340:10-3-57. Special considerations
(a) Parent receiving or applying for State Supplemental Payment (SSP) for the aged, blind, or disabled. A person must not concurrently be included in a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance unit and SSP for the same month. • 1 The person may be included in the TANF assistance unit while an application is pending for SSP or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when all eligibility requirements are met. • 2
(1) When a parent lives in the home, receives SSP, and is not included in the TANF benefit, the worker does not consider the parent's income or resources as available to the TANF assistance unit.
(2) When a parent becomes ineligible for SSP and does not receive SSI, the worker considers the parent's income, resources, and deprivation status in determining TANF eligibility for the assistance unit and the parent.
(A) When adding the parent and his or her income causes the TANF assistance unit to be over income per Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, Schedule IX, the worker closes the TANF and medical benefit. • 3
(B) When the parent's SSP benefit closed because of an overall Social Security increase and the parent cannot be added to the TANF benefit, the worker places the SSP benefit in Special Medical Status.
(3) When a parent becomes ineligible to receive SSP but continues to receive SSI, the worker does not consider the parent's income or resources as available to the TANF assistance unit. The parent must complete a separate SoonerCare (Medicaid) application to continue receiving medical benefits. • 4
(b) Concurrent receipt of TANF and SSI. A person must not concurrently be included in a TANF benefit and receive an SSI payment for the same month. When a person included in a TANF application or an active TANF benefit meets the eligibility conditions for TANF and SSI, the person may choose to have eligibility determined for TANF or SSI benefits. The payee must inform OKDHS Adult and Family Services (AFS) worker when any member of the assistance unit makes application for, or becomes eligible to receive, SSI. When the payee or a member of the assistance unit makes an application for SSI, the payee must inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) of TANF receipt.
(1) When the only dependent child(ren) receives SSI, the natural or adoptive parent(s) or needy caretaker relative may receive an adult-only TANF benefit when all other eligibility factors are met.
(2) When a TANF applicant is also an SSI applicant, he or she may be included in the TANF benefit, when eligible, until notified of SSI eligibility. • 5
(3) When a TANF recipient is an SSI applicant, SSA notifies OKDHS of SSI eligibility to coordinate closure of the person's TANF benefit and approval of SSI and requests the amount of TANF benefits paid for each month of SSI eligibility. • 6 When the actual closure date is later than the date given orally to SSA, TANF payments to SSI recipients are TANF overpayments and must be recouped per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:65-9.
(4) When a TANF recipient is determined ineligible for SSI, the person may continue to be included in the TANF assistance unit when all other conditions of eligibility are met.
(5) When a TANF recipient is determined ineligible for SSI for reasons other than a disability determination, the person may be included in a SSP cash assistance benefit instead of TANF, when determined disabled by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) Level of Care Evaluation Unit (LOCEU) per OAC 317:35-5-4(1)(D).
(c) Concurrent receipt of state and tribal TANF. A person must not be concurrently included in a tribal TANF payment and a state approved TANF benefit in the same month. When the person meets the criteria of a tribal TANF service area and population, the entire assistance unit must be served by tribal TANF. When the household moves out of the tribe's service area, the worker coordinates certification of state TANF benefits. • 7
(d) Concurrent receipt of TANF in more than one state. A person must not be included in a TANF benefit in Oklahoma and another state for the same month. • 8
(e) Stepparent, needy caretaker's spouse, person acting in the role of a spouse, or parent(s) of a minor parent. The natural or adoptive parent's income is available to the TANF assistance unit, and the worker does not divert income to meet the needs of the stepparent or other dependents in the home. The worker does not count any income when the stepparent, needy caretaker's spouse, person acting in the role of a spouse, parent(s) of a minor parent, or his or her dependent is an SSI recipient.
