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 applying for or are participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). Individuals who are work registered must comply with the requirements described in rule 5101: 4-3- 11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(B) Who must be work registered for SNAP?

Unless an individual meets one of the following exemptions, the individual shall be registered for work and be required to comply with the work registration requirements described in rule 5101: 4-3- 11.1 of the Administrative Code:

(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. When 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 determined by the county agency to be physically or mentally unfit for employment either permanently or temporarily. Notwithstanding paragraph (D) of this rule, persons claiming a temporary disability shall be required to register once they become physically and mentally fit unless otherwise exempt. 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. The county agency shall maintain documentation within the case file capable of withstanding a third-party review to support the granting of the exemption.

(6) Assistance group members who are applying for both SSI and SNAP 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, drops 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 SNAP.

(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 each work registrant?

The county agency shall:

(1) Ensure each individual has received an explanation of their rights and responsibilities described in paragraphs (D)(3)(a) to (D)(3)(d) of rule 5101:4-2-07 of the Administrative Code and the consequences of failing to comply with the work registration requirements 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) Document each individual registration via the statewide automated eligibility system.

(a) The county agency shall update the statewide automated eligibility system for each individual required to work register prior to authorization of SNAP 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 registration requirements in accordance with paragraph (C)(1) of this rule .

(3) Provide each work registrant with information about services available through the OhioMeansJobs website (OhioMeansJobs.com) and/or the closest OhioMeansJobs center;

(4) Conduct an appraisal in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-29 of the Administrative Code for each individual subject to the work registration requirement described in paragraph (A)(5) of rule 5101:4-3- 11.1 of the Administrative Code.

(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 the statewide automated eligibility system.

(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 the statewide automated eligibility system.

Effective: 7/1/2017
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 04/12/2017 and 07/01/2022
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, 10/15/09, 8/1/15