COMMENT DUE DATE:
December 28, 2016
December 15, 2016
Laura Brown, Adult and Family Services Policy Liaison (405) 521-4396
Dena Thayer, Legal Services Programs Administrator 405-521-4326
Nancy Kelly, Legal Services Policy Specialist 405-522-6703
APA WF 16-11
The proposed policy is Emergency . This proposal is subject to Administrative Procedures Act
It is important that you provide your comments regarding the draft copy of policy by the comment due date. Comments are directed to Legal Services - Policy, *STO.Legal Services.Policy.
Emergency revisions have a proposed effective date of March 1, 2017.
SUBJECT:Chapter 60. Refugee Resettlement Program
OAC 340:60-1-6 [AMENDED]
SUMMARY:The proposed revisions to Chapter 60 amend the rules to:(1) describe when Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) staff or a contracted provider is responsible for determining eligibility for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA); (2) add the time limit for provision of social services, (3) add for RCA when DHS determines eligibility, the (a) eligibility requirements to receive RCA and incentive bonuses, (b) payment method, and (c) reasons RCA may be denied or closed; (4) update and clarify information regarding SoonerCare (Medicaid) eligibility; (5) add additional eligibility requirements regarding Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA); and (6) add rule and legal citations.
Emergency rulemaking is requested since DHS staff had to begin determining eligibility for refugee assistance for the eastern half of the state effective 11-1-2016 as Catholic Charities of Tulsa did not renew its contract and current RCA rules are inadequate.
LEGAL AUTHORITY:Director of Human Services; Sections 162 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and 45 C.F.R. § 400.25, 400.50 through, 400.51, 400.53, 400.55 through 500.56, 400.59 through 400.60, 400.93, 400.94, 400.100 through 400.104.
Rule Impact Statement
Office of Intergovernmental Relations and Policy
Adult and Family Services
Date:December 1, 2016
Re:Chapter 60. Refugee Resettlement Program
OAC 340:60-1-6 [AMENDED]
(Reference WF 16-11)
Contact:Laura Brown 405-521-4396
A.Brief description of the purpose of the proposed rule:
Purpose:The proposed revisions to Chapter 60 amend the rules to:(1) describe when Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) staff or a contracted provider is responsible for determining eligibility for Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA); (2) add the time limit for provision of social services, (3) add for RCA when DHS determines eligibility, the (a) eligibility requirements to receive RCA and incentive bonuses, (b) payment method, and (c) reasons RCA may be denied or closed; (4) update and clarify information regarding SoonerCare (Medicaid) eligibility; (5) add additional eligibility requirements regarding Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA); and (6) add rule and legal citations.
Strategic Plan Impact.
The proposed amendments achieve DHSgoals by continuously improving systems and processes and improving communication with DHS clients and staff.
OAC 340:60-1-6 is amended to:(1) describe when DHS staff or a contracted provider is responsible for determining eligibility for RCA; (2) add the time limit for provision of social services, (3) add for RCA when DHS determines eligibility, the (a) eligibility requirements to receive RCA and incentive bonuses, (b) payment method, and (c) reasons RCA may be denied or closed; (4) update and clarify information regarding SoonerCare (Medicaid) eligibility; (5) add additional eligibility requirements regarding RMA; and (6) add rule and legal citations.
DHS has contracted with Catholic Charities in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to provide RCA and social services since approximately 1998.Catholic Charities of Tulsa did not renew its contract ending 9-30-3016 with DHS.RCA eligibility rules have been part of the DHS contract with Catholic Charities and will remain in the contract for Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City.Since DHS staff is determining RCA eligibility for the eastern half of the state, these rules need to be included in DHS refugee rules.
If the proposed amendment is not implemented, RCA rules will not be readily accessible to refugee applicants, recipients and DHS staff.
Director of Human Services; Sections 162 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes, and 45 C.F.R. § 400.25, 400.50 through, 400.51, 400.53, 400.55 through 500.56, 400.59 through 400.60, 400.93, 400.94, 400.100 through 400.104.
Emergency rulemaking approval is requested.Emergency rulemaking is requested since DHS staff had to begin determining eligibility for refugee assistance for the eastern half of the state effective 11-1-2016 as Catholic Charities of Tulsa did not renew its contract and current RCA rules are inadequate.
B.A description of the classes of persons who most likely will be affected by the proposed rule, including classes that will bear the costs of the proposed rule, and any information on cost impacts received by the Agency from any private or public entities:The classes of persons most likely to be affected by the proposed amendments are refugees applying for or receiving benefits administered by Adult and Family Services (AFS) and AFS staff.The affected classes of persons will bear no costs associated with implementation of the rules.
C.A description of the classes of persons who will benefit from the proposed rule:The classes of persons who will benefit are refugees applying for or receiving RCA and RMA benefits administered by AFS and AFS staff.
D.A description of the probable economic impact of the proposed rule upon the affected classes of persons or political subdivisions, including a listing of all fee changes and, whenever possible, a separate justification for each fee change:The revised amendments do not have an economic impact on the affected entities.There are no fee changes associated with the revised rules.
E.The probable costs and benefits to the Agency and to any other agency of the implementation and enforcement of the proposed rule, the source of revenue to be used for implementation and enforcement of the proposed rule and any anticipated effect on state revenues, including a projected net loss or gain in such revenues if it can be projected by the Agency:The probable cost to DHS includes the cost of printing and distributing the rules estimated to be less than $20.The revised rules will result in enhanced delivery of services for clients.
F.A determination whether implementation of the proposed rule will have an impact on any political subdivisions or require their cooperation in implementing or enforcing the rule:The proposed amendments do not have an economic impact on any political subdivision, nor will the cooperation of any political subdivisions be required in implementation or enforcement of the rules.
G.A determination whether implementation of the proposed rule will have an adverse economic effect on small business as provided by the Oklahoma Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act:There are no anticipated adverse effects on small business as provided by the Oklahoma Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act.
H.An explanation of the measures the Agency has taken to minimize compliance costs and a determination whether there are less costly or nonregulatory methods or less intrusive methods for achieving the purpose of the proposed rule:There are no less costly or non-regulatory methods or less intrusive methods.
I.A determination of the effect of the proposed rule on the public health, safety, and environment and, if the proposed rule is designed to reduce significant risks to the public health, safety, and environment, an explanation of the nature of the risk and to what extent the proposed rule will reduce the risk:Implementation of the proposed rules will reduce health risks for households by facilitating the delivery of benefits and services to persons who are in need.
J.A determination of any detrimental effect on the public health, safety, and environment if the proposed rule is not implemented:If the proposed amendments are not implemented, no detrimental health or safety effects are anticipated.
K.The date the rule impact statement was prepared and, if modified, the date modified:Prepared December 1, 2016;
340:60-1-6. Program eligibility and procedures
(a) Refugee Resettlement Program components.The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides funding to states for time-limited cash and medical assistance and resettlement case management and social services for new arrivals to the United States (U.S.) who meet refugee status per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:60-1-3(c).
(1) A contracted service provider is responsible for providing resettlement case management and social services to newly arriving refugees in Oklahoma.¢ 1
(2) The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for determining financial eligibility for medical benefits throughout Oklahoma and refugee cash assistance (RCA) for the eastern part of Oklahoma.A contracted provider determines eligibility for RCA in the western part of the state.Refer to Appendix C-9 to determine if DHS or a contracted provider serves a specific county.¢ 2
(b) Social services.Social services are provided for up to five calendar years of the arrival date by
Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) DHS contracted providers in accordance with per Section 400.147 through 400.155 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 45 C.F.R. § 400.147 through 155.Social services are provided to promote economic self-sufficiency through employability services, English language instruction, and social adjustment services. (b)(c) Cash assistance.Refugees must be afforded an opportunity to apply for cash assistance per 45 C.F.R. § 400.50.When the refugee does not meet Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or State Supplemental Payment (SSP) cash assistance eligibility requirements, a refugee cash assistance (RCA) application is made. The worker refers refugees who are age When the refugee is 65 years of age or over, blind, or disabled, the refugee is referred to the Social Security Administration to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
(1) Eligibility requirements for RCA.Eligibility requirements for RCA are included in (A) through (G) of this subsection per 45 C.F.R. § 400.25, 400.53, and 400.59.
