As you may have heard, the USDA has proposed a rule change that would limit states’ abilities to apply for and receive ABAWD (Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents) waivers. Currently, states have the ability to apply to have the time-limits and work requirements waived in areas of high unemployment and low employment opportunities. The proposed rule change
would alter the criteria states must meet in order to qualify for these waivers that assist households struggling to find consistent and well paid employment. If this change were to go into place, only 4 counties in Illinois would be eligible for the waiver, none of which are in the Food Bank’s service area.
Last year, DuPage County lost its eligibility for the ABAWD waiver and half of the ABAWDs that lived in DuPage lost their benefits. According to the USDA, over 700,000 individuals across the nation would be impacted by this rule change and we expect hundreds of thousands
of Illinois residents to lose their benefits.