340:10-2-1. Work requirements
All parents or needy caretakers who apply for or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance from Oklahoma are required to be engaged in a work activity. The parent(s) or needy caretaker must participate in work activities for at least the minimum number of hours necessary to move that person into employment and self-sufficiency, per (2) of this Section. • 1
(1) Work-eligible person. A work-eligible person is defined as an adult or minor head-of-household included in the TANF assistance unit. Excluded from this definition is a parent providing care for a disabled family member living in the home, who does not attend school on a full-time basis, provided the need for such care is supported by medical documentation. • 2
(2) Minimum hours of TANF Work activities.
(A) All parents or needy caretakers who meet the definition of a work-eligible person are required to participate in the minimum hours of work activities. • 3
(i) A work-eligible person must participate in work activities an average of 30 hours per week, unless the person is a single custodial parent with a child under 6 years of age, who must participate in work activities an average of 20 hours per week. • 4
(ii) In a two-parent family, when deprivation is based on incapacity, the non-incapacitated adult must participate in work activities an average of 30 hours per week unless he or she is:
(I) required in the home to provide care for the incapacitated work-eligible parent; • 5 or
(II) a custodial parent with a child under 6 years of age. In this instance the non-incapacitated adult must participate in work activities an average of 20 hours per week.
(iii) In a two-parent family, when deprivation is based on unemployment, one adult must participate in work activities an average of 35 hours per week and the other adult must participate an average of 30 hours per week. When one parent is an ineligible alien, the other parent must participate in work activities an average of 35 hours per week. When both parents are ineligible aliens, the family does not qualify as a two-parent family as the work requirement cannot be met.
(iv) To determine the average weekly countable work hours for a work-eligible person who is self-employed, the Adult and Family Services (AFS) worker:
(I) determines the person's monthly countable earned self-employment income per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-3-32;
(II) divides the income by the federal minimum wage; and
(III) divides that figure by 4.3 that equals weekly countable work hours.
(B) Hours missed due to holidays and excused absences count as hours of participation for any unpaid scheduled work activity per criteria in (i) through (iii) of this subparagraph.
(i) Federal law establishes public holidays and the Governor orders state holidays. • 6 When the facility the participant attends is open on a designated holiday, the day is not considered a holiday for participation purposes.
(ii) Excused absences are reasonable, short-term hours missed from a scheduled work activity. The participant may be granted a maximum of 80 hours of excused absences in any 12-month period with no more than 16 hours of excused absences per month counted as TANF Work participation hours. • 7 All excused absences must be approved by the AFS worker. • 8 An excused absence is defined as:
(I) unavailability of appropriate child care;
(II) illness or injury of the participant or a family member who lives in the household. The family member must meet the definition of a relative per OAC 340:10-9-1;
(III) scheduled doctor appointments for the participant or a family member who lives in the household;
(IV) the participant's court-required appearance;
(V) the participant's required attendance at parent and teacher conferences;
(VI) the temporary unavailability of planned transportation when needed or inability to arrange for transportation;
(VII) an inclement weather occurrence that prevented the participant, and other persons similarly situated, from traveling to, or participating in, the prescribed activity;
(VIII) crisis intervention needed due to domestic violence issues;
(IX) a family crisis; or • 9
(X) the participant's required attendance for a specific appointment by another governmental entity.
(iii) To count an excused absence or holiday as participation hours, the participant must have been scheduled to participate in an allowable work activity for the period of the absence. Participation allowances are paid for approved holidays and excused absences for a maximum of 16 hours per month.
(3) TANF Work activities. TANF Work activities are defined as core and non-core and must be scheduled, structured, and supervised. TANF Work participants are placed in core work activities when appropriate.
