IM-32 04/01/99 FOOD STAMP METP POLICY
|FOOD STAMP MISSOURI EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #10
FORMS MANUAL REVISION #9
Revised METP 28, 28A, 29, 30, and 31
Revised IM-101, Household Member Age 16-60 Assessment, and Instructions
|The Food Stamp Program supports working
families. The Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP) offers
many opportunities to unemployed and under-employed food stamp participants.
This memorandum contains policy revisions and clarifications to the employment
and training policy. Changes include:
The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 imposed certain restrictions on the use of federal employment and training funds. As a result, 80% of the employment and training funds we receive must be spent on work activities for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) age 18 to 50. At present, the only food stamp work components available to ABAWDs are:
For the Food Stamp Program, the Division of Job Development and Training is contracted to provide JTPA activities to only mandatory food stamp work registrants who are ABAWDs. It is crucial that appropriate participants are referred. In an effort to ensure appropriate referrals are made to each work component, we have developed an assessment process. Attached to the hard copy of this memorandum is a flow chart designed to assist staff in assessing and referring mandatory work registrants.
The assessment process is:
A section has been added to assist staff when assessing and referring mandatory work registrants to an employment and training component (IMNL Section 1105.025.10). All components are not available in each county. Nor is it correct to refer each mandatory METP participant to any one of the components. In some situations there may be no component to which a mandatory participant may be referred.
For the Food Stamp Program only participants who are able-bodied adults without dependents age 18 to 50 with at least an eighth grade education may be referred to JTPA. Entry of code "98" in FSU5 will generate the referral to JTPA. A monthly listing of individuals coded "98" will be produced and sent to each Service Delivery Area (SDA). The IM-101B should only be used to refer an ABAWD to JTPA when s/he has used his/her five non-work months and wishes to participate in JTPA to regain eligibility.
NOTE: Code "98" will no longer automatically change to code "26" when the participant is enrolled in JTPA.
An IM-16 will be used by JTPA to notify the worker when a participant is called in and fails to comply. Conciliation and sanctioning procedures should be followed upon receipt of a notice from JTPA that a participant has failed to comply. To determine whether an ABAWD is participating in a JTPA activity at least 20 hours per week average, each county must contact their local SDA and develop a feedback process. IMNL Section 1105.025.20.20 is revised to reflect these changes.
The Division of Employment Security provides Job Search and Job Search Training (Workforce Linkage) in Boone, Buchanan, Dunklin, Greene, Jackson, St. Louis Counties, and St. Louis City. Mandatory work registrants residing in counties surrounding those listed above and within a one hour drive from the DES office may also be called in to participate in METP activities.
Workforce Linkage is added to the Job Search and Job Search Training component. It is being offered by the Division of Employment Security (DES). Workforce Linkage offers participants training on career exploration, job market, applications and resumes, interviewing skills, and career enhancement and advancement.
METP Conciliation Period
The conciliation period is changed from five working days to ten calendar days to better coordinate Temporary Assistance and food stamp policy. Section 1105.025.30.15 is revised to reflect this change.
The automated notices, METP-28, METP-28A, METP-29, METP-30 and METP-31 have been revised to reflect the change in the conciliation period.
Economic Head of Household
We no longer apply sanctions to the entire household when noncompliance occurs. The household no longer needs to designate an economic head of household. Section 1105.025.70 has been deleted.
Increase in the Number of Months Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents May Receive Benefits
Able-bodied adults without dependents age 18 to 50 may now receive food stamps in 5 non-work months in a 36-month period of time. Section 1105.035.25 is revised to reflect this change. Additional information regarding this change is being sent in a separate memorandum. Do not apply this change until the policy memorandum is received.
Work Registration Code Change
Code "01" is redefined to, "cares for child/ren under age six." Exemption code "17" is deleted. Section 1105.025.05.05, Household Members Exempt from Work Registration, is revised to reflect these changes.
Distribution # 3
REGISTRATION (METP) - EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
Work Registration is required for persons aged 16 to 60, unless otherwise exempt. Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP) is developed for mandatory work registrants to meet the work registration requirements. METP Components are:
1. Job Search Training (JST) (formerly known as Job Club),Explain to the applicant the work registration requirements, employment and training components, participation requirements, and consequences of failure to comply.
