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Work Registration Status Changes

Work Registration Policy requires you to determine whether a client is exempt or not at certification.  If the client loses their Work Registration exemption during the certification period, then you need to consider registering the client at the next certification.  If the client is not exempt at the next certification, then the client must register for work, or you must disqualify the client from the SNAP benefit.   

Best practice             At application and certification renewal, remember to document in case notes and correctly code the Work Registration status of each household member.

Some examples of how a client could lose their exemption are included below.

  • A head of household turning 16
  • A household member turning 18
  • A child being cared for by an adult turning 6 or leaving the household to live elsewhere
  • An incapacitated person being cared for by SNAP recipient loses their incapacity
  • A student dropping out, being suspended or expelled, reducing attendance below half time, or graduating
  • An unemployment, TANF, or disability beneficiary losing their benefit
  • A household member starting or stopping work
  • A  temporarily disabled individual recovering
  • A drug or alcohol treatment or rehabilitation program participant leaving the program

Losing a Work Registration exemption, as long as the client did not fail or refuse to fulfill their Work Registration obligations, does not present a problem.  Clients have dynamic lives that undergo changes.  However, if the client fails or refuses to fulfill their Work Registration obligations, they can be subject to disqualification. 


Kaitlyn, aged 37, and her two daughters Malory, aged 17, and Nicole, aged 14, applied for SNAP benefits.  Kaitlyn worked as a paralegal, but the law firm where she was working struggled to find work for her.  The firm manager terminated Kaitlyn's employment due to the firm's struggles.  Kaitlyn applied for unemployment and began drawing unemployment benefits immediately prior to applying for SNAP in the county office.  At the interview, Kaitlyn reported unemployment and no other Work Registration exemptions.  She was certified for SNAP.  She later called to report that her unemployment had been terminated.  You do not have any verification that she failed to fulfill her unemployment work obligations.  Do any household members have to register for work?  When do they have to register for work?

At certification, you exempt Nicole due to her age.  Though she is 17, Malory is not the head of her household (her mother is responsible for her), so she receives the exemption for being 16 or 17 years old and not being the head of household.  You also exempt Kaitlyn as an unemployment recipient.    Nicole and Malory maintain their exemptions throughout the certification, but Kaitlyn loses her exemption during the certification period.  Since you do not have any verification that she did not comply with the unemployment compensation work requirement, you would reevaluate her exemption status at the next certification. 

Where do I find information on the situations where a client does not fulfill their Work Registration obligations???  You learn under what circumstances Work Registration can lead to disqualification in the Handbook and in Quest.  You can also find some examples in the Handbook as well.
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