RELATES TO: 7 C.F.R. 273.7, 273.24, 7 U.S.C. 2015(d)
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 194A.050(1), 7 C.F.R. 273.7
NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is required by 7 C.F.R. 273.7 to administer a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Program. KRS 194A.050(1) requires the secretary to promulgate administrative regulations necessary to implement programs mandated by federal law or to qualify for the receipt of federal funds and necessary to cooperate with other state and federal agencies for the proper administration of the cabinet and its programs. This administrative regulation establishes technical eligibility requirements used by the cabinet in the administration of the SNAP Employment and Training Program (E&T).
Section 1. Definitions. (1) "Exempt" means excused by the agency from participation in the E&T.
(2) "Vocational Educational Skills Training" or "VEST" means a program in which a participant receives training in order to meet a work requirement.
(3) "Work Experience Program" or "WEP" means a program in which a participant receives work experience in order to meet a work requirement.
Section 2. Work Registration. (1) Unless exempt from work requirements as specified in subsection (4) of this section, a household member shall register for work:
(a) At the time of initial application for SNAP; and
(b) Every twelve (12) months following the initial application.
(2) Work registration shall be completed by the:
(a) Member required to register; or
(b) Person making application for the household.
(3) Unless otherwise exempt, a household member excluded from the SNAP case shall register for work during periods of disqualification. An excluded person may be an:
(a) Ineligible alien; or
(b) Individual disqualified for:
1. Refusing to provide or apply for a Social Security number; or
2. An intentional program violation.
(4) An individual meeting the criteria of 7 C.F.R. 273.7(b)(1) shall be exempt from work registration requirements.
(5) A household member who loses exemption status due to a change in circumstances shall register for work in accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7(b)(2).
(6) After registering for work, a nonexempt household member shall:
(a) Respond to a cabinet request for additional information regarding employment status or availability for work;
(b) In accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7(a)(1)(vi), accept a bona fide offer of suitable employment as specified in 7 C.F.R. 273.7(h), at a wage not lower than the state or federal minimum wage; or
(c) In accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7(a)(1)(ii), participate in the E&T Program, if assigned by the cabinet.
(7) A household member making a joint application for SSI and SNAP in accordance with 921 KAR 3:035, shall have work requirements waived in accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7(a)(6).
(8) The E&T worker shall explain to the SNAP applicant the:
(a) Work requirements for each nonexempt household member;
(b) Rights and responsibilities of the work-registered household members; and
(c) Consequences of failing to comply.
Section 3. E&T Participation. (1) An individual subject to the work requirement of 921 KAR 3:025, Section 3(8) shall participate in the E&T Program.
(2) An E&T participant shall:
(a) Complete an initial assessment interview;
(b) Be placed in:
1. VEST; or
2. WEP; and
(c) Complete and return to the cabinet a FSET-108, Job Search Contact Report, or a FSET-145, Employment and Training Program Activity Report, in order to verify participation.
(3) Payment for transportation, up to twenty-five (25) dollars per month, shall be provided to an individual participating in the E&T program if the individual:
(a) Incurs or plans to incur a transportation expense in order to participate; and
(b) Completes and returns to the cabinet a FSET-108 or a FSET-145 stating the anticipated need.
Section 4. Components. (1) A county offering the E&T Program shall offer the following services and activities:
(a) The VEST Program consisting of:
1. Vocational school; or
2. On-the-job training; and
(b) The WEP Program consisting of:
1. Job search; and
2. Work placement.
(2) An individual participating in VEST shall:
(a) Attend training courses for at least twenty (20) hours per week; and
(b) Participate in the WEP component until a VEST placement is available.
(3) An individual participating in WEP shall:
(a) Complete an initial assessment and develop an employability plan;
(b) Participate in the initial thirty (30) days of job search;
(c) Complete and file with the cabinet the FSET-108;
(d) Provide written verification by the WEP provider of E&T Program activities to the cabinet; and
(e) Satisfy the work requirement, in accordance with 921 KAR 3:025, Section 3(8), by:
1. Accepting the offer of a work site placement; and
2. Working at the assigned work site placement for the minimum monthly number of hours required by subsection (4) or (5) of this section.
(4) The minimum number of hours that a WEP participant shall perform each month to satisfy the work requirement of 921 KAR 3:025, Section 3(8), shall be determined by the participant's monthly SNAP allotment divided by the current federal minimum wage.
(5) If the SNAP household's active members include more than one (1) individual who wants to satisfy the work requirement of 921 KAR 3:025, Section 3(8), through WEP, the minimum monthly number of work hours that each individual is required to perform shall be determined by dividing the:
(a) SNAP allotment by the number of individuals who are subject to the work requirement; and
(b) Individual pro rata share of the SNAP allotment by the current federal minimum wage.
Section 5. Conciliation. (1) If a participant fails to comply with the E&T Program:
(a) The participant shall be issued a notice informing the recipient of the need for conciliation due to noncompliance; and
(b) A conciliation period shall be initiated.
(2) The conciliation period shall be used to:
(a) Determine the reason for the noncompliance; and
(b) Allow the participant the opportunity to resolve the problem in order to continue participation.
