A-1820, Employment Services Programs Procedures

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

 

A—1821 Choices

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

In all counties:

  • determine the work registration status of all individuals; and
  • obtain information about education level, work history, and vocational training for caretakers and second parents.

Note: See State Time Limits, A-2500, for state time limit tier levels for TANF individuals certified as caretakers and second parents.

 

A—1821.1 Choices Exemptions

Revision 13-4; Effective October 1, 2013

TANF

A member is exempt from participation if he is one of the following:

Code A (Child under 19 years of age) — A child, age 18 or younger.

Code C (Caring for an ill or disabled child in the home) — Needed at home to care for an ill or disabled child in the household, even if that person is not a member of the certified group. The caretaker must provide a completed Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, to claim this exemption. This includes caring for a family member receiving disability benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SeeA-1821.1.2, Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Disabled Household Member, for specific information of Form H1836-B expectations.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one parent/caretaker if there are two or more disabled individuals in the household and it requires more than one person to provide care for the disabled members.

Code E (Disability expected to last greater than 180 days) — Unable to work due to a mental or physical disability expected to last more than 180 days. To claim an exemption based on disability, the individual must provide a completed Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement. Receipt of Social Security benefits based on disability or Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits is not an automatic disability exemption for Choices. See A-1821.1.1, Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self, for specific information of Form H1836-A expectations.

Code F (60 years of age or older) — Age 60 or older. Obtain verification of age if not already established.

Code G (Meets Caretaker Exemption criteria, child in EDG) and Code R (Meets Caretaker Exemption criteria, child not in EDG) — A single parent or single caretaker relative caring for a child under age one at initial application. See A-1821.5, Caretaker Exemption, for information on setting the caretaker exemption end date.

Notes:

  • Neither parent in a two-parent household may receive a caretaker exemption. This includes households with a disqualified legal parent or non-certified parent (for example, legal parent receiving SSI).
  • Another relative caretaker whose spouse is in the household may not receive the caretaker exemption.

Code H (Cares for a disabled adult in the home, expected to last greater than 180 days) — Needed at home to care for a disabled adult in the household even if that person is not a member of the certified group and the disability is expected to last more than 180 days. The caretaker must provide a completed Form H1836-B to claim this exemption. This includes caring for a member receiving disability benefits such as SSI. See A-1821.1.2, Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Disabled Household Member, for specific information of Form H1836-B expectations.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one parent/caretaker if there are two or more disabled individuals in the household and it requires more than one person to provide care for the disabled members.

Code J (Not certified for TANF) — Not certified for TANF for reasons other than being a non-recipient parent (Codes X, V or Y) or sanctioned for Choices (Code W).

Code N (Time Limited Employment Hardship) — Eligible for a state time limit hardship exemption based on lack of available employment opportunities. See A-2543.3, Employment Hardship Exemption (ESP Code N), for detailed information about this work registration code.

Code Q (Time Limited Personal Hardship) — Eligible for a state time limit hardship exemption based on personal disability or caring for a disabled household member. See A-2543.2, Severe Personal Hardship Exemption (ESP Code Q), for detailed information about this work registration code.

Code T (Pregnant and unable to work) — Pregnant and unable to work. To claim an exemption based on pregnancy, the individual must provide proof of pregnancy on Form H3037, Report of Pregnancy, or another document containing the same information and completed by a physician, nurse, advanced nurse practitioner or other medical professional, and a completed Form H1836-A, verifying the disability is due to pregnancy. See A-1821.1.1, Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self, for specific information of Form H1836-A expectations.

Code U (Single grandparent 50 or older caring for child under 3) — A single grandparent, age 50 or over, caring for a child under age three. Obtain verification of age and TANF relationship, if not already established.

Code V (SSI Recipient) — An SSI parent.

Code X (Exhausted STL) — A parent who has exhausted his/her state time limits.

Code Y (Disqualified for TPR non-compliance, Disqualified for SSN non-compliance, Has an IPV, Disqualified for failure to report temporary absence of a certified child, Is a fugitive, Has a felony drug conviction, Disqualified for QC non-compliance, Minor parent domicile non-compliance) — A parent disqualified because of:

  • third-party resource requirements;
  • Social Security number requirements;
  • intentional program violation;
  • failure to report a child's absence;
  • being a fugitive;
  • having a felony drug conviction;
  • failure to cooperate with Quality Control; or
  • noncompliance with the unmarried minor parent domicile requirement.