(1) Stepparent or spouse of needy caretaker income. When a stepparent or the needy caretaker's spouse lives in the home with the child(ren) applying for or receiving TANF, the worker counts a portion of his or her verified gross earned and unearned income, after all applicable TANF income disregards and work-related expenses are subtracted, as income available to the assistance unit. To determine the amount to consider, the worker:
(A) subtracts the work-related expense, one-half of the remaining gross earned income, and any dependent care expense from the stepparent's or spouse of a needy caretaker's earned income per OAC 340:10-3-33;
(B) adds the net earned income to the gross unearned income of the stepparent or the spouse of a needy caretaker;
(C) subtracts the need standard for the appropriate number of persons per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, Schedule IX.A. The need standard includes:
(i) the stepparent or needy caretaker's spouse; and
(ii) any dependents not included in the assistance unit but who:
(I) live in the home; and
(II) can be claimed on the personal income taxes of the stepparent or needy caretaker's spouse; and
(D) subtracts the verified alimony and child support payments to persons outside of the household to arrive at the stepparent's contribution to the assistance unit; • 9 and
(E) adds the contribution of the stepparent or spouse of a needy caretaker's to all other gross income of persons included in the TANF assistance unit to determine eligibility. • 10
(2) Stepparent or spouse of a needy caretaker resources. The worker does not consider resources owned exclusively by the stepparent or spouse of a needy caretaker to determine the assistance unit's resource eligibility but does consider the assistance unit's share of resources owned jointly with the stepparent or spouse of a needy caretaker.
(3) Person acting in the role of a spouse. The worker must count the income of a person acting in the role of a spouse who lives in the home with the natural or adoptive parent who does not receive a TANF benefit on another case.
(A) For the purpose of this rule, a person is acting in the role of a spouse when one or both of these factors exist: • 11
(i) the parent and the person represent themselves to be a couple; or
(ii) have a physical relationship with each other.
(B) When the client states the conditions in (A) of this paragraph do not exist, factors that may indicate the person is acting in the role of a spouse include, when he or she:
(i) assists in parenting the child(ren), such as exercising responsibility for the child(ren), providing day-to-day care, physical care, and guidance for the child(ren);
(ii) provides financial support for the family beyond his or her own pro rata share of the household expenses;
(iii) shares joint bank accounts or real property ownership with the parent; or
(iv) files a joint tax return with the parent.
(C) The worker computes the income of this person the same as stepparent income, per (1) of this Subsection. The person acting in the role of spouse is not eligible to receive the exemption of one-half of the remainder or a dependent care expense deduction in determining this person's countable earned income.
(D) When the parent or the person acting in the role of a spouse fails to provide information necessary to determine income eligibility, the worker denies the application or closes the cash assistance. The income of non-relative adults may be excluded when the adults have separate living quarters and demonstrate no characteristics of a person acting in the role of spouse.
(4) Parent(s) of a minor parent. When a minor parent lives with his or her natural or adoptive parent(s) and the needs of the parent(s) are not included in the assistance unit, the:
(A) parent's income is available to the assistance unit and computed the same as stepparent income, per (1) of this Subsection. The parent of the minor parent may or may not be designated as the substitute payee for the assistance unit; • 12 and
(B) income of a minor parent's stepparent is not considered.
(f) Allocating or diverting income. When family members are not included in the assistance unit, the worker follows these rules to determine the income available to the assistance unit.
(1) Income received by a person included in the assistance unit is not allocated or diverted to persons who are not in the assistance unit. All countable unearned and earned income of the person is considered available to the assistance unit.
(2) The net income of an alien parent excluded from the benefit because the citizenship or alienage requirement is not met is considered the same as stepparent income, per (e)(1) of this Section. The income of disqualified alien siblings is not considered when determining eligibility of an otherwise eligible child(ren). • 13
(3) The net income of a fugitive felon excluded from the benefit is considered the same as stepparent income, per (e)(1) of this Section.
