Provides a user guide to help workforce organizations understand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T), and highlights issues to consider when designing or implementing a SNAP E&T component.

“Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) was instituted in 1985 to help individuals exit SNAP by achieving economic self-sufficiency through work. Each state is required to offer SNAP E&T, which may include services such as job search assistance, work experience, and job training. Well-designed SNAP E&T programs support occupational training and postsecondary education to enable SNAP recipients to acquire the skills necessary to find jobs, increase earnings, and ultimately exit SNAP.

SNAP E&T is one of the only federal programs designed solely to provide targeted employment and training resources to help extremely low-skilled, low-income adults achieve economic self-sufficiency. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, nearly 2.6 million individuals participated in SNAP E&T. Nearly 1.5 million used the program to pursue a secondary diploma or GED, while the number of individuals using the program to pursue postsecondary credentials more than doubled between FY 2009 and FY 2010.” (p.1)

“This guide is meant to help the workforce development field better understand Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T, formerly Food Stamp Employment & Training or FSET). It provides a basic overview of the program and highlights certain issues that are important to consider when designing or implementing an E&T component. The goal of this publication is to help ensure that SNAP participants have access to high-quality employment and training services that help them gain the necessary skills to obtain stable, family-supporting employment.

It is extremely important that education and training providers interested in providing SNAP E&T services fully understand all state and federal regulations governing the program, as well as any requirements that impact SNAP participants; E&T providers must take care to never unintentionally do something that could impact a SNAP participant’s benefits eligibility. From the beginning, any employment and training provider interested in designing or implementing a SNAP E&T component should work closely with the state agency responsible for administering the SNAP program” (p v).

(Abstractor: Author)

Full publication title: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training: Moving Low-Skill SNAP Recipients Toward Self-Sufficiency

Major Findings & Recommendations

“How to Avoid Unallowable Cost Problems When calculating Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) costs it is important to understand what expenses SNAP E&T will pay and what the limitations are on reimbursement. Most expenses necessary for an individual to participate successfully in an E&T component can be reimbursed by SNAP E&T. However, a few federal cost principles are in place to ensure that SNAP E&T funds are used appropriately. Providers can avoid problems with these requirements by remembering the following when designing an E&T component to avoid unallowable cost problems. Use Federally Matchable Funds SNAP E&T cannot reimburse costs that were paid for with non-matchable funds. To be matchable, the funds must not come from any federal source and cannot be used for a match in any other program unless specifically designated by law (this applies to some Tribal grants). Providers must carefully track the sources of their funds to ensure that services provided using non-matchable funds are not submitted for reimbursement. Seek Reimbursement for ‘Reasonable and Necessary’ Costs Only SNAP E&T will reimburse states for services to a particular SNAP E&T participant if the services are ‘reasonable and necessary’ for the participant to engage in the SNAP E&T activity. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines reasonable and necessary costs as follows, “A ‘reasonable’ cost is one that ‘does not exceed that which a prudent person would pay’ under the circumstances. ‘Necessary’ means that the service is essential and ‘cannot be avoided without adversely affecting program operation’. Services cannot be considered necessary if the need is already being met or if the service is available to the individual without cost from another source. For example, if a participant has a monthly public transportation pass from another source, SNAP E&T will not pay the cost of public transportation again for that participant to attend SNAP E&T activities” (p.15). “Community colleges provide a variety of occupational training programs with a direct link to employment, are closely connected to local communities, and have the necessary existing infrastructure to administer state and federal contracts, which often makes them a popular Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education & Training (SNAP E&T) partner” p.21) (Abstractor: Author)