Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

FAMILIES FIRST MANUAL TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter

Section

Subject

Updated

1

 

INTRO

 

 

1.1

Introduction

 

 

1.2

Authority for Families First

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

RIGHT TO APPLY

 

 

2.1

Policy Statement

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

 

 

3.1

Policy Statement

 

 

3.2

What is the Application Process?

 

 

3.3

Filing an Application

 

 

3.4

Promptness of Applications

 

 

3.5

Technical Eligibility Determination

 

 

3.6

Families First Application when case closed or denied less than three months

 

 

3.7

Applying for Families First and Appearing Potentially Eligible for SSI

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

TIMELINESS STANDARDS

 

 

4.1

Policy Statement

 

 

4.2

Providing Notices

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

INTERVIEWING FOR ELIGIBILITY

 

 

5.1

Policy Statement

 

 

5.2

Purpose of an interview

 

 

5.3

Determination of Appropriate Path

 

 

5.4

Mandatory Interviews

 

 

5.5

Scheduling Interviews

 

 

5.6

Single Interview

 

 

5.7

Waiver of Office Interview

 

 

5.8

Information Provided During the Interview to the Client

 

 

5.9

Failure to Cooperate in the Eligibility Process

 

 

5.10

Refusal to Cooperate in the Eligibility Process

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

DIVERSION

 

 

6.1

Policy Statement

 

 

6.2

Diversion Facts

 

 

6.3

Qualifying Criteria

 

 

6.4

Re-entry Qualifications

 

 

6.5

Verification

 

 

6.6

Documentation

 

 

6.7

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

ASSISTANCE UNIT

 

 

7.1

Policy Statement

 

 

7.2

Mandatory Assistance Unit Members

 

 

7.3

Optional Assistance Unit Members

 

 

7.4

Construction of the Assistance Unit

 

 

7.5

SSI Caretakers

 

 

7.6

Individuals Excluded From the Assistance Unit

 

 

7.7

Exceptions

 

 

7.8

Good Cause

 

 

7.9

Verification

 

 

7.10

Documentation

 

 

7.11

Procedures

 

 

7.12

Special Procedures for Fleeing Felons

 

 

7.13

Unstable Assistance Units

 

 

7.14

Pregnant Woman Only Cases

 

 

7.15

Minor Parents

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

STRIKERS

 

 

8.1

Policy Statement

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

ENUMERATION

 

 

9.1

Policy Statement

 

 

9.2

Exceptions

 

 

9.3

Good Cause

 

 

9.4

Verifications

 

 

9.5

Documentation

 

 

9.6

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

RESIDENCE

 

 

10.1

Policy Statement

 

 

10.2

Exceptions

 

 

10.3

Verifications

 

 

10.4

Documentation

 

 

10.5

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

CITIZENSHIP AND ALIEN STATUS

 

 

11.1

Policy Statement

 

 

11.2

How Citizenship is Defined

 

 

11.3

An Alien Who is a Victim of Trafficking

 

 

11.4

Establishing the Eligibility of Aliens

 

 

11.5

Method of Verification of Alien Status

 

 

11.6

Income and Resources of Ineligible Alien

 

 

11.7

Public or Private Agency Sponsors

 

 

11.8

Exception – Soviet Jewish Refugees

 

 

11.9

Individual Citizen Sponsors

 

 

11.10

Alien’s Responsibility

 

 

11.11

Aliens Exempt From This Provision

 

 

11.12

Establishing Income and Resource Amount from Sponsors

 

 

11.13

Multiple Sponsorship

 

 

11.14

Liability for Overpayments

 

 

11.15

Good Cause for Sponsor to Fail to Provide Information

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

AGE REQUIREMENT

 

 

12.1

Policy Statement

 

 

12.2

Exception

 

 

12.3

Verification

 

 

12.4

Documentation

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

RELATIONSHIP

 

 

13.1

Policy Statement

 

