340:40-9-1. Review of child care eligibility
(a) Child care renewal.The client must complete the child care renewal at the end of the 12-month eligibility period in order to continue receiving benefits per Section 98.21(a) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 C.F.R. § 98.21(a)).Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:40-9-2(f) for reasons child care is closed prior to the renewal. • 1At renewal, the client is sent a computer-generated notice informing the client:
(1) the renewal is due;
(2) the methods the client may use to complete the renewal;
(3) types of verification that may be required; and
(4) when benefits close if the renewal is not completed.
(b) Renewal time frame.A child care renewal is due no earlier than 12 months from the approval date or the last renewal unless the client receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food benefits and benefits must be synchronized per (g) of this Section.
(c) Signature requirement.The client or the client's authorized representative must sign the renewal. • 2
(d) Interview requirement.An interview is not required at renewal for the Child Care Subsidy Program. • 3
(e) Eligibility determination.An eligibility determination is made once the renewal is signed and all required verification is provided and evaluated. • 4
(1) The eligibility determination results in:
(A) completing the renewal without changes;
(B) completing the renewal with changes; or
(C) closing the child care benefits. • 5
(2) Benefits, when closed, may be reopened when the client provides required information within 30-calendar days of closure. • 6
(f) Synchronization of benefits.When the client receives other Adult and Family Services benefits in addition to the subsidized child care benefits, certification and renewal dates must be coordinated with the other programs. • 7
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:40-9-1
1.(a) Methods the recipient may use to electronically complete the renewal include:
(1) accessing www.okdhslive.org; or
(2) getting help from a community partner to access www.okdhslive.org.
(b) Other methods the client may use to complete the renewal include:
(1) downloading Form 08MP004E, Renew My Benefits, from www.okdhs.org and completing, signing, and submitting the form to the local county office in person, by mail, fax, or email; or
(2) completing the renewal with a worker in the local county office using the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) system.
(c) When the client's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefit closes and subsidized child care benefits are open, the worker must determine if the child care renewal is due.
(1) When the child care renewal is due, the worker:
(A) evaluates if there is a continued need for child care since the client is no longer involved in TANF Work activities.When there is not a continued need, the worker closes the child care benefit effective the last day of the renewal month.When there is a continued need, the worker determines if changes in the number of units and unit type are needed;
(B) calculates the client's income to determine if a family share copayment needs to be assessed.When the client is responsible for paying a family share copayment, the worker informs the client of the copayment amount.When the client expresses concern about his or her ability to pay this copayment, the worker refers the client for budgeting assistance;
(C) makes changes in the number of units, unit types, or copayment effective the next deadline date, per Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Appendix B-2, Deadlines for Case Actions; and
(D) documents the changes in FACS Case Notes.
(2) When the child care renewal is not due, the worker:
(A) does not assess a family share copayment until the renewal is due;
(B) informs the client that he or she may be responsible for paying a family share copayment, when the renewal is due;
(C) determines if the client has a need for additional days and hours of child care.When there is a need for increased care, the worker updates the number of units and unit type in the Child Care tabs of the FACS Interview and Eligibility Notebooks; and
(D) documents changes in FACS Case Notes.
(3) When TANF closes and subsidized child care benefits are needed but are not open, the worker completes a child care application with the client per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:40-3-1.The worker must close the TANF benefit on the system prior to approving the child care application to ensure that a family share copayment is assessed based on the income threshold per family size, per the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Copayment Chart.
(4) When the TANF benefit closes due to a sanction because the client stops participating in TANF Work activities, the worker closes child care benefits effective 90-calendar days from the date the client stops participating per OAC 340:40-9-2(f)(4).
2.(a) An electronic signature is considered the same as a pen and ink signature.
(b) After the client signs the renewal, the worker documents additional information in FACS Case Notes.
3.When the worker interviews the client for the TANF or State Supplemental Payment renewal and completes the child care renewal at the same time, the worker documents interview details and eligibility information for both programs in FACS case notes.
4.(a) Once the client completes the renewal, the worker analyzes the information to determine:
(1) what changes occurred;
(2) if the client provided all required verification.Required verification includes proof of income and when applicable, the client's current training or school schedule.
