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October 3, 2013


September 23, 2013

Laura Brown, AFS (405) 521-4396

Dena Thayer, OIRP Programs Administrator (405) 521-4326

Nancy Kelly, OIRP (405) 522-6703


Non-APA WF 13-J

It is very important that you provide your comments regarding the DRAFT COPY of policy by the comment due date. Comments are directed to *

The proposed policy is  Non-APA .  This proposal is not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act

The proposed effective date is October 4, 2013.




Part 7. Related Provisions

OAC 340:50-5-64 Instructions to Staff (ITS) Only [AMENDED]

RE:WF F13-J ITS only

SUMMARY:OAC 340: 340:50-5-64Instructionstostaffonlyis revisedtoprohibittheOklahomaDepartmentofHuman Services (DHS)fromrequestinganable-bodiedadultwithoutdependents(ABAWDs)work requirementswaiverfromtheUnitedStatesDepartmentofAgricultureperSection241.3 ofTitle56oftheOklahomaStatutes.



340:50-5-64. Work requirements

Revised 6-1-09

(a) Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).ABAWDs who are members of eligible households receiving food benefits must be exempt from or comply with work requirements to be eligible to participate as a member of any food benefit household for longer than three months, consecutive or otherwise, during any 36-month period.It is the worker's responsibility to explain to the applicant the household member's work requirements and responsibility.At each application the worker must establish that each household member:

(1) is working continuously 20 hours or more per week averaged monthly;¢ 1

(2) participates in and complies with:

(A) Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Program assignment;

(B) Trade Adjustment Assistance Program assignment; or

(C) Employment and Training (E&T) Program, not including job search; or

(3) is exempt from the work requirements listed in (b) of this Section.

(b) Exemptions from the work requirements.A person is exempt from the work requirement provision of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program if the person is:

(1) younger than 18 or 50 years of age and older;

(2) medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment.

(A) Persons who are physically or mentally incapable of gainful employment either on a permanent or temporary basis or participating in federal or state programs based on disability are considered exempt.¢ 2

(B) Persons claiming exemption as unfit for employment must, in the absence of physical evidence, obtain documented evidence from medically qualified sources to substantiate the medical exemption.¢ 3

(C) Persons claiming temporary exemption are required to comply when they are released by their medically qualified source to return to work;

(3) a parent or other member of a household with responsibility for care of a dependent child younger than 18 years or an incapacitated person of any age;¢ 4

(4) pregnant;

(5) receiving or has applied for unemployment insurance benefits;¢ 5

(6) a regular participant receiving treatment for drug or alcohol addiction in a rehabilitative program on a resident or non-resident basis;¢ 6

(7) an eligible student enrolled at least half-time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education;¢ 7

(8) a household member registered for or participating in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work;

(9) employed a minimum of 30 hours per week or receiving weekly earnings which equal the minimum hourly rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, multiplied by 30 hours; or¢ 8

(10) a resident living in a county approved for exemption of the work requirements by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).¢ 9

(c) Participation without time limits.Food benefit participation without time limits applies to a person who:

(1) is exempt;

(2) works continuously 20 hours or more per week, averaged monthly; or¢ 10

(3) participates in and complies with:

(A) WIA Program assignment;

(B) Trade Adjustment Assistance Program assignment; or

(C) (E&T), not including job search.

(d) Participation with time limits.Persons who are not exempt or fail to comply with work participation requirements are eligible for only three months, consecutive or otherwise, during any 36-month period.Once the three-month eligibility limit has been reached, eligibility can be regained for at least an additional three consecutive months if the person:¢ 11

(1) works 80 hours or more in any 30-day period; or¢ 12

(2) participates for 80 hours or more in and complies with:

(A) WIA Program assignment;

(B) Trade Adjustment Assistance Program assignment; or

(C) E&T, not including job search.

(e) Persons who regain eligibility. A person can regain eligibility only one time for an additional three consecutive months during the 36-month period by meeting the requirements of (1) or (2) of subsection (d).A person who regains eligibility maintains eligibility by complying with the requirements of subsection (c).If eligibility is subsequently lost, the person may receive food benefits only if one of the exemptions listed in subsection (b) is met or the 36-month period has expired.¢ 13


Revised 6-1-0910-4-13

1.Working an average of 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month for some form of compensation is considered meeting the work requirement.

2.Examples of federal and state programs based on disability are:

(1) vocational rehabilitation;

(2) Veterans Benefits Administration disability compensation;

(3) Social Security disability benefits; and

(4) Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

3.A doctor's statement giving a diagnosis is best, but if when the client is unable to obtain a doctor's statement, a statement from another qualified source is sufficient.

(1) Other medically qualified sources include, but are not limited to:

(A) therapists,;

(B) counselors,; and

(C) medical social workers.

(2) The statement does not need to state the person cannot work, but does need to give information indicating a physical or mental problem that may limit the person's ability to work.

4.More than one household member may be exempt as caretaker for the same person, as long as they share caretaker responsibility.

5.This exemption includes persons who are involved in the unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) appeals process.

6.Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings qualify if when they are a part of the treatment plan.

7.See Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-5-45 to determine student eligibility.

8.A person working 30 or more hours per week automatically qualifies as exempt regardless of the amount earned or how the person is paid, such as work performed in exchange for rent or other goods and services.

(1) The amount a person earns is relevant in determining exempt status only when the employed or self-employed person works less than 30 hours per week.

(2) A person who works less than 30 hours per week must earn weekly wages at least equal to the federal minimum wage times 30 hours in order to qualify as exempt.

(3) Volunteer work or court-ordered community service is not considered.

9.Effective April 1, 2009, Per Section 241.3 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes, effective October 1, 2013, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) must not request a waiver of the able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) work requirements from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has exempted all counties in Oklahoma from the work requirement.This means counties are no longer approved for an exemption.

10.Working an average of 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month for some form of compensation is considered meeting the work requirement.The person may receive in-kind income or cash earnings for the work, but there must be actual work must be performed.Volunteer work or court‑ordered community service is not considered.

11.The 36-month period begins with the first full month benefits are received and the person is not meeting the work requirement or not considered exempt.Any month in which an ABAWD does not receive a full month of benefits must not be considered a countable month.For example, when benefits are prorated during the month of application, the prorated month is not a countable month.

12.Eligibility may be regained only after the person has received the initial three months of benefits without being exempt or meeting the work requirement.A person cannot regain eligibility while receiving food benefits.

13.The additional three months must be consecutive.If When the person receives less than three months, the person is not entitled to receive the additional month(s) at a later date.

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