Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Works Handbook
Revision: 14-3
Effective: July 1, 2014

Part A — Section 1800

Employment Services

A—1810  General Policy

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

The Employment Services Program (ESP) consists of two programs. They are Choices for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) individuals and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) for SNAP individuals. Recipients must participate in these programs unless exempt. If a nonexempt member does not comply, he may be subject to a penalty that results in a full-family sanction for TANF and either a denial or disqualification for SNAP.

TANF

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) determine the level of Choices services to provide in each county according to available Choices resources. After coordination with state office, TWC and the LWDB designate a county to provide one of two service levels:

  • full service, or
  • minimum service.

Full Service Requirements

Each nonexempt TANF caretaker or second parent who lives in a full service Choices county must participate in Choices employment services if contacted. Nonexempt and exempt members in full service Choices counties may voluntarily participate in employment services at any time. Exempt individuals are eligible for the same services as nonexempt individuals.

Minimum Service Requirements

Individuals in minimum service Choices counties are exempt from participation requirements because of the lack of available Choices resources in the area (even when they are coded mandatory registrants). Individuals in minimum service counties may choose whether or not to participate in Choices services offered to them.

SNAP

Each nonexempt household member age 16 through 59 must be registered for employment services at initial certification.

Exception:

For expedited service, register the applicant being interviewed unless he is


A—1811  Strikers and Employment and Training (E&T)

Revision 01-1; Effective January 1, 2001

SNAP

A striker must comply fully with the work registration requirement. He does not have to accept employment at a location subject to a strike or lock-out. If a strike is prohibited under either the Taft-Hartley or Railway Labor Acts, Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) considers this a continuing offer of suitable employment to the striker. Failure by the striker to return to this employment, for any reason, is failure to comply with work registration requirements. This makes the entire household ineligible.

A—1820  Employment Services Programs (ESP) Procedures

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—1821  Choices

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

In all counties:

  • determine the work registration status of all individuals; and
  • obtain information about education level, work history, and vocational training for caretakers and second parents.

Note: See State Time Limits, A-2500, for state time limit tier levels for TANF individuals certified as caretakers and second parents.

A—1821.1  Choices Exemptions

Revision 13-4; Effective October 1, 2013

TANF

A member is exempt from participation if he is one of the following:

Code A (Child under 19 years of age) —  A child, age 18 or younger.

Code C (Caring for an ill or disabled child in the home) — Needed at home to care for an ill or disabled child in the household, even if that person is not a member of the certified group. The caretaker must provide a completed Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, to claim this exemption. This includes caring for a family member receiving disability benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). See A-1821.1.2, Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Disabled Household Member, for specific information of Form H1836-B expectations.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one parent/caretaker if there are two or more disabled individuals in the household and it requires more than one person to provide care for the disabled members.

Code E (Disability expected to last greater than 180 days) —  Unable to work due to a mental or physical disability expected to last more than 180 days. To claim an exemption based on disability, the individual must provide a completed Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement. Receipt of Social Security benefits based on disability or Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits is not an automatic disability exemption for Choices. See A-1821.1.1, Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self, for specific information of Form H1836-A expectations.

Code F (60 years of age or older)  —  Age 60 or older. Obtain verification of age if not already established.

Code G (Meets Caretaker Exemption criteria, child in EDG) and Code R (Meets Caretaker Exemption criteria, child not in EDG)  —  A single parent or single caretaker relative caring for a child under age one at initial application. See A-1821.5, Caretaker Exemption, for information on setting the caretaker exemption end date.

Notes:
  • Neither parent in a two-parent household may receive a caretaker exemption. This includes households with a disqualified legal parent or non-certified parent (for example, legal parent receiving SSI).
  • Another relative caretaker whose spouse is in the household may not receive the caretaker exemption.

Code H (Cares for a disabled adult in the home, expected to last greater than 180 days) —  Needed at home to care for a disabled adult in the household even if that person is not a member of the certified group and the disability is expected to last more than 180 days. The caretaker must provide a completed Form H1836-B to claim this exemption. This includes caring for a member receiving disability benefits such as SSI. See A-1821.1.2, Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Disabled Household Member, for specific information of Form H1836-B expectations.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one parent/caretaker if there are two or more disabled individuals in the household and it requires more than one person to provide care for the disabled members.

Code J (Not certified for TANF) — Not certified for TANF for reasons other than being a non-recipient parent (Codes X, V or Y) or sanctioned for Choices (Code W).

Code N (Time Limited Employment Hardship) — Eligible for a state time limit hardship exemption based on lack of available employment opportunities. See A-2543.3, Employment Hardship Exemption (ESP Code N), for detailed information about this work registration code.

Code Q (Time Limited Personal Hardship) — Eligible for a state time limit hardship exemption based on personal disability or caring for a disabled household member. See A-2543.2, Severe Personal Hardship Exemption (ESP Code Q), for detailed information about this work registration code.

Code T (Pregnant and unable to work) —  Pregnant and unable to work. To claim an exemption based on pregnancy, the individual must provide proof of pregnancy on Form H3037, Report of Pregnancy, or another document containing the same information and completed by a physician, nurse, advanced nurse practitioner or other medical professional, and a completed Form H1836-A, verifying the disability is due to pregnancy. See A-1821.1.1, Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self, for specific information of Form H1836-A expectations.

Code U (Single grandparent 50 or older caring for child under 3) —  A single grandparent, age 50 or over, caring for a child under age three. Obtain verification of age and TANF relationship, if not already established.

Code V (SSI Recipient) —  An SSI parent.

Code X (Exhausted STL) —  A parent who has exhausted his/her state time limits.

Code Y (Disqualified for TPR non-compliance, Disqualified for SSN non-compliance, Has an IPV, Disqualified for failure to report temporary absence of a certified child, Is a fugitive, Has a felony drug conviction, Disqualified for QC non-compliance, Minor parent domicile non-compliance) — A parent disqualified because of:

  • third-party resource requirements;
  • Social Security number requirements;
  • intentional program violation;
  • failure to report a child's absence;
  • being a fugitive;
  • having a felony drug conviction;
  • failure to cooperate with Quality Control; or
  • noncompliance with the unmarried minor parent domicile requirement.

A—1821.1.1  Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self

Revision 09-1; Effective January 1, 2009

Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, must be obtained to verify a personal disability due to illness, injury or pregnancy. In order for an individual to receive an exemption from Choices requirements due to illness or injury, the disability must be expected to last more than 180 days. A pregnancy-related disability does not have to last any specific length of time.

Note: Receipt of Social Security benefits based on disability or Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits is not an automatic disability exemption for Choices.

A new Form H1836-A must be obtained when the form in the file is more than six months old.

If the Form H1836-A on file at the time of review is less than six months old but will reach the six month period during a new certification period, advisors must:

  • request a new Form H1836-A at the time of the review; or
  • set a special review six months from the date Form H1836-A is signed to request a new Form H1836-A.

