The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) limits the receipt of Food Stamp benefits to any three months in a 36 month period for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are:
To receive Food Stamp benefits for more than three months in a 36 month period, all ABAWDs age 18 through 49 must comply with a training/work requirement. Any month the ABAWD is not complying with a training/work requirement and receives a full month Food Stamp benefits is considered a non-work month and counts toward the three month limit.
EXCEPTION: After receiving Food Stamp benefits for three non-work months, ABAWDS can regain eligibility in certain circumstances. (See section 1105.035.40 Regaining Food Stamp Eligibility)
When an EU member turns 18 years old during the certification period, the individual becomes subject to the training/work requirement the month following the month in which the individual turns 18. EU members are exempt the month that they turn 50 years old.
The 36 month period is a “fixed clock”. The “fixed clock” begins January 1, 2016, and ends December 31, 2018. If the ABAWD has non-work months from another state these are counted in the total number of non-work months. Staff must review benefits beginning January 1, 2016.
NOTE: There is no change in the work registration policy. All Food Stamp participants must be assessed for work registration and assigned the appropriate work registration code.
Missouri has no waived counties. History of Counties Waived or Exempt from Work Requirement.
The following individuals are exempt from the 18 through 49 year old training/work requirement:
EXCEPTION: Work registration exclusion codes 05 and 11 do not have to comply with the ABAWD work requirements.
Obtain a medical professional’s statement to verify the exemption of an individual, claiming to be physically or mentally unfit for employment, who is not disabled per the Food Stamp Program definition (work registration code 15) unless the disability is "obvious" to the eligibility specialist.
NOTE: Eligibility specialist may use worker discretion when determining an obvious disability. Disabilities do not have to be seen to be obvious.
NOTE: Homelessness is an indicator that an individual may meet an exemption to work/ training requirements.
Individuals determined not disabled for MO HealthNet for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled, may still be considered unable to work for the 18 through 49 year old work/training requirement. If the individual's medical professional indicates the individual is unable to work, use the medical professional's statement as verification of the individual's inability to work and exempt the individual for the months that the medical professional has stated the individual is unable to work
If the individual is unable to furnish a medical professional’s statement, staff use the MRT Processing Center to obtain a determination of the individual’s mental or physical inability to work. The Processing Center will make the medical professional's appointment for the ABAWD determination.
Email the MRT Processing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the following in each email to MRT:
Note: To mark an email High Importance; while in the email message go to the Message tab and select the “!” High Importance icon.
To comply with training/work requirements, ABAWD must meet one or a combination of the following for at least 80 hours per calendar month:
Verify actual hours the ABAWD worked or participated in a qualified training program during each month.
Example: Use all pay stubs with a pay date in December for the December hours worked computation.
Verify the number of hours of participation in qualified training from documentation or contact with the agency providing the qualified training. Enter comments from the Training/Work Requirements (WORKREQ/FMMR) screen recording the verification obtained.
If in any month, the number of hours worked in or participated in a qualified training is less than 80 hours, or the ABAWD was not working or in qualified training, the ABAWD has used a non-work month. If the ABAWD has received benefits in three or more non-work months:
If the number of hours worked or in qualified training is 80 hours or more per calendar month (averaged), enter comments documenting individual is complying with the training/work requirement, including place of employment, training program and verification.
NOTE: If an ABAWD would have worked or participated in qualified training but missed for good cause, the ABAWD is considered to have met the training/work requirement if:
Good cause applies only when an ABAWD is working or participating in a qualified training program. Good cause does not apply prior to starting work or a qualified training program.
The FSD can verify work and/or training for the below:
Work is defined as:
Training is defined as:
NOTE: The METP contractor will have additional services available to ABAWDs for fulfilling training/work requirements.
The hours worked must be included in the verification. If the ABAWD is self-employed, the verification of self-employment must include the number of hours worked.