During the application interview, assess each household member to determine:
Household Members Exempt from Work Registration
Consider the following persons Exempt from Mandatory Work Registration:
1. Someone who cares for a child under age six. If the child has his/her sixth birthday within the certification period, the individual responsible for the care of the child is exempt for this reason until the recertification. (code 01)
NOTE: Denial or closure of the claimant's IM, Social Security, or SSI grant is not sufficient grounds alone for denial or closure of the household's food stamp benefits for failure to meet work registration requirements. The claimant will lose his/her exemption from work registration on this basis and must be offered the opportunity to comply with the work registration requirements of the Food Stamp Program.
close the case or reject the application and record the reason.
Household Members Excluded from Work Registration
Consider the following persons as work registered, but due to the impracticality of completing a successful job search, education, or training program, excluded from participation in an employment and training program component(s):
1. Individuals with a temporary mental or physical disability that is expected to last less than 60 days. Re-evaluate these persons at the end of 60 days. Temporary disabilities include acute mental problem(s) or emotional strain (such as caused by the death of a family member) or any medical condition that hinders a person from working (such as a broken limb). If the disability lasts more than 60 days, exempt the individual. (code 05)
under any single item of the previous criteria, but are prevented from participation due to a combination of employment-related barriers or personal hardships (for example, participants with no permanent address due to a personal or natural disaster and in a temporary residence). Identify a minimum of two marginal impediments to employment and/or training. Taken separately, the impediments are not sufficient reasons for exemption or exclusion but, taken together, represent a significant employment barrier or create a situation in which employment and training participation cannot be required without substantial personal hardship. Use worker judgment in determining eligibility for this exclusion. (code 34)
EXAMPLE: A woman who is a single head of household and has marginal language abilities or marginal mental deficiencies, and/or young children between the ages of 6 and 15, and/or questionable after-school arrangements for the care of her children, is a candidate for this exclusion criteria.1105.025.05.15 Mandatory Participants Who Are Required to Register for Work
IM-#32 April 1, 1999
Individuals over the age of 15 and under age 60 (ages 16-59) who are determined to be physically and mentally fit must provide sufficient information to allow a determination of their employment status or job availability. These individuals must register for work once every 12 months at the time of application and reapplication.
Household members required to work register
1. Which household members are able bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) ages 18 to 50. These individuals are:
a. persons who are physically and/or mentally able to work;2. Which household members are mandatory work registrants.
Determine which METP components are available to the mandatory participants in the county in which they reside. Make the most appropriate referrals by completing a Household Member Assessment (IM-101) with the applicant. Entering the work registration code on the FSU5 approval transaction generates the METP referral to JTPA, MJET, and Employment Security. Refer participants to ABE using the IM-101A. DJP referrals may be made anytime there is an appropriate job opportunity for the individual. The appropriate referral is determined by whether the individual is an ABAWD and the assessment (IM-101) completed on the participant. A monthly system generated listing of mandatory work registrants is provided to the counties. This listing may also be used to make DJP referrals.
The following quidelines are provided to assist in determining the appropriate METP component for mandatory participants.
1. Individuals who do not have a high school diploma, GED or they want to improve their reading or math skills:a. ABAWDs:
2. Individuals who have a degree, certificate or license, or perhaps need very little (less than a year) education to complete a degree, certificate or license:
b. Other Mandatory Work Registrants:
3. Individuals who have worked in the last year but, are not currently employed:a. ABAWDs:
b. Other Mandatory Work Registrants:
4. Individuals who have not worked in over a year and have no specialized job skills:a. ABAWDs:
b. Other Mandatory Work Registrants:
Explain to the applicant, during the
assessment, the importance of contacting his/her worker if s/he is called
in to participate in a component and is unable to comply. See Work
Registration (METP) Noncompliance.
Upon completion of the assessment, refer the food stamp participant to the most appropriate component.
