COMMENT DUE DATE:
September 8, 2009
August 25, 2009
Laura Brown FSSD (405) 521-4396
Dena Thayer PMU Manager (405) 521-4326
Pat McCracken PMU Specialist (405) 522-1017
APA WF 09-15
The proposed policy is Emergency . This proposal will go to the Commission meeting on
CHAPTER 10. TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
Subchapter 2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work Program
OAC 340:10-2-3 through 340:10-2-4 [AMENDED]
Subchapter 3. Conditions of Eligibility – Need
Part 3. Income
OAC 340:10-3-33 [AMENDED]
SUMMARY: The proposed revisions to Chapter 10 change: (1) the name of the Work Supplementation Program (WSP) to the Subsidized Employment Program (SEP); and (2) participation requirements for participants and employers in order to access American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) TANF Emergency Contingency Fund monies to enhance services to TANF families and provide incentives to prospective employers.
340:10-2-3 and 340:10-3-33 are revised to change the name of WSP to the SEP.
340:10-2-4 is revised to change: (1) the name of the WSP to SEP; and (2) participation requirements for participants and employers.
EMERGENCY APPROVAL:Emergency rulemaking approval is requested as OKDHS finds there is a compelling public interest to access ARRA TANF Emergency Contingency Fund monies that will allow the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) to enhance services to TANF families through access to employment in SEP and provide incentives to employers to employ SEP participants during these difficult economic times.
LEGAL AUTHORITY:Commission for Human Services, Article XXV, Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Oklahoma Constitution; Section 230.65 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes; and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which established the Emergency Contingency Fund for state TANF Programs as Section 403(c) of the Social Security Act.
OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
Rule Impact Statement
To:Dena Thayer, Programs Administrator
Policy Management Unit
From:Mary Stalnaker, Director
Family Support Services Division
Date:August 14, 2009
Re:CHAPTER 10. TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
Subchapter 2. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work Program
Subchapter 3. Conditions of Eligibility – Need
Part 3. Income
(Reference APA WF 09-15)
Contact:Laura Brown, Telephone: 521-4396
A.Brief description of the purpose of the proposed rule:
Purpose.The purpose of the proposed rules is to change: (1) the name of the Work Supplementation Program (WSP) to the Subsidized Employment Program (SEP); and (2) participation requirements for participants and employers in order to access American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) TANF Emergency Contingency Fund monies to enhance services to TANF families and provide incentives to prospective employers.
Strategic Plan impact.The proposed rules support Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) mission to administer public resources in a fiscally responsible and ethical manner.
OAC 340:10-2-3 and OAC 340:10-3-33 are revised to change the name of WSP to the SEP.
OAC 340:10-2-4 is revised to change: (1) the name of the WSP to SEP; and (2) participation requirements for participants and employers.
Reasons.The proposed rules are being updated for purposes of accessing ARRA TANF Emergency Contingency Funds to enhance services to TANF families and to provide incentives to prospective employers.
Repercussions. If the proposed rules are not implemented, OKDHS will not be able to enhance services to TANF families through participation in SEP.
Legal authority. Commission for Human Services, Article XXV, Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Oklahoma Constitution; Section 230.65 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes; and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which established the Emergency Contingency Fund for state TANF Programs as Section 403(c) of the Social Security Act.
Emergency rulemaking approval is requested.Emergency rulemaking approval is requested as OKDHS finds there is a compelling public interest to access ARRA TANF Emergency Contingency Fund monies that will allow OKDHS to enhance services to TANF families through access to employment in SEP and provide incentives to employers to employ SEP participants during these difficult economic times.
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:TANF recipients will be affected.
C.A description of the classes of persons who will benefit from the proposed rule: TANF recipients will benefit by increasing the probability that they will obtain employment because of incentives available for employers who participate in SEP.SEP participants will also have additional income each month to increase their living standards.
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: The economic impact will be positive for TANF recipients by increasing household income for TANF families participating in SEP.
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 OKDHS includes the cost of printing and distributing the rules, which is estimated to be less than $10.The fiscal impact to OKDHS is anticipated to be minimal as Oklahoma is eligible to apply for 80% reimbursement of money spent on the SEP program from ARRA Emergency Contingency Funds up to one half of the current TANF block grant.
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:There will be no economic impact on any political subdivisions nor will their cooperation be required in implementing or enforcing 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.
H.An explanation of the measures the Agency has taken to minimize compliance costs and a determination whether there are less costly or non-regulatory methods or less intrusive methods for achieving the purpose of the proposed rule: There are no less costly or nonregulatory methods or less intrusive methods for achieving the purpose of the proposed rules.
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: The implementation of the proposed rules should have a positive effect on the public health, safety, and environment by promoting family safety and stability.
J.A determination of any detrimental effect on the public health, safety, and environment if the proposed rule is not implemented: If the proposed rules are not implemented, it may cause families to continue to receive TANF benefits for longer periods of time.
K.The date the rule impact statement was prepared and, if modified, the date modified: Prepared August 14, 2009.Modified August 20, 2009.Modified August 21, 2009.
SUBCHAPTER 2. TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF) WORK PROGRAM
340:10-2-3. Employability planning
(a) Scope and applicability.The employability planning process begins at intake and continues as long as there are employment barriers or family circumstances which interfere with the participant obtaining and retaining employment.The worker and the participant initiate Form 08TW002E, TANF Work/Personal Responsibility Agreement.In the development of the employability plan, the worker takes into consideration the need for English as a second language, basic education, literacy, learning disabilities, counseling or treatment for substance abuse or mental health issues, and crisis intervention for domestic violence.¢ 1
(1)Substance abuse screening is required for every new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participant.¢ 2
(2)Literacy screening is required for individuals who have not obtained a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate and have demonstrated a lack of literacy skills.¢ 3
(b) Interest and ability assessments.Assessments are required to determine the participant's skills, abilities, and barriers.¢ 4Assessment tools used are the Washington State Learning Disability Screen, the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) locator, the TABE battery, the Career Occupation Preference System (COPS), Key Train, and Career Readiness Certification.¢ 5
(1) The use of these assessments provides the worker, participant, assessment specialist, and/or community partners with:
(A) an indication of possible learning disabilities;
(B) a measurement of the participant's skills, abilities, interests, and aptitude; and
(C) meaningful information to create a valid employability plan.
(2) Participants referred for testing are informed of the use that is made of the test results.Test scores are kept confidential but may be shared with community partners.Referrals for testing are made by use of Form 08TW003E, Interagency Referral and Information.¢ 6Participants in formal assessments are eligible for participant allowances and child care.
(c) Employability planning.The worker and the participant use the information from the assessment and other relevant information to develop a plan for securing employment.The employability plan includes establishing both short and long term goals, including specific occupational goals, activities, and services which are necessary to achieve the goals.¢ 7
(1) The employability plan may include staffing with other community partners for assignment to specific work activities, collaboration with other agencies for services such as job placement, training, and education, and the provision of social services.The plan must identify specific needs and activities required to reach the occupational goal and estimated dates for achievement.The plan may include more than one activity at a time based on the participant's specific needs and the hours available.The employability plan is a part of the social services plan for the entire family.It must be realistic and within the participant's ability to complete.¢ 8
(2) The participant is informed that the employability plan is updated as necessary to account for situational changes.The employability plan is reviewed with the participant and updated as changes occur and at the completion of any work activity.¢ 9If no changes have occurred, the worker reviews the employability plan within six months.
(3) Participants who are employed with income insufficient to close the case must have a plan designed to upgrade employment.These plans must not interfere with current employment.
(d) Work activities.Participants are assigned to one or more activities and scheduled the minimum number of hours as required.¢ 10The participant signs Form 08TW002E, when any work activity other than the Work Experience Program or
Work Supplementation Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) is approved.
(1) Assignments must be within the scope of the participant's employability plan.
(2) The assignment must be related to the capability of the participant to perform the task on a regular basis.
(3) The daily commuting time to and from home to the assigned education, employment, or training site is normally less than two hours.Commuting time does not include the time required to transport a child to and from a child care facility.Where longer travel time is normal in the community, the round trip commuting time may not exceed the general community standards.
(4) When child care is required, it must be of the participant's choosing.¢ 11It must be available during the hours the participant is engaged in any work activity, plus any additional commuting time.
(5) Assignments which are discriminatory in terms of age, sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, or physical or mental disability are not made.¢ 12
(6) The site of the assignment must not be in violation of established and applicable health and safety standards.
(7) The participant is not referred for a work activity unless supportive services necessary for participation are available.The cessation or withdrawal of such services constitutes good cause for refusal to participate.
(8) When the agreed upon employability plan requires hours in excess of the minimum requirement, the participant must participate the agreed upon number of hours.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:10-2-3
1.Workers utilize the results of approved screening tools for literacy or substance abuse.Refer to OAC 340:10-2-1 and 340:10-2-6 for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work exception for a single custodial parent under 20 who has not completed high school or obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Assessments are not required for minor payee participants as the local school district is responsible for their educational and career needs.A TANF payee younger than 18 years of age, who has obtained a high school diploma or GED can be referred for assessments when there is parental consent.When this TANF payee turns 18 years of age, parental consent is no longer required and assessment referrals can be made.
2.If the participant self-declares a substance abuse problem, it is not necessary to administer a substance abuse screen.The age and/or educational status of the participant who self declares a substance abuse problem determines the referral process for further assessments.If the participant is:
(1) 20 years of age or older a referral is made to the designated provider for further assessments;
(2) 18 years of age but under age 20 with a high school diploma or GED a referral is made to the designated provider for further assessments;
(3) 18 years of age but under age 20 without a high school diploma or GED, the participant can voluntarily agree to a referral to a designated provider for further assessments; or
(4) under age 18, the participant is advised to discuss treatment with his or her primary care physician.
