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Handling Temporary Absences

The reason a person is temporarily absent from the household affects how you handle the household's composition, who must meet the need factor, and whose income or resources count on the case. The key is whether he or she intends to return home. You must include a person who is only temporarily absent from the household.

Policy offers special handling instructions when a person temporarily leaves for the following reasons.

When a household member becomes incarcerated or hospitalized, continue to include them in the household as long as you have verification. Count any income they are receiving towards the household's income. They are meeting the need factor due to their hospitalization or incarceration. 

When a household member leaves the household for military service, count their entire gross income, including any dependent allowance, toward the household's income. This rule applies to a single parent who leaves the child with a caretaker and to two parent households where one parent stays with the child and the other serves away from home.

Include both parents and caretakers in a household when one parent or caretaker temporarily works out-of-town and the parent or caretaker lives with the children and meets a need factor. These households do not receive additional time due to one parent or caretaker working out-of-town. If one parent or caretaker works part-time out-of-town and the other parent or caretaker works full-time, you must approve part-time care. 

Children may split their time between each of their parent's households. As long as the parents live separately, each parent applies for Child Care Subsidy separately. This includes a separate income and need determination. Only approve a parent for the time the parent has physical custody of the child and meets the need factor for Child Care.  Consult any existing cases where the child is already receiving care prior to approving Child Care to ensure you do not approve too many days. When both parents qualify for Child Care, ensure that when considered together both approvals do not exceed 31 days of subsidized child care and do not use a blended or weekly rate. 

A child may leave their usual home and temporarily stay with another household for vacation purposes. You must determine if they are staying with one of their parents or with another person.  Handle a child going to stay with their parent as you would a shared or joint custody situation above.  A child going to stay with another person is treated as if they going to stay with a caretaker.  See those instructions here.

Example 1:

Alan, aged 35, and Tonya, aged 31, apply for Child Care for their seven-year-old daughter Judy. Tanya is serving a military tour in Afghanistan. She will not return home for six months. She makes $2827.50 while deployed. Alan receives an institutional scholarship while pursuing his bachelor's degree. Alan wants Child Care, so he can attend classes. Do you approve Judy for Child Care?

Yes, you may approve Judy for Child Care, but you must count Tonya's income while she is serving a military deployment. The household's income is not above the appropriate income standard on the Appendix C-4.The household must pay a copayment.

Example 2:

Kate and Andrew divorced and live separately. They share custody of their seven-year-old son Reuben. They both apply for assistance paying for child care. Should you create one or two cases for these applicants? 

Create two cases. Since Kate and Andrew have separated, consider their applications separately. Even if Reuben automatically qualifies without a copayment,  such as with receipt of SSI, you must evaluate his eligibility for each household in which he resides. 

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