Food Stamps, Cash Assistance Article

Jobs Program For People Who Receive Cash Assistance

Jobs Program For People Who Receive Cash Assistance

Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc.

What is Jobs?

Jobs is a Department of Economic Security (DES) program designed to help persons who receive cash assistance prepare for and find a job. Most adult and teen parents who receive cash assistance must work with Jobs to keep getting cash. However, certain persons do not have to work with Jobs and can still get cash assistance.

You are not required to work with Jobs if you are:

  • Under age 16 (unless you are a teen parent);
  • 16 to 18 and in school full-time;
  • 18 and expected to graduate from high school before turning 19;
  • Working 40 hours a week and earning minimum wage or above; or
  • A Native American tribal member who lives where there is a Tribal Jobs Program.

You can be excused from working with Jobs for a specific time period (Jobs calls this a Temporary Deferral) if:

  • You have a medical condition that keeps you from working;
  • You or your child are a victim of domestic violence;
  • You need to stay home to take care of a disabled family member;
  • You are a teen parent who has a child under the age of 12 weeks;
  • You take care of a child under age 1 year.

After your cash assistance is approved, a cash assistance worker will refer you to the Jobs program. Jobs will contact you if you must be in the Jobs Program.

What happens after I am referred to Jobs?

The first thing you must do is go to a Jobs Welcome meeting. At the meeting, the Jobs program will be explained to you. If you can't go to the meeting when it is scheduled for you, you should contact Jobs right away to reschedule it.

Before you are assigned activities, your Jobs case manager must review your current situation with you. Jobs should look at things that affect your ability to work such as your education, training, jobs skills, past work, living situation, medical condition and transportation and child care needs. Then you and your Jobs case manager will write an Employment Plan for you. You have to do things according to the plan to keep getting cash. If necessary, the plan can be changed anytime.

What services are available to persons working with Jobs?

Generally, services that help you find or keep a job are available to you through Jobs. These services include:

  • child care;
  • bus passes/transportation costs;
  • medical and dental services;
  • substance abuse treatment;
  • clothing, tools and equipment;
  • licenses;
  • emergency housing;
  • mental health counseling;
  • case management services

What happens if I don't do what Jobs wants me to do?

If you don't do what Jobs has assigned you to do and you don't contact your Jobs case manager to explain why you didn't do this, your cash can be cut or stopped.

What if I have a good reason for not cooperating with Jobs? If you have a "good cause" reason for not cooperating with Jobs and you contact your case manager right away, you may be able to avoid losing your cash. Examples of good cause reasons are:

  • You or your child was sick
  • You or your child are a victim of domestic violence
  • Your child care or transportation plans fell through
  • You had an appointment such as a doctor's appointment that you could not reschedule
  • You had an emergency
  • Jobs did not give you the services they promised you
  • You have reasons like these that were beyond your reasonable control.

What is a sanction?

If you don't cooperate with Jobs, your cash can be cut or stopped until you cooperate with Jobs again. This is called a sanction. If your case is sanctioned, your cash assistance will be cut or stopped as follows:

  • 25% the first month
  • 50% the second month
  • Stopped the third month.

If your case is sanctioned again, your cash assistance will be cut or stopped at the last sanction level.

What if I don't agree with the sanction?

If your case is sanctioned, you should contact your Jobs case manager right away to find out what you can do to stop your cash from being cut further.

If you disagree with the sanction, you should ask DES for a fair hearing right away. To keep your cash at the same level, you must ask for a fair hearing within 10 days of the date of the sanction notice. Otherwise, you must request a fair hearing within 20 days of the date of the sanction notice, unless you have good cause for asking for it late.

Then you should contact a legal aid agency in your area for help with the fair hearing.

Revised 12/9/2003

Attached Document
.pdf Jobs Program For People Who Receive Cash Assistance


On 5/27/09
Jennifer said
I am almost 8 months pregnant and I participated in the Jobs program. I am very stressed especially because I have to worry about finding 8 jobs per day and then I have to take a math placement test for the U OF A to start taking online classes.

On 5/6/09
Maria  said
Wow, when I read the requirements for having a job, you Zonies do not allow for full time students working on their Bachelors? That is insane! Only with a BA or higher can someone get out of the vicious cylce of being dependent on the goverment!!


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  • State Bar of Arizona
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    Referral number 602-257-4434
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    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
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