Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since August 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.


R986. Workforce Services, Employment Development.

Rule R986-100. Employment Support Programs.

As in effect on August 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R986-100-101. Authority.

(1) The legal authority for these rules and for the Department of Workforce Services to carry out its responsibilities is found in Sections 35A-1-104, 35A-1-302, 35A-1-303, 35A-1-306, 35A-3-103, 35A-3-111, 35A-3-302, 35A-3-603, and 35A-3-604.

(2) If any applicable federal law or regulation conflicts with these rules, the federal law or regulation is controlling.

R986-100-102. Scope.

(1) These rules establish standards for the administration of the following programs, for the collection of overpayments as defined in 35A-3-602(7) and/or disqualifications from any public assistance program provided under a state or federally funded benefit program;

(a) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

(b) Family Employment Program (FEP)

(c) Family Employment Program Two Parent (FEPTP)

(d) Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP)

(e) Working Toward Employment (WTE)

(f) General Assistance (GA)

(g) Child Care Assistance (CC)

(h) Emergency Assistance Program (EA)

(i) Adoption Assistance Program (AA)

(j) Activities funded with TANF monies

(2) The rules in the 100 section (R986-100 et seq.) apply to all programs listed above unless a more specific rule applies. Additional rules which apply to each specific program can be found in the section number assigned for that program. Nothing in R986 et seq. is intended to apply to Unemployment Insurance.

R986-100-103. Acronyms.

The following acronyms are used throughout these rules:

(1) "AA" Adoption Assistance Program

(2) "ALJ" Administrative Law Judge

(3) "CC" Child Care Assistance

(4) "CFR" Code of Federal Regulations

(5) "DCFS" Division of Children and Family Services

(6) "DWS" Department of Workforce Services

(7) "EA" Emergency Assistance Program

(8) "FEP" Family Employment Program

(9) "FEPTP" Family Employment Program Two Parent

(10) "GA" General Assistance

(11) "INA" Immigration and Nationality Act

(12) "IPV" intentional program violation

(13) "ORS" Office of Recovery Service, Utah State Department of Human Services

(14) "PRWORA" the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

(15) "RRP" Refugee Resettlement Program

(16) "SNAP" Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

(17) "SNB" Standard Needs Budget

(18) "SSA" Social Security Administration

(19) "SSDI" Social Security Disability Insurance

(20) "SSI" Supplemental Security Insurance

(21) "SSN" Social Security Number

(22) "TANF" Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

(23) "TCA" Transitional Cash Assistance

(24) "UCA" Utah Code Annotated

(25) "UI" Unemployment Compensation Insurance

(26) "USCIS" United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

(27) "VA" US Department of Veteran Affairs

(28) "WTE" Working Toward Employment Program

(29) "WIOA" Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

(30) "WSL" Work Site Learning

R986-100-104. Definitions of Terms Used in These Rules.

In addition to the definitions of terms found in 35A Chapter 3, the following definitions apply to programs listed in R986-100-102:

(1) "Applicant" means any person requesting assistance under any program in Section 102 above.

(2) "Assistance" means "public assistance."

(3) "Certification period" is the period of time for which public assistance is presumptively approved. At the end of the certification period, the client must cooperate with the Department in providing any additional information needed to continue assistance for another certification period. The length of the certification period may vary between clients and programs depending on circumstances.

(4) "Client" means an applicant for, or recipient of, public assistance services or payments, administered by the Department.

(5) "Confidential information" means information that has limited access as provided under the provisions of UCA 63G-2-201 or 7 CFR 272.1. The name of a person who has disclosed information about the household without the household's knowledge is confidential and cannot be released. If the person disclosing the information states in writing that his or her name and the information may be disclosed, it is no longer considered confidential.

(6) "Department" means the Department of Workforce Services.

(7) "Education or training" means:

(a) basic remedial education;

(b) adult education;

(c) high school education;

(d) education to obtain the equivalent of a high school diploma;

(e) education to learn English as a second language;

(f) applied technology training;

(g) employment skills training;

(h) WSL; or

(i) post high school education.

(8) "Employment plan" consists of two parts, a participation agreement and an employment plan. Together they constitute a written agreement between the Department and a client that describes the requirements for continued eligibility and the result if an obligation is not fulfilled.

(9) "Executive Director" means the Executive Director of the Department of Workforce Services.

(10) "Financial assistance" means payments, other than for SNAP, child care or medical care, to an eligible individual or household under FEP, FEPTP, RRP, GA, or WTE and which is intended to provide for the individual's or household's basic needs.

(11) "Full-time education or training" means education or training attended on a full-time basis as defined by the institution attended.

(12) "Group Home." The Department uses the definition of group home as defined by the state Department of Human Services.

(13) "Household assistance unit" means a group of individuals who are living together or who are considered to be living together, and for whom assistance is requested or issued. For all programs except SNAP and CC, the individuals included in the household assistance unit must be related to each other as described in R986-200-205.

(14) "Income match" means accessing information about an applicant's or client's income from a source authorized by law. This includes state and federal sources.

(15) "Local office" means the Employment Center which serves the geographical area in which the client resides.

(16) "Material change" means anything that might affect household eligibility, participation levels or the level of any assistance payment including a change in household composition, eligibility, assets and/or income.

(17) "Minor child" is a child under the age of 18, or under 19 years of age and in school full time and expected to complete his or her educational program prior to turning 19, and who has not been emancipated either by a lawful marriage or court order.

(18) "Parent" means all natural, adoptive, and stepparents.

(19) "Public assistance" means:

(a) services or benefits provided under UCA 35A Chapter 3, Employment Support Act;

(b) medical assistance provided under Title 26, Chapter 18, Medical Assistance Act;

(c) foster care maintenance payments provided with the General Fund or under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act;

(d) SNAP; and

(e) any other public funds expended for the benefit of a person in need of financial, medical, food, housing, or related assistance.

(20) "Recipient" means any individual receiving assistance under any of the programs listed in Section 102.

