ABAWD Work Program Exemptions

 

A client is exempt from the ABAWD Work Program Requirement if s/he meets General SNAP Work Requirement Exemption criteria.  Additionally, the following individuals are exempt from the ABAWD Work Program (WP) requirement:

 

When processing an application, recertification, or performing case maintenance, you must review the Work Requirements-FS page and make sure that the work program requirement and exemption statuses reflect each household member’s current circumstances. See Entering ABAWD Work Program Data.

You must select the most permanent ABAWD Work Program Exemption reason that applies to each client.  For example, a client who is 60 years old and is in a SNAP household with a minor child should be exempted from the ABAWD work requirement due to age rather than residing with a household member under 18.

 

Important

Some exemption reasons are not supported by BEACON data and rely on case manager determination.  When you select a user defined exemption, you must enter the anticipated end date whenever possible.  Unless a more permanent exemption reason applies, BEACON will maintain the case manager selected exemption until it expires (based on the user entered end date).  When completing an application, recertification, Interim Report or case maintenance activity, you must review the Work Requirements-FS page, updating the start date of an exemption that remains relevant, and removing a user-selected exemption if it no longer applies.  

 

The chart below describes when each ABAWD WP exemption reason is applicable and how each exemption is assigned.  The exemptions are listed in the order that BEACON assigns exemptions when more than one applies to a client.

 

Important

BEACON reviews and, if applicable, updates the ABAWD WP exemption reason and requirement statuses of each household member on a nightly basis.  You must make sure that BEACON pages corresponding to an exemption reason are complete and accurate. BEACON will remove an exemption reason if the corresponding pages do not support it. If not already selected, BEACON automatically updates each client’s exemption reason to the most permanent applicable exemption reason.  For this reason it is imperative that the BEACON record accurately reflects each client’s circumstances at all times.

 

Exemption Reason

When to Apply

Who Can Select the Exemption Reason?

How does BEACON Update/Maintain the Exemption Reason?

Meets TAFDC/EAEDC Requirement

Client is subject to and complying with the cash assistance program work requirement.

All users

Assigned when Work Requirements – TAFDC or EAEDC page is enabled.

Under Age 18 or age 50 or over

Client is younger than 18 or age 50 or older.

All users

Assigned based on recorded date of birth.

Noncitizen Disqualified

Client is ineligible for SNAP based on noncitizen status.

All users

 

Important: The Noncitizen and AU Composition pages must reflect client’s status and eligibility.

Assigned based on SNAP ineligibility as recorded on the AU Member tab on the AU Composition results page.

Ineligible Household (HH) Member

Client is ineligible for SNAP for a reason other than non-citizen status.

Examples:  ineligible students, sanctioned household members 

All users

 

Important: The AU Composition page must reflect client’s status and eligibility

Assigned based on SNAP ineligibility as recorded on the AU Member tab on the AU Composition results page.

Unfit for Employment- Disabled

Client has been certified as disabled.

See SNAP Disability Requirements and Verifications

All users

Important: The Disability page must reflect client’s disability status.

Assigned based on data on the Disability page.

Resident of a Waived Area

Client is living in an area of the state exempted by the United States Department of Agriculture.

See ABAWD Work Program – Waived Areas.

All users

 

Important: The Address page must reflect client’s current address.

Assigned based on the zip code associated with the client’s Current Residence.

If the client does not have a Current Residence, the mailing address will be used.

Residing with a person <18

Client is living with a person under the age of 18.  The child does not have to be eligible for SNAP, but does have to be present in the SNAP household.

All users

 

Important: All current household members who purchase and prepare together must be listed on the Household page, regardless of whether or not they are applying for or eligible for SNAP benefits.

Assigned based on data in the Household page.

Pregnant Woman

Client is pregnant (at any stage) as verified via the SNAP Work Requirement Medical Report form or other proof of pregnancy.

All users

 

Important: The Pregnancy page must reflect the client’s pregnancy status and due date.  

Do not enter an anticipated exemption end date on the Work Requirements page. The pregnancy due date plus 2 weeks is recognized by BEACON as the exemption end date.