(g) Benefit reduction as a result of program violation. The TANF benefit is reduced by 25 percent of the payment standard when a determination of program violation is made. The 25 percent penalty is removed the next effective date when compliance is documented or the penalty time period ends. • 14 When multiple types of program violations occur, a 25 percent penalty of the payment standard is imposed for each type of violation. When the benefit reduction causes existing income to be in excess of the benefit amount, the case is closed using the reason for the benefit reduction. • 15 The amount of the payment standard reduction applies as Food Stamp Penalty Income (FSPI) in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) per OAC 340:50-7-29(c)(1)(A). Reasons for benefit reduction are: • 16
(1) refusal to cooperate in an effort to obtain child support per OAC 340:10-10-5(c); • 17
(2) failure to apply for or provide a Social Security number per OAC 340:10-12-1; • 18
(3) failure of a child(ren) in kindergarten to 18 years of age to attend school per OAC 340:10-13-1;
(4) failure to provide verification of child(ren) immunizations per OAC 340:10-14-1; and
(5) intentional program violations determined as fraud by court action or an administrative disqualification hearing or administrative hearing waiver per OAC 340:65-9-2(d) and 340:65-9-4.
(h) Benefit reduction penalty resulting from use of the TANF benefit in a prohibited business. Per Section 608(a)(12) of Title 42 of the United States Code and Section 241.4 of Title 56 of Oklahoma Statutes, TANF recipients must not use a debit or electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card containing TANF cash assistance in prohibited businesses. Refer to OAC 340:10-1-3(13) for a list of prohibited businesses and the definition of an EBT transaction.
(1) When the parent or caretaker has violated provisions per OAC 340:10-1-3(13), the worker reduces the TANF cash assistance payment standard by:
(A) 25 percent for three months for the first violation;
(B) 35 percent for six months for the second violation;
(C) 50 percent for 12 months for the third violation; and
(D) permanently by deeming the parent or needy caretaker ineligible for TANF benefits for subsequent violations.
(2) When the parent or needy caretaker is permanently deemed ineligible to receive TANF cash assistance for this reason and all other factors of eligibility are met, he or she may receive child-only benefits. The ineligible parent's earned and unearned income is considered in its entirety.
(3) The amount of the penalty reduction applies as FSPI for SNAP per OAC 340:50-7-29(c)(1)(A).
(i) TANF eligibility when the child(ren) is placed in out-of-home care. When Child Welfare Services (CWS) staff removes the child(ren) from the home and reasonably anticipates the child(ren) will return home within four months, the natural or adoptive parent or needy caretaker relative may continue to be eligible to receive an adult-only TANF benefit per OAC 340:10-3-56(a)(2)(B)(ii). The adult remains eligible when all other conditions of eligibility are met unless the child(ren) is placed with a relative requesting needy caretaker benefits. The child(ren) must be removed from the TANF benefit effective the next advance notice deadline date per Appendix B-2, Deadlines for Case Actions. • 19
(1) A team consisting of the worker, CWS specialist, natural or adoptive parent or needy caretaker relative, and any other appropriate partner must meet to develop a mutually agreed upon plan of action. • 20 The plan must include the parent or needy caretaker's employability plan and strategies to correct the conditions that caused the child(ren) to be removed from the home. • 21
(2) At the end of the four-month period when the child(ren) is not returned to the home, the adult-only TANF benefit is closed. • 22
(j) Strikers. The assistance unit is not eligible for TANF for any month the natural or adoptive parent living in the home participates in a strike on the last day of that month. A caretaker relative is not included in the benefit for any month when that person is participating in a strike on the last day of the month.
1. The Adult and Family Services (AFS) worker is responsible for explaining the benefits of both programs to the applicant. The applicant is responsible for choosing the program that is most beneficial in meeting his or her needs.
2. (a) When transferring a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient to State Supplemental Payment (SSP), the worker opens the SSP benefit effective the same date the TANF benefit closes.
(b) Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-2-8(c)(6) for information regarding the Disability Advocacy Program.