(21) Review or recertification. Client's who are found eligible for assistance or certain exceptions under R986-200-218 are given a date for review or recertification at which point continuing eligibility is determined.

(22) "Standard needs budget" is determined by the Department based on a survey of basic living expenses.

(23) "Work Site Learning" or "WSL" means work experience or training program.

R986-100-105. Availability of Program Manuals.

(1) Program manuals for all programs are available for examination on the Department's Internet site. If an interested party cannot obtain a copy from the Internet site, a copy will be provided by the Department upon request. Reasonable costs of copying may be assessed if more than ten pages are requested.

(2) For SNAP, copies of additional information available to the public, including records, regulations, plans, policy memos, and procedures, are available for examination upon request by members of the public, during office hours, at the Department's administrative offices, as provided in 7 CFR 272.1(d)(1) (1999).

R986-100-106. Residency Requirements.

(1) To be eligible for assistance for any program listed in R986-100-102, a client must be living in Utah voluntarily and not for a temporary purpose. There is no requirement that the client have a fixed place of residence. An individual is not eligible for public assistance in Utah if they are receiving public assistance in another state.

(2) The Department may require that a household live in the area served by the local office in which they apply.

(3) Individuals are not eligible if they are:

(a) in the custody of the criminal justice system;

(b) residents of a facility administered by the criminal justice system;

(c) residents of a nursing home;

(d) hospitalized; or

(e) residents in an institution.

(4) Individuals who reside in a temporary shelter, including shelters for battered women and children, for a limited period of time are eligible for public assistance if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

(5) Residents of a substance abuse or mental health facility may be eligible if they meet all other eligibility requirements. To be eligible for SNAP, the substance abuse or mental health facility must be an approved facility. Approval is given by the Department. Approved facilities must notify the Department and give a "change report form" to a client when the client leaves the facility and tell the client to return it to the local office. The change report form serves to notify the Department that the client no longer lives in the approved facility.

(6) Residents of a group home may be eligible for SNAP provided the group home is an approved facility. The state Department of Human Services provides approval for group homes.

R986-100-107. Client Rights.

(1) A client may apply or reapply at any time for any program listed in R986-100-102 by completing and signing an application and turning it in, in person or by mail, at the local office.

(2) If a client needs help to apply, help will be given by the local office staff.

(3) No individual will be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion or disability.

(4) A client's home will not be entered without permission.

(5) Advance notice will be given if the client must be visited at home outside Department working hours.

(6) A client may request an agency conference to reconcile any dispute which may exist with the Department.

(7) Information about a client obtained by the Department will be safeguarded.

(8) If the client is physically or mentally incapable or has demonstrated an inability to manage funds, the Department may make payment to a protective payee.

R986-100-108. Safeguarding and Release of Information.

(1) All information obtained on specific clients, whether kept in the case file, in the computer system, maintained by the Department, the state, or somewhere else, is safeguarded in accordance with the provisions of Sections 63G-2-101 through 63G-2-901 and 7 CFR 272.1(c) and 7 CFR 272.8 and PRWORA (1996) Title VIII, Section 837.

(2) General statistical information may be released if it does not identify a specific client. This includes information obtained by the Department from another source. Information obtained from the federal government for purposes of income match can never be released.

R986-100-109. Release of Information to the Client or the Client's Representative.

(1) Information obtained by the Department from any source, which would identify the individual, will not be released without the individual's consent or, if the individual is a minor, the consent of his or her parent or guardian.

(2) A client may request, review and/or be provided with copies of anything in the case record unless it is confidential. This includes any records kept on the computer, in the file, or somewhere else.

(3) Information that may be released to the client may be released to persons other than the client with written permission from the client. All such requests must include:

(a) the date the request is made;

(b) the name of the person who will receive the information;

(c) a description of the specific information requested including the time period covered by the request; and

(d) the signature of the client.

(4) The client is entitled to a copy of his or her file at no cost. Duplicate requests may result in an appropriate fee for the copies in accordance with Department policy which will not be more than the cost to the Department for making copies.

(5) The original case file will only be removed from the office as provided in R986-100-110(6) and cannot be given to the client.

(6) Information that is not released to the client because it is confidential, cannot be used at a hearing or to close, deny or reduce assistance.

(7) Requests for information intended to be used for a commercial or political reason will be denied.

R986-100-110. Release of Information Other Than at the Request of the Client.

(1) Information obtained from or about a client will not be published or open to public inspection in any manner which would reveal the client's identity except:

(a) unless there has been a criminal conviction against the client for fraud in obtaining public assistance. In that instance, the Department will only provide information available in the public record on the criminal charge; or

(b) if an abstract has been docketed in the district court on an overpayment, the Department can provide information that is a matter of public record in the abstract.

(2) Any information obtained by the Department pursuant to an application for or payment of public assistance may not be used in any court or admitted into evidence in an action or proceeding, except:

(a) in an action or proceeding arising out of the client's receipt of public assistance, including fraudulently obtaining or retaining public assistance, or any attempt to fraudulently obtain public assistance; or

(b) where obtained pursuant to a court order.

(3) If the case file, or any information about a client in the possession of the Department, is subpoenaed by an outside source, legal counsel for the Department will ask the court to quash the subpoena or take such action as legal counsel deems appropriate.

