Chapter 5101:4-3 Nonfinancial Eligibility Standards

5101:4-3-01 Food stamps: Nonfinancial eligibility standards. [Rescinded].

Rescinded eff 11-01-07

5101:4-3-03 Food assistance: nonfinancial eligibility standard-residency.

(A) What is the residency requirement?

An assistance group must file its application for participation with the county agency or project area in which it lives. The county agency shall not impose any durational residency requirements. Residency shall not mean an intent to permanently reside in the state or project area; however, individuals in a project area solely for vacation shall not be considered residents. A fixed residence is not required; for example, migrant campsites satisfy the residency requirement. The county agency shall not require an otherwise eligible assistance group to have a permanent dwelling or have a fixed mailing address as a condition of eligibility.

(B) Can an individual participate in more than one county or project area in a month?

No individual may participate as a member of more than one assistance group or in more than one county or project area in any month. The only exception is if the individual is a resident of a shelter for battered women and children as defined in rule 5101:4-6-27 of the Administrative Code and was a member of an assistance group containing the individual who had abused her. Residents of shelters for battered women and children shall be handled in accordance with rule 5101:4-6-27 of the Administrative Code.

(C) What residency information is requested on an application?

The application asks for both a physical address and a mailing address. If the two are different, the county agency shall request that both addresses be given. If the address is a rural route information shall be given which will provide directions to the home. Addresses on an application shall be verified in accordance with rule 5101:4-2-09 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-03

Effective: 09/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 06/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101:54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 6/18/81, 7/1/82, 12/31/84 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 8/20/86 (Emer.), 11/15/86, 10/1/90, 6/1/93, 9/22/96 (Emer.), 12/21/96, 4/1/97 (Emer.), 6/6/97, 6/7/98, 5/1/03, 11/1/07

5101:4-3-05 [Rescinded] Food stamps: nonfinancial eligibility standard-assistance group (AG) composition.

Effective: 09/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 05/22/2012
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 6/1/83, 9/24/83, 8/20/86 (Emer.), 11/15/86, 9/1/94, 10/1/97, 5/1/03, 11/1/07

5101:4-3-06 Food assistance: victims of trafficking.

(A) What is considered a severe form of trafficking?

Under section 103(8) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 Public Law No. 106-386, the term "severe forms of trafficking in persons" is defined as:

(1) Sex trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act induced by force, fraud or coercion, or in which the person is forced to perform such an act is under the age of eighteen years; or

(2) Labor trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

(B) Who may be eligible for benefits as a result of being a victim of a severe form of trafficking?

(1) Adult victims who have been certified by the United States office of refugee resettlement are eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as an alien who is admitted to the United States as a refugee under Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 as amended.

(2) Victims who are under age eighteen are also eligible for benefits to the same extent as refugees, but do not need to be certified by the office of refugee resettlement; however, they do need a letter of eligibility. Reference rule 5101:4-3-07 of the Administrative Code for determining citizenship and alien status of individuals who are not victims of severe forms of trafficking.

(3) Certain family members of victims of a severe form of trafficking may be eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as refugees under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2003, Public Law No. 108-193. Victims of severe forms of trafficking as defined in paragraph (A) of this rule are issued "T" visas by the United States immigration and citizenship services. Certain eligible relatives of trafficking victims are entitled to visas designated as "T-2", "T-3", "T-4", or "T-5" (collectively referred to as "Derivative T Visas") and after the issuance of the visas are eligible for food assistance benefits to the same extent as direct victims of severe trafficking, provided that they meet the other eligibility criteria for the program. County agencies shall follow the procedures outlined in paragraphs (D) and (E) of this rule in determining eligibility for these individuals. The eligible relatives of trafficking victims includes:

(a) In the case of an alien who is awarded a "T" visa and who is under twenty-one years of age on the date the "T" visa application was filed, derivative "T" visas are available to the alien's parents, spouse, children, unmarried siblings under eighteen years of age on the date on which the alien's visa application was filed.

(b) In the case of an alien who is awarded a "T" visa and was twenty-one years of age or older on the date the "T" visa application was filed, the derivative "T" visas are available to the alien's spouse and children.

(C) Do certification letters expire?

(1) Certification letters for adults and eligibility letters for children no longer contain expiration dates.

(2) Expired letters are being reissued by the office of refugee resettlement with a lowercase "r" beside the tracking number confirming that the individual continues to meet certification requirements.

(D) What are the procedures for determining eligibility for victims of trafficking?

The county agency shall:

(1) Accept the original certification letter or eligibility letter for children and retain a photocopy in the case file. Victims of severe forms of trafficking are not required to provide any other immigration documents to receive benefits.

(2) Call the trafficking victims verification toll-free number, (866) 401-5510, to confirm the validity of the certification letter before providing benefits. During the verification telephone call, the county agency must notify the office of refugee resettlement of the benefits for which the victim of trafficking has applied.

(3) Confirm identity. Benefits shall not be automatically denied if the individual is unable to provide verification of identity. The county agency must call the trafficking verification telephone number for assistance.

(4) Assist in obtaining a social security number (SSN). The county agency shall not delay, deny, or discontinue assistance to any eligible applicant because he or she does not have a SSN. If an individual is required to provide or apply for a SSN for another benefit program, such as medicaid or Ohio works first, or the victim of severe forms of trafficking does not yet have or is unable to obtain a SSN for work purposes, assistance must be given to these individuals in obtaining non-work SSN's as follows:

The individual must present a letter which:

(a) Is on county agency letterhead;

(b) Includes the applicant's name;

(c) States that the applicant meets the requirements to receive the benefit except for the SSN; and

(d) Cannot be a generic application, form letter, or photocopy.

(5) Note the "entry date" for refugee benefits purposes in the CRIS-E case record. Once the certification letter or letter for children is received and the validity of the document is verified by calling the trafficking verification telephone number, the county agency shall note the individual's "entry date" for refugee benefit purposes. The entry date is the date of certification. The certification date appears in the body of the certification letter or letter for children.

(6) Determine eligibility or redetermine eligibility in accordance with division 5101:4 of the Administrative Code. If an individual presents an expired certification letter when applying for benefits or when a reapplication is being completed and the county agency finds that a certification letter has expired, the county agency shall call the office of refugee resettlement trafficking victims verification toll-free number, (866) 401-5510, for assistance.

(7) Issue benefits. If the applicant meets other program eligibility criteria (e.g., income levels) in accordance with division 5101:4 of the Administrative Code, the individual shall receive benefits and services to the same extent as a refugee.

(E) How is an individual handled who does not have a certification letter or a letter for a child from the office of refugee resettlement?

If a county agency encounters an individual or a child that is believed to meet the definition of a victim of a severe form of trafficking, but the individual has no certification letter or letter in the case of a child, the county agency shall contact the office of refugee resettlement at (866) 401-5510 for assistance.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-06

Effective: 12/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 5/11/02, 10/01/02(Emer.), 12/05/02, 7/01/05, 9/01/06

5101:4-3-07 Food assistance: nonfinancial eligibility standard-citizenship and alien status.

This rule sets forth the eligibility standard used to determine citizenship and alien status of individuals applying for or receiving food assistance benefits. Unless an individual meets the criteria set forth in rule 5101:4-3-06 of the Administrative Code for victims of severe forms of trafficking, to receive program benefits an individual must be one of the following:

(A) A United States (U.S.) citizen or non-citizen national:

(1) The "United States" is defined as the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands. In addition, non-citizen nationals from American Samoa or Swain's Island are considered U.S. citizens for purposes of the food assistance program. Citizenship shall be reviewed as follows:

(a) When an assistance group indicates on the application that one or more of its members are U.S. citizens, but the county agency questions this declaration, the county agency must verify the member's citizenship in accordance with "attachment 4" of the department of justice (DOJ) interim guidance dated November 17, 1997 (62 FR 61344) which outlines documents that verify an individual's status as a U.S. citizen or non-citizen national;

(i) If the forms of verification suggested in "attachment 4" of the DOJ interim guidance cannot be obtained and the assistance group can provide a reasonable explanation as to why verification is not available, the county agency shall accept a signed statement from a third party indicating a reasonable basis for personal knowledge which declares under penalty of perjury that the member in question is a U.S. citizen. The signed statement shall contain a warning of the penalties for helping someone commit fraud.

(ii) Absent verification or third party attestation of U.S. citizenship, the member whose citizenship is in question is ineligible to participate until the issue is resolved. The member whose citizenship is in question will have his or her income and resources considered available to any remaining assistance group members as set forth in rule 5101:4-6-13 of the Administrative Code.

(iii) The county agency must accept participation in another program as acceptable if verification of citizenship was obtained for that program.

(2) American Indian:

(a) An American Indian born in Canada who possesses at least fifty per cent of blood of the American Indian race to whom the provisions of Section 289 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1359 (06/1952), apply; or

(b) A member of an Indian tribe as defined in section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1951, 25 U.S.C. 450b(e) (10/1994), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the U.S. to Indians because of their status as Indians.

(3) Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe:

(a) An individual lawfully residing in the U.S. and who was a member of the Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe at the time that the tribe rendered assistance to U.S. personnel by taking part in a military or rescue operation during the Vietnam era beginning August 5, 1964 and ending May 7, 1975;

(b) The spouse, or surviving spouse of such Hmong or Highland Laotian; or

(c) An unmarried dependent child, or surviving dependant child of such Hmong or Highland Laotian who is under the age of eighteen or if a full-time student under the age of twenty-two provided the child was dependent upon him or her at the time of his or her death; or an unmarried disabled child age eighteen or older if the child was disabled and dependent on the person prior to the child's eighteenth birthday. Child means the legally adopted or biological child of the person described in paragraph (A)(3)(a) of this rule.

(B) Qualified alien: a federal term referring to a pool of non-U.S. citizens eligible to receive food assistance, provided all other eligibility criteria is met.

(1) An alien with an alien status listed below is a qualified alien for the purposes of the food assistance program:

(a) An alien who is granted asylum under section 208 of the INA, 8 U.S.C 1158 (05/2005);

(b) A refugee who is admitted to the U.S. under section 207 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1157 (05/2005);

(c) An Afghan or Iraqi alien admitted to the U.S. who was granted a special immigrant visa (SIV) under section 101(a)(27) of the INA, 8 U.S.C 1101 (12/2008).