(A) Limited eligibility period. RCA is limited to the first eight months the refugee resides in the U.S.
(B) Refugee documentation and status requirements.Refugees must meet documentation and status requirements per Oklahoma Administrative Code(OAC) 340:60-1-3.
(C) Residence requirement.The refugee must be a resident of Oklahoma and not receiving cash assistance in another state.There is no durational requirement and the refugee's statement that he or she is residing in Oklahoma is sufficient unless it is inconsistent with other known facts.
(D) Student status.A refugee or asylee must not be a full-time student in an institution of higher education.
(E) Household composition.Household composition may consist of a family unit that includes:
(i) a single adult.Adults living alone or with other adults are considered as single or separate family units;
(ii) an adult and his or her spouse and all minor children 17 years of age or younger all for whom the family assumes financial responsibility.Spouses living together must be considered in the same family unit.
(F) Income requirements.Maximum countable earned and unearned income for all family unit members must be less than the payment standard for the number of eligible members per Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, Schedule XIV.A.When income is reduced due to recoupment of an overpayment or garnishment, the gross income before recoupment or garnishment is counted.
(i) Reporting requirements.Family unit members are responsible for reporting all income at application and within 10-calendar days of when a family unit member:
(I) begins employment or starts receiving unearned income; or
(II) the income source, amount, or dates received changes.
(ii) Earned income.Earned income is income a family unit member receives in the form of wages, salary, commission, in-kind benefits received in lieu of wages or in conjunction with wages from an employer, or self-employment for which a person puts forth physical labor. In-kind benefits are considered as earned income only when an employee and employer relationship is established.
(I) Earned income is not counted against the payment standard for the first four months of the eight month eligibility period.
(II) When the person works for an employer, gross earnings for the fifth calendar month is determined by averaging gross earnings for the most recent 30-calendar day period and converting the earnings to a monthly amount.Gross earnings from an employer are counted dollar for dollar against the payment standard.
(III) When the person is self-employed, gross earnings for the fifth calendar month is determined by averaging income over the number of months the business has been in operation and subtracting verified business expenses.
(iii) Unearned income.Income other than earned income is considered unearned income.All unearned income received during a month is counted dollar for dollar against the payment standard unless disregarded per (iv) of this subsection.Unearned income includes, but is not limited to:
(I) dividends and interest;
(II) cash contributions;
(III) retirement, disability, or unemployment benefits;
(IV) worker's compensation;
(V) child support or alimony; and
(VI) rental income.
(vi) Income disregards.Income disregarded when determining income eligibility includes:
(I) earnings received during the first four months of the refugee's arrival in the U.S.;
(II) benefits received through a cooperative agreement such as Department of Justice or Department of State – Reception and Placement benefits;
(IV) money received from the sale of personal property, unless it is part of self-employment income;
(V) income received by someone living in the home who is not included in the family unit;
(VI) tax refunds;
(VIII) lump sum inheritances or insurance payments;
(X) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits;
(XI) earnings of a child younger than 18 years of age who is a full-time student;
(XII) housing and utility assistance;
(XV) income or resources remaining in the country of origin; or
(XVI) matching grant benefits from a resettlement agency.
(v) Verification requirements.Income is verified at application, when a family unit member begins employment or starts receiving unearned income, and as changes occur.The verification process must be explained to the refugee or asylee at application and as new verification is needed including what verification must be submitted, by what date, and offering assistance when needed.