Example: The individual has a current Form H1836-A dated in July on file. The advisor interviews the individual for a periodic review in October. Form H1836-A is current at the time of the interview. The advisor may request a new Form H1836-A at the interview or set a special review for December to request a new Form H1836-A.

The following Choices exemption codes require a completed Form H1836-A:

  • T – pregnant and unable to work, and
  • E – unable to work due to a mental or personal disability and the disability is expected to last more than 180 days.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1(a) or 1(b) mandatory for Choices.
2(a) or 2(b) mandatory for Choices.
Note: The medical provider should complete Part B and Part C.
3(a) or 3(b) exempt from Choices because the disability is permanent or expected to last more than 180 days.
Note: The medical provider should complete Part C.
3(c) and the individual has a personal or mental disability mandatory for Choices.
Note: The medical provider should complete Part C.
3(c) and the individual is disabled due to pregnancy exempt from Choices because there is no timeframe associated with a disability due to pregnancy. Note: The medical provider should complete Part C.

Note: If the medical provider fails to complete Part B or Part C for a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families individual but indicates that the individual is permanently disabled or temporarily disabled for more than 180 days, the individual meets the criteria for a Choices exemption.

A—1821.1.2  Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Disabled Household Member

Revision 09-1; Effective January 1, 2009

Obtain verification that the caregiver is unable to work or participate in workforce activities due to illness or injury of an adult or child family member. In order for an individual to receive an exemption from Choices requirements due to a disabled adult family member, the disability must be expected to last more than six months (180 days). There is no timeframe associated with the length of the disability if the individual is caring for a disabled child.

Note: A caregiver caring for an adult or child family member who is receiving disability benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not qualify for an exemption unless the caregiver provides Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, verifying the caregiver is needed in the home to provide care.

The following Choices exemption codes require a completed Form H1836-B:

  • "C" – needed at home to care for an ill or disabled child in the household even if the person is not a member of the certified group, and
  • "H" – needed at home to care for a disabled adult in the household even if the person is not a member of the certified group and the disability is expected to last more than 180 days.

A new Form H1836-B must be obtained when the form in the file is more than six months old.

If the Form H1836-B on file at the time of review is less than six months old but will reach the six month period during the new certification period, advisors must:

  • request a new Form H1836-B at the time of the review; or
  • set a special review six months from the date Form H1836-B is signed to request a new Form H1836-B.

Example: The individual has a current Form H1836-B dated in July on file. The advisor interviews the individual for a periodic review in October. Form H1836-B is current at the time of the interview. The advisor may request a new Form H1836-B at the interview or set a special review for December to request a new Form H1836-B.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1 or 2(a or b) mandatory for Choices.
3(a or b) exempt from Choices.
Note: The medical provider must complete Part B.
3(c) and the individual is needed at home to care for an adult family member mandatory for Choices.
Note: The medical provider must complete Part B.
3(c) and the individual is needed at home to care for a child exempt from Choices.
Note: The medical provider must complete Part B.

A—1821.2  Choices Participation

Revision 13-4; Effective October 1, 2013

TANF

A member is required to participate if he is one of the following:

Code B (Caretaker/Parent under age 19 in school full time) —  A caretaker or second parent, age 18 or younger, attending elementary, secondary, vocational or technical school full time.

Code K (Appeal pending with Choices) —  Appealing a Choices sanction. Use this code to indicate the individual is appealing the Choices sanction. See Appeals, A-1870, for more information.

Code L (Time limited Severe Economic Hardship, Lives in Economically Deprived County) — Eligible for a state time limit hardship exemption based on residing in a designated hardship county. See A-2543.1, County Hardship Exemption (ESP L), for detailed information about this work registration code.

Code M (Mandatory registrant) —  Does not qualify for any of the exemptions and does not meet the Code P criteria. Note: Use this code for an individual who receives in-kind income for working.

Code P (Meets TANF full time employment requirement) —  Employed or self-employed at least 30 hours per week, and receiving earnings of at least $700 per month. The required compliance is limited to only reporting hours of work. These individuals may be sanctioned if they do not report their hours to Choices staff.

Code W (Sanctioned for Choices nonparticipation) — Sanctioned for TANF based on non-compliance with Choices.

Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) develop a Family Employment Plan with the involvement of all adults on the TANF EDG. In TANF-SP households, both adults must agree who will satisfy their work requirement. All adults on the TANF EDG are required to sign the plan.

Failure to sign the plan or meet the work requirements without good cause results in the LWDB sending a sanction request for the non-cooperating individual. For TANF-SP households, the LWDB will send the following penalty:

If the household's caretaker/parent and second parent are ... then the LWDB sends a sanction request for ...
both mandatory participants, the caretaker and second parent. Note: If one parent non-complies with Choices and the other parent already has an open Choices penalty (work registration code W or K), the LWDB does not send a penalty request for the parent with the open Choices penalty.
one is a mandatory participant and one is exempt but volunteers, only the mandatory participant.
one is a mandatory participant and one is exempt but does not volunteer, only the mandatory participant.

A—1821.3  Work Registration Code Hierarchy

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TIERS determines the appropriate work registration code based on data collection entries. Staff should review work registration status prior to disposition to ensure the correct work registration code is assigned to an individual. Use the following chart to determine the work registration code that should be assigned if the individual qualifies for more than one work registration code.

Code

Description

V

non-recipient parents who receive Supplemental Security Income

X

non-recipient parents who have exhausted their state time limits

Y

non-recipient parents who have certain disqualifications

J

ineligible for TANF and for Choices

A or F

child under age 19 or adult over age 60

L, N or Q

receiving hardship exemption from the state time limit

G or R

caring for a child under age 1

C

caring for a disabled child

U

grandparent caring for a child under age 3

H

caring for a disabled adult

E

personal disability

T

pregnant and unable to work

K

appeal pending with Choices

W

sanctioned for Choices nonparticipation

P

employed at least 30 hours per week and earning at least $700 per month

B

parent under age 19 and in school full time

M

mandatory participant


A—1821.4  Switching the Exemption — TANF-SP

Revision 02-8; Effective October 1, 2002

TANF

TANF-SP parents may switch participation designations (that is, exempt and nonexempt codes) once if the switch is before or during Choices assessment for the parent initially designated as nonexempt. The exemption code must be one that applies to either parent. Choices staff use Form H2583, Choices Information Transmittal, to inform Texas Works staff when TANF-SP parents request to switch Choices codes. The parent cannot switch after completion of the Choices assessment.

A—1821.5  Caretaker Exemption

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TANF single parents or single relative caretakers caring for a child under age one at initial application are exempt from Choices participation (Choices exemption Code G or R) until the child reaches age 1. Note: Caretakers under age 20 who have not completed high school or its equivalent do not qualify for these Choices exemptions, even if the caretaker exemption end date is in the future. These individuals may be exempt for another reason.

