/17/2019, a third non-qualifying month 09/2019 is entered into the ongoing month. Since 09/2019 is not before the ongoing month of 9/2019, the system does not terminate the client. After monthly issuance, the ongoing month becomes 10/2019 and the client is terminated when the case is recalculated.
EXAMPLE:  On 9/14/2019, a 3rd Non-Qualifying Work Month of 09/2019 is entered. Since 09/2019 is before the ongoing month of 10/2019, ACES terminates the client with Reason: Failed ABAWD requirements (258).

How do I disqualify a client for not meeting Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) requirements if there are other eligible clients in the Basic Food AU?

When a client no longer meets ABAWD requirements but there are other eligible clients on the Basic Food AU, take these steps to disqualify the client:

  1. On the Work Registration page for the ABAWD client who’s no longer eligible, select Refused (RE) from the Work Status drop down menu.  
  2. Click Eligibility and then on the Details link.
  • The client's financial responsibility code in flips to Non IPV Disqualified (ND) with Reason: Failed ABAWD Requirements (258).
  • If income is entered on the ND client’s Earned Income page, ACES prorates the income based on the number of eligible and ineligible household members. It then uses the eligible client’s portion of the income in the Basic Food calculation.
  • ACES looks to see if the ND client with income has shelter expenses and utilities coded on their Shelter Expenses page. These expenses are allowed and are budgeted the same as a non-disqualified member.
  • If the utility standard on any household member’s Shelter Expenses page is coded Standard (S) or Limited (L), ACES determines the appropriate standard. If using Standard (S), the amount is based on the total number of household members. This amount will also include the ND client.
  1. On the Eligibility Details page, review the benefit computation to ensure that all income and resources are counted correctly.
  2. Click on Confirm Benefits then on Commit Changes.

How do I lift an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) disqualification for a pending Basic Food AU?

When a client was terminated for not meeting ABAWD requirements and reapplies, take these steps to lift the disqualification:

  1. On the Work Registration/Participation - Food page, update the following fields:
  • Re-Qualifying Date field – Enter the requalifying date as [MM/DD/YYYY].
NOTE: The Re-Qualifying Date must be less than or equal to the application date, but not more than 30 days prior to the application date.
EXAMPLE: A one person household Basic Food AU with an ABAWD client closed effective 03/31/2019 because the client didn’t meet ABAWD work requirements. The client reapplies on 04/15/2019 and during the interview, it’s determined the client re-qualifies because they worked 80 hours within the last thirty days. Enter [04/15/2019] in the Re-Qualifying Date field and if otherwise eligible, the begin date of Basic Food benefits is 04/15/2019.

How do I lift an Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) disqualification for a client on an active Basic Food AU?

When a Basic Food AU includes an active client with financial responsibility Non IPV Disqualified (ND) and Reason: Failed ABAWD Requirements (258), take the following steps in each benefit month the client re-qualifies to lift the disqualification:

  1. On Client Details page for disqualified client, update the following fields:
  • Eligibility Established Date field – Enter the [date client re-qualifies] in the Food section.
  1. On Work Registration/Participation - Food page, update the following fields:
  • Re-Qualifying Date field - Enter the [date client re-qualifies].
NOTE: The Re-Qualifying Date and the Eligibility Established Date must be the same or the disqualification will not be lifted.
  1. On the Eligibility page, click Details.
  2. On the Eligibility Details page, verify the following then click Confirm Benefits:
  • Reason: Failed ABAWD Requirement (258) was removed; and
  • Financial Responsibility code changed from Non IPV disqualified (ND) to Recipient (RE).
  1. On the Eligibility page, click Commit Changes.

What is the Subsequent Non-Qualifying Work Months field?

If the client re-qualifies for Basic Food after an initial non-qualifying three-month period, and then again fails to meet the ABAWD requirements, they may be eligible for another three months of benefits. See EA-Z Manual – WAC 388-444-0045 How does an ABAWD regain eligibility for Basic Food after being closed for the three-month limit?

The second three months, after the initial non-qualifying period, can only happen once per client in a 36 month period. ACES determines eligibility and tracks this using the Subsequent Non-Qualifying Work Months field on the Work Registration/Participation - Food page when the Work Status field is Refused (RE):

  • ACES determines the months of the second three-month period of eligibility based on the date entered in this field. The three-month period is the three consecutive months immediately following the date entered in the Subsequent Non-Qualifying Work Months box.
  • If the client is in the middle of a certification period, ACES closes the Assistance Unit (AU) with Reason: Failed ABAWD Requirements (258) at the end of the third month or at the end of the certification period whichever is earlier.

How do I code a client with a pending UC (Unemployment Compensation) application?

To code a client with a pending UC application, to ensure on the Work Registration/Participation – Food page the Exempt Reason/Participation Status update to UC Benefits (UC)/Exempt Not Participating (NI), take the following steps:

  1. On the Income page, click the Add button.
  2. In the Add pop up window, select the following:
  • Income section - Click Other Agency Application/Benefit.
  • Client field - Select the client from the dropdown menu.
  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Other Agency Application/Benefit page, update the following fields:
  • Type field – Select UC (UC).
  • Status field – Select Pending Application (P).
  • Date field – Enter the [Date client applied for UC, if known, or interview date].
NOTE: If the UC application is approved or denied, delete UC coding in the Other Agency Application/Benefit section.

How do I code a client receiving private Worker’s Compensation benefits?

To code a client receiving a Worker’s Compensation benefit from a private source, to ensure on the Work Registration/Participation – Food page the Exempt Reason/Participation Status update to Physically or Mentally Unable to Work (TI)/Exempt Not Participating (NI), take the following steps:

  1. On the Income page, click the Add button.
  2. In the Add pop up window, select the following:
  • Income section - Click Other Agency Application/Benefit.
  • Client field - Select the client from the dropdown menu.
  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Other Agency Application/Benefit page, update the following fields:
  • Type field – Select Workers Comp (LI).
  • Status field – Select Approved (A).
  • Date field – Enter the [Date client began receiving private worker’s compensation, if known, or interview date].
NOTE: If the client stops receiving private Worker’s Compensation income, delete LI coding in the Other Agency Application/Benefit section.

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.