Okla. Admin. Code § 340:50-5-100 - Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) work requirements and time limits

Current through Register Vol. 39, No. 2, October 1, 2021

(a) ABAWD work requirements. Per Section 273.24(a) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations ( 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(a) ), an ABAWD meets work requirements when he or she:
(1) works continuously 20 hours or more per week, averaged monthly. Averaged monthly means 80 hours per month. The employment may be paid, in-kind, unpaid, or volunteer work with religious or community organizations;
(2) participates in and complies with the requirements of a work program 20 hours or more per week averaged monthly. Work programs include a:
(A) program assignment under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Public Law (P.L.) 113-128;
(B) program under the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2015, P.L. 114-27 Sections 401 through 407; or
(C) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E and T) Program assignment, not including job search or job search training activities. However, job search or job search training activities, when offered as part of other E and T program components, are acceptable as long as those activities comprise less than half the total required time spent in the components;
(3) works and participates in a work program for a total of 20 or more hours per week, averaged monthly; or
(4) meets an exemption from the work requirements per (c) of this Section.
(b) General rule. An ABAWD who is a member of an eligible household receiving SNAP food benefits must comply with work requirements per (a) of this Section or be exempt from work requirements per (d) of this Section to be eligible to participate as a member of any food benefit household for more than three countable months, consecutive or otherwise, during any 36-month or three-year period. When the ABAWD meets work requirements per (a) or an exemption per (d) of this Section, he or she is eligible to participate with no time limits. An ABAWD subject to the three-month time limit may also regain eligibility per (f) of this Section.
(1) Countable months. Countable months are months when an ABAWD receives SNAP benefits for the full benefit month while not:
(A) exempt from ABAWD work requirements per (d) of this Section;
(B) fulfilling the work requirement per (a) of this Section; or
(C) receiving benefits that are prorated.
(2) Countable months in another state. When there is an indication an ABAWD subject to the time limits received SNAP food benefits in another state in the last 12 months, the worker must verify the number of countable months the person used in the other state per 7 C.F.R. § 273.2(f)(1)(xiv)(B).
(3) Measuring the three-year or 36-month time period. Per 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(b)(3), the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) uses a 'fixed-individual clock' for each ABAWD subject to time limits. This means the ABAWD clock starts at the initial application for SNAP benefits when the person is not meeting ABAWD work requirements per (a) of this Section. When the person meets ABAWD work requirements at initial application, the clock starts the month the person uses the first countable month per (b)(1) of this Section.
(4) Worker responsibilities. It is the worker's responsibility to:
(A) determine the ABAWD status of each adult household member at application, mid-certification renewal, and certification renewal;
(B) explain rights and responsibilities of each non-exempt household member to the person completing the SNAP application and certification renewal interview including:
(i) ABAWD work requirements and ways to fulfill these requirements;
(ii) exemption criteria;
(iii) the ABAWD's limited benefit eligibility when he or she does not fulfill work requirements; and
(iv) how to regain eligibility after losing benefits; and
(C) update the ABAWD status of an adult household member any time he or she loses an exemption or no longer meets the work requirement. The worker must 'look-back' to determine when the ABAWD lost the exemption or stopped meeting the work requirement. The worker closes food benefits for the person when he or she already used his or her countable months for the 36-month period or corrects the ABAWD status to start the ABAWD's clock per (3) of this paragraph.
(5) ABAWD responsibilities. It is the ABAWD's responsibility to:
(A) verify his or her work and/or participation hours or exemption status at application, mid-certification renewal, and certification renewal per 7 C.F.R. § 273.2(f)(1) and (f)(8); and
(B) report when his or her work and/or participation hours drop below 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month within 10-calendar days of the month the hours dropped.
(i) When the ABAWD reports his or her work and/or participation hours dropped below 20 hours per week, the worker determines if the ABAWD is eligible for three countable months. When the ABAWD is:
(I) eligible for three countable months, the worker tracks the months to determine when to close benefits for the ABAWD if he or she does not regain eligibility per (f) of this Section; or
(II) not eligible because he or she received three countable months within the three-year period, the worker closes food benefits for the ABAWD.
(ii) When an ABAWD subject to time limits received SNAP food benefits in error within the most recent three-year period, the benefits are considered as countable months unless the ABAWD pays the benefits back in full per 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(b)(5).
(c) Good cause for failure to meet the ABAWD work requirement. When an ABAWD has good cause for failure to meet the required number of work or participation hours in a given month per (a) of this Section, the ABAWD is considered to have met the work requirement. Per 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(b)(2), good cause applies to situations in which the ABAWD's absence from work is temporary, he or she retains his or her job, and the circumstances are beyond the person's control, such as, but not limited to:
(1) illness;
(2) illness of another household member sufficiently serious to require the presence of the ABAWD;
(3) unavailability of transportation; or
(4) an unanticipated emergency.
(d) Exemptions from the ABAWD work requirement. Per 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(c), a person is exempt from the ABAWD work requirement and eligible to participate without time limits, when the person is:
(1) younger than 18 years of age or 50 years of age and older;
(2) medically-certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment. A person is medically-certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment when he or she:
(A) receives permanent or temporary disability benefits issued by governmental or private sources;
(B) is obviously mentally or physically unfit for employment. When it is not obvious that he or she is unfit, the person must provide documented evidence from medically-qualified sources to substantiate the medical exemption.
(i) Medically-qualified sources may include, but are not limited to, a:
(I) licensed or certified psychologist, therapist, counselor, or social worker;
(II) physician or physician's assistant;
(III) nurse or nurse practitioner; or
(IV) designated representatives of a physician's office.
(ii) The documented evidence must indicate the person has a physical or mental condition that limits the person's ability to work.
(iii) When the medical exemption is temporary, the person is required to comply with work requirements when released by a medically qualified source to return to work; or
(C) is chronically homeless;
(3) pregnant;
(4) a parent, natural, adoptive, or step, of a household member younger than 18 years of age, even when the minor child is not eligible for food benefits;
(5) an adult residing in a household with a household member younger than 18 years of age and included in the food benefit household, even when the minor child is not eligible for food benefits; or
(6) otherwise exempt from work requirements per 7 C.F.R. § 273.7(b) and Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-5-86.
(e) Persons who regain eligibility. Persons whose food benefits were denied or closed because they received three countable months of food benefits may regain eligibility by meeting work requirements per (a) of this Section for 30-consecutive days.
(1) Regained eligibility by meeting work requirements. When a person regains eligibility, he or she maintains food benefit eligibility without time limits provided he or she continues to meet work requirements per (a) of this Section. Per 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(d)(3), there is no limit to how many times a person may regain eligibility by meeting work requirements. The person's food benefits are prorated from the application date. When the person applies before meeting work requirements for 30-consec-utive days, the application is denied.
(2) Regained eligibility and then stopped meeting work requirements. When a person regains eligibility and then stops meeting work requirements, he or she is eligible for SNAP food benefits for three-consecutive countable months only. The person may only receive the additional three-countable months once, during the 36-month period. After receiving these three-consecutive months, the person is not eligible for SNAP food benefits in his or her 36-month time period unless he or she regains eligibility by meeting the work rule or becomes exempt per (d) of this Section.
(f) ABAWD work requirement waiver prohibition. Per 7 C.F.R. § 273.24(f), states are allowed to request an ABAWD work requirement waiver in certain instances. Effective October 1, 2013, Section 241.3 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes prohibits DHS from requesting an ABAWD work requirement waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Notes

Okla. Admin. Code § 340:50-5-100
Adopted by Oklahoma Register, Volume 35, Issue 24, September 4, 2018, eff. 9/17/2018

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