|DATE:||May 11, 2011|
|SUBJECT:||Required Reimbursements to Participants in the SNAP E&T Program|
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) closely reviews state spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Program. Recently, we noticed that an increasing number of state agencies do not spend money on allowable participant reimbursements, such as transportation and dependent care. The purpose of this memo is clarify that state agencies must provide payments or reimbursements to participants in their SNAP E&T programs for expenses that are reasonable, necessary and directly related to participation.
Section 6(d)(4)(I) of the Food and Nutrition Act of2008 (the Act) requires that the state agency provide payments or reimbursements to participants for the actual cost of transportation and other actual costs that are reasonable and necessary for participation in its SNAP E&T program. Reimbursements for dependent care may be up to the actual cost of dependent care or the statewide limit established in accordance with the Child Care and Development Black Grant provisions of 45 CFR 98.42, whichever is lowest. The state agency may, at its option, arrange for dependent care services in lieu of reimbursements.
The state agency may set a cap on the level of payment or reimbursement it offers to E&T participants. This cap should be based on reasonable participation expenses and cannot be set at zero or capped at an amount that does not cover basic transportation and/or other necessary expenses. FNS will pay states 50 percent of participant reimbursement outlays; state agencies cannot use their 100 percent Federal E&T grant for participant reimbursements.
State agencies must reimburse applicants and volunteers for E&T participation expenses in addition to reimbursements for mandatory E&T participants. Participants with expenses that exceed the state cap must be exempted from mandatory E&T participation per 7 CFR 273.7(d)(4)(v). However, insufficient state funds are not a legitimate reason for exempting an individual from E&T participation.
Please share this information with your states. Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2012 state E&T plans must include participant reimbursements in the budget and state agencies must plan to commit state funds for this purpose.
Program Development Division