(d) An alien whose deportation or removal is being withheld under section 243(h) of the INA as in effect prior to April 1, 1997, or whose removal is withheld under section 241(b)(3) of the INA, 8 U.S.C 1231 (01/2006);

(e) An alien who is a Cuban or Haitian entrant as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. (10/1980); or

(f) An Amerasian admitted pursuant to section 584 of Public Law (Pub. L. No.) 100-202 (12/1987), as amended by Pub. L. No. 100-461 (10/1988).

(g) A lawful alien with one of the following military connections:

(i) A veteran honorably discharged for reasons other than alien status, who fulfills the minimum active-duty service requirements of 38 U.S.C. 5303A(d) , (11/1998) including an individual who died in active military, naval or air service duty. The definition of veteran includes an individual who served before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the government of the commonwealth of the Philippines while such forces were in the service of the armed forces of the U.S. or in the Philippine scouts, as described in 38 U.S.C 107 (12/2003).

(ii) An individual on active duty (other than training) in the armed forces of the U.S.

(iii) The spouse and unmarried dependent children of a person described in paragraph (B)(1)(f)(i) or (B)(1)(f)(ii) of this rule, including the spouse of a deceased veteran, provided the marriage fulfilled the requirements of 38 U.S.C. 1304 (8/1991) and the spouse has not remarried. An unmarried dependent child is: a child who is under the age of eighteen or, if a full-time student, under the age of twenty-two; an unmarried dependent child of a deceased veteran provided the child was dependent upon the veteran at the time of the veteran's death, or an unmarried disabled child age eighteen or older if the child was disabled and dependent on the veteran prior to the child's eighteenth birthday. Child means the legally adopted or biological child of the person described in paragraph (B)(1)(f)(i) or (B)(1)(f)(ii) of this rule.

(2) An alien with an alien status listed in paragraph (B)(2)(a) of this rule must also meet one of the additional criteria listed below in paragraph (B)(2)(b) of this rule to be a qualified alien for the purpose of the food assistance program.

(a) Alien status:

(i) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the INA;

(ii) An alien paroled into the U.S. under section 212(d)(5) of the INA, 8 U.S.C 1182 (12/2007) for a period of at least one year;

(iii) An alien granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of the INA as in effect prior to April 1, 1980.

(iv) An alien battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the U.S by a spouse or a parent or by a member of the spouse's or parent's family residing in the same residence as the alien at the time of the abuse, an alien whose child has been battered or subjected to battery or cruelty, or an alien child whose parent has been battered. Verification and documentation procedures for this status are defined in exhibit B of attachment 5 of the DOJ interim guidance dated November 17, 1997 (62 FR 61344).

(b) Additional criteria:

(i) An alien receiving federal government benefits or assistance for disability or blindness regardless ofthe date ofentry.

(ii) Under eighteen years of age, regardless of the date of entry.

(iii) Resided in the U.S. for a period of five years or more beginning on the date of the alien's entry into the U.S. The status as a qualified alien, as defined in paragraph (B) of this rule, must be maintained during the five year period.

(iv) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the INA who has forty qualifying quarters as determined under Title II of the Social Security Act as amended. When determining qualifying quarters:

(a) Include qualifying quarters from the work of a parent (natural, adoptive and step) of the alien before the alien became eighteen years of age (including quarters worked before the alien was born or adopted);

(b) And quarters credited from the work of a spouse of the alien during their marriage if they are still married or the spouse is deceased;

(c) A spouse may not get credit for quarters of a spouse when the couple divorces prior to a determination of food assistance eligibility. However, if the county agency determines eligibility of an alien based on the quarters of coverage of the spouse, and then the couple divorces, the alien's eligibility continues until the next reapplication. At that time, the county agency must determine the alien's eligibility without crediting the alien with the former spouse's quarters of coverage.

(d) A quarter in which the alien actually received any federal means tested public benefit, such as Ohio works first, supplemental security income or medicaid, or actually received food assistance benefits is not creditable toward the forty-quarter total. Likewise, a parent's or spouse's quarter is not creditable if the parent or spouse actually received any federal means-tested public benefit or actually received food assistance benefits in that quarter.

(e) The county agency must evaluate quarters of coverage and receipt of federal means-tested public benefits on a calendar year basis. The county agency must first determine the number of quarters creditable in a calendar year, then identify those quarters in which the alien (or parent or spouse of the alien) received federal means-tested public benefits and then remove those quarters from the number of quarters of coverage earned or credited to the alien in that calendar year. However, if the alien earns the fortieth quarter of coverage prior to applying for food assistance benefits or any other federal means-tested public benefit in that same quarter, the county agency must allow that quarter toward the forty qualifying quarters total.

(f) The social security administration (SSA) quarters of coverage history system (QCHS) is available for purposes of verifying whether a lawful permanent resident has earned or can receive credit for a total of forty qualifying quarters. However, QCHS may not show all qualifying quarters. For instance, SSA records do not show current year earnings and in some cases, the last year's earnings, depending on the time of the request. Also, in some cases, an applicant may have work from uncovered employment that is not documented by SSA, but is countable toward the forty quarters test. In both these cases, the individual, rather than SSA, would need to verify the quarters.

(C) Eligibility categories: each category of eligible alien status stands alone for purposes of determining eligibility. Subsequent adjustment to a more limited status does not override eligibility based on an earlier less rigorous status. Likewise, if eligibility expires under one eligibility status, the county agency must determine if eligibility exists under another status.

(D) A qualified alien must provide acceptable documentation of eligible alien status to be eligible for food assistance unless one of the three following exceptions apply:

(1) The county agency has submitted a copy of a document provided by the assistance group to the department of homeland security (DHS) for verification. Pending such verification, the county agency cannot delay, deny, reduce or terminate the individual's eligibility for benefits on the basis of the individual's immigration status.

(2) The applicant or county agency has submitted a request to SSA for information regarding the number of quarters of work that can be credited to the individual, SSA has responded that the individual has fewer than forty quarters, and the individual provides documentation from SSA that SSA is conducting an investigation to determine if more quarters can be credited. If SSA indicates that the number of qualifying quarters that can be credited is under investigation, pending the results of the investigation the county agency must certify the individual for up to six months from the date of the original determination of insufficient quarters.

(3) The applicant or the county agency has submitted a request to a federal agency for verification of information affecting the individual's eligible alien status. Pending the results of the investigation the county agency must certify the individual for up to six months from the date of the original request for verification.

(E) Timeframe for verification submission: the county agency must provide alien applicants with a reasonable opportunity to submit acceptable documentation of their eligible alien status. A reasonable opportunity must be at least ten days from the date of the county agency's request for an acceptable document. When the county agency fails to provide an alien applicant with a reasonable opportunity to submit documentation, the county agency must provide the assistance group with benefits no later than thirty days following the date of application, provided the assistance group is otherwise eligible.

(F) Validity of documents:

(1) The county agency shall verify the authenticity of the documentation of eligible alien status of applicant aliens. If an alien does not wish the county agency to contact the DHS to verify his or her immigration status, the county agency must give the assistance group the option of withdrawing its application or participating without that assistance group member in accordance with paragraph (C) of rule 5101:4-3-08 of the Administrative Code. The DOJ interim guidance dated November 17, 1997(62 FR 61344) contains information on acceptable documents and INS codes.

(2) The county agency shall verify the validity of the documents presented by applicant aliens through the systematic alien verification for entitlements (SAVE) program. In some instances validity of documents shall be verified by submitting the DHS, "Document Verification Request" form G845S (7/08) to the appropriate office, along with the proper documentation. SAVE procedures are set forth in rule 5101:4-7-14 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 07/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/01/2014
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 4/1/81, 6/18/81, 9/27/82, 5/20/83 (Emer.), 11/15/86, 8/1/87 (Emer.), 10/25/87, 7/20/88 (Emer.), 10/16/88, 8/1/92 (Emer.), 10/30/92, 6/1/93, 9/1/94, 9/22/96 (Emer.), 12/13/96 (Emer.), 12/23/96, 1/1/97(Emer.), 3/23/97, 4/1/97 (Emer.), 6/6/97, 2/1/98 (Emer.), 2/23/98, 11/1/98 (Emer.), 12/1/98, 5/11/99, 6/1/01 (Emer.), 8/27/01, 12/5/02, 4/1/04, 9/01/06, 10/02/08, 11/1/09

5101:4-3-08 Food assistance: reporting illegal aliens.

(A) What must be reported?

County agencies must report when an applicant or recipient is known to be an illegal alien. To be a known illegal alien there must be a finding of fact or a conclusion of law made as part of a formal determination that is conducted by the United States citizenship and immigration service (USCIS) under the department of homeland security. Only documentation provided by the USCIS or the executive office of administrative review (e.g. a final order of deportation) shall be considered evidence.

(B) What are the reporting procedures?

County agencies must make a report to the Ohio department of job and family services, food assistance section if it determines that a non-citizen is unlawfully present in the United States.

(C) When is an applicant considered an ineligible alien (rather than an illegal alien)?

When an assistance group indicates inability or unwillingness to provide documentation of alien status for any assistance group member, that member shall be classified as an ineligible alien. In such cases, the county agency must not continue efforts to obtain that documentation, unless the individual requests assistance from the county agency.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-08

Effective: 03/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 03/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 4/1/81, 6/18/81, 9/27/82, 3/20/83, 6/1/93, 6/7/98, 6/1/01, 12/1/04

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

5101:4-3-11 Food assistance: work registration and exemptions.

(A) What is work registration?

Work registration is the process for identifying employable individuals who are participating in the food assistance program. Individuals who are work registered are then assessed by the county agency through the appraisal process set forth in rule 5101:4-3-29 of the Administrative Code and assigned to an appropriate employment and training activity.

(B) Who must be work registered for the food assistance employment and training program?

All individuals who are members of an eligible assistance group shall be registered for work and are required to comply with the employment and training program requirements unless the individual meets one of the following exemptions:

(1) A person younger than sixteen years of age.

(a) A sixteen- or seventeen-year-old participant who is not the assistance group name as defined in rule 5101:4-1-03 of the Administrative Code is exempt from work registration.

