SNAP Rights and Responsibilities

Woman using her mobile phone on a street sidewalk

Find your responsibilities as a SNAP recipient here.

Quick Help

Read carefully through these requirements to keep your SNAP benefits in good standing.


All SNAP households have both rights and responsibilities.

SNAP Rights and Responsibilities: English Spanish | Vietnamese

Details about work requirements for Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs), changes to your situation that must be reported to MDHS, and the requirement to cooperate with child support are all provided below.

Work Requirements for Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs)

An Able Bodied Adult Without Dependents (ABAWD) is eligible for SNAP benefits for only three months in a 36-month period, unless they meet an ABAWD work requirement or qualify for an exemption.

  • Individuals who are under 18 or over 52 years of age
  • Physically or mentally unable to work
  • Responsible for a dependent child or pregnant
  • A homeless individual
  • A US Armed Service Veteran
  • An individual age 24 or younger who was under the responsibility of the State’s foster care system on the day of the individual’s 18th birthday
  • Exempt from general SNAP work requirements (see below)
  • Those caring for an incapacitated person
  • Enrolled at least half-time in school
  • Participating in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program
  • Working a minimum of 30 hours per week or earning weekly wages equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours
  • Receiving unemployment compensation
  • Complying with the work requirements of another program
  • Responsible for a child under the age of 6
  • Mentally or physically unfit for employment
  • Under 16 or over 60 years of age

Reporting Changes to Your income or household Composition

Eligible SNAP households must report the following changes within 10 days of the date the household becomes aware of the change:

  • changes of more than $125 in the amount of gross earned income (such as wages, tips, bonuses, self-employment, etc.)
  • changes of more than $125 in the amount of gross unearned income (such as social security/railroad retirement, other disability, VA income, pensions, unemployment, child support, alimony, money received from other people, worker’s compensation, etc.);
  • a change in the source of income;
  • changes in household composition, such as any person(s) moving in or out of the household;
  • a change in residence and any resulting shelter cost (such as rent/mortgage and utilities) changes;
  • changes in court-ordered child support;
  • a change in liquid resources, such as cash, stocks, bonds, and bank accounts.
  • for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) subject to the time limits, a change in work hours that causes an individual to be below 20 hours per week, averaged monthly.

SNAP households receiving substantial gambling or lottery winnings of $4,250 or more must report this change within 10 days of receipt of the winnings.  Households receiving substantial gambling or lottery winnings are ineligible to receive SNAP.

If the household fails to report a required change and receives extra SNAP benefits, the value of these benefits will have to be repaid. The person could also be prosecuted for fraud.

Cooperating with Child Support

To receive SNAP benefits, you are required to cooperate with the child support program.

What is Meant by Cooperation?

The law requires you to cooperate with the State to get any child support owed to you and any children for whom you request TANF or SNAP unless you have good cause.

In cooperating with the State you may be asked to do one or more of the following things:

  • Name the parent of any child for whom you are applying or receiving TANF or SNAP benefits and give information needed to help find the parent;
  • Help to legally establish paternity, if your child was born out of wedlock;
  • Help to obtain money and/or medical support owed to you and/or children on assistance;
  • Come to the local child support enforcement office or to court to sign papers or give necessary information;
  • Submit to genetic testing.

County Offices

    Friendly customer support person

    Contact Us

    Economic Assistance Eligibility Client Services

    Need help with your SNAP or TANF case? Call our EAE Client Services team at 800-948-3050.

    County Offices