CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES

Department for Community Based Services

Division of Family Support

(Amendment)

 

††††† 921 KAR 3:042. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training Program.

 

††††† 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.

††††† (2)[(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 may volunteer to[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 an approved SNAP E&T component[:

††††† 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, Job Search Contact Report, or a FSET-145 stating the anticipated need.

††††† (4) A transportation payment shall not be made if the participant is not in compliance with an E&T activity in accordance with this administrative regulation.

 

††††† Section 3[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 4[10]. Hearing Process. If aggrieved by an action or inaction that affects participation, a SNAP participant may request a hearing in accordance with 921 KAR 3:070.

 

††††† Section 5[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 6[12]. Incorporation by Reference. (1) The following material is incorporated by reference:

††††† (a) "FSET-108, Job Search Contact Report", 10/17[12/15]; and

††††† (b) "FSET-145, Employment and Training Program Activity Report", 10/17[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.

 

ADRIA JOHNSON, Commissioner

VICKIE YATES BROWN GLISSON, Secretary

††††† APPROVED BY AGENCY: June 7, 2017

††††† FILED WITH LRC: June 12, 2017 at 3 p.m.

††††† PUBLIC HEARING AND PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD: A public hearing on this administrative regulation shall, if requested, be held on July 21, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Suites A & B, Health Services Building, First Floor, 275 East Main Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40621. Individuals interested in attending this hearing shall notify this agency in writing by July 14, 2017, five (5) workdays prior to the hearing, of their intent to attend. If no notification of intent to attend the hearing is received by that date, the hearing may be canceled. This hearing is open to the public. Any person who attends will be given an opportunity to comment on the proposed administrative regulation. A transcript of the public hearing will not be made unless a written request for a transcript is made. If you do not wish to be heard at the public hearing, you may submit written comments on this proposed administrative regulation until July 31, 2017. Send written notification of intent to attend the public hearing or written comments on the proposed administrative regulation to:

††††† CONTACT PERSON: Tricia Orme, Administrative Specialist, Office of Legal Services, 275 East Main Street 5 W-B, Frankfort, Kentucky 40621, phone 502-564-7905, fax 502-564-7573, email Tricia.Orme@ky.gov.

 

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS AND TIERING STATEMENT

 

Contact Persons: Elizabeth Caywood, phone (502) 564-3703, email Elizabeth.Caywood@ky.gov, and Tricia Orme

††††† (1) Provide a brief summary of:

††††† (a) What this administrative regulation does: This administrative regulation establishes requirements used by the cabinet in the administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training Program (E&T).

††††† (b) The necessity of this administrative regulation: This administrative regulation is necessary to establish uniform standards for SNAP E&T program.

††††† (c) How this administrative regulation conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes: This administrative regulation conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes through its establishment of SNAP E&T requirements.

††††† (d) How this administrative regulation currently assists or will assist in the effective administration of the statutes: This administrative regulation currently assists in the effective administration of the statutes by establishing the requirements for SNAP E&T in accordance with 7 C.F.R. 273.7.

††††† (2) If this is an amendment to an existing administrative regulation, provide a brief summary of:

††††† (a) How the amendment will change this existing administrative regulation: This amendment will change the existing administrative regulation by making SNAP E&T voluntary and reorganizing work registration requirements and disqualifications into the administrative regulation governing the technical requirements for SNAP. In addition, the amendment updates material incorporated by reference and makes technical corrections in accordance with KRS Chapter 13A.

††††† (b) The necessity of the amendment to this administrative regulation: The amendment to this administrative regulation will facilitate the establishment of a voluntary SNAP E&T program for all SNAP recipients, in addition to those able-bodied adults without dependents in SNAP who must participate in an approved E&T activity or work as a condition of benefit receipt. Under a voluntary program, any SNAP recipient may choose to participate in and gain the benefits of an E&T activity. Individuals who volunteer to participate are motivated to find work and achieve self-sufficiency, and they are more open to discuss their past experiences, goals, and challenges and more ready and willing to accept help in achieving their goals. The expansion will help the state leverage additional resources and provide a larger array of E&T opportunities to promote a SNAP participantís job prospects and, ultimately, reduce reliance upon SNAP. The amendment is anticipated to change the perception of SNAP E&T from a punitive program aimed at helping participants meet a requirement to protect their eligibility to a program that helps participants help themselves become self-sufficient.

††††† (c) How the amendment conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes: The amendment conforms to the content of the authorizing statutes through its modification of program requirements to facilitate voluntary participation in E&T by any SNAP participant.

††††† (d) How the amendment will assist in the effective administration of the statutes: The amendment will assist in the effective administration of the statutes through its conformity with 7 C.F.R. 273.7.

††††† (3) List the type and number of individuals, businesses, organizations, or state and local governments affected by this administrative regulation: As of March 2017, there are 299,418 households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

††††† (4) Provide an analysis of how the entities identified in question (3) will be impacted by either the implementation of this administrative regulation, if new, or by the change, if it is an amendment, including:

††††† (a) List the actions that each of the regulated entities identified in question (3) will have to take to comply with this administrative regulation or amendment: The amendment to this administrative regulation will not require a new action on the part of affected entities.

††††† (b) In complying with this administrative regulation or amendment, how much will it cost each of the entities identified in question (3): The amendment to the administrative regulation will not create a cost to SNAP recipients.

††††† (c) As a result of compliance, what benefits will accrue to the entities identified in question (3): Any SNAP recipient, not just those able-bodied adults without dependents who must participate in an E&T activity or work as a condition of benefit receipt, can benefit from the E&T program and, ultimately, improve their job prospects and perhaps reduce their reliance upon SNAP. In the voluntary program, unlike the present-day program, an able-bodied adult without dependents, who is disqualified and then demonstrates compliance, can regain eligibility without serving a disqualification period. The amendment to this administrative regulation will allow the state to leverage additional resources and expand the array of E&T activities available statewide to all SNAP recipients.

††††† (5) Provide an estimate of how much it will cost the administrative body to implement this administrative regulation:

††††† (a) Initially: The amendment to this administrative regulation does not create additional, ongoing costs to the administrating agency. Rather, the amendment may increase state and federal resources for and expand E&T activities statewide. The amendment also presents the possibility for reduced administrative burdens for the agency as a result of less staff time spent on determining E&T noncompliance, good cause, and issuing adverse notices to SNAP recipients.

††††† (b) On a continuing basis: The amendment to this administrative regulation does not create additional costs to the administrating agency. Rather, the amendment may increase state and federal resources for and expand E&T activities statewide.

††††† (6) What is the source of the funding to be used for the implementation and enforcement of this administrative regulation: SNAP benefits are 100% federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Program administrative costs are funded 50% federal and 50% state and have been appropriated in the enacted budget.

††††† (7) Provide an assessment of whether an increase in fees or funding will be necessary to implement this administrative regulation, if new, or by the change if it is an amendment: There are no increases in fees or funding required with this amendment.

††††† (8) State whether or not this administrative regulation established any fees or directly or indirectly increased any fees: This administrative regulation does not establish fees, nor directly or indirectly increases any fees.

††††† (9) TIERING: Is tiering applied? Tiering is not applied, because this administrative regulation will be applied in a like manner statewide.

 

FEDERAL MANDATE ANALYSIS COMPARISON

 

††††† 1. Federal statute or regulation constituting the federal mandate.

7 C.F.R. 273.7, 273.24, 7 U.S.C. 2015(d)

††††† 2. State compliance standards. KRS 194A.050(1)

††††† 3. Minimum or uniform standards contained in the federal mandate. The provisions of the administrative regulation comply with the federal mandate.

††††† 4. Will this administrative regulation impose stricter requirements, or additional or different responsibilities or requirements, than those required by the federal mandate? This administrative regulation will impose no stricter requirements, or additional or different responsibilities or requirements, than those required by the federal mandate.

††††† 5. Justification for the imposition of the stricter standard, or additional or different responsibilities or requirements. This administrative regulation does not impose a stricter standard, or additional or different responsibilities or requirements.

 

FISCAL NOTE ON STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 

††††† (1) What units, parts, or divisions of state or local government (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) will be impacted by this administrative regulation? The Department for Community Based Services will be impacted by this administrative regulation.

††††† (2) Identify each state or federal statute or federal regulation that requires or authorizes the action taken by the administrative regulation. KRS 194A.050(1), 7 C.F.R. 273.7, 273.24, 7 U.S.C. 2015(d)

††††† (3) Estimate the effect of this administrative regulation on the expenditures and revenues of a state or local government agency (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) for the first full year the administrative regulation is to be in effect.

††††† (a) How much revenue will this administrative regulation generate for the state or local government (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) for the first year?

SNAP does not directly generate any revenue. The cabinet may be able to qualify for additional federal reimbursement of SNAP E&T activities as a result of the programmatic changes supported through this administrative regulation.

††††† (b) How much revenue will this administrative regulation generate for the state or local government (including cities, counties, fire departments, or school districts) for subsequent years?

SNAP does not directly generate any revenue. The cabinet may be able to qualify for additional federal reimbursement of SNAP E&T activities as a result of the programmatic changes supported through this administrative regulation.

††††† (c) How much will it cost to administer this program for the first year? This amendment will not create any new or additional ongoing costs in the first year.

††††† (d) How much will it cost to administer this program for subsequent years? This amendment will not require any new or additional ongoing costs in subsequent years.

††††† Note: If specific dollar estimates cannot be determined, provide a brief narrative to explain the fiscal impact of the administrative regulation.

††††† Revenues (+/-):

††††† Expenditures (+/-):

††††† Other Explanation: