(A) What happens when an individual does not comply with a work registration requirement?
(1) When an individual fails or refuses to meet the work registration requirements in rule 5101:4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code, the individual shall be sanctioned from participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) 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 SNAP 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 SNAP 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 SNAP for a minimum of six benefit months.
(2) When an individual stops receiving SNAP benefits 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 an 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 individual's responsibility to contact the county agency within seven calendar days of the noncompliance to show good cause for the failure. When 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.
The notification shall contain:
(1) The particular act of noncompliance committed;
(2) The proposed period of the sanction;
(3) Language explaining that the individual may, if appropriate, reapply at the end of the sanction period;
(4) Information on or with the notice describing the action that can be taken to avoid the sanction before the sanction period begins; and
(5) Notice and hearing requirements contained in Chapters 5101:6-1 to 5101:6-9 of the Administrative Code that apply in each instance of noncompliance and subsequent sanction action.
(C) How does an individual comply to regain eligibility for SNAP?
Except for individuals sanctioned as a result of a voluntary quit or reduction of work effort, the county agency shall require the individual to:
(1) Prior to reinstatement of benefits, the individual shall sign the JFS 03804 "Ohio Works First/ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Sanction Compliance Agreement" (rev. 11/2016 ) agreeing to participate in the work program and to comply with the work registration requirements described in rule 5101:4-3-11.1 of the Administrative Code.
(a) When 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) When 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 rule 5101:4-7-01 of the Administrative Code.
(2) When 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 SNAP 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 benefits are exempt from work registration . 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 eligibility 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 an unemployment compensation or OWF requirement. When it is determined the individual failed or refused to meet an unemployment compensation or OWF requirement, 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 benefits. For OWF assistance groups, the county agency shall follow rule 5101:4-3-09 of the Administrative Code. However, when 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 SNAP), the assistance group remains subject to the requirements of this rule.
(2) Determine if the individual meets one of the other work registration exemptions outlined in rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code. When the individual meets another work registration exemption in rule 5101:4-3-11 of the Administrative Code, no action is required.
(3) When the individual does not meet another work registration exemption, 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) 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.
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: 10/15/09, 3/1/12, 10/1/13, 8/1/15