A—1821.5.1  Setting the Caretaker Exemption End Date

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TIERS sets a caretaker exemption end date based on the youngest child under age 1 in the home at the time of initial certification. See Individual- Summary, Time Limits screen in TIERS for the caretaker exemption end date.

A caretaker is not eligible for this exemption after the end date. The end date does not change when another child is born to the caretaker or moves into the home after TIERS sets the end date.

A—1821.5.2  Resetting the End Date

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the child the caretaker's end date is based on leaves the home, TIERS resets the end date based on the:

  • next older child, or
  • date the child leaves the home if no children under one remain in the household.

Use Form H1075, if needed, to change the caretaker exemption end date.

A—1822  E&T Procedures

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

SNAP

In all counties, at initial certification and at each recertification:

  • determine each individual's registration/participation exemption status;
  • provide Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules, for each registrant in the household (including registrants exempt from participation); and
  • inform the person interviewed about the:
    • registrant's rights and responsibilities,
    • registrant's requirement to provide proof of identity and work eligibility when requested by HHSC or E&T staff,
    • documents accepted as proof of identity and work eligibility (a list of acceptable proof is included on Form H1808), and
    • consequences of failure to comply.

Note: Remind streamlined reporting households they must respond to all notices and letters from the employment program.

A—1822.1  E&T Exemptions

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

SNAP

Exempt a member from registration for E&T services if the individual meets one of the following criteria:

Code A (Child under age 16, age 16 or 17 and not head of household, or age 16 or 17 and attends school/training at least half time) — Age:

  • 15 or younger;
  • 16 or 17 and not the head of household; or
  • 16 or 17 and attending school, including home schooling, or an employment training program on at least a half-time basis.

Code D (Three to nine months pregnant) — Three to nine months pregnant. Require proof of the pregnancy on Form H3037, Report of Pregnancy, or another document containing the same information and completed by a physician, nurse, advanced nurse practitioner or other medical professional.

Code E (Physically/mentally unfit for employment) — Physically or mentally unfit for employment. Require proof of a disability that is not obvious before exempting the applicant. Obtain Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement. A physician's statement with the required information is also acceptable. See A-1822.1.1, Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self, for specific information of expectations.

Receipt of a temporary or permanent disability benefit from a private or government source, including VA non-service-connected disability benefits, is acceptable verification that a person is physically or mentally unfit for employment. For VA service-connected disability benefits that are less than 100%, do not exempt the individual.

Code F (Age 60 or older) — Age 60 or older.

Code G (Caring for a child under age 6) — Each parent or other household member responsible for the care of a child under age 6.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one household member who is responsible for the care of a child under age 6 if there are two or more children under age 6 in the household. The number of individuals who receive the exemption may not exceed the number of children under age 6 in the SNAP household.

Code H (Cares for a person with a disability who is living in the home) — A parent or other household member caring for a person of any age who has a disability and lives with the household. The individual who has a disability does not have to be part of the SNAP budget group, but must reside at the same address. Require proof that the parent or household member is needed in the home to care for the person with a disability, including a member receiving disability benefits, such as SSI. Obtain Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, or a physician's statement with the required information. See A-1822.1.2, Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Household Member With a Disability, for specific information.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one parent/caretaker if there are two or more individuals with a disability living in the household and it requires more than one person to provide care for the members who have a disability.

Code J (In drug/alcohol treatment program) — A regular participant or outpatient in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.

Code N (Receiving/applying for unemployment benefits) — Receiving unemployment insurance benefits or has applied but not been notified of eligibility.

Code P (Meets SNAP full-time employment requirement) — Employed or self-employed:

  • at least 30 hours a week, or
  • receiving earnings equal to 30 hours a week multiplied by the federal minimum wage. If the applicant's income is not enough to meet this exemption, the individual must verify that the individual works at least 30 hours a week.

Allow this exemption for an individual:

  • who receives in-kind income for working at least 30 hours a week at a business, government entity or non-profit organization; or
  • who home-schools a child living in the home. The individual must home-school the child at least 30 hours a week.

Any combination of the activities listed as an exemption for meeting the full-time employment requirement, or those activities in combination with employment hours, can be used as long as the combination totals at least 30 hours a week.

Notes:

  • The individual may choose to average hours and/or income over the certification period or 12 months to meet this exemption.
  • Migrant and seasonal farm workers are exempt if they are under contract or similar agreement with an employer or crew chief to begin work within 30 days.

Code Q (Registered with Choices) — Lives in a full-service Choices county and is nonexempt from Choices participation, or lives in any county and has an open Choices case.

Code S (Student age 18 or older in school/training program at least half time)

  • A student age 18 or older who is enrolled at least half time in school or a training program, including an institution of higher education (see B-410, Students in Higher Education), or a person participating in a training program.
  • A refugee who is enrolled at least half time in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses or E&T programs administered by a refugee contractor or Match Grant program.

A—1822.1.1  Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self

Revision 06-4; Effective October 1, 2006

Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, must be obtained to verify a disability for individuals who appear capable of employment but claim a disability. There is no requirement that the disability last more than 180 days.

A new Form H1836-A must be obtained when the form in the file is more than 12 months old.

The following E&T exemption code requires a completed Form H1836-A:

  • E – physically or mentally unfit for employment if the disability is not obvious.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1(a or b) or 2(a or b) mandatory for E&T.
3(a, b or c) exempt from E&T.

A—1822.1.2  Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Household Member With a Disability

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

Obtain Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, to verify an individual who claims to be needed in the home to care for a household member with a disability. There is no requirement that the disability last more than 180 days.

Obtain a new Form H1836-B when the form in the file is more than 12 months old.

The following E&T exemption code requires a completed Form H1836-B:

  • H – a parent or other household member caring for a person of any age who has a disability and lives with the household.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1 or 2(a or b), mandatory for E&T.
3(a, b or c), exempt from E&T.

A—1823  Work Registration Status Changes

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—1823.1  Reporting Changes in Work Registration Status

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Individuals must report changes that could affect employment services within 10 days of the change.

A—1823.1.1  Advisor Action on Status Changes

Revision 13-1; Effective January 1, 2013

TANF

Change the work registration code if:

  • the individual reports a change in his exemption status, or
  • information in the case record indicates a change in the individual's exemption status.

When the individual has a Code G or R and the youngest child reaches age one, TIERS:

  • changes the individual's work registration status based on the hierarchy listed in A-1821.3 at cutoff of the caretaker exemption end date month,
  • sends the individual a notice of the change in work registration status, and
  • transmits the information to TWC.

Notify the individual on TF0001, Notice of Case Action, that their work registration status has changed.

SNAP

Change the work registration code within 10 days if the individual

  • becomes exempt from E&T because he meets the criteria for exemption Code Q.
  • loses E&T exemption status because of a
    • change the household is required to report,
    • change in TANF work registration code or open Choices case status, or
    • TANF penalty for Choices noncompliance.

If the individual loses E&T exemption status for any other reason, register the individual at the next recertification.

Notify the individual on TF0001 that their work registration status has changed.

A—1824  Information Transmittal from Choices or E&T Staff

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

When Choices or E&T staff discover information during an individual contact, they use Form H2583, Choices Information Transmittal, or Form H1817, Food Stamp E&T Information Transmittal, to forward the information to the advisor.

TANF

Each Form H2583 requires advisor action:

  • If Choices staff receive information that affects an individual's work registration status, they discuss the individual's status with the advisor, or send Form H2583, asking the advisor to reconsider the individual's registration.

    The advisor evaluates the individual's work registration status and changes the work registration code in TIERS, if necessary.

  • Information on earned or unearned income requires a budget to determine ongoing eligibility.

    Choices staff attempt to obtain verification from the employer. If the information on Form H2583 is complete and includes the name of the person contacted, use the information for eligibility determination without further verification from the individual.

  • Medical or other information affecting Choices participation or designation as a TANF-Basic or TANF-State Program EDG. Review and correct the work registration status or EDG type as needed.

SNAP

Each Form H1817 requires advisor action.

  • If E&T staff receive information that affects an individual's work registration status, they send Form H1817 to the advisor asking the advisor to reconsider the individual's registration.

    The advisor evaluates the individual's work registration status and changes the work registration code in TIERS, if necessary.

    If you decide the individual

    • is still subject to work registration, notify E&T staff within 10 days using Form H1817.
    • qualifies for an exemption, do not respond on Form H1817.
  • Information on earned or unearned income requires a budget to determine ongoing eligibility.
  • Medical or other information affects E&T participation. Review and correct work registration status as needed.

A—1830  ESP Actions

Revision 04-3; Effective April 1, 2004

A—1831  Action in Full Service Choices Counties or E&T Counties

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

TANF

For households in full service Choices counties:

  • provide an explanation of:
    • the Choices program;
    • the supportive services available (such as child care, help with transportation expenses related to job search or training, Texas Health Steps, and family planning);
    • the individual's rights and responsibilities;
    • how recipients (both exempt and nonexempt) may voluntarily participate and what this means regarding state time-limited benefits (see A-2500, State Time Limits);
    • the full-family sanction for noncooperation for nonexempt individuals;
    • transitional child care and Medicaid; and
    • the requirement to provide proof of identity and work eligibility when requested by HHSC or a Choices provider, and the types of documents accepted as proof (Form H2580, TANF Employment Services Notice, lists examples of proof).

      Explain these policies again at periodic review, unless the caretaker and/or second parent show an open Choices case in TIERS inquiry.
  • provide a completed Form H2580 for each caretaker and/or second parent. At the application interview, also provide Form H2580 to the TANF EDG name.

SNAP

For households in E&T counties:

  • provide the individual with Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules, for each registrant, along with the explanations in A-1822, E&T Procedures;
  • explain who provides local E&T services and provide the address; and
  • explain that E&T staff may provide transportation and/or child care assistance, if needed, to allow participation.

If the advisor conducts a single interview for a household filing jointly for TANF and SNAP, and the advisor certifies the SNAP application while the TANF application remains pending, TIERS will assign work registration Code Q, as if the individual were receiving TANF. After the advisor makes the TANF decision, TIERS will change the SNAP work registration code, if necessary. If an individual is registered for SNAP E&T, send the individual Form H1808.

A—1831.1  Referral Processes

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Advisors in full service Choices counties refer TANF applicants to a workforce orientation. This is a separate eligibility requirement from Choices program participation. See Workforce Orientation, A-2200, for more information.

HHSC sends a daily electronic file of all TANF recipients to Choices staff when:

  • the TANF EDG is certified; or
  • a TANF recipient's work registration code changes.

Non-exempt TANF recipients in full service Choices counties must participate in employment service activities when notified by Choices staff.

SNAP

HHSC sends a daily electronic file of all SNAP recipients to E&T staff when:

  • the SNAP EDG is certified; or
  • a SNAP recipient's work registration code changes.

E&T staff use this electronic file to register individuals with TWC when the individual:

  • lives in an E&T county; and
  • is a non-exempt registrant.

Registration is effective for 12 months. At the end of each 12-month period, TWC renews the registrant’s status if the individual is:

  • active;
  • living in an E&T county; and
  • a non-exempt registrant, not identified as an able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD).

A—1831.1.1  Choices Outreach

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TANF or TANF-SP recipients in full service Choices counties whose information is transmitted to the TWC through the daily electronic file may be outreached for Choices services.

Local Workforce Development Boards and TWC access various types of education, training and employment services from local providers, including other state agencies. Services vary depending on an individual's specific needs and the availability of programs in the local area.

A—1831.1.2  ABAWD Referral Process

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

SNAP

An ABAWD is an individual age 18-50 who:

  • is physically and mentally able to work at least 20 hours per week;
  • is not a member of a SNAP EDG where a household member on the SNAP EDG  is under age 18; or
  • is not pregnant.

HHSC sends a daily electronic file of all SNAP recipients, including ABAWDs, to E&T staff. After receiving the electronic file, E&T staff may contact local HHSC staff to obtain SNAP allotment amounts and the number of ABAWDs in the SNAP household.

E&T staff use information provided on the electronic file to outreach the ABAWD for E&T services. If the ABAWD completes the first two weeks of participation in an allowable activity, E&T staff return Form H1822, ABAWD E&T Work Requirement Verification, to the advisor verifying the ABAWD:

  • now meets the 18-50 work requirement, or
  • being recertified continues to meet the work requirement.

The advisor must process a change in "work requirement status" as required per A-1940, SNAP Work Requirements, if work status changes.

After Form H1822 verifies participation, it is assumed to continue unless:

  • E&T staff send Form H1816, SNAP E&T Noncompliance Report, notifying the advisor of noncompliance;
  • the individual has at least a one-month break in SNAP benefits; or
  • the individual reports he no longer participates.

Note: See A-1840, Noncompliance with ESP.

At recertification, HHSC staff must provide Form H1822 to the ABAWD to verify participation during the recertification process. The ABAWD must then take the form to the local workforce center for E&T staff to complete. The ABAWD or E&T staff returns the completed Form 1822 to HHSC.

A—1831.2  Individual Participation Requirements

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

To comply with participation requirements, the individual must:

  • provide supplemental information when requested;
  • appear for an interview upon request; and
  • report for job interviews and accept an offer of suitable employment.

Note: Streamlined reporting households must respond as directed to all notices and letters from the employment program even if employed.

TANF

To comply with participation requirements, the individual must also:

  • participate in activities listed in the employability plan, including keeping appointments, attending training or other education classes, and participating in work experience and job search activities; and
  • not voluntarily leave a job unless he has good cause (as interpreted under the Texas unemployment insurance laws).