Job Search Training (JST [Workforce Linkage]), and Job Search (JS) Components
Job Search Training (Workforce Linkage) and Job Search are components operated by Division of Employment Security (DES) providing supervised employer contacts for mandatory work registrants. In Boone, Buchanan, Dunklin, Greene, Jackson, St. Louis County and St. Louis City, approval of the food stamp application and entry of work registration code "22" initiates referral to DES of individuals. Mandatory registrants living in counties surrounding those listed above, who live one hour or less from the DES offices, may also be called in to participate. DES begins the enrollment process by selecting participants and sending an automated call-in letter to the individual. DES staff completes an assessment of the individual during the call-in interview.
DES offers five Workforce Linkage workshops. Work registrants called in to participate in Workforce Linkage must attend three days. They may choose to attend all five days.
Workforce Linkage Workshops include:
1. Career Exploration in which the participants:
5. Career Enhancement and Advancement which is provided to:For Job Search, the registrant must make the required number of employer contacts over the 16-week period as follows:
1. The number of weekly contacts which parallels the number of Federal Unemployment Insurance Work Search requirements established for each county. The number of contacts required ranges from 12 to 16 and is determined by the county of residence.
If, during the assessment, DES determines that an individual has a barrier that was not identified by the caseworker and is expected to exist for more than 60 days, the caseworker is alerted when action is
required. Evaluate these individuals at the next recertification or approval to determine correct work registration status at the time.
DES provides intensive, personalized and
enhanced job search services.
Missouri Jobs, Employment and Training (MJET) Program
MJET program is to assure that needy families obtain the education, training, and employment that will help them avoid long-term dependence. Case management services are contracted through the Service Delivery Areas (SDA) or another appropriate agency.
MJET is designed to provide case management services delivered by Private Industry Council (PIC) staff. These services must conform to all regular food stamp employment and training work registration procedures including conciliation and sanctioning procedures for noncompliance. MJET activities administered through the PICs will include such components as Job Search Training, Adult Basic Education, Job Skills Training, On-the-Job Training, Work Experience and Job Development and Placement. Able bodied adults without dependents are targeted in the area served by the St. Charles County MJET. This area includes St. Louis City and County, as well as Lincoln, Warren, St. Charles and Pike counties. Other counties served by MJET are Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott and Stoddard.
Food stamp staff in the above named counties are responsible for discussing MJET with all mandatory and exempt registrants to determine if any choose to volunteer. Explain how a mandatory individual's failure to participate as required affects his/her food stamp benefits. Food stamp staff are also responsible for applying sanctions due to noncompliance as determined by the MJET case manager.
MJET staff are responsible for completing
the initial assessment with the registrant. This assessment evaluates
educational, child care, and other supportive needs, as well as job
skills, prior work experience, employability and a review of the family
circumstances. An individual employability plan is developed.
Status of registrants is reviewed by MJET staff and decisions made regarding
noncompliance. If a food stamp work registrant is actively complying
with assessment and component requirements of the MJET program, s/he is
not required to enter DJP components.
Direct Job Placement (DJP) Component
qualified, job-ready, mandatory food stamp work registrants, including ABAWDs, to known job openings within the local public and private job market.
Direct Job Placement is an METP component that is based upon utilization of DFS staff in collaboration with key community leaders in the employment arena. It is designed to afford the individual participant work opportunities that would normally not be available. The intent is that greater numbers of individuals will become self sufficient and reduce reliance on governmental intervention through cash assistance or food stamps.
If a work registrant is involved in the
local county's effort in Direct Job Placement, s/he should not enter the
MJET activity component without first completing the scheduled employment
interviews. If the individual is employed following the DJP interview,
the work registration code is changed to reflect the current status.
Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA)
Refer only able bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs), with at least an eighth grade education, to the JTPA component. JTPA components included in METP are:
County offices are responsible for assessing and determining that referral of an ABAWD to JTPA is appropriate. Code the individual "98" in FSU5. A monthly listing will be generated and mailed to the Private Industry Council (PIC) serving the county in which the participant resides. JTPA personnel assess the training and work experience needs of individuals referred. Based on this assessment, individuals are placed in the appropriate component. If no openings are available, the individual is placed on a waiting list. The applicant is called in when a slot is available.
After the individual has met the participation requirements and completed the component, evaluate the individual for placement in another component.
The caseworker is notified when an individual
satisfactorily terminates a JTPA program. An example of a satisfactory
termination is gaining employment. Evaluation of work registration
status and budget may be necessary when this type of notice is received.
Adult Basic Education (ABE)
The ABE component of METP consists of classes offered across the State. Many students pursue their high school equivalency degree (GED). ABE is also utilized for employment-related educational courses, reading or language skill improvement. Improved reading, writing, and math skills can improve opportunities in the job market. ABE is free to all Missouri citizens age 16 or over who are not now attending school and who do not have a 12th grade equivalent degree.
Screen individuals for referral to ABE at the time of application or reapplication. ABE accepts referrals for individuals aged 16 or older. Sixteen/seventeen year old individuals who are mandatory work registrants can meet work registration requirements through ABE programs. ABAWDs who are mandatory work registrants can meet METP requirements and the work requirement through ABE programs. ABAWDs must be enrolled in ABE a minimum of 20 hours per week in order to meet the work requirement.
Refer individuals directly to local ABE programs. Each county works with local ABE personnel to determine vacancies in the classes. ABE personnel assess the educational needs of the individual(s) referred. This is the first step in tailoring the instruction to the student. Based on this assessment, individuals are placed in the classes.
Consider the individual to have completed the ABE requirement after:
1. four months participation;The individual may continue to participate after four months. The participant will not be reimbursed. The individual will not be subject to sanction for noncompliance with the program.
An individual completing the ABE program may be considered ready for another work component. Once an individual has entered ABE, the individual must be reassessed at each recertification.
Changes in Work Registration (METP) Status
If a mandatory participant reports a change, making the individual exempt or excluded from mandatory work registration, change and document work registration status within ten days.
If an exempt or excluded individual becomes a mandatory participant, due to a change in circumstances, the following action is required:
1. If the change was required to be reported, register the individual when notified. Assess the participant following the guidelines previously stated. All work registered household members must be provided information regarding the pertinent work requirements, the rights and responsibilities of work registered household members, and the consequences of failure to comply. To meet this requirement, provide the new mandatory work registrant a program information pamphlet, "Food Stamps and Work."
Mandatory or voluntary individuals enrolled
in METP components are eligible for reimbursement of transportation expenses.
This allowance is NOT income for food stamp purposes. The reimbursement
amount is $25 per month for those individuals placed in a component
except for participants in MJET who receive a $50 reimbursement.
1. JS Monthly Allowance
3. ABE Monthly Allowance
participant spends completing a METP component.
Mandatory participants who fail without good cause to comply with work registration requirements will be determined ineligible for participation in the Food Stamp Program. This ineligibility will last for a period of time based on whether the noncompliance is the first, second, third or subsequent occurrence. If the individual:
1. refuses, at the time of application and reapplication to register for work;
METP Noncompliance For JST (Workforce Linkage), JS, DJP, MJET Components
The caseworker and the claimant are notified if the registrant has failed to comply with requirements of the component. For JST (Workforce Linkage) and JS, the notification is an automated process with a system generated notice of noncompliance. For DJP and MJET, notification is a manual process in which the caseworker sends a notice of noncompliance to the claimant. In each instance, the notice specifies the requirement of work registration and instructs the claimant to contact DFS within ten calendar days to determine:
1. if the noncomplying member meets an exemption,
Since JTPA and ABE are components of METP, mandatory persons referred must be sanctioned if they do not comply. Noncompliance for JTPA and ABE are somewhat different from those of other METP components, they are shown as follows:
Noncompliance for JTPA is identified as an individual who has:
1. failed to enroll,Noncompliance for ABE may occur at any point in the referral process. The individual may not have successfully completed the first, second, third or fourth month of the ABE component.
