Fulfilling SNAP Work Requirement with Schooling
If you are receiving benefits from the DHHR, you may be able to fulfill your work activity requirement taking vocational or educational classes. The program is called SNAP Education and Training program (SNAP E & T). Anyone receiving SNAP can be eligible. You should check with your DHHR case worker for your eligibility with any program.
Here’s what you need to know! DHHR policies for SNAP E & T say first you need to get a meeting with your case worker and give yourself plenty of time for this meeting. Because you are going to create a plan. It’s one of the requirements and it is called a Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP) and included with that plan is a Self-Sufficiency Plan (SSP). Think of it as a guide to setting and getting your goals. Goals you say? Yes, your goals!
First, if you are under 30 years of age and you didn’t get your high school diploma or a GED, your first goal is to earn your high school equivalency. There are many free existing programs to help you. Your worker can get you started in the right direction. With SNAP E&T, you must improve on basic skills you already have and/or get your high school diploma or GED. From there you can look at vocational training and other advanced education activities like community college or state college classes and moving forward may also be a SNAP E&T program requirement. As always, your case worker will keep you on track with what is required in the program.
There are other important DHHR rules you need to know. If there are any free education or vocational programs available, you must participate in those first. You can only use the SNAP E&T funding after you have used all other funding that is available to you. Other funding would be private funds or grants like the Pell Grant. If the DHHR considers you an Able-Bodied Adult without Dependents (ABAWD) who is not exempt (check with your case worker to see if this is, you) you must attend class at least 20 hours per week to meet the SNAP E&T participation requirement for work activity credit.
Anyone who participates that isn’t an ABAWD can meet the requirement by completing the number of hours they set in their Self-Sufficiency Plan. Part-time undergraduate courses may meet the participation/work activity requirement if they total 20 hours per-week. Also, check with your worker about getting credit for study time as a part-time student. One more thing you should know, anyone participating 24 hours or more may be eligible for up to $25 in transportation reimbursement.
If you are not meeting the hours requirement you will NOT lose your SNAP benefit, but you could be removed from the SNAP E&T program. Always talk things over with your case worker if you are having problems meeting the hours requirement. They may have options to help you like a combination of class hours in the SNAP E & T program and work credit. Talk to your worker before you are removed from the program, sooner is always better than later. Remember if you are removed from SNAP E & T you will then have to fulfill the work requirement to keep SNAP.
Unless you are exempt, the work activity requirement is something you must fulfill when you receive SNAP. You can use that to your advantage by fulfilling the required work hours with vocational or educational classes. You just need to know if you are eligible and what requirements you must meet. The best way to do that is make an appointment with your DHHR case worker. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking advantage of programs like SNAP E&T through the DHHR.
So…You’re Eligible for SNAP Education &Training, Now What?
Making the decision to further your education is one of the scariest, anxiety laced, and best things you can do for yourself. It is worth it on so many levels to get you the best results for the next chapter in your life. Taking advantage of eligible programs like SNAP Education & Training (SNAP E&T), can help remove some pressure and anxiety that comes with being an adult student.
The next step is deciding where to enroll. While College classes have great appeal and are valuable to you in the end, don’t underestimate community and technical classes, vocational training, or certificate programs. With so many program opportunities, you can find something that suits you best, and can help you prepare for a fulfilling career. For example:
- Medical Coding and Billing Certificate
- Certified Nursing Assistant
- Certified Personal Trainer
- Medical Transcription
- Pharmacy Technician
- EKG Technician
- Phlebotomy Technician
- (information from Bridge Valley Community and Technical College)
This is a short list of available programs out there. Sometimes outside the box, mold, or cookie cutter process is the way to go. Your DHHR case worker can help you find the program that will make you successful and help you start the enrollment process.
There are Workforce Development programs all over the state. Some, like Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, have a TANF (WV Works) program. It is a student service that helps students that receive WV Works get through enrolling in classes, finding the program course that is best for them, giving students ongoing support, and helping students make it into the workforce with a career they love or continue their education if they choose to take more college classes. Entering campus life can be hard and having skills to cope will be a plus – so as part of the program you can attend events that teach successful study habits, help you manage money better, take care of your health and wellness, and many other things that not only help you be a great student but will carry you into life after classes.
So, don’t overlook the benefits of attending vocational or community and technical college training. Use your SNAP E&T program benefits to get you where you want to be.
Here is a list of Community Colleges that offer a TANF (WV Works) program:
- Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
- Bridge Valley Community and Technical College
- Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College
- New River Community and Technical College
- Northern Community and Technical College
- Mountwest Community and Technical College
- Pierpont Community and Technical College
- Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College
- WVU Parkersburg