 

13.2

Relationship Terms

 

 

13.3

Exceptions

 

 

13.4

Verification

 

 

13.5

Documentation

 

 

13.6

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

LIVING IN THE HOME WITH A RELATIVE

 

 

14.1

Policy Statement

 

 

14.2

Exceptions

 

 

14.3

Verification

 

 

14.4

Documentation

 

 

14.5

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

DEPRIVATION

 

 

15.1

Policy Statement

 

 

15.2

Absence   

 

 

15.3

Death

 

 

15.4

Incapacity

 

 

15.5

Unemployed Parents

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

CARETAKER – SSI CHILD

 

 

16.1

Policy Statement

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

RESOURCES

 

 

17.1

Policy Statement

 

 

17.2

Countable/Non-Countable Resources

 

 

17.3

Ownership of Resources

 

 

17.4

Resources of Individuals

 

 

17.5

Treatment of Commingled Liquid Resources

 

 

17.6

Jointly Owned Resources

 

 

17.7

Sale of Real Property During the Nine-Month Exemption Period

 

 

17.8

Determining Equity Value of a Vehicle

 

 

17.9

Verification

 

 

17.10

Documentation

 

 

17.11

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT ACCOUNT

 

 

18.1

Policy Statement

 

 

18.2

Eligibility to Participate in the IDA Project

 

 

18.3

Eligibility to Receive Matching Contributions

 

 

18.4

Exceptions

 

 

18.5

Verification

 

 

18.6

Documentation

 

 

18.7

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

19

 

LOW INCOME ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCOUNT

 

 

19.1

Policy Statement

 

 

19.2

Verification

 

 

19.3

Documentation

 

 

19.4

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

INCOME

 

 

20.1

Policy Statement

 

 

20.2

Requirement to Apply for Other Benefits

 

 

20.3

Earned Income

 

 

20.4

Unearned Income

 

 

20.5

Payments Excluded from All Families First Income Tests (GIS/CNS) and in Calculating Benefits

 

 

 

 

 

21

 

TREATMENT OF INCOME

 

 

21.1

Policy Statement

 

 

21.2

Projecting Income

 

 

21.3

Anticipating Income

 

 

21.4

Income in Past 30 Days

 

 

21.5

Cases of Steady Employment

 

 

21.6

Converting Income to Monthly Amounts

 

 

21.7

Rounding Truncating Procedures

 

 

21.8

Income at Application

 

 

21.9

Anticipated Changes and Benefit Amounts

 

 

21.10

Income at Reapplication

 

 

21.11

Individuals Whose Income Must be Considered

 

 

21.12

Income of Children

 

 

21.13

Parents

 

 

21.14

Stepparents and Parents of Minor Parents

 

 

21.15

Applicant/Grantee Other than Parents

 

 

21.16

Individuals Whose Income is Not to be Considered

 

 

21.17

Calculating Income and Benefits

 

 

21.18

Families First Payments Made on a Monthly Basis

 

 

21.19

Computing Income and Benefits

 

 

21.20

Computing Prorated Income

 

 

21.21

Self Employment Income

 

 

21.22

Annual Income

 

 

21.23

Income from Migrant Labor, Seasonal Work

 

 

21.24

Monthly Self Employment Income

 

 

21.25

Capital Gains are Income

 

 

21.26

Internal Revenue Service Publications

 

 

21.27

Costs of Producing Self Employment Income

 

 

21.28

Unallowable Deductions

 

 

21.29

Determining Monthly Income When Averaged

 

 

21.30

Determining Monthly Income When Anticipated

 

 

21.31

Assistance Units with Boarders

 

 

21.32

Income of Resident Farm Laborers, Migrant Aus, School Employees, and other Contractual Employees

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

TREATMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT INCOME

 

 

22.1

Policy Statement

 

 

22.2

Child Support Distribution

 

 

22.3

Counting Child Support in the Families First Budget

 

 

22.4

History of Bonus, Supplements and Child Support Pass-Through Payments

 

 

22.5

Eligibility Determination for Child Support Pass-Through Payments

 

 

22.6

Discussion of Child Support with the Caretaker

 

 

22.7

Documentation

 

 

22.8

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

23

 

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY PLAN

 

 

23.1

Policy Statement

 

 

23.2

Signing the PRP

 

 

23.3

The Personal Responsibility Plan Agreement

 

 

23.4

Renegotiating the PRP Work Plan

 

 

23.5

Exceptions

 

 

23.6

Good Cause

 

 

23.7

Verification

 

 

23.8

Documentation

 

 

23.9

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

IMMUNIZATION AND HEALTH CHECKS

 

 

24.1

Policy Statement

 

 

24.2

Exceptions

 

 

24.3

Good Cause

 

 

24.4

Verification

 

 

24.5

Documentation

 

 

24.6

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

25

 

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

 

 

25.1

Policy Statement

 

 

25.2

Exceptions

 

 

25.3

Good Cause

 

 

25.4

Verification

 

 

25.5

Documentation

 

 

25.6

Procedures

 

 

25.7

Failure to Comply – Minors Who Are Not Parents

 

 

25.8

Failure to Comply – Minor Parents Who Are ECs or EAs in an AU

 

 

 

 

 

26

 

CHILD SUPPORT COOPERATION

 

 

26.1

Policy Statement

 

 

26.2

Exceptions

 

 

26.3

Good Cause for Refusal to Assign Child Support

 

 

26.4

Good Cause for Refusal/Failure to Cooperate with Child Support

 

 

26.5

Verification

 

 

26.6

Documentation

 

 

26.7

Procedures

 

 

26.8

IV-D Reports to Family Assistance

 

 

26.9

Failure/Refusal to Cooperate with Child Support

 

 

26.10

Good Cause Determination Procedures

 

 

26.11

Sanctions

 

 

26.12

Support Collections Which Cause Ineligibility

 

 

26.13

Retention of Direct Support Payments

 

 

 

 

 

27

 

WORK REQUIREMENTS

 

 

27.1

Policy Statement

 

 

27.2

Core Activities

 

 

27.3

Non-Core Activities

 

 

27.4

Renewal House

 

 

27.5

Residential Treatment Centers

 

 

27.6

Refugees

 

 

27.7

Vocational Rehabilitation

 

 

27.8

Minor Parent Caretakers

 

 

27.9

Exceptions

 

 

27.10

ADA Accommodations

 

 

27.11

Work Requirement Accommodations for Victims of Domestic Violence

 

 

27.12

In Home Disabled Relative

 

 

27.13

Volunteers

 

 

27.14

Work Requirement Compliance/Non-Compliance

 

 

27.15

Procedures based on Roles (Caseworker vs. Client Rep)

 

 

27.16

Verification

 

 

27.17

Documentation

 

 

27.18

Interview Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

28

 

FAMILY SERVICES COUNSELING

 

 

28.1

Policy Statement

 

 

28.2

Caseworker/Client Rep/Work Activity Contractor/Family Services Counselor Relationship

 

 

28.3

Exceptions

 

 

28.4

Referrals

 

 

28.5

FSC Request during Engagement in a Work Activity

 

 

28.6

Self-Initiated Referrals

 

 

28.7

FSC Outcomes

 

 

28.8

Outcome Categories

 

 

28.9

FSC Activities and Job Search/Job Readiness

 

 

28.10

Transitional FSC

 

 

28.11

Verification

 

 

28.12

Documentation

 

 

28.13

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

29

 

TIME LIMITS

 

 

29.1

Policy Statement

 

 

29.2

Exceptions

 

 

29.3

Months of TANF Received in Another State or Territory

 

 

29.4

Months When the FF Grant is Less Than $10

 

 

29.5

When Does the Time Limit Begin?

