DAR File No. 39944

This rule was published in the December 1, 2015, issue (Vol. 2015, No. 23) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Workforce Services, Employment Development

Rule R986-200

Family Employment Program

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 39944
Filed: 11/12/2015 05:10:21 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The purpose of this amendment is to comply with recent statutory changes.

Summary of the rule or change:

The 2015 General Session passed two bills impacting this program. H.B. 65 lifted the 24-month time limit for educational activities and S.B. 17 lifted the 36-month limit for educational activities. The requirement that the education or training must be approved remains in place. Approval will only be granted if the client can prove the education or training meets certain criteria expected to lead to higher earning capacity.

State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 35A-3-302(5)(b)
  • Subsection 35A-1-104(4)
  • Section 35A-1-104

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

This applies to federally-funded programs so there are no costs or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

This applies to federally-funded programs so there are no costs or savings to local governments.

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 to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities 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 for this change to anyone, including persons affected by this change.

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.

Jon Pierpont, 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 spixton@utah.gov

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:

Jon Pierpont, Executive Director


R986. Workforce Services, Employment Development.

R986-200. Family Employment Program.

R986-200-209. Participation in Obtaining an Assessment.

(1) Within [2]30 business days of the date the application for financial assistance has been completed and approved, the client will be assigned to an employment counselor and must complete an assessment.

(2) The assessment evaluates a client's needs and is used to develop an employment plan.

(3) Completion of the assessment requires that the client provide information about:

(a) family circumstances including health, needs of the children, support systems, and relationships;

(b) personal needs or potential barriers to employment;

(c) education;

(d) work history;

(e) skills;

(f) financial resources and needs; and

(g) any other information relevant to the client's ability to become self-sufficient.

(4) The client may be required to participate in testing or completion of other assessment tools and may be referred to another person within the Department, another agency, or to a company or individual under contract with the Department to complete testing, assessment, and evaluation.


R986-200-211. Education and Training As Part of an Employment Plan.

(1) A parent client's participation in education or training beyond that required to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent [is limited to the lesser of]will only be approved if all of the following are met:

[(a) 24 months which need not be continuous; or

(b) the completion of the education and training requirements of the employment plan.

(2) Post high school education or training will only be approved if all of the following are met:]

(a) The client can demonstrate that the education or training would substantially increase the income level that the client would be able to achieve without the education and training, and would offset the loss of income the household incurs while the education or training is being completed.

(b) The client does not already have a degree or skills training certificate in a currently marketable occupation.

(c) An assessment specific to the client's education and training aptitude has been completed showing the client has the ability to be successful in the education or training.

(d) The mental and physical health of the client indicates the education or training could be completed successfully and the client could perform the job once the schooling is completed.

(e) The specific employment goal that requires the education or training is marketable in the area where the client resides or the client has agreed to relocate for the purpose of employment once the education/training is completed.

(f) The client, when determined appropriate, is willing to complete the education/training as quickly as possible, such as attending school full time which may include attending school during the summer.

[(g) The client can realistically complete the requirements of the education or training program within the required time frames or time limits of the financial assistance program, including the 36-month lifetime limit for FEP and FEPTP, for which the client is eligible.

(3) A parent client may participate in education or training for up to six months beyond the 24-month limit if:

(a) the parent client is employed for 80 or more hours per month during each month of the extension;

(b) circumstances beyond the control of the client prevented completion within 24 months; and

(c) the Department director or designee determines that extending the 24-month limit is prudent because other employment, education, or training options do not enable the family to meet the objective of the program.

(4) A parent client with a high school diploma or equivalent who has received 24 months of education or training while receiving financial assistance must participate a minimum of 30 hours per week in eligible activities. Twenty of those 30 hours must be in priority activities. A list of approved priority and eligible activities is available at each employment center. If the client has a child in the household under the age of six, the minimum number of hours of participation under this this subsection is 20 hours per week and all of those 20 hours must be in priority activities.]

([5]2) Graduate work can never be approved or supported as part of an employment plan.


R986-200-218. Exceptions to the Time Limit.

Exceptions to the time limit may be allowed for up to 20% of the average monthly number of families receiving financial assistance from FEP and FEPTP during the previous Federal fiscal year for the following reasons:

(1) A hardship under Section 35A-3-306 is determined to exist when a parent:

(a) is determined to be medically unable to work. The client must provide proof of inability to work in one of the following ways:

(i) receipt of disability benefits from SSA;

(ii) receipt of VA Disability benefits based on the parent being 100% disabled;

(iii) placement on the Division of Services to People with Disabilities' waiting list. Being on the waiting list indicates the person has met the criteria for a disability; or

(iv) is currently receiving Temporary Total or Permanent Total disability Workers' Compensation benefits;

(v) a medical statement completed by a medical doctor, a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, a licensed Physician's Assistant, or a doctor of osteopathy, stating the parent has a medical condition supported by medical evidence, which prevents the parent from engaging in work activities capable of generating income of at least $500 a month. The statement must be completed by a professional skilled in both the diagnosis and treatment of the condition; or

