Kansas Economic and Employment Services Manual

2000 General Eligibility

07-14
  
2165 Failure to Cooperate -For TANF and Child Care purposes, failure to cooperate with CSS will result in the following:
 
  1. When a parent fails to cooperate, there is ineligibility for the mandatory filing unit of which the child is a member. This includes parents who are excluded from the TANF case due to receipt of SSI or who are disqualified due to fraud or being a drug felon (on or after July 1, 2013) or ineligible alien.

    Penalties for non-cooperation with CSS apply to both TANF and Child Care, regardless of whether or not both programs were open when the non-cooperation occurred.

    NOTE: If the parent who fails to cooperate is a minor parent under 18 who is unable to act in own behalf, only the individual minor parent is ineligible for assistance. Penalties accrued by this minor parent do not count as a  penalty when the minor becomes an adult cash recipient.
     
  2. When a needy non-legally responsible caretaker (on the TANF case) fails to cooperate, there is ineligibility for the caretaker until the caretaker cooperates. The children remain eligible for assistance.
     
  3. When a non-legally responsible caretaker fails to cooperate, the children remain eligible for assistance without penalty.
     
    Note: A cohabiting partner is not considered a non-legally responsible caretaker.
     

Because penalties can result in a temporary hardship to the family without other alternatives of support, penalties must be applied with much care and consideration. To ensure that penalties are applied uniformly and appropriately, the following guidelines must be applied in all instances of non-cooperation:
 

  1. There is documented evidence that the person was made aware of the cooperation requirement.
     
  2. There is documented evidence that the person was informed of the consequences for failing to cooperate and of the ability to report good cause. This includes documentation that the ES-3102, Important Information About Cooperation, was discussed and given to the client .
     
  3. EES staff must check with Prevention and Protection Services (PPS) to determine if there is any PPS activity that might support good cause for failing to cooperate.
     
  4. If a referral has been made to DV/SA due to domestic violence, EES must check with the DV/SA advocate to determine if there is good cause for failing to cooperate due to domestic violence.
     
  5. A personal contact to discuss the non-cooperation must be attempted and documented in the case file. This personal contact may be by letter, phone call, office visit, or home visit.
     
  6. If good cause is not established, the EES supervisor must review the case circumstances before final action to apply the penalty can be taken.

 

2165.1 TANF and Child Care Noncooperation Penalties - Ineligibility or a penalty may not be imposed until a referral has been made to CSS and CSS determines the person has not cooperated.

 

  1. Non-Cooperation While in Applicant Status - Normally, referrals to CSS are made after an application is approved. In application situations, however, the person must be referred to CSS and cooperation established prior to the application being processed in order for there to be eligibility when a prior determination of non-cooperation with CSS is yet unresolved. A local office may also develop a special referral procedure between EES and CSS to determine the cooperation status of applicants prior to application processing, although this is not required or encouraged.

    If CSS makes a determination of non-cooperation before an application is approved, the following results:
     
    1. If the non-cooperation is by a parent, the application is denied. If the parent cooperates within the 45 day application processing time frame, the application is reinstated and benefits prorated from the date of application. A new application is required if cooperation occurs after the initial application’s 45 day processing standard. [See 1414.2 (3) and 3522].

      NOTE:
      If the parent who fails to cooperate is a minor parent under 18 who is unable to act in own behalf, only the individual minor parent is ineligible for assistance.
       
    1. If the non-cooperation is by a non-legally responsible caretaker, assistance is approved for the children only, if otherwise eligible. If the caretaker cooperates after assistance for the children is approved and requests assistance for himself/herself, eligibility is to be prorated from the date of cooperation. [See 1414.2 (3) and 3522].
       
  1. Non-Cooperation While in Recipient Status - When a parent fails to cooperate with CSS , the mandatory filing unit of the child for whom the parent failed to cooperate shall be ineligible. A CSS penalty applies to both TANF and Child Care, regardless of whether or not both programs were open when the non-cooperation occurred. The period of ineligibility for cash and child care assistance is as follows :

    Note: Penalties for children in the MFU will not count against the child when the minor becomes an adult cash recipient.
                         

NOTE: If the parent who fails to cooperate is a minor parent under 18 who is unable to act in own behalf, only the individual minor parent is ineligible for assistance.

 

The penalty shall be applied giving timely and adequate notice.

 

NOTE: See 2552(1) for special budgeting provisions that apply to the corresponding for food stamp program.

2166 Reporting of Support to EES - The amount of current support received on each TANF case is reported to EES automatically in KAECSES. EES staff shall determine whether or not there is continuing eligibility if the amount of reported support is treated as nonexempt income. (See 6220 (4), 6410 and 7100.)

 

2167 Paternity of Alleged Father in the Home (Not Applicable to Food Assistance, Medicaid or Child Care) - For situations in which the father is in the home with the child, paternity must be established when TANF is requested. This provision shall apply to any instance in which both parents (or the father if the mother is not present) in the home claim(s) he is the father, unless either the father or child is excluded from the assistance plan for reasons other than a sanction or other special provision as referenced in 4120 (4). This provision is not applicable while the child is unborn. See 4100 and subsections for assistance planning provisions involving paternity. Paternity for this purpose must be established in one of the following ways:

 

  1. The parents were married at the time of the child's birth. For purposes of this provision, a common law marriage shall not establish paternity;

  2. Paternity has been established through appropriate court action; or

  3. The father is listed on the child's official birth certificate, issued by Vital Statistics, as the child's father. This provision only applies to children born on or after July 1, 1994. This provision does not apply if either of the following conditions exist:

 

    1. The mother was legally married to someone else at the time of the child's birth; or

    2. The mother was divorced within 300 days of the child's birth.

In the two above situations, EES is to make a regular referral to CSS for paternity establishment. These paternities must be resolved by a court; expedited paternity is not applicable.


