Release 75:  Effective October 1, 2014

SNAP -
E.  Nonfinancial Eligibility


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  1. Identity

    The applicant and their authorized representative (SNAP-B.14) (if any) and the alternate payee, if any, must establish and verify (SNAP-B.11) their identity.

    F SEE MP-WG #2.5 FOR EXAMPLES OF VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY.

    Required Verification and When to Verify; SNAP: 461-115-0651
    Verification For SNAP Expedited Services; Time Limits: 461-115-0690


  2. Residency

    1. The group must reside in Oregon and not be simply vacationing here. There is no minimum or maximum time that they are required to be in Oregon in order to be a resident. In addition, there is no requirement that they intend to reside here permanently.

    2. Categorically eligible (SNAP-F.1) groups are assumed to meet residency when it has been established in the categorical program.

    Note:  Although clients are not required to have a fixed mailing address, they must provide a location to get notices from the department. This mailing address cannot be the branch address. To use the branch address means the department is sending the client notice to the department and not the client. For the homeless (GP-A.41), the mailing address may be General Delivery or the address of a shelter or a friend.

    Note:  Do not send recertification packets out of state even if the client indicates that they plan to return to Oregon. In this situation, residency is questionable.

    F SEE MP-WG #2.8 FOR EXAMPLES OF VERIFICATION OF RESIDENCY.

    Residency Requirements: 461-120-0010
    Categorical Eligibility for SNAP: 461-135-0505


  3. Students of higher education

    SNAP clients who are considered students of higher education must meet special criteria to be eligible. A student of higher education residing in a dormitory or other living situation with meal plans is ineligible for SNAP program benefits.

    1. Higher education includes the following:

      1. Public and private universities and colleges and community colleges that offer degree programs regardless of whether a high school diploma is required for the program. However, GED, ABE, ESL and high school equivalency programs at those institutions are not considered higher education.

      2. Vocational, technical, business, and trade schools that normally require a high school diploma or equivalency certificate for enrollment in the curriculum or in a particular program at the institution. However, programs at those institutions that do not require the diploma or certificate are not considered higher education.

    2. An individual is considered a student of higher education if they are attending higher education (see A above) at least half time or more as determined by the school, AND the individual is 18 years of age or older but under age 50. Student status does not apply to:

      1. New students who are registered for higher education but will start classes after the month in which eligibility determination occurs.

      2. Students enrolled for the purposes of taking high school equivalency programs such as GED, ABE or ESL.

    3. An individual's status as a student of higher education continues through school vacations and summer break if the student intends to return to school for the next term.

    4. An individual's status as a student of higher education ends when the student does any of the following:

      1. Graduates;

      2. Drops out;

      3. Withdraws from the individual's classes;

      4. Reduces credit hours to less than half time;

      5. Is suspended or expelled;

      6. Does not intend to register for the next school term (excluding summer term).

    5. To be eligible for SNAP benefits, a student of higher education must meet one of the following criteria:

      1. Be physically or mentally unfit for employment (SNAP-B.11). This includes:

        1. People receiving disability benefits;

        2. People going to school through a vocational rehabilitation program or with a training program supported by their vocational rehabilitation program;

        3. People receiving SFPSS program benefits due to a disability.

      2. Be a paid employee working an average of at least 20 hours a week. The student must have an employee/employer relationship. This means the employer directs and controls their work activities; they receive a cash payment for their work and can be fired for failure to adequately perform their activities.

      Note:  Student work hours do not include hours a student may work in an internship, externship, graduate assistance or fellowship program as these are all forms of educational income. Earned in-kind payments do not count towards working 20 hours a week. By law, individuals participating in AmeriCorps are not considered employees. Therefore, students cannot meet their work hour requirement using AmeriCorp hours.

      1. Be self-employed at least 20 hours a week and receive countable weekly earnings of at least the federal minimum wage times 20 hours (after allowable cost) (CA-C.2)). The self-employment income is at least $1247 SEC and $623.50 SEN.

        Note: Employee work hours and self-employed work hours cannot be combined to meet the 20-hour requirement.

      2. Be awarded state or federally funded work-study AND be assigned to a work-study position with a start date in the current term or semester, and will perform work in a work-study job in the current term or semester. The period of eligibility for a student eligible because of this subsection:

        1. Begins with the month in which school begins or with the month that work study is approved, whichever is later;
        2. Continues for the duration of the term or semester, unless the student refuses a work-study job;
          1. Continues through breaks of less than a month. For breaks of a month or longer, eligibility continues only if the student performs work in a work-study job during the break.
      3. Be responsible for the care of a child in the filing group and:

        1. In a one-parent home, care of a child who is:
          1. Under age 6; or
          2. Age 6-11 and one of the following:

            • The parent attends school full time; or
            • The parent attends less than full time and the local office determines that adequate child care is not available for the client to both attend school and satisfy the 20-hour-a-week work requirement. Narrate the reason adequate child care is not available to care for the child.

        2.  In a two-parent home, first determine with the client who has primary responsibility for care of the child or children. The student who has primary responsibility for the child would be eligible if the child is:
          1. Under age 6; or
          2. Age 6-11 and the local office determines that adequate child care is not available for the student to both attend school and satisfy the 20-hour-a-week requirement. Narrate the reason adequate child care is not available to care for the child;

          Note: If both parents are students, in order for both to be eligible, they must explain why each has primary responsibility for a different child in the filling group (e.g., work or school schedules). Narrate this determination and reasons.

      Note: “Adequate child care” is whether or not childcare is available for the student to attend school and work 20 hours a week. This does not include the ability to pay for care. Examples of lack of adequate child care:

      Parent must drive an excessive amount of time out of area to obtain childcare.

      No provider available for a child with special needs.