(A) The worker evaluates all income verification to determine what is most indicative of future earnings and compares the pay information to the client's declared work schedule.Refer to OAC 340:40-7-13 for income calculation procedures.
(B) When the client is employed, the worker accepts the client's declaration of work hours as proof as long as pay stubs or other pay information supports the declaration.For example, when the client provides pay stubs or other pay information indicating he or she works 30 to 40 hours a week and the client states his or her schedule is Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, the declaration is accepted.The worker documents the declaration of work schedule in FACS Case Notes.
(C) When the client is an adoptive parent who meets criteria per OAC 340:40-7-12(6) or is a caretaker not legally and financially responsible for the child, the client must provide his or her work schedule or the worker must verify the work schedule with the employer because pay information is not required.When the adoptive parent or caretaker chooses to provide pay stubs, the worker accepts the client's declaration of work hours per OAC 340:40-7-8 Instructions to Staff (ITS) 2(b).The worker documents the work schedule and how it was verified in FACS case notes.
(D) When the client attends school or training, the client must provide a copy of his or her class schedule per OAC 340:40-7-8 ITS # 12.When the client is unable to provide a written schedule, the worker verifies the information by phone with the school or training facility.The worker documents the class schedule and how it was verified in FACS case notes; and
(3) what system changes must be made.
(b) The renewal is complete after the worker:
(1) enters all renewal information in the Interview and Eligibility Notebooks of FACS;
(2) evaluates information contained on the renewal, in the verification provided, and on data exchange screens for changes;
(3) enters any additional information in FACS Case Notes to explain any changes made and how continued eligibility was determined;
(4) updates the system; and
(5) images the signed renewal in the case record when the worker uses FACS or Form 08MP004E, Renew My Benefits, to complete the renewal.When the client submits the renewal via okdhslive.org, the system stores renewal information.
(c) When the client is using a one star child care provider at the time of the renewal, the worker mails or gives pamphlet, OKDHS Pub. No. 01-18, "Look for the Stars When Choosing Child Care," to the client to encourage him or her to choose a licensed provider with a higher star status.Refer to OAC 340:40-5-1(7) for more information on helping a client choose an appropriate child care provider.
5.(a) Reasons benefits may close include, but are not limited to, when the parent or caretaker:
(1) fails to submit the renewal or verify current circumstances.Prior to closing child care benefits when the client submits an incomplete renewal, is incomplete the worker attempts to contact the client to advise what is lacking.The worker documents in FACS Case Notes all attempts to obtain needed information.When the client does not submit the renewal or provide required information timely or the client is no longer eligible for subsidized child care, no further care is approved;
(2) is no longer income eligible for subsidized child care benefits per DHS Appendix C-4.When the family continues to need child care services, the worker asks the client if he or she needs help with budgeting to pay this expense or with information concerning lower cost child care alternatives.When necessary, the worker gives the needed information to the client and records this discussion in FACS Case Notes;
(3) is not pursuing available income or cooperating with Child Support Services, per OAC 340:40-7-9;
(4) does not meet a need factor, per OAC 340:40-7-8;
(5) the only child(ren) in the home no longer meets age requirements per OAC 340:40-7-3; or
(6) an adoptive parent's income is no longer exempt, per OAC 340:40-7-12(6).
(b) When child care benefits close, the system sends a computer-generated closure notice to the client and the child care provider.Refer to OAC 340:40-9-2(f) for applicable closure dates.
(c) When the child care benefit closes and the client provides requested information by the end of the renewal month showing the client is no longer eligible for child care, the worker sends the client Form 08MP038E, Client Notice of Action Taken, to inform the client of his or her ineligibility.
7.(a) When the client is approved for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits and applies for child care at a later time, the renewal date (E7) must match the SNAP certification date or the mid-certification renewal completion date (C36), whichever is most recent.
(b) When the client is approved for child care and applies for SNAP at a later time, the renewal date (E7) must be updated to match the certification date even though a child care renewal is not completed at this time.This may result in the client receiving more than 12 months of child care prior to renewal.