View all text of Chapter 51 [§ 2011 - § 2036d]

§ 2015. Eligibility disqualifications
(a) Additional specific conditions rendering individuals ineligible

In addition to meeting the standards of eligibility prescribed in section 2014 of this title, households and individuals who are members of eligible households must also meet and comply with the specific requirements of this section to be eligible for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

(b) Fraud and misrepresentation; disqualification penalties; ineligibility period; applicable procedures
(1) Any person who has been found by any State or Federal court or administrative agency to have intentionally (A) made a false or misleading statement, or misrepresented, concealed or withheld facts, or (B) committed any act that constitutes a violation of this chapter, the regulations issued thereunder, or any State statute, for the purpose of using, presenting, transferring, acquiring, receiving, or possessing program benefits shall, immediately upon the rendering of such determination, become ineligible for further participation in the program—
(i) for a period of 1 year upon the first occasion of any such determination;
(ii) for a period of 2 years upon—(I) the second occasion of any such determination; or(II) the first occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of title 21) for benefits; and
(iii) permanently upon—(I) the third occasion of any such determination;(II) the second occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of title 21) for benefits;(III) the first occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of firearms, ammunition, or explosives for benefits; or(IV) a conviction of an offense under subsection (b) or (c) of section 2024 of this title involving an item covered by subsection (b) or (c) of section 2024 of this title having a value of $500 or more.
During the period of such ineligibility, no household shall receive increased benefits under this chapter as the result of a member of such household having been disqualified under this subsection.
(2) Each State agency shall proceed against an individual alleged to have engaged in such activity either by way of administrative hearings, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing at the State level, or by referring such matters to appropriate authorities for civil or criminal action in a court of law.
(3) Such periods of ineligibility as are provided for in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall remain in effect, without possibility of administrative stay, unless and until the finding upon which the ineligibility is based is subsequently reversed by a court of appropriate jurisdiction, but in no event shall the period of ineligibility be subject to review.
(4) The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as the Secretary may deem appropriate to ensure that information concerning any such determination with respect to a specific individual is forwarded to the Office of the Secretary by any appropriate State or Federal entity for the use of the Secretary in administering the provisions of this section. No State shall withhold such information from the Secretary or the Secretary’s designee for any reason whatsoever.
(c) Refusal to provide necessary informationExcept in a case in which a household is receiving transitional benefits during the transitional benefits period under section 2020(s) of this title, no household shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program if it refuses to cooperate in providing information to the State agency that is necessary for making a determination of its eligibility or for completing any subsequent review of its eligibility.
(1)
(A) A State agency may require certain categories of households to file periodic reports of income and household circumstances in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary, except that a State agency may not require periodic reporting—
(i) for periods shorter than 4 months by migrant or seasonal farmworker households;
(ii) for periods shorter than 4 months by households in which all members are homeless individuals; or
(iii) for periods shorter than 1 year by households that have no earned income and in which all adult members are elderly or disabled.
(B) Each household that is not required to file such periodic reports shall be required to report or cause to be reported to the State agency changes in income or household circumstances that the Secretary considers necessary to assure accurate eligibility and benefit determinations.
(C) A State agency may require periodic reporting on a monthly basis by households residing on a reservation only if—
(i) the State agency reinstates benefits, without requiring a new application, for any household residing on a reservation that submits a report not later than 1 month after the end of the month in which benefits would otherwise be provided;
(ii) the State agency does not delay, reduce, suspend, or terminate the allotment of a household that submits a report not later than 1 month after the end of the month in which the report is due;
(iii) on March 25, 1994, the State agency requires households residing on a reservation to file periodic reports on a monthly basis; and
(iv) the certification period for households residing on a reservation that are required to file periodic reports on a monthly basis is 2 years, unless the State demonstrates just cause to the Secretary for a shorter certification period.
(D) Frequency of reporting.—
(i) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraphs (A) and (C), a State agency may require households that report on a periodic basis to submit reports—(I) not less often than once each 6 months; but(II) not more often than once each month.
(ii) Reporting by households with excess income.—A household required to report less often than once each 3 months shall, notwithstanding subparagraph (B), report in a manner prescribed by the Secretary if the income of the household for any month exceeds the income standard of eligibility established under section 2014(c)(2) of this title.
(2) Any household required to file a periodic report under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall, (A) if it is eligible to participate and has filed a timely and complete report, receive its allotment, based on the reported information for a given month, within thirty days of the end of that month unless the Secretary determines that a longer period of time is necessary, (B) have available special procedures that permit the filing of the required information in the event all adult members of the household are mentally or physically handicapped or lacking in reading or writing skills to such a degree as to be unable to fill out the required forms, (C) have a reasonable period of time after the close of the month in which to file their reports on State agency designed forms, (D) be afforded prompt notice of failure to file any report timely or completely, and given a reasonable opportunity to cure that failure (with any applicable time requirements extended accordingly) and to exercise its rights under section 2020(e)(10) of this title, and (E) be provided each month (or other applicable period) with an appropriate, simple form for making the required reports of the household together with clear instructions explaining how to complete the form and the rights and responsibilities of the household under any periodic reporting system.
(3) Reports required to be filed under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be considered complete if they contain the information relevant to eligibility and benefit determinations that is specified by the State agency. All report forms, including those related to periodic reports of circumstances, shall contain a description, in understandable terms in prominent and bold face lettering, of the appropriate civil and criminal provisions dealing with violations of this chapter including the prescribed penalties. Reports required to be filed monthly under paragraph (1) shall be the sole reporting requirement for subject matter included in such reports. In promulgating regulations implementing these reporting requirements, the Secretary shall consult with the Commissioner of Social Security and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and, wherever feasible, households that receive assistance under title IV–A of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] and that are required to file comparable reports under that Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] shall be provided the opportunity to file reports at the same time for purposes of this chapter and the Social Security Act.
(4) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(C), any household that fails to submit periodic reports required by paragraph (1) shall not receive an allotment for the payment period to which the unsubmitted report applies until such report is submitted.