      Parent’s school schedule would only allow for late-night employment and no care providers available for those hours

      1. Be in a REF or TANF benefit group.

      2. Be in a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) training program.

      3. Be enrolled as a result of employer-sponsored on-the-job training.

      4. Be receiving Unemployment Compensation (UC).

      5. Be participating in at least one of the following Employment Department training programs:

        1. The Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) program serving displaced workers under the Trade Act.
        2. The Training Unemployment Insurance (TUI) program.
        3. The Self-Employment Insurance (SEA) program.
        4. The Apprenticeship Program (APT).

    Note: These programs can be identified with a code of 066, 067, 068, 070, 079 or 088 on the ECLM screen. Students remain eligible as long as they are in one of the above programs through the Employment Department, even if they are not receiving UC.
    1. Eligible students

      If the student meets the eligible student criteria, they:

      1. Are included in the filing group and must meet all other eligibility criteria.

      2. Are exempt from the SNAP work program.

      3. Have income and resources counted when determining eligibility. Refer to (CA-B.24) on student income to determine which federal funds may be excluded. (CA-B.81) provides information on educational benefits for veterans. Use the Educational Income Calculation for ERDC and Food Stamps worksheet (DHS 7351) to compute educational income. MP-WG #14 provides examples of most types of educational income.

      Note:  Use the (DHS 7351) to help determine if a child care deduction is allowable and the amount allowed.

      Eligible and Ineligible Students; SNAP: 461-135-0570

    2. Ineligible students

      1. If the student is found ineligible, they:

        1. Are excluded from the filing, financial, need and benefit groups, and

        2. Any costs they pay for the household are not allowed as deductions.

    3. Changes in student status

      1. When a student reduces their credit hours to less than half time (by dropping or withdrawing from classes) in a term, they are no longer considered a student and do not need to meet additional student criteria to be eligible for SNAP. Verification of the reduction in hours is needed if questionable.
      2. When an ineligible student reports they have dropped out of school or have finished the current term and do not intend to register for classes in the next term, treat this as a request for benefits (i.e., pend for required eligibility information). Unless the student has officially dropped out or withdrawn from classes during the school term to recoup a portion of their tuition and fees, it is unrealistic to pend for proof that the client will not continue their education.

      3. If an ineligible student reports countable income on the Interim Change Report for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) DHS 852 form, pend for information using the Notice of Incomplete Information (DHS 487) form. Do not accept the client’s statement that all educational funds are excluded. Any potentially countable income must be verified, which includes determining eligible student status.

      4. If a SNAP recipient reports starting higher education, but does not report income, do not review student status until redetermination.

      5. When processing a cert, recert or DHS 852 for a student before they have received an expected financial aid award, do not hold or pend for receipt of that income verification. Ensure that the student understands their income reporting requirements.


  4. Declaration of citizen/noncitizen status

    An adult applying for SNAP or an authorized representative (SNAP-B.14) must sign a statement declaring under penalty of perjury that the reported citizen/noncitizen status of each person they are requesting SNAP for is true.

    Note:  Clients accomplish this by signing the application for SNAP.

    Declaration of Citizenship or Alien Status: 461-120-0130


  5. Citizen status

    1. To qualify for SNAP, the client must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified noncitizen. Only persons who want benefits are required to disclose their citizenship. Persons who do not want benefits or who do not want to give their status and who must be included in the filing group (SNAP-C.2) are treated as ineligible noncitizens (NC1s).

      F SEE SNAP-D FOR DETAILS ON DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY IF A FILING GROUP MEMBER IS NOT A CITIZEN.

    2. A U.S. citizen includes the following people:

      1. A person born in the U.S.;

      2. A naturalized citizen;

      3. A person born outside of the U.S. but whose parents (GP-A.60) (both mother and father) are U.S. citizens;

      4. A person born outside of the U.S. who is over 18 years of age but who has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen. The person must either have a certificate of U.S. citizenship or meet one of the following criteria:

        1. Born on or after December 24, 1952, and prior to November 14, 1986, and their citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possessions for 10 years or more, at least five of which were after age 14;

        2. Born on or after November 14, 1986, and their citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possessions five years or more, at least two of which were after age 14.

        3. A child born outside of the U.S. who is under 18 years of age and has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen. The child is residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent after having been lawfully admitted into the U.S. as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence;

        4. A child lawfully adopted by U.S. citizens;

        5. A citizen of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Pagan), American Samoa and the Swains Islands.

    F SEE MP-WG #2.2 FOR EXAMPLES OF VERIFICATION OF CITIZEN/ALIEN STATUS.

    Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements: 461-120-0110
    Alien Status: 461-120-0125


  6. Social Security number

    All clients in the benefit group (SNAP-C.7) must provide their Social Security number (SSN) if they have one. If they do not have an SSN, they must make a good-faith effort to apply for an SSN and provide it when it is received. Only those persons who want benefits are required to provide their SSN. Other persons living in the household who are not applying for benefits are not required to provide their SSN.

    F SEE MP-WG #2.10 FOR EXAMPLES OF VERIFICATION OF SSN.

    Applicants and recipients are required to provide documentary or collateral information that they have made every effort to supply the Social Security Administration (SSA) with the necessary information to get an SSN.

    1. Verification of SSN – Workers are to verify the SSN using the W204 screen

      1. If the client is not currently receiving other program benefits, a TPQY should be processed to receive a match from the SSA.
      2. When a match with the SSA’s file indicates a discrepancy with the client’s SSN, the client must provide evidence to resolve the discrepancy. If the client does not, the member of the need group (SNAP-c.6) who fails to comply becomes ineligible if they failed without good cause. The disqualification continues until the person complies with an application for their SSN or provides the number.
    2. Expedited Service and SSN – Applicants eligible for SNAP expedited services (SNAP-b.6) may receive their first allotment of SNAP benefits without meeting the SSN requirement, but they must meet the requirement before receiving a second allotment of SNAP benefits.
    3. Adding a person to a case – A new person (other than a newborn) must provide their SSN or provide proof they have applied for their SSN before being added to an existing SNAP group. If no SSN or proof of application for SSN is received, they will be added to the case as a disqualified person coded as a DH or DP.
    4. Newborns – A newborn may be added to an existing SNAP group for six months or until the next redetermination, whichever is later, before meeting the SSN requirement. If no SSN or proof of application for SSN is received, the child will be added to the case as a disqualified person coded on the case as a DP and their income remains countable to the eligible benefit group members.