(4) Information obtained by the Department from the client or any other source, except information obtained from an income match, may be disclosed to:

(a) an employee of the Department in the performance of the employee's duties unless prohibited by law;

(b) an employee of a governmental agency that is specifically identified and authorized by federal or state law to receive the information;

(c) an employee of a governmental agency to the extent the information will aid in the detection or avoidance of duplicate, inconsistent, or fraudulent claims against public assistance programs, or the recovery of overpayments of public assistance funds;

(d) an employee of a law enforcement agency to the extent the disclosure is necessary to avoid a significant risk to public safety or to aid a felony criminal investigation except no information regarding a client receiving SNAP assistance can be provided under this paragraph;

(e) to a law enforcement officer when the client is fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement for a felony or is in violation of a condition of parole or probation or when the client has information which will assist a law enforcement officer in locating or apprehending an individual who is fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement for a felony or is in violation of a condition of parole or probation and the officer is acting in his official capacity. The only information under this paragraph which can be released on a client receiving SNAP is the client's address, SSN and photographic identification;

(f) to a law enforcement official, upon written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act, 7 USC 2011 et seq., as amended, or any regulation promulgated pursuant to the act. The written request shall include the identity of the individual requesting the information and his/her authority to do so, the violation being investigated, and the identity of the person being investigated. Under this paragraph, the Department can release to the law enforcement official, more than just the client's address, SSN and photo identification;

(g) an educational institution, or other governmental entity engaged in programs providing financial assistance or federal needs-based assistance, job training, child welfare or protective services, foster care or adoption assistance programs, and to individuals or other agencies or organizations who, at the request of the Department, are coordinating services and evaluating the effectiveness of those services;

(h) to certify receipt of assistance for an employer to get a tax credit; or

(i) information necessary to complete any audit or review of expenditures in connection with a Department public assistance program. Any information provided under this part will be safeguarded by the individual or agency receiving the information and will only be used for the purpose expressed in its release.

(5) Any information released under paragraph (4) above can only be released if the Department receives assurances that:

(a) the information being released will only be used for the purposes stated when authorizing the release; and

(b) the agency making the request has rules for safeguarding the information which are at least as restrictive as the rules followed by the Department and that those rules will be adhered to.

(6) Case records or files will not be removed from the local office except by court order, at the request of authorized Department employees, the Department's Information Disclosure Officer, the Department's Quality Control office or ORS.

(7) In an emergency, as determined to exist by the Department's Information Disclosure Officer, information may be released to persons other than the client before permission is obtained.

(8) For clients receiving CC, the Department may provide limited additional information to the child care provider identified by the client as the provider as provided in R986-700-703.

(9) Taxpayer requests to view public assistance payrolls will be denied.

R986-100-111. How to Apply For Assistance.

(1) To be eligible for assistance, a client must complete and sign an application for assistance.

(2) The application is not complete until the applicant has provided complete and correct information and verification as requested by the Department so eligibility can be determined or re-established at the time of review at the end of the certification period. The client must agree to provide correct and complete information to the Department at all times to remain eligible. This includes:

(a) property or other assets owned by all individuals included in the household unit;

(b) insurance owned by any member of the immediate family;

(c) income available to all individuals included in the household unit;

(d) a verified SSN for each household member receiving assistance. If any household member does not have a SSN, the client must provide proof that the number has been applied for. If a client fails to provide a SSN without good cause, or if the application for a SSN is denied for a reason that would be disqualifying, assistance will not be provided for that household member. Good cause in this paragraph means the client has made every effort to comply. Good cause does not mean illness, lack of transportation or temporary absence because the SSA makes provisions for mail-in applications in lieu of applying in person. Good cause must be established each month for continued benefits;

(e) the identity of all individuals who are living in the household regardless of whether they are considered to be in the household assistance unit or not;

(f) proof of relationship for all dependent children in the household. Proof of relationship is not needed for SNAP or child care; and

(g) a release of information, if requested, which would allow the Department to obtain information from otherwise protected sources when the information requested is necessary to establish eligibility or compliance with program requirements.

(3) All clients, including those not required to participate in an employment plan, will be provided with information about applicable program opportunities and supportive services.

R986-100-112. Assistance Cannot Be Paid for Periods Prior to Date of Application.

(1) Assistance payments for any program listed in Section 102 above cannot be made for any time period prior to the day on which the application for assistance was received by the Department.

(2) If an application for assistance is received after the first day of the month, and the client is eligible to receive assistance, payment for the first month is prorated from the date of the application.

(3) If additional verifying information is needed to complete an application, it must be provided within 30 days of the date the application was received. If the client is at fault in not providing the information within 30 days, the first day the client can be eligible is the day on which the verification was received by the Department.

(4) If the verification is not received within 60 days of the date the application was received by the Department, a new application is required and assistance payments cannot be made for periods prior to the date the new application is received.

(5) If an application for assistance was denied and no appeal taken within 90 days, or a decision unfavorable to the client was issued on appeal, assistance cannot be claimed, requested, or paid for that time period.

R986-100-113. A Client Must Inform the Department of All Material Changes.

(1) A material change is any change which might affect eligibility.

(2) Households receiving assistance must report all material changes to the Department as follows:

(a) households receiving SNAP must report a change in the household's gross income if the income exceeds 130% of the federal poverty level. The change must be reported within ten days from the end of the calendar month in which the change occurred. Changes reported by the tenth of the month following the month when the change occurred are considered timely; and

(b) households receiving GA, WTE, FEP, FEPTP, AA and RRP that do not meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(a) must report the following changes within ten days of the change occurring:

(i) if the household's gross income exceeds 185% of the adjusted standard needs budget;

(ii) a change of address;

(iii) if any eligible child leaves the household and the household receives FEP, FEPTP or AA;

(iv) if a parent, step-parent, spouse, or former spouse moves into the household or if a marriage or adoption occurs with or between the already reported household members;

(v) if a child becomes eligible for foster care or subsidized adoption financial assistance;

(vi) a change in student status of a child in the household;

(vii) if a client receiving TCA is not longer employed or is working less than an average of 30 hours per week;

(viii) if there is a change in disability status of a GA client; and/or

(ix) if a GA client becomes employed.

(3) Households that do not meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(a) of this section will be assigned a review month. In addition to the ten-day reporting requirements listed in paragraph (2)(b) of this section, the household must report, by the last day of the review month, all material changes that have occurred since the last review, or the date of application if it is the first review. The household is also required to accurately complete all review forms and reports as requested by the Department.

(4) Most changes which result in an increase of assistance will become effective the month following the month in which the report of the change was made. If verification is necessary, verification and changes will be made in the month following the month in which verification was received. If the change is to add a person to the household, the person will be added effective on the date reported, provided necessary verification is received within 30 days of the change. If verification is received after 30 days, the increase will be made effective the date verification was received.

R986-100-114. A Client's Continuing Obligation to Provide Verification and Information.

(1) A client who is eligible for assistance must provide additional verification and information, which may affect household eligibility or ongoing eligibility, after the application is approved if requested by the Department.

(2) The client must provide information to determine if eligibility was appropriately established and if payments made under these rules were appropriate. This information may be requested by an employee of the Department or a person authorized to obtain the information under contract with the Department such as an employee of ORS.

R986-100-114a. Determining When a Document or Information is Considered Received by the Department.

(1) The date of receipt of a document filed with the Department is the date the document is actually received by the Department and not the post mark date. Any document or information received after 5 p.m.by Fax, postal mail, email or hand delivery, will be considered received the next day Department offices are open. If an application for assistance or other information is filed through the "myCase" system, it will be considered received the day it was filed online even if it is filed after 5 p.m. or on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(2) If a document has a due date and that due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the time permitted for filing the document will be extended to 5 p.m. on the next day Department offices are open.

(3) "Document" as used in this section means application for assistance, verification, report, form and written notification of any kind.

(4) A verbal report or notification will be considered received on the date the client talks to a Department representative. A voice message received after 5 p.m. will be considered received the next day Department offices are open.

R986-100-115. Underpayment Due to an Error on the Part of the Department.

(1) If it is determined that a client was entitled to assistance but, due to an error on the part of the Department, assistance was not paid, the Department will correct its error and make retroactive payment.

(2) If a client receives assistance payments and it is later discovered that due to Department error the assistance payment should have been made at a higher level than the client actually received, retroactive payment will be made to correct the Department's error.

(3) If the client's public assistance was terminated due to the error, the client will be notified and assistance, plus any retroactive payments, will commence immediately.

(4) An underpayment found to have been made within the last 12 calendar months will be corrected and issued to the client. Errors which resulted in an underpayment which were made more than 12 months prior to the date of the discovery of the error are not subject to a retroactive payment.

(5) Retroactive payment under this section cannot be made for any month prior to the date on which the application for assistance was completed.

(6) The client must not have been at fault in the creation of the error.

R986-100-116. Overpayments.

(1) A client is responsible for repaying any overpayment for any program listed in R986-100-102 regardless of who was at fault in creating the overpayment.

(2) Underpayments may be used to offset an overpayment for the same program.

(3) If a change is not reported as required by R986-100-113 it may result in an overpayment.

(4) The Department will collect overpayments for all programs listed in R986-100-102 as provided by federal regulation for SNAP unless otherwise noted in this rule or inconsistent with federal regulations specific to those other programs.

(5) This rule and R986-100-117 to -135 apply to overpayments determined under contract with the Department of Health unless a Department of Health rule states otherwise.

(6) If an obligor has more than one overpayment account and does not tell the Department which account to credit, the Department will make that determination.

R986-100-117. Disqualification Periods And Civil Penalties For Intentional Program Violations (IPVs).

(1) An Intentional Program Violation (IPV) occurs when a person, either personally or through a representative, intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly (as those terms are defined in Utah Code Ann. Section 76-2-103 and as shown by clear and convincing evidence) violates a program rule, or helps another person violate a program rule, in an attempt to obtain, maintain, increase, or prevent the decrease or termination of public assistance payment(s) from any of the programs listed in R986-100-102. Acts which may constitute an IPV include but are not limited to:

(a) making false or misleading statements;

(b) misrepresenting, concealing, or withholding facts or information;

(c) posing as someone else;

(d) taking, using or accepting a public assistance payment the person knew they were not eligible to receive or not reporting the receipt of a public assistance payment the person knew they were not eligible to receive;

(e) not reporting a material change as required by and in accordance with these rules;

(f) committing an act intended to mislead, misrepresent, conceal or withhold facts or propound a falsity;

(g) accessing TANF financial assistance benefits through an electronic benefit transfer, including through an automated teller machine or point-of-sale device, in an establishment in the state that:

(i) exclusively or primarily sells intoxicating liquor,

(ii) allows gambling or gaming, or

(iii) provides adult-oriented entertainment where performers disrobe or perform unclothed;

(h) using TANF financial assistance benefits to purchase beer, intoxicating beverages, cigarettes, or tobacco; or

(i) committing any act that constitutes a violation of federal or state law for the purpose of using, presenting, transferring, acquiring, receiving, possessing, or trafficking SNAP or EBT cards.

(2) When an IPV is alleged, the Department may:

(a) Refer the case for criminal prosecution;

(b) In SNAP cases, refer the case for an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH); or

(c) In non-SNAP cases, issue an initial decision finding the person committed an IPV, which the person may appeal via the fair hearing process set forth in R986-100-123 to -135.

(3) The Department may not disqualify a person from SNAP unless an ADH has been held or the person has been criminally convicted. The Department may not make concurrent referrals for an ADH and criminal prosecution. If a SNAP case referred for criminal prosecution is dismissed or referred back to the Department without prosecution, the Department may refer the case for an ADH.

(4) A person who is found liable for committing an IPV in either an administrative or criminal proceeding shall:

(a) In the case of any program other than SNAP, be assessed a civil penalty of 10% of the amount of the overpayment; and

(b) In the case of any program other than Medicaid, be disqualified from receiving assistance from the program(s) at issue for a period of:

(i) 12 months for a first offense;

(ii) 24 months for a second offense; and

(iii) Permanently for a third offense.

(c) Disqualifications run concurrently.

(d) A disqualification applies only to the person(s) found to have committed an IPV. However, all adult members of the relevant household at the time the overpayment occurred shall be responsible for repaying the overpayment.

(e) Notwithstanding the foregoing, if a more specific provision of federal or state law provides for different sanctions for committing an act that constitutes an IPV, that provision is controlling.

(5) All income and assets of a person who has been disqualified from assistance for an IPV continue to be counted and affect the eligibility and assistance amount of the household assistance unit in which the person resides.

(6) If an individual has been disqualified in another state, the disqualification period for the IPV in that state will apply in Utah provided the act which resulted in the disqualification would have resulted in a disqualification had it occurred in Utah. If the individual has been disqualified in another state for an act which would have led to disqualification had it occurred in Utah and is found to have committed an IPV in Utah, the prior periods of disqualification in any other state count toward determining the length of disqualification in Utah.

(7) The person being disqualified will be notified that a disqualification period has been determined. The disqualification period shall begin no later than the second month which follows the date the person being disqualified receives written notice of the disqualification and continues in consecutive months until the disqualification period has expired. The Department will also provide written notice to any remaining household members informing them of the allotment they will receive during the disqualification period.

(8) Nothing in these rules is intended to limit or prevent a criminal prosecution for fraud based on the same facts used to determine the IPV.

R986-100-118. Additional Disqualification Penalties.

(1) A person found to have made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to the identity or place of residence of an individual in order to receive multiple SNAP benefits simultaneously shall be ineligible to participate in SNAP for a period of ten years.

(2) A person found by a federal, state, or local court to have used or received SNAP benefits in a transaction involving the sale of firearms, ammunition, or explosives shall be permanently ineligible to participate in SNAP.

(3) A person convicted in federal, state, or local court of having trafficked SNAP benefits in an aggregate amount of $500 or more shall be permanently ineligible to participate in SNAP.

(4) In all other cases involving SNAP or TANF funds, a person who has been convicted in federal or state court of having made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to the place of residence in order to receive assistance simultaneously from two or more states is disqualified from receiving assistance for any and all programs listed in R986-100-102 above, for a period of 10 years. This applies even if Utah was not one of the states involved in the original fraudulent misrepresentation.

R986-100-119. Reporting Possible Child Abuse or Neglect.

When a Department employee has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect, it shall be reported under the provisions of Section 62A-4a-401 et seq.

R986-100-120. Discrimination Complaints.

(1) Complaints of discrimination can be made in person, by phone, or in writing to the local office, the Office of the Executive Director or the Director's designee, the Department's Equal Opportunity Officer, or the appropriate Federal agency.

(2) Complaints shall be resolved and responded to as quickly as possible.

(3) A record of complaints will be maintained by the local office including the response to the complaint.

(4) If a complaint is made to the local office, a copy of the complaint together with a copy of the written response will be sent to the Office of the Executive Director or the Director's designee.

(5) Discrimination complaints pertaining to SNAP will also be sent to the Secretary of Agriculture or the Administrator of Food and Nutrition Service, Washington, D.C., 20250 in accordance with the provisions of 7 CFR 272.6 (1999).

R986-100-121. Agency Conferences.

(1) Agency conferences are used to resolve disputes between the client and Department staff only in cases involving denial of expedited SNAP assistance.

(2) Clients may have an authorized representative attend the agency conference.

(3) An agency conference will be attended by the client's employment counselor and the counselor's supervisor unless the client or the supervisor request that the employment counselor not attend the conference.

(4) If an agency conference has previously been held on the same dispute, the Department may decline to hold the requested conference if, in the judgment of the employment counselor's supervisor, it will not result in the resolution of the dispute.

(5) If the Department requests the agency conference and the client fails to respond, attend or otherwise cooperate in this process, documentation in the case file of attempts by the staff to follow these steps will be considered as compliance with the requirement to attempt to resolve the dispute.

(6) An agency conference may be held after a client has made a request for hearing in an effort to resolve the dispute. If so, the client must be notified that failure to participate or failure to resolve the dispute at the agency conference will not affect the client's right to proceed with the hearing.

R986-100-122. Advance Notice of Department Action.

(1) Except as provided in (2) below or otherwise set forth by rule, interested persons will be notified in writing when a decision concerning eligibility, amount of assistance payment or action on the part of the Department which affects the interested person's eligibility or amount of assistance has been made. Notice will be sent prior to the effective date of any action to reduce or terminate assistance payments. The Department will send advance notice of its intent to collect overpayments or to disqualify an interested person.

(2) Except for overpayments, advance notice is not required when:

(a) the interested person requests in writing that the case be closed;

(b) a client has been admitted to an institution under governmental administrative supervision;

(c) a client has been placed in skilled nursing care, intermediate care, or long-term hospitalization;

(d) the interested person's whereabouts are unknown and mail sent to the interested person has been returned by the post office with no forwarding address;

(e) it has been determined the interested person is receiving public assistance in another state;

(f) a child in a household has been removed from the home by court order or by voluntary relinquishment;

(g) a special allowance provided for a specific period is ended and the interested person was informed in writing at the time the allowance began that it would terminate at the end of the specified period;

(h) a household member has been disqualified for an IPV in accordance with 7 CFR 273.16, or the benefits of the remaining household members are reduced or terminated to reflect the disqualification of that household member;

(i) the Department has received factual information confirming the death of the interested person if there is no other relative able to serve as a new payee;

(j) the relevant certification period has expired;

(k) the action to terminate assistance is based on the expiration of the time limits imposed by the program;

(l) the interested person has provided information to the Department, or the Department has information obtained from another reliable source, that the interested person is not eligible or that payment should be reduced or terminated;

(m) the Department determines that the interested person willfully withheld information or;

(n) when payment of financial assistance is made after performance under R986-200-215 and R986-400-454 no advance notice is needed when performance requirements are not met.

(3) For SNAP recipients and recipients of assistance under R986-300, no action will be taken until ten days after notice was sent unless one of the exceptions in (2)(a) through (k) above apply.

(4) Notice is complete if sent to the interested person's last known address. If notice is sent to the interested person's last known address and the notice is returned by the post office or electronically with no forwarding address, the notice will be considered to have been properly served. If an interested person elects to receive correspondence electronically, notice is complete when sent to the interested person's last known email address or posted to the interested person's Department sponsored web page.

R986-100-123. The Right To a Hearing and How to Request a Hearing.

(1) An interested person has the right to a review of an adverse Department action by requesting a fair hearing before an ALJ.

(2) In cases where the Department sends notice of its intent to take action to collect an alleged overpayment but there is no alleged SNAP overpayment, the interested person must request a hearing in writing or orally within 30 days of the date of notice of agency action. In all other cases, the interested person must request a hearing in writing or orally within 90 days of the date of the notice of agency action with which the interested person disagrees.

(3) Only a clear expression by the interested person, whether orally or in writing, to the effect that the interested person wants an opportunity to present his or her case is required.

(4) The request for a hearing can be made by contacting the Department.

(5) If the interested person disagrees with the level of SNAP benefits paid or payable, the interested person can request a hearing within the certification period, even if that is longer than 90 days.

(6) If a request for restoration of lost SNAP benefits is made within one year of the loss of benefits an interested person may request a hearing within 90 days of the date of the denial of restoration.

(7) An interested person may contact the Department and attempt to resolve the dispute. If the dispute cannot be resolved, the interested person may still request a hearing provided it is filed within the time limit provided in the notice of agency action.

(8) In cases not involving an overpayment or disqualification, if the interested person does not submit a timely appeal, the Department decision is final.

R986-100-124. How Hearings Are Conducted.

(1) Hearings are held at the state level and not at the local level.

(2) Where not inconsistent with federal law or regulation governing hearing procedure, the Department will follow the Utah Administrative Procedures Act.

(3) Hearings for all programs listed in R986-100-102 and for overpayments and IPVs in Section 35A-3-601 et seq. are declared to be informal.

(4) Hearings are conducted by an ALJ or a Hearing Officer in the Division of Adjudication. A Hearing Officer has all of the same rights, duties, powers and responsibilities as an ALJ under these rules and the terms are interchangeable.

(5) Hearings are scheduled as telephone hearings. Every party wishing to participate in the telephone hearing must call the Division of Adjudication at the time of the hearing. If the party fails to call in as required by the notice of hearing, the appeal will be dismissed. If a party wishes to have the ALJ call them at the start of the hearing, the party must call the Department and make arrangements to that effect prior to the hearing.

(6) If a party requires an in-person hearing, the party must contact an ALJ and request that the hearing be scheduled as an in-person hearing. The request should be made sufficiently in advance of the hearing so that all other parties may be given notice of the change in hearing type and the opportunity to appear in person also. Requests will only be granted if the party can show that an in-person hearing is necessary to accommodate a special need or if the ALJ deems an in-person hearing is necessary to ensure an orderly and fair hearing which meets due process requirements. If the ALJ grants the request, all parties will be informed that the hearing will be conducted in person. Even if the hearing is scheduled as an in-person hearing, a party may elect to participate by telephone. In-person hearings are held in the office of the Division of Adjudication unless the ALJ determines that another location is more appropriate. A party or witness may participate from the local Employment Center.

(7) the Department is not responsible for any travel costs incurred by any party or witness in attending an in-person hearing.

(8) the Division of Adjudication will permit collect calls from parties and their witnesses participating in telephone hearings.

R986-100-125. When a Party or Witness Needs an Interpreter at the Hearing.

(1) If a party or witness notifies the Department that an interpreter is needed at the time the request for hearing is made, the Department will arrange for an interpreter at no cost to the party or witness.

(2) If an interpreter is needed at the hearing, the party may arrange for an interpreter to be present at the hearing who is an adult with fluent ability to understand and speak English and the language of the person testifying, or notify the Division of Adjudication at the time the appeal is filed that assistance is required in arranging for an interpreter.

R986-100-126. Procedure For Use of an Interpreter.

(1) The ALJ will be assured that the interpreter:

(a) understands the English language; and

(b) understands the language of the party or witness for whom the interpreter will interpret.

(2) The ALJ will instruct the interpreter to interpret, word for word, and not summarize, add, change, or delete any of the testimony or questions.

(3) The interpreter will be sworn to truthfully and accurately translate all statements made, all questions asked, and all answers given.

(4) The interpreter will be instructed to translate to the party the explanation of the hearing procedures as provided by the ALJ.

R986-100-127. Notice of Hearing.

(1) All interested will be notified by mail at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

(2) Advance written notice of the hearing can be waived if the party and Department agree.

(3) The notice shall contain:

(a) the time, date, and place, or conditions of the hearing. If the hearing is to be by telephone, the notice will provide the number for the party to call and a notice that the party can call the number collect;

(b) the legal issues or reason for the hearing;

(c) the consequences of not appearing;

(d) the procedures and limitations for requesting rescheduling; and

(e) notification that the party can examine the case file prior to the hearing.

(4) If a party has designated a person or professional organization as the party's agent, notice of the hearing will be sent to that agent. It will be considered that the party has been given notice when notice is sent to the agent.

(5) When a new issue arises during the hearing or under other unusual circumstances, advance written notice may be waived, if the Department and all parties agree, after a full verbal explanation of the issues and potential results.

(6) Each party must notify any representatives, including counsel and witnesses, of the time and place of the hearing and make necessary arrangements for their participation.

(7) The notice of hearing will be translated, either in writing or verbally, for certain clients participating in the RRP program in accordance with RRP regulations.

R986-100-128. Hearing Procedure.

(1) Hearings are not open to the public.

(2) A party may be represented at the hearing. The party may also invite friends or relatives to attend as space permits and consistent with the orderly progress of the hearing.

(3) Representatives from the Department or other state agencies may be present.

(4) All hearings will be conducted informally and in such manner as to protect the rights of the parties. The hearing may be recorded.

(5) All issues relevant to the appeal will be considered and decided upon.

(6) The decision of the ALJ will be based solely on the testimony and evidence presented at the hearing.

(7) All parties may testify, present evidence or comment on the issues.

(8) All testimony of the parties and witnesses will be given under oath or affirmation.

(9) Any party to an appeal will be given an adequate opportunity to be heard and present any pertinent evidence of probative value and to know and rebut by cross-examination or otherwise any other evidence submitted.

(10) The ALJ will direct the order of testimony and rule on the admissibility of evidence.

(11) Oral or written evidence of any nature, whether or not conforming to the legal rules of evidence including hearsay, may be accepted and will be given its proper weight.

(12) Official records of the Department, including reports submitted in connection with any program administered by the Department or other State agency may be included in the record.

(13) The ALJ may request the presentation of and may take such additional evidence as the ALJ deems necessary.

(14) The parties, with consent of the ALJ, may stipulate to the facts involved. The ALJ may decide the issues on the basis of such facts or may set the matter for hearing and take such further evidence as deemed necessary to determine the issues.

(15) The ALJ may require portions of the evidence be transcribed as necessary for rendering a decision.

(16) Unless an interested person requests a continuance, the decision of the ALJ will be issued within 60 days of the date on which the interested person requests a hearing.

(17) A decision of the ALJ which results in a reversal of the Department decision shall be complied with within 10 days of the issuance of the decision.

R986-100-129. Rescheduling or Continuance of Hearing.

(1) The ALJ may adjourn, reschedule, continue or reopen a hearing on the ALJ's own motion or on the motion of any party. A continuance shall be for no more than 30 days.

(2) If a party knows in advance of the hearing that they will be unable to proceed with or participate in the hearing on the date or time scheduled, the party must request that the hearing be rescheduled or continued to another day or time.

(a) The request must be received prior to the hearing.

(b) The request must be made orally or in writing to the Division of Adjudication. If the request is not received prior to the hearing, the party must show cause for failing to make a timely request.

(c) After a party has already had one hearing rescheduled, the party making the request must show cause for the request.

(d) Normally, a party will not be granted more than one request for a continuance.

(3) The rescheduled hearing must be held within 30 days of the original hearing date.

R986-100-130. Default Order for Failure to Participate.

(1) Except in cases of SNAP IPVs as stated in R986-100-136, if a person assessed an overpayment or other sanction fails to participate in the administrative process, the Department shall issue a default order confirming the overpayment and any other sanctions and shall move to collect any overpayment by all legal means. Participation means:

(a) signing and returning to the Department an approved stipulation for repayment and making all of the payments as agreed,

(b) requesting and participating in a hearing, or

(c) paying the overpayment in full.

(2) If a hearing has been scheduled at the request of an interested person and the interested person fails to appear at or participate in the hearing, either personally or through a representative, the ALJ will, unless a continuance or rescheduling has been requested, issue a default order dismissing the request for a fair hearing. A default order has the effect of upholding the initial Department decision.

(3) A default order will be based on the record and best evidence available at the time of the order.

R986-100-131. Setting Aside A Default or Reopening the Hearing After the Hearing Has Been Concluded.

(1) If a default order is issued, an adversely affected party may request that the default order be set aside and a hearing or a new hearing be scheduled. If a party failed to participate in a hearing but no decision has yet been issued, the party may request that the hearing be reopened.

(2) The request may be made orally or in writing as set forth in R986-100-123. A request to set aside a default order must be made within thirty days of the issuance of the default order. A request to reopen must be made within thirty days of the hearing date. If a request to reopen is made after a decision is issued, it shall be treated as a request to set aside a default order. If the request is made after the expiration of the relevant time limit, the requesting party must show good cause for not making a timely request. Good cause is defined as a showing that the delay was due to circumstances beyond the party's control, or that the delay was due to circumstances that were compelling and reasonable. Ordinary illness, lack of transportation, and temporary absence do not generally constitute good cause.

(3) The ALJ may, on his or her own motion, set aside a default order or reschedule, continue, or reopen a hearing if it appears necessary to take continuing jurisdiction based on a mistake as to facts or a change in conditions, or if the denial of a hearing would be an affront to fairness. A presiding officer may, on his or her own motion, agree on behalf of the Department to set aside a default order on the same grounds.

(4) If a default order is not set aside or a hearing is not reopened under Subsection (3) above, the request to set aside or reopen shall be forwarded to the Division of Adjudication for assignment to an ALJ. The ALJ shall hold a hearing to determine whether to set aside the default order or reopen the prior hearing unless it is clear from the record before the ALJ that the person seeking to set aside the default order or reopen the hearing cannot meet the applicable standards set forth in this rule or R986-100-132.

(5) If a request to set aside the default order or reopen the hearing is not granted, the ALJ will issue a decision denying the request. A copy of the decision will be given or mailed to each party, with a clear statement of the right of appeal or judicial review. A party may appeal the denial by following the procedure in R986-100-135. The appeal can only contest the denial of the request to set aside or reopen and not the underlying merits of the case. If the denial is reversed on appeal, the Executive Director or designee may rule on the merits or remand the case to an ALJ for a ruling on the merits on an additional hearing if necessary.

R986-100-132. What Constitutes Grounds to Set Aside a Default Order or Reopen a Hearing.

(1) A request to reopen a hearing or set aside a default order for failure to participate:

(a) will be granted if the party was prevented from participating and/or appearing at the hearing due to circumstances beyond the party's control;

(b) may be granted upon such terms as are just for any of the following reasons: mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect or any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the decision. The determination of what sorts of neglect will be considered excusable is an equitable one, taking into account all of the relevant circumstances.

(2) Requests to reopen or set aside are remedial in nature and thus must be liberally construed in favor of providing parties with an opportunity to be heard and present their case. Any doubt must be resolved in favor of granting reopening.

R986-100-133. Canceling an Appeal and Hearing.

(1) A person who has filed an appeal and requested a fair hearing may withdraw the request either orally or in writing by contacting the Division of Adjudication. The request to withdraw will be granted unless granting the request would impair the due process rights of another interested person. If the request to withdraw is granted, the Department shall issue a written decision dismissing the request. The granting of a withdrawal has the effect of upholding the initial Department decision.

(2) A person may reinstate a previously withdrawn appeal by making a request (either orally or in writing) to the Division of Adjudication that the appeal be reinstated. A request to reinstate must be made within ten days of the date the person receives the withdrawal decision. For purposes of this section, the withdrawal decision is considered to have been received three days after the mailing date on the decision letter. If the request to reinstate is made after the expiration of the ten-day time limit, the person must show good cause (as defined in R986-100-131) for not making the request within ten days.

R986-100-134. Payments of Assistance Pending the Hearing.

(1) A client is entitled to receive continued assistance pending a hearing contesting a Department decision to reduce or terminate SNAP or RRP financial assistance if the client's request for a hearing is received no later than 10 days after the date of the notice of the reduction, or termination. The assistance will continue unless the certification period expires until a decision is issued by the ALJ. If the certification period expires while the hearing or decision is pending, assistance will be terminated. If a client becomes ineligible or the assistance amount is reduced for another reason pending a hearing, assistance will be terminated or reduced for the new reason unless a hearing is requested on the new action.

(2) If the client can show good cause for not requesting the hearing within 10 days of the notice, assistance may be continued if the client can show good cause (as defined in R986-100-131) for failing to file in a timely fashion.

(3) A client affected by Subsection (1) can request that payment of assistance not be continued pending a hearing but the request must be in writing.

(4) If payments are continued pending a hearing, a client affected by Subsection (1) is responsible for any overpayment in the event of an adverse decision.

(5) If the decision of the ALJ is adverse to a client affected by Subsection (1), the client is not eligible for continued assistance pending any appeal of that decision.

(6) If a decision favorable to a client affected by Subsection (1) is rendered after a hearing, and payments were not made pending the decision, retroactive payment will be paid back to the date of the adverse action if the client is otherwise eligible.

(7) Financial assistance payments under FEP, FEPTP, GA or WTE, and CC subsidies will not continue during the hearing process regardless of when the appeal is filed.

(8) Financial assistance under the RRP will not extend for longer than the eight-month time limit for that program under any circumstances.

(9) Assistance is not allowed pending a hearing from a denial of an application for assistance.

R986-100-135. Further Appeal From the Decision of the ALJ or Presiding Officer.

Either party has the option of appealing the decision of the ALJ or presiding officer to either the Executive Director or person designated by the Executive Director or to the District Court. The appeal must be filed, in writing, within 30 days of the issuance of the decision of the ALJ or presiding officer.

R986-100-136. SNAP Administrative Disqualification Hearing (ADH) Procedures.

(1) For alleged IPVs involving SNAP, an ADH will be held unless the client formally waives the right to an ADH in writing. If the client does not participate in the hearing, the ALJ will make a decision based solely on the evidence before the ALJ.

(2) The hearing procedures set forth in R986-100-123 through R986-100-135 apply to ADHs unless otherwise specified or inconsistent with this section.

(3) The Division of Adjudication will schedule all ADHs.

(a) A pending ADH has no effect on a household's eligibility or benefit level.

(b) The Department may withdraw a request for an ADH at any time prior to the scheduled hearing by sending written notice to the Division of Adjudication and all parties.

(4) A client may waive the right to an ADH by completing, signing, and returning the waiver form prepared by the Department.

(a) A completed, signed, and submitted waiver constitutes an agreement by the client to forego the ADH and accept the prescribed disqualification period.

(b) If the client accused of the IPV is not the head of household, the waiver must be signed by both the client accused of the IPV and the head of household to be effective. Waiver of the right to an ADH shall result in the client accused of the IPV and all other adult household members being held responsible to repay any overpayment.

(c) A client may rescind a waiver of the right to an ADH by submitting a written statement to the Division of Adjudication requesting that the waiver be rescinded. The written statement must be submitted within 30 days of the date the waiver was submitted, or before the start of the disqualification period, whichever is earlier. Once a valid written statement rescinding the waiver is received, the Division of Adjudication will schedule an ADH.

(5) The notice of hearing shall contain, in addition to the items described in R986-100-127, the following:

(a) The charges against the client;

(b) A summary of the evidence, and how and where it can be examined;

(c) A statement that the client will, upon receipt of the notice, have 10 days from the date of the hearing to present good cause for failure to appear in order to receive a new hearing;

(d) A warning that a determination of IPV will result in a specific disqualification period, and a statement of which penalty the Department believes is applicable to the case;

(e) A listing of the client's rights as outlined in R986-100-128;

(f) A statement that the hearing does not preclude the State or Federal government from prosecuting the client for the IPV in a civil or criminal court action, or from collecting any overissuance(s); and

(g) A statement informing the client about what free legal services are available.

(6) The Division of Adjudication may combine a fair hearing and an ADH into a single hearing if the relevant factual issues arise out of the same or related circumstances.

(a) The notice of hearing shall inform the parties of whether a fair hearing and an ADH will be combined into a single hearing.

(b) If the hearings are combined, the applicable filing and hearing deadlines and timeframes are those contained in this section to the extent of any conflict.

(c) If the client fails to appear or participate in the combined hearing, the fair hearing will be dismissed but the ADH will still be held.

(7) The ALJ shall advise the parties that they have the right to refuse to answer questions during the hearing, and that the ALJ may draw reasonable adverse inferences based on a party's refusal to answer questions during the hearing.

(8) A qualified employee of the Department shall represent the Department at the ADH.

(9) Within 90 days of the date the notice of hearing is issued, the ALJ shall conduct the hearing, arrive at a decision, and issue written notice of the decision to the Department and all parties. If the ADH is postponed for any reason, the 90-day time limit will be extended by as many days as the ADH is postponed.

(10) If any party fails to participate in the hearing and disagrees with the hearing decision, the party may request reopening of the hearing as set forth in R986-100-131.

(11) If the ALJ determines the client did not commit an IPV, no disqualification shall be assessed. Any party, including the Department, may utilize the administrative review process set forth in R986-100-135.

KEY

employment support procedures, hearing procedures, public assistance, SNAP

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

June 1, 2019

Notice of Continuation

September 2, 2015

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

35A-3-101 et seq.; 35A-3-301 et seq.; 35A-3-401 et seq.


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R986, please contact the promulgating agency (Workforce Services, Employment Development). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.