(a) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility. Persons classified as students per (b) of this Section are not eligible to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) unless they qualify for an exemption per (c) of this Section. Students that do not meet the criteria per (b) of this Section may participate in SNAP when all other eligibility criteria are met.
(b) Student classification. Per Section 273.5 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 C.F.R. § 273.5), persons are classified as students when they are enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education. • 1
(1) An institution of higher education includes a:
(A) business, technical, trade, or vocational school that normally requires a high school diploma or equivalency certificate to enroll in the curriculum. Schools or courses that do not require a high school diploma or equivalency certificate are not considered an institution of higher education; • 2 or
(B) college or university that offers degree programs even when a high school diploma or equivalency certificate is not required to enroll. A college includes a junior, community, two-year, or four-year college, or university.
(i) Students enrolled at least half time in the regular curriculum are considered enrolled in higher education.
(ii) Persons enrolled in a special program at a college or university, such as English as a second language course or other courses that are not part of a regular degree program are not considered to be enrolled in higher education.
(2) Student status begins on the first day of the school term for students who have:
(A) not attended an institution of higher education previously; or
(B) had a break of more than a semester since they last attended.
(3) Persons are classified as students during normal periods of class attendance, vacation, and other breaks unless the student:
(ii) is expelled or suspended;
(iii) drops out; or
(iv) does not intend to register for the next normal school term, excluding summer school.
(c) Student exemptions. The students described in this subsection may participate in SNAP when all other eligibility criteria are met. The student is:
(1) younger than 18 years of age or 50 years of age and older;
(2) physically or mentally unfit.
(A) When the student claims mental or physical unfitness and the unfitness is not evident to the worker, verification may be required.
(B) Appropriate verification may consist of:
(i) receipt of temporary or permanent disability benefits issued by governmental or private sources;
(ii) participation in a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) program; or
(iii) a statement from a physician or licensed or certified psychologist;
(3) participating in an on-the-job training (OJT) program. Students are considered participating in OJT programs only during the period of time the students are being trained by the employer;
(4) employed for an average of 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month and paid for that employment. Earning wages equal to the federal minimum wage times 20 does not qualify the person for this exemption; • 3
(5) self-employed for an average of 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month and receives weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage times 20;
(6) participating in a state or federally financed work study program during the regular school year.
(A) To qualify under this provision, the student must be approved for work study at the time of application for food benefits.
(i) The work study must be approved for the school term and the student must anticipate actually working during the school term.
(ii) The exemption begins with the month the school term begins or the month work study is approved, whichever is later.
(iii) Once begun, the exemption continues until the end of the month the school term ends or it becomes known the student refused an assignment.
(B) The exemption does not continue between terms when there is a break of a full month or longer unless the student participates in a work study program during the break;
(7) responsible for the care of a dependent household member under six years of age. Only one person may be considered as responsible for a dependent child. The caretaker need not be the person providing for the child's support;
(8) responsible for the care of a dependent child, six through 11 years of age, when the worker determines that adequate child care is not available to enable the student to attend class and work an average of 20 hours per week or participate in a state or federally financed work study program.
(A) The reasons for lack of adequate child care include, but are not limited to, the lack of an available licensed and contracted child care facility within a reasonable distance from the student's home or school or the availability of funds to pay child care expenses. Determination of availability of adequate child care is made on a case-by-case basis.
(B) Only one person may be considered responsible for the care of a dependent child. The caretaker need not be the person providing for the child's support; • 4
(9) a single parent enrolled in an institution of higher education on a full-time basis, as determined by the institution, and responsible for the care of a dependent child younger than 12 years of age, regardless of the availability of child care.
(A) This provision applies in those situations where only one natural, adoptive, or stepparent, regardless of marital status, is in the same food benefit household as the child.
(B) When no natural, adoptive, or stepparent is in the same food benefit household as the child, another full-time student in the same food benefit household as the child may qualify for this exemption when he or she has parental control over the child and does not live with his or her spouse;
(10) A Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient;
(11) assigned to or placed in an institution of higher education through or in compliance with the requirements of one of the employment and training programs identified in (A) through (D) of this paragraph. "In compliance with" means the person self-enrolled in the school during the period of time he or she was enrolled in an employment and training program and the program has a component for enrollment in an institution of higher education and accepts the placement. • 5 Employment and training programs include:
(A) the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program;
(B) a food benefit employment and training program, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.7, subject to the condition that the course or program of study, as determined by Adult and Family Services (AFS) SNAP staff, is:
(i) part of a career and technical education program, per Section 3 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006; and Section 2302 of Title 20 of the United States Code (20 U.S.C. § 2302), designed to be completed in not more than four years at an institution of higher education, per Section 102 of the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. § 1002; or
(ii) limited to remedial courses, basic adult education, literacy, or English as a second language;
(C) a program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974 currently known as The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program and administered by the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission; or
(D) a state or local government-operated employment or training program for low-income households where one or more components of the program is at least equivalent to an acceptable SNAP employment and training program as specified, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.7(e)(1) and as determined by AFS SNAP staff; or
(12) enrolled as a result of participation in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills program under Title IV of the Social Security Act or its successor program.
(d) Income and deductible expenses of an ineligible student. When the student is not eligible to receive food benefits, he or she is considered a non-household member per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-5-5. His or her income is not considered and household expenses may be prorated, per OAC 340:50-5-6.
1. Students that do not meet the eligibility restrictions per (a) of this Section include students enrolled in:
(1) high school or high school equivalency courses;
(2) an institution of higher education, less than half-time.The term "at least half-time" is determined by each institution of higher education and most often is at least six hours; and
(3) a school and training program, half-time or more that does not meet the definition of an institution of higher education, per (a)(1) of this Section.
2. (a) "Normally requires" means a student is required to have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate, but when the student does not have either, he or she may be enrolled by passing a special entrance examination.When a high school diploma or equivalency certificate is only required prior to completion of coursework, as opposed to required for enrollment, students are not considered to be attending an institution of higher education.In addition, programs designed to help a person pass the high school equivalency test do not qualify the person as attending an institution of higher education.
(b) Students enrolled in online courses or telecourses are considered to be attending an institution of higher education when the school requires the student to have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate for enrollment and the student is enrolled at least half time.
3. The pay can be at any rate but the hours worked must average 20 per week or 80 per month.
4. When both parents are students, only one parent can be exempt as caretaker of a child.In order for both parents to be exempt as caretaker, there must be at least two children under six years of age and each parent is caretaker for a different child at a different time of day.For example, the mother attends school at night and cares for one of the children during the day, while the other child is in kindergarten while the father is in school.The father cares for both children in the evening while the mother is in school.
5. An example of an employment and training program that meets the "in compliance with" criteria is the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program.The WIOA program does not assign or place persons in an institution of higher education, but its staff, when appropriate, encourage self-enrollment in institutions of higher education described at (a)(1)(A) and (B) of this Section for its enrollees.