(b) A sixteen- or seventeen-year-old participant who is the assistance group name and is attending school or enrolled in an employment training program at least half time is exempt from work registration.

(2) Person sixty years of age or older.

(3) A parent or other assistance group member who is responsible for the care of a dependent child under age six or an incapacitated person residing with the assistance group. If a parent and another member of the assistance group both claim to be responsible for the care of the same dependent child(ren) or incapacitated assistance group member, only one member shall be exempt. The responsibility should be determined by discussion with the applicant.

(4) A person receiving unemployment compensation benefits. A person who has applied for, but is not yet receiving, unemployment compensation benefits is also exempt if that person is complying with the requirements of the unemployment compensation application process.

(5) A person physically or mentally unfit for employment either permanently or temporarily. Persons claiming a temporary disability shall be required to register once they become physically and mentally fit unless otherwise exempt. If an individual claims to be mentally or physically unfit for employment and the disability is not evident, verification may be required.

(a) If a claim of permanent or temporary disability is questionable, the county agency may obtain verification from a variety of sources. For example, receipt of benefits from supplemental security income (SSI) is considered evidence of unemployability. In addition, receipt of disability payments under the retirement, survivors, and disability insurance (RSDI) program is considered proof of disability for purposes of this exemption.

(b) Other individuals claiming a disability exemption should, in the absence of physical evidence, furnish verification which can substantiate their disability. Appropriate verification may consist of receipt of temporary or permanent disability benefits issued by governmental or private sources, or a statement from a physician or licensed or certified psychologist. In questionable cases, adequate documentation should appear in the assistance group file to support the granting of this exemption.

(6) Assistance group members who are applying for both SSI and food assistance benefits at the local social security office shall have the requirement for work registration waived until:

(a) They are determined eligible for SSI and thereby become exempt from work registration; or,

(b) They are determined ineligible for SSI at which time their exemption from work requirements shall be reevaluated.

(7) A regular participant in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program, either on a resident or nonresident basis.

(8) A student enrolled in a recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education, as defined in rule 5101:4-6-04 of the Administrative Code, is exempt from work registration if enrolled at least half time.

(a) A student enrolled at least half time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education will remain exempt during normal periods of class attendance, vacation and recess, unless the student graduates, enrolls less than half-time, is suspended or expelled, drop out, or does not intend to register for the next normal school term (excluding summer).

(b) Persons who are not enrolled at least half time or who experience a break in enrollment due to graduation, expulsion, or suspension, or who drop out or otherwise do not intend to return to school, shall not be considered students for the purpose of qualifying for this exemption.

(c) The determination of whether the student is enrolled at least half time is made by the school, training program, or institution of higher education.

(d) A person who is subject to work registration as a condition of eligibility and whose assignment is to attend a recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education is not exempt from work registration. Individuals who are required to work register who are assigned to a recognized school, training program or institution of higher education through the employment and training program meet a student exemption defined in paragraph (B)(4) of rule 5101:4-6-04 of the Administrative code and are considered eligible students for the food assistance program.

(e) A person who is enrolled in a school but taking only noncredit courses is not considered a student for purposes of this exemption.

(9) An assistance group member subject to and complying with any work requirement under the Ohio works first (OWF) program.

(10) An employed or self-employed person working a minimum of thirty hours weekly or earning weekly wages at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by thirty hours. This includes migrant and seasonal farm workers under contract or similar agreement with an employer or crew chief to begin employment within thirty days (although this shall not prevent individuals from seeking additional services from the county agency).

(C) What procedures shall the county follow for work registration?

(1) The county agency shall explain to the individual the employment and training program requirements, the rights and responsibilities of work registered assistance group members, and the consequences of failure to comply as described in rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code. A written statement of the above shall also be provided to each individual who is registered for work. A statement shall also be provided when a previously exempt individual or new household member becomes subject to a work registration, and every twelve months after initial registration.

(2) Each registration shall be documented via the client registry information system enhanced (CRIS-E).

(a) The county agency shall complete the appropriate CRIS-E screen for each individual required to work register prior to authorization of food assistance benefits.

(b) Individuals required to work register shall not be required to be present at the time the county agency work registers the individual. These individuals shall be notified of work requirements in accordance with paragraph (C)(1) of this rule and scheduled for and notified of an appraisal interview.

(D) What happens when an individual is no longer exempt from work registration?

(1) The county agency shall register any person losing exemption status due to any change in circumstances that is subject to reporting requirements of rule 5101:4-7-01 of the Administrative Code at the time the change is reported. Registration shall be documented via CRIS-E.

(2) The county agency shall register persons who lose their exemption due to a change in circumstances that is not subject to reporting requirements of rule 5101:4-7-01 of the Administrative Code at the assistance group's next reapplication. Registration shall be documented via CRIS-E.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-11

Effective: 10/15/2009
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 9/1/76, 12/31/77, 6/2/80, 11/1/80, 12/1/80, 4/1/81, 6/18/81, 10/1/81, 1/18/82, 1/22/82, 5/1/82, 9/27/82, 3/1/83, 6/1/83, 12/31/84 (Emer.), 2/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 5/2/85, 8/1/85, 8/16/85 (Emer.), 11/1/85 (Emer.), 1/1/86, 1/2/86 (Emer.), 4/1/86, 3/1/87, 4/10/87 (Emer.), 6/22/87, 7/1/87 (Emer.), 9/28/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 12/24/87, 1/13/88 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 3/24/88, 3/24/88 (Emer.), 6/18/88, 10/1/88 (Emer.), 11/18/88, 1/1/89, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 3/18/89, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 10/1/90, 11/1/90, 1/1/91, 4/1/91, 10/1/91 (Emer.), 12/2/91, 2/3/92, 5/1/92, 7/1/92, 8/1/92 (Emer.), 10/30/92, 11/1/92, 9/1/93, 2/1/94 (Emer.), 4/15/94, 8/1/94, 10/17/94, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/13/95, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 5/1/96, 7/1/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 9/22/96 (Emer.), 9/23/96 (Emer.), 10/1/96 (Emer.), 11/22/96 (Emer.), 12/15/96, 12/21/96, 1/9/97, 1/31/97 (Emer.), 2/1/97 (Emer.), 4/13/97, 5/1/97, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 1/8/98, 10/11/01, 1/6/03, 12/6/04, 12/31/06, 01/01/08

5101:4-3-11.1 Food assistance: employment and training program requirements.

(A) What are the employment and training program requirements for work registered individuals?

Each individual required to register for employment shall:

(1) Participate in the appraisal process in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-29 of the Administrative Code;

(2) Respond to a request for supplemental information regarding employment status or availability for work;

(3) Report to an employer when referred by the county agency unless the potential employment meets the unsuitability criteria described in paragraph (E) of this rule;

(4) Accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment when referred by the county agency;

(5) Continue suitable employment until it is no longer considered suitable; the individual is terminated for reasons beyond the individual's control; or the individual becomes exempt from work registration; and

(6) Participate in an employment and training (e.g. job search/job readiness, education and training or the work experience program) assignment as assigned by the county agency.

(B) What happens if an individual fails or refuses to meet the employment and training program requirements?

(1) Failure or refusal to complete the appraisal process defined in rule 5101:4-3-29 of the Administrative Code by a required individual will result in a sanction. A sanction shall be applied in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code. Paragraph (A) of rule 5101:4-6-13 of the Administrative Code shall be followed for the treatment of income and resources of the individual.

(2) Failure or refusal without good cause to participate in an employment and training program to the extent required by the county agency will result in a sanction. A sanction shall be applied in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code;

(3) Failure or refusal without good cause to accept an offer of suitable employment will result in a sanction. A sanction shall be applied in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code. Unsuitable employment is defined in paragraph (E) of this rule.

(4) Failure or refusal without good cause to provide the county agency with sufficient information to allow the county agency to determine the employment status or the job availability of the individual will result in a sanction. A sanction shall be applied in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code;

(5) Voluntarily and without good cause: quits a job of thirty or more hours a week or reduces work effort and, after the reduction, the individual is working less than thirty hours per week will result in a sanction. A sanction shall be applied in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code. If the individual reduces his or her work hours to less than thirty a week, but continues to earn weekly wages that exceed the federal minimum wage multiplied by thirty hours, the individual remains exempt from program work requirements in accordance with paragraph (B)(10) of rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

(C) What is good cause?

(1) The county agency shall be responsible for determining good cause at any time when a food assistance work registered individual fails or refuses to comply with an appraisal, an employment and training program assignment or when a work registered individual voluntarily quits a job or reduces his or her work effort. In determining whether or not good cause exists, the county agency shall take into account the facts and circumstances, including information submitted by the employer and the assistance group member involved.

(2) Good cause shall include circumstances beyond the member's control, such as, but not limited to, illness, illness of another assistance group member requiring the presence of the member, an assistance group emergency, the unavailability of transportation, the lack of adequate child care for children who have reached age six but are under age twelve or domestic violence as outlined in paragraph (F) of this rule.

(3) When the county agency determines that good cause exists the individual shall be excused and a sanction shall not be imposed.

(D) What is good cause for leaving employment?

Good cause for leaving employment includes the good cause provisions outlined in paragraph (C) of this rule. Good cause for leaving employment also includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Discrimination by an employer based on age, race, sex, color, handicap, religious beliefs, national origin or political beliefs.

(2) Work demands or conditions that render continued employment unreasonable, such as working without being paid on schedule.

(3) Acceptance of employment by the individual, or enrollment by the individual in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education on at least a half time basis, that requires the individual to leave employment; or acceptance by any other assistance group member of employment or enrollment at least half time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education in another county or similar political subdivision which requires the assistance group to move and thereby requires the individual to leave employment.

(4) Resignations by persons under the age of sixty which are recognized by the employer as retirement.

(5) Employment that becomes unsuitable, as specified in paragraph (E) of this rule, after the acceptance of such employment.

(6) Acceptance of a bona fide offer of employment of more than thirty hours a week or in which the weekly earnings are equivalent to the federal minimum wage multiplied by thirty hours that, because of circumstances beyond the control of the individual, subsequently either does not materialize or results in employment that does not meet the requirements provided for in paragraph (E)(1) of this rule.

(7) Leaving a job in connection with patterns of employment in which workers frequently move from one employer to another such as migrant farm labor or construction work. There may be some circumstances where assistance groups will apply for food assistance benefits between jobs particularly in cases where work may not yet be available at the new job site. Even though employment at the new site has not actually begun, the quitting of the previous employment shall be considered good cause if it is part of the pattern of that type of employment.

(8) If a county agency finds the information regarding an assertion of good cause is questionable as defined in paragraph (H) of rule 5101:4-2-09 of the Administrative Code, county agencies shall request verification of the assistance group's statements. It is the assistance group's responsibility to provide the necessary verification as defined in paragraph (N) of rule 5101:4-2-09 of the Administrative Code. However, if the county agency has access to the information needed it should be considered. If assistance in gathering the information is needed, it must be provided. If good cause is questionable and the assistance group fails or refuses to provide verification of the questionable information, good cause shall not be determined.

(E) What is unsuitable employment?

(1) In addition to any criteria established by county agencies, employment shall be considered unsuitable under any of the following conditions:

(a) The wage offered is less than the highest of:

(i) The applicable federal or state minimum wage; or

(ii) Eighty per cent of the federal minimum wage, if neither the federal nor the state minimum wage is applicable;

(b) The employment offered is on a piece-rate basis, and the average hourly yield the employee can reasonably be expected to earn is less than the applicable hourly wages;

(c) The assistance group member, as a condition of employment or continuing employment, is required to join, resign from, or refrain from joining any legitimate labor organization; or

(d) The work offered is at a site subject to a strike or lockout at the time of the offer unless the strike has been enjoined under section 208 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 29 U.S.C. 141 (6/1947), or unless an injunction has been issued under section 10 of the Railway Labor Act of 1926, 45 U.S.C. 151-1347 (10/1996).

(F) What are the requirements for victims of domestic violence?

Individuals who are victims of domestic violence as defined in paragraph (A) of rule 5101:1-3-20 of the Administrative Code shall be treated as follows:

(1) Individuals who are victims of domestic violence shall be identified through the appraisal process in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-29 of the Administrative Code.

(2) If the county agency determines that the individual has been subjected to domestic violence and requiring compliance with the work requirement would make it more difficult for the individual to escape domestic violence or unfairly penalize the individual, the county agency may excuse the individual from the employment and training program requirements, if supporting documentation as described in paragraph (F)(1) of rule 5101:1-3-20 of the Administrative Code is provided.

(3) If an individual is assigned to and engaged in an employment and training activity and fails to comply as a result of domestic violence, the county agency shall excuse and shall not impose a sanction for failure to comply with the employment and training program requirement.

(4) The county agency shall review the continued eligibility of the excused non-participation at least once every six months. The county agency may, at its option, review the individual's excused non-participation more frequently than every six months. There is no limit on the number of times (or length of time) that an excuse can be extended.

Effective: 10/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 10/15/09

5101:4-3-11.2 Food assistance: employment and training program sanctions and compliance.

(A) What happens when an individual does not comply with an employment and training requirement?

(1) If an individual fails or refuses to meet the employment and training program requirements in rule 5101:4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code, the individual shall be sanctioned from participation in the food assistance program as follows:

(a) For a first failure or refusal, the county agency shall sanction the individual by denying or terminating the individual's eligibility to participate in the food assistance program for a minimum of one benefit month.

(b) For a second failure or refusal, the county agency shall sanction the individual by denying or terminating the individual's eligibility to participate in the food assistance program for a minimum of three benefit months.

(c) For the third or subsequent failure or refusal, the county agency shall sanction the individual by denying or terminating the individual's eligibility to participate in the food assistance program for a minimum of six benefit months.

(2) If an individual stops receiving food assistance before the actual imposition of the sanction, the sanction will not be held in abeyance. The establishment of new residence in another county or another assistance group by a food assistance individual who has been proposed for a sanction or who is currently under sanction does not, in and of itself, negate the sanction.

(B) What is the process for notification of noncompliance?

It is the recipient's responsibility to contact the county agency within seven calendar days of the nonparticipation to show good cause for the failure. If the individual does not contact the county agency within seven calendar days or it is determined the failure was without good cause, in accordance with Chapter 5101:6-2 of the Administrative Code proper notice of adverse action shall be provided to the individual.

(1) The notification shall contain:

(a) The particular act of noncompliance committed;

(b) The proposed period of the sanction;

(c) Language explaining that the individual may reapply at the end of the sanction period;

(d) Information on or with the notice describing the action which can be taken to end or avoid the sanction;

(e) Notice and hearing requirements contained in Chapters 5101:6-1 to 5101:6-9 of the Administrative Code which apply in each instance of nonparticipation and subsequent sanction action.

(C) How does an individual comply to regain eligibility for food assistance?

The county agency shall require the individual to:

(1) Prior to reinstatement of benefits the individual shall sign the JFS 03804 "Ohio Works First/Food Assistance Sanction Compliance" (rev. 12/09) agreeing to participate in the work program and to comply with the employability plan developed by the individual and the county agency pursuant to the provisions of rules 5101:4-3-29 and 5101:4-3-31 of the Administrative Code.

(a) If the JFS 03804 is signed prior to the end of the sanction period the sanctioned individual shall regain eligibility and benefits shall be reinstated after the minimum sanction period is served.

(b) If the JFS 03804 is signed after the end of the minimum sanction period, the individual shall regain eligibility effective the day the JFS 03804 was signed and returned to the county agency and benefits shall be reinstated pursuant to paragraph (K)(3)(a) of rule 5101:4-7-01 of the Administrative Code.

(2) If the circumstances change and the individual qualifies for an exemption from work registration in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code, the individual may qualify for food assistance benefits. Such exemptions may occur before the minimum sanction period ends.

(D) How are failures for noncompliance with unemployment compensation or an Ohio works first (OWF) work requirement handled?

Individuals receiving unemployment compensation or OWF are exempt from food assistance work registration and therefore are not assigned to a food assistance employment and training activity. Instead the individual must comply with the unemployment compensation or OWF requirements. If the assistance group reports a loss or denial of unemployment compensation or OWF or if the county agency learns of the loss or denial, the county agency shall determine whether the loss or denial was caused by a determination by the administering agency that the individual refused or failed without good cause to comply with a requirement equivalent to a requirement of work registration or the employment and training program. If it is determined the individual failed or refused to meet these requirements the county agency shall:

(1) Determine if the assistance group is an OWF assistance group. An OWF assistance group is a group in which all members are receiving OWF. For OWF assistance groups the county agency shall follow rule 5101:4-3-09 of the Administrative Code. However, if all of the individuals in the assistance group are not receiving OWF cash benefits (i.e. one or more members are only in receipt of food assistance), the assistance group remains subject to the requirements of this rule.

(2) Determine if the individual meets one of the other work registration exemptions defined in rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code. If the individual meets another work registration exemption, with the exception of paragraph (B)(4) or (B)(9) of rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code, no action is required.

(3) If the individual does not meet another work registration exemption, and the failure is equivalent to the appraisal requirement, the individual shall be sanctioned in accordance with this rule. The income and resources of the individual shall be treated in accordance with paragraph (A) of rule 5101:4-6-13 of the Administrative Code.

(4) If the individual does not meet another work registration exemption, and the failure is equivalent to a food assistance employment and training program requirement, the county agency shall sanction the individual. The requirements set forth in paragraph (B) of this rule, regarding notification of noncompliance, shall be followed.

(5) Assistance group members who fail to comply with an unemployment compensation or OWF requirement that is not equivalent to that of a food assistance work requirement shall lose their exemption and must be registered for work if not otherwise exempt.

Effective: 10/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 10/15/09, 3/1/12

5101:4-3-19 Food assistance : voluntary quit and reduction of work effort.

Applicants or recipients who voluntarily quit employment or reduce work hours are ineligible to participate in the food assistance program subject to the requirements of this rule.

(A) What is considered a voluntary job quit or reduction of work?

(1) A voluntary job quit is a situation in which an individual who is required to register for work, as set forth in rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code, has voluntarily quit a job of thirty hours or more a week without a good cause; or when an employee of the federal, state or local government participates in a strike against such government, and is dismissed from his or her job because of participation in the strike.

(2) A reduction of work is a situation in which an individual who is required to register for work, as set forth in rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code, has voluntarily reduced their work hours less than thirty hours a week or to a level that results in earning less than the federal minimum wage times thirty hours a week without good cause.

(B) What situations are not considered a voluntary job quit or reduction of work?

Any individual required to register for work that has:

(1) Any reduction in hours mandated by the employer;

(2) Decided to terminate self-employment;

(3) Resigned from employment at the demand of the employer for any reason; or

(4) An individual who quit a job and secures comparable employment. "Comparable" is not strictly defined. County agencies shall not declare a new job incomparable simply because the number of hours or the salary is lower than the job which was quit.

(C) How does the county agency verify a voluntary quit or reduction of work hours?

(1) If the information given by the applicant or recipient is questionable, the county agency shall request verification as defined in rule 5101:4-2-09 of the Administrative Code.

(2) The assistance group has the primary responsibility for providing verification, but if the assistance group reports difficulty obtaining the verification in a timely manner, the county agency shall provide assistance in obtaining the verification.

(3) If the assistance group and county agency are unable to obtain requested verification because the quit or work effort reduction resulted from circumstances that are unverifiable for good reasons, the individual shall not be denied under the voluntary job quit or reduction of work effort provisions. Benefits shall not be delayed beyond the normal processing time limits specified in paragraph (J) of rule 5101:4-2-01 of the Administrative Code.

(D) How is good cause established?

Good cause is defined in paragraphs (C) and (D) of rule 5101:4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code. In determining if good cause exists the county agency shall also determine if the employment was unsuitable as set forth in paragraph (E) of rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code or if there was a domestic violence issue as established in paragraph (F) of rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code. The county agency must take into account the facts and circumstances including information submitted by the employer, the assistance group, and or a collateral contact. If good cause is determined, the county agency shall excuse the job quit or reduction in hours and a sanction shall not be imposed.

(E) What happens if the county agency determines a voluntary job quit or reduction of hours has occurred without good cause?

(1) If an applicant has a voluntary job quit or reduction of work hours within sixty days of applying for assistance and without good cause they shall be found ineligible for assistance for the period outlined in paragraph (A) of rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code.

(2) If a recipient of food assistance has a voluntary job quit or reduction of work hours without good cause they shall be placed on a sanction. The sanctions outlined in paragraph (A) of rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code shall apply and the recipient shall be notified in accordance with paragraph (B) of rule 5101:4-3-11.2 of the Administrative Code.

(F) How is eligibility reestablished?

Eligibility may be reestablished during a disqualification period and the individual shall, if otherwise eligible, be permitted to resume participation without signing a JFS 03804 "Ohio Works First/Food Assistance Sanction Compliance Agreement" (rev 12/2009) if:

(1) The individual secures new employment which is comparable in salary or hours to the job which was quit. Comparable employment may result in fewer hours or a lower net salary than the job which was quit;

(2) The individual may increase his or her work effort to thirty or more hours per week or earn an amount equal to the federal minimum wage times thirty hours per week; or

(3) The individual becomes exempt from the work registration requirements in paragraph (B) of rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code other than paragraph (A)(3) or (A)(8) of rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

(G) What occurs after the minimum sanction is served if new employment or increased hours have not been achieved by the sanctioned individual?

(1) The individual may begin participation in the program if the individual does not fail or refuse to comply with the requirements of rule 5101:4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code and is otherwise determined eligible.

(2) The individual may comply by meeting another work requirement in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-19

Effective: 02/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 4/1/81, 6/18/81, 1/22/82, 12/31/84 (Emer.), 2/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 8/16/85 (Emer.), 11/1/85 (Emer.), 1/1/86, 1/2/86 (Emer.), 4/1/86, 7/1/87 (Emer.), 9/28/87, 1/13/88 (Emer.), 3/24/88, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 3/18/89. 10/1/90, 7/1/92, 2/1/97 (Emer.), 4/13/97, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/1/97 (Emer.), 1/1/98, 11/1/98, 1/9/03, 12/6/04, 12/31/06

5101:4-3-20 Food assistance: time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents.

(A) What are the work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDS)?

(1) Working twenty hours per week in exchange for money, goods or services (in-kind work) or verified unpaid work, averaged monthly; for purposes of this provision, twenty hours a week averaged monthly means eighty hours a month;

(2) Participating in and complying with the requirements of a work program twenty hours or more per week. Work program means:

(a) A program under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Pub. L. No. 105-220, (08/1998);

(b) A program under section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. 2296 , (01/2006); or

(c) An employment and training program, other than job search or job readiness, operated or supervised by a state or political subdivision of a state that meets standards approved by the governor of the state, including a program under section 7 CFR 273.7(e) (06/2006). Such a program may contain job search or job search training as a subsidiary component as long as such component is less than half the requirement;

(3) Any combination of working and participating in a work program for a total of twenty hours or more per week, as determined by the county agency; or

(4) Participating in and complying with a work experience program (WEP) as defined in rule 5101:4-3-34 of the Administrative Code.

(B) What are the additional eligibility requirements for ABAWDS?

Individuals determined to be ABAWDS are not eligible to participate in the food assistance program as a member of any assistance group if they have received food assistance for more than three countable months during any three-year period, unless they meet the criteria in paragraph (E) of this rule.

(C) What are the countable months?

Countable months are months during which an individual receives benefits for the full benefit month while not:

(1) Exempt under paragraphs (E) (1) to (E) (8) of this rule;

(2) Fulfilling the work requirement as defined in paragraph (A) (1) of this rule; or

(3) Receiving benefits that are prorated in accordance with rule 5101:4-4-27 of the Administrative Code.

(D) What is good cause?

Good cause is determined by the county agency. If an individual would have worked an average of twenty hours per week but missed some work for good cause, the individual shall be considered to have met the work requirement if the absence from work is temporary and the individual retains his or her job. Good cause shall include circumstances beyond the individual's control, such as, but not limited to: illness, illness of another assistance group member requiring the presence of the member, an assistance group emergency, or the unavailability of transportation.

(E) Who is not subject to the ABAWD work requirements?

An ABAWD that has already received three months of benefits in a thirty six month time period is ineligible for expedited or regular food assistance benefits unless the individual is:

(1) Under eighteen or fifty years of age or older;

(2) Determined by the county agency to be medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment. An individual is medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment if he or she is:

(a) Receiving temporary or permanent disability benefits issued by governmental or private sources; or

(b) Obviously mentally or physically unfit for employment as determined by the county agency; or if the unfitness is not obvious, provides a statement from a physician, physician's assistant, nurse, nurse practitioner, designated representative of the physician's office, a licensed or certified psychologist, a social worker, or any other medical personnel the county agency determines appropriate, that he or she is physically or mentally unfit for employment.

(3) A parent (natural, adoptive, or step) of an assistance group member under age eighteen, even if the assistance group member who is under eighteen is not himself/herself eligible for food assistance;

(4) Residing in an assistance group where an assistance group member is under age eighteen, even if the assistance group member who is under eighteen is not himself/herself eligible for food assistance;

(5) Otherwise exempt from work requirements as implemented in rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code;

(6) Pregnant;

(7) Residing in a county where the time limit was waived because the average unemployment rate for twelve recent calendar months exceeded ten per cent in accordance with 7 CFR 273.24 (01/08)(f)(1)(i); or

(8) Residing in a county where the time limit was waived because of the lack of sufficient jobs in accordance with 7 CFR 273.24(f)(1)(ii) .

(F) What are the time limits for an ABAWD?

An ABAWD is eligible to receive three months of benefits in a thirty-six month time period without being subject to an ABAWD food assistance work requirement. The first month of the thirty six month count begins during the first full month of benefits.

(G) How can an individual regain eligibility?

(1) An individual denied eligibility or who did not reapply for benefits because he/she was not meeting the work requirements shall regain eligibility to participate in the food assistance program if, as determined by the county agency, during any thirty consecutive days, he or she:

(a) Worked eighty or more hours;

(b) Participated in and complied with the requirements of a work program for eighty or more hours;

(c) Any combination of work and participation in a work program for a total of eighty hours; or participated in and complied with a WEP; or

(d) Becomes exempt.

(2) An individual regaining eligibility under paragraph (G)(1) of this rule shall have benefits calculated as follows:

(a) For individuals regaining eligibility by working, participating in a work program, or combining hours worked and hours participating in a work program, the county agency shall prorate benefits from the day the eighty hours are completed.

(b) For individuals regaining eligibility by participating in a WEP program and the WEP obligation is based on an estimated monthly allotment prorated back to the date of application, then the allotment issued must be prorated back to this date.

(3) There is no limit on how many times an individual may regain eligibility and subsequently maintain eligibility by meeting the work requirement.

(H) Is there additional eligibility allowable?

An individual who regained eligibility under paragraph (G) of this rule and who is no longer fulfilling the work requirement is eligible for a period of three consecutive countable months as defined in paragraph (C) of this rule starting on the date the individual first notifies the county agency that he or she is no longer fulfilling the work requirement, unless the individual has been satisfying the work requirement by participating in a WEP, in which case the period starts on the date the county agency notifies the individual that he or she is no longer meeting the work requirement. An individual shall not receive benefits under this paragraph more than once in any three-year period.

Effective: 10/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 06/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 12/1/80, 10/1/81, 1/18/82, 5/1/82, 9/27/82, 2/1/85 (Emer.), 5/2/85, 7/1/87 (Emer.), 9/28/87, 1/13/88 (Emer.), 3/24/88, 10/1/88 (Emer.), 11/18/88, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 3/18/89, 10/1/90, 1/1/91, 2/3/92, 8/1/94, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/13/95, 7/1/96, 9/22/96 (Emer.), 11/22/96 (Emer.), 1/9/97, 2/1/97 (Emer.), 4/13/97, 10/1/97(Emer.), 12/15/97, 10/1/01 (Emer.), 10/11/01, 1/1/04 (Emer.), 2/1/04, 1/1/06, 1/1/09, 3/1/11, 6/1/13

5101:4-3-22 Food assistance: nonfinancial eligibility standard-social security numbers.

(A) Is a social security number required for participation?

Each assistance group member applying for participation or participating in the program is required to provide a social security number (SSN) or apply for one before certification. Individuals having more than one number are required to provide all numbers.

(B) What happens if an applicant or recipient is unable to provide a SSN?

Any assistance group member required to provide a SSN who is unable to do so must apply for one. To assist with applying the county agency shall:

(1) Complete a JFS 07355 "Notice of Application for Social Security Number" (rev. 04/01);

(2) Advise the applicant of the required verification for the social security administration (SSA) if the applicant requests information on what verification will need to be submitted to the SSA office. The county agency shall provide information on what types of verification are acceptable for age, identity and/or citizenship or alien status (reference JFS 07355 for acceptable evidence); and

(3) Assist in routing the JFS 07355. The form is completed in triplicate. The original and the first copy are given to the applicant to take to the SSA. The second copy is retained in the assistance group's file as proof the notice was issued. The SSA will complete the lower portion of the form and return the original to the county agency. The SSA will return the form directly to the county agency unless directed to do otherwise on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should not routinely be allowed to return the form to the county agency themselves except in unusual situations when any delay in the return of the form may cause the assistance group undue hardship. The SSA will send a social security card to the assistance group member and, if any pending claims exist, the claims processor is notified of the SSN. The county agency will be notified of the SSN by an alert from the SSA if using the SSA's third party query system.

(C) What happens if an applicant or recipient refuses to provide a SSN?

The county agency shall explain to applicants and participants that refusal or failure without good cause to provide a SSN will result in disqualification of the individual for whom a SSN is not obtained. This disqualification applies to the individual for whom the number is not provided and not to the entire assistance group. The earned or unearned income of an individual disqualified for failure to comply with this requirement shall be treated as described in paragraph (B) of rule 5101:4-6-13 of the Administrative Code.

(D) When is an SSN verified?