(5) The Secretary is authorized, upon the request of a State agency, to waive any provisions of this subsection (except the provisions of the first sentence of paragraph (1) which relate to households which are not required to file periodic reports) to the extent necessary to permit the State agency to establish periodic reporting requirements for purposes of this chapter which are similar to the periodic reporting requirements established under the State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) in that State.
(d) Conditions of participation
(1) Work requirements.—
(A) In general.—No physically and mentally fit individual over the age of 15 and under the age of 60 shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program if the individual—
(i) refuses, at the time of application and every 12 months thereafter, to register for employment in a manner prescribed by the Secretary;
(ii) refuses without good cause to participate in an employment and training program established under paragraph (4), to the extent required by the State agency;
(iii) refuses without good cause to accept an offer of employment, at a site or plant not subject to a strike or lockout at the time of the refusal, at a wage not less than the higher of—(I) the applicable Federal or State minimum wage; or(II) 80 percent of the wage that would have governed had the minimum hourly rate under section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)) been applicable to the offer of employment;
(iv) refuses without good cause to provide a State agency with sufficient information to allow the State agency to determine the employment status or the job availability of the individual;
(v) voluntarily and without good cause—(I) quits a job; or(II) reduces work effort and, after the reduction, the individual is working less than 30 hours per week; or
(vi) fails to comply with section 2029 of this title.
(B) Household ineligibility.—If an individual who is the head of a household becomes ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under subparagraph (A), the household shall, at the option of the State agency, become ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program for a period, determined by the State agency, that does not exceed the lesser of—
(i) the duration of the ineligibility of the individual determined under subparagraph (C); or
(ii) 180 days.
(C) Duration of ineligibility.—
(i) First violation.—The first time that an individual becomes ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under subparagraph (A), the individual shall remain ineligible until the later of—(I) the date the individual becomes eligible under subparagraph (A);(II) the date that is 1 month after the date the individual became ineligible; or(III) a date determined by the State agency that is not later than 3 months after the date the individual became ineligible.
(ii) Second violation.—The second time that an individual becomes ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under subparagraph (A), the individual shall remain ineligible until the later of—(I) the date the individual becomes eligible under subparagraph (A);(II) the date that is 3 months after the date the individual became ineligible; or(III) a date determined by the State agency that is not later than 6 months after the date the individual became ineligible.
(iii) Third or subsequent violation.—The third or subsequent time that an individual becomes ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under subparagraph (A), the individual shall remain ineligible until the later of—(I) the date the individual becomes eligible under subparagraph (A);(II) the date that is 6 months after the date the individual became ineligible;(III) a date determined by the State agency; or(IV) at the option of the State agency, permanently.
(D) Administration.—
(i) Good cause.—The Secretary shall determine the meaning of good cause for the purpose of this paragraph.
(ii) Voluntary quit.—The Secretary shall determine the meaning of voluntarily quitting and reducing work effort for the purpose of this paragraph.
(iii) Determination by state agency.—(I) In general.—Subject to subclause (II) and clauses (i) and (ii), a State agency shall determine—(aa) the meaning of any term used in subparagraph (A);(bb) the procedures for determining whether an individual is in compliance with a requirement under subparagraph (A); and(cc) whether an individual is in compliance with a requirement under subparagraph (A).(II) Not less restrictive.—A State agency may not use a meaning, procedure, or determination under subclause (I) that is less restrictive on individuals receiving benefits under this chapter than a comparable meaning, procedure, or determination under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
(iv) Strike against the government.—For the purpose of subparagraph (A)(v), an employee of the Federal Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State, who is dismissed for participating in a strike against the Federal Government, the State, or the political subdivision of the State shall be considered to have voluntarily quit without good cause.
(v) Selecting a head of household.—(I) In general.—For purposes of this paragraph, the State agency shall allow the household to select any adult parent of a child in the household as the head of the household if all adult household members making application under the supplemental nutrition assistance program agree to the selection.(II) Time for making designation.—A household may designate the head of the household under subclause (I) each time the household is certified for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, but may not change the designation during a certification period unless there is a change in the composition of the household.
(vi) Change in head of household.—If the head of a household leaves the household during a period in which the household is ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under subparagraph (B)—(I) the household shall, if otherwise eligible, become eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program; and(II) if the head of the household becomes the head of another household, the household that becomes headed by the individual shall become ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the remaining period of ineligibility.
(2) A person who otherwise would be required to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be exempt from such requirements if he or she is (A) currently subject to and complying with a work registration requirement under title IV of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 602), or the Federal-State unemployment compensation system, in which case, failure by such person to comply with any work requirement to which such person is subject shall be the same as failure to comply with that requirement of paragraph (1); (B) a parent or other member of a household with responsibility for the care of a dependent child under age six or of an incapacitated person; (C) a bona fide student enrolled at least half time in any recognized school, training program, or institution of higher education (except that any such person enrolled in an institution of higher education shall be ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program unless he or she meets the requirements of subsection (e) of this section); (D) a regular participant in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program; (E) employed a minimum of thirty hours per week or receiving weekly earnings which equal the minimum hourly rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)), multiplied by thirty hours; or (F) a person between the ages of sixteen and eighteen who is not a head of a household or who is attending school, or enrolled in an employment training program, on at least a half-time basis. A State that requested a waiver to lower the age specified in subparagraph (B) and had the waiver denied by the Secretary as of August 1, 1996, may, for a period of not more than 3 years, lower the age of a dependent child that qualifies a parent or other member of a household for an exemption under subparagraph (B) to between 1 and 6 years of age.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a household shall not participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program at any time that any member of such household, not exempt from the work registration requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection, is on strike as defined in section 142(2) of title 29, because of a labor dispute (other than a lockout) as defined in section 152(9) of title 29: Provided, That a household shall not lose its eligibility to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a result of one of its members going on strike if the household was eligible immediately prior to such strike, however, such household shall not receive an increased allotment as the result of a decrease in the income of the striking member or members of the household: Provided further, That such ineligibility shall not apply to any household that does not contain a member on strike, if any of its members refuses to accept employment at a plant or site because of a strike or lockout.
(4) Employment and training.—
(A) In general.—
