A-1860, Determining Good Cause

Revision 21-3; Effective July 1, 2021

TANF

If the person claims good cause for failing to respond to outreach during the adverse action period and provides a reasonable explanation:

  • use Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report, to refer the person to TWC staff for a determination; and
  • provide continued benefits if TWC staff provide notice of good cause before the notice period expires.

For other good cause claims, the person must file an appeal to receive a determination.

The Choices automated interface sends TIERS a good cause code with start or end dates. Do not set a good cause start or end date.

If a person has an open Choices penalty, the Choices automated interface may send TIERS a good cause start date. Remove the Choices penalty if good cause is sent during the first noncooperation month. Good cause sent during the second noncooperation month is a notice of cooperation. Reinstate benefits after the forfeit month.

SNAP

Determine good cause for:

  • voluntary quit noncompliance;
  • any E&T registrant whose unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) are lowered or denied because of noncompliance with the UIB program; and
  • noncompliance with the E&T program.

The Texas Workforce commission (TWC) collects good cause information from people  who fail to comply with the E&T program and sends all good cause claims received to HHSC through an automated interface. Staff must review good cause claims and determine whether the person had good cause for the noncompliance. A person has 10 calendar days to claim good cause after HHSC sends the Form H1818, Failure to Comply with SNAP Employment and Training, to the household. A person can also claim good cause during the adverse action period.

Review the case facts and circumstances when evaluating a good cause claim. If the person has an allowable good cause reason do not impose the E&T sanction. If unable to determine whether the person’s claim meets the definition of good cause or if the good cause claim is questionable, request more  information from the household. If the person does not respond within 10 calendar days, deny the good cause claim and impose the E&T sanction.

If a person contacts HHSC to claim good cause for not complying with E&T requirements, provide the person with Form H1816, SNAP E&T Noncompliance Report, and refer them to TWC to claim good cause.

Related Policy

Noncooperation with E&T, A-1844   
Sending Notice of Failure to Cooperate, A-1845.1
Reasons for Good Cause, A-1861
Continued Benefits, B-1051
Questionable Information, C-920

 

A—1861 Reasons for Good Cause

Revision 21-2; Effective April 1, 2021

SNAP

Good cause exists when circumstances beyond the applicant's control prevent them from complying with employment services requirements. Explore reasons for good cause before establishing voluntary quit or imposing a SNAP E&T sanction.

Good cause includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • unavailability of care for children 6 through 11 (based on the person’s statement);
  • discrimination by an employer based on age, race, sex, color, handicap, religious belief, national origin or political beliefs;
  • work demands or conditions that make continued employment unreasonable (example: not being paid on time);
  • unavailability of transportation;
  • a change of job;
  • illness of the person or another household member;
  • enrollment (at least half time) in a recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education that requires the primary wage earner to quit a job;
  • household emergency;
  • a work schedule conflict that prevented the person from participating in E&T;
  • relocation to another county or political subdivision because of another household member's employment or school enrollment;
  • resignations by people under 60 years old that the employer recognizes as retirement;
  • a job change that does not happen or results in employment of less than 20 hours a week, or weekly earnings of less than the federal minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours;
  • a habitual job change (Example: migrant work or construction habitually require workers to move from one employer to another); or
  • an unsuitable job. Employment is unsuitable if the:
    • wages are less than the highest of:
      • the applicable federal minimum wage; or
      • 80% of the federal minimum wage, if the federal minimum wage is not applicable; or
    • average hourly wage based on piece-rate is less than minimum wage;
    • household member must join, resign from, or not join a labor organization as a condition of employment; or
    • work is at a place subject to a strike or lock-out at the time of the offer with these exceptions:
      • the strike was enjoined under Section 208 of the Labor-Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 178-Taft Hartley Act); or
      • an injunction was issued under Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. 160);
    • degree of risk to health and safety is unreasonable;
    • household member is physically or mentally unfit for the job;
    • commuting time from the household member's home to the job is more than two hours a day (Taking a child to and from a child care facility is not included);
    • distance from home to the job is unreasonable because, after considering commuting time and costs, the person earns less than minimum wage;
    • distance to the job prohibits walking and transportation is unavailable;
    • working hours or nature of the employment interferes with the member's religious beliefs; or
    • job is outside the person's usual line of work. (This applies only during the first 30 days of registration and does not apply if the person voluntarily quits a job.)