(1) For those individuals who provide SSNs prior to certification, reapplication or at any office contact, the county agency shall record the SSN and verify it. However, certification of an otherwise eligible assistance group shall not be delayed solely to validate any member's SSN, even if the thirty-day processing period has not expired. As soon as all other steps necessary to certify an assistance group are completed, except for verification of a SSN(s), the county agency shall certify the assistance group.

(2) If verification of an already reported SSN is not completed at initial certification, it shall be completed at the time of or prior to the assistance group's next recertification.

(3) A verified SSN shall be reverified only if the identity of the individual or the SSN becomes questionable.

(4) SSNs that have been verified through the Ohio works first (OWF) or medicaid programs shall not be reverified unless questionable.

(E) How is an SSN verified?

(1) A completed SSA form number SS-5 "Application for a social security number" (rev. 8/2011) shall be considered proof of application for a SSN for a newborn infant.

(2) Matching the reported SSN with information supplied by the SSA such as beneficiary and earnings data exchange (BENDEX) or state data exchange (SDX).

(3) Matching the reported number with the SSA's third party query system, or

(4) Observing the assistance group member's social security card or any official document containing the SSN.

(5) If the individual has no social security card, SSA 5028 "Receipt of Application of a Social Security Number" (rev. 04/2000), SSA 5029 "Receipt of Application of a Social Security Number" (rev. 11/2000) which is for a SSN that can not be used for work purposes, or any "official document" containing the SSN or if the SSN appears questionable. An "official document" is defined as a W-2 form, a railroad retirement, retirement survivors disability insurance (RSDI) or supplemental security income (SSI) award letter, or another document containing the SSN that by law or regulation is required to be verified by the SSA. The county agency shall verify the number either by matching it with information received from SSA or completing a JFS 07355.

(F) What documentation should be included in the case record to verify the SSN?

The original JFS 07355, or a scan or photocopy of the social security card, SSA 5028, or SSA 5029 must be retained in the case record. If photocopies cannot be made, the county agency shall record full details regarding documents seen and in whose possession they remain.

(G) What can the SSNs of applicants and recipients be used for?

County agencies are authorized to use SSNs in the administration of the food assistance program to the extent determined necessary by the secretary of agriculture and the secretary of health and human services.

(1) States will have access to information regarding individual food assistance applicants and participants who receive social security and SSI benefits to determine such an assistance group's eligibility to receive assistance and the amount of assistance, or to verify information related to the benefits of these assistance groups.

(2) County agencies shall use the state data exchange (SDX) under Title XVI of the Social Security Act of 1935 as amended, to the maximum extent possible.

(3) County agencies should also use the SSNs to prevent duplicate participation, to facilitate mass changes in federal benefits, and to determine the accuracy and/or reliability of information given by assistance groups.

(4) County agencies shall also use information from the income eligibility verification system (IEVS) to request and exchange information on individuals available through this system as specified in rule 5101:4-7-09 of the Administrative Code.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-22, 5101:4-3-23

Effective: 09/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 4/1/81, 6/1/81, 6/18/81, 10/1/81, 6/1/83, 9/24/83, 9/3/86 (Emer.), 10/15/86, 11/1/86 (Emer.), 1/16/87, 4/10/87 (Emer.), 6/22/87, 7/1/96, 4/1/97 (Emer.), 6/6/97, 6/7/98, 5/1/03, 11/1/07, 3/1/11

5101:4-3-23 [Rescinded] Food stamps: completion of the JFS 07355.

Effective: 09/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 05/22/2012
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/92, 6/7/98, 5/01/03, 6/12/08

5101:4-3-24 Food assistance: good cause for failure to comply in providing a social security number.

(A) Do all assistance group members have to provide a social security number (SSN) to be eligible for benefits?

If an assistance group member refuses to provide his or her SSN, he or she, as an individual, is ineligible to participate unless they provide good cause as described in paragraph (C) of this rule. This disqualification applies to the individual for which the number is not provided (including the child who is under eighteen whose parent has refused to cooperate for him or her) and not to the entire assistance group. The earned or unearned income of an individual disqualified for failure to comply with this requirement shall be treated as described in rule 5101:4-6-13 of the Administrative Code. Prior notice requirements shall be followed before the assistance group's benefit level can be decreased. The disqualified assistance group member may become eligible upon providing the county agency with an SSN.

(B) How is good cause determined?

In determining if good cause exists for failure to comply with the SSN requirement, the county agency shall consider information from:

(1) The assistance group member;

(2) The social security administration (SSA); and

(3) The case file (especially if the county agency failed to refer the assistance group member to SSA, or SSA did not process the referral and/or SSN application in a timely manner).

(C) What is considered good cause?

Documentary evidence or collateral information that the assistance group member has applied for a SSN or made every effort to supply SSA with the necessary information to complete an application for a SSN shall be considered good cause for not complying on a timely basis with this requirement.

(D) What is not considered good cause?

Good cause does not include delays due to illness, lack of transportation or temporary absences. SSA makes provisions for mail-in applications in lieu of applying in person.

(E) How is good cause handled?

(1) The assistance group member shall be allowed to participate for one month in addition to the month of application.

(2) If the assistance group member applying for a SSN has been unable to obtain the documents required by SSA, the county agency shall make every effort to assist the individual in obtaining these documents.

(3) The assistance group must demonstrate good cause for failure to apply each month in order for the assistance group member to continue to participate.

(4) Once an application has been filed, the county agency shall permit the member to continue to participate pending notification of the assistance group member's SSN.

(5) If the assistance group is unable to provide proof of application for a SSN for a newborn, the assistance group shall provide the SSN or proof of application at its next reapplication or within six months following the month the baby is born, whichever is later. If the assistance group is unable to provide a SSN or proof of application for a SSN at its next reapplication or within six months following the baby's birth, the county agency shall determine if there is good cause.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-24

Effective: 12/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 4/1/81, 6/1/83, 9/24/83, 9/3/86 (Emer.), 10/25/86, 1/16/87 (Emer.), 4/6/87, 4/10/87 (Emer.), 6/22/87, 8/1/92 (Emer.), 10/30/92, 4/1/97 (Emer.), 6/6/97, 9/01/06

5101:4-3-28 [Rescinded] Food stamp employment and training (FSET) program.

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/26/2012
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 8/1/85, 12/1/87 (EMER.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 , 10/1/07

5101:4-3-29 Food assistance employment and training: appraisal.

(A) What is an appraisal?

As a condition of food assistance eligibility, individuals applying for or in receipt of food assistance benefits who are not exempt from work registration as referenced in paragraph (B) of rule 5101: 4-3-11 of the Administrative Code are required participants in the food assistance employment and training program. Required participants must be assessed to determine the best assignment for their skills and needs to move them toward self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.

(B) What is required in the appraisal process?

The appraisal process shall include:

(1) Screening to identify possible victims of domestic violence as defined and set forth in rule 5101: 1-3-20 of the Administrative Code. Victims of domestic violence may be excused from assignment to a work activity as set forth in paragraph (F) of rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code; however, the individual may still choose to participate.

(2) Development of an employability plan with each individual to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility.

(3) The assignment to one or more employment and training activities as referenced in rules 5101: 4-3-33 , 5101: 4-3-34 , and 5101: 4-3-35 of the Administrative Code.

(4) Receiving a copy of the rights and responsibilities as referenced in rule 5101: 4-3-30 of the Administrative Code as applicants for and as participants of the food assistance employment and training program.

(5) If an individual discloses, has, or appears to have a physical or mental condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities, the county agency shall offer additional screening to the individual consistent with the requirements of rule 5101: 9-2-02 of the Administrative Code and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) plan adopted by the county agency in accordance with rule 5101: 9-2-02 of the Administrative Code. If additional screening indicates the presence of a disability, the plan for employability made in accordance with this paragraph, shall be consistent with the county agency's ADA plan and shall include a description of each reasonable modification requested and made for an individual with a disability.

(C) What happens if the assistance group member fails to cooperate with the appraisal process?

(1) Failure without good cause to attend an appraisal interview or to complete an appraisal by any required participant shall result in a sanction in accordance with paragraph (B) of rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(2) If the individual fails or refuses, without good cause, to comply in full with any provision of their employability plan, the county agency shall sanction the individual in accordance with paragraph (B) of rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(D) How is good caused determined?

Good cause is determined as referenced in paragraphs (C) and (F) of rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(E) Who determines when additional appraisals should be completed?

(1) The county agency shall complete an appraisal any time reinstatement of eligibility is completed.

(2) The county agency has the ability to determine if the assistance group's circumstances warrant any additional appraisals.

Effective: 10/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 to 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 9/1/76, 12/31/77, 11/1/80, 5/1/82, 3/1/83, 8/1/85, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 9/29/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 4/2/90, 11/1/90, 4/1/91, 7/1/91, 10/1/91 (Emer.), 12/2/91, 5/1/92, 11/1/92, 9/1/93, 2/1/94 (Emer.), 4/15/94, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 9/29/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/1/97 (Emer.), 1/8/98, 1/6/03, 12/31/06, 01/01/08, 2/1/12, 10/1/13

5101:4-3-30 Food assistance employment and training program.

(A) What is the food assistance employment and training program?

The food assistance employment and training program requires mandatory nonexempt work registrants in receipt of food assistance to participate in employment and training.

(B) What requirements must the county agencies meet for the food assistance employment and training program?

(1) The county agency shall develop written standards, criteria, and procedures for the operation of the employment and training program . The standards shall include an explanation of each participating individual's rights under the amendments to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (2008), including the right to request reasonable modification in program activities.

(2) The county agency and/or contract providers shall meet any reporting requirements pursuant to the provisions of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, Pub.L.No. 110-246, (10/2008).

(3) Each employable and volunteer individual shall be informed in writing of their rights and responsibilities concerning the employment and training program prior to or during the appraisal. Failure or refusal to meet these responsibilities could result in sanctions which would adversely affect the amount of food assistance benefits.

(a) The rights of food assistance employment and training participants shall include, but are not limited to:

(i) Receiving copies of all employability plans.

(ii) Notification of the right to request a state hearing on issues related to participation in the food assistance employment and training program and failure or refusal to participate.

(iii) Nondiscrimination in food assistance employment and training program assignments.

(iv) Receiving supportive services, pursuant to the provisions of rule 5101: 4-3-32 of the Administrative Code, for the authorized food assistance employment and training program activity.