 

A—1821.1.1 Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self

Revision 09-1; Effective January 1, 2009

Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, must be obtained to verify a personal disability due to illness, injury or pregnancy. In order for an individual to receive an exemption from Choices requirements due to illness or injury, the disability must be expected to last more than 180 days. A pregnancy-related disability does not have to last any specific length of time.

Note: Receipt of Social Security benefits based on disability or Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits is not an automatic disability exemption for Choices.

A new Form H1836-A must be obtained when the form in the file is more than six months old.

If the Form H1836-A on file at the time of review is less than six months old but will reach the six month period during a new certification period, advisors must:

  • request a new Form H1836-A at the time of the review; or
  • set a special review six months from the date Form H1836-A is signed to request a new Form H1836-A.

Example: The individual has a current Form H1836-A dated in July on file. The advisor interviews the individual for a periodic review in October. Form H1836-A is current at the time of the interview. The advisor may request a new Form H1836-A at the interview or set a special review for December to request a new Form H1836-A.

The following Choices exemption codes require a completed Form H1836-A:

  • T – pregnant and unable to work, and
  • E – unable to work due to a mental or personal disability and the disability is expected to last more than 180 days.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1(a) or 1(b) mandatory for Choices.
2(a) or 2(b) mandatory for Choices.
Note: The medical provider should complete Part B and Part C.
3(a) or 3(b) exempt from Choices because the disability is permanent or expected to last more than 180 days.
Note: The medical provider should complete Part C.
3(c) and the individual has a personal or mental disability mandatory for Choices.
Note: The medical provider should complete Part C.
3(c) and the individual is disabled due to pregnancy exempt from Choices because there is no timeframe associated with a disability due to pregnancy. Note: The medical provider should complete Part C.

Note: If the medical provider fails to complete Part B or Part C for a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families individual but indicates that the individual is permanently disabled or temporarily disabled for more than 180 days, the individual meets the criteria for a Choices exemption.

 

A—1821.1.2 Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Disabled Household Member

Revision 09-1; Effective January 1, 2009

Obtain verification that the caregiver is unable to work or participate in workforce activities due to illness or injury of an adult or child family member. In order for an individual to receive an exemption from Choices requirements due to a disabled adult family member, the disability must be expected to last more than six months (180 days). There is no timeframe associated with the length of the disability if the individual is caring for a disabled child.

Note: A caregiver caring for an adult or child family member who is receiving disability benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) does not qualify for an exemption unless the caregiver provides Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, verifying the caregiver is needed in the home to provide care.

The following Choices exemption codes require a completed Form H1836-B:

  • "C" – needed at home to care for an ill or disabled child in the household even if the person is not a member of the certified group, and
  • "H" – needed at home to care for a disabled adult in the household even if the person is not a member of the certified group and the disability is expected to last more than 180 days.

A new Form H1836-B must be obtained when the form in the file is more than six months old.

If the Form H1836-B on file at the time of review is less than six months old but will reach the six month period during the new certification period, advisors must:

  • request a new Form H1836-B at the time of the review; or
  • set a special review six months from the date Form H1836-B is signed to request a new Form H1836-B.

Example: The individual has a current Form H1836-B dated in July on file. The advisor interviews the individual for a periodic review in October. Form H1836-B is current at the time of the interview. The advisor may request a new Form H1836-B at the interview or set a special review for December to request a new Form H1836-B.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1 or 2(a or b) mandatory for Choices.
3(a or b) exempt from Choices.
Note: The medical provider must complete Part B.
3(c) and the individual is needed at home to care for an adult family member mandatory for Choices.
Note: The medical provider must complete Part B.
3(c) and the individual is needed at home to care for a child exempt from Choices.
Note: The medical provider must complete Part B.

 

A—1821.2 Choices Participation

Revision 13-4; Effective October 1, 2013

TANF

A member is required to participate if he is one of the following:

Code B (Caretaker/Parent under age 19 in school full time) — A caretaker or second parent, age 18 or younger, attending elementary, secondary, vocational or technical school full time.

Code K (Appeal pending with Choices) — Appealing a Choices sanction. Use this code to indicate the individual is appealing the Choices sanction. See Appeals, A-1870, for more information.

Code L (Time limited Severe Economic Hardship, Lives in Economically Deprived County) — Eligible for a state time limit hardship exemption based on residing in a designated hardship county. See A-2543.1, County Hardship Exemption (ESP L), for detailed information about this work registration code.