 

 

29.6

Time Limit Extensions

 

 

29.7

Good Cause Time Limit Extensions

 

 

29.8

Process for Good Cause time Limit Extensions

 

 

29.9

Two Parent Assistance Units

 

 

29.10

When an Adult Exempt From Time Limits Can Have More Than 60 Months of Eligibility

 

 

29.11

When a Child May Have More Than 60 Months of Eligibility

 

 

29.12

Re-Entry Following Closure for a 60-Month Time Limit

 

 

29.13

Verification

 

 

29.14

Documentation

 

 

29.15

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

30

 

VERIFICATION PROCEDURES

 

 

30.1

Policy Statement

 

 

30.2

Documentary Evidence

 

 

30.3

Collateral Contact

 

 

30.4

Home Visits

 

 

30.5

Verification Required at Initial Application

 

 

30.6

Verification Required at Renewal

 

 

30.7

Verification of reported Changes

 

 

 

 

 

31

 

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

 

31.1

Policy Statement

 

 

31.2

Federal Non-Discrimination Laws That Apply to TANF Programs

 

 

31.3

Coverage by Federal Non-Discrimination Laws

 

 

31.4

Discriminatory Conduct on the Basis of Handicap/Disability That is Prohibited in Program Services

 

 

31.5

County Office Accommodations Procedures

 

 

31.6

Who is considered a Disabled Person Pursuant to the ADA

 

 

31.7

ADA Requirements and Their Application to Families First Accommodations

 

 

31.8

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

 

 

31.9

Families First Reasonable Accommodations Requirements

 

 

31.10

Screening Clients to Identify ADA-Covered Disabilities

 

 

31.11

The Voluntary Initial Screening

 

 

31.12

The Voluntary Secondary Screening

 

 

31.13

Responses to the Screening Tool

 

 

31.14

Role of State Office in Determining Need for Accommodations

 

 

31.15

State Office Accommodations Consultation

 

 

31.16

The Families First Work Activity Contractor - ADA Responsibilities

 

 

31.17

ADA Decision Notices to Clients

 

 

31.18

ADA and Sanctions for Non-Compliance

 

 

31.19

ADA Verification/Documentation

 

 

31.20

Time Limits

 

 

31.21

The Compliance Officer – ADA Responsibilities

 

 

31.22

Title VI Prohibition against National Origin Discrimination as It Affects Persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP)

 

 

31.23

Title VI Prohibition on Discriminatory Conduct in Federally Funded Programs and Activities

 

 

31.24

Type of Conduct Prohibited in Employment Settings

 

 

31.25

Conduct on the Basis of Disability That Is Prohibited in Employment

 

 

31.26

Accommodations Procedures

 

 

31.27

Filing Discrimination Complaints for Non-Compliance with Title VI and the ADA

 

 

31.28

Filing an Appeal

 

 

31.29

Public Notification of Nondiscrimination Compliance

 

 

31.30

Availability of Information

 

 

31.31

Use of Families First Cash Payment (Grant)

 

 

31.32

Right to Apply for Families First

 

 

31.33

Right to Information or to File Informal Complaints

 

 

 

 

 

32

 

AUTHORIZATION OF GRANTS

 

 

32.1

Policy Statement

 

 

32.2

Authorization of Differential Grants

 

 

32.3

Designation of Protective Payee

 

 

32.4

Authorization of Retroactive Assistance and Auxiliary Payments

 

 

 

 

 

33

 

CHILD CARE

 

 

33.1

Policy Statement

 

 

33.2

Types of Child Care Assistance

 

 

33.3

Child Care Eligibility Criteria

 

 

33.4

Child Care Disregard

 

 

33.5

Families First Child Care (FF)

 

 

33.6

Transitional Child Care (TCC)

 

 

33.7

Qualification for Transitional Child Care (TCC) Assistance When…

 

 

33.8

At-Risk Child Care Assistance

 