3.The reading level of the TANF participant is updated on Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) from any approved educational assessment tool.
4.(a) When assessments are completed, the worker must update the Auth AT ASMT tab on FACS to track the results of the assessments.The TANF tracking assessment components are:
(1) substance abuse subtle screening inventory (SASSI);
(2) addiction severity index (ASI);
(3) learning disability;
(4) academic achievement, which includes reading, math, and language;
(5) career interests, abilities, and values;
(6) Key Train; and
(7) career readiness certification.
(b) It is not necessary to have a participant assessed who is in an approved work activity or has been assessed in the last six months to one year.
(c) If the client is not required to participate in a TANF Work activity due to good cause at certification, the only required assessment is the SASSI.All other assessments may be delayed until the client is able to participate in TANF Work.In extreme circumstances such as hospitalization, the SASSI assessment may also be delayed.
5.Assessment tools may be obtained through the statewide assessment contract or a community partner.
(1) The Washington State Learning Disability Screen is a short assessment tool that gives indication of possible learning disabilities not previously identified.
(2) The Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) locator is an assessment tool used to identify which TABE assessment is given depending on the educational functioning level of the participant.
(3) The TABE measures reading, math, and language levels from grades 0 through 12.9.
(4) The Woodcock-Johnson III, a comprehensive system for measuring general intellectual ability, specific cognitive abilities, scholastic aptitude, oral language, and achievement is administered by the assessment provider when there is an indication of possible learning disabilities.
(5) The Career Occupation Preference System (COPS) is used to identify the participant's interests, abilities, and work values.
(6) Key Train assessments are given to determine job skill level in the areas of reading for information, applied mathematics, and locating information.
(7) For participants with high Key Train scores who are determined to be job ready, a test is administered for the Career Readiness Certificate.The Career Readiness Certificate shows employers the person has the skills needed for employment.
6.The appropriate assessment results are submitted with Form 08TW003E, Interagency Referral and Information, when a referral is made.If the referral is to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS), the worker must assist the TANF participant in completing the ODMHSAS Consent for Release of Confidential Information.The Consent for Release of Confidential Information is available from the substance abuse treatment provider.When completed, the original is provided to the substance abuse treatment provider and a copy is retained in the case file.Without the Consent for Release of Confidential Information, the substance treatment abuse provider is not able to notify the worker when a participant does not appear for the initial substance abuse screening and/or assessment.
7.Techniques useful in helping the participant identify a specific employment goal include joint discussion of individual strengths and exploration of all necessary qualifications, duties to be performed, working conditions, salary, benefits, and chances of promotions.
8.The worker documents the action steps, what resources are being used, specific start dates, and anticipated ending dates on Form 08TW002E, TANF Work/Personal Responsibility Agreement, Section 7.Failure to specify these steps negates an adverse action taken against the participant.The employability plan may also include multiple activities that the participant may engage in at any one time.
9.The employability plan may be updated by entering new information on Form 08TW002E, Section 7.The worker and the participant initial the new information.
10.See OAC 340:10-2-1 regarding work requirements.
11.If purchased child care is provided, refer to OAC 340:40.
12.Refer to OAC 340:10-1-3(a)(12) for the Civil Rights requirements for TANF.
(a) Applicability.Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work activities are designed to assist the participant in obtaining employment to achieve economic self‑sufficiency.Work allows participants to enhance their self-esteem and to become more independent.Every effort is made to assist participants in securing jobs which provide financial security and opportunities for advancement.¢ 1The appropriate employment criteria for subsidized and unsubsidized employment are included in paragraph (1) through (5) of this subsection.
(1) Appropriate employment may be temporary, permanent, full-time, part-time, or seasonal work, as long as the daily and weekly hours of employment do not exceed those customary to the occupation.
(2) The wage must meet or exceed the federal or state minimum wage laws or the prevailing rate for similar employment, whichever is applicable.The state law applies when federal law does not cover the job.
(3) A participant is not required to accept employment if the position offered is vacant due to a strike, lockout, or other bona fide labor dispute.
(4) A participant is not required to work for an employer if this is contrary to the conditions of membership in the union governing that occupation.Employment not governed by the rules of the union to which the participant belongs may be appropriate.
(5) A participant is not required to accept employment that results in the net loss of income.
(b) Unsubsidized employment.The State Work Incentive Program and any employment for which the employer does not receive reimbursement for any portion of the wages paid are examples of unsubsidized employment.
(1) State Work Incentive Program.The State Work Incentive Program is designed to assist in employing TANF participants into entry level positions in all branches of state government.Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), in cooperation with other state agencies and the Office of Personnel Management, coordinates job placements for those TANF participants who are referred for the program by Form 08TW023E, State Work Incentive Referral.¢ 2
(A) Employment of eligible participants can be considered for positions of unclassified status for a two year period in a full-time or part-time capacity.These positions are not included within any limitation on full-time equivalent employee positions for any agency.
(B) Participants hired under this program are eligible for leave and other benefits that are available to other state employees, subject to other eligibility requirements, and may be reassigned or promoted while they are in the program.
(C) Participants hired are exempt from probationary hiring procedures.They can be considered for conversion to the permanent classified status after two years of continuous participation in the program.
(D) Requirements for placing employees in permanent status include:
(i) completing satisfactory performance ratings which are conducted during employment; and
(ii) having possession of the minimum requirements stated in the job specifications
(2) Other unsubsidized employment.Unsubsidized employment includes any employment in which a participant is hired by a private or public employer and there is no reimbursement of any portion of the wages paid to the recipient.
(c) Subsidized employment.The
Work Supplementation Subsidized Employment Program ( WSPSEP), on-the-job training (OJT), and Supported Transitional Employment Program (STEP) are examples of subsidized employment.The employment criteria in subsection (a) apply.
WSPSEP. WSPSEP is a subsidized employment opportunity program through which a TANF participant is hired in full-time employment with OKDHS reimbursing the employer for partial wages paid at a maximum of $250 per month for up to six four months.Public agencies, nonprofit private agencies, and private employers are eligible to participate. Payments to employers and supplemental payments to WSP participants are made from a wage pool created by diversion of the TANF participant's cash assistance.State agencies expressing an interest in participating in the program are informed that the $250 subsidized employment reimbursement cannot be used to claim matching federal funds.If, for any reason in any given month, a WSPSEP participant is paid less than the amount of his or her cash assistance at the time of entry into the program, the WSPSEP participant will receive receives a supplemental check TANF benefit. WSPSEP participants are entitled to all benefits from the employer which are available to other employees. Participation is limited to one adult per assistance unit and to a six-month period during the lifetime of the participant.The six-month period may or may not be consecutive or with the same employer.Participants are assigned based on their employability plan and the availability of appropriate and willing employers. The employer retains the satisfactory WSP participant on a permanent basis following the contract period.
(A) Participant requirements.TANF participants must be:
be included in a the cash assistance unit; and
be available for immediate employment ; (iii) have participated in Job Search; and (iv) be assigned to a job at a salary exceeding their cash assistance.
(B) Position requirements.Position requirements must include information listed in (i) through (vi):
permanent, not less than 30 hours per week, and pay at least 65 cents above the federal minimum wage full-time with an average of 35 hours per week;
(ii) be at a salary not less than $10 per hour;
(iii) provide the same wages, benefits, and working conditions as provided to other employees who are performing a substantially equivalent job
. Tips are;
consideredconsider tips as part of the wages .All;
contracts must conform to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and fair employment practices, for example, nondiscrimination regarding age, race, sex, national origin, or disability .; and
Contracts contracts are not written for positions: ¢ 3 (i)(I) when there is a strike, lockout, or the contract would cause displacement of other employees; (ii)(II) that involve commission sales when the federal minimum wage at least $10 per hour is not guaranteed; or (iii)(III) that are casual, intermittent, or seasonal labor.
(C) Recruitment of employers.
¢ 4Human services center (HSC) designated staff will recruit employers interested in SEP.The employer can be is asked to identify notify HSC designated staff of potential positions during the initial interview to facilitate contract negotiations and with job specifications and qualifications in order to match the employer with an appropriate TANF participants with employers participant referral.All SEP referrals are made by HSC designated staff using Form 08TW011E, Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Referral. ¢ 5
(i) The program explanation emphasizes that employers are expected to retain the
WSPSEP participant in full-time employment unless there is good cause for the dismissal.Employers who fail to continue the successful WSPSEP participant's employment without good cause are not granted subsequent contracts.Good cause reasons for dismissal are:
(I) lay-off due to economic reasons which result in a reduction in force;
(II) the employee is frequently absent from work or engages in disruptive or inappropriate behavior; or
(III) the employee is unable to perform at an acceptable skill level.
(ii) Before new or additional contracts are written with an employer,
WSPSEP employees or other employees in lay‑off status must be recalled.
Human services center (HSC ) designated staff has the responsibility for ensuring the employer is complying with the contract.
WSPSEP placements.The worker HSC designated staff arranges interviews between participants and potential employers. WSPSEP participants may begin employment any time during the month.The employer is informed that reimbursement begins after the participant has completed the first month after the cash assistance is diverted to the wage pool 30 calendar days of employment.
(i) Following the employer's agreement to participate and
the employer's selection of a TANF participant, the worker HSC designated staff negotiates the contract, Form 08TW017E, Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Contract, with the employer.Negotiation must include the beginning date of employment, the salary the employee will be paid, and the planned number of months the subsidy will be received hours per week the participant will be employed. ¢ 6
(ii) Upon receipt of the contract,
the county director HSC designated staff reviews it for completeness and, if approved, signs and dates the contract.¢ 73 The worker HSC designated staff delivers the employer's copy of the contract with a supply of and Form 08TW018E, Work Supplementation Program Invoice and a copy of the instructions for the form Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Invoice, for requesting reimbursement.