    Note:  A person disqualified for no SSN is coded as a DP or DH; their income remains countable to the eligible benefit group members.

    Requirement to Provide Social Security Number (SSN): 461-120-0210


  7. SNAP work program requirements; who must comply

    By signing the application, the head of household registers all those people who must comply with the SNAP work program requirements.

    1. SNAP clients aged 18 through 59, and ages 16 and 17 if the primary person, must cooperate with the work requirements to be eligible.
    2. Work requirements apply year-round other than participation in the OFSET Program, which is limited to eight weeks in each 12-month period.


  8. Work requirement exemptions

    The first step in deciding whether to apply SNAP work requirements is to determine which clients are exempt from the requirements. The following clients are considered exempt:

    1. Heads of households who are age 16 or 17 and are either:
      1. Attending school or:
      2. Enrolled in an employment training program at least half time.
    2. Clients who are working a minimum of 30 hours a week or earning money equal to at least the federal minimum wage x 30 hours a week x 4.3 weeks ($7.25 x 30 x 4.3 = $935.25 as of 7/24/09).
      1. Self-employed clients with allowable costs must meet the earnings threshold after allowing the 50 percent deduction (SEC of $1,870.50 or SEN of $935.25);
      2. Migrant (GP-A.52) and seasonal (GP-A.71) farm workers (SNAP-J.1) meet this when they have a contract or agreement to work this amount and will begin work within 30 days.
    3. Clients who are responsible for the care of a dependent child under age 6. In two-parent families, establish with the client who is the primary caretaker of the children. Additionally, if the client cannot pay for their child care, they are exempt from the work program.
    4. Clients with a mental or physical condition that prevents them from working. Verify (SNAP-B.11) this exemption with a statement from a medical practitioner if questionable.
    5. Clients who are required to care for a person in the household with a disability (SNAP-C.4). If the person with a disability is not a member of the household, the client must spend at least 30 hours a week caring for that person. In this case, the client must verify the disability, the need for care and the hours of care needed.
    6. Clients enrolled at least half-time (as defined by the school) in:

      1. High school or an equivalent program, or

      2. A training program; or

      3. Higher education. Establish that clients who are in higher education are eligible students (SNAP-E.3) before determining work program status.

      Note:  Clients remain exempt during normal periods of vacation and recess, including summer vacation.
    7. TANF recipients.
    8. Clients who have applied for or are receiving unemployment compensation (UC) or Be participating in at least one of the following Employment Department training programs (clients may or may not be getting UC benefits if in one of these programs):

      1. The Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA) program serving displaced workers under the Trade Act.
      2. The Training Unemployment Insurance (TUI) program.
      3. The Self-Employment Insurance (SEA) program.
      4. The Apprenticeship Program (APT).
    9. Clients attending alcohol or drug treatment, meetings or in rehabilitation programs. This includes AA and NA.
    10. Pregnant females.
    11. Clients who have other barriers to employment, such as lack of child care, transportation, being homeless (GP-A.41), having a medical condition or having family issues such as domestic violence. When evaluating these issues, decide whether they truly are barriers to employment.

      Note:  All exemptions must be narrated. It is particularly important to narrate why a client is exempt due to barriers based on the case worker’s judgment.

      Participation Classifications: Exempt, Mandatory, and Volunteer: 461-130-0310


  1. SNAP work requirements for mandatory clients

    SNAP applicants and recipients who do not meet an exemption are considered mandatory. Clients who are mandatory and those who are exempt because of working 30 hours a week, participating in JOBS or getting UC, must do the following or be subject to disqualification:

    1. Register for work. By signing the application, the head of household registers all adults in the filing group.

    2. Cooperate in determining their mandatory or exempt status.

    3. TANF clients must cooperate with their JOBS requirements.

    4. Comply with OED work search requirements for UC.

    5. Accept a bona fide offer of employment, as long as the position is not vacant due to strike or lockout, and it pays the applicable minimum wage.

    6. Not quit a productive job unless they have a good reason. A productive job is one that averages at least 30 hours per week or pays at least 30 hours per week times the federal minimum wage. Clients must not quit these jobs within 30 days before applying for SNAP or while receiving SNAP. Reducing hours of work below the productive job standard is also considered job quit (SNAP-d.17).

    7. Complete the OFSET work activities agreed to in their case plan, which includes making progress reports to the local contractor.

     

    Requirements for Mandatory Employment Program Clients;
    Pre-TANF, REF,  SNAP, TANF: 461-130-0315
    Job Quit by Applicants; SNAP: 461-135-0521


  2. Changes in work requirement status

    Each adult’s mandatory or exempt status is reviewed at the following times:

    When a person's status changes, update the FSMIS coding and narrate the change.

    1. Status changes from exempt to mandatory:
      1. On an ongoing case, including at interim report, notify the client of their new work program requirements within 10 calendar days.
      2. At recert, notify the client of their new work program requirements when eligibility is determined.
      Example: An exempt client is working 22 hours a week at $11.00 an hour. The case is in SRS. He has reported that his income has stopped. If he is not exempt for another reason, evaluate for job quit. If the client has good cause and is not disqualified, refer the client to the OFSET Program. If the client does not have good cause, the client will be disqualified.

      Note:  If a client becomes mandatory during the cert period, send an OFSET Program-Client Agreement (DHS 7832R) or Notice Writer FS7832R.

    1. Status changes from mandatory to exempt:

      1. Notify the client within 30 calendar days from receiving information on the change. Offer the client the opportunity to continue participation as a volunteer if the district serves volunteers.

      The two examples below will give you guidance of how to act and when to verify income:

      Example 1: When you need to verify income: Joe is a mandatory client on his own case. He is participating in job search and reports he has gone to work 30 hours a week at $11.00 an hour. The job and hours now make him exempt from OFSET. In addition, this places him over the Countable Income Limit which he is required to report. Verify the income and add it to the case using the appropriate 10-day notice. Narrate the report of the new job, the income and the suspension of the OFSET assignment and the number of weeks he had completed. Follow up when processing the DHS 852 or the next recert, whichever comes first.

      Example 2: When you do not need to verify income: Isobel is a mandatory client on her own case. She is participating in job search and reports she has gone to work 22 hours a week at $10.50 an hour. The job and hours now make her exempt from OFSET as it is above the required amount. However, the income is not over the Countable Income Limit and she is not required to report the income. There is no need to verify the income as she has not gone over the reporting requirements. Follow up when processing the DHS 852 or the next recert, whichever comes first.


  3. Referrals to the OFSET Program

    Mandatory clients are required to participate in the OFSET Program for eight weeks out of every 12 months. The intent of OFSET is to provide short-term, focused resources to help individuals improve their employability.

    OFSET is administered by local contractors. Contractors work directly with clients to assess their strengths, skills and support needs. The contractor and client together develop a case plan. Workers’ responsibilities are limited to issues concerning SNAP eligibility and to the two activities managed out of the branch office.

    Follow local procedures to refer clients to OFSET. In most cases, this can be done by using the DHS 7832R or the NOTM FS7832R.

    1. Duties of local offices:

      1. Determine and narrate mandatory or exempt status;

      2. Explain to mandatory clients what they need to do to meet the work requirement;

      3. Review the OFSET Rights and Responsibilities (DHS 7280F);

      4. Refer mandatory clients to a local contractor for the OFSET Program. If a client wants to do individual job search, let them know they will need to work with the contractor to qualify for support service payments;

      5. Apply and lift disqualifications, as appropriate.

    2. Duties of OFSET contractors:

      1. Assess the client, which includes a review of work history;

      2. Write an OFSET case plan;

      3. Issue support service payments to clients in need of help with transportation;

      4. Track client participation;

      5. Notify the local office if the client is not cooperating with the case plan;

      6. Participate in conciliation if requested.

    Requirements for Mandatory Employment Program Clients;
    Pre-TANF, REF, SNAP, TANF: 461-130-0315
    Limits to OFSET Components and Activities: 461-190-0310



  4. OFSET components

    The availability of OFSET components varies depending on location. Work components for all mandatory clients may include the following:

    1. Activities supervised by the local branch office are:

      1. Independent job search – Mandatory clients must do a minimum of 12 contacts a month for eight weeks of job search. Clients who prefer to conduct their own job search will be allowed to do so. They must report their progress to their SNAP worker via a Job Search Verification (DHS 475) at the end of their assignment period. No support service payments are available. If the client needs help with transportation costs, they must be referred to the contractor for job search:

      2. Maintaining employment – Clients who are employed 20 hours a week or more, but are still mandatory, must maintain employment and try to increase work hours. Participation in another activity is not necessary. The SNAP worker creates a case plan specifying this and the client is not referred to a contractor.

    2. Activities supervised by the contractor are:

      1. Contracted job search – Mandatory clients must do a minimum of 12 contacts a month for eight weeks of job search. The contractor may ask clients to do job search in combination with other work activities;

      2. Contracted job preparation training – Clients who need help developing skills to obtain employment may be assigned to job preparation training. This includes interviewing skills, writing a resume or basic skills education such as ABE, ESL and GED;

      3. Contracted vocational or educational training – Vocational or educational training is short term and is limited to no more than three months. As with other work program components, the intent is to provide in-demand skills that will improve employability.


  5. OFSET support service payments

    1. Support service payments may be authorized by the contractor to reimburse a client’s transportation costs for program participation. This includes bus tickets, passes for other public transportation or gas vouchers. Costs directly related to job acceptance, such as uniforms, tools or certifications are also allowable.

    2. Up to $80 per participant may be paid for the eight-week period.


  6. OFSET noncooperation

    Mandatory clients must cooperate with their work requirements. Noncooperation includes the following and results in a disqualification penalty if the client does not have good cause:

    1. Failure to cooperate in determining mandatory or exempt status.

    2. Failure to cooperate with JOBS requirements if they are exempt from OFSET only because of JOBS participation. The JOBS activity must have an equivalent in the OFSET Program (e.g., both have Job Search; OFSET does not have Life Skills).

    3. Being disqualified from UC for failure to meet OED work search requirements.

    4. Failure to accept a bona fide offer of employment. A bona fide job offer means a position with a specific starting wage and date that is not vacant due to strike or lockout, and pays the applicable minimum wage.

    5. Quitting a productive job within 30 days of applying for SNAP benefits or while receiving SNAP. Voluntarily reducing hours of work to less than 30 per week is also considered a job quit.

    6. Failure to keep scheduled appointments and complete work activities as assigned in case plans.


  7. Conciliation; determining good cause

    Conciliation is an opportunity for clients to establish good cause for noncooperation with SNAP work requirements. It can also be used to resolve disputes and misunderstandings.

    1. Conciliation can be requested by the client, the department or the contractor. It includes:

      1. Informing clients of their OFSET rights and responsibilities and of potential disqualifications;

      2. Exploring whether good cause exists for noncooperation;

      3. Changing the OFSET case plan, if needed.

    2. Mandatory clients must provide evidence to establish whether their reasons for not meeting the work requirements are acceptable. Consider clients to have good cause if they:

      1. Have a medical authority's statement that the task has an adverse effect on their physical or mental health.

      2. Left a worksite that violates health and safety standards.

      3. Have no means of transportation and would have to walk more than two miles to employment or to a pick-up point.  The person must show that they have made a good-faith effort to secure the needed transportation.