 

33.9

Administrative Responsibilities

 

 

33.10

Documentation

 

 

33.11

Procedures

 

 

33.12

Suspension of Child Care

 

 

33.13

Contact During Adverse Action

 

 

33.14

Correcting the Funding Stream to TCC

 

 

33.15

Implementing the Appeal Process

 

 

 

 

 

34

 

SANCTIONS

 

 

34.1

Policy Statement

 

 

34.2

Failure to Cooperate with Work Requirements

 

 

34.3

Voluntary Termination of employment (Voluntary Quit)

 

 

34.4

Child Support Cooperation

 

 

34.5

Failure of a Minor Parent to Attend School

 

 

34.6

Failure of Other Assistance Unit Children to Attend School

 

 

34.7

Failure to Have Immunization and/or Health Checks

 

 

 

 

 

35

 

CONTINUING RESPONSIBILITIES

 

 

35.1

Redetermination of Eligibility

 

 

35.2

Accrual Rights to Families First Cash Payment

 

 

35.3

Changes Between Renewals

 

 

35.4

County to County Transfers

 

 

35.5

Bankruptcy

 

 

 

 

 

36

 

FAMILY CAP

 

 

36.1

Policy Statement

 

 

36.2

When to apply the Family Cap

 

 

36.3

When the Family Cap Has Been Applied

 

 

36.4

Exceptions

 

 

36.5

Verification

 

 

36.6

Documentation

 

 

36.7

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

37

 

MARRIAGE DURING RECEIPT OF ASSISTANCE

 

 

37.1

Policy Statement

 

 

37.2

When the Caretaker Elects to Include the Spouse as an AU Member

 

 

37.3

When the Caretaker Elects to Exclude the Spouse as an AU Member

 

 

37.4

Liability of Spouse’s Federal or State Share of Court Ordered Child Support Arrearages

 

 

37.5

Two Families First Caretakers Marry

 

 

37.6

Exceptions

 

 

37.7

Good Cause

 

 

37.8

Documentation

 

 

37.9

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

38

 

PROTECTION OF CHILDREN

 

 

38.1

Policy Statement

 

 

38.2

Conditions of a Child Indicating Possible Abuse/Neglect

 

 

38.3

Conditions of a Parent Indicating Possible Abuse/Neglect of Children

 

 

38.4

Statutory Rape

 

 

 

 

 

39

 

FAMILIES FIRST OVERPAYMENTS AND UNDERPAYMENTS

 

 

39.1

Policy Statement

 

 

39.2

Families First Underpayments

 

 

39.3

Families First Overpayments

 

 

39.4

Administrative Disqualifications for Families First

 

 

 

 

 

40

 

APPEALS AND FAIR HEARINGS

 

 

40.1

Policy Statement

 

 

40.2

Right of Appeal

 

 

40.3

Division of Appeals and Hearings Functions

 

 

40.4

Timeliness for Filing Appeals

 

 

40.5

Good Cause for Filing a Late Appeal

 

 

40.6

Filing an Appeal

 

 

40.7

The Responsibilities of the Field Management Director 2

 

 

40.8

Interim Adjustments

 

 

40.9

Withdrawing an Appeal

 

 

40.10

Hearing Process

 

 

40.11

Implementing the Decision

 

 

40.12

Time Limits for the Appeal Process

 

 

40.13

Judicial Review

 

 

40.14

Documentation

 

 

40.15

Procedures

 

 

 

 

 

41

 

GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

 

 

41.1

Case Record Management

 

 

41.2

Content of Case Record

 

 

41.3

Security of Eligibility and Case Management System Case Files

 

 

41.4

Confidentiality of Case Record Information

 

 

41.5

Information Considered Confidential

 

 

41.6

Exceptions to Confidentiality

 

 

41.7

Release of Information to the Applicant/Recipient or his/her Representative

 

 

41.8

Applications by Department Employees and Their Relatives