Exception: Individuals coded P are only required to report their hours.

Individuals may choose to voluntarily withdraw from TANF. Accept Form H1802, Voluntary Withdrawal from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), as an individual's intent to withdraw from TANF. When a local eligibility determination office receives a signed Form H1802, follow change procedures in B-600 to:

  • process the TANF denial, and
  • make changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EDG, if applicable.

When a request to voluntarily withdraw from TANF is received in the same month as a Choices noncooperation, the advisor must send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, informing the household of the Choices noncooperation. Open a Choices penalty as listed in A-2144, Imposing a Penalty. The household must reapply in pay for performance.

Note: If Form H1802 sent by the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) has not been processed and the individual does not want to withdraw from TANF, notify the LWDB using Form H2583, Choices Information Transmittal, that the individual remains certified for TANF.

Explore the appropriate medical program for each household member. Advisors must provide continuous Medicaid coverage for

  • pregnant women and
  • children under age one who are eligible through the month of their first birthday.

SNAP

To cooperate with participation requirements, the individual must also cooperate with assigned E&T activities.

A—1832  Action in Minimum Service Choices Counties or Non-E&T Counties

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

TANF

In minimum service Choices counties, provide the individual a general explanation of:

  • employment services available in the area, such as Workforce Investment Act (WIA), TWC, local workforce solutions offices, or the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS);
  • Choices and Welfare-to-Work services (if available);
  • available supportive services, such as subsidized child care through the local Workforce Development Board; and
  • transitional child care and Medicaid.

SNAP

In non-E&T counties, provide the individual a general explanation of:

  • the types of employment services available in the area, such as those provided through WIA, TWC, local workforce solutions offices or DARS; and
  • individual rights and responsibilities outlined in A-1832.1, Individual Responsibilities.

Provide Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules, for each registrant, including those with participation exemptions.

A—1832.1  Individual Responsibilities

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

An individual living in a minimum service Choices county does not have to meet any employment services requirements. Advise the household that they

  • are exempt from Choices program requirements;
  • may choose whether to participate in Choices services offered to them; and
  • will not be penalized for noncompliance if they participate and later stop participating.

See A-2530 for state time limit counting policies for individuals who live in minimum service Choices counties.

SNAP

An individual living in a non-E&T county

  • is subject to usual registration requirements;
  • must comply with E&T if the county becomes an E&T county and the registrant is contacted; and
  • must accept or continue suitable employment, when offered, even if not referred by E&T staff.

A—1840  Noncooperation with ESP

Revision 04-5; Effective July 1, 2004

A—1841  Minimum Penalty Periods

Revision 07-4; Effective October 1, 2007

SNAP

Use the following minimum penalty periods.

If this is the individual's ... then the minimum penalty period is ...
first noncooperation, one month or when he cooperates, whichever is longer.
second noncooperation, three months or when he cooperates, whichever is longer.
third or subsequent noncooperation, six months or when he cooperates, whichever is longer.

Exception: See Reestablishing Eligibility During the Penalty Period (SNAP) A-1846.

A—1842  Failure/Refusal to Register

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

SNAP

If the household member who fails to furnish all information needed to register is:

  • the primary wage earner (PWE), deny the EDG.
  • a member who is not the PWE, disqualify the individual.

See Minimum Penalty Periods, A-1841.

Exception: For expedited applications:

  • postpone work registration if necessary, for members not present at the interview until after the household receives its first month's benefits (or first two months if you issue a combined allotment); and
  • take adverse action for the second month (or third month if you issue a combined allotment) if all required registrants fail to provide the necessary information.

A—1843  Noncooperation with Choices

Revision 13-4; Effective October 1, 2013

TANF

Choices staff determine when a nonexempt individual fails without good cause to cooperate with Choices requirements. They use Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report, to notify advisors the date they made the noncooperation decision.

Failure to cooperate with Choices requirements results in a full-family sanction for one month or until cooperation, whichever is longer.

Related Policy
Completing the Penalty Action, A-1845.2
Imposing a Penalty, A-2144

A—1843.1  TANF-SP Procedures

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If a nonexempt parent in a full service Choices county fails to cooperate, apply a full-family sanction for one month or until cooperation, whichever is longer.

A—1844  Noncooperation with E&T

Revision 05-1; Effective January 1, 2005

SNAP

E&T staff determine when an individual fails without good cause to cooperate with employment services requirements. E&T staff use Form H1816, SNAP E&T Noncompliance Report, to notify advisors of individual's failure to cooperate.

If a PWE fails to cooperate with employment services requirements, or with comparable requirements in TWC's unemployment insurance program, the household is ineligible for the minimum penalty periods listed in A-1841, Minimum Penalty Periods.

If a member who is not the PWE fails to cooperate, the member is disqualified for the minimum penalty periods listed in A-1841.

Note: If the noncooperating member moves to a new household:

  • deny the new household for the remainder of the penalty period if he is the new household's PWE, or
  • disqualify the member for the remainder of the penalty period if he is not the new household's PWE.

The following procedures apply to a household with a member who is:

  • exempt from registration due to employment, TANF-Choices status, or receipt/application for UIB; and
  • penalized in that program for not cooperating with a program requirement.
Member fails to cooperate with ... then ...
Choices requirement in TANF, there is no SNAP penalty. He must register for SNAP E&T unless he is exempt for another reason. See A-1832.1.
a requirement in TWC's UIB Program that is the equivalent of a SNAP ESP requirement, apply the E&T noncooperation penalty.
a requirement in TWC's UIB Program that exceeds the SNAP ESP requirement, there is no SNAP penalty. The individual must register for SNAP E&T unless he is exempt for another reason.

After the minimum penalty period expires, an individual may reestablish eligibility.

Related Policy
Reestablishing Eligibility During the Penalty Period, A-1846
Reestablishing Eligibility After the Penalty Period, A-1847

A—1844.1  Determining Primary Wage Earner (PWE) for Noncooperation Situations

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Determine a household's PWE as follows:

If ... then the ...
(a) the household includes:
  • a parent of a child of any age living in the home; or
  • an adult with parental control of a child under age 18 living in the home,
household selects the PWE and all adult members must agree to the selection. The PWE selected must:
  • be an adult parent of a child of any age; or
  • have parental control of a child under age 18 living in the home.
The household must select a PWE at certification, recertification, or when household composition changes.
(b) adult household members cannot agree on a PWE, or Item (a) does not apply, PWE is the member (including a disqualified member) who:
  • earned the most income in the two months before the month of noncooperation; and
  • was employed at least 20 hours per week at the federal minimum wage or had earnings equal to this amount.
(c) a PWE cannot be designated using the criteria in Item (a) or (b) above, PWE is the member listed as head of household on the noncooperation date.

Exception: For Items (b) and (c) in the chart above, a person (any age) may not be the PWE if he lives with his parent (or person fulfilling the role of his parent) who is:

  • registered for work through the SNAP E&T program (even if he has a participation exemption); or
  • exempt from registration due to employment, TANF-Choices status, or receipt/application for UIB.

The household can change the PWE during the certification period. Exception: The household cannot change the PWE if the current PWE has failed to cooperate with SNAP E&T requirements or has voluntarily quit a job, unless a new member has joined the household and is selected as the PWE.

A—1844.2  Tracking the Number of Sanctions

Revision 04-5; Effective July 1, 2004

SNAP

Document in the case record each time the individual is sanctioned for:

  • employment services;
  • voluntary quit; or
  • voluntarily reducing work hours.

A sanction for any of these work requirements counts as a noncooperation penalty.

Example: The individual has one sanction for voluntary quit without good cause. The individual served a one-month penalty and obtained a comparable job. The individual was laid off and was registered with the E&T program. The individual noncooperated with one of the E&T requirements. This is the second sanction.

A—1845  Action on Noncooperation

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

A—1845.1  Sending Notice of Failure to Cooperate

Revision 12-4; Effective October 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

When a certified household member does not cooperate with an employment services requirement, send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, within:

  • five workdays after receiving notice of Choices noncooperation. Send Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report, to tell Choices staff the sanction effective date and send the individual adequate notice of adverse action.
  • 10 calendar days after receiving notice of E&T noncooperation. Send the individual advance notice of adverse action. Do not send a response to E&T staff.

Exception: E&T noncooperation notices received in the last benefit month require adequate notice of adverse action.

If a penalty is applicable but the EDG is denied, advisors must still enter the penalty information into TIERS and send Form TF0001.

Note: See policy in A-1870, Appeals, for procedures when an individual appeals a penalty.

A—1845.1.1  Failing to Timely Send Notice of Adverse Action

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

SNAP

If E&T staff fail to timely notify HHSC of a noncooperation or the advisor fails to send notice of adverse action, the advisor must send the notice of adverse action as soon as possible after discovering the error. Do not file a claim.

TANF

If HHSC does not take action on a noncooperation report within a reasonable time frame, send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, to initiate the noncooperation sanction as soon as possible.

Form TF0001 is sent within a reasonable time frame if the:

  • Choices penalty is received within five calendar days after the end of the month in which the Choices noncooperation occurred; and
  • advisor sends Form TF0001 within 10 calendar days after becoming aware of the noncooperation or within the same calendar month as the date of noncooperation listed on the Choices noncooperation notice.

If the advisor does not send Form TF0001 within a reasonable time frame, the first month of noncooperation is the month Form TF0001 was sent. Do not file a claim.

Note: A postponed first month results in a forfeit month, but does not count toward two consecutive months of noncooperation. See A-2141.1, Determining the First Month of Noncooperation.

A—1845.1.2  Failing to Impose a Penalty After Providing Notice of Adverse Action

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF and SNAP

If the advisor sends notice of adverse action for noncooperation, but fails to impose the penalty for the correct month:

  • for SNAP, file a claim for any months received in error; and
  • for TANF, determine the actual first and second month of noncooperation. If the individual:
    • cooperates in the second month, file a claim for the month that should have been forfeited. The household is not required to reapply for TANF.
    • fails to cooperate in the second month, file a claim for the months that should have been forfeited. The household must reapply in pay for performance.

A—1845.1.3  Penalty is not Applicable

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

Do not send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, and take adverse action if:

  • the individual was exempt at the time Choices or E&T staff made the noncooperation decision. Change the individual's work registration code as appropriate and do not take adverse action.
    • Send Form H2581 to notify Choices staff that the individual was exempt at the time of noncooperation, which you will not impose the sanction and the noncooperation does not count.
    • Do not respond to E&T sanctions.
  • Choices or E&T noncooperation month is after the effective date of the denial. There is no penalty since the individual was not a recipient for that month.
    • For TANF EDGs, send Form H2581 to notify Choices staff that since the individual was not certified at the time of noncooperation, you will not impose a sanction and the noncooperation does not count.
    • For SNAP EDGs, do not send a response to E&T staff.

A—1845.2  Completing the Penalty Action

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Complete the penalty action as follows.

If the caretaker or second parent noncomplies:

  • ensure there is a signed Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement, for the EDG;
  • do not establish a protective payee;
  • change the work registration code to W.

For each caretaker and second parent who noncomplies with Choices, advisors must enter start dates (and end dates, if applicable) for a Choices penalty.

SNAP

Complete the penalty action as follows.

  • If the noncomplying member is the PWE, change his work registration code to U (Primary wage earner failed to comply with ESP) and deny the EDG.
  • If the noncomplying member is not the PWE, disqualify him and change the work registration code to Code T (Disqualified household member).

Note: See A-1841, Minimum Penalty Periods.

A—1846  Re-establishing Eligibility During the Penalty Period

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

SNAP

A person disqualified for an E&T noncompliance, or a household denied because the primary wage earner (PWE) failed to comply with E&T, may re-establish eligibility during the penalty period if the non-complying member becomes exempt from E&T registration. The exemption must be for a reason other than:

  • registration under the Texas Workforce Commission's unemployment insurance program (Code N); or
  • enrollment in the Choices program (Code Q).

A household denied because the PWE failed to comply with E&T may also reestablish eligibility if:

  • the PWE leaves the home; or
  • a new member joins the household who would have been the PWE. If the household is otherwise eligible, certify it and disqualify the previous PWE for the remainder of the penalty period.

When a household member disqualified for an E&T noncompliance on an active SNAP EDG re-establishes eligibility by becoming exempt, end the disqualification effective the first day of the month after the member provides information/verification required to qualify for the exemption. A household denied due to a member's E&T noncompliance must file a new application to re-establish eligibility and is eligible from the file date if all required information/verification is provided by the final due date.

When a household is denied because the PWE did not comply with E&T requirements, the disqualified household may apply and be interviewed for SNAP during the last month of the E&T penalty period.

A—1847  Re-establishing Eligibility After the Penalty Period

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

TANF

See A-2150, Pay for Performance, to determine the action to take when an individual has an open penalty at reapplication.

SNAP

An individual cannot become eligible until after the minimum penalty period expires or the individual meets the exceptions in A-1846, Re-establishing Eligibility During the Penalty Period. If the individual is still nonexempt, the individual must sign Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules, to agree to participate with E&T. Add the individual to the EDG after the individual signs Form H1808. Send E&T staff Form H1816, SNAP E&T Noncompliance Report, to advise staff that the individual agrees to participate.

  • If the individual wants to report to E&T staff to obtain services after signing Form H1808, give the individual a copy of Form H1816 and send the original Form H1816 to TWC.
  • HHSC offices co-located with E&T may establish different procedures to advise E&T staff that the individual signed Form H1808.

End the non-primary wage earner’s disqualification effective the first day of the month after the individual complies, if the minimum penalty period expires.

Notes:

  • The disqualified individual may comply in the last month of the penalty period and be added the first day of the next month.
  • A denied household may file a new application and be certified in the last month of the penalty period, but is not eligible for SNAP for any month the household was previously disqualified.
  • If a denied household reapplies after the penalty period has ended, certify from the file date and not the date Form H1808 is signed.
  • A denied household that meets expedited criteria and has more than one disqualified individual who has served the minimum disqualification period at the time of the application may choose to:
    • delay the certification until all disqualified individuals have signed Form H1808, or
    • receive expedited benefits for the PWE and any individual who has signed Form H1808 at the time of the interview. Any additional disqualified individuals will be added to the household using change-processing procedures. Add additional individuals the month after the signed Form H1808 is provided.

A—1850  Voluntary Quit

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

SNAP

If an applicant or participating household reports the loss of earned income or reduction in work hours to less than 30 hours a week, determine whether the household member voluntarily quit his job or reduced his work hours.

Note: See A-2123 for TANF Voluntary Quit policy.

A—1851  Applying Voluntary Quit

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Voluntary quit procedures apply to:

  • any local, state, or federal government employee who loses his job because he participates in a strike;
  • a person who leaves a job unannounced or does not return to work without good cause, even if he technically was fired; or
  • a person who voluntarily reduces his work hours to less than 30 hours a week.

Voluntary quit procedures do not apply to people who

  • are exempt from E&T registration;
  • end a self-employment enterprise;
  • resign a job at the employer's demand; or
  • are currently on strike.

A—1851.1  How to Determine if Voluntary Quit Applies

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

- Yes No
1. Has a household member (including a disqualified member) quit a job or reduced his hours of employment to less than 30 hours a week within 60 days before the application date or anytime after? For quits, go to Step 2. For reduction of work hours, go to Step 3. Not applicable. Stop.
2. Did the job involve at least 30 hours per week at federal minimum wage or equivalent earnings? Go to Step 3. Not applicable. Stop.
3. Did the person have good cause for quitting his job or reducing his work hours? Not applicable. Stop. Go to Step 4.
4. Was the person exempt from E&T on the quit date or date hours were reduced? Not applicable. Stop. Go to Step 5.
5. The voluntary quit penalty applies.

A—1852  Determining PWE for Voluntary Quit Situations

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

Determine a household's primary wage earner as follows:

If ... then the ...
(a) the household includes
  • a parent of a child of any age living in the household, or
  • an adult with parental control of a child under age 18 living in the household,
household may select the PWE. All adult members must agree to the selection. The PWE selected must:
  • be an adult parent of a child of any age, or
  • have parental control of a child under age 18 living in the household.

A selection must be made at certification, recertification, or when household composition changes.

(b) adult household members cannot agree on a PWE, or Item (a) does not apply, PWE is the member (including a disqualified member) who earned the most income in the two months before the month of quit if he was:
  • otherwise required to register on the quit date (interview date for applicants), and
  • employed at least 20 hours per week at the federal minimum wage or had earnings equal to this amount.
(c) a PWE cannot be designated using the criteria in Item (a) or (b) above, PWE is the head of household on the quit date (for active EDGs only) if he was required to register on the quit date (or would have been if not disqualified).

Exception: For Items (b) and (c) in the chart above, a person (any age) may not be considered the primary wage earner if he lives with his parent (or person fulfilling the role of his parent) who is:

  • registered for work through the SNAP E&T program; or
  • exempt from registration.

The household can change the PWE during the certification period.

Exception: The household cannot change the PWE if the current PWE has failed to cooperate with SNAP E&T requirements or has voluntarily quit a job, unless a new member has joined the household and is selected as the PWE.

A—1853  Advisor Action on Voluntary Quit or Reduction in Work Hours

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

SNAP

If you discover the quit ... then ...
before completing certification, apply the sanction using the penalty periods found in A-1841, Minimum Penalty Periods.
after certification and early enough to prevent issuance of the last month's benefits, apply the sanction using the penalty periods found in A-1841. Start the sanction the first month after the adverse action notice period ends.
too late in the certification period to prevent issuance of the last month's benefits, if the household ... then ...
- reapplies before the end of the certification period, apply the penalty. Notify the household on Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, that the penalty period starts the first month of the new certification period.
- does not reapply by the last day of the certification period, on the last day of the certification period send Form TF0001 to notify the household of the sanction period beginning with the month after the old certification period expires.

If the primary wage earner (PWE) noncomplies, deny the EDG.

If the non-PWE noncomplies, disqualify the individual and change his work registration code to Code T (Disqualified household member).

If the PWE moves to another household and would have been the PWE, deny that household for the remainder of the penalty period. If he moves, but would not have been the PWE of the new household, disqualify the individual for the remainder of the penalty period.

If the individual quits or voluntarily reduces his work hours without good cause but does not report it or HHSC does not act timely, apply the penalty as soon as possible after the adverse action notice expires.

Related Policy
Tracking the Number of Sanctions, A-1844.2

A—1854  Re-establishing Eligibility During the Penalty Period

Revision 13-3; Effective July 1, 2013

SNAP

A person or household, disqualified or denied because of a voluntary quit or a reduction in work hours, may re-establish eligibility during the penalty period if the non-complying member becomes exempt from E&T registration.

A household denied because the PWE voluntarily quit a job, or voluntarily reduced work hours, may also re-establish eligibility during the penalty period if:

  • the PWE leaves the home; or
  • a new member joins the household who would have been the PWE. If the household is otherwise eligible, certify it and disqualify the old PWE for the remainder of the penalty period.

A—1855  Re-establishing Eligibility After the Penalty Period

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

SNAP

To re-establish eligibility after the penalty period for a voluntary quit, the individual must:

  • become exempt from E&T registration;
  • agree to comply by signing Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules; or
  • obtain a new job comparable to the one the individual quit. A job is considered comparable if it involves one of the following:
    • equal or increased salary or hours; or
    • fewer hours or lower net salary, with the individual's statement that the new job offers better chances to improve job skills or provide advancement opportunities.

To re-establish eligibility after the penalty period for voluntarily reducing work hours, the individual must:

  • become exempt from E&T registration; or
  • return to work for 30 or more hours a week.

End the non-primary wage earner’s disqualification effective the first day of the month after the individual complies or becomes exempt, if the minimum penalty period has ended.

Notes:

  • The disqualified individual may comply in the last month of the penalty period and be added the first day of the next month.
  • A denied household may file a new application and be certified in the last month of the penalty period, but is not eligible for SNAP for any month the household was previously disqualified.

A—1860  Determining Good Cause

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If, during the adverse action notice period the individual claims good cause for failing to respond to outreach and provides a reasonable explanation:

  • use Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report, to refer the individual to Choices staff for a determination.
  • provide continued benefits following procedures in B-1051, Continued Benefits, if Choices staff provide notice of good cause before the notice period expires.

