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