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When a caretaker applies

A parent may temporarily leave their child with someone else while they are working or training away from home. Any time a parent is absent from the household, you must ask the caretaker if the parent's absence is temporary.

Temporary Scenarios

A parent who temporarily leaves and is willing to appoint a caretaker as an authorized representative may allow a caretaker to submit an application on behalf of his or her household. If the parent does not agree to appoint an authorized representative, a caretaker may not submit an application that includes a parent's needs.

When a parent allows a caretaker to serve as an authorized representative, you may encounter a situation where a child stays part of the month with their parent and part of the month with a caretaker. In this situation, you only need to create a single case.

Need Use both the parent’s and the caretaker’s need to determine when to grant care. Assign the caretaker and the parent separate schedules based on when he or she is meeting the need factor. The amount of care you approve may differ for the time the child lives with the parent and the caretaker.
Income ​Use the parent’s and not the caretaker’s income to determine the household’s eligibility.
Household ​The caretaker is an authorized representative who must meet the need factor for the time the child stays with him or her. Do not add the caretaker to the household in this situation. Instead, include their information using the IMS EBTU transaction.

Non-Temporary Scenarios

When a parent leaves or, in cases of temporary absence, the parent refuses to allow a caretaker to serve an authorized representative, a caretaker cannot submit an application for both their needs and the parent's needs. In these situations, you cannot accept an application unless you consider the parent to be absent. 

Need and Income ​Do not pursue whether the parent is meeting the need factor or has income. Instead, determine how the caretaker is meeting the need factor and whether their income counts on the case. Only include a caretaker’s income if they are legally and financially responsible for the child needing subsidized care. A caretaker is not legally and financial responsible unless a court order clearly states they are responsible.

Example 1:

Hope, aged 26, is caring for her three-year-old niece Caroline. Her sister Justine, aged 30, is a truck driver who leaves town frequently on routes. While Justine is out-of-town, Caroline stays with Hope. Hope attends the University of Oklahoma. She is a junior working on her Education degree. Hope supports herself through her student aid. Hope has classes Monday and Wednesday from 8 AM to 2 PM. From her job, Justine earns $2325 monthly. She works 6 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Friday. Hope applies for Child Care and, after speaking to you, obtains a signed statement appointing her as Justine's authorized representative. Can Hope receive Child Care for Caroline? If so, who is in the household, who must meet the need factor, and whose income counts? 

You may approve Child Care for the time Caroline is staying with Hope. Justine is only temporarily out-of-the-household. Hope is not in the household. She serves as Justine's authorized representative. You must record Hope's information using the IMS EBTU transaction. The household consists of Justine and Caroline. Justine's income counts on the case. If she had countable income, Hope's income would not count on the case. The time Caroline attends child care, however, adjusts depending on whether she is staying with Justine or Hope. When staying with her mother, Caroline may attend 6 AM to 3 PM plus travel time, Monday through Friday. This is likely a weekly 5. When staying with Hope, Caroline may attend 8 AM to 2 PM, Monday and Wednesday. This is a full-time daily 10.

If Justine had refused to appoint Hope as an authorized representative, then you would not accept an application from Hope. A caretaker may not submit an application for a temporarily absent parent without becoming an authorized representative.

Example 2:

Wade, aged 50, is caring for his eight-year-old-grandson Brice. Brice's parents are not living with Brice. Wade works for a construction company. He earns $3,000 per month. Wade explains that his son left Brice with him 2 years ago and has yet to return. Wade had not pursued any legal proceedings to become responsible for Brice. Wade works from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Brice is in the 3rd grade. Can Wade receive Child Care for Brice? If so, who is in the household, who must meet the need factor, and whose income counts? 

You may approve Child Care for Wade. Brice's parents are out-of-the-household. Include Wade and Brice in the household. Since Wade is not legally and financially responsible for Brice, do not count his income. Brice may attend Child Care before and after school based on Wade's schedule and any reasonable travel time. Wade might also be eligible for TANF, so make certain to discuss this program with him.

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