Code M (Mandatory registrant) — Does not qualify for any of the exemptions and does not meet the Code P criteria. Note: Use this code for an individual who receives in-kind income for working.

Code P (Meets TANF full time employment requirement) — Employed or self-employed at least 30 hours per week, and receiving earnings of at least $700 per month. The required compliance is limited to only reporting hours of work. These individuals may be sanctioned if they do not report their hours to Choices staff.

Code W (Sanctioned for Choices nonparticipation) — Sanctioned for TANF based on non-compliance with Choices.

Local Workforce Development Boards (LWDBs) develop a Family Employment Plan with the involvement of all adults on the TANF EDG. In TANF-SP households, both adults must agree who will satisfy their work requirement. All adults on the TANF EDG are required to sign the plan.

Failure to sign the plan or meet the work requirements without good cause results in the LWDB sending a sanction request for the non-cooperating individual. For TANF-SP households, the LWDB will send the following penalty:

If the household's caretaker/parent and second parent are ... then the LWDB sends a sanction request for ...
both mandatory participants, the caretaker and second parent. Note: If one parent non-complies with Choices and the other parent already has an open Choices penalty (work registration code W or K), the LWDB does not send a penalty request for the parent with the open Choices penalty.
one is a mandatory participant and one is exempt but volunteers, only the mandatory participant.
one is a mandatory participant and one is exempt but does not volunteer, only the mandatory participant.

 

A—1821.3 Work Registration Code Hierarchy

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TIERS determines the appropriate work registration code based on data collection entries. Staff should review work registration status prior to disposition to ensure the correct work registration code is assigned to an individual. Use the following chart to determine the work registration code that should be assigned if the individual qualifies for more than one work registration code.

Code Description
V non-recipient parents who receive Supplemental Security Income
X non-recipient parents who have exhausted their state time limits
Y non-recipient parents who have certain disqualifications
J ineligible for TANF and for Choices
A or F child under age 19 or adult over age 60
L, N or Q receiving hardship exemption from the state time limit
G or R caring for a child under age 1
C caring for a disabled child
U grandparent caring for a child under age 3
H caring for a disabled adult
E personal disability
T pregnant and unable to work
K appeal pending with Choices
W sanctioned for Choices nonparticipation
P employed at least 30 hours per week and earning at least $700 per month
B parent under age 19 and in school full time
M mandatory participant

 

A—1821.4 Switching the Exemption — TANF-SP

Revision 02-8; Effective October 1, 2002

TANF

TANF-SP parents may switch participation designations (that is, exempt and nonexempt codes) once if the switch is before or during Choices assessment for the parent initially designated as nonexempt. The exemption code must be one that applies to either parent. Choices staff use Form H2583, Choices Information Transmittal, to inform Texas Works staff when TANF-SP parents request to switch Choices codes. The parent cannot switch after completion of the Choices assessment.

 

A—1821.5 Caretaker Exemption

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TANF single parents or single relative caretakers caring for a child under age one at initial application are exempt from Choices participation (Choices exemption Code G or R) until the child reaches age 1. Note: Caretakers under age 20 who have not completed high school or its equivalent do not qualify for these Choices exemptions, even if the caretaker exemption end date is in the future. These individuals may be exempt for another reason.

 

A—1821.5.1 Setting the Caretaker Exemption End Date

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TIERS sets a caretaker exemption end date based on the youngest child under age 1 in the home at the time of initial certification. See Individual- Summary, Time Limits screen in TIERS for the caretaker exemption end date.

A caretaker is not eligible for this exemption after the end date. The end date does not change when another child is born to the caretaker or moves into the home after TIERS sets the end date.

 

A—1821.5.2 Resetting the End Date

Revision 17-3; Effective July 1, 2017

TANF

If the child for which the caretaker's exemption end date is based on leaves the home, TIERS resets the end date based on the:

  • next older child; or
  • date the child leaves the home if no children under one remain in the household.

Contact the IEE/TIERS Technical Help Desk to address any issues with the caretaker exemption end date.