3. The assistance unit may apply for medical benefits by accessing the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's (OHCA) online enrollment system at www.mysoonercare.org or the worker can complete and send the application to OHCA. When requested, the worker completes the medical application using the agency view version of online enrollment.
4. This may occur when a parent begins working or starts receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) income over the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) standard. Because SSA uses retrospective budgeting for SSI, the parent's new income does not close the SSI for two months. Once the SSI income stops, the parent's income and resources are considered available to the TANF assistance unit.
5. The AFS worker notifies the SSA District Office when the worker closes the TANF benefit for a recipient with a pending SSI application.
6. (a) The AFS worker is responsible for providing the requested information to SSA, taking the appropriate action to adjust the benefit for the next effective date, and documenting the action in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.
(b) The person may be eligible for a partial SSI payment for each month the SSI application pended. Per OAC 340:10-3-28(1), the non-recurring lump sum SSI retroactive payment is not counted as income or a resource for TANF in the month paid or the following month.
7. Tribal TANF serves only enrolled members of a tribe. To qualify for tribal TANF, the assistance unit must contain at least one enrolled member of a tribe. The tribal office determines if person is eligible for the tribal TANF assistance unit.
8. Per OAC 340:10-3-56(a)(3)(M), a person convicted of fraudulently misrepresenting his or her residence in order to obtain assistance in more than one state may not receive TANF for 10 years beginning on the conviction date. Refer to Instructions to Staff # 17 of this Section for information on how to verify and document whether this occurred.
9. The stepparent's or spouse of a needy caretaker's most recent income tax return may be used as documentation of the names of claimed tax dependents.
10. (a) When the stepparent or spouse of a needy caretaker has income, the AFS worker enters on the FACS Income tab of the Interview Notebook:
(1) the total gross earned income amount in the designated earned income field and the computer calculates the work-related expense and income disregards;
(2) any unearned income in the designated unearned income field;
(3) the need standard, per Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Schedule IX, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, for the appropriate number of persons and, when applicable, any exemptions in the diverted income field; and
(4) any remaining income in the contribution field, when it is less than the need standard.
(b) Form 08TA008E, Stepparent TANF Income Computation, may be used to calculate countable income.
11. (a) When the client lives with a non-relative adult, the client's statement regarding the relationship is sufficient unless questionable. When the worker requests verification of the relationship, he or she documents in FACS case notes why the client's statement is questionable. The reason is based on one or more of the factors described per (e)(3)(A) of this Section.
(b) The worker codes the person acting in the role of a spouse as an "other adult residing in the household" in the Rel to Payee field, "TANF - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families" in the benefit field, and "Income/Resources are considered in benefit computation - person not included" in the status field on the FACS Household tab. When the person has income, the AFS worker enters:
(1) the person's total gross earnings in the designated earned income field on the FACS Income tab and the computer automatically calculates the work-related expense;
(2) any unearned income in the designated unearned field;
(3) the need standard as indicated on DHS Appendix C-1, Schedule IX, for the appropriate number of persons and when applicable, any exemptions in the diverted income field; and
(4) any remaining income in the contribution field.
12. Refer to OAC 340:10-3-56(a)(3)(O), 340:10-3-39(a)(6)(C), and 340:10-10-7 when the payee is an unmarried minor.
13. To determine the need standard for the alien parent and/or any disqualified siblings who do not meet the citizenship and alienage requirement, refer to OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule IX.
14. The worker issues a supplement for the next month, when compliance occurs after deadline.
15. The AFS worker enters closure code, "penalty and other income" (14A) on the FACS Financial Assistance tab.
16. (a) The AFS worker initiates the 25 percent benefit reduction for a school attendance, immunization, or Social Security number (SSN) penalty, by entering a 'Y' in the appropriate "program violation indicator" field on the FACS Household tab and entering a change action on the Financial Assistance tab to recalculate the cash benefit amount. Adult and Family Services Benefit Integrity and Recovery staff are responsible for coding the benefit reduction penalty for fraud, and Child Support Services (CSS) staff is responsible for determining child support non-cooperation and administering the penalty per OAC 340:10-10-5. The computer updates the Food Stamp Penalty Income (FSPI) screen.
