1105.025.05.15 EU Members Excluded from Work Registration

IM-#103 October 4, 2004,   IM-#9, February 6, 2002IM-#117 July 31, 2000IM-#32 April 1, 1999

The following persons are mandatory work registrants under federal regulations. However, Missouri policy excludes them due to the impracticality of completing a successful job search, education, or training program.

NOTE: These individuals may volunteer to participate in the Missouri Employment and Training Program. If they volunteer, enter code 22 in the code field and MIV (mandatory immediate volunteer) in the status field on the Employment Assessment (EMPLOY/FMMS) screen.

Individuals who are mandated to comply with work requirements, but who are excluded work registrants are EU members who:

1105.025.05.20 Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP)

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

Missouri is required to offer an employment and training program for Food Stamp participants. This program is known as the Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP). The METP is a self-initiated program. Because participants volunteer for the program, compliance with the METP will not impact individuals’ Food Stamp benefits.

The University of Missouri (MU) Extension Business Development Program (BDP) is contracted to administer and implement the METP. The METP under MU BDP offers training, education, and job search assistance to Food Stamp participants.

METP employment specialists will contact the participants who volunteer. The participants will be asked to complete an online skills and interest assessment. If a participant does not have access to the Internet, they will be instructed to go to a career center, public library, county Extension center, or any other location with computer access to complete the assessment.

When assessment results are received by the METP office, the employment specialists will contact the participant and conduct a telephone intake questionnaire. Based on the results of the assessment and questionnaire, the employment specialist will work with the Food Stamp participant to design an employment plan to move the participant into sustainable employment.

Programs offered as components of an employment plan may include:

Each participant is expected to spend a minimum of 12 hours per month on their employment plan to continue to receive METP services, although actual hours may vary according to each participant’s needs.

The METP will offer a focused approach, with one-on-one case management for the Food Stamp participants who volunteer for the program. This will offer greater opportunities for participants to be successful in finding sustainable employment. The MU BDP also has a management information system in place for tracking participant involvement and results, to help guide future METP service offerings.

1105.025.05.20.05 EU Members Volunteer

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

As of January 1, 2014, the Missouri Employment and Training Program (METP) became a self-initiated program. The METP program serves Food Stamp participants who voluntarily enroll.

EU members who volunteer to participate in METP are coded:

EXCEPTION: Temporary Assistance participants who receive Food Stamps are not allowed to volunteer for the METP. Refer TA participants to the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) program.

NOTE: Food Stamp benefits cannot be sanctioned for participants that volunteer and then fail to participate.

1105.025.05.25 Voluntary Job Quit

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

Voluntary job quit provisions and sanctioning policies apply when an individual quits a job and:

NOTE: Persons excluded from work registration are mandatory to comply with work requirements including the voluntary job quit provisions.

Apply the voluntary job quit decision to EUs as follows:

Voluntary job quit does not apply and is not considered when:

Consider federal, state, or local government employees dismissed from their jobs due to participation in a strike against the government entity as voluntary job quit without good cause.

If an individual quits a job, secures new employment at comparable wages or hours, and is then laid off or, through no fault of his own loses the new job, the individual must not be disqualified for the earlier quit.

Voluntary job quit information is captured on the Job Quit/Work Reduction (SANDISQ/FMMT) screen. See FAMIS User Guide JOB QUIT/WORK REDUCTION for instructions on entering the sanction.

1105.025.05.30 Work Effort Reduction

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

An EU member who was employed 30 hours or more per week, or who had earnings exceeding the Federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours per week, is ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program, when the EU member:

These individuals are subject to the penalties outlined in section 1105.025.15 Sanctions for Job Quit, Reduced Work Hours or Refusal of an Offer of Suitable Employment.

NOTE: If the individual who voluntarily reduced the number of hours worked continues to earn weekly wages that exceed the Federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours, the individual remains exempt from work requirements and the reduction in work effort sanction does not apply.

Explore work effort reduction at application, recertification, and when a change is reported. For example, a reported change in income may indicate a reduction in the number of hours worked per week.

When the EU reports a change that indicates the number of hours worked per week have been reduced to less than 30 hours per week, consider minor variations in the number of hours worked or in the weekly minimum wage equivalent. Minor variations in the number of hours worked or in the weekly minimum wage equivalent are inevitable and must be considered when assessing compliance with the work effort reduction provision.

If it is determined the participant voluntarily reduced his/her work effort to less than 30 hours per week, explore good cause. See section 1105.025.15.05 Determining Good Cause for Job Quit, Reduced Work Hours or Refusal of an Offer of Suitable Employment. If the participant did not have good cause for the reduction, apply the sanctions outlined in 1105.025.15 Sanctions for Job Quit, Reduced Work Hours or Refusal of an Offer of Suitable Employment.

Work effort reduction information is captured on the Job Quit/Work Reduction (FMMT) screen. See FAMIS User Guide JOB QUIT/WORK REDUCTION for instructions on entering the sanction.

1105.025.05.35 Refused an Offer of Suitable Employment

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

Food Stamp participants who are not exempt from the work requirements must accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment. If an active EU member refused an offer of suitable employment without good cause that member is subject to sanctioning. From the Employment Assessment (EMPLOY/FMMS) screen add work assessment status MNC (mandatory non-compliant).

Refer to the Adding and Updating Employment Assessment Information user guide. FAMIS sends the EU an Information Notice (FA-601) to begin conciliation. If the registrant does not comply by the expiration of the conciliation period, FAMIS creates the sanction on the Sanction/Disqualification (SANDISQ/FMAM) screen and sends the Adverse Action (FA-510) notice. If the participant does not comply by the expiration of the adverse action, FAMIS removes the non-complying EU member from the benefits or closes the case if a one person EU.

Employment is not suitable if the:

1105.025.07 Exempt EU Members Volunteering for METP Participation

IM-#103 October 4, 2004

EU members exempt from participation in METP may volunteer to participate in METP. Enter code 24 (volunteer for education and training) in the code field EIV (exempt immediate volunteer) in the Status field on the Employment Assessment (FMMS) screen.

1105.025.10 Sanctions for Job Quit, Reduced Work Hours or Refusal of an Offer of Suitable Employment

IM-#33 June 24, 2014, IM-#3 January 09, 2009 IM-#103 October 4, 2004

If during a noncompliance disqualification period, an individual meets an exemption from work requirements, the individual may resume participation in the Food Stamp Program, regardless of the length of time they have been sanction, if otherwise eligible. Meeting an exemption ends the sanction for the individual.

Sanctions for noncompliance with a work requirement will be applied as follows:

If an EU member is assessed a disqualification period due to an Intentional Program Violation, and is also assessed a sanction period, the two periods run concurrently.

Refer to Updating/Ending a Sanction or Disqualification user guide.

1105.025.10.05 Determining Good Cause for Job Quit, Reduced Work Hours or Refusal of an Offer of Suitable Employment

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

Determine if the there was good cause when an EU member:

Consider all reported facts and individual circumstances when making this determination.

Reasons for Good Cause include, but are not limited to:

1105.025.10.10 Resolving Noncompliance with Work Requirements

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

End the work requirement non-compliance sanction if an individual becomes exempt from work requirements. When the individual meets an exemption they do not have to serve the mandatory length of the sanction.

All initial applications and non-timely reapplications including a sanctioned EU member pend for verification of exemption from work requirements for 30 days. Timely reapplications including a sanctioned individual pend until the end of the certification for compliance.

If the sanctioned individual becomes exempt within 30 days of the date of an initial/non-timely application, or by the end of the certification for timely reapplications, follow the instructions outlined in the Updating/Ending a Sanction or Disqualification user guide. FAMIS determines the individual is eligible for benefits from the date of application when making an initial application, or the first month of the new certification for timely/non-timely reapplications

NOTE: The compliance date can be prior to the sanction start date. This occurs when an individual becomes exempt before the start date of the sanction but after the conciliation period and adverse action period have expired. These sanctions are ended (not deleted) because the sanction must still be recorded.

If the individual does not meet an exemption by the 30th day or end of the certification period, FAMIS rejects the individual and approves the remaining EU members if there is no other outstanding verification and they are eligible for benefits. If a one person EU, FAMIS rejects the application.

