File No. 33412

This rule was published in the March 15, 2010, issue (Vol. 2010, No. 6) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Workforce Services, Employment Development

Section R986-900-902

Options and Waivers

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 33412
Filed: 02/25/2010 05:04:16 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this amendment is to make changes to how income for undocumented, ineligible household member is counted and allow the agency to average the number of hours worked by students.

Summary of the rule or change:

The food stamp program allows states the option of not prorating the income of an undocumented, ineligible household member for the gross income test. The Department did not take that option because it makes little difference and it is easier to have fewer tests to apply in determining eligibility for food stamps. The Department has decided to change its policy and take the federal option which allows us to prorate the income for the gross income test. The second change in this filing is to record a waiver the Department expects to receive from the Department of Agriculture and Food which will allow the Department to average the number of hours worked by a student receiving food stamps. The student will need to average 20 hours per week over the 30-day period instead of having 20 hours each week. This is for ease of administration and fairness.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 35A-1-104
  • Subsection 35A-1-104(4)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

There are not costs or savings to the state budget as this is a federally-funded program.

local governments:

There will be no costs or savings to any local government because this is a federally-funded program.

small businesses:

There will be no costs to small businesses to comply with these changes because this is a federally-funded program.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

There will be no costs of any persons to comply with these changes because there are no costs or fees associated with these proposed changes.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

There are no compliance costs associated with these changes for any persons because this is a federally-funded program and there are no fees or costs associated with these proposed changes.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There are no compliance costs associated with this change. There are no fees associated with this change. There will be no cost to anyone to comply with these changes. There will be no fiscal impact on any business.

Kristen Cox, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:

Workforce Services
Employment Development
140 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-2333

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Kristen Cox, Executive Director


R986. Workforce Services, Employment Development.

R986-900. Food Stamps.

R986-900-902. Options and Waivers.

The Department administers the Food Stamp Program in compliance with federal law with the following exceptions or clarifications:

(1) The following options not otherwise found in R986-100 have been adopted by the Department where allowed by the applicable federal law or regulation:

(a) The Department has opted to hold hearings at the state level and not at the local level.

(b) The Department does not offer a workfare program for ABAWDs (Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents).

(c) An applicant is required to apply at the local office which serves the area in which they reside.

(d) The Department has opted to use the Simplified Standard Utility Allowance found in 7 USC 2014(e)(7)(C)(iii) as amended by 2002 H.R. 2646 known as Section 4104 of the Farm Bill. The Department has a mandatory standard utility allowance. This means the customer is eligible for an appropriate utility allowance at the time of application and eligibility for the appropriate allowance is re-determined at recertification or if the household moves to a different place of residence. The customer does not have the choice of using "actual" utility expenses. The Department has three utility standards that are updated annually and are available upon request. This Farm Bill option allows households in subsidized housing and households in shared living arrangements to receive the full appropriate utility allowance.

(e) The Department does not use photo ID cards. ID cards are available upon request to homeless, disabled, and elderly clients so that the client is able to use food stamp benefits at a participating restaurant.

(f) The state has opted to provide food stamp benefits through the use of an electronic benefit transfer system known as the Horizon Card.

(g) The Department counts diversion payments in the food stamp allotment calculation.

(h) The Department has opted to exempt individuals from mandatory participation in Food Stamp Employment and Training activities in counties that have been designated as Labor Surplus Areas by the Department of Labor. These counties change each year based on Department of Labor statistics and a list of counties is available from the Department. They are the same counties as referenced in subsection (2)(a) below.

(i) The Department has opted to use Utah's TANF vehicle allowance rules in conjunction with the Food Stamp Program vehicle allowance regulations at 7 CFR 273.8, as authorized by Pub. L. No. 106-387 of the Agriculture Appropriations Act 2001, Food Stamp Act of 1977, 7 USC 2014.

(j) The Department has opted to count all of an ineligible alien's resources and all but a pro rata share of the ineligible alien's income and deductible expenses as provided in 7 CFR 273.11(c)(3)(ii)(A).

(k) A client may waive his or her right to an administrative disqualification hearing.

(l) A client may deduct actual, allowable expenses from self employment, or may opt to deduct 40% of the gross income from self employment to determine net income.

(m) The Department has opted to a[l]lign food stamps with FEP in determining how to count educational assistance income. That income is counted for food stamps as provided in R986-200-235(3)(q).

(n) The Department has opted to do simplified reporting as provided in 7 CFR 273.12(a)(1)(vii).

(o) The Department has opted to operate a Mini Simplified Food Stamp Program under 7 CFR 273.25. Under this option, a client receiving food stamps and FEP or FEPTP, must participate as required in R986-200-210. A client found ineligible due to non-compliance under R986-200-212 will also be subject to the food stamp sanctions found in 7CFR 273.7(f)(2) unless the client meets an exemption under food stamp regulations.

(p) Effective July 1, 2010, the Department will count the full income of an undocumented, ineligible household member for the gross income test, but that income will be prorated for the net income test and the allotment test. Expenses will continue to be prorated among the eligible household members and the full value of all assets will continue to be counted.

(2) The Department has been granted the following applicable waivers from the Food and Nutrition Service:

(a) Certain Utah counties have been granted a waiver which exempts ABAWDs from the work requirements of Section 824 of PRWORA. The counties granted this waiver change each year based on Department of Labor statistics. A list of counties granted this waiver is available from the Department.

(b) The Department requires that a household need only report changes in earned income if there is a change in source, the hourly rate or salary, or if there is a change in full-time or part-time status. A client is required to report any change in unearned income over $25 or a change in the source of unearned income.

(c) The Department uses a combined Notice of Expiration and Shortened Recertification Form. Notice of Expiration is required in 7 CFR 273.14(b)(1)(i). The Recertification Form is found under 7 CFR 273.14(b)(2)(i).

(d) The Department conducts the Family Nutrition Education Program for individuals even if they are otherwise ineligible for food stamps.

(e) The Department may deduct overpayments that resulted from an IPV from a household's monthly entitlement.

(f) If the application was received before the 15th of the month and the client has earned income, the certification period can be no longer than six months. The initial certification period may be as long as seven months if the application was received after the 15th of the month.

(g) A household which had its food stamps terminated can be reinstated during the calendar month following the month assistance was terminated without completing a new application if the reason for the termination is fully resolved. The reason for the termination does not matter. Assistance will be prorated to the date on which the client reported that the disqualifying condition was resolved if verification is received within ten days of the report. Assistance is reinstated for the remaining months of the certification period and the certification period must not be changed.

(h) If the Department is unable to obtain proper documentary evidence from an employer, the Department may use Utah quarterly wage data as the primary verification of income when calculating overpayments.

(i) The Department will hold disqualification hearings by telephone.

(j) All initial interviews, and recertification interviews for households certified for 12 months or less, will have their initial or recertification interviews conducted by telephone, rather than in person, unless the household requests an in-person interview or the Department determines that an in-person interview is necessary to resolve issues that would be better facilitated face-to-face.

(k) The federal regulation that requires all interviews be scheduled for a specific date and time is waved for initial telephone interviews. This allows clients to call anytime Monday through Thursday from 7 am to 5:30 p.m. to complete the required initial interview.

(l) To meet the student work exemption. a student enrolled in post-secondary education half-time or more must work an average of 20 hours per week. The work hours must be averaged over the 30 days immediately prior to the date of application or recertification.


KEY: food stamps, public assistance

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [October 23, 2008] 2010

Notice of Continuation: September 14, 2005

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 35A-3-103


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For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at