(b) When the program violation ends, the AFS worker must update the FACS Household tab to remove the school attendance, immunization, or SSN penalty and make a change to the FACS Financial Assistance tab to recalculate the cash benefit amount.
(2) The AFS worker must also enter an end date on the Food Stamp Penalty Update (FSPU) screen.
(3) When the TANF benefit closes and there is a program violation coded, the AFS worker must update the FACS, Household tab, to remove the penalty and update the FSPU screen with an end date.
17. The 25 percent penalty only applies when the applicant or recipient is the natural or adoptive parent of the child(ren).
(1) The 25 percent penalty applies to adult-only cases when the child(ren) receives State Supplemental Payment (SSP) and/or SSI.
(2) When the adult receives SSP and/or SSI, and fails to cooperate with OKDHS CSS, CCS staff codes the 25 percent penalty on the TANF benefit.
19. (a) The Child Welfare (CW) specialist must notify the AFS worker within five business days from filing the petition to remove the child(ren) from the home.
(1) The AFS worker determines if the adult(s) meets continuing eligibility requirements. Effective the next advanced notice deadline date per Appendix B-2, Deadlines for Case Actions, when the adult(s):
(A) remains eligible, the worker removes the child(ren) from the TANF benefit; or
(B) is no longer eligible, the worker closes the TANF benefit.
(2) When the CW specialist informs the AFS worker the child(ren) was placed in another relative's home and the relative requests TANF benefits for the child(ren), the needy caretaker relative or the natural or adoptive parent, when eligible, may continue to receive adult-only TANF benefits. The relative must complete a TANF application to receive child-only TANF benefits for the child)ren).
(3) When the CW specialist informs the AFS worker the child(ren) was placed in a relative's home and the relative wants to be included in the TANF benefit as a needy caretaker, the worker closes the adult-only TANF benefit. The relative must complete a TANF application that includes the relative and the child(ren).
(b) When the adult(s) continues to be eligible for TANF, the:
(A) updates the FACS TANF Work tab to reflect "TANF pending reunification" in the Payee/Spouse Grant Indicator field; and
(B) uses the FF transaction to enter the expected date of return in PS2 block B80;
(2) computer recalculates the food benefits based on the adult-only benefit amount; and
(3) adult(s) continues eligible for medical benefits.
(c) When the child(ren) returns home and the family remains eligible for TANF, the worker:
(1) deletes the date entered in PS2 block B80;
(2) updates the Payee/Spouse Grant Indicator field on the FACS TANF Work tab to "Parent or Caretaker relative included in benefit" and is a required TANF Work participant; and
(3) adds the child(ren) back to the TANF benefit.
20. The team must meet within 15-business days of filing the petition. At a minimum, the team consists of the AFS worker, CW specialist, and the natural or adoptive parent or needy caretaker relative. The AFS worker must document the agreed upon plan of action in FACS case notes.
21. (a) At any time during the four-month period the AFS worker determines the natural or adoptive parent or needy caretaker relative is not complying with the action plan, the AFS worker closes the TANF adult-only benefits and notifies the CW specialist of the non-compliance.
(b) The CW specialist is responsible for notifying the AFS worker if the CW reunification plan changes during the four-month period to something other than reunification. When this occurs, the AFS worker closes the TANF adult-only benefits per Appendix B-2 advance notice time frames.
22. (a) The system notifies the worker about the adult-only TANF case during the third month of the reunification plan, so the worker may close the adult-only benefit or add the child(ren) back to the TANF benefit.
(b) The AFS worker must document the action taken in case notes and, when applicable, the reason reunification did not occur.
(c) The AFS worker explains other available support services and OKDHS programs to the natural or adoptive parent or the needy caretaker relative and documents any referrals in case notes.