(A) Core work activities are:
(i) full- or part-time unsubsidized employment in the public or private sector that is not subsidized by TANF or any other public program;
(ii) subsidized private sector employment in the private sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from TANF or other public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing a recipient;
(iii) subsidized public sector employment for which the employer receives a subsidy from TANF or other public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing a recipient;
(iv) Work Experience Program (WEP) placement that provides a participant with an opportunity to acquire general skills, training, knowledge, and work habits necessary to obtain employment;
(v) paid on-the-job training in the public or private sector a participant receives while engaged in productive work that provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job;
(vi) job search and job readiness activities. Job readiness activities prepare the participant to seek and obtain employment and includes life skills training, substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or rehabilitation activities for those who are otherwise employable; • 10
(vii) vocational training, not to exceed 12 months, that is organized educational programs directly related to preparing participants for employment in current or emerging occupations requiring training. Countable vocational training may include up to 12 months toward a two year vocational training certificate, an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, or an advanced degree program that qualifies a participant to obtain immediate employment in a specific field.
(I) When the institution of higher education has a TANF-funded contract, the participant must attend through the contracted provider.
(II) The participant is required to participate in a TANF Work activity the minimum number of hours per (2) of this Section or as mandated by the TANF-contracted provider. • 11
(III) The participant must maintain satisfactory academic progress with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and verify progress at mid-term, when possible, and at the end of the semester. Progress may be verified by a grade report, transcript, or a statement from the contracted provider or other school official. • 12
(IV) When satisfactory progress is not met, the AFS worker submits Form 08TW008E, Higher Education Probationary Approval Request, to AFS TANF program field representative staff to request a probationary approval period. When the probationary approval period is not approved, the participant is placed in another TANF Work activity; and
(viii) Community Partnership (CP) is a structured work activity in which TANF participants perform work for the direct benefit of the community that improves the employability of recipients not otherwise able to obtain employment.
(B) Non-core work activities are:
(i) job skills training directly related to employment that is training or education for job skills required by an employer that provides a participant with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace. Time spent in vocational training in excess of 12 months may be counted as job skills training, when the participant also participates in a different approved core activity for a minimum of 20 hours per week;
(ii) education directly related to employment when a participant has not received a high school equivalency, that is related to a specific occupation, job, or job offer; and
(iii) satisfactory school attendance at a secondary school or in a course of study leading to a high school equivalency certificate when a participant has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate.
(4) Limitations and special rules.
(A) A single custodial parent younger than 20 years of age, who has not completed high school is determined to be in a work activity when the participant maintains satisfactory attendance at a secondary school or equivalent during the month. • 13
(B) A single custodial parent or the non-incapacitated adult in a family where deprivation is based on incapacity who has a child under the age of 4 months is not required to participate in a work activity. The participant may use this rule for a lifetime limit not to exceed 12 months.
1. (a) Application. During the application process, the worker and applicant complete Form 08TW002E, TANF Work/Personal Responsibility Agreement, and the worker reviews the responsibilities listed on the form with the applicant before he or she signs the agreement.
(b) Employability plan. The activities related to the parent(s)' or needy caretaker's employability plan:
(1) determine the most appropriate work activity and participation hours;
(2) inform the parent(s) or needy caretaker of the:
(A) work requirements and provide Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Publication No. 93-10, "TANF Work - The Future is Yours"; and
(B) availability of supportive social services, such as medical assistance, child care, housing, and transportation;
(3) assist the parent(s) or needy caretaker complete Form 08TW002E and update Section 7, Participant Agreement/Employability Plan, as often as indicated by the person's needs;
(A) assistance in arranging for child care during participation in activities; and
(B) consultation to ensure orderly program operations, which requires meeting with DHS staff, work participants, community groups, and employers;
(5) initiate the sanction process per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-2-2 when the parent(s) or needy caretaker fails to meet the work requirements;
(6) establish or maintain:
(A) community and participant contacts that support Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work activities;
(B) a cooperative working relationship with local agencies or groups that provide job readiness and employment opportunities; and
(C) records of current resource materials that provide information and assistance to staff and parent(s) or needy caretaker;
(7) develop new resources or identify existing resources to create new work sites;
(8) conduct small group workshops on an as-needed basis to provide information and instruction regarding the various available work activities. Orientation is not an appropriate activity when the participant completed orientation within the last 12 months; and
(9) update the TANF Work tab and Auth. ET&E tab in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS), to show the participation status of each parent or needy caretaker and use Case Notes to document the participation activities and other needs of the family members.
