5101:4-3-09 Food assistance: Ohio works first assistance groups.

This rule sets forth the actions a county agency must take when a member of an assistance group in which all members are receiving Ohio works first (OWF) is sanctioned or disqualified from the OWF program for failing a behavioral requirement in the OWF program designed to improve the well being of the recipient family, such as participating in job search activities, or other provisions of the self sufficiency contract.

(A) What is an OWF assistance group?

(1) An OWF assistance group is defined as an assistance group in which all members are receiving benefits under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act . The OWF rules that contain the penalties and sanctions that should be imposed for these assistance groups are set forth in rules 5101:1-3-14 and 5101:1-3-15 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Assistance groups in which not all members are receiving OWF shall be treated in accordance with rules 5101:4-3-11 , 5101:4-3-11.1, 5101:4-3- 11.2 and 5101:4-3-19 of the Administrative Code.

(B) When should a county agency apply this rule?

(1) This rule shall be applied when:

(a) An individual is receiving OWF benefits at the time the sanction or disqualification was imposed; or

(b) The sanction or disqualification is imposed at the time of application for continued OWF benefits if there is no break in participation.

(2) This rule shall not be applied when an individual has:

(a) Reached a time limit for time-limited benefits;

(b) Failed to reapply or complete the application process for continued OWF benefits;

(c) Failed to perform an action that the individual is unable to perform as opposed to refusing to perform;

(d) Failed to perform purely procedural requirements required by the OWF program. A procedural requirement, which would not trigger a food assistance sanction or disqualification, is a step that an individual must take to continue receiving benefits in the OWF program such as providing verification of circumstances; or

(e) Been sanctioned or disqualified at the time the individual initially applied for OWF benefits.

(C) What circumstances cause an individual to become ineligible rather than sanctioned or disqualified?

(1) Failure or refusal without good cause of an individual who is an adult or a minor head of household to complete the appraisal process, as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Failure or refusal of an individual who is an adult or a minor head of household to sign the self sufficiency contract, as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Failure or refusal of a minor parent to attend the learning, earning and parenting (LEAP) program assessment, failure to enroll in school, or withdrawal from school, as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-50 of the Administrative Code.

(D) What circumstances cause an individual to be disqualified?

In accordance with rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code, a member of an OWF assistance group who is an adult or a minor head of household shall be disqualified to participate in the food assistance program for six payment months if the county agency determines that the member of the assistance group terminated his or her employment without just cause.

(E) What circumstances cause an individual to be sanctioned?

(1) Failure by an individual who is an adult or a minor head of household to comply with provision(s) contained in the self sufficiency contract without good cause, as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code, shall result in the imposition of a sanction for that individual as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-15 of the Administrative Code.

(a) Provisions contained within the self sufficiency contract that could result in a sanction are work activities, alternative activities as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-12.12 of the Administrative Code and child support noncooperation as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-10 of the Administrative Code.

(b) Subsequent failures to comply with provision(s) contained in the self sufficiency contract that occur up until the imposition of the sanction shall be considered the same occurrence. The food assistance sanction or disqualification period shall be imposed concurrently with the sanction or disqualification in the OWF program to the extent allowed by normal food assistance processing times and notice requirements.

(2) Failures resulting in the imposition of a sanction as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-15 of the Administrative Code or as set forth in rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code are to be cumulative.

(F) What happens when a sanctioned or disqualified individual changes assistance groups?

An individual who causes the sanction or disqualification carries that sanction or disqualification into another OWF assistance group until that individual complies.

(G) What happens to the sanction if the individual leaves the OWF program prior to the imposition of the sanction?

If an OWF individual leaves the OWF program prior to the actual imposition of the sanction or disqualification, the sanction or disqualification will not be held in abeyance.

(H) How long does an individual remain sanctioned from food assistance under the provisions of this rule?

(1) The length of the sanction or disqualification period shall not exceed the OWF sanction or disqualification period in accordance with paragraph (C) of rule 5101:1-3-15 of the Administrative Code.

(a) If the sanction or disqualification is still in effect at the end of one year, the county agency shall review the case to determine if the sanction or disqualification continues to be appropriate. Sanctions or disqualifications extended beyond one year must be reviewed at least annually but may be ended by the county agency at any time.

(b) The county agency shall stop the food assistance sanction or disqualification when it becomes aware that the person has become ineligible for OWF for some other reason.

(2) After a sanction or disqualification has ended, the individual may apply for food assistance benefits according to rule 5101:4-2-01 of the Administrative Code or be added to the assistance group according to paragraph (K)(3)(a) of rule 5101:4-7-01 of the Administrative Code.

(I) How is a sanction that is imposed in accordance with rule 5101:1-3-15 of the Administrative Code ended and eligibility regained?

The assistance group member who failed or refused a provision of the self sufficiency contract must:

(1) Sign and submit to the county agency a JFS 03804 "Ohio Works First/Food Assistance Sanction Compliance Request" (rev. 08/2013) or the client registry information system-enhanced (CRIS-E) equivalent; and

(2) Serve the minimum sanction period.

(3) For a second and any subsequent sanction the assistance group member who failed and/or refused, to comply with a provision of the self sufficiency contract without good cause, must demonstrate a willingness to comply with the self sufficiency contract through the completion of an appropriate compliance activity as assigned by the county agency as set forth in paragraph (H) of rule 5101:1-3-15 of the Administrative Code.

(J) How are the income and resources of a sanctioned individual treated?

Individuals sanctioned in accordance with this rule shall have their income and resources treated as set forth in rule 5101:4-6-13theAdministrativeCode.

(K) How is the food assistance benefit allotment affected?

In accordance with rule 5101:4-6-16 of the Administrative Code the county agency shall not increase the food assistance allotment as the result of a decrease in cash assistance when the decrease is due to the failure of an assistance group member to perform a required action.

(L) How does the county agency process changes that are not related to the OWF violation?

The county agency shall act on changes which are not related to the OWF violation and that would affect the assistance group's benefits. All individuals who enter the OWF assistance group after the time of the failure, and otherwise meet eligibility requirements, shall be eligible to receive food assistance benefits for the appropriate assistance group size.

Effective: 09/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.14 , 5107.16 , 5107.22 , 5107.26 , 5107.41 , 5107.42
Prior Effective Dates: 10/01/97 (Emer.), 12/01/97, 01/08/98, 10/11/01, 08/29/03 (Emer.), 11/01/03, 05/24/07, 10/01/07 (Emer.), 12/31/07, 10/15/09, 08/01/11, 2/1/12