      4. Have to commute more than two hours round trip.

      5. Were not being paid at least minimum wage or the acceptable piecework rate.

      6. Left because the work hours are:

        1. Not customary to the occupation;

        2. More than customary to the occupation; or

        3. Interfere with religious observances or beliefs of the client.

      7. Do not have child care arrangements or those arrangements have broken down. The household must attempt to get child care from another provider.

      8. Do not want a job that is vacant due to strike, lockout or other labor dispute.

      9. Do not want to join a union due to religious objections.

      10. Belong to a union and a potential job goes against the conditions of that union. Good cause does not exist if the employment is not governed by the rules of the union to which the client belongs.

      11. Are offered a job within the first 30 days of participation and the job is not in the client's field of expertise. The department must determine that the job offered will not meet the goals of the client’s case plan.

      12. Have a job referral or employer that is discriminatory on the basis of age, sex, race, religious or political belief, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.

      13. Failed to cooperate due to circumstances beyond their control, such as a medical condition, court appearance, break down in transportation, inclement weather, family issues or a misunderstanding in the cooperation requirement.

      14. Were subject to job quit provisions but they quit their job to stay with another filing group member who moved for employment or school.

      15. Quit employment when they were under age 60 but the employer considers them retired.

      16. Left a job to follow a type of employment that moves, such as migrant labor.

      17. Accepted a new job that failed to materialize or resulted in fewer hours, if it was beyond the client's control.

      18. Have unreasonable employment, such as not being paid on schedule or at all.

    Good Cause; Employment Programs: 461-130-0327


  8. OFSET noncooperation; disqualification penalties

    Disqualification penalties are intended to motivate clients to comply with the SNAP work requirements. Do not disqualify applicants who withdraw their application before benefits are approved.

    1. Penalties are imposed only after consideration of each client's situation, which includes determining whether the client:

      1. Meets an exemption;

      2. Had good cause for not cooperating;

      3. Was able to do the activities assigned in their plan.

    2. A notice of disqualification must be sent before imposing the penalty, even if the certification period is ending. Use Notice Writer FSC1FJQ to close benefits and FSC2FJQ to reduce benefits. SPD/AAA workers may also use the Notification of Planned Action (SDS 540). The notice must state:

      1. The action that resulted in disqualification;

      2. The length of the minimum disqualification period;

      3. The reduced benefit amount; and

      4. How they can end the dis xqualification after the minimum period.

    3. The disqualification periods are in full calendar months. 

    4. The disqualifications are progressive as follows:

      1. The first disqualification is at least one calendar month. (Coded as LV1 on FSMIS.);

      2. The second disqualification is at least three calendar months. (Coded as LV2 on FSMIS.);

      3. Every time thereafter, the disqualification is at least six calendar months. (Coded as LV3 on FSMIS.)

    5. Disqualification periods have minimum durations, but no maximum. They last until the client demonstrates cooperation or notifies the department of a change that makes them exempt. For example, a client could be disqualified for the first time, never demonstrate cooperation and have the penalty last forever rather than just one month. 

    6. The disqualified client remains in the SNAP filing group. Their income and resources count when determining eligibility for the group.

    Note:  When the only person on the case is disqualified, the SNAP case is closed. Do not use a DIS transaction. Use a CLO or DEN transaction.

    If the head of household is serving an OFSET disqualification, the case is no longer categorically eligible. Change the Cat El code on FSMIS to N. Count the resources of the disqualified head of household.

    Use of Income and Income Deductions When There Are Ineligible or Disqualified Group Members; SNAP: 461-160-0410
    Notice Situation; Disqualification: 461-175-0220


  9. Job quit penalties

    Mandatory clients are not eligible for SNAP if they voluntarily quit a productive job (SNAP-E.11) without good cause during their certification period or in the 30 days before applying for SNAP.

    1. If an applicant had a disqualifying job quit, they are ineligible from the filing date. The appropriate OFSET disqualification penalty, level 1-3, is applied effective the first of the month following the filing date. No 10-day notice is required for applicants.

    2. For ongoing clients, follow the same steps as for any other OFSET disqualification.

    Job Quit by Applicants; SNAP: 461-135-0521

    Note:  There is no job quit penalty when the client is fired, laid off or has hours cut at the employer’s discretion.  

    F REFER TO EXAMPLES 20 OF JOB QUIT PENALTY.


  10. OFSET; showing cooperation and ending disqualification

    1. Showing cooperation

      1. When disqualifying a SNAP client, the worker must inform them of the requirement to demonstrate cooperation in order to regain eligibility. The worker also needs to explain what task will meet the requirement and give the client the assignment in writing.

      2. Local offices and districts have operational flexibility to decide what disqualified clients must do to demonstrate cooperation. They may decide this on a case-by-case basis, or have a standard in their area. Local offices and districts may:

        1. Handle the disqualification cooperation in house such as: Have the client complete a task and track the task until complete.

        2. Develop a partnership with the local contractor to handle disqualification cooperation. Clients who are disqualified are not in the OFSET program and are not receiving SNAP benefits so the OFSET contractor must be aware they cannot bill for these clients through he OFSET program.

      3. Cooperation tasks should be:

        1. Something the client can complete during their minimum disqualification period;

        2. Reasonable, considering local labor market conditions. For example, a branch or area could decide all disqualified clients must complete two weeks of job search including at least two in-person contacts, in order to demonstrate cooperation.

        3. For job quits, cooperation is considered met if the client does any of the following:

          1. The client gets another job of similar wage or hours to the one they quit;

          2. Gets work hours restored to more than 30 hours per week if they reduced their work hours;

          3. Complies with the task determined by the local branch.

        4. Disqualified clients cannot be given good cause for failure to demonstrate cooperation.

    2. Ending disqualifications

      1. For ongoing cases, the client is added back to the case the first of the month after they complete their minimum disqualification period and demonstrate cooperation. Follow add-a-person (SNAP-I.8) policy when adding the client to an open SNAP case.

      2. For cases that were closed because the certification period ended or due to the disqualification, the client must show cooperation and serve the penalty period before becoming eligible for SNAP. Open the case on the filing date or the date the client shows cooperation with OFSET, whichever is later.

      3. Remove any disqualification applied in error, and do not count it as a time that the client failed to meet their work requirement.

      4. The disqualification follows the person. If the person leaves the filing group, remove the disqualification from the case.

      5. If a disqualified client becomes exempt:

        1. On an ongoing case, remove the disqualification and add the person back to the case the first of the month after the change becomes known;

        2. On a closed case, the client must reapply and can be SNAP eligible from the date they apply.

    Disqualifications; Pre-TANF, REF, SNAP, TANF:461-130-0330
    Removing Disqualifications and Effect on Benefits: 461-130-0335
    Use of Income and Income Deductions When There Are Ineligible or Disqualified Group Members; SNAP: 461-160-0410
    Effective Dates; Ending Disqualifications: 461-180-0065

    F SEE EXAMPLES OF THE DISQUALIFICATION PENALTY AND LIFTING THE DISQUALIFICATION (SNAP-E - EXAMPLES 18).


  11. Fleeing felon and violators of parole, probation or post-prison supervision

    On August 22, 1996, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 became law. This law made fleeing felons and persons in violation conditions of parole, probation or post-prison supervision ineligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    F SEE GP-L FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY AFTER A PERSON HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A FLEEING FELON OR AS A PERSON WHO HAS NOT BEEN MEETING THE CONDITIONS OF THEIR PAROLE, PROBATION OR POST-PRISON SUPERVISION.

    F SEE SNAP-G.13 ON HOW TO TREAT THE INCOME AND DEDUCTIONS OF AN INELIGIBLE GROUP MEMBER.

    Need Group: 461-110-0630
    Fleeing Felon and Violators of Parole, Probation, and Post-Prison Supervision;
    GA, GAM, SNAP, and TANF: 461-135-0560


  12. SNAP E - Nonfinancial eligibility examples

    Section 3.   Student examples

    Examples of student status:

    Example 3: Lucas (age 17) is attending University of Oregon full time. There is no need to look at student status because he is under age 18.

    Example 4: Kit (age 50) is attending college under a displaced worker program. There is no need to look at student status because he is over age 49.

    Example 5: Belle (age 21) is attending beauty college. She is attending a program that does not require a high school diploma or GED. There is no need to look at student status because she is not participating in a higher education program.

    Examples of ineligible student status situations (assume all of these students are attending college at least half time):

    Example 6: Sophia (age 18) is living with a friend. She is working around the house doing housework and yard work in exchange for rent. They claim that she is doing housework 20 hours a week. She does not meet the work requirement because she is not paid for this work and there is no employer/employee relationship. Sophia is an ineligible student unless she can meet one of the other student criteria.

    Example 7: James (age 23) was awarded work study. The school has work-study jobs available, but he has not been hired into one. Because he declined a work-study job, James is an ineligible student unless he can meet one of the other student criteria.

    Example 8: Arabella (age 19) attended college during spring term and plans to return to college in the fall. She was awarded work study and worked until school let out in June. She was also awarded work study for the fall. It is July and she is not working in a work-study assignment and does not meet any other student criteria. She is considered a student during the summer even though she is not attending classes. Arabella is an ineligible student unless she can meet one of the other student citeria.

    Example 9: Ana (age 26) is a graduate student and receiving a graduate teaching fellowship. She claims to be working 20 hours a week in this teaching fellowship. She is not working elsewhere and does not meet the eligible student criteria in any other way. She is not an eligible student as the fellowship is educational income and not considered employment.

    Examples of eligible student status situations (assume all of these students are attending college at least half time):

    Example 10: Horatio (age 28) was awarded work study. He is interested in doing the work and needs the money. However, the school has stated that although he was awarded the work study, they do not have the money available and therefore cannot offer him a work-study job. He does not need to meet the eligible student criteria based on work study and is an ineligible student unless he meets one of the other student criteria.

    Example 11: Phoebe (age 19) is babysitting for a friend 20 hours a week at $1 an hour. She claims she is not self-employed. She meets the eligible student criteria and may be eligible for SNAP if she meets all other eligibility criteria.

    Example 12: Max (age 35) is receiving free rent for acting as apartment manager and maintenance person. He states he is actively working 20 to 30 hours a week at this job. This is an employer/employee relationship and he is being paid mostly in-kind for his employment. He only receives $150 a month in cash. He meets the eligible student criteria and may be eligible for SNAP if he meets all other eligibility criteria.

    Example 13: Lizzie (age 45) is attending college under VA Chapter 31. In addition to the stipend she receives for going to school, the VA has also located a VA work-study job for her. She is working 10 hours a week at this job. She meets the eligible student criteria as the VA has determined she is not employable and has placed her in college under a vocational rehabilitation program. In addition, she is working in a federally funded work-study program (not title IV).

    Housing and utility deduction examples when there is an ineligible student:

    Example 14: Three students are sharing a residence and are applying for SNAP together. One of the students is ineligible. All three students pay an equal share of the housing and heating costs. The rent of $600 is divided by the three that pay to arrive at $200 share per person. There are two eligible persons in the filing group and so $400 shelter costs plus the FUA are allowed.

    Example 15: Three persons live in the same household, one adult and two children. The adult is an ineligible student. The children have child support income and the family is using their income to pay the $650 rent. The two eligible persons are entitled to have a deduction for the amount of rent they pay, ($650). They are not eligible for the FUA or LUA as their income is not being used to pay the utility costs.


    Section 18.   Applying the disqualification penalty and lifting the penalty examples

    One-person need groups

    Example 1: Not meeting work requirements; disqualification notice sent

    Facts:
    Certification period: December through November
    Household composition: John (age 40)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    The contractor notified the department on 9/20 that John stopped performing his assigned activities.
    Notices: The FS00CON was sent requesting conciliation. John did not contact his worker. The disqualification notice (FSC1FJQ) was sent in October and he was told what he must do to regain benefits.
    Disqualification effective: 11/1 as LV1

    Situation 1: John turned in his application for recertification on 11/10. He received the Notice of Pending Status (DHS 210) telling him what he needed to do to show cooperation. Per the contractor on 11/24, John performed the assigned activities. John's SNAP case was recertified effective 12/1. Even though he demonstrated cooperation, he must serve the minimum disqualification.

    Situation 2: John reapplied on 4/6. Even though he has not received SNAP benefits for several months, he still needs to cooperate with OFSET. He received the DHS 210 informing him of the activity he needed to do to have his benefits recertified. On 5/8, the contractor informed the worker that John completed the assigned activities on 5/6. John's SNAP case was recertified effective 5/6.

    Situation 3: John turned in his application for recertification on 12/3. He received a DHS 210 showing what he must do to complete the application process. John was scheduled to do a week of job search with four contacts. He called his worker on 12/12 to say he had been sick and could not look for work. John's worker explains that he must do the job search to regain SNAP eligibility: DHS cannot give him good cause. John completed his activities on 12/17 and was recertified effective that day.

    Example 2: Not meeting work requirements; disqualification notice not sent

    Facts:
    Certification period: December through May
    Household composition: Jake (age 28)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    On 4/20, the contractor notified the department that Jake stopped performing his assigned activities.
    Notices: The FS00CON, a notice for conciliation, was sent to Jake. Jake did not contact his worker. No notice of disqualification was sent to Jake.

    Situation 1: On 6/5, Jake filed his application for recertification. Jake cleared all eligibility factors except the work requirement. He was recertified beginning 6/5 but was given a notice of disqualification effective 7/1 for a minimum of one calendar month and until he returned and performed at least one week of the assigned activities.

    Situation 2: On 8/5, Jake came to the office about his recertification. He cleared all eligibility factors except the work requirement. He was recertified beginning 8/5 and agreed to do the assigned work activities. A disqualification was not applied as no notice was sent and there was a break in receipt of benefits of more than one month (June 1 - August 5). Too much time has passed to apply the penalty and review for possible exemption during the months when Jake's case was closed.

    Example 3: Reduction in work hours without good cause; disqualification notice sent

    Facts:
    Certification period: October through September
    Household composition: Jerod (age 24)
    OFSET status: Exempt.

    He was working 26 hours a week at $8.80 an hour, which equates to more than 30 hours a week at federal minimum wage.) On 11/2, he reported he was now working 16 hours a week. The employer verified that Jerod asked to work fewer hours. This is treated the same as job quit. Jerod told his worker that he asked for fewer hours because he works at night and he wants to spend more time with friends. This is not good cause.
    Notices: The FS00CON (conciliation) and FSC1FJQ (disqualification) notices were sent. The disqualification also told him that one way to comply with the work requirements was to ask his employer to restore his work hours.
    Disqualification effective: 12/1

    Situation 1: On 11/26, Jerod reports that his employer agreed to restore his hours. He is again OFSET exempt because he is working the equivalent of 30 hours a week. Undo the 12/1 close action on FSMIS. Remove the LV1, LV2 or LV3.

    Situation 2: On 1/5, Jerod reapplied for SNAP. He is still working 16 hours a week. His supervisor stated that the busy season is over and he cannot increase Jerod's hours. A DHS 210 is given to Jerod asking him to do six job search contacts in two weeks. He arrived in the office on 2/8 with a completed Job Search Verification (DHS 475) showing he had completed the requested job search activity. The disqualification can be lifted 2/8, the date he completed the required work activity and the case is recertified.

    Example 4: Not meeting work requirements; disqualification notice sent

    Facts:
    Certification period: April through March
    Household composition: Tim (age 32) and two children (ages 10 and 12)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    Tim failed to cooperate with his job search activities without good cause in February.
    Notices: The FS00CON (conciliation) and FSC1FJQ (disqualification) notices were sent to Tim in February. On 3/17, Tim contacted his worker about his recertification. Benefits were recertified for April for the children only. The household is no longer categorically eligible and Tim’s resources must be counted. He was given notice indicating the need to do six employer contacts in two weeks to have the disqualification lifted.
    Disqualification effective: 4/1

    Situation 1: Tim turned in his six employer contacts on 4/10. He was added back to the SNAP benefits effective 5/1. Review cat  el status.

    Example 5: TANF/SNAP client not meeting TANF JOBS requirement

    Facts:
    Certification period: January through December
    Household composition: Louise (age 30) and two children (ages 10 and 12)
    OFSET status: Exempt.
    Louise was participating in JOBS. However, she failed to cooperate with her self-sufficiency plan in February and began TANF disqualifications effective 3/1. Louise was only OFSET exempt due to participating in JOBS, so she also must meet the OFSET requirements.
    Notices: Louise's worker sent a TANF disqualification notice only.

    Situation 1: Louise was JOBS disqualified was because she failed to cooperate with the job search activities. The JOBS job search requirement is comparable to OFSET, so OFSET disqualifications also apply. The FSC1FJQ notice was sent to Louise informing her of the SNAP DQ effective 3/1 and what she needed to do to show cooperation. In addition, DQI income was coded onto FSMIS for 3/1 and the case lost cat el status. On 3/1, Louise tells her TANF worker she wants to cooperate and the TANF DJ is lifted. Louise again becomes OFSET exempt. Follow add-a-person policy and lift the OFSET DQ effective 4/1.