(c) TANF cash assistance closure. When TANF cash assistance closes, the worker explores any continued need for social services with the family. When TANF cash assistance closure is due to employment or increased earnings, the worker explains availability of child care, medical services, and the earned income tax credit.
2. The worker updates FACS, TANF Work tab to CD, caring for a disabled person and codes a good cause authorization on FACS, Auth. ET&E tab.
3. Refer to OAC 340:10-2-2 for good cause information when the participant does not satisfactorily participate in work activities.
4. (a) Refer to OAC 340:10-2-1(4) for the limitations for a single custodial parent younger than 20 years of age, who did not complete high school.
(b) A participant enrolled in a TANF-funded program at an institution of higher education per OAC 340:10-2-6.1 or vocational training per OAC 340:10-2-7 must comply with the hours set for the program even when the hours exceed 20 hours per week.
5. (a) The incapacitated, work-eligible parent is not required to participate in TANF Work activities. The worker codes the ET&E status in the FACS TANF Work tab with DI, disabled person and inputs a good cause authorization in the FACS Auth. ET&E tab.
(b) When the client provides medical documentation that substantiates the work-eligible spouse of the incapacitated parent is required in the home to provide care, the worker updates FACS, TANF Work tab, ET&E Status to CD, caring for a disabled person and inputs a good cause authorization in the FACS, Auth. ET&E tab.
6. (a) When a holiday falls on a Saturday, usually Friday is observed as the holiday and when it falls on a Sunday, usually Monday is observed as the holiday. The allowed holidays are:
(1) New Years Day;
(2) Independence Day;
(3) two business days for Christmas;
(4) Martin Luther King, Jr. Day;
(5) Presidents' Day;
(6) Memorial Day;
(7) Labor Day; and
(8) Thanksgiving Day and the following day.
(b) A facility closure, such as spring break, fall break, and Christmas break, is not considered a holiday for participation purposes. Summer break for a secondary school is not considered a holiday for minor parents attending high school.
7. (a) The worker uses the ETPANEW transaction for the appropriate ET&E authorization to enter holidays and excused absences. Approved excused absences must be documented in FACS case notes and noted on or documentation attached to Form 08TW013E, Time and Progress Report. DHS pays participation allowances for holidays and approved excused absences. Holidays must be coded as H on the appropriate day(s). Approved excused absences are coded E with the appropriate number of hours on the specific day(s). The payment of a part-time or full-time participation rate is dependent on the number of hours coded for the approved excused absence(s).
(b) Refer to OAC 340:10-2-2(d) to determine good cause when the participant's excused absences exceed the maximum allowed.
8. Coordination between the participant, facility, and worker must be ongoing to accurately verify and document the number of hours coded as an excused absence.
9. Examples of a family crisis are attendance at a funeral or emergency home maintenance issues.
10. Job search and job readiness activities are limited in counting toward the participation rate to four consecutive weeks and a maximum of 240 hours at 20 hours per week or 360 hours at 30 hours per week for the preceding 12 month period. Refer to OAC 340:10-2-5 for job search and OAC 340:10-2-6 for job readiness activities.
11. Refer to OAC 340:10-2-6.1 Instructions to Staff (ITS) #3 for information regarding countable participation hours, documentation requirements, and coding instructions.
12. The worker reviews the document provided by the participant to determine if the participant is maintaining satisfactory progress and documents progress in FACS case notes.
13. Refer to OAC 340:10-2-6.1 ITS #1 for participation requirements.