COMMENT DUE DATE:
September 29, 2011
September 15, 2011
Laura Brown, FSSD 405-521-4396
Nancy Kelly, OIRP 405-522-6703
Dena Thayer, OIRP Programs Administrator 405-521-4326
Non-APA WF 11-W
The proposed policy is Non-APA . This proposal is not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act
The proposed effective date is 10-1-11.
CHAPTER 10. TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF)
Subchapter 19. Eligibility Requirements for Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children
OAC 340:10-19-5. ITS only[AMENDED]
Subchapter 20. Diversion Assistance
OAC 340:10-20-1 ITS only[AMENDED]
OAC 340:10-19-5 Instructions to staff only is amended to:(1) clarify when Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – Emergency Assistance is available for use; and (2) update language to current terminology.
OAC 340:10-20-1 Instructions to staff only is amended to clarify:(1) when Diversion Assistance is available for use; and (2) funding ended June 30, 2011.
SUBCHAPTER 19. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
340:10-19-5.Application and disposition of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Emergency Assistance (TANF-EA)
When a natural disaster occurs, the county office telephones Office Support Services (OSSD) Risk Management Unit with pertinent information as to the type and location of the disaster and the approximate number of families who may require TANF‑EA.Applications are taken but not processed until Family Support Services Division (FSSD) is notified that the emergency funds have been approved.¢ 1The FSSD notifies the local office when applications are to be processed.Form FSS-1, Comprehensive Application and Review, is completed for every request for TANF-EA.
¢ 1¢ 2 Processing of the application must be completed as soon as possible, but cannot exceed 15 working days.The applicant is notified of certification or denial by computer-generated notices.
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF
1.Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Emergency Assistance (TANF-EA) only operates when funded by the Oklahoma legislature.Funding is currently not available.Human services center (HSC) staff is notified when funds are available.
1.2.The original is filed in the county worker files the signed application in the physical or imaged case record and gives a copy may be given to the client when requested.
SUBCHAPTER 20. DIVERSION ASSISTANCE
340:10-20-1. Diversion Assistance (DA)
(a) Scope.Diversion Assistance (DA) for families with a minor child(ren) provides for financial assistance in lieu of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) when there is an immediate need to retain or obtain employment.¢ 1
(1) DA is not used to pay fines, including traffic fines, or any cost related to a criminal offense, such as legal fees or court costs.
(2) DA is not to be used for reimbursement of expenses already paid by client or others.
(3) DA is limited to once in the lifetime of the applicant(s); therefore, it is vital that financial planning be initiated to determine if the provision of DA will allow the family to be self-sufficient for the next 12 months.¢ 2
(4) Families approved for this benefit are not included in the count of persons reported for federal participation rates and these payments do not count against the person's 60-month lifetime limit of receipt of TANF.For this reason, an adult must be included in the DA benefit.¢ 3
(b) Need.The criteria for the eligibility for DA are described in (1) through (4).
(1) The person is employed or has a bona fide offer of employment. ¢ 4
(2) There is a financial need which, if not met, can cause the loss of employment or the offer of employment for the person.¢ 5
(3) The family monthly gross income cannot exceed the gross income maximum as shown on the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payments Standards, Schedule XVI, for the appropriate family size.¢ 6
(4) Family resources cannot exceed limits as shown on OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule XVI.¢ 7
(c) Requirements.¢ 8The applicant completes Form 08MP001E, Request for Benefits, Form 08MP002E, Eligibility Information for Benefits, and Form 08MP003E, Responsibilities and Signature for Benefits, to apply for DA.When the applicant signs Form 08MP003E, he or she agrees to not apply for TANF for one year from the date of application for DA.¢ 9In two-parent families both parents must sign the application form.¢ 10A stepparent may be included in the benefit if the couple is legally married.
(1) Refer to OAC 340:65-3-4 for Social Security number (SSN) requirement.The application is not delayed waiting for a SSN.
(2) Refer to OAC 340:10-15 and OAC 340:65-3-1(g) for requirements for citizenship and alienage.
(3) The application is processed within seven working days.
(d) Benefits.Benefits can equal up to three months of the payment standard as shown on OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule XVI for the appropriate family size.¢ 11Benefits can be approved in more than one authorization as long as the request for additional funds is made before the end of the 90 calendar day period which begins with the initial date of application, and does not exceed three times the monthly payment standard for the family size.Payment is issued through an authorization to purchase.¢
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:10-20-1
1.(a) Refer to OAC 340:10-9 for relationship requirements.
(b) Any family that includes a head of household or spouse of a head of household who has already reached the 60-month time limit is not eligible for Diversion Assistance (DA).
2.The lifetime limit applies to the adult(s) and child(ren) included in the DA payment.As long as the child(ren) remains a minor, this restriction applies.
3.Refer to OAC 340:10-3-56(a)(3) for persons whose needs must not be included.
4.The worker is required to verify there is current employment or there is a valid offer of employment and documents how it was verified in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.
5.The worker is required to verify the financial need and cost of meeting the need and to document this information in FACS Case Notes.A budget sheet may be used to determine income and expenses.
6.(a) Family gross income includes income from all household members included in the DA benefit.It also includes the income of a person acting in the role of spouse and the income of parents of a minor parent.
