135.5 Volunteering to Participate in RESET

Individuals not subject to RESET requirements may volunteer at any time to participate in RESET, including education and job skills training. The federal vocational educational 12-month lifetime limit applies with allowable state exceptions (See Section 135.2, Employment and Training Activities).

Exempt Individuals may enroll in employment and training (E&T) activities that will develop skills leading to employment but at a pace that is consistent with their abilities. Individuals who are exempt are not required to have a doctor’s statement verifying that they can volunteer.

Volunteers may be eligible for supportive services on the same basis as mandatory RESET participants.     

The CAO should engage in a discussion about the benefits of volunteering to participate with an E&T program if the individual:

·       Has an exemption (See Section 135.3, Exemptions from RESET Enrollment); or

The CAO may refer participants who wish to volunteer for participation to the appropriate E&T program after completing a job readiness assessment and corresponding Agreement of Mutual Responsibility. See Section 135.11 Job Readiness Assessment and Program Referral Chart and Section 107.6 Completing the AMR.

55 Pa. Code § 165.21(b)

NOTE: The ETP Code 61 should be used when a TANF client has a documented exemption and chooses to volunteer in RESET programming.

When individuals volunteer to participate in employment and training activities they:

NOTE: Cash recipients may volunteer in RESET. SNAP recipients may volunteer for SNAP E&T  programming. See SNAP Handbook Section 535.1.

NOTE: If the individual is not able to participate in the number of hours indicated on the Agreement of Mutual Responsibility (AMR) or Maximizing Participation Project (MPP) Service Plan, the CAO and the individual should work together to update the document with the number of hours they believe they can participate. The CAO may never sanction an individual who volunteers to participate in RESET.

Volunteer Examples

Example 1: A parent receives TANF benefits for themself and their two children. They are verified permanently disabled via a PA 635, coded ETP 53, and working with the CAO to seek Social Security benefits. The parent contacts the CAO and states they would like to participate in online classes at a community college to work towards their associate’s degree in medical billing. The parent should have a job readiness assessment and AMR updated/completed with the number of hours believed that they will be able to participate, and a referral made to the appropriate KEYS program. The E&T program is responsible to verify school enrollment and verify participation. The parent must be coded ETP 61. All actions should be narrated. SPALs may be provided based on verification of need.

Example 2: A parent receives SSI for themself, TANF benefits for their two children, and SNAP benefits for the entire family. The parent wants to go back to finish college now that their children are in school. The parent reaches out to the CAO and asks about assistance with childcare and help purchasing schoolbooks. When an individual is a specified relative/caretaker of a TANF child(ren), but does not receive TANF for themselves, this is considered a TANF child-only case. The CAO may support the SSI parent via SNAP E&T and SNAP SPALs, but the individual is not eligible to receive childcare assistance through TANF or SNAP. See SNAP Handbook Chapter 353: Employment and Training Requirements.

NOTE: The CAO must explain ineligibility for TANF and SNAP childcare. The CAO will also need to suppress the 715 notice Letter of Potential Child Care Eligibility by de-selecting the check mark in the box titled ‘Issue’, when entering the SNAP E&T Activity and ETP Project Enrollment Screens in CIS. Prepare a manual PA162 notice.

55 Pa Code 168.1(a)
7 CFR 273.7(d)(4)(1)

updated September 21, 2021, replacing April 11, 2013