Utah Admin. Code R986-900-902 - Options and Waivers

The Department administers the Food Stamp Program in compliance with federal law with the following exceptions or clarifications:

(1) The following options not otherwise found in R986-100 have been adopted by the Department where allowed by the applicable federal law or regulation:
(a) The Department has opted to hold hearings at the state level and not at the local level.
(b) The Department does not offer a workfare program for ABAWDs (Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents).
(c) An applicant is required to apply.
(d) The Department has opted to use the Simplified Standard Utility Allowance found in 7 USC 2014 (e)(7)(C)(iii) as amended by 2002 H.R. 2646 known as Section 4104 of the Farm Bill. The Department has a mandatory standard utility allowance. This means the customer is eligible for an appropriate utility allowance at the time of application and eligibility for the appropriate allowance is re-determined at recertification or if the household moves to a different place of residence. The customer does not have the choice of using "actual" utility expenses. The Department has three utility standards that are updated annually and are available upon request. This Farm Bill option allows households in subsidized housing and households in shared living arrangements to receive the full appropriate utility allowance.
(e) The Department does not use photo ID cards. ID cards are available upon request to homeless, disabled, and elderly clients so that the client is able to use food stamp benefits at a participating restaurant.
(f) The state has opted to provide food stamp benefits through the use of an electronic benefit transfer system (EBT).
(g) The Department counts diversion payments in the food stamp allotment calculation.
(h) The Department has opted to use Utah's TANF vehicle allowance rules in conjunction with the Food Stamp Program vehicle allowance regulations at 7 CFR 273.8, as authorized by Pub. L. No. 106-387 of the Agriculture Appropriations Act 2001, Food Stamp Act of 1977, 7 USC 2014.
(i) The Department has opted to count all of an ineligible alien's resources and all but a pro rata share of the ineligible alien's income and deductible expenses as provided in 7 CFR 273.11 (c)(3)(ii)(A).
(j) A client may waive his or her right to an administrative disqualification hearing.
(k) A client may deduct actual, allowable expenses from self employment, or may opt to deduct 40% of the gross income from self employment to determine net income.
(l) The Department has opted to align food stamps with FEP in determining how to count educational assistance income. That income is counted for food stamps as provided in R986-200-235(3)(q).
(m) The Department has opted to do simplified reporting as provided in 7 CFR 273.12 (a)(1)(vii).
(n) The Department has opted to operate a Mini Simplified Food Stamp Program under 7 CFR 273.25. Under this option, a client receiving food stamps and FEP or FEPTP, must participate as required in R986-200-210. A client found ineligible due to non-compliance under R986-200-212 will also be subject to the food stamp sanctions found in 7CFR 273.7 (f)(2) unless the client meets an exemption under food stamp regulations.
(o) Effective July 1, 2010, the Department will count the full income of an ineligible alien household member for both the gross and net income tests and for determining the level of benefits. The deductible expenses of the ineligible alien household member will no longer be prorated and the full value of all assets will continue to be counted. This also applies to ineligible aliens who are unable or unwilling to provide documentation of their alien status. This does not apply to the following ineligible aliens:
(i) An alien who is lawfully admitted as a permanent resident.
(ii) An alien who is granted asylum under Section 208 of the INA.
(iii) An alien who is admitted as a refugee under Section 207 of the INA.
(iv) An alien who is paroled in accordance with Section 212(d)(5) of the INA.
(v) An alien whose deportation or removal has been withheld in accordance with Section 243 of the INA.
(vi) An alien who is aged, blind or disabled and is admitted for temporary or permanent residency under Section 245A(b)(1) of the INA.
(vi) An alien who is a special agricultural worker admitted for temporary residence under Section 210 (a) of the INA.

For an ineligible alien listed in this subparagraphs (i) through (vi), a prorated share of the ineligible alien's income and expenses will be counted for purposes of applying the gross and net income tests and to determine the level of benefits. The full amount of the ineligible alien's assets will count.