Note: If 30 days after the pregnancy due date on the Pregnancy page, no change has been entered on the pregnancy status, a Pregnancy Information Update notice will automatically be generated, instructing the household member to call the DTA Assistance Line to update the SNAP household size.

Assigned based on the Pregnancy page.

Unfit for Employment – ABAWD Medical Report

Client has been deemed unfit for employment, temporarily or permanently, as evidenced by receipt of a completed and signed SNAP Work Requirement Medical Report form or written statement from a competent medical authority.

See SNAP Work Requirement. Medical Report Form.

All users

 

Important: Unless the signed form indicates that the impairment is expected to last more than 12 months/indefinitely, an anticipated exemption end date must be entered.

Exemption is kept through the anticipated end date if applicable.

Employed at least 30 hrs/wk

Client is working at least 30 hours per week averaged monthly or the federal minimum wage equivalent (30 x $7.25)

See the Meeting by Working section of ABAWD Work Program Participation.

The net (after the deduction of business expenses) self-employment income is used to determine if an ABAWD is exempt from the work requirement based on the federal minimum wage equivalent of 30 hours per week

All users

 

Important: The Earned Income page and any Rental Income record must reflect the current status of earned income attributed to the client.

If a client claims that s/he is exempt from or meeting the ABAWD Work Program Requirement by working, you must check the existing verifications to verify hours worked.  Only if there are no existing verifications to confirm that a client is meeting the requirement, must a VC1 be sent.

Assigned based on the combined total of all recorded earned income or hours.

Student – at least Half-Time

Client is enrolled at least half-time in any recognized school, including high school, a training program or institution of higher education.

To be eligible for SNAP, the client must meet the student status requirements.  See Students.

All users

 

Important: The Education page must reflect client’s school enrollment status and future anticipated graduation date. To qualify for this exemption, enrollment must be verified at application and recertification and when reported mid-certification.

Do not enter an anticipated exemption end date on the Work Requirements page.

The anticipated graduation date is recognized by BEACON as the exemption end date.

Assigned based on the Education page.

Refugee Training Program Participant

Client is a participant in a federally recognized refugee training program at least half time.

See the What is a federally recognized refugee training program? section below.

All users

 

Important: An anticipated end date must be entered.

Some refugee training programs do not have set end dates.  In such cases, the recertification end date must be entered.

Exemption is kept through the anticipated program end/ recertification end date.

UC Applicant/Recipient

Client is an Unemployment Compensation applicant or recipient subject to and participating in a comparable work program.

All users

 

Important: The Other Income page must reflect the current status of Unemployment Compensation income.

Assigned based on the Other Income page.

Unfit for Employment – Temporary Disabled*

 

* illness or disability may be temporary or permanent

Client is receiving Workman’s Compensation, Veterans Association (VA) Compensation based on disability (partial or total), short term disability insurance (Aflac, Colonial, etc.) or other Disability payment or has submitted other proof of temporary disability or illness that is serious enough to temporarily prevent 20 or more hours of employment per week.

This exemption should also be applied when the client is participating in a Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission program or other Massachusetts-approved vocational rehabilitation program

All users

 

Important: The Other Income page must reflect the current status of Workman’s Compensation income.

If temporary unfitness is otherwise verified, an anticipated end date must be entered when applicable.

Assigned based on data displayed on the Other Income page.

Exemption is kept through the anticipated end date, if applicable.

Unfit for Employment – Based on Screening

Client is homeless and has been determined to be unfit for employment based on responses to questions on the Work Requirements Screening page.

All users

Assigned based on homeless client’s responses to questions on the Work Requirements Screening Page.

 

Caretaker Incapacitated Person

Client is responsible for the care of an incapacitated person or a dependent child under age 6, even if the incapacitated person or dependent child does not live in the same household.

All users

 

Important:  An anticipated end date must be entered if known.

Exemption is kept through the anticipated end date, if applicable.

Addict/Alcoholic in Treatment

Client is a regular participant, resident or nonresident, in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program. Participation, if questionable, must be verified through the organization or institution operating the program.

All users

 

Important: An anticipated end date must be entered if known.

Exemption is kept through the anticipated end date.

