Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of participating in the employment and training program?

You can:

  • Gain skills;
  • Receive one-on-one career counseling;
  • Have access to community-based partnerships;
  • Receive job leads that could result in employment;          
  • Receive assistance with some training and employment related fees.

How do I know if I need to participate?

During your application interview by telephone or in-person the county board of social services worker will determine if you must participate or if you are exempt.  If you must participate, you will receive a notice with an appointment date for an orientation with DLWD.

What does it mean to be a mandatory E&T participant?

In New Jersey, participation in an employment and training program is mandatory for those receiving SNAP and do not have an exemption. If you are a mandatory participant, you must participate for up to 30 hours a week in certain activities to keep your SNAP benefits. The number of hours to participate depends on your situation. The county board of social services will review how many hours you will need to participate. The DLWD will detail what specific activities are available for you.

Also, if you are an able-bodied adult without dependents, you may have special time limits that allow you to only get three months of SNAP benefits unless you are working or are enrolled in an employment and training program. Your board of social services worker will let you know if these rules apply to you.

I have a child under 6 years old. Do I have to go to an E&T activity?

No, but, you can participate voluntarily if you want.

How can I prepare for and succeed at the Employment and Training Program?

How to prepare for your first day:

  • Talk to the board of social service worker about setting up child care;
  • Talk to the board of social service about arranging transportation before you go;
  • Get directions for your program location;
  • Pack a lunch;
  • Bring all necessary paperwork and identification.

How to succeed in employment and training:

  • Attend every scheduled day;
  • Arrive on time;
  • Work with your case manager to develop a plan that meets your needs and fulfills your requirements;
  • Take advantage of workshops, job fairs, etc.;
  • Call your program if you have problems getting there.

What if I get a job, start a training program, or start school on my own?

Please let the board of social services know as soon as possible. It’s best to do this at least a couple of weeks before your first day. This will help the board of social services make sure you get credit for starting your job or going to the program.

I already have a job. Can I take advantage of the E&T program?

If you are working 30 or more hours weekly, you are not required to participate in an E&T activity.  However, as a SNAP recipient, you can voluntarily participate in an activity. This could help you improve your skills.  You can participate in these voluntary activities with no risk to your SNAP benefits.

I want to participate in the E&T program. Can I get help paying for child care and/or transportation?

Some expenses could be provided up-front or reimbursed through the E&T program such as transportation, child care, and items needed to participate in a work activity. These expenses are called participant allowances. They must be reasonable, necessary, and directly related to participation in the work activity. Your caseworker can help you find out what allowances are best suited for you.

If you need help paying for these items, please tell the county board of social services and/or a representative at your work activity.

If you get a job while going to the E&T program, you also may be able to continue receiving reduced-cost child care through your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. Any out-of-pocket child care costs can be counted as an expense on your SNAP case. If you need help paying for your transportation to your job before you receive your first paycheck, you may also get transportation expenses paid until your first check. The goal is to help you keep your job, advance your career, and achieve self-sufficiency.

I got a job through the SNAP E&T Program. Will I lose my SNAP benefits?

Congratulations! There are many things that determine SNAP eligibility such as your income, expenses, and household size.  Your board of social services worker will review your case and notify you about continued eligibility for SNAP.

What happens to my SNAP benefits if I do not participate in the E&T program?

If you are scheduled for an E&T activity and do not participate, you can be disqualified from receiving SNAP. 

  1. The first violation results in a minimum disqualification of one month;
  2. The second violation results in a minimum disqualification of three months;
  3. The third, and subsequent violations, result in a minimum disqualification of six months.

More information

For more information on New Jersey’s SNAP E&T program, contact your worker or local County Board of Social Services.

For more information about activities, and other opportunities offered by DLWD, visit