(v) Filing a conciliation request pursuant to rule 5101: 4-3-38 of the Administrative Code.

(vi) Accepting employment pursuant to the requirements of rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(b) The responsibilities of food assistance employment and training participants shall include, but are not limited to:

(i) Reporting to the appraisal and other appointments with the county agency program staff or providers.

(ii) Reporting to the work experience program (WEP), education, training, supportive service, or job search sites at the scheduled dates and times.

(iii) Obeying the rules at the work site, following instructions, and otherwise demonstrating acceptable work habits and behavior.

(iv) Providing the county agency with information relevant to securing or retaining employment and providing supplemental information as requested.

(v) Notifying the immediate supervisor, other designated individual, or the county agency staff of the reason for nonparticipation as scheduled.

(vi) Participating in food assistance employment and training program activities for the scheduled number of hours as assigned.

(vii) Accepting necessary supportive services determined to be needed for participation.

(viii) Reporting any changes which would affect the individual's ability to participate in the food assistance employment and training program.

(ix) Providing the county agency with documentation of attendance and participation in a food assistance employment and training program activity as requested.

(x) Providing a good cause reason for nonparticipation as required pursuant to the provisions of rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(xi) Contacting the county agency, unless otherwise instructed by the county agency, if a monthly scheduling notice or the participant expense allowance has not been received.

(xii) Reporting to a job site, to an employer for a scheduled job interview or to any related subsequent interviews or testing appointments when referred by the county agency or its designee.

(xiii) Accepting a bona fide offer of employment pursuant to rule 5101: 4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.

Effective: 10/01/2014
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 7/1/84, 8/1/85, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (EMER.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (EMER.) 09/23/89, 4/2/90, 11/1/90, 5/1/92, 11/1/92, 9/1/93, 2/1/94 (EMER.), 4/15/94, 12/1/95 (EMER.), 2/19/96, 10/1/97 (EMER.), 12/20/97, 01/20/03, 10/1/07, 1/1/13

5101:4-3-31 Food assistance employment and training: required hours.

(A) How many hours should a required participant in the food assistance employment and training program be assigned?

(1) Work experience program: the maximum hours of participation per month for the required participant assigned to a work experience program assignment shall be the food assistance allotment amount divided by the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. If there are multiple required participants in a given assistance group, the total hours of participation shall be shared by all required participants. Whether the participation requirement is being met by one or multiple assistance group members, the total required hours of participation cannot exceed the total food assistance benefit amount divided by the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.

(2) Education and training assignments: a mandatory participant shall be assigned to education and training for the number of hours needed to complete the education and training assignment.

(3) Job search assignments: a mandatory participant shall be assigned as scheduled for the number of hours established for job search.

(B) Are there limitations on the hours a required participant can complete?

(1) The total monthly hours of participation in a food assistance employment and training component for any assistance group member, together with any hours worked for compensation (in cash or in kind), must not exceed one hundred twenty.

(2) No participant shall be required to work more than eight hours on any given day without his or her consent.

(3) An assignment to an activity shall not interfere with an individual's hours of paid employment so long as this employment is countable income pursuant to rule 5101:4-4-19 of the Administrative Code.

(C) Can an individual not required to participate in the food assistance employment and training program volunteer to participate?

County agencies may allow volunteers to participate in the food assistance employment and training program. Individuals who are voluntarily participating do not have a limit on how many hours they can participate and a county agency shall not disqualify voluntary participants for failure to comply with the employment and training requirements.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-31

Effective: 02/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 8/1/85, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 11/1/90, 4/1/91, 7/1/91, 10/1/91, 5/1/92, 11/1/92, 9/1/93, 2/1/94 (Emer.), 4/15/94, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 9/29/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/1/97 (Emer.), 1/8/98, 1/20/03, 12/29/06 (Emer.), 1/8/07, 10/1/08 (Emer.), 12/18/08

5101:4-3-32 Food assistance employment and training: supportive services.

(A) What are supportive services?

Supportive services are benefits provided to assist a food assistance employment and training participant with completing their assignment. Supportive services may include, but are not limited to, an expense allowance to cover the cost of transportation and other work, training or education related expenses and publicly funded child care.

(B) What is the county agency's responsibility for providing supportive services?

The county agency is responsible for arranging or providing necessary supportive services for individuals participating in the food assistance employment and training program. The county agency is the deciding authority for determining the appropriateness and the availability of funds.

(C) How is an expense allowance determined?

(1) An individual shall receive an expense allowance for the actual costs of transportation and/or other work, training or education related costs associated with participation up to the maximum level of reimbursement established by the county agency.

(2) An individual who documents costs in excess of the amount established by the county agency is eligible to receive reimbursement for the additional costs. The county agency may:

(a) Increase the amount of the monthly expense allowance;

(b) Reassign the participant to another site; or

(c) Exempt the individual from participation until a suitable component is available or the individual's circumstances change and his/her monthly expenses do not exceed the expense allowance.

(3) An individual who incurs no costs for participation is not eligible for the expense allowance.

(4) Costs of meals away from home are not reimbursable.

(D) How does the county agency provide publicly funded child care to individuals participating in the employment and training program?

Individuals participating in the employment and training program who need child care assistance in order to participate in the program, shall be referred to apply for publicly funded child care. If publicly funded child care is not available to the individual the county agency may exempt the individual from participation.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-32

Effective: 02/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 7/1/84, 8/1/85, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 11/1/90, 4/1/91, 10/1/91 (Emer.), 12/2/91, 5/1/92, 5/29/92 (Emer.), 6/1/92, 11/1/92, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 9/29/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/10/97, 12/5/02, 12/31/06, 10/1/08 (Emer.), 12/18/08

5101:4-3-33 Food assistance employment and training: job search and job readiness.

(A) What is job search?

Job search is a food assistance employment and training activity under which applicants and participants make contacts and look for possible employment. Job search may be done on an individual basis as established by the county agency pursuant to the time-frame set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule.

(B) What is job readiness?

Job readiness activities, or job search training, are food assistance employment and training activities designed to increase employability potential by ensuring that participants are becoming familiar with general workplace expectations and exhibit work behavior and attitudes necessary to compete successfully in the labor market. Various types of structured programs qualify, such as rehabilitation, counseling, job skills assessments, job clubs, training in techniques for employability, and job placement services.

(C) What are examples of job readiness activities?

Job readiness activities include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) Classroom instruction on the strategies and skills in job seeking.

(2) Supervised telephone job search activities.

(3) Job lead development and self-directed job search.

(4) Identifying and overcoming personal barriers to employment.

(5) Building self-confidence and self-promotion.

(6) Good grooming and dress techniques.

(7) Managing time, money and household budgets.

(8) Obtaining proper dependent care and supervision of dependents while working.

(9) Conducting self-assessments to determine employment options and training needs.

(10) Completing resumes, work histories, and application forms.

(11) Learning and using good interviewing techniques.

(12) Using resources such as the telephone, telephone directories, newspapers, internet, and friends and/or relatives.

(13) Contacting the individual who does the hiring.

(14) Maintaining good records of job search activities.

(15) Understanding employer expectations.

(16) Understanding unions, benefits, taxes, deductions, and hospitalization policies.

(17) Being prompt and punctual for work.

(18) Accepting supervision positively.

(19) Relating to other employees.

(20) Retaining the job as a step toward security and independence.

(D) What are the time limits for job search?

Job search shall be assigned for no more than thirty days following certification prior to making a workfare assignment. Job search may be assigned again later in the certification period if the county agency determines it necessary and the most suitable assignment for the individual. Job readiness is considered a workfare assignment and is an allowable assignment as long as the county agency determines it is directly enhancing the employability of the individual.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-33

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 7/1/84, 8/1/85, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 1/1/89, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 9/1/93, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/20/97, 01/20/03, 10/1/07

5101:4-3-34 Food assistance employment and training: work experience program.

The work experience program (WEP) is a food assistance employment and training activity that provides experience and training for employable participants, who are not otherwise able to obtain employment, to enhance their ability to secure unsubsidized employment. Food assistance employment and training WEP placements are limited to public and private nonprofit sponsors which serve a useful public service.

(A) What criteria shall the county agency establish for WEP worksite sponsors?

(1) Participants are not required to perform political, partisan, or electoral activities.

(2) The worksite must meet all applicable federal, state and local health and safety standards, equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies, fair labor standards, displacement policies, and provide reasonable work conditions.

(3) The placement has not been developed in response to, or in any way associated with, the existence of a strike, lockout, or bona fide labor dispute, and does not violate any existing labor agreement.

(4) A participant's religious freedom shall not be violated nor is the participant compelled to do work that promotes a religious doctrine or belief.

(B) Is a participant considered an employee of the WEP worksite?

A participant shall not be considered an employee of either the sponsor, the county agency, or the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) and, therefore, is not entitled to all of the benefits and privileges of an employee. The operation of WEP shall not be considered to be the operation of an employment agency by the state or county agency.

(C) Do the WEP individuals have coverage for injuries?

Individuals assigned to WEP shall be covered for participation-related injuries or disabilities under work relief compensation administered by the bureau of workers' compensation (BWC). Unless the county agency pays the premiums for the sponsor, a private or government sponsor with whom a food assistance employment and training participant is placed shall pay the premiums to the BWC on behalf of the participant. Individuals assigned to other food assistance employment and training activities shall not be included in premium payments made by the county agency to the BWC.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-34

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 7/1/84, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 11/1/90, 4/1/91, 7/1/91, 10/1/91, 5/1/92, 9/1/93, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/20/97, 1/20/03, 10/1/07

5101:4-3-34.1 Food assistance: work experience program overpayments.

If a benefit overpayment is discovered for a month or months in which a participant has already performed a work experience program (WEP) activity set forth in rule 5101:4-3-34 of the Administrative Code, the county agency shall follow claim recovery procedures specified below.

(A) If the person who performed the WEP activity is still subject to the employment and training program for food assistance purposes at the time the claim is created, the county agency shall determine how many extra hours were worked because of the improper benefit. The participant shall be credited those extra hours toward future WEP obligations and the claim is established for the entire amount of the overpayment.