(i) Implementation.—Each State agency shall implement an employment and training program designed by the State agency, in consultation with the State workforce development board, or, if the State demonstrates that consultation with private employers or employer organizations would be more effective or efficient, in consultation with private employers or employer organizations, and approved by the Secretary for the purpose of assisting members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program in gaining skills, training, work, or experience that will—(I) increase the ability of the household members to obtain regular employment; and(II) meet State or local workforce needs.
(ii) Statewide workforce development system.—Each component of an employment and training program carried out under this paragraph and implemented to meet the purposes of clause (i) shall be delivered through a statewide workforce development system, unless the component is not available locally through such a system.
(B) Definitions.—In this chapter:
(i) Employment and training program.—The term “employment and training program” means a program that contains case management services such as comprehensive intake assessments, individualized service plans, progress monitoring, or coordination with service providers and one or more of the following components, except that the State agency shall retain the option to apply employment requirements prescribed under this clause to a program applicant at the time of application:(I) Supervised job search programs that occur at State-approved locations at which the activities of participants shall be directly supervised and the timing and activities of participants tracked in accordance with guidelines issued by the State.(II) Job search training programs that include, to the extent determined appropriate by the State agency, reasonable job search training and support activities that may consist of employability assessments, training in techniques to increase employability, job placement services, or other direct training or support activities, including educational programs, determined by the State agency to expand the job search abilities or employability of those subject to the program.(III) Workfare programs operated under section 2029 of this title.(IV) Programs designed to improve the employability of household members through actual work experience or training, or both, and to enable individuals employed or trained under such programs to move promptly into regular public or private employment, including subsidized employment and apprenticeships. An employment or training experience program established under this clause shall—(aa) not provide any work that has the effect of replacing the employment of an individual not participating in the employment or training experience program; and(bb) provide the same benefits and working conditions that are provided at the job site to employees performing comparable work for comparable hours.(V) Educational programs or activities to improve basic skills and literacy, or otherwise improve employability, including educational programs determined by the State agency to expand the job search abilities or employability of those subject to the program under this paragraph.(VI) Programs designed to increase the self-sufficiency of recipients through self-employment, including programs that provide instruction for self-employment ventures.(VII) Programs intended to ensure job retention by providing job retention services, if the job retention services are provided for a period of not less than 30 days but not more than 90 days after an individual who received employment and training services under this paragraph gains employment.(VIII) Programs and activities under clause (iv) of section 2025(h)(1)(F) of this title that the Secretary determines, based on results from the independent evaluations conducted under clause (vii)(I) of such section, have the most demonstrable impact on the ability of participants to find and retain employment that leads to increased household income and reduced reliance on public assistance.(IX) As approved by the Secretary or the State under regulations issued by the Secretary, other employment, educational and training programs, projects, and experiments, such as a supported work program, aimed at accomplishing the purpose of the employment and training program.
(ii) Workforce partnership.—(I) In general.—The term “workforce partnership” means a program that—(aa) is operated by—(AA) a private employer, an organization representing private employers, or a nonprofit organization providing services relating to workforce development; or(BB) an entity identified as an eligible provider of training services under section 122(d) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3152(d));(bb) the Secretary certifies, or the State agency certifies to the Secretary—(AA) subject to subparagraph (N)(ii), would assist participants who are members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program in gaining high-quality, work-relevant skills, training, work, or experience that will increase the ability of the participants to obtain regular employment;(BB) subject to subparagraph (N)(ii), would provide participants with not less than 20 hours per week of training, work, or experience under subitem (AA);(CC) would not use any funds authorized to be appropriated by this chapter;(DD) would provide sufficient information, on request by the State agency, for the State agency to determine that participants who are members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program are fulfilling any applicable work requirement under this subsection or subsection (o);(EE) would be willing to serve as a reference for participants who are members of households participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program for future employment or work-related programs; and(FF) meets any other criteria established by the Secretary, on the condition that the Secretary shall not establish any additional criteria that would impose significant paperwork burdens on the workforce partnership; and(cc) is in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), if applicable.(II) Inclusion.—The term “workforce partnership” includes a multistate program.
(C) The State agency may provide that participation in an employment and training program may supplement or supplant other employment-related requirements imposed on those subject to the program.
(D)
(i) Each State agency may exempt from any requirement for participation in any program under this paragraph categories of household members.
(ii) Each State agency may exempt from any requirement for participation individual household members not included in any category designated as exempt under clause (i).
(iii) Any exemption of a category or individual under this subparagraph shall be periodically evaluated to determine whether the exemption continues to be valid.
(E) Requirements for participation for certain individuals.—
(i) In general.—Each State agency shall establish requirements for participation by individuals not exempt under subparagraph (D) in one or more employment and training programs under this paragraph, including the extent to which any individual is required to participate.
(ii) Variation.—The requirements under clause (i) may vary among participants.
(iii) Application to workforce partnerships.—To the extent that a State agency requires an individual to participate in an employment and training program, the State agency shall consider an individual participating in a workforce partnership to be in compliance with the employment and training requirements.
(F)
(i) The total hours of work in an employment and training program carried out under this paragraph required of members of a household, together with the hours of work of such members in any program carried out under section 2029 of this title, in any month collectively may not exceed a number of hours equal to the household’s allotment for such month divided by the higher of the applicable State minimum wage or Federal minimum hourly rate under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 [29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)].
(ii) The total hours of participation in such program required of any member of a household, individually, in any month, together with any hours worked in another program carried out under section 2029 of this title and any hours worked for compensation (in cash or in kind) in any other capacity, shall not exceed one hundred and twenty hours per month.
(iii) Any individual voluntarily electing to participate in a program under this paragraph shall not be subject to the limitations described in clauses (i) and (ii).
(G) The State agency may operate any program component under this paragraph in which individuals elect to participate.
(H) Federal funds made available to a State agency for purposes of the component authorized under subparagraph (B)(i)(V) shall not be used to supplant non-Federal funds used for existing services and activities that promote the purposes of this component.
(I)