(vi) a statement completed by a licensed clinical social worker, licensed psychologist, licensed Mental Health Therapist as defined in UCA Section 58-60-102, or psychiatrist stating that the parent has been diagnosed with a mental health condition that prevents the parent from engaging in work activities capable of generating income of at least $500 a month. Substance abuse is considered the same as mental health condition;

(b) is under age 19 through the month of their nineteenth birthday;

(c) is currently engaged in an approved full-time job preparation[, educational or training] activity which the parent was expected to complete within the 36 month time limit but completion within the 36 months was not possible through no fault of the parent[. Additionally, if the parent has previously received, beginning with the month of January 1997, 24 months of financial assistance while attending educational or training activities, good cause for additional months must be shown and approved];

(d) was without fault and a delay in the delivery of services provided by the Department occurred. The delay must have had an adverse effect on the parent causing a hardship and preventing the parent from obtaining employment. An extension under this section cannot be granted for more than the length of the delay;

(e) moved to Utah after exhausting 36 months of assistance in another state or states and the parent did not receive supportive services in that state or states as required under the provisions of PRWORA. To be eligible for an exception under this section, the failure to receive supportive services must have occurred through no fault of the parent and must contribute to the parent's inability to work. An exception under this section can never be for longer than the delay in services;

(f) completed an educational or training program at the 36th month and needs additional time to obtain employment;

(g) is unable to work because the parent is required in the home to meet the medical needs of a dependent. Dependent for the purposes of this paragraph means a person who the parent claims as a dependent on his or her income tax filing. Proof, consisting of a medical statement from a health care professional listed in subparagraph (1)(a)(v) or (vi) of this section is required unless the dependent is on the Travis C medicaid waiver program. The medical statement must include all of the following:

(i) the diagnosis of the dependent's condition,

(ii) the recommended treatment needed or being received for the condition,

(iii) the length of time the parent will be required in the home to care for the dependent, and

(iv) whether the parent is required to be in the home full-time or part-time; or

(h) is currently receiving assistance under one of the exceptions in this section and needs additional time to obtain employment. A client can only receive assistance for one month under this subparagraph. If the Department determines that granting an exception under this subparagraph adversely impacts its federally mandated participation rate requirements or might otherwise jeopardize its funding, the one month exception will not be granted; [or]

(i) the client is currently participating in the Intergenerational Welfare Dependency Poverty Pilot Program, "Next Generation Kids" and needs additional time to obtain job training and preparation to decrease the risk of his/her children being part of intergenerational welfare dependency. This exception will not be available if the Pilot Program is to end; or

(j) parents who volunteer to fully participate in a Department-approved employment and training activity. Department approval will only be granted if all the requirements of Department rule 986-200-211(1)(a) through (f) are met.

(2) Additional months of financial assistance may be provided if the family includes an individual who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty which is a barrier to employment and the implementation of the time limit would make it more difficult to escape the situation. Battered or subjected to extreme cruelty means:

(a) physical acts which resulted in, or threatened to result in, physical injury to the individual;

(b) sexual abuse;

(c) sexual activity involving a dependent child;

(d) threats of, or attempts at, physical or sexual abuse;

(e) mental abuse which includes stalking and harassment; or

(f) neglect or deprivation of medical care.

(3) Employment extension. An extension to the time limit can be granted for a maximum of an additional 24 months if during the previous two months, the parent client was employed for no less than 20 hours per week. The employment can consist of self-employment if the parent's net income from that self-employment is at or above minimum wage.

(a) If, at the end of the 24-month extension, the parent client qualifies for an exception under subsections (1) or (2) of this section, an exception can be granted under the provisions of those sections.

(b) A family cannot receive financial assistance for more than a total of 60 months unless an exception can be granted under subsections (1) and (2) of this section.

(4) All clients receiving an extension or an exception must continue to participate, to the maximum extent possible, in an employment plan. This includes cooperating with ORS in the collection, establishment, and enforcement of child support and the establishment of paternity, if necessary.

(5) If a household filing unit contains more than one parent, and one parent has received at least 36 months of assistance as a parent, then the entire filing unit is ineligible unless both parents meet one of the exceptions or extension listed above. Both parents need not meet the same exception or extension.

(6) A family in which the only parent or both parents are ineligible aliens cannot be granted an extension under Section (3) above or for any of the reasons for an exception in Subsections (1)(c), (d), (e) or (f). This is because ineligible aliens are not legally able to work and supportive services for work, education and training purposes are inappropriate.

(7) A client who is no longer eligible for financial assistance may be eligible for other kinds of public assistance including food stamps, Child Care Assistance and medical coverage. The client must follow the appropriate application process to determine eligibility for assistance from those other programs.

(8) Exceptions and extensions are subject to a review at least once every six months.


KEY: family employment program

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [September 1, 2015]2016

Notice of Continuation: September 2, 2015

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 35A-3-301 et seq.


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull-pdf/2015/b20151201.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

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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 spixton@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules.