Reinstatement of Work Requirements and Determining Good Cause

The purpose of this information is to inform of the reinstatement of work requirements effective June 1, 2021. All newly approved Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) recipients and individuals identified as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) will be referred to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to participate in work requirements. Current TCA recipients and ABAWDs will be reengaged at the time of recertification.

Food Assistance
Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWDs) must participate in E&T activities for at least 80 hours per month in order to remain eligible for food assistance. Failure to comply with ABAWD work requirements will result in an electronic request from DEO to sanction the noncompliant individual.

DCF staff will continue to refer ABAWDs to DEO/CareerSource with the appropriate codes on AGPI. DEO/CareerSource will begin engaging any new customers beginning June 1, 2021. Current ABAWDs will be engaged at the time of their recertification. Any new referrals and recertifications sent to DEO will begin the reengagement process, the notices of mandatory participation will be mailed and the normal process (pre-COVID) will occur.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Section 2301, prohibits State agencies from limiting an ABAWDs eligibility unless the individual is not complying with work requirements offered by the State.

  • If DCF does not receive a sanction request, the assumption is the individual is compliant with DEO/CareerSource.
  • If an individual applies that had a sanction request prior to June 1, 2021, the sanction will be removed and individual referred
    to DEO/CareerSource.
  • If a sanction is received on or after June 1, 2021, the individual must meet an exemption or comply with DEO/CareerSource
    before the sanction can be lifted.

Time Limits
In addition, the Act states to disregard any previous time-limited months an ABAWD may have received until the end of the public health emergency (PHE). Therefore, all time-limited months received for ABAWDs from the beginning of the designated three-year period through the end of the public health emergency will be disregarded and not count towards their three time-limited months for that 3-year period.

Note: An individual can be sanctioned for not participating in work activities, but it will not count as a time-limited month until the month after the PHE ends. The individual must get the sanction lifted or meet an exemption in order to participate again.