(i) The State agency shall provide payments or reimbursements to participants in programs carried out under this paragraph, including individuals participating under subparagraph (G), for—(I) the actual costs of transportation and other actual costs (other than dependent care costs), that are reasonably necessary and directly related to participation in the program; and(II) the actual costs of such dependent care expenses that are determined by the State agency to be necessary for the participation of an individual in the program (other than an individual who is the caretaker relative of a dependent in a family receiving benefits under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) in a local area where an employment, training, or education program under title IV of such Act [42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] is in operation), except that no such payment or reimbursement shall exceed the applicable local market rate. Individuals subject to the program under this paragraph may not be required to participate if dependent costs exceed the limit established by the State agency under this subclause or other actual costs exceed any limit established under subclause (I).
(ii)
(iii) The value of any dependent care services provided for or arranged under clause (ii), or any amount received as a payment or reimbursement under clause (i), shall—(I) not be treated as income for the purposes of any other Federal or federally assisted program that bases eligibility for, or the amount of benefits on, need; and(II) not be claimed as an employment-related expense for the purposes of the credit provided under section 21 of title 26.
(J) The Secretary shall promulgate guidelines that (i) enable State agencies, to the maximum extent practicable, to design and operate an employment and training program that is compatible and consistent with similar programs operated within the State, and (ii) ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that employment and training programs are provided for Indians on reservations.
(K) Limitation on funding.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, the amount of funds a State agency uses to carry out this paragraph (including funds used to carry out subparagraph (I)) for participants who are receiving benefits under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) shall not exceed the amount of funds the State agency used in fiscal year 1995 to carry out this paragraph for participants who were receiving benefits in fiscal year 1995 under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
(L) The Secretary shall ensure that State agencies comply with the requirements of this paragraph and section 2020(e)(19) of this title.
(M) The facilities of the State public employment offices and other State agencies and providers carrying out activities under title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [29 U.S.C. 3111 et seq.] may be used to find employment and training opportunities for household members under the programs under this paragraph.
(N) Workforce partnerships.—
(i) Certification.—In certifying that a program meets the requirements of subitems (AA) and (BB) of subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)(bb) to be certified as a workforce partnership, the Secretary or the State agency shall require that the program submit to the Secretary or State agency sufficient information that describes—(I) the services and activities of the program that would provide participants with not less than 20 hours per week of training, work, or experience under those subitems; and(II) how the program would provide services and activities described in subclause (I) that would directly enhance the employability or job readiness of the participant.
(ii) Supplement, not supplant.—A State agency may use a workforce partnership to supplement, not to supplant, the employment and training program of the State agency.
(iii) Participation.—A State agency—(I) shall—(aa) maintain a list of workforce partnerships certified under subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)(bb); and(bb) not less frequently than at certification and recertification, provide to a household member subject to work requirements under subsection (d)(1) or subsection (o), electronically or by other means, the list described in item (aa); but(II) may not require any member of a household participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program to participate in a workforce partnership.
(iv) Effect.—(I) In general.—A workforce partnership shall not replace the employment or training of an individual not participating in the workforce partnership.(II) Selection.—Nothing in this subsection or subsection (o) affects the criteria or screening process for selecting participants by a workforce partnership.
(v) Limitation on reporting requirements.—In carrying out this subparagraph, the Secretary and each applicable State agency shall limit the reporting requirements of a workforce partnership to—(I) on notification that an individual is receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, notifying the applicable State agency that the individual is participating in the workforce partnership;(II) identifying participants who have completed or are no longer participating in the workforce partnership;(III) identifying changes to the workforce partnership that result in the workforce partnership no longer meeting the certification requirements of the Secretary or the State agency under subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)(bb); and(IV) providing sufficient information, on request by the State agency, for the State agency to verify that a participant is fulfilling any applicable work requirements under this subsection or subsection (o).
(O) Referral of certain individuals.—
(i) In general.—In accordance with such regulations as may be issued by the Secretary, with respect to any individual who is not eligible for an exemption under paragraph (2) and who is determined by the operator of an employment and training program component to be ill-suited to participate in that employment and training program component, the State agency shall—(I) refer the individual to an appropriate employment and training program component;(II) refer the individual to an appropriate workforce partnership, if available;(III) reassess the physical and mental fitness of the individual under paragraph (1)(A); or(IV) to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate with other Federal, State, or local workforce or assistance programs to identify work opportunities or assistance for the individual.
(ii) Process.—In carrying out clause (i), the State agency shall ensure that an individual undergoing and complying with the process established under that clause shall not be found to have refused without good cause to participate in an employment and training program.
(e) StudentsNo individual who is a member of a household otherwise eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under this section shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of that or any other household if the individual is enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education, unless the individual—
(1) is under age 18 or is age 50 or older;
(2) is not physically or mentally fit;
(3) is assigned to or placed in an institution of higher education through or in compliance with the requirements of—
(A) a program under title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [29 U.S.C. 3111 et seq.];
(B) an employment and training program under this section, subject to the condition that the course or program of study—
(i) is part of a program of career and technical education (as defined in section 2302 of title 20) that may be completed in not more than 4 years at an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1002 of title 20); or
(ii) is limited to remedial courses, basic adult education, literacy, or English as a second language;
(C) a program under section 2296 of title 19; or
(D) another program for the purpose of employment and training operated by a State or local government, as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary;
(4) is employed a minimum of 20 hours per week or participating in a State or federally financed work study program during the regular school year;
(5) is—
(A) a parent with responsibility for the care of a dependent child under age 6; or
(B) a parent with responsibility for the care of a dependent child above the age of 5 and under the age of 12 for whom adequate child care is not available to enable the individual to attend class and satisfy the requirements of paragraph (4);
(6) is receiving benefits under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
(7) is so enrolled as a result of participation in the work incentive program under title IV of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.] or its successor programs; or
(8) is enrolled full-time in an institution of higher education, as determined by the institution, and is a single parent with responsibility for the care of a dependent child under age 12.
(f) Aliens

No individual who is a member of a household otherwise eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under this section shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of that or any other household unless he or she is (1) a resident of the United States and (2) either (A) a citizen or (B) an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence as an immigrant as defined by sections 1101(a)(15) and 1101(a)(20) of title 8, excluding, among others, alien visitors, tourists, diplomats, and students who enter the United States temporarily with no intention of abandoning their residence in a foreign country; or (C) an alien who entered the United States prior to June 30, 1948, or such subsequent date as is enacted by law, has continuously maintained his or her residence in the United States since then, and is not ineligible for citizenship, but who is deemed to be lawfully admitted for permanent residence as a result of an exercise of discretion by the Attorney General pursuant to section 1259 of title 8; or (D) an alien who has qualified for conditional entry pursuant to sections 1157 and 1158 of title 8; or (E) an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as a result of an exercise of discretion by the Attorney General for emergent reasons or reasons deemed strictly in the public interest pursuant to section 1182(d)(5) of title 8; or (F) an alien within the United States as to whom the Attorney General has withheld deportation pursuant to section 1231(b)(3) of title 8. No aliens other than the ones specifically described in clauses (B) through (F) of this subsection shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of any household. The income (less, at State option, a pro rata share) and financial resources of the individual rendered ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program under this subsection shall be considered in determining the eligibility and the value of the allotment of the household of which such individual is a member.