(p) The Department allows the following exemptions from the Employment and Training (E and T) program for individuals who:
(i) are Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) participants;
(ii) are on a temporary layoff from their place of employment;
(iii) live more than 35 miles from an employment center;
(iv) lack child care, either because it is not available or the customer is not eligible for child care assistance;
(v) are not appropriate for E and T as determined by a manager or designee;
(vi) are age 47 through the month of their 60th birthday;
(vii) are low functioning/have developmental disabilities/are socially dysfunctional and who have obvious functional limitations that are a substantial handicap to employment;
(viii) have current domestic violence issues;
(ix) have limited language skills or individuals whose primary language is other than English;
(x) lack public and/or private transportation;
(xi) are in the application or appeals process for SSI;
(xii) have earned income, regardless of the amount earned;
(xiii) have no fixed address;
(xiv) are pregnant regardless of trimester;
(xv) are on probation or parole who are required to complete court ordered activities such as work release and drug court; or
(xvi) are participating in a program with a Department partner such as case management by Vocational Rehabilitation, or are participating in a Title V or Choose to Work program.
(q) Beginning July 1, 2012, individuals who meet the requirements of an exemption will no longer be allowed to receive services on a voluntary basis or receive a work reimbursement.
(2) The Department has been granted the following applicable waivers from the Food and Nutrition Service:
(a) The Department requires that a household need only report changes in earned income if there is a change in source, the hourly rate or salary, or if there is a change in full-time or part-time status. A client is required to report any change in unearned income over $25 or a change in the source of unearned income.
(b) The Department uses a combined Notice of Expiration and Shortened Recertification Form. Notice of Expiration is required in 7 CFR 273.14 (b)(1)(i). The Recertification Form is found under 7 CFR 273.14 (b)(2)(i).
(c) The Department conducts the Family Nutrition Education Program for individuals even if they are otherwise ineligible for food stamps.
(d) The Department may deduct overpayments that resulted from an IPV from a household's monthly entitlement.
(e) If the application was received before the 15th of the month and the client has earned income, the certification period can be no longer than six months. The initial certification period may be as long as seven months if the application was received after the 15th of the month.
(f) A household which had its food stamps terminated can be reinstated during the calendar month following the month assistance was terminated without completing a new application if the reason for the termination is fully resolved. The reason for the termination does not matter. Assistance will be prorated to the date on which the client reported that the disqualifying condition was resolved if verification is received within ten days of the report. Assistance is reinstated for the remaining months of the certification period and the certification period must not be changed.
(g) If the Department is unable to obtain proper documentary evidence from an employer, the Department may use Utah quarterly wage data as the primary verification of income when calculating overpayments.
(h) The Department will hold disqualification hearings by telephone.
(i) All initial interviews, and recertification interviews for households certified for 12 months or less, will have their initial or recertification interviews conducted by telephone, rather than in person, unless the household requests an in-person interview or the Department determines that an in-person interview is necessary to resolve issues that would be better facilitated face-to-face.
(j) The federal regulation that requires all interviews be scheduled for a specific date and time is waved for initial telephone interviews. This allows clients to call anytime Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to complete the required initial interview. Households selected for the "Assessment of the Contributions of an Interview to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Eligibility and Benefits Determinations" study, also known as the No Interview Pilot, will be exempt from the interview requirement. Customer contact may be needed to complete the application and/or recertification process. This waiver will be in place September 1, 2012 - November 30, 2013.
(k) To meet the student work exemption. a student enrolled in post-secondary education half-time or more must work an average of 20 hours per week. The work hours must be averaged over the 30 days immediately prior to the date of application or recertification.
(l) Certain Utah counties have been granted a waiver which exempts ABAWDs from the work requirements of Section 824 of PRWORA. The counties granted this waiver change each year based on Department of Labor statistics. A list of counties granted this waiver is available from the Department.


Utah Admin. Code R986-900-902
Amended by Utah State Bulletin Number 2014-20, effective 10/1/2014 Amended by Utah State Bulletin Number 2014-23, effective 11/6/2014 Amended by Utah State Bulletin Number 2015-20, effective 10/1/2015

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