|DATE:||March 16, 2011|
|SUBJECT:||Zero benefit households and Employment and Training Services|
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
This memo clarifies the Food and Nutrition Services' (FNS) policy on serving zero benefit households through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Program.
The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 and SNAP regulations provide states the option to work register members of zero benefit, categorically eligible households. FNS has determined that states have the discretion to refer these household members to a SNAP E&T Program or component, if appropriate.
Under7 CFR 273.10(e)(2)(iii)(7), states have the option to suspend a zero benefit household as opposed to denying it. Under this rule, the state may delay the work registration of a household member until the household is determined entitled to benefits. The state may also choose to work register non-exempt household members. Additionally, states may choose to serve exempt members of zero benefit households that volunteer for a SNAP E&T component.
Previously, FNS advised that states opting to suspend zero benefit households, rather than deny them, must exclude these households from program participation counts. This guidance still stands.
Please share this information with your states.
Program Development Division