SNAP Companion Program: What Is SNAP E&T and How Does It Apply to Recipients?

elderly woman purchasing fresh produce with SNAP

SNAP Employment and Training, or SNAP E&T, helps SNAP recipients gain the skills, training or work experience they need to find and hold a stable job. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires states to have a SNAP E&T program, which is provided with $300 million annually to administer them.

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SNAP E&T is part of SNAP’s general work requirements. According to the USDA, participants may be excluded from work requirements if they are:

  • Working at least 30 hours a week (or earning wages at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours)
  • Meeting work requirements for another program (TANF or unemployment compensation)
  • Taking care of a child under 6 or an incapacitated person
  • Unable to work due to a physical or mental limitation
  • Participating regularly in an alcohol or drug treatment program
  • Studying in school or a training program at least half-time (college students are subject to other eligibility rules)

States determine their annual SNAP E&T Plans and can decide which SNAP recipients can serve (as well as whether participation is mandatory or voluntary), what services are offered and who will provide the services. Services can be offered by the state, community colleges, community-based organizations and/or American Job Centers engaged by the state, says the USDA.

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States can choose to offer one or more of the following employment and training activities:

  • Job search/job search training
  • Workfare or community service
  • Work experience
  • Self-employment program
  • Educational programs
  • Vocational education
  • Job retention

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Federal funds can also be used to reduce barriers to work by providing supportive services. These services include:

  • Transportation
  • Dependent care costs
  • Safety equipment
  • Supplies and books related to training

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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