(3) Conciliation shall last for fifteen (15) days, during which time the E&T worker shall:
(a) Determine if the participant demonstrates good cause for noncompliance;
(b) Encourage the participant to resume an E&T Program activity; or
(c) Recommend disqualification for failure to comply with program requirements, if the worker determines that there was no good cause for the participant's failure to comply.
(4) If the participant resumes the E&T Program activity, a disqualification shall not be imposed.
(5) If conciliation is unsuccessful and the participant fails or refuses to demonstrate good cause, a disqualification shall be imposed.
Section 6. Determining Good Cause. (1) A determination of good cause shall be undertaken if a:
(a) Work registrant has failed to comply with:
1. Work registration requirements as established in Section 2 of this administrative regulation; or
2. E&T requirements as established in Section 3 of this administrative regulation; or
(b) Household member has, as described in Section 8 of this administrative regulation, voluntarily:
1. Quit a job; or
2. Reduced his work effort.
(2) In accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7(i)(2), good cause shall be granted for circumstances beyond the control of the individual, such as:
(a) Illness of the individual;
(b) Illness of another household member requiring the presence of the individual;
(c) A household emergency;
(d) Unavailability of transportation; and
(e) Lack of adequate care for a child of age six (6) to twelve (12) for whom the individual is responsible.
(3) Good cause for leaving employment shall be granted if:
(a) A circumstance specified in subsection (2) of this section exists;
(b) The employment became unsuitable, in accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7(h); or
(c) A circumstance specified in 7 C.F.R. 273.7(i)(3) exists.
Section 7. Disqualification. (1) A mandatory participant shall be disqualified from the receipt of SNAP benefits if the participant:
(a) Fails to comply with the work registration or E&T program requirements; or
(b) Is determined to have voluntarily and without good cause quit a job or reduced the work effort, as established in Section 8 of this administrative regulation.
(2) An individual disqualified from participation in SNAP shall be ineligible to receive SNAP benefits until the latter of the:
(a) Date the individual complies; or
(b) Lapse of the following time periods:
1. Two (2) months for the first violation;
2. Four (4) months for the second violation; or
3. Six (6) months for the third or a subsequent violation.
(3) Ineligibility shall continue until the ineligible member:
(a) Becomes exempt from the work registration; or
(b)1. Serves the disqualification period specified in subsection (2) of this section; and
2. Complies with the requirements of:
a. Work registration; or
b. The Employment and Training Program.
(4) A disqualified household member who joins a new household shall:
(a) Remain ineligible for the remainder of the disqualification period specified in subsection (2) of this section;
(b) Have income and resources counted with the income and resources of the new household; and
(c) Not be included in the household size if determining the SNAP allotment.
Section 8. Disqualification for Voluntary Quit or Reduction in Work Effort. (1) Within thirty (30) days prior to application for SNAP or any time after application, an individual shall not be eligible to participate in SNAP if the individual voluntarily and without good cause:
(a) Quits a job:
1. Of thirty (30) hours or more per week; and
2. With weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage times thirty (30) hours; or
(b) Reduces his work effort to less than thirty (30) hours per week, and after the reduction, weekly earnings are less than the federal minimum wage times thirty (30) hours.
(2) A disqualification period established in Section 7 of this administrative regulation shall be imposed.
Section 9. Curing Disqualification for Voluntary Quit or Reduction in Work Effort. (1) Eligibility and participation may be reestablished by:
(a) Securing new employment with salary or hours comparable to the job quit;
(b) Increasing the number of hours worked to the amount worked prior to the work effort reduction and disqualification; or
(c) Serving the minimum period of disqualification imposed pursuant to Section 7(2)(b) of this administrative regulation.
(2) If the individual applies again and is determined to be eligible, an individual may reestablish participation in SNAP.
(3) If an individual becomes exempt from work registration, the disqualification period shall end and the individual shall be eligible to apply to participate in SNAP.
Section 10. Hearing Process. If aggrieved by an action that affects participation, a SNAP participant may request a hearing in accordance with 921 KAR 3:070.
Section 11. Reimbursement. An individual shall complete and file with the cabinet a written request to have a reimbursement check for employment or training replaced after loss or theft.
Section 12. Incorporation by Reference. (1) The following material is incorporated by reference:
(a) "FSET-108, Job Search Contact Report", 12/15; and
(b) "FSET-145, Employment and Training Program Activity Report", 12/15.
(2) This material may be inspected, copied, or obtained, subject to applicable copyright law, at the Department for Community Based Services, 275 East Main Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40621, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (23 Ky.R. 1304; Am. 1600; eff. 9-18-1996; 24 Ky.R. 215; 600; eff. 8-20-1997; 25 Ky.R. 922; 1371; eff. 11-18-1998; Recodified from 904 KAR 3:042, 2-1-1999; 29 Ky.R. 586; 977; eff. 10-16-2002; 2563; 2897; eff. 6-16-2003; TAm eff. 10-27-2004; TAm eff. 1-27-2006; 33 Ky.R. 998; 1334; eff. 11-15-2006; 35 Ky.R. 1937; 2076; eff. 3-11-2009; 39 Ky.R. 1331; eff. 3-8-2013; 40 Ky.R. 2914; eff. 9-5-2014; 42 Ky.R. 617; eff. 11-18-2015.)