If a sanctioned EU member who is included in an active EU meets an exemption with work requirements, the individual becomes eligible for benefits the month following the end of the sanction. A sanction may be ended during the conciliation and adverse action period. If the non-complying EU member meets an exemption before the expiration of the FA-510 Adverse Action Notice, refer to the Deleting a Sanction or Disqualification user guide. Once the adverse action has expired, the sanction is imposed unless it is later verified the individual became exempt prior to the expiration of the FA-510, Adverse Action notice.

If the individual had good cause prior to the sanction, but did not notify FSD of the good cause, the sanction is imposed. End the sanction with the date of the report as the compliance date.

1105.025.10.15 Reapplication after Sanctioning for Job Quit, Reduced Hours Worked or Refusal to Accept an Offer of Suitable Employment

IM-#33 June 24, 2014

If an individual requests reapplication while serving a work requirement sanction, accept the application. The application will pend for compliance. Outstanding verification for compliance of the sanctioned individual is created. New applications pend for 30 days and timely reapplications pend until the end of the certification. If a compliance date is not entered and the sanction ended by the application due date, the application is rejected if a single person EU or the sanctioned individual is rejected and eligibility determined for the remainder of the EU if there is no other outstanding verification. The sanctioned individual is included in the EU with an IC role.

If the sanctioned individual complies prior to the application due date for an initial application, FAMIS determines eligibility for benefits for the month of application. When an individual who is included on an active case (including those making timely reapplication) complies, FAMIS determines eligibility for benefits for the month following the month of compliance.

To end the sanction go to the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen and enter the compliance date and reason. Refer to the Updating or Ending a Sanction or Disqualification user guide. FAMIS determines the end date.

NOTE: In addition to complying, the individual must also have served the specified number of months of sanction. If the sanctioned individual has not served the appropriate number of months of sanction at the time s/he complies, s/he remains ineligible through the last month of the sanction.

If the individual requests reapplication during the ten-day conciliation, or prior to the expiration of the FA-510 Adverse Action Notice for proposed sanctioning, accept the application. The application pends and outstanding verification is created to allow the non-complying EU member to comply. If the conciliation or adverse action process is not ended, the sanction will be automatically imposed. Once the sanction is imposed, the pending application is rejected if a one person EU or the individual is rejected and eligibility determined for the remaining EU members at the end of the application timeframe.

If the noncompliance is cured during the ten-day conciliation period, or prior to expiration of the adverse action notice, no sanction is applied and an eligibility determination including the non-complying member as an IN EU member is completed. Go to the Sanction/Disqualification (SANDISQ/FMAM) screen and delete the sanction. The pended application is processed and benefits issued from the date of application or the first month of the new certification when it is a timely reapplication.

If a sanctioned individual reapplies in the last month of sanction and complies during that month, benefits are denied for the month of application and eligibility is determined for months subsequent to sanction.

1105.025.12 DWD Determines Individual May Meet a Work Registration Exemption or Exclusion

IM-#3 January 09, 2009 IM-#103 October 4, 2004

When completing the employment assessment with the participant, the DWD worker may identify circumstances, which could cause the participant to meet a work registration exemption or exclusion. FSD is electronically notified of this possibility. The individual's work assessment code is automatically changed to 18 (Workforce Development {DWD} good cause), the Status code is changed to EXC (excluded), and “Y” is entered in the Good Cause field on the Employment Assessment (FMMS) screen. A reminder is sent to the worker. The reminder states “Check Status Employment Assessment” along with one of the following descriptions:

In addition to the reminders, the DWD Details (FMK7) screen which is accessed through the Select Interface (FMK0) screen displays why the individual may be exempt or excluded, action taken by the system, and actions required.

Contact the participant to determine whether or not s/he meets a work registration exemption or exclusion. After having talked with the participant, go to the Employment Assessment (FMMS) screen and enter the appropriate work assessment code. Changing the work assessment code ends the reminder. If the work assessment code is not updated by the 50th day, the reminder is elevated to the supervisor. If the eligibility specialist is unable to contact the participant, change the work assessment code back to mandatory (22).

NOTE: It is possible the individual may still be considered a mandatory participant. If so, it is appropriate to enter work assessment code 22. The individual will be referred back to DWD.