ATLANTA, Ga. -- These are the requirements, from the Georgia Department of Human Services, for college students in Georgia wishing to receive food stamps.
In the Food Stamp Program, an individual, age 18 to 49, who is enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education must meet special eligibility criteria to be eligible for food stamp benefits.
An individual is considered to be enrolled in an institution of higher education if the individual is enrolled in:
A business, technical, trade, or vocational school that normally requires a high school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED) before enrollment or prior to completion of the program
A regular curriculum at a college or university that results in a degree, certificate or diploma regardless of whether a high school diploma is required.
NOTE: Students enrolled in on-line classes, CD-ROM, DVD, Hybrid classes, and other courses are considered to be enrolled in an institution of higher education if the course(s) meets the above criteria.
An AU member enrolled in a post-secondary institution that is not an institution of higher education or is enrolled in an institution of higher education less than half time is not defined as a student in higher education for FSP purposes and is not subject to the student eligibility criteria.
If a college normally requires a high school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED) but does not require either for a particular program or course, enrollment in such a program or course does not constitute enrollment in an institution of higher education.
The following courses fall in this category:
English as a second language
High school completion and GED courses
Courses that are not a part of the regular college curriculum
A Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program contracted by the college
Continuing education or skill building courses
Extra curricula courses
A student enrolled in an institution of higher education is eligible to participate in the FSP if she/he meets at least one of the following criteria:
is age 17 or younger or age 50 or older
is physically or mentally unfit (Unfitness may be a temporary incapacity or a permanent disability. Obtain a statement from a physician/medical source or a certified mental health provider. Receipt of or certification for a temporary or permanent disability benefit such as SSI, RSDI, 100% VA, Railroad Retirement, or Workers Compensation, is acceptable verification of a disability or incapacity.
is employed and paid for an average of 20 hours per week (in-kind income does not qualify for this exemption)
is self-employed for an average of 20 hours per week and receives gross weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage times 20 hours (in-kind income does not qualify for this exemption)
participates in an on-the-job training program. Participation in the training program is limited to the time the person is being trained by the employer.
participates in a state or federally financed work-study program during the regular school year. The work-study must be approved for the school term and the student must anticipate actually working during that time. The exemption begins with the month in which the school term begins or the month work-study is approved, whichever is later. Once begun, the exemption shall continue until the end of the month in which the school term ends or it becomes known that the student is no longer working. This exemption continues when there is a break of less than one month in the school term, (unless the student continues to work during the break.)
receives TANF benefits
participates in TANF work requirements with education as part of this plan
is assigned to or placed in an institution of higher education through or in compliance with the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) of 1974, or the Trade Act of 1974
participates in an Employment and Training (E&T) program with education as part of the work plan OR another E&T program or activity approved by (E&T)
is responsible for the care of a dependent child under the age of six
is responsible for the care of a dependent AU member who is age six but under age 12, for whom adequate child care is not available to enable the student to attend class and comply with work requirements by either working an average of 20 hours per week if employed or self-employed or by participating in a work study program
is a single parent (natural, adoptive, step or when no parent is present, an individual who has parental control) enrolled in an institution of higher education on a full time basis and is responsible for the care of a dependent child who is in the AU and under age 12
Determine if a student is responsible for the care of a dependent child by using the following criteria:
the student is the parent of the minor child;
when no parent is present, the student has parental control of the minor child;
the student is responsible for the physical care of the child. Financial support of the child is not a determining factor. NOTE: The student has an obligation as a caretaker to care for the basic needs and well being of the minor child. The child does not have to be in the home in order for the student to be responsible for the child's care.
NOTE: Only one parent in the AU can claim the status of a caretaker responsible for a dependent child.
The client's statement may be accepted for student status. Contact the institution to verify if the student is enrolled at least half time, if questionable.
A student is ineligible if the institution provides a majority (at least two) of his/her meals each day. For example, if the student's meals are provided by the school and included in the tuition or fees, then the student may be considered a boarder.
The income and resources of the ineligible student will not be considered when determining the eligibility and benefit level of the eligible AU members.
Any money an ineligible student gives to the AU counts as unearned income. A payment made by an ineligible student on behalf of the AU directly to a third party is treated as a vendor payment.
The enrollment status begins on the first day of the school term of the institution of higher education and continues through normal periods of class attendance, vacation, and recess. For example, a high school senior may be accepted by a college and registered for classes before graduation; however, the person is not considered to be enrolled in school until the first day of the school term.
Student status ends when one of the following occurs:
student is suspended or expelled
student drops out of school
student does not intend to register for the next normal school term (excluding summer school).
Refer to Section 3420 <http://www.odis.dhr.state.ga.us/3000_fam/3420_food/MANUALS/TFS3420.doc>, Income, for policy regarding educational Income.
Educational income that is excluded in the FS budget includes the following:
Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG)
Federal Supplement Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
State Student Incentive Grant (SSIG)
Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP)
FFELP, includes Federal Direct Stafford Loan, Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Consolidated Loan, PLUS Program
Federal Airlines Loan Program
Bureau of Indian Affairs Adult Education, Higher Education, GED, Job Training and Technical School Programs
Federal Work Study Programs
TRIO Grants such as Upward Bound, Robert E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement, Student Support Services
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
High School Equivalency Program (HEP)
National Early Intervention Scholarship and Partnership Program
Educational assistance received through the Montgomery GI Bill
Note: This list is not all inclusive.
Form 875 http://www.odis.dhr.state.ga.us/3000_fam/3420_food/MANUALS/Forms/FORM%20875.doc
, Verification of Educational Assistance Income, may be used to verify a student's eligibility through the work study exemption.