The following individuals are exempt and not required to work register.
Persons under age 16 or persons 60 years of age or older are exempt from the work registration requirement. If a child's 16th birthday is within a certification period, the child must register as a part of the household's next scheduled recertification process, unless the child qualifies for another exemption.
Individuals age 16-17 are exempt from work registration requirements if they are:
Attending school at least half-time; or
Enrolled in a training or employment program on at least half-time basis; or
A dependent child residing with a parent(s) or with an individual(s) with parental control.
Individuals who are 16-17, not in school or training/employment program at least half-time, and are residing in a household without a parent(s) or parental control individual are required to be work registered.
A household member is not required to food stamp work register if he/she is participating in the TANF WORK or Native Employment Work (NEW) Programs. The following policy applies:
When an individual applies for TANF and Food Stamps at the same time, the individual is exempt from Food Stamp work registration requirements due to TANF work participation. If the TANF case is denied because the individual did not follow through on the TANF work requirements, the individual is then coded mandatory food stamp work registrant and must comply with FS rules.
When an on-going FS recipient applies for TANF, the FS work registration code remains unchanged until the TANF case is approved or denied. If approved, the FS work registration code is changed to exempt due to TANF work participation. If denied, there will be no change to the FS work registration code.
When an on-going TANF recipient applies for Food Stamps, the individual should be coded exempt for FS work registration due to TANF work requirements.
A parent or other household member responsible for the care of a dependent child under age 6 is exempt from work registration. If a child's 6th birthday is within a certification period, the person responsible for the care of the child must be work registered at the next recertification process unless the person qualifies for another exemption.
If two members of the household claim responsibility for the care of a minor dependent child, the worker decides who has the actual responsibility by talking to both individuals and using prudent worker judgment to determine who has the actual care of the child. In cases where two mothers in the household have dependent children of their own under age six, both mothers are exempt from work registration.
Persons who are physically or mentally unfit for employment are exempt from the work registration requirement. If a mental or physical disability is claimed and the disability is not evident to the worker, the household is required to submit proof. Evidence of temporary or permanent disability from governmental or private sources, such as Social Security and SSI, or a statement from a physician or licensed or certified psychologist are acceptable proof. Prudent worker judgment, with Supervisory consultation, if needed, will make the incapacity determination. The DICT team should not be involved in this decision. If an individual has applied for permanent disability from governmental or private sources, the application may be considered acceptable proof until the application is processed (denied, approved, etc.).
An otherwise mandatory person whose substantially continuous presence in the household is necessary for the care for another member of said household is exempt. This second individual must have a medically determinate condition which does not permit self-care; is ill or incapacitated as determined by a physician or licensed or certified psychologist; and has no other household member available to provide the care. Prudent worker judgment, with Supervisory consultation, if needed, will make the incapacity determination. The DICT team should not be involved in this decision.
If two members of the household claim responsibility for the care of an incapacitated person, the worker decides who has the actual responsibility by talking to the applicant or the person receiving the care. In the case of SSI or PA households which include an "essential person", the worker must examine the individual situation to decide whether to register the essential person.
A person receiving unemployment compensation is exempt from the work registration requirement. Persons who have applied for, but are not yet receiving, unemployment compensation qualify for this exemption because registration is a mandatory prerequisite in applying for unemployment benefits. If the exemption is questionable, the worker is responsible for verifying the exemption with Job Service.
A regular participant in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program is exempt from work registration requirements. Residents of treatment centers authorized to accept food stamp benefits and persons participating in treatment programs on an outpatient basis qualify for this exemption.
Persons employed at least 30 hours a week or receiving weekly earnings equivalent to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours are exempt. This includes migrant and seasonal farm workers under contract or similar agreement with an employer or crew chief to begin work within 30 days. Proof of the amount of income from this employment establishes the exemption if the amount is equivalent to 30 hours a week under general conditions in the community.
If the amount of income does not substantiate a claim of employment of 30 hours a week, but the person still claims to be employed, then, in cooperation with the worker, the applicant is required to supply documentary evidence which certifies the existence of an employee/employer relationship and that the number of hours worked is equivalent to at least 30 hours a week.
Self-employed persons are exempt if they work at least 30 hours a week or receive weekly earnings equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours. This applies whether the self-employed person is working 30 hours a week during the certification period or an average of 30 hours a week a year.
If a person claims exemption because of self-employment, proof of the amount of self-employment income is enough to establish the exemption. The amount of income verified must be consistent with full-time (30 hours a week) employment.
If the income is not enough to establish the exemption, but the client still claims to be self-employed, the worker must establish, with the client's cooperation, that the amount of income shows gainful employment. To decide that the self-employment enterprise is a full-time job, workers must evaluate the volume of work the client claims.
Persons engaged in hobbies, volunteer work, or any similar activity cannot be considered gainfully employed because of the small amount of money received from these activities. DSS does not exempt these persons from work registration regardless of the amount of time they spend in the activity. This applies to persons claiming to be employed or self-
Eligible students are exempt from work registration if they are enrolled at least half-time in any recognized school, high school, training program, or institution of higher education.
South Dakota Food Stamp Certification Manual • Revised April 2003