When notice is received that the individual has failed to comply with JTPA or ABE components, determine if the participant has an opportunity to cure the noncompliance. For example: Is the program still available to the individual? If not, the individual must be offered the opportunity to cure by complying with another METP component. If the individual has the opportunity to cure by complying with JTPA or ABE and does not, determine if good cause exists. (Refer to determining Good Cause for Noncompliance/METP for the reasons good cause is granted.) Determine if the individual qualifies for an exemption. If the mandatory individual does not meet an exemption or
have good cause for noncompliance, and
a component is available so s/he may cure the noncompliance, following
conciliation, apply sanctions as shown under Work Registration Requirements
Work Registration (METP) Conciliation Period
Compliance can occur at any point in the ten calendar day conciliation period. When it is determined the registrant has cooperated, the noncompliance is cured. DFS county office staff determine compliance for Direct Job Placement (DJP) components. The PIC case managers determine compliance for MJET counties. Employment Security makes the compliance determination for Job Search Training (Workforce Linkage) and Job Search components. In situations where the compliance is determined by another agency, DFS is notified by the other agency.
The participant can meet an exemption from work registration and the noncompliance is cured. When noncompliance is cured prior to sanctioning, the case is not closed nor is the noncomplying member removed. Refer to Reapplication After Sanctioning for Work Registration (METP) for handling compliance if the certification expires during the ten calendar day conciliation period.
There may be instances in which the noncomplying household member is sanctioned and it is later learned the individual complied within the ten calendar day conciliation period. When this occurs, cancel close the case, if it was a case closing, or add the individual back to the case and issue restored benefits, if necessary.
If the registrant does not comply, initiate
the Notice of Adverse Action on calendar day 11 to remove the noncomplying
member or close the case in single-person households. If the registrant
does not comply within time frames, take necessary action.
Notify the household of the change via a Benefits Adjustment Notice.
Resolving Noncompliance with Work Registration
Discuss the following information with the program participant. The cure for each question is shown. Inform the household of the requirements of work registration (METP), the consequences of noncompliance, and the date by which the member must comply.
1. Does the noncomplying member meet an exemption from work registration (METP)?
activities or receipt of Unemployment Compensation, end the conciliation process.1105.025.30.25 Work Registration (METP) Noncompliance Sanctions
Sanctions for noncompliance with work registration (METP) will be applied as follows:
1. For the first failure-to-comply occurrence, sanction the individual until compliance.
a minimum of six months or until compliance, whichever is longer.If during a METP noncompliance disqualification period an individual meets an exemption from work registration requirements, the individual may resume participation in the Food Stamp Program if otherwise eligible. Meeting an exemption ends this sanction for the individual. The disqualification period does not resume if later the individual no longer meets an exemption.
Work Registration (METP) -- Suitable Employment
Do not consider employment suitable if:
1. the wage offered is less than the applicable federal minimum wage (or training wage) or 80 percent of the federal minimum wage (or training wage) if minimum wage is not applicable;
10. unreasonable work demands/conditions exist, such as working without getting paid on schedule; or
1. To determine good cause, consider all circumstances, including information submitted by the household. Good cause is:
a. a circumstance beyond the members' control. This can include, but is not limited to, illness or illness of another household member requiring the individual's presence in the home;2. DES determines good cause for registrants in the JST (Workforce Linkage) and JS components.
3. The caseworker determines good cause
for registrants who do not comply with DJP activities, at the point of
referral for JTPA, and anytime they are participating in the ABE component.
Refer to the DJP, JTPA, and ABE component descriptions for noncompliance
procedures. Registrants in these components who do not comply after
beginning the component, are subject to disqualification penalties.
A household member not working because of a strike or a lockout at his/her place of employment is not considered in violation of work registration requirements solely for that reason unless the strike is in violation of the Taft-Hartley Act or an injunction has been issued under Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act. To enjoin a strike under the Taft-Hartley Act or Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act, the appropriate federal court must determine, upon petition of the President of the United States, that a strike or a threatened strike affecting an entire industry or a substantial part of it, jeopardizes the national health or safety or essential transportation service.
For example, in the case of the United
Steel Workers of America vs. U.S., the Taft-Hartley Act was invoked.
In these situations, the entire household of the work registrant refusing
an offer of employment at the struck plant is disqualified unless it can
be shown that the striker is exempt from registration the day before the
strike for a reason other than employment. Even a limited issuance
to the household could undermine the intent of federal legislation at a
time of national crises and could prolong the strike enjoined by court
Work Effort Reduction
An individual who voluntarily and without good cause reduces his/her work effort, and after the reduction, is working less than 30 hours per week, is determined to be ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program. These individuals are subject to the disqualification penalties outlined in Work Registration (METP) Noncompliance Sanctions.
Explore situations in which the participant reports a change that indicates the number of hours worked per week have been reduced to less than 30 hours per week. For example, a reported change in income may indicate a reduction in the number of hours worked per week. Explore work effort reduction at application, recertification, and when a change is reported.
If it is determined the participant voluntarily
reduced his/her work effort to less than 30 hours per week, explore good
cause. See Determining Good Cause for Work Registration (METP) Components.
If the participant did not have good cause for the reduction, apply the
sanctions outlined in Work Registration (METP) Noncompliance Sanctions.
VOLUNTARY JOB QUIT
Voluntary job quit provisions and sanctioning
policies apply to all household members. If any household member
voluntarily and without good cause quits a job, that individual is subject
to sanctioning. The rest of the household remains eligible.
Job Quit Sanctions
Job quit is considered "a violation of" or "noncompliance with" work registration. Apply the appropriate sanction for noncompliance with work registration.
NOTE: Persons registered and excluded
from work registration are NOT excluded from the voluntary job quit provisions.
Voluntary Job Quit Determination
To make a determination of voluntary job quit:
1. Determine if a voluntary job quit has occurred.
NOTE: Consider federal, state, or local government employees dismissed from their jobs due to participation in a strike against the government entity as voluntary job quit without good cause.
Determine if voluntary job quit was with or without good cause. Good cause for leaving employment includes:
1. Discrimination by an employer based on age, race, sex, color, handicap, religious beliefs, national origin, or political beliefs.
Applying Voluntary Quit Decision
Apply the voluntary quit decision to households
in the following manner.
1. Applying Household: When a household files an application, determine if a currently unemployed household member, who is not exempt from work registration, has quit a job WITHIN the 60 days prior to the date of application. If DFS discovers that the household has lost a source of earned income after application, but prior to certification, make a determination of voluntary quit. However, the application cannot be delayed past the 30-day time frame to determine voluntary job quit if all other points of eligibility have been established.The job quit and the disqualification sanction follows the individual who voluntarily quit his/her job without good cause.
Individuals who voluntarily quit a job
without good cause are subject to the sanctions for noncompliance with
work registration requirements.
Claims Due to Voluntary Job Quit
When it is discovered after certification that a voluntary job quit occurred prior to approval, for the purpose of applying a sanction consider the case a participating household. Do not do a claim. Send a Notice of Adverse Action informing the household the individual will be disqualified for the appropriate sanction period depending on if it is the first, second, third, or subsequent occurrence. Begin the penalty period with the first month after the Notice of Adverse Action expires.
If a voluntary quit occurs or is determined
in the last month of a certification period, apply the appropriate penalty
period beginning with the day after the certification period ends.
Reapplication After Sanctioning for Work Registration (METP)
If an individual requests reapplication while serving a work registration (METP) sanction, you must accept the application. Reject the application as the individual is not eligible for participation in the Food Stamp Program.
If a household containing a disqualified individual reapplies for benefits, determine eligibility according to Excluded Household Member Policy.
If the individual requests reapplication during the ten-day conciliation, or prior to the expiration of the Notice of Adverse Action for proposed sanctioning, you must accept the application. Pend the application and verify the noncompliance has been cured. If the noncompliance is cured during the ten-day conciliation period, or prior to expiration of the adverse action notice, no sanction is applied. The pended application is processed.
If the noncompliance is NOT cured, reject
1105.030.00 OVERLAPPING DISQUALIFICATION
If a household in which a member is assessed
a disqualification period due to an Intentional Program Violation is also
assessed a disqualification period due to a voluntary job quit without
good cause, an overlap of disqualification periods may exist. The
two disqualification periods run concurrently.
1105.035.00 WORK REQUIREMENT
FOR 18 TO 50 YEAR OLDS
Individuals age 18 to 50 who are able bodied adults without dependents must also meet the work requirement. Able bodied adults without dependents age 18 to 50 are defined as individuals who:
1. are physically and/or mentally able to work;
In order to receive food stamp benefits for more than 5 months in the previous 36 months, those same individuals must comply with the following 18 to 50 year old work requirement:
1. work at least 20 hours per week (averaged monthly);NOTE: Job Search Training and Job Search components of the Missouri Employment and Training Program are NOT considered acceptable work training programs for this provision.
