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What are the time-limited work rules?

Some SNAP recipients are limited to three months of SNAP benefits in a 36-month (3-year) period, unless they meet work requirements (see below). SNAP's current 36-month period is from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2025.

Who has to follow time-limited work rules? 

SNAP recipients may have to follow time-limited work rules if they:

  • Are 18 - 52 years old 
  • Do not have a mental or physical health condition stopping them from working; and
  • Do not live with a dependent/child under age 18

You may not have to follow the time-limited work rules

You may not have to follow the time-limited work rules if you are: 

  • Pregnant
  • Experiencing homelessness
  • Not working because of a physical or mental health condition
  • Age 24 or younger and were in foster care on your 18th birthday
  • Served in the U.S. Military regardless of your discharge status
  • Getting unemployment benefits, or you applied for unemployment benefits
  • Going to school, college, or training program at least 20 hours per week
  • Taking part in a drug or alcohol addiction treatment program
  • Taking care of someone who is disabled or ill
  • Earning $217.50 or more per week already.

How to request an exemption

Call your county or Tribal Nation eligibility worker. If they confirm that you are exempt, you will not have to follow the time-limited work rules. 

If the county or Tribal Nation human services office cannot verify your exemption, they will ask you for verification. 

How to meet the work requirements

Spend at least 80 hours each month doing one or a combination of the following work activities: 

  • Working 
  • Taking part in a job training or work program or
  • Volunteering

Find an approved training program through the SNAP Employment and Training program. Use the provider map to find organizations that offer qualifying education and training activities. 

What if I don't meet the work requirements? 

If you choose to try and meet the work requirements, you can gain additional months by following the work rules. If you fail to meet the work requirements for any three months, you will not be eligible for SNAP for the rest of the 36-month period unless you start meeting the work requirement or become exempt from the rules.

Waived areas

Certain areas of Minnesota are exempt from the time-limited work rules. Areas are exempt if they have unemployment rates of over 10 percent, or there are not enough jobs for the individuals living there. You are exempt from the time-limited work rules if you live in one of the following waived areas:

  • Clearwater County
  • Mahnomen County
  • Bois Forte Reservation
  • Fond du Lac Reservation
  • Grand Portage Reservation
  • Leech Lake Reservation
  • Mille Lacs Reservation
  • Prairie Island Community Reservation
  • Red Lake Reservation
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Reservation
  • White Earth Reservation

The current list of waived areas is effective July 1, 2023. This information is subject to change.

Need extra help?

We understand that this is a hard time for many Minnesotans. The following resources are available to help provide extra food help.

Minnesota Food Helpline provides help to people looking for food shelves, farmer’s markets, market bucks and food programs. Call 1-888-711-1151 or visit MN Food Helpline does not have case-specific information. helps people with applying and recertifying for SNAP benefits.

2-1-1 provides a variety of human services resources and information. Call 2-1-1 or visit for help with food resources, energy assistance, rent assistance, and more.

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