Unfit for Employment - Obvious

Client has been deemed unfit for employment.

Central Office E&T Specialists

Exemption is kept through the anticipated end date, if applicable.

15% Exemption

DTA has a limited number of special exemptions that can be assigned.

Central Office E&T Specialists

Exemption is kept through the anticipated end date, if applicable.

 

What does Unfit for Employment mean?

A person, who is exempted from the WP because s/he is unfit for employment, does not need to verify a disability.  For SNAP work requirement purposes, unfit for employment means that the person has a physical or mental illness or impairment that reduces his/her ability to financially support him/herself or work 20 hours per week.  Unfitness may be temporary or permanent.

If the disability or illness is not obvious, appropriate verification of physical or mental unfitness includes, but is not limited to:

 

Reminder

A determination of Unfit for Employment for ABAWD WP exemption purposes does not automatically qualify the client for special treatment regarding income and asset limits or make them potentially eligible to receive a medical expense deduction or an uncapped shelter deduction.  Clients must be elderly or verify a certified disability to qualify for this treatment.    

 

Persons claiming temporary unfitness for employment due to illness will be required to meet work requirements once they become physically and mentally fit.

The option to select Unfit for Employment - Obvious is limited to Central Office Employment and Training (E&T) staff.  If it is obvious to you that the client is unfit for work, contact an E&T Specialist to explain the determination. S/he will update the exemption on the Work Requirements page if appropriate.  For example, a client who is recovering from heart surgery may be deemed unfit for work.

 

What is a federally recognized refugee training program?

An ABAWD who has verified that s/he is a participant in a federally recognized refugee training program at least half time is exempt from the ABAWD WP.  Simply being a refugee and being in a training program does not automatically exempt a client from the requirement.  For the exemption to be applied the client must provide proof that s/he is participating in a refugee training program that is approved, funded, or operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  Examples of such programs include, but are not limited to:

 

Training Program

Training Duration

Facilities

Comprehensive Refugee Employment Services (CRES)

at least 8 months from enrollment

Ascentria Care Alliance,   Westfield, MA

Ascentria Care Alliance, Worcester, MA

International Institute of Boston, Boston, MA

International Institute of Lowell, Lowell, MA

Jewish Family Services of Western MA, Springfield MA

Jewish Vocational Service, Boston, MA

Russian Community Association of Massachusetts,   Lynn, MA

Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG/F)

at least 8 months from enrollment

Ascentria Care Alliance,   Westfield, MA

Ascentria Care Alliance, Worcester, MA

International Institute of Boston, Boston, MA

International Institute of Lowell, Lowell, MA

Jewish Family Services of Western MA, Springfield MA

Jewish Vocational Service, Boston, MA

Lynn, MA

Empowering Families (EFP)

at least 8 months from enrollment

Russian Community Association of Massachusetts,     Lynn, MA

 

A refugee may participate in such a training program until s/he secures employment.  The training program and employment statuses of the ABAWD must be explored at application, Interim Report, and again at Recertification.  The Earned Income and Work Requirements pages must be updated accordingly.

When an ABAWD reports that s/he is participating in a refugee training program, if the program information has not already been verified and entered on the ESP Activity Disposition page on BEACON, provide him/her with the ABAWD Training Program Information Request form.

This form can be printed via:

Central Office E&T Specialists will look for and address scanned documents indexed as ABAWD Training Program Information Requests, using the ABAWD Document Search page.    Based on the information completed by Education/Training program staff, the E&T Specialist will determine whether or not the client is exempt from or meeting the ABAWD WP requirement via program participation and update BEACON accordingly.

 

What is a 15% Exemption?

DTA has a limited number of special exemptions that are assigned and tracked by Central Office Employment and Training (E&T) specialists.  Each 15 percent exemption extends SNAP eligibility to one ABAWD for one month.  An E&T Specialist may assign this exemption to an ABAWD:

 

Important

All clients, regardless of General or ABAWD Work Program requirement status, must be offered the opportunity to participate in the voluntary SNAP Path to Work Program

 

 

ABAWD Work Program – Policy and Procedures

 

 

  Last Update:  June 29, 2018