340:10-4-1. Mandatory Drug Screening
(a) Per Section 230.52 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statues, adult parents, or needy caretakers who apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance are required to be screened for illegal use of a controlled substance or substances. This screening is necessary to ensure that children are safe in their own homes by ensuring their adult parent(s) or needy caretaker is not using or is not under the influence of illegal substances. TANF child-only cases and minor parents under 18 years of age are exempt from the provisions in this Section. • 1
(b) At any point Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) has reasonable cause to believe the adult parent or needy caretaker currently receiving TANF cash assistance is engaged in the illegal use of a controlled substance or substances, the adult parent or needy caretaker is required to be screened. OKDHS is authorized to request administration of a chemical drug screen, such as an observed urinalysis (UA). Behaviors observed by OKDHS or observed and reported by community resource partners that might indicate illegal use of a controlled substance or substances include, but are not limited to: • 2
(1) slurred speech;
(2) unsteady gait;
(3) inability to focus;
(5) excessive nervousness or agitation;
(6) showing flat affect or no emotion;
(7) inappropriate responses to questions;
(8) inappropriate anger or hostility;
(9) excessive worry;
(10) facial tics or muscle spasms;
(11) erratic attendance in TANF Work activities;
(12) lack of follow through with agreed upon plans; or
(13) government or law enforcement documents indicating the person was engaged in the illegal possession or use of a controlled substance or substances within the last 30-calendar days.
(c) The minimum drug screening includes a Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI). Additional screening methods may be used that include, but are not limited to, a clinical interview, consideration of the person's history with OKDHS, and an Addictions Severity Index (ASI). An ASI must be completed when the results of the initial SASSI screening are high probability, high defense, invalid, or the client self-declares a substance abuse problem. When the ASI indicates a need for treatment, a UA must be completed. • 3
(d) The TANF application is approved with the adult parent or needy caretaker's needs included when all other eligibility factors are met and the:
(1) drug screening result indicates low probability of illegal use of controlled substance or substances; or
(2) assessment result is a recommendation for alcohol and/or prescription drug abuse treatment. • 4
(e) The TANF application is denied or benefits are closed when the adult parent or needy caretaker refuses to comply or fails to follow through with the screening. • 5
(f) When the adult parent or needy caretaker applicant screens positive for the illegal use of a controlled substance or substances, • 6 the worker denies the TANF application or closes the TANF benefit for the adult parent or needy caretaker. The parent or needy caretaker may choose to receive child-only benefits when all other TANF eligibility factors are met. When the parent or needy caretaker chooses to receive child-only benefits, the worker approves or continues child-only benefits using the current TANF application. • 7 The worker also:
(1) provides the denied applicant or adult recipient with a list of substance abuse treatment programs available at minimal or no cost to the applicant or recipient;
(2) makes a referral to the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-522-3511 when there is a positive screen for illegal drug use; • 8 and
(3) determines eligibility of all household members for other requested program benefits.
(g) When the adult parent or needy caretaker is ineligible because of a positive screen for illegal use of a controlled substance or substances, he or she is not eligible for TANF benefits until: • 9
(1) one year after the first ineligibility determination date;
(2) six months after the date of the first ineligibility determination date when the adult parent or needy caretaker complied with a substance abuse treatment plan; or
(3) three years after the second or subsequent ineligibility determination date.
(h) At the end of an ineligibility period, a new application is required and all factors of eligibility determined. The steps described at (a) and (c) through (f) are followed. • 10
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:10-4-1
1. (a) The worker counsels the adult parent or needy caretaker regarding Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) mandatory drug screening policy prior to initiating the drug screening referral process by discussing Form 08TA011E, Drug Screen Requirements Acknowledgement, with the applicant and having the applicant sign Form 08TA011E acknowledging understanding. The discussion includes, but is not limited to, informing the client that by state statute:
(1) OKDHS may require an observed urinalysis (UA) or other approved screening method;
(2) OKDHS is required to make a referral to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline as a result of a positive screen for illegal use of a controlled substance or substances;
(3) there is a required Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) ineligibility period for an adult parent or needy caretaker when he or she has a positive screen for illegal use of a controlled substance or substances;
(4) the parent or needy caretaker has a right to withdraw the TANF application with no drug screen or child welfare referral required or penalty applied. This request may be made before or after the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) is completed, but must be made before the Addictions Severity Index (ASI) and UA or other approved testing method are initiated and the person screens positive for an illegal substance(s); and
(5) when the parent or needy caretaker tests positive for illegal use of a controlled substance or substances, he or she can receive child only TANF benefits.