The worker HSC designated staff contacts the participant and to complete and sign Form 08TW006E, Work Supplementation Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Participant Agreement , is completed in duplicate and signed by the worker and participant.¢ 84
(iv) If a contract is not approved, a letter is mailed by the HSC designated staff to the employer explaining the reason for the disapproval.¢
95 The HSC designated staff notifies the participant is notified by the either telephone or letter that the contract was not approved and that a placement will be negotiated with a new employer.¢6
(E) Program procedures.The procedures for programs listed in (i) through (iv) of this subparagraph are used.
Cash TANF cash assistance.Under WSPSEP, eligibility for cash assistance TANF cash assistance is frozen.During the period of participation, the cash TANF assistance unit cannot be determined ineligible.¢ 107
(ii) Medical benefits.
WSPSEP participants whose TANF cash assistance is frozen, continue to be eligible for SoonerCare (Medicaid) benefits unless found ineligible for a reason other than earned income.
(iii) Food benefits.
WSPSEP participants may be eligible for food benefits.Eligibility for food benefits is determined based on OAC 340:50-7-29 whose TANF cash assistance is frozen and who are receiving Simplified Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SSNAP) benefits in accordance with OAC 340:50-11-20 continue to receive SSNAP benefits without consideration of the SEP income during the period of participation as long as household composition remains the same.Once SEP participation period ends and the TANF benefit closes, the household may be eligible for transitional food benefits accordance with OAC 340:50-11-27. ¢ 11
(iv) Child care.Child care plans must be explored with each
WSPSEP participant. During the SEP participation period while the TANF cash assistance is frozen and the child is still considered a TANF recipient, the child remains predetermined eligible for child care subsidy benefits with a zero family share co-payment in accordance with OAC 340:40-7-1. When purchased child care services are required Once the SEP participation period ends and the TANF benefit closes, the participant's earnings are considered income, and family share co-payments are computed in accordance with OKDHS Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Co-payment Chart.
Wage pool payments. Under WSP, the diversion of the cash assistance creates a wage pool from which payments are made to employers and cash assistance supplemental payments are issued to WSP participants. (i) Payment of employers.Employers are eligible for of the first $250 of the gross wages paid to each WSP participant.Payment to the employer is made the month following the month the cash assistance is diverted to the wage pool.:
(i) reimbursement of 100% of the employee’s gross wages for the first 30 days of employment capped at a maximum of 40 hours per week at $12 per hour;
(I) Employers are eligible to apply for reimbursement 30 calendar days following the date of hire.
(II) Employers file for reimbursement by submitting Form 08TW018E directly to Family Support Services Division (FSSD) TANF Section
the HSC at the first of the month with proof of the participant's earnings for the last six months attached.¢ 128
(III) When a business changes ownership, the
WSPSEP contract transfers with the business.When change of ownership occurs mid-month, the original owner maintains the right to file a claim for reimbursement for that the transfer month.The new owner may claim for subsidized wages for the remaining months of the original SEP agreement.¢ 7
(ii) reimbursement of 50% of the employee’s gross wages based on hourly wage up to the maximum of $12 per hour the following three months, provided employee remains employed a minimum of 35 hours per week and earning at least $10 per hour up to 40 hours per week;
(iii) a bonus equal to 100% of the unsubsidized portion of wages up to 40 hours per week for the four month subsidized period provided the SEP employee remains employed a minimum of 35 hours per week, earning a minimum $10 per hour, and the employer retains the employee for a minimum period of six months after the subsidized agreement ends.¢9
(ii)(G) Supplemental payments to WSPSEP participants. The Family Support Services Division (FSSD ) automatically issues supplemental payments for months in which income shown on Form 08TW018E is less than the amount of the WSPSEP participant's cash assistance prior to entering the program.
(H) SEP contract period completions.At the end of the fourth month of subsidized employment, TANF eligibility is reviewed for continued eligibility. ¢10
GI) Terminations SEP contract terminations. ¢ 13 The closing date of the authorization is the last day of employment under the contract.When employment ends prior to the end of the contract, the authorization must be closed prior to the next deadline for cash assistance changes At any time the SEP placement is terminated during the four months of subsidized employment, TANF eligibility is reviewed for continued eligibility.¢ 1411
(2) OJT.OJT is subsidized employment in which a participant is hired by a private or public employer and, while engaged in productive work, receives training that provides knowledge or skills essential to the full performance of that job.During the OJT period, the employer receives reimbursement for a portion of the wages paid to the employee.
(A) Participants who have successfully completed the Work Experience Program, have a recent history of employment, or who have been through a job readiness activity are the primary candidates for OJT referral.¢
(B) Income from OJT is considered as any other earned income.¢
1613Transitional child care and medical benefits are explained to the participant at the time of entry into OJT.
(3) STEP.STEP is a subsidized employment program which provides comprehensive support services that lead to permanent employment placements for TANF participants.These services are contracted with specified vendors who provide temporary paid work experience to program participants in a supportive work environment.When the participant is accepted into the program, his or her TANF benefit remains active with no cash benefit issued.If eligible, the participant continues to receive other program benefits.¢
(d) Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).¢
1815The WOTC law permits for-profit employers to take a credit on their federal income tax when workers from certain groups are hired.The WOTC is equal to 40% of the first year wages up to $6,000.To claim the credit, the employee must be retained at least 180 days or work at least 400 hours.
(1) WOTC is available to employers for workers hired from targeted groups.The targeted groups are:
(A) cash assistance recipients who have received assistance for nine months out of the last 18 months;
(B) qualified veterans;¢
(C) qualified ex-felons;¢
(D) designated community residents;¢
(E) vocational rehabilitation recipients;¢
(F) qualified summer youth employees;¢
(G) qualified food benefit recipients;¢
(H) qualified recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and¢
(I) long-term family assistance recipients.¢
(2) Through an agreement with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, OKDHS issues WOTC conditional certification forms for recipients of OKDHS benefits.
The U.S. Department of Labor Form ETA-9062, Conditional Certificate Certification Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits, Form ETA-9062, and a letter from the worker stating the number of months the participant has received OKDHS benefits must be given to the participant to present to the employer on or before the first day of employment.An explanation is given to the participant about the purpose of the form and that the tax credit may help the participant get a job.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:10-2-4
1.The authorization for part-time employment remains open as long as either the participant receives cash assistance or the part-time activity is maintained.The authorization for full-time employment shows a beginning date and remains open until the employment ends or the case closes.
2.If a referral of a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participant is requested by another state agency, Form 08TW023E, State Work Incentive Referral, is completed by the worker and given to the participant to take to the other state agency.If a participant is referred to an Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) human services center (HSC), no referral form is needed.Documentation of all referrals and outcomes must be kept in the case record.
3.The worker reviews available positions and consults with the participant and other staff to determine the most appropriate placement. 4.The worker recruits employers to participate and explains the forms and procedures. 5.The county director is consulted regarding the appropriateness of writing contracts with employers who experience constant turnover in staff or who have experienced reductions in staff. 6.Upon completion of the negotiations, HSC staff prepares triplicate, typed copies of Form 08TW017E, Work Supplementation Program Contract, and Form 08TW006E, Work Supplementation Program Participant Agreement.The worker delivers the prepared contract to the employer for signature and immediately routes the original and two copies to the county director. 73.The original of Form 08TW017E, Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Contract, is filed in the case record and a copy is routed to the Family Support Services Division (FSSD), TANF Section. 84.The original of Form 08TW006E, Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Participant Agreement, is given to the participant. 95.A copy of the letter and the contract are filed in the participant's case record.
6.The date and the means of contact with the participant and the employer is documented in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.
107.(a) Upon receipt of completed Form 08TW006E and Form 08TW017E, the worker HSC designated staff determines if the new Work Supplementation Program (WSP) Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) employer is on the provider file.
(1) To view provider files, enter P space federal identification (ID) number on the IMS network.
(2) If the new
WSPSEP employer is not on the provider file, the worker HSC designated staff enters PU.This transaction brings up a screen that the worker HSC designated staff must complete by entering the type of request as N, the business name, address, telephone number, and the federal identification ID number of the new employer.
(3) If ownership of the business changes, the new owner information must be on the provider file.
(b) Once it has been determined the
WSP employer is on the provider file, the worker HSC designated staff must complete a WS authorization.
worker HSC designated staff enters AUWC, space, the case number of the participant, and completes this screen in accordance with the instructions for the AUWC transaction.
(2) After the authorization has cleared, the computer automatically updates the case status to Special Medical effective the following regular roll.
(c) The cash assistance is automatically diverted to the wage pool.
dc) Periodic redeterminations reviews of eligibility are completed as scheduled. 11. If eligible, the household receives food benefits as a Non-Public Assistance food benefit household. 128. Upon receipt of Form 08TW018E, Subsidized Employment Program (SEP) Invoice, the worker FSSD TANF Section staff audits the invoice for completeness and compensability ., Form 08TW018E, Work Supplementation Program Invoice, is signed by the county director or designee and routed in accordance with the instructions for the form.The FSSD, TANF Section prepares the claim form for signs it, and then routes it to the Finance Division for reimbursement.
9.(a) When the employer is eligible for the bonus reimbursement, the SEP authorization must remain open until after the bonus payment is made to the employer.Once the payment is made, the SEP authorization is closed using the last day of the 10th month of employment.
(b) When the employer is not eligible for the bonus reimbursement, the SEP authorization remains open until after the final SEP payment is made.The SEP authorization is then closed effective the last day of the fourth month of the subsidy period.
1310.(a) When a participant completes a WSP contract period or terminates employment prior to completion, the worker The HSC designated staff must ensure the final Form 08TW018E is submitted to FSSD, TANF Section. Care must be taken by the worker to close the authorization and make a determination of need for any continued receipt of cash assistance, medical benefits, food benefits, and child care benefits before the deadline for changes in the last month of the contract period.
