A nonexempt client may claim good cause for failure to comply with SNAP E & T program requirements.
Examples of good cause include, but are not limited to:
- death in the family;
- illness or incapacity;
NOTE: Good cause based on incapacity exists for failure to comply, even if the incapacity isn't established/verified until after the date of noncompliance. For example, the client misses a Job Search meeting on June 6
and brings in a doctor's statement as proof. The statement says that the doctor examined the client and found the client temporarily incapacitated on June 10. Good cause exists for the June 6 noncompliance.
- required court appearance or being temporarily in jail;
- family crisis;
- an emergency situation;
- lack of reasonably available transportation;
- severe weather;
- job referral does not meet appropriate work or training criteria;
- lack of any supportive service or other resource as determined by the Employment Plan (even though the necessary service is not specifically provided under SNAP E & T), to the extent it presents a major barrier to SNAP E & T activity;
- current participation in employment or training that is in line with the employment related goals of the program;
- failure to comply due to symptoms of a condition for which the client has been referred for rehabilitation services;
- failure of DHS staff or providers to correctly forward information to each other;
- failure of the client to comply because of attendance at a test or a mandatory class or function at an educational program (including college);
- lack of reading or writing skills by the client;
- failure of the client when it is determined the client should be in a different SNAP E & T component or exempt;
- lack of reasonably available child care;
- non-receipt of mail by the client of a notice advising them of a program requirement, if documented by the client.
NOTE: Documentation can include, but is not limited to: a written statement from the post office or other informed individual; the notice not sent to the client's last known address in DHS records; return of the notice
by the post office; other returned mail; proof of previous mail theft problems.
When determining whether the client has shown non-receipt, consider a client's history of compliance or noncompliance. If documented non-receipt of mail occurs frequently, explore other means of providing notices of program requirements
to the client.
There are times when documentation for good cause is not needed. Do not require a client to document good cause for failure to comply with SNAP E & T requirements unless:
- the client fails to comply on at least one other occasion within a 60-day period; or
- evidence independent of the client's explanation of good cause casts doubt on the client's explanation (e.g., client repeatedly calls in sick).
No client can be denied good cause solely on the basis of failing to notify the worker in advance of a failure to meet program requirements.
The sanction may be repealed at any time if the client establishes good cause, even if good cause was not mentioned before. This includes during the appeal process or after benefits are canceled.
If the sanction is to be repealed and action has already taken place, the Family Community Resource Center issues Mercury benefits until the day before the first day of the fiscal month for the first regular roll authorization.