(b) The worker completes Form 08TW003E, Interagency Referral and Information, to refer adult applicants to a designated provider to conduct the SASSI.
(1) When the client's SASSI result is high probability, invalid, or high defense, and the client currently receives inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment, the client is not referred to a local TANF-contracted Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) provider. The worker requests a statement from the current treatment provider stating whether the client was clean for the past 30-calendar days.
(2) When the client is not in treatment and the SASSI result is high probability, invalid, or high defense, the designated provider refers the client to a local TANF-contracted ODMHSAS substance abuse treatment provider to complete a clinical interview and administer the ASI. When the need for treatment is indicated, the substance abuse provider must complete a UA or other approved testing method and start treatment. As part of the referral, the designated provider assists the applicant in completing the ODMHSAS Consent for Release of Confidential Information form, available from the substance abuse treatment provider.
(3) The designated provider gives the original Consent for Release of Confidential Information form to the substance abuse treatment provider and emails a copy to the worker. The worker images a copy into the case file.
(4) The TANF-contracted ODMHSAS substance abuse treatment provider must have the signed form authorizing release of information to OKDHS before releasing any substance abuse screening or assessment results to OKDHS.
(c) In two-parent families, both parents are required to be screened for the illegal use of a controlled substance or substances.
2. The presence of one or more of these indicators does not necessarily indicate the illegal use of a controlled substance or substances. The worker reviews the client's situation on a case-by-case basis to determine if there are other factors that might cause the client to exhibit some of these behaviors, such as medical problems, mental health issues, or domestic violence. The worker must document all information regarding reasonable cause in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.
3. The worker updates the TANF Work Assessment or AUTH. AT ASMT tab to track the substance abuse screening, assessment, chemical drug testing, and/or treatment results. When the client currently participates in an inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment program, the worker codes the SASSI as low probability, documents in FACS case notes the reason for the coding, and images the provider statement to the case record.
4. Refer to OAC 340:10-2-6 for referral information to substance abuse or mental health treatment.
5. The worker must document the client's failure or refusal to cooperate in FACS case notes and update the FACS Financial Eligibility tab to show the client failed to cooperate in determining eligibility.
6. (a) The worker does not deny a TANF application or remove the adult parent or needy caretaker's needs for illegal drug use prior to administration of an ASI and a UA by an ODMHSAS-contracted substance abuse treatment provider.
(b) When denying or closing the adult parent or needy caretaker's TANF benefit, the worker enters "88, first positive illegal drug screen result," or "89, second or subsequent illegal drug screen result," in the reason code field of the FACS Financial Eligibility tab and documents the action in case notes.
(1) Entering one of these closure reasons, enables the worker to identify and track persons determined ineligible to be included in a TANF benefit due to the illegal drug use by viewing information available on the "persons identified as using illegal drugs (PID)" transaction. The PID transaction appears on the PY screen when a person's TANF benefit was denied or closed for this reason.
(2) To access information, the worker enters PID space and the person's Social Security number. The PID screen shows the case number, name of the person, and the effective denial or closure date.
(c) The worker also updates the TANF Work Assessment or AUTH. AT ASMT tab to indicate the results of assessments the client completes, including substance abuse screening.
7. (a) The initial application is used to approve child-only TANF benefits. When the client chooses not to receive child-only benefits, the worker denies the application for the entire assistance unit. When the client decides to request child-only benefits within 60-calendar days of the initial application date, a new application is not required.
(b) Refer to OAC 340:10-10-3 for additional information regarding two-parent families.
8. The worker must document the referral number given by hotline staff in case notes.
9. The worker must document in FACS case notes the:
(1) date and period of ineligibility; and
(2) client's compliance with or completion of a certified substance abuse treatment program.
10. At the end of the parent’s ineligibility period and during the child only case renewal, the worker asks the adult parent if he or she is willing to comply with mandatory drug screening. When the parent:
(1) refuses to comply or fails to follow through with drug screening, the worker closes the child-only TANF benefit; or
(2) agrees to comply and screens positive for illegal use of a controlled substance or substances, the parent may choose to continue the child-only benefit.