    Situation 2: The JOBS disqualification was because Louise failed to cooperate with a referral for parenting classes. This TANF requirement is not comparable to OFSET, so OFSET disqualifications cannot be applied. Code DQI income on the SNAP case effective 3/1. Louise is now mandatory for OFSET and should be referred to the local contractor.

    Example 6: Recipient job quit

    Facts:
    Certification period: October through September
    Household composition: Zane (age 28), Marilyn (age 26), and three children (ages 2, 4, and 7)

    OFSET status:
    Zane is exempt due to working 35 hours a week; Marilyn is exempt to care for a child under age 6. Zane reported in December that he was no longer working. It was determined he quit his job without good cause.
    Notices: NOTM FSC2FJQ was sent to Zane for a one-month penalty. The notice specifies that Zane needs to do 12 job search contacts and leave four applications within a 30-day period before he could again receive SNAP.
    Disqualification effective: 1/1 for Zane only. Marilyn and the children continued to receive benefits. Remember to change the cat el status to N if Zane is the HH on SNAP.

    Situation 1: Zane arrives in the office on 1/24 with a completed Job Search Verification (DHS 475) showing he completed the requested job search. The disqualification was lifted as of 2/1.

    Situation 2: Zane arrives in the office on 2/8 with a completed DHS 475 showing he completed the job search. Following add-a-person policy, remove the disqualification effective 3/1.

    Example 7: Ending the disqualification due to a change in status

    Facts:
    Certification period: November through October
    Household composition: Gen (age 32)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    She agreed to do 12 job search contacts a month. In November, she did not turn in the Job Search Verification (DHS 475) and when questioned, she stated that she did not get around to doing the job search. It was determined in December that she did not have good cause.
    Notices: The FSC1FJQ, notice of disqualification, was sent to Gen informing her that she needs to do 12 job search contacts and leave four applications within a 30-day period before she can receive SNAP again.
    Disqualification effective: 1/1

    Situation 1: Gen comes into the branch office on 12/26 to report and verify she is now working 30 hours a week. Gen is now exempt. Process SNAP benefits for January based on the anticipated income. Remove the LV1 coding.

    Situation 2: Gen comes into the branch on 1/6 to report and verify she is working 30 hours a week. Gen is now exempt, but her case is closed. She needs to reapply for SNAP benefits.

    Situation 3: On 5/5, Gen reapplies for SNAP and medical. She verifies that she is three months pregnant and therefore exempt. Lift the disqualification and process the application as of the new filing date. Do not remove the LV1 coding as she served the one-month disqualification.

    Example 8: Ending the disqualification due to a change in status

    Facts:
    Certification period: October through September
    Household composition: Harry (age 32) and Ginny (age 30)
    OFSET status: Harry is Mandatory. Ginny is exempt as she is pregnant. Harry failed to cooperate with his job search activities in November.
    Notices: The FS00CON (conciliation) and FSC1FJQ notices were sent to Harry in late November.
    Disqualification effective: 1/1.

    Situation 1: Harry comes into the branch on 12/22 to report and verify he is now working 20 hours a week at $8.90 an hour. He is now exempt. Lift the disqualification and process SNAP benefits for January with Harry included. Remove the LV1 coding. If including his anticipated earnings for January would result in a reduction in benefits, send 10-day notice before adding Harry and his income.

    Situation 2: Harry comes into the branch on 1/15 to report and verify he is working 20 hours a week at $8.90 an hour. He is now exempt. Lift the disqualification for February (following add-a-person policy). Add both Harry and his anticipated earnings to FSMIS. Send a 10-day continuing benefit decision notice if this change results in less benefits for February than were issued in January. Do not remove the LV1 coding as Harry began to serve the disqualification before showing that he was exempt.

    Section 20.   Disqualification for job quit in 30-day period before getting SNAP examples

    Example 1:

    Facts:
    Filing date: 2/26
    Household composition: Robert (age 35)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    During the interview it was determined that he walked off the job on 2/15. The branch determined he did not have good cause for the job quit.
    Notices: Denial notice (MSC 456) stating he is not eligible before 4/1 and until he shows cooperation.
    One calendar-month period of ineligibility due to a job quit:
    2/15 - 3/1 not eligible; 3/1 to 3/31 is the one month LV1 disqualification.

    Example 2:

    Facts:
    Filing date: 3/10

    Household composition: Elizabeth (age 32) and two children (ages 7 and 10)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    Elizabeth was employed 40 hours a week in Iowa. She quit her job on 2/18 and moved her family to Oregon. It was determined that she did not have good cause for the job quit.
    Notices: Denial notice (MSC 456) stating she is not eligible before 5/1. However, the children may be eligible during this period.
    One calendar-month period of ineligibility due to a job quit:
    3/10 - 3/31 not eligible; 4/1 to 4/30 is the one month LV1 disqualification.

    Example 3:

    Facts:
    Filing date: 4/19
    Household composition: Richard (age 32)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    During the interview it was determined that his work hours were recently reduced. He was working 40 hours a week and is now working 20 hours a week. The branch determined that he asked to work fewer hours on 3/30 and he did not have good cause. This reduction is treated like a job quit.
    Notices: Denial notice (MSC 456) stating he is not eligible before 6/1 and until he demonstrates cooperation.
    One calendar-month period of ineligibility due to reduction in work hours:
    4/19 - 4/30 not eligible; 5/1 to 5/31 is the one month disqualification.

    Example 4:

    Facts:
    Filing date: 1/21
    Household composition: Lawrence (age 30)
    OFSET status: Mandatory.
    During the interview, Lawrence said he was fired on 1/15. The worker called the employer to verify and was told he did not show for work so the employer considers it a job quit. The branch determined he caused his own dismissal but did not voluntarily quit his job. Lawrence is not subject to disqualification due to voluntary job quit.

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