(B) If the person who performed the WEP activity is not subject to the employment and training program for food assistance purposes at the time the claim is created the county agency shall determine whether the overpayment was the result of an intentional program violation (IPV), inadvertent household error (IHE), or administrative error (AE) as defined in rule 5101:4-8-15 of the Administrative Code.

(1) For an IPV a claim should be established for the entire amount of the overpayment.

(2) If the overpayment was caused by an IHE or AE the county agency shall determine whether the number of hours the person actually participated in the WEP activity is more than the number which could have been assigned had the proper benefit amount been used in calculating the number of hours to work.

(a) If additional hours were assigned and worked, those hours shall offset the overpayment. A claim shall be established for the amount of the overpayment minus the value of the additional hours worked. The value of the additional hours worked shall be calculated by multiplying the hours by the applicable federal minimum wage and rounding down to the nearest whole dollar.

(b) If the additional hours worked equal the amount of hours calculated by dividing the overpayment by the minimum wage, no claim will be established. No credit for future WEP requirements will be given.

(C) This process shall be followed only when an assistance group member participated in a WEP activity during the month the overpayment occurred.

Effective: 10/15/2009
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2014
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54

5101:4-3-35 Food assistance employment and training: education and training activities.

(A) What types of education activities may be provided to food assistance employment and training participants?

(1) Basic education; and

(2) Vocational education.

(B) What is the goal of basic education?

The goal of basic education is to provide individuals with a literacy level and basic skills that will lead to employment. Basic education may be provided to individuals who do not possess basic literacy skills whether or not they have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent education. Basic education includes high school or equivalent education, remedial education, adult basic education, basic literacy education, and education for an individual with limited english proficiency.

(C) What are the county agency's responsibilities for tracking the progress of an individual engaged in basic education activities?

The county agency shall document the progress of the participant assigned to basic education in conjunction with the service provider. In order to remain assigned to the activity, an individual shall be expected to make "satisfactory progress" which shall be defined as progressing the equivalent of two grade levels each year of participation. An individual who is unable to make satisfactory progress shall be reassessed to determine if the assignment should continue. Assignment to this activity shall be based on the goal of obtaining employment.

(D) What is the goal of vocational education?

The goal of vocational education is to assist individuals in obtaining useful employment in a recognized occupation. Vocational education may include: occupational training in technical job skills and equivalent knowledge and abilities in a specific occupational area; post-secondary education; and training offered by other entities such as public secondary schools and public and private entities. For the vocational and post secondary education components Ohio has aligned the allowable food assistance employment and training programs with the workforce investment act (WIA) approved programs. A listing of these programs can be found by accessing the following website: https://ohiomeansjobs.com/etpo/.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-35

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 7/1/84, 8/1/85, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 1/1/89, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 11/1/90, 4/1/91, 11/1/92, 9/1/93, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/20/97, 1/20/03, 10/1/07

5101:4-3-36 Food assistance employment and training: displacement of other persons.

(A) Is it allowable for a food assistance employment and training participant to displace a person from employment?

Participants in the food assistance employment and training program shall not be assigned to program activities which result in the displacement of other persons. Displacement occurs when a participant's assignment results in removing or discharging employees or otherwise denying such employment to persons who:

(1) Are already employed as regular full-time or part-time employees .

(2) Are or have been employed full time or part time as participants in subsidized employment program/on the job training or in other publicly subsidized employment and training programs.

(3) Are or have been involved in a dispute between a labor organization and the employer or sponsor.

(4) Have been laid off and are either:

(a) Receiving unemployment compensation; or

(b) Subject to recall under the established policies of the employer or sponsor.

(B) Is it allowable for a work experience program (WEP) participant to fill a vacant position?

WEP participants shall not be used to fill existing vacant positions. No employment and training participant shall perform work which has the effect of reducing the work or promotional opportunities of employees. They may, however, perform the same type of work as the employee. Reducing the work of employees means reducing the number of hours, wages, or employment benefits of regular or part-time employees, or reducing the number of positions that the employer certifies would otherwise be filled by regular employees.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-36

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 4/2/90, 7/1/91, 12/1/95 (Emer.), 2/19/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/20/97, 1/20/03, 10/1/07

5101:4-3-37 Food assistance employment and training: job development.

(A) What is job development?

Job development is an activity in which the county agency or the service provider makes available job marketing, job placement, and follow-up to ensure job retention for employable participants.

Each county agency shall:

(1) Provide or procure job development services. The county agency may operate these services in-house and/or through a contract or agreement with another agency or provider;

(2) Assure that the program services are coordinated and that the services are reported;

(3) Determine the best method for providing job development services in the county;

(4) Ensure that the staff providing job development services has the necessary expertise and training to provide the service; and

(5) Have the final authority on all referrals to service providers for job development.

(B) What is the responsibility of the program provider?

(1) Establishing linkages with other work and training, economic development and social services programs to provide the services needed by participants.

(2) Coordinating job development services with the appropriate county agency staff to ensure continuity of services and compliance with regulations and policies.

(3) Developing working relationships with employers to facilitate placement of participants into long-term employment by:

(a) Promoting the programs and participants, which may include using media advertising, direct mail, involvement in community events, and presentations to community organizations.

(b) Identifying potential employers in both the public and private sector.

(c) Contacting the hiring authorities of employers.

(d) Informing employers of the availability of the program.

(e) Determining the employment needs of the potential employer.

(f) Discussing with the employer the possibility of the employment needs being met with food assistance employment and training program participants. Discussions should include the benefits of hiring participants and any incentives available such as tax credits or employer subsidies.

(g) Gathering pertinent information as it relates to job openings.

(h) Exploring the interview procedures the employer would like to follow.

(i) Matching potential participants to the job openings.

(j) Coordinating interview schedules with the employer and participants.

(k) Contacting the employer to determine how the interview went, and coordinating any subsequent interviews and/or testing requirements with the employer or provider.

(l) Coordinating any necessary details (such as any required paperwork) to ensure a completed placement.

(m) Following up the placement with the employer to resolve any problems that may arise.

(4) Developing working relationships with participants to facilitate placement into long-term employment by:

(a) Determining the type of job(s) that will be developed for the participant.

(b) Preparing the participant for the upcoming interview with a description of the job, any special instructions based on knowledge of the employer, or other helpful information.

(c) Working concurrently with the participant and the employer, other agencies or providers on items listed in paragraphs (B)(3)(i) to (B)(3)(m) of this rule.

(C) What is the responsibility of the agency operating job development?

An agency operating job development shall ensure that a participant is not placed in a position where:

(1) Any individual is laid off from the same or any equivalent position pursuant to rule 5101:4-3-36 of the Administrative Code.

(2) The employer is not following federal and state equal employment opportunity (EEO) policies, fair labor standards, compliance with health and safety standards and displacement policies. Those employers who have been found in violation of these standards and policies shall not be eligible for consideration for future job development placements.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-37

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 12/1/87 (Emer.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (Emer.), 9/23/89, 9/1/93, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/20/97, 1/20/03, 10/1/07

5101:4-3-38 Food assistance employment and training: conciliation process.

The county agency shall have a conciliation process to resolve disputes which arise concerning required food assistance employment and training participation. The conciliation process may be initiated by the participant or by the county agency. The conciliation process must be posted within the county agency and must be given in writing to each food assistance employment and training participant during the appraisal interview pursuant to the provisions of rule 5101:4-3-29 of the Administrative Code.

(A) What should the conciliation process include?

The conciliation process shall include, but is not limited to:

(1) Disputes over assignments.

(2) Inappropriate treatment by a county agency employee or worksite supervisor.

(3) Irregular work hours that create a severe hardship on the participant.

(4) Worksite assignments that deviate from the normal duties of the job.

(5) Disagreement with disciplinary action at the worksite involving the participant.

(6) Other areas of concern to the participant relating to participation.

(7) Disputes concerning working conditions and workers' compensation coverage.

(8) Wage rate calculations to determine the hours of participation.

(9) Disputes concerning failure to participate in the food assistance employment and training program.

(B) How can the conciliation process be initiated?

The conciliation process can be initiated by any of the following:

(1) A written notice from the county agency to the participant for a conciliation conference;

(2) A written or verbal request from the participant to the county agency for a conciliation conference; or

(3) A written or verbal request from the participant to the county agency for a conciliation conference when there is an act of nonparticipation. The conciliation process requires that such requests shall be made within seven calendar days which begins the day following the day of nonparticipation.

(C) Does the county agency have to track conciliation requests?

The county agency shall maintain an accurate record of all conciliation requests, including any pertinent facts and the resolution of the conciliation. Once a conciliation request is initiated, the county agency should attempt an informal resolution.

(D) How long should a decision take?

A resolution of the conciliation process initiated in accordance with paragraph (B) of this rule, shall be reached within a maximum of fifteen calendar days beginning with the date the conciliation process was initiated. No adverse action, as related to the food assistance employment and training program, may be proposed until the conciliation process, if requested, is concluded.

(E) Who can attend the conciliation process?

When a conciliation process is initiated, the county agency shall convene a conciliation conference which is presided over by the director or a designee. Both the county agency and the individual may bring whomever each reasonably wants to be at the conference in an attempt to informally resolve differences. When appropriate, the worksite supervisor may attend, or information from the worksite supervisor as requested by the county agency may be presented.

(F) If a conciliation conference is conducted may a recipient request a county conference or a state hearing?

(1) The conciliation conference does not replace the right to request a county conference pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 5101:6-1 to 5101:6-9 of the Administrative Code and the conciliation process shall not in any way limit the participant's hearing rights.

(2) The individual shall be notified in writing of the outcome of the conciliation conference. The notification shall also contain an explanation of the right to a state hearing pursuant to the provisions of Chapters 5101:6-1 to 5101:6-9 of the Administrative Code. When the conciliation conference is to be followed by a proposal of an adverse action, the prior notice sent to the individual will fulfill this requirement.

Replaces: 5101:4-3-38

Effective: 01/01/2013
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2018
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 5101.54 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/83, 3/1/87, 12/1/87 (EMER.), 2/15/88, 6/30/89 (EMER.), 9/23/89, 11/1/90, 7/1/91, 10/1/97 (EMER.), 12/20/97, 1/20/03, 10/1/07