(b) Refer to OAC 340:10-3-26 through 340:10-3-40 for consideration of income and OAC 340:10-3-56 and 340:10-3-57 regarding whose income must be considered.
7.Refer to OAC 340:10-3-5 for consideration of resources.
8.(a) At the time of application, the worker advises DA applicants of other social services available to them and their family members such as substance abuse, domestic violence, Prevention and Relationship Program (PREP), or marriage counseling services.If appropriate, the worker makes a referral to the Children and Family Services Division and documents why he or she made the referral in FACS Case Notes.
(b) There is no work or deprivation of parental support requirement for either single or two-parent families.The worker may make referrals using Form 08TW003E, Interagency Referral and Information, to an existing community resource for persons who have not obtained a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate and have demonstrated a lack of literacy skills.Refer to OAC 340:10-2-6(4)(C).During the certification period, current literacy contracts can provide payment of services for the DA recipient who follows through with a referral.
9.The county director is authorized to approve Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) if there is an unforeseen circumstance that requires the family to apply after the three-month time period covered by DA benefit.A TANF certification must not be approved during the three-month time period covered by the DA benefit because it is considered a duplication of benefits.The approval by the county director must be documented in FACS Case Notes.
10.Both parents do not have to be employed; however, one must be at risk of losing his or her employment or the offer of employment.
11.The program only operates when funding is available. DA funding ended effective June 30, 2011.Human services center (HSC) staff is notified when funds are available.
1112 .(a) Prior to completing an authorization to purchase, the worker must:
(1) approve DA by certifying the Fin. Assistance tab in FACS and entering three times the TANF payment standard for the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit in the warrant amount field;
(2) determine on a case-by-case basis whether the service requested by the client is available through any other resource, which includes other Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) programs, local churches, and civic groups; and
(3) negotiate for goods and services for the client at the least possible cost, determine whether the labor cost can be reduced or donated, and not include state or local taxes in the negotiated amount.
(b) DA may only be used for transportation or shelter related expenses as indicated on the OKDHS Appendix H-4-B, Diversion Assistance Services and Object Codes, or in (d)(4) of this Instruction.To be eligible for an automobile repair or expenses related to tag, title, tax, or insurance, the automobile must be owned or co-owned by the payee or his or her spouse.If the payee or spouse is under 21 and has a valid driver's license, the payee's parent or the spouse's parent could own the automobile.
(c) Relatives of the client are not eligible for payment unless they own or operate a business such as an auto repair shop or rental agency and possess a federal employer identification (FEI) number for that business.Refer to OAC 340:10-9-1 and OKDHS Appendix I-7, The Family Tree - Degrees of Kindred According to the Law, for the definition of a relative.
(d) The worker must educate the vendor about the voucher process by explaining:
(1) payment can only be made to vendors who have a FEI number;
(2) no state or local taxes can be included in the negotiated cost of the service;
(3) what form is used to authorize payment and that a description of the agreed upon service is detailed on the form; and
(4) payment is not made until the vendor provides the service and completes the vendor portion of the form.
(e) To complete an authorization to purchase, the worker selects the Finance AS/400 Access option on the Finance Applications web page or the Finance AS400.EDP icon on his or her desktop and enters required information on the payment screen for DA.This includes entering:
(1) the provider's FEI, address, and telephone number;
(2) the case number;
(3) the negotiated amount of the service;
(4) the appropriate object code as shown on the OKDHS Appendix H-4-B or in A through E of this Instruction.The codes are:
(A) 61 for transportation purchases such as a down payment or monthly car payment, car insurance, or car tag, title, or taxes;
(B) 62 for transportation repairs or services such as car repairs, new tires, or towing fees;
(C) 64 for shelter expenses associating with renting such as the current or past due rent payment to avoid eviction or a rent deposit;
(D) 65 for shelter expenses associating with buying a home such as the current or past due home mortgage payment to avoid foreclosure, installation of a landline telephone, or purchase or repair of home heating or cooling system; and
(E) 66 for shelter expenses such as utility payments or home repair or purchase.These may include current and past due utility amounts to avoid cut off, plumbing or electrical repairs, or essential appliance purchase or repair such as a refrigerator or cooking appliance essential for food preparation or a washing machine or dryer; and
(5) a description of the service.The description must be as detailed as possible to prevent any misunderstanding as to what the payment of the authorization covers.
(f) The worker prints and signs the form generated from the information entered on the payment screen and gives the form to the client to take to the vendor.The worker advises the client to wait to sign the form until after the service has been provided to ensure the agreed upon service is provided.To receive payment after the service is completed, the vendor follows instructions on the form.
(g) The worker enters a FACS case note that includes:
(1) the applicant's circumstances that caused him or her to apply for assistance;
(2) how the applicant and the worker agreed that approving DA instead of TANF is expected to allow the applicant to be self-sufficient for at least 12 calendar months;
(3) what resources were explored to try to meet the applicant's needs before approving DA;
(4) what goods or services were approved and why; and
(5) the cost of the goods or services and how prices were negotiated.
(h) The county director or designee is responsible for periodically monitoring expenditures from the DA account.