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Library: Policy

340:10-20-1. Diversion Assistance (DA)

Revised 9-15-21

(a) Scope.  Families with a minor child(ren) may apply for a one-time DA payment instead of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) when there is an immediate need to retain or obtain employment.  The option of applying for DA instead of TANF is based on funding availability.   • 1

(1) DA is not approved to pay fines, including traffic fines, or any cost related to a criminal offense, such as legal fees or court costs.

(2) DA is not approved to reimburse expenses already paid by the family or others.

(3) An applicant may only be approved for DA once in his or her lifetime and once approved, the family is not eligible to receive a TANF cash assistance payment for 12 calendar months.  Therefore, it is vital that financial planning be initiated to determine if a DA payment will allow the family to be self-sufficient for the next 12 months.  • 2

(A) A DA payment does not count toward the family's 60-month life time limit for receiving a TANF cash assistance benefit.

(B) Any family that includes an adult who already reached the 60-month life time limit is not eligible for DA.

(4) Families approved for DA are not included in the count of persons reported for TANF federal participation rates.  DA payment does not count against the person's 60-month lifetime limit for TANF receipt.

(b) Application filing.  Applicants must sign and submit an application and be interviewed, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:65-3-1(b) and (c) to apply for DA.  They cannot apply online for a DA benefit.   • 3

(1) In signing the application, an applicant agrees to not apply for TANF for at least one year from the DA application date.  In two-parent families both parents must sign the application.

(2) A stepparent may be included in the benefit when the couple is legally married.

(3) To be considered timely, a DA application must be processed within seven-business days.

(c) Eligibility criteria.  The family must meet the eligibility criteria described in (1) through (7) of this subsection to qualify for DA.  • 4

(1) The applicant must verify that he or she is employed or has a bona fide offer of employment.  • 5

(2) There must be a financial need that, if not met, could cause the applicant to lose employment or not be able to accept an employment offer.  • 6

(3) An adult(s) must be included in the DA application and must meet the specified degree of relationship to the minor child(ren) included in the application, per OAC 340:10-9-1.  • 7

(4) The family's monthly gross income cannot exceed the gross income maximum, per Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payments Standards, Schedule XVI, for the appropriate family size.  • 8

(5) The family's resources cannot exceed the resource limits, per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule XVI.   • 9

(6) The applicant must furnish or apply for a Social Security number (SSN), per OAC 340:65-3-1(f).

(7) The family must meet citizenship and alienage requirements, per OAC 340:10-15 and OAC 340:65-3-1(g). 

(d) DA payment amount.  The maximum DA payment is equal to four months of the payment standard, per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule XVI, for the appropriate family size based on the family's financial need.  DA payments may be issued in more than one authorization to purchase or other approved method when the request for additional funds is made within 120-calendar days of the initial application date, and the total payments do not exceed four times the monthly payment standard for the family size.  • 10


Revised 9-15-21

1The Diversion Assistance (DA) program only operates when funding is available.  Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) county office staff is notified when funds are available.

2. The lifetime limit applies to the adult(s) and child(ren) included in the DA payment.  As long as the child(ren) remains a minor, this restriction applies.

3. (a) During the application interview, the worker informs DA applicants of other social services available to them and their family members, such as:

(1) 211 to connect with community resources;

(2) financial or consumer credit counseling;

(3) substance abuse treatment;

(4) domestic violence services;

(5) Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) workshops; and

(6) marriage counseling services.

(b) When appropriate, the worker makes a referral to Child Welfare Services and documents the reason for the referral in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.

4. DA does not have a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Work or deprivation of parental support requirement.

5. The worker must verify the adult is currently employed or has a valid employment offer.  In two parent families, both parents do not have to be employed; however, one must be at risk of losing his or her employment or have an employment offer.  The worker documents how employment was verified in FACS case notes.

6. The worker is required to verify the financial need and the cost of meeting the need and to document this information in FACS Case Notes.  A budget sheet may be used to determine income and expenses

7. Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-3-56(a)(3) for persons whose needs must not be included in the DA payment.

8. (a) Family gross income includes income from all household members included in the DA payment.  When present in the home, it also includes the income of a person acting in the role of spouse and the income of parents of a minor parent, per OAC 340:10-3-57(e).

(b) Refer to OAC 340:10-3-26 through 340:10-3-40 for countable and excluded income and income exemptions and OAC 340:10-3-56 and 340:10-3-57 for information regarding whose income must be considered.

9. Refer to OAC 340:10-3-5 for consideration of resources.

10. (a) Prior to completing an authorization to purchase, the worker must:

(1) approve DA by certifying the FACS Financial Assistance tab with reason code 24D and entering four times the TANF payment standard for the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit in the payment amount field;

(2) determine on a case-by-case basis whether the applicant's financial need can be met through any other resource.  This may include other OKDHS programs, service agencies, local churches, or civic groups; and

(3) negotiate with vendors to get the goods and services needed by the client at the least possible cost, determine if any labor cost can be reduced or donated, and inform the vendor to not include state or local taxes in the negotiated amount.

(b) DA may be used to pay for one or more of the financial needs, per OKDHS Appendix H-4-B, Diversion Assistance Goods, Services, and Object Codes.

(1) To be eligible for an automobile repair or expenses related to tag, title, tax, or insurance, the automobile must be owned or co-owned by the payee or his or her spouse.  The payee or spouse must have a valid driver license.  When the payee or spouse is younger than 21, the payee's parent or the spouse's parent can own the automobile.

(2) Payment is not made until the vendor provides the goods or services and completes the vendor portion of the form.

(c) The client's relatives are not eligible for payment.

(d) The worker must inform the vendor about the voucher process by explaining:

(1) payment can only be made to vendors who have a federal employer identification number (EIN);

(2) no state or local taxes included in the negotiated cost of the goods or service;

(3) an Authorization to Purchase form is used to authorize payment and that a description of the agreed upon service is detailed on the form; and

(4) payment is not made until the vendor provides the goods or services and completes the vendor portion of the form.

(e) To complete an Authorization to Purchase form, the worker accesses the payment screen on the Finance Applications web page and enters required information on the payment screen for DA.  This includes entering:

(1) the provider's EIN, address, and phone number;

(2) the case number;

(3) the negotiated amount of the service;

(4) the appropriate object code, per OKDHS Appendix H-4-B; and

(5) a description of the goods or services.  The description must be as detailed as possible to prevent any misunderstanding as to what the payment of the authorization covers.

(f) The worker prints the completed form generated from the information entered on the payment screen, obtains the supervisor's signature in red ink, and gives the form to the client to take to the vendor.  The worker advises the client to wait to sign the form until after the goods or services are provided to ensure the agreed upon goods or services are provided.  To receive payment after the goods are provided or the services are completed, the vendor follows instructions on the form.

(g) The worker enters a FACS case note that includes:

(1) what circumstances caused the applicant to apply for assistance;

(2) how the applicant and the worker agreed that approving DA instead of TANF is expected to allow the applicant to be self-sufficient for at least 12- calendar months;

(3) what resources were explored to try to meet the applicant's needs before approving DA;

(4) what goods or services were approved and why; and

(5) the cost of the goods or services and how prices were negotiated.

(h) The county director or designee is responsible for periodically monitoring expenditures from the DA account.