(g) Residents of States which provide State supplementary payments

No individual who receives supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.], State supplementary payments described in section 1616 of such Act [42 U.S.C. 1382e], or payments of the type referred to in section 212(a) of Public Law 93–66, as amended, shall be considered to be a member of a household for any month, if, for such month, such individual resides in a State which provides State supplementary payments (1) of the type described in section 1616(a) of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1382e(a)] and section 212(a) of Public Law 93–66, and (2) the level of which has been found by the Commissioner of Social Security to have been specifically increased so as to include the bonus value of food stamps.

(h) Transfer of assets to qualify

No household that knowingly transfers assets for the purpose of qualifying or attempting to qualify for the supplemental nutrition assistance program shall be eligible to participate in the program for a period of up to one year from the date of discovery of the transfer.

(i) Comparable treatment for disqualification
(1) In general

If a disqualification is imposed on a member of a household for a failure of the member to perform an action required under a Federal, State, or local law relating to a means-tested public assistance program, the State agency may impose the same disqualification on the member of the household under the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

(2) Rules and procedures

If a disqualification is imposed under paragraph (1) for a failure of an individual to perform an action required under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the State agency may use the rules and procedures that apply under part A of title IV of the Act to impose the same disqualification under the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

(3) Application after disqualification period

A member of a household disqualified under paragraph (1) may, after the disqualification period has expired, apply for benefits under this chapter and shall be treated as a new applicant, except that a prior disqualification under subsection (d) shall be considered in determining eligibility.

(j) Disqualification for receipt of multiple benefits

An individual shall be ineligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of any household for a 10-year period if the individual is found by a State agency to have made, or is convicted in a Federal or State court of having made, a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to the identity or place of residence of the individual in order to receive multiple benefits simultaneously under the supplemental nutrition assistance program.

(k) Disqualification of fleeing felons
(1) In generalNo member of a household who is otherwise eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program shall be eligible to participate in the program as a member of that or any other household during any period during which the individual is—
(A) fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing, for a crime, or attempt to commit a crime, that is a felony under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing or that, in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the law of New Jersey; or
(B) violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under a Federal or State law.
(2) ProceduresThe Secretary shall—
(A) define the terms “fleeing” and “actively seeking” for purposes of this subsection; and
(B) ensure that State agencies use consistent procedures established by the Secretary that disqualify individuals whom law enforcement authorities are actively seeking for the purpose of holding criminal proceedings against the individual.
(l) Custodial parent’s cooperation with child support agencies
(1) In generalAt the option of a State agency, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), no natural or adoptive parent or other individual (collectively referred to in this subsection as “the individual”) who is living with and exercising parental control over a child under the age of 18 who has an absent parent shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program unless the individual cooperates with the State agency administering the program established under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.)—
(A) in establishing the paternity of the child (if the child is born out of wedlock); and
(B) in obtaining support for—
(i) the child; or
(ii) the individual and the child.
(2) Good cause for noncooperation

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the individual if good cause is found for refusing to cooperate, as determined by the State agency in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The standards shall take into consideration circumstances under which cooperation may be against the best interests of the child.

(3) Fees

Paragraph (1) shall not require the payment of a fee or other cost for services provided under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.).

(m) Noncustodial parent’s cooperation with child support agencies
(1) In generalAt the option of a State agency, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), a putative or identified noncustodial parent of a child under the age of 18 (referred to in this subsection as “the individual”) shall not be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program if the individual refuses to cooperate with the State agency administering the program established under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (
(A) in establishing the paternity of the child (if the child is born out of wedlock); and
(B) in providing support for the child.
(2) Refusal to cooperate
(A) Guidelines

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall develop guidelines on what constitutes a refusal to cooperate under paragraph (1).