For other good cause claims, the individual must file an appeal to receive a determination.

The Choices automated interface sends TIERS a good cause code with start or end dates. The advisor does not set a good cause start/end date.

If the individual has an open Choices penalty, the Choices automated interface may send TIERS a good cause start date. Advisors must remove the Choices penalty if good cause is sent during the first noncooperation month. Good cause sent during the second noncooperation month is a notice of cooperation. Reinstate benefits after the forfeit month.

SNAP

Determine good cause for:

  • voluntary quit noncompliance; and
  • any E&T registrant whose UIB is lowered or denied because of noncompliance with the UIB program (see Noncooperation with E&T, A-1844).

SNAP E&T staff at TWC are responsible for determining good cause for noncompliance with the E&T program. If an individual wishes to claim good cause during the adverse action period for not complying with E&T requirements, provide Form H1816, SNAP E&T Noncompliance Report, to the individual and refer the individual to TWC for a good cause determination. SNAP E&T staff will review the individual's good cause claim and send a response to advisors through the automated interface.

A—1861  Reasons for Good Cause

Revision 00-5; Effective July 1, 2000

SNAP

Good cause exists when circumstances beyond the applicant's control prevent him from complying with the requirements. Explore reasons for good cause before establishing voluntary quit.

Good cause includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Unavailability of care for children ages 6 through 11 (based on individual's statement).
  • Discrimination by an employer based on age, race, sex, color, handicap, religious belief, national origin, or political beliefs.
  • Work demands or conditions that make continued employment unreasonable (example: not being paid on time).
  • Unavailability of transportation.
  • A change of job.
  • Illness of individual or another household member.
  • Enrollment (at least half time) in a recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education that requires the primary wage earner to quit a job.
  • Household emergency.
  • Relocation to another county or political subdivision because of another household member's employment or school enrollment.
  • Resignations by people under 60 years old that the employer recognizes as retirement.
  • A job change that does not happen or results in employment of less than 20 hours a week or weekly earnings of less than the federal minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours.
  • A habitual job change. (Example: migrant work or construction habitually require workers to move from one employer to another.)
  • An unsuitable job. Employment is unsuitable if the:
    • wages are less than the highest of:
      • the applicable federal minimum wage, or
      • 80% of the federal minimum wage, if the federal minimum wage is not applicable.
    • average hourly wage based on piece-rate is less than minimum wage.
    • household member, as a condition of employment, must join, resign from, or not join a labor organization.
    • work is at a place subject to a strike or lock-out at the time of the offer.

      Exceptions:

      • the strike was enjoined under Section 208 of the Labor-Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 178-Taft Hartley Act), or
      • an injunction was issued under Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 160).
    • degree of risk to health and safety is unreasonable.
    • household member is physically or mentally unfit for the job.
    • commuting time from the household member's home to the job is more than two hours a day. Taking a child to and from a child care facility is not included.
    • distance from home to the job is unreasonable because, after considering commuting time and costs, the individual earns less than minimum wage.
    • distance to the job prohibits walking and transportation is unavailable.
    • working hours or nature of the employment interferes with the member's religious beliefs.
    • job is outside the individual's usual line of work. (This applies only during the first 30 days of registration and does not apply if the individual voluntarily quits a job.)

A—1870  Appeals

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

TANF and SNAP

An individual is entitled to a hearing to contest the:

  • advisor's decision to not allow an exemption, and
  • denial or reduction of benefits because of noncompliance.

TANF

If, during the adverse action notice period, the individual appeals a noncompliance penalty:

  • process the request;
  • update the work registration code as Code K to indicate the individual is appealing the Choices sanction; and
  • provide continued benefits, if applicable, following procedures in B-1050, Handling of Benefits During the Appeal Process, unless the individual waives the right to continued benefits.

The hearing officer notifies both the advisor and Choices staff about the hearing date and the Choices noncompliance appeal decision.

If the individual requests continued benefits and the hearing officer sustains the decision, change the work registration code from Code K to Code W to show the individual is sanctioned. Then:

  • add the penalty with the original penalty start date;
  • file a claim to recover benefits for the months the individual received continued benefits; and
  • deny the EDG as explained in A-2140, Full-Family Sanction, if the household failed to cooperate with the Personal Responsibility Agreement for two consecutive months.

If the hearing decision was reversed, enter the appropriate work registration code in TIERS.

SNAP

If the individual appeals the noncompliance penalty during the adverse action advance notice period:

  • process the request for:
    • voluntary quit/reduction in hours, or
    • noncompliance with E&T. This includes adverse actions:
      • on a noncompliance that does not involve E&T staff; and
      • when E&T staff fail to provide notice of good cause within the adverse action notice period, or deny good cause, and the household wants to appeal. The hearing officer notifies both the advisor and E&T staff of the hearing date.
  • provide continued benefits following procedures in B-1051, Continued Benefits, unless the individual waives the right to continued benefits. Note: If an individual appeals a first offense, offer the individual an opportunity to sign Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules, before the end of the one-month minimum penalty period.

If the individual requests continued benefits and the hearing officer sustains the decision:

  • impose the penalty for the remaining number of months, if appropriate;
  • update the E&T penalty counter on an active EDG after the penalty expires, if appropriate; and
  • file a claim to recover benefits for the months the individual received continued benefits.

A—1880  Verification Requirements

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Verify all exemptions.

SNAP

Verify:

  • exemptions that are questionable;
  • that a pregnant woman is three to nine months pregnant (Code D);
  • that a member is physically or mentally unfit for employment (Code E) if the disability is not obvious;
  • that a parent or other household member is caring for a disabled person of any age living in the household (Code H); and
  • that a refugee is participating at least half-time in a training program administered by a refugee contractor or Match Grant Program (Code S).

Note: See A-1640, Verification Requirements.

Related Policy

E&T Exemptions, A-1822.1

A—1890  Documentation Requirements

Revision 11-4; Effective October 1, 2011

TANF

Document:

  • how you verified exemptions;
  • failure to comply; and
  • penalty information from the automated TWC interface or Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report, including the noncooperation date, applicable penalty period and reason when a Choices penalty is not entered in the automated system.

SNAP

Document:

  • all exemptions;
  • failure to comply;
  • penalty information from the automated TWC interface or Form H1816, SNAP E&T Noncompliance Report, including the noncooperation date, applicable penalty period and reason when the SNAP E&T penalty is not entered in the automated system;
  • voluntary quit/reduction of work hours;
  • good cause for failure to comply and voluntary quit/reduction of work hours;
  • the selection/non-selection of a PWE at application, recertification and when household composition changes; and
  • which option the household chose when reapplying for and meeting expedited criteria once members disqualified for E&T have served their minimum penalty period.

Related Policy
The Texas Works Documentation Guide