(I) Earned income may be verified by paystubs, an employer statement, or when self-employed, business records.Self-employed persons must provide expense receipts before business expenses are subtracted from earnings. The cash value of in-kind benefits is verified by a statement from the employer.
(II) Unearned income may be verified by an award letter, a written letter from or verbal contact with the person or agency providing the income, a check stub or copy of a check, a court order, financial institution statements, or data exchange screens per OAC 340:65-3-4.
(III) When the family unit fails to provide required verification or ask for assistance to obtain verification, the application may be denied or cash assistance closed.
(G) Resource requirements.The maximum allowable resource amount is $1,000 per family unit. Countable resources refer to real and personal property that have a monetary value and are available or can be converted to cash for current use.Home property and personal items essential to day-to-day living such as clothing, furniture, and other similar items of limited value are excluded as resources..Countable resources include, but are not limited to:
(i) cash on hand;
(ii) savings in a financial institution;
(iii) stocks and bonds; and
(iv) equity in an automobile or other vehicles that exceeds $5,000.
(2) Incentive bonuses.Incentive bonuses are available to eligible individuals; however, the maximum total benefit amount, RCA plus incentive bonuses, that any family unit may receive is the payment standard amount times the eight-month eligibility period as established by the ORR Director.Once the maximum benefit amount is reached, the family unit is no longer eligible for RCA or incentive bonuses even if the family unit has been in the U.S. less than eight-calendar months.
(A) Early Job Acceptance Bonus.When the refugee obtains employment within the first 90-calendar days of his or her arrival date in the U.S., the refugee may be eligible to receive an early job acceptance bonus of up to $750 to assist the refugee with work related expenses.To receive the bonus, the refugee must:
(i) request the bonus within 60-calendar days of the employment start date; and
(ii) submit proof of employment and a list of employment-related expenses necessary to successfully perform and maintain employment.Expenses may include, but are not limited to:
(i) an automobile down payment;
(IV) driving lessons; or
(V) automobile insurance.
(B) Job Retention Bonus.A refugee may be eligible for a job retention bonus of up to $100 per person in the family unit when he or she obtains employment within the first 90-calendar days of his or her arrival date in the U.S. and retains the employment through the end of the eighth calendar month following arrival.To qualify for the bonus, the refugee must:
(i) not have received an RCA cash assistance payment for every month of the eight month eligibility period;
(ii) submit proof he or she retained employment through the end of the eighth calendar month;
(iii) did not re-apply for RCA following benefit closure based on earnings; and
(iv) request the job retention bonus within 60-calendar days from the end of the eight month eligibility period.
(3) Payment method.DHS issues RCA benefits and bonuses on a debit card or by direct deposit.Refer to OAC 340:65-3-6 for debit card and direct deposit procedures.
(4) Benefit denial or closure.The family unit's application may be denied or benefits closed when the family unit does not:
(A) meet eligibility requirements per (c)(1) of this Section; or
(B) abide by the terms of the program such as failing to:
(i) provide required verification;
(ii) keep scheduled appointments;
(iii) follow employment plans.
(c) Medical assistance.Refugees must be afforded an opportunity to apply for medical assistance per 45 C.F.R. § 400.93.
(1) The refugee's eligibility for SoonerCare (Medicaid) must be determined before approving a refugee or asylee for Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA).SoonerCare (Medicaid) eligibility
must be is determined according to rules in per OAC 317:35 rules.
If When the refugee or asylee is not eligible for SoonerCare Medicaid, eligibility for Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA ) must be is determined using Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, Schedule XIV per (d) of this Section. All recipients of RCA are eligible for RMA if not eligible for Medicaid.
(3) When a refugee receiving SoonerCare (Medicaid) becomes ineligible because of earnings and has resided in the U.S. for less than eight calendar months, the refugee is transferred to RMA for the remaining months.
Refugee Medical Assistance RMA. ¢ 1A determination of refugee or asylee is not required to meet categorical relationship is not required rules per OAC 317:35 for the first eight months of eligibility for RMA from the date of entry into the United States U.S.. This date of entry is found on the documentation verifying the refugee's or asylee's status.¢ 3Per 45 C.F.R. § 400.100 through 400.104, eligibility requirements for RMA are listed in (1) through (5) of this paragraph.
(1) Limited eligibility period.RMA is limited to the first eight months the refugee resides in the U.S.After the first eight months, the refugee is referred to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority's (OHCA) on-line enrollment process to apply for SoonerCare Medicaid andMedicaid rules
at per OAC 317:35 apply.
(2) Refugee documentation and status requirements.Refugees must meet documentation and status requirements per OAC 340:60-1-3.
(3) Student status.A refugee or asylee must not be a full-time student in an institution of higher education unless enrollment is approved by DHS as part of the refugee's employability plan.
(4) RCA eligibility.All recipients of RCA are eligible for RMA when not eligible for SoonerCare Medicaid.However, the refugee is not required to apply for or receive RCA in order to qualify for RMA.
(5) Income requirements.For RMA, only income available on the date of application is considered.Refer to DHS Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, Schedule XIV for income standards per household size. No consideration is given to:
(1)(A) in-kind services and shelter provided by a sponsor or a local resettlement agency; (2)(B) cash assistance payments; and or (3)(C) employment earnings which that start after approval for RMA.
(e) Application processing time limit.
An application RCA and RMA applications must be disposed of by a date which brings the effective date of action processed within 30-calendar days following the date of the application date to be considered timely.When disposition is not possible within this time limit the application cannot be processed timely, the applicant is notified in writing at the end of the 30 days of the reason for the delay and the right to request a fair hearing if he or she chooses to do so [per OAC 340:2-5 ].
(f) Food benefits.
The appropriate A food benefit application and certification procedures are followed is completed at the same time as the RCA and RMA application and processed using food benefit eligibility rules per OAC 340:50.¢ 24
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:60-1-6
1.Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City is the contracted provider that provides case management and social services to the western part of Oklahoma and the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Greater Tulsa for the eastern part of the state.
2.(a) Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City and Tulsa are responsible for helping new arrivals apply for SoonerCare (Medical) or refugee medical assistance (RMA) and food benefits through okdhslive.The Adult and Family Services (AFS) Centralized Refugee Unit is responsible for determining eligibility.To initiate the application process, the contracted provider sends an email to the Centralized Refugee Unit to request a case number and client number before submitting the application through okdhslive.
(b) Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City is responsible for determining financial assistance and processing payments for refugee cash assistance (RCA) for the western part of Oklahoma.
(c) Catholic Charities of Tulsa helps new arrivals apply for RCA through okdhslive and the AFS Centralized Refugee Unit determines financial eligibility for RCA per (c) of this Section.
(d) Refugees or asylees relocating from another state apply for RCA in the local county office.County office staff sends these applications to the AFS Centralized Refugee Unit for eligibility determination.
3.(a) The date of entry into the United States is located on the refugee's or asylee's alien status documentation.Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:60-1-3 for types of documentation issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
(b) When determined eligible for
Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA ), the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) fields completed are:
(1) Citizen/Alien, with an entry of Qualified Alien-Asylee or Qualified Alien‑Refugee (Household tab);
(2) Alien Registration Number (Household tab);
(3) Alien Entry Date (Household tab); and
(4) Categorical Relationship with an entry of Refugee with Benefit Types of ABCD or M (CNR) (Medical Gen tab).
24.The AFS Centralized Refugee Unit determines eligibility for food benefits.Refer to OAC 340:50-5-67 for food benefit citizenship and alien status rules. OAC 340:50-5-67 Instructions to Staff 1 through 4 specifically addresses alien status rules for food benefits.