(b) When the participant remains eligible for TANF, the worker updates the TANF ET&E status field F154 of the TANF Work tab in the FACS Interview Notebook for the participant and updates the TANF benefit status by resending the benefit, status, and effective date fields F24, F25, and F26 in the Household tab.
(c) When the participant is not eligible for TANF, the worker closes the Financial Assistance section in the FACS Eligibility Notebook using the appropriate reason and updates other benefits sections as needed.
1411. When it is not possible to close the authorization prior to the deadline in the month in which employment ends, and the participant is eligible for continued assistance, the FSSD TANF Section must be instructed by memo from the HSC to pay the next month's cash assistance from the wage pool.Closure of the authorization and computer input document updates are separate actions which must be completed by the worker at termination of a placement.
(a) When the participant remains eligible for TANF, the worker updates the TANF ET&E status field F154 of the TANF Work tab in the FACS Interview Notebook for the participant and updates the TANF benefit status by resending the benefit, status, and effective date fields F24, F25, and F26 in the Household tab.
(b) When the participant is not eligible for TANF, the TANF beneft is closed for the appropriate reason and other benefits sections updated.Determination of need for any continued receipt of cash assistance, medical benefits, food benefits, and child care benefits must be made as soon as possible and supplements made if necessary.
1512.The worker refers to on-the-job training (OJT) by completing Form 08TW003E, Interagency Referral and Information. 1613.Refer to OAC 340:10-3-40(a)(12).When the on-the-job training (OJT) is from AmeriCorps*Vista, a determination must be made if the gross amount of the payment equals or exceeds the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. 1714.The worker HSC designated staff makes a referral using Form 08TW003E.When the contracted provider has agreed to accept the participant in the program, Form 08TW003E is returned to the HSC.It is the responsibility of the worker HSC designated staff to notify FSSD , TANF Section. 1815.The worker HSC designated staff informs the employer of the availability of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) as it relates to the WSPSEP.WOTC is available for the unsubsidized portion of the wages actually paid , not including the $250 reimbursement from the wage pool. 1916.A qualified veteran is a person who:
(1) has received food benefits for at least three consecutive months within the last 15 months preceding the date of hire;
(2) is a disabled veteran entitled to a service-connected disability and has a hiring date which is not more than one year after having been discharged or released from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States; or
(3) has aggregate periods of unemployment during the one-year period ending on the hiring date that equals or exceeds six months.
2017.A qualified ex-felon is a person who was convicted of a felony and within the last year was either convicted or released from prison. 2118.A designated community resident is a person who has attained age 18 but not yet 40 years of age on the hiring date and his or her principal place of residence is within an Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community, or a Rural Renewal County. For information about Enterprise Communities go to www.ezec.gov. 2219.(a) A Vocational Rehabilitation referral recipient is a person with a disability who:
(1) has received or is receiving vocational rehabilitation from a rehabilitation agency approved by the State or Department of Veterans Affairs; or
(2) is a Ticket to Work holder who has an Individual Work Plan with an employment network agency.
(b) A person participating in a drug or alcohol treatment facility does not qualify.
2320.A qualified summer youth is a person at least age 16 but not 18 on the hiring date and who has a principal residence in an Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community during the 90-day summer working period. 2421.A qualified food benefit recipient is a person who is at least 18 but under age 40, and is a member of a household that received food benefits for the last six months, or at least three of the last five months, and is no longer eligible to receive them. 2522.A qualified recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a person who has received SSI for any month during the 60 calendar days before the date of hire. 2623.A qualified long-term family assistance recipient is a person certified by a designated local agency as being a member of a family:
(1) that has received family assistance for at least 18 consecutive months ending on the hiring date;
(2) that has received such family assistance for a total of at least 18 months, whether or not consecutive, after August 5, 1997 if the person is hired within two years after the date the 18 month total is reached; or
(3) who is no longer eligible for family assistance because of either Federal or
State state time limits, if the person is hired within two years after becoming ineligible for family assistance because of time limits.
SUBCHAPTER 3. CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY - NEED
PART 3. INCOME
340:10-3-33. Individual earned income exemptions
Exemptions from each individual's earned income include a monthly standard work related expense and one-half of the remaining earned income.Exemptions are also allowed for child and adult dependent care expenses the individual is responsible for paying if expenses are not paid through other state and federal funds and the dependent care is in a licensed facility or home.¢ 1Exempt income is income which by law is not considered in determining need for financial assistance in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) category.Income exempt for one individual is not taken into consideration in determining the need of any other individual for assistance in the State Supplemental Payment (SSP) for the aged, blind, and disabled and TANF.