 

A—1822 E&T Procedures

Revision 21-4; Effective October 1, 2021

SNAP

In all counties, at initial certification and at each recertification:

  • determine each person's registration or participation exemption status;
  • determine a primary wage earner (PWE);
  • provide Form H1808, SNAP Work Rules, for each registrant in the household (including registrants exempt from participation); and
  • inform the person interviewed about the:
    • registrant's rights and responsibilities;
    • registrant's requirement to provide proof of identity and work eligibility when requested by HHSC or E&T staff;
    • documents accepted as proof of identity and work eligibility. A list of acceptable proof is included on Form H1808;
    • consequences of failure to comply; and
    • availability of payments through Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) for expenses that are reasonably necessary and directly related to participation in the E&T program. (Examples: childcare, uniforms, books, training manuals, or transportation).

      Note: If adequate reimbursements are not available or expenses exceed the reimbursement amount, the participant will be placed in another suitable component or exempted from participation, as applicable.

Note: Remind streamlined reporting households they must respond to all notices and letters from the employment program.

Related Policy 

Determining Primary Wage Earner (PWE) for Noncooperation Situations, A-1844.1
 

A—1822.1 SNAP Work Requirement Exemptions

Revision 22-1; Effective January 1, 2022

SNAP

Exempt a person from SNAP work requirements if they meet one of the following criteria:

Code A (Child under 16, 16 or 17 and not head of household, or 16 or 17 and attends school or training at least half time) — Age:

  • 15 or younger;
  • 16 or 17 and not the head of household; or
  • 16 or 17 and attending school, including home schooling or an employment training program, on at least a half-time basis.

Code E (Physically or mentally unfit for employment) — Physically or mentally unfit for employment. Require proof of a disability that is not obvious before exempting the applicant. Obtain Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement. A physician's statement with the required information is also acceptable to claim an exemption due to disability of self.

Receipt of a temporary or permanent disability benefit from a private or government source, including VA non-service-connected disability benefits, is acceptable verification that a person is physically or mentally unfit for employment. For VA service-connected disability benefits that are less than 100%, do not exempt the person.

A person who applies for SSI and SNAP at a Social Security Administration (SSA) office receives a work registration exemption until the SSA determines the person’s eligibility for SSI.

Code F (60 or older) — 60 or older.

Code G (Caring for a child under 6) — Each parent or other household member responsible for the care of a child under 6.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one household member who is responsible for the care of a child under 6 if there are two or more children under age 6 in the household. The number of people who receive the exemption may not exceed the number of children under age 6 in the SNAP household.

Code H (Cares for a person with a disability who is living in the home) — A parent or other household member caring for a person of any age who has a disability and lives with the household. The person who has a disability does not have to be part of the SNAP budget group but must reside at the same address. Require proof that the parent or household member is needed in the home to care for the person with a disability, including a member receiving disability benefits, such as SSI. The household must provide Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, or a physician's statement with the required information to claim an exemption due to caring for a household member with a disability.

Note: This exemption can be applied to more than one parent or caretaker if there are two or more people with a disability living in the household and it requires more than one person to provide care for the members who have a disability.

Code J (In drug and alcohol treatment program) — A regular participant or outpatient in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.

Code N (Receiving or applying for unemployment benefits) — Receiving unemployment insurance benefits or has applied but not been notified of eligibility.

Code P (Meets SNAP full-time employment requirement) — Employed or self-employed:

  • at least 30 hours a week; or
  • receiving earnings equal to 30 hours a week multiplied by the federal minimum wage. If the applicant's income is not enough to meet this exemption, the person must verify that they work at least 30 hours a week.

Allow this exemption for a person:

  • who works at least 30 hours a week in exchange for goods or services (in-kind work);
  • who works without pay (volunteer labor) at least 30 hours a week with a business, government entity or non-profit organization; or
  • who home-schools a child living in the home. The person must home-school the child at least 30 hours a week and be state-certified to conduct home-schooling.

Any combination of the activities listed as an exemption for meeting the full-time employment requirement, or those activities in combination with employment hours, can be used if the combination totals at least 30 hours a week.

Notes:

  • The person may choose to average hours or income over the certification period or 12 months to meet this exemption.
  • Migrant and seasonal farm workers are exempt if they are under contract or similar agreement with an employer or crew chief to begin work within 30 days.

Code Q (Registered with Choices) — Lives in a full-service Choices county and is nonexempt from Choices participation, or lives in any county and has an open Choices case.

Code S (Student 18 or older in school or a training program at least half time)

  • a student 18 or older who is enrolled at least half time in school or a training program, including an institution of higher education, or a person participating in a training program; or
  • a refugee who is enrolled at least half time in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses or E&T programs administered by a refugee contractor or Match Grant program.