(B) Procedures

The State agency shall develop procedures, using guidelines developed under subparagraph (A), for determining whether an individual is refusing to cooperate under paragraph (1).

(3) Fees

Paragraph (1) shall not require the payment of a fee or other cost for services provided under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.).

(4) Privacy

The State agency shall provide safeguards to restrict the use of information collected by a State agency administering the program established under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) to purposes for which the information is collected.

(n) Disqualification for child support arrears
(1) In general

At the option of a State agency, no individual shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of any household during any month that the individual is delinquent in any payment due under a court order for the support of a child of the individual.

(2) ExceptionsParagraph (1) shall not apply if—
(A) a court is allowing the individual to delay payment; or
(B) the individual is complying with a payment plan approved by a court or the State agency designated under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) to provide support for the child of the individual.
(o) Work requirement
(1) “Work program” definedIn this subsection, the term “work program” means—
(A) a program under title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act [29 U.S.C. 3111 et seq.];
(B) a program under section 2296 of title 19;
(C) a program of employment and training operated or supervised by a State or political subdivision of a State that meets standards approved by the Governor of the State, including a program under subsection (d)(4), other than a supervised job search program or job search training program;
(D) a program of employment and training for veterans operated by the Department of Labor or the Department of Veterans Affairs, and approved by the Secretary; and
(E) a workforce partnership under subsection (d)(4)(N).
(2) Work requirementSubject to the other provisions of this subsection, no individual shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of any household if, during the preceding 36-month period, the individual received supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits for not less than 3 months (consecutive or otherwise) during which the individual did not—
(A) work 20 hours or more per week, averaged monthly;
(B) participate in and comply with the requirements of a work program for 20 hours or more per week, as determined by the State agency;
(C) participate in and comply with the requirements of a program under section 2029 of this title or a comparable program established by a State or political subdivision of a State; or
(D) receive benefits pursuant to paragraph (3), (4), (5), or (6).
(3) ExceptionParagraph (2) shall not apply to an individual if the individual is—
(A) under 18 or over 50 years of age;
(B) medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment;
(C) a parent or other member of a household with responsibility for a dependent child;
(D) otherwise exempt under subsection (d)(2); or
(E) a pregnant woman.
(4) Waiver
(A) In generalOn the request of a State agency and with the support of the chief executive officer of the State, the Secretary may waive the applicability of paragraph (2) to any group of individuals in the State if the Secretary makes a determination that the area in which the individuals reside—
(i) has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent; or
(ii) does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.
(B) Report

The Secretary shall report the basis for a waiver under subparagraph (A) to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate.

(5) Subsequent eligibility
(A) Regaining eligibilityAn individual denied eligibility under paragraph (2) shall regain eligibility to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program if, during a 30-day period, the individual—
(i) works 80 or more hours;
(ii) participates in and complies with the requirements of a work program for 80 or more hours, as determined by a State agency; or
(iii) participates in and complies with the requirements of a program under section 2029 of this title or a comparable program established by a State or political subdivision of a State.
(B) Maintaining eligibility

An individual who regains eligibility under subparagraph (A) shall remain eligible as long as the individual meets the requirements of subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2).

(C) Loss of employment
(i) In general

An individual who regained eligibility under subparagraph (A) and who no longer meets the requirements of subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2) shall remain eligible for a consecutive 3-month period, beginning on the date the individual first notifies the State agency that the individual no longer meets the requirements of subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2).

(ii) Limitation

An individual shall not receive any benefits pursuant to clause (i) for more than a single 3-month period in any 36-month period.

(6) Exemptions
(A) DefinitionsIn this paragraph:
(i) Caseload

The term “caseload” means the average monthly number of individuals receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits during the 12-month period ending the preceding June 30.

(ii) Covered individualThe term “covered individual” means a member of a household that receives supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, or an individual denied eligibility for supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits solely due to paragraph (2), who—(I) is not eligible for an exception under paragraph (3);(II) does not reside in an area covered by a waiver granted under paragraph (4);(III) is not complying with subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (2);(IV) is not receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits during the 3 months of eligibility provided under paragraph (2); and(V) is not receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits under paragraph (5).
(B) General rule

Subject to subparagraphs (C) through (H), a State agency may provide an exemption from the requirements of paragraph (2) for covered individuals.

(C) Fiscal year 1998

Subject to subparagraphs (F) and (H), for fiscal year 1998, a State agency may provide a number of exemptions such that the average monthly number of the exemptions in effect during the fiscal year does not exceed 15 percent of the number of covered individuals in the State in fiscal year 1998, as estimated by the Secretary, based on the survey conducted to carry out section 2025(c) of this title for fiscal year 1996 and such other factors as the Secretary considers appropriate due to the timing and limitations of the survey.

(D) Fiscal years 1999 through 2019

Subject to subparagraphs (F) through (H), for fiscal year 1999 and each subsequent fiscal year through fiscal year 2019, a State agency may provide a number of exemptions such that the average monthly number of the exemptions in effect during the fiscal year does not exceed 15 percent of the number of covered individuals in the State, as estimated by the Secretary under subparagraph (C), adjusted by the Secretary to reflect changes in the State’s caseload and the Secretary’s estimate of changes in the proportion of members of households that receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits covered by waivers granted under paragraph (4).

(E) Subsequent fiscal years

Subject to subparagraphs (F) through (H), for fiscal year 2020 and each subsequent fiscal year, a State agency may provide a number of exemptions such that the average monthly number of exemptions in effect during the fiscal year does not exceed 12 percent of the number of covered individuals in the State, as estimated by the Secretary under subparagraph (C), adjusted by the Secretary to reflect changes in the State’s caseload and the Secretary’s estimate of changes in the proportion of members of households that receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits covered by waivers granted under paragraph (4).

(F) Caseload adjustments

The Secretary shall adjust the number of individuals estimated for a State under subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) during a fiscal year if the number of members of households that receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits in the State varies from the State’s caseload by more than 10 percent, as determined by the Secretary.

(G) Exemption adjustments

During fiscal year 1999 and each subsequent fiscal year, the Secretary shall increase or decrease the number of individuals who may be granted an exemption by a State agency under this paragraph to the extent that the average monthly number of exemptions in effect in the State for the preceding fiscal year under this paragraph is lesser or greater than the average monthly number of exemptions estimated for the State agency for such preceding fiscal year under this paragraph.

(H) Reporting requirement

A State agency shall submit such reports to the Secretary as the Secretary determines are necessary to ensure compliance with this paragraph.

(7) Other program rules

Nothing in this subsection shall make an individual eligible for benefits under this chapter if the individual is not otherwise eligible for benefits under the other provisions of this chapter.

(p) Disqualification for obtaining cash by destroying food and collecting deposits

Subject to any requirements established by the Secretary, any person who has been found by a State or Federal court or administrative agency in a hearing under subsection (b) to have intentionally obtained cash by purchasing products with supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits that have containers that require return deposits, discarding the product, and returning the container for the deposit amount shall be ineligible for benefits under this chapter for such period of time as the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation.

(q) Disqualification for sale of food purchased with supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits

Subject to any requirements established by the Secretary, any person who has been found by a State or Federal court or administrative agency in a hearing under subsection (b) to have intentionally sold any food that was purchased using supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits shall be ineligible for benefits under this chapter for such period of time as the Secretary shall prescribe by regulation.

(r) Disqualification for certain convicted felons
(1) In generalAn individual shall not be eligible for benefits under this chapter if—
(A) the individual is convicted of—
(i) aggravated sexual abuse under section 2241 of title 18;
(ii) murder under section 1111 of title 18;
(iii) an offense under chapter 110 of title 18;
(iv) a Federal or State offense involving sexual assault, as defined in 13925(a) 11 So in original. Probably should be preceded by “section”. of title 42; or
(v) an offense under State law determined by the Attorney General to be substantially similar to an offense described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii); and
(B) the individual is not in compliance with the terms of the sentence of the individual or the restrictions under subsection (k).
(2) Effects on assistance and benefits for others

The amount of benefits otherwise required to be provided to an eligible household under this chapter shall be determined by considering the individual to whom paragraph (1) applies not to be a member of the household, except that the income and resources of the individual shall be considered to be income and resources of the household.

(3) Enforcement

Each State shall require each individual applying for benefits under this chapter to attest to whether the individual, or any member of the household of the individual, has been convicted of a crime described in paragraph (1).

(s) Ineligibility for benefits due to receipt of substantial lottery or gambling winnings
(1) In general

Any household in which a member receives substantial lottery or gambling winnings, as determined by the Secretary, shall lose eligibility for benefits immediately upon receipt of the winnings.

(2) Duration of ineligibility

A household described in paragraph (1) shall remain ineligible for participation until the household meets the allowable financial resources and income eligibility requirements under subsections (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (i), (k), (l), (m), and (n) of section 2014 of this title.

(3) Agreements

As determined by the Secretary, each State agency, to the maximum extent practicable, shall establish agreements with entities responsible for the regulation or sponsorship of gaming in the State to determine whether individuals participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program have received substantial lottery or gambling winnings.

(Pub. L. 88–525, § 6, Aug. 31, 1964, 78 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 94–339, § 3, July 5, 1976, 90 Stat. 800; Pub. L. 95–113, title XIII, § 1301, Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 964; Pub. L. 96–58, §§ 5, 9,