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Changes to SNAP (Food Stamps)

Written by Legal Aid WV


Since July 1, 2023, West Virginia has implemented statewide work requirements and time limits for certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) recipients.  This is called the Able-Bodied Adult Without Dependent Work requirement.

Starting October 1, 2023, there are some changes to the work requirements.

Age: People ages 18 to 52 who do not have a child or aged/disabled person to care for and are “fit” to work are limited to three months of SNAP benefits within a three-year period unless they meet work requirements or qualify for an exemption.

Before October 1, 2023, the work requirements applied to people up to age 49.  Now, if you are between ages 50-52 the work requirements may apply to you. 

The age limit will increase again on October 1, 2024, when people up to age 54 will have to meet work requirements or qualify for an exemption.

New Exemptions from the Work Requirement: People may be exempt from the work requirement and time limit for receiving food stamps if they meet certain situations. 

As of October 1, 2023, there are new exemptions from the work requirement for:

  • People who are homeless, and
  • Young adults aged 24 and younger who were in foster care on their 18th birthday.

People are also exempt from work requirements and time limits for receiving benefits if their circumstances meet any of the following criteria:

  1. A doctor gives a statement to DHHR saying you are mentally or physically “unfit” for work
  2. You are pregnant
  3. You are in a drug or alcohol treatment program, if that program prohibits employment
  4. You get unemployment compensation
  5. You get disability benefits from the government or an employer
  6. You have children who are not old enough for school
  7. You get SNAP benefits with someone under the age of 18
  8. You are responsible for the care of a disabled adult
  9. You are at least a half-time student, and follow SNAP rules

For more information about the work requirements, exemptions and how to get help, read this article or apply for help.

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