340:40-7-9. Exploration and development of potential income
The worker explores potential sources of income, such as Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), child support, unemployment benefits, veteran's benefits, and increased wages with the client at the time of application and each renewal for all members of the household whose income must be considered, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:40-7-6. • 1 The client must apply for, or continue to pursue, all potential sources of income for which it appears likely he or she may be eligible, except for SSI and child support, before the next child care renewal is due. The client is encouraged, but not required, to apply for SSI when the client indicates a household member has a disability. Similarly, the client is encouraged, but not required, to pursue child support when a parent is absent from the home.
(1) When the client refuses to pursue available income at the time of request, the worker denies the child care request.
(2) When the client agrees to pursue all potential income and fails to do so within the 12-month eligibility period, further care is not approved at renewal. • 2
(3) When the client is approved for the potential income or offered a pay raise within the 12-month eligibility period and refuses to accept it, further care is not approved at renewal.
(4) When the client's rate of pay or number of hours worked decreases, the worker explores why the decrease occurred. When the client requested the decrease to avoid a family share copayment increase or to maintain eligibility, the worker closes the subsidized child care benefits at renewal. • 3
(5) At each renewal, the worker determines whether the client continues to pursue potential income.
(A) When the client begins receiving previously identified potential income, the worker adds the income to the case although the system does not decrease the benefit until renewal.
(B) When the client was not approved for the income, the client must verify this. The worker records in the case record the verification provided and stops exploring this potential income with the client.
(C) When the client stops pursuing potential income and was not determined ineligible for the income, further care is not approved at renewal.
(6) When the client's subsidized child care benefits close at renewal because of failure to pursue potential income, the client must verify receipt or pursuit of such income or that such income is no longer potentially available before child care may be approved.
(A) When the client verifies cooperation within 30-calendar days of the closure of subsidized child care benefits, the worker may reopen the benefits back to the date they were closed without imposing a penalty.
(B) When the client does not cooperate or waits to verify cooperation for more than 30-calendar days from the date the subsidized child care benefits close, the client must complete a new application before care is approved. The earliest date subsidized child care benefits may be approved is the date the client completes a child care interview and provides all necessary verification, per OAC 340:40-3-1.
1. (a) The worker and the client jointly determine which sources of income may be available to the client and develop a plan to pursue identified potential income. The worker records the plan in the FACS Interview Notebook under the Child Care tab and in FACS case notes.
(b) Refer to OAC 340:40-7-8(a)(3) when the client is not making at least minimum wage and Instructions to Staff # 5 for information about counseling with the client to increase income.
2. When the client does not provide verification that he or she is pursuing potential income at renewal, the worker closes the child care benefit. The only exception is when a person outside of the household receives Social Security benefits as the payee for a minor in the household. When the parent or caretaker does not take action to become the payee, the worker counts the total Social Security benefit as income rather than closing the child care benefit, per OAC 340:40-7-11(c)(2).
3. When the client tells the worker he or she decreased pay to reduce the family share copayment or to remain eligible for child care, the child care benefit is closed at renewal. When the client tells the worker that pay was decreased for other reasons, the worker contacts the employer to confirm why the client's pay decreased. The worker consults with his or her supervisor prior to closing the client's subsidized child care benefits for this reason. FACS Case Notes must clearly document why subsidized child care benefits were closed at renewal.