(1) Work related expenses.The standard deduction for work related expenses such as income tax payment, Social Security taxes, and transportation to and from work, is automatically determined monthly for each full-time or part-time employed member of the assistance unit.¢ 2
(A) The standard deduction for work related expenses is:
(i) $240 for a recipient employed a minimum of 30 hours per week; ¢ 3
(ii) $120 for a recipient employed less than 30 hours per week; and
(iii) $120 for an individual whose income is considered in determining the amount of the TANF cash assistance.¢4
(B) The standard deduction for work related expenses is not applied to earnings of participants while in the
Work Supplementation Subsidized Employment Program ( WSPSEP).
(2) One-half remainder.For all countable income earned by each member included in the assistance unit, as well as a stepparent who is not included in the assistance unit, one-half of the remaining earned income is exempted
. [per OAC 340:10-3-57(f)(1) ].The one-half remainder exemption is not applied to earnings received by participants while in WSPSEP.An applicant is only eligible for one-half of the remainder exemption when:
(A) an individual in the TANF assistance unit was included in a TANF benefit in any of the 50 states in addition to the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam, during one of the four months preceding the application; or
(B) the total income of all members minus work related expenses and dependent care expenses is less than the TANF need standard found on Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, for the appropriate number of individuals.
(3) Dependent care expenses.¢ 5 Dependent care expenses are applied after all other earned income exemptions.
(A) Dependent care expenses are not deducted from earnings of participants while in
WSPSEP.Dependent care expenses may be deducted when:
(i) suitable care for a child or incapacitated adult included in the TANF assistance unit is not available from responsible individuals living in the home or through other sources;
(ii) the employed TANF assistance unit member whose income is considered in computing the amount of the benefit must purchase care;
(iii) the gross earned income equals or exceeds the work related and dependent care expenses combined;¢ 6
(iv) the child or incapacitated adult receives care in a properly licensed facility or from an approved in-home provider as required by Oklahoma law; and¢ 7
(v) the stepparent of the child(ren) for whom TANF is requested is living in the home and has dependents not included in the assistance unit who are also living in the home
.[ per OAC 340:10-3-57(f)(1) ].
(B) Dependent care expenses must be verified.The actual amount paid per month is deducted up to a maximum of $200 for a dependent under the age of two or $175 for a dependent age two or older or for an incapacitated adult.In considering the dependent care expense, only actual work hours and travel time between work and the care facility is allowed.Payment for dependent care is the individual's responsibility.The individual must immediately report any changes in the plan of care.¢ 8
(C) Dependent care provided by another individual in the household who is not a member of the assistance unit may be considered as an expense as long as the caregiver meets applicable state, local, or tribal law.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:10-3-33
1.(a) The work related expenses, one half of the remainder, and adult and child dependent care exemptions are not applied in determining the amount of overpayment for a month any individual included in the assistance unit or whose income is considered in determining the amount of the benefit has failed to make a timely report of earned income.
(b) In calculating these exemptions, dollars and cents are used to determine the monthly amount for each individual's exemption.After the monthly amount of each exemption has been determined, cents are rounded to the nearest dollar for each exemption.For example:1 cent - 49 cents, round down; 50 cents - 99 cents, round up.The payment standard minus the net income equals the amount of the assistance payment.
(c) Formulas used to determine net earned income to be considered against the budgetary requirements are:
(1) for income from self-employment, gross income:
(A) minus business expenses.See OAC 340:10-3-32 Instructions to Staff 2 to calculate business expenses;
(B) minus work related expenses;
(C) minus one half of the remainder;
(D) minus dependent care;
(E) equals net income.
(2) net earned income from employment other than self-employment.Gross income:
(A) minus work related;
(B) minus one half of the remainder;
(C) minus dependent care;
(D) equals net income.
2.The system determines the amount of work related expense allowed based on the number of hours the worker enters in the "TANF Work Hours" field of the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) Eligibility Notebook Income tab and the age of the youngest child.
3.A recipient with a child under age six, employed a minimum of 20 hours, is eligible for the $240 work related expense.An applicant is only eligible for the $120 work related expense.
4.See OAC 340:10-3-57(f)(1) for information on allocating or diverting income for these persons.
5.When dependent care services are needed for reasons other than employment, the worker makes a determination of dependent care as outlined in OAC 340:40-7-1.
6.When the work related and dependent care expenses exceed the gross amount of earned income, the worker determines dependent care as outlined in OAC 340:40-7-1.
7.When licensed dependent care facilities and approved in-home providers are not available and the individual arranges for care outside the home, an immediate referral is made on Form 08MP013E, Information/Referral ‑ Social Services.
(1) The cost of dependent care is considered until the worker receives notification from
the Division of Child Care (DCC) Oklahoma Child Care Services (OCCS) licensing worker staff that the home does not meet licensing standards or registration.
(2) If licensing or registration is denied, the recipient is allowed 30 calendar days after notification to make other dependent care arrangements, during which time the dependent care exemption continues to be allowed.
8.The worker is responsible for:
(1) helping the family select a caregiver capable of providing adequate dependent care, training, and supervision, per OAC 340:40;
(2) advising the family of their responsibility to pay for dependent care; and
(3) advising the family to immediately report any change in the plan of care.