Related Policy

Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self, A-1822.1.1
Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Household Member with a Disability, A-1822.1.2
Students in Higher Education, B-410
Work Registration, B-476.1.2

 

A—1822.1.1 Claiming Exemption Due to Disability of Self

Revision 06-4; Effective October 1, 2006

Form H1836-A, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, must be obtained to verify a disability for individuals who appear capable of employment but claim a disability. There is no requirement that the disability last more than 180 days.

A new Form H1836-A must be obtained when the form in the file is more than 12 months old.

The following E&T exemption code requires a completed Form H1836-A:

  • E – physically or mentally unfit for employment if the disability is not obvious.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1(a or b) or 2(a or b) mandatory for E&T.
3(a, b or c) exempt from E&T.

 

A—1822.1.2 Claiming Exemption Due to Caring for a Household Member With a Disability

Revision 14-3; Effective July 1, 2014

Obtain Form H1836-B, Medical Release/Physician's Statement, to verify an individual who claims to be needed in the home to care for a household member with a disability. There is no requirement that the disability last more than 180 days.

Obtain a new Form H1836-B when the form in the file is more than 12 months old.

The following E&T exemption code requires a completed Form H1836-B:

  • H – a parent or other household member caring for a person of any age who has a disability and lives with the household.

The medical provider completes Section II, Part A, by checking one box.

If the medical provider checks ... then the individual is ...
1 or 2(a or b), mandatory for E&T.
3(a, b or c), exempt from E&T.

 

A—1823 Work Registration Status Changes

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

 

A—1823.1 Reporting Changes in Work Registration Status

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Individuals must report changes that could affect employment services within 10 days of the change.

 

A—1823.1.1 Advisor Action on Status Changes

Revision 13-1; Effective January 1, 2013

TANF

Change the work registration code if:

  • the individual reports a change in his exemption status, or
  • information in the case record indicates a change in the individual's exemption status.

When the individual has a Code G or R and the youngest child reaches age one, TIERS:

  • changes the individual's work registration status based on the hierarchy listed in A-1821.3 at cutoff of the caretaker exemption end date month,
  • sends the individual a notice of the change in work registration status, and
  • transmits the information to TWC.

Notify the individual on TF0001, Notice of Case Action, that their work registration status has changed.

SNAP

Change the work registration code within 10 days if the individual

  • becomes exempt from E&T because he meets the criteria for exemption Code Q.
  • loses E&T exemption status because of a
    • change the household is required to report,
    • change in TANF work registration code or open Choices case status, or
    • TANF penalty for Choices noncompliance.

If the individual loses E&T exemption status for any other reason, register the individual at the next recertification.

Notify the individual on TF0001 that their work registration status has changed.

 

A—1824 Information Transmittal from Choices or E&T Staff

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF and SNAP

When Choices or E&T staff discover information during an individual contact, they use Form H2583, Choices Information Transmittal, or Form H1817, SNAP Information Transmittal, to forward the information to the advisor.

TANF

Each Form H2583 requires advisor action:

  • If Choices staff receive information that affects an individual's work registration status, they discuss the individual's status with the advisor, or send Form H2583, asking the advisor to reconsider the individual's registration.

    The advisor evaluates the individual's work registration status and changes the work registration code in TIERS, if necessary.

  • Information on earned or unearned income requires a budget to determine ongoing eligibility.

    Choices staff attempt to obtain verification from the employer. If the information on Form H2583 is complete and includes the name of the person contacted, use the information for eligibility determination without further verification from the individual.

  • Medical or other information affecting Choices participation or designation as a TANF-Basic or TANF-State Program EDG. Review and correct the work registration status or EDG type as needed.

SNAP

Each Form H1817 requires advisor action.

  • If E&T staff receive information that affects an individual's work registration status, they send Form H1817 to the advisor asking the advisor to reconsider the individual's registration.

    The advisor evaluates the individual's work registration status and changes the work registration code in TIERS, if necessary.

    If you decide the individual

    • is still subject to work registration, notify E&T staff within 10 days using Form H1817.
    • qualifies for an exemption, do not respond on Form H1817.
  • Information on earned or unearned income requires a budget to determine ongoing eligibility.
  • Medical or other information affects E&T participation. Review and correct work registration status as needed.