Missouri has been granted a waiver for certain counties and cities in which the unemployment rate is over ten percent or there are an insufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals residing in the area. Individuals in the 18 to 50 age group residing in any of these areas do not have to meet the 18 to 50 year old work requirement.
NOTE: This waiver does NOT
affect work registration policy. Mandatory work registrants must still
meet all METP work registration requirements including participation in
work components such as Job Search Training, Job Search and Direct Job
Exemptions to 18 to 50 Year Old Work Requirement
Exempt the following individuals from the 18 to 50 year old work requirement:
1. Individuals, between the ages of 18 to 50, who are exempt from work registration requirements. See Exempt from Mandatory Work Registration.
while the disability determination is pending, and s/he is NOT determined disabled, s/he is subject to the 18 to 50 year old work requirement for the entire certification period. The months the individual received benefits while not meeting the 18 to 50 year old work requirements, or meeting an exemption, are counted as non-work months.
Evaluate whether the work requirement is being met at each (1) application, (2) recertification, and (3) anytime there is a change in household composition or earned income. Determine whether or not the participant has complied with the work requirement as follows:
1. Evaluate only the months in which food stamp benefits have been received. Months in which benefits are prorated are not subject to this policy.
1. Work is defined as paid employment or benefits in lieu of pay (i.e. working in exchange for board). The value of the benefit (i.e. board) must equal 20 hours times (x) minimum wage (averaged monthly). Gross income for a self-employed individual must equal 20 hours times (x) minimum wage. An individual volunteering 20 hours per week would need to also be working in a job 20 hours per week for which s/he receives monetary compensation.
2. Follow current policy for verifying income, hours, and rate of pay to project hours worked during the certification period. Examples of verification include:
a. completed IM-12 form (Employment Letter);1105.035.20 Determining Hours Worked/Hours in a Training Program
IM-#32 April 1, 1999
1. At each application and recertification project the number of hours to be worked. Use current policy for projecting anticipated income. It is important to try to accurately predict whether an individual will meet the work requirement for each month of the certification period. Enter appropriate data into the system.
2. If it is learned that the hours worked or participated in a qualifying training program are different than the projected hours used to determine non-work months, adjust the system accordingly. If, it is verified that the individual met the work requirement in a month previously considered a non-work month - delete that month from the system.
3. At each recertification determine whether the 18 to 50 year old work requirement was met for all months in which food stamps have been received. Verify, as necessary, actual hours worked or whether the participant participated in a qualifying training program during each of these months.
Determine the hours worked per week by averaging the hours worked per pay period for the month. Use the pay date to determine the pay stubs to count in that month. For example, use any pay stubs with a pay date in December 1998, for the December hours worked computation.
Verify the number of hours of participation in ABE, JTPA, or MJET by contacting the agency providing the training.
Identifying and Tracking Non-Work Months
1. A month in which the individual receives
food stamps while not meeting the 18 to 50 year old work requirement, is
defined as a non-work month. The individual may only receive
food stamp benefits in 5 non-work months in a 36-
2. All months in which an individual receives food stamps, and does not meet the 18 to 50 year old work requirement, must be entered in the system and tracked. This includes:
a. all months, prior to recertification, in which food stamp benefits have been received while not meeting the work requirement;
An individual may regain eligibility for one additional 3 out of 36-month period. To regain eligibility once it has been lost, the individual must work or participate in a work program for 80 hours in a 30-day period. The 80 hours of work or work program participation must be completed before the individual becomes eligible.
1. For one person household situations, prorate food stamp benefits from the day the 80 hour requirement is met. This can occur when an application for food stamp benefits is made in the month in which eligibility is regained.
Loss of Employment after Regaining Eligibility
A participant who again loses his/her job after regaining eligibility may only receive for one month period while not meeting the 18 to 50 year old work requirement. This month period runs consecutively beginning when the participant reports the loss of employment (after meeting regaining criteria of working 80 hours in a 30-day period).
1. The three-month period runs consecutively regardless of whether:a. An individual does or does not receive food stamp benefits during the additional three-month period (i.e. a job quit situation).2. Start the second three consecutive month period with any month during which the individual receives food stamps after losing employment. This occurs whether or not the loss of employment is reported timely. Establish a claim for any months beyond the three consecutive months in which the participant was not eligible.
works for 11 months and is terminated. At that time, she reapplies for food stamps. A review of Ms. W's work hours shows that she regained eligibility for food stamp benefits as she worked over 80 hours in the first 30 days when her employment began 11 months earlier. Ms. W. is eligible to receive three consecutive months of food stamps while not meeting the work requirement. Since she has not been receiving food stamps, her three months will start with her current application assuming all other eligibility criteria are met. (A pro-rated month will not count as one of the three months.)
4. Following the additional month period, if the otherwise eligible individual meets the 18 to 50 year old work requirement each month, s/he is eligible to receive food stamp benefits.1105.040.00 SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS
Refer to the General Information Manual for additional procedures and information pertaining to SSNs. Any household applying for or participating in the Food Stamp Program must provide the SSN of each household member or apply for one before certification. Refusal or failure without good cause to provide or apply for an SSN results in disqualification of the individual for whom an SSN is not provided.
NOTE: Households that are expedited
eligible do not have to comply with SSN requirements before receiving benefits
for the first month of the certification period. The household must
comply before receiving any additional benefits.
1105.040.05 Providing and Verifying SSNs
If an individual has more than one SSN,
the applicant must provide all the numbers. If a household member
does not have a number or cannot verify his/her number, explain the SSN
application or replacement procedures to the applicant. Do not delay
the certification process pending SSN verification.
Social Security Number Application
the SSN from the household or SSA.
The Social Security Application Referral
is verification that the claimant has applied for an SSN. Persons
listed on the referral cannot receive food stamps until verification is
received that they have completed an application for an SSN, unless they
have good cause. Persons must apply for an SSN by the date specified
on the referral. Provide the applicant a reasonable number of days
(5 to 15).
1105.040.10.05 Failure to Comply
If a household member refuses or fails, without good cause, to provide or apply for an SSN, that individual is disqualified from participation in the Food Stamp Program. Disqualify only the individual for whom the SSN requirement is not met, not the entire household.
Count the disqualified individual's earned and unearned income, less a prorated share, as unearned income to the remaining household members.
Count the disqualified individual's resources in their entirety as resources for the remaining household members.
Always explore good cause before disqualifying
a household member.
1105.040.10.10 Determining Good Cause
In determining whether good cause exists, consider information from the household member and SSA, and case information. Documentary evidence or collateral information that the household member has made every effort to provide the necessary information (such as proof of birth) to complete an application for an SSN is good cause. Make every effort to assist the individual in obtaining these documents.
NOTE: Good cause does NOT include delays due to illness, lack of transportation, or temporary absences for persons able to mail the SSN application. Good cause does include illness and lack of transportation if the person must apply in person.
Record the good cause decision.
1105.040.10.15 Action After Good Cause Determination
If the entire household refuses to provide SSNs or fails to complete SSN applications determine:
1. If good cause is established, authorize benefits for the month of application and the following month. In order to continue receiving benefits, the household must show good
cause for each month until the SSN is provided or the application is completed. Set a priority to investigate good cause each month until the SSNs are provided, the application is completed, or until good cause no longer exists.
1. If good cause is established, approve all the household members for the month of application and the following month. In order for the household member who refused to provide an SSN or failed to complete the SSN application to continue to receive benefits, the member must show good cause each month until the SSN is provided or the SSN application completed. Set a priority to investigate good cause each month until the SSN is provided, the SSN application is completed, or good cause no longer exists.
If good cause does not exist, send a notice to inform the household who did not apply for or provide an SSN. The notice must contain the following information:
1. name of the disqualified person,When individuals disqualified for failure to provide or apply for SSNs provide or apply for SSNs, they may become eligible for participation
in the Food Stamp Program. Begin eligibility with the date of the notification of compliance.