2167.1 Expedited Paternity Establishment - If paternity is not established through items (1), (2), or (3) above, an immediate referral is to be made to CSS for paternity establishment. This may occur at the time of initial application or when the father begins living in the home at a later time. Since CSS staff are not stationed in all DCF area offices, each area must establish local procedures and timeliness for assuring that cases needing paternity establishment are treated as a high priority. If the mother and father state that he is the biological father of the child, the worker shall provide notice to the mother and father that they must contact CSS within a prescribed period of time and cooperate in establishing paternity. A copy of the notice and any supporting documentation as established by the area are to be sent to the appropriate CSS Unit. Following this, one of the following actions will occur:
 

  1. If either the mother or father fails to contact or otherwise cooperate with CSS or chooses not to sign the required paternity related forms, CSS shall promptly notify the worker.

    Failure of the mother or father to cooperate in establishing paternity by not contacting CSS or refusing to sign required documents for reasons other than claiming his paternity to the child is questionable shall result in ineligibility for the mandatory filing unit of the child per provisions in 2165.
     

    If the father cooperates, but chooses not to sign required documents because paternity is questioned,he shall be treated as a cohabitant. (see 4100). If she refuses to sign required documents because she states the paternity is questionable, she will be eligible as long as she otherwise cooperates in the establishment of paternity. In these situations, the worker will process the application or ongoing case based on the provisions of 4100. On the system generated referral to CSS , the worker is to make the notation on the message line of CHSE for the child(ren) whose paternity is in question: "Paternity Referral - Alleged father in the home. "This will alert CSS that urgent action is needed for an involuntary paternity action.

  2. If the mother and alleged father contact CSS and, following disclosure of basic information including rights and responsibilities, sign the required paper(s), CSS will notify the worker that paternity has been acknowledged.

Generally, the process can be accomplished within ten working days. Upon receipt of this notification, the worker is to proceed with the eligibility determination. If the family is eligible for TANF, the worker is to notify CSS which will enable CSS to take appropriate follow-up action on the CSS case.
 

2167.2 Special Case Situations

 

  1. Legal vs. Biological (Alleged) Father. In these situations the mother is currently or was married to a different person at the time she was pregnant or during the child's birth. This establishes a legal father contrary to claims that the real (biological) father is in the home. When these circumstances are identified, both the mother and alleged father may volunteer for referral to CSS pending the eligibility determination. In the contact CSS will be able to do a more in-depth analysis of the circumstances at the time of the child's birth and advise the clients of legal aspects of the situation. If CSS responds that a voluntary order is obtained, the worker will process the case considering paternity established with the father in the home. However, in most instances CSS 's response may be that a legal father exists and a voluntary order is not possible. This will not affect the MFU. See 4100.
     
  2. If the persons do not volunteer or do not follow through with this referral to CSS pending eligibility, or if CSS responds that a voluntary order is not possible, the alleged father is to be treated as a cohabitant to the child in question and the case is to be processed in that manner. In such instances, the CHSE screen should list the legal father as the absent parent and a narrative message "Paternity Referral-Legal vs. Alleged Father" included. Since this initial process is voluntary, the MFU is not subject to loss of assistance or penalty prior to approval. However, a penalty is applicable if they fail to cooperate with any CSS requirements following case approval.
     

  3. Minor Parent. If one parent is an adult and the other emancipated or if both parents are emancipated, the case is to be treated as though both are adults and handled as described at the beginning of this section (i.e., screened for paternity establishment, referred to CSS pending eligibility if necessary and penalties applied to the mandatory filing unit for noncooperation). See 2112 for emancipation requirements. Note that this provision does not apply if either parent is able to act in own behalf only through provisions in 2112.
     

    If either parent is a minor and not emancipated, CSS cannot expeditiously process a voluntary order. This is because appointment of a guardian ad litem is required and generally takes considerable time. For these situations (or if paternity is otherwise established by marriage or court order), the case may be approved treating him as the father without a referral to CSS pending eligibility. A referral must be made to CSS at the time of case approval, however, if paternity is not otherwise established. In order to make an electronic referral in these situations, the child should procedurally be coded with a "CA" deprivation cause code on SPRD even though there is no absent parent. The CHSE screen should be completed with information on the minor father and a narrative message "Minor Parent Paternity Referral" included.
     

  4. Single Parent Father. This situation addresses circumstances in which the father is in the home while the mother is absent, and he is unable to document paternity to a child(ren) through marriage or a court order.

    If the mother is available (e.g., lives in the community) and agrees to cooperate in the process, or if she is deceased and substantiation of death is readily available, a referral to CSS for paternity establishment pending eligibility is required and handled per general instructions earlier in this section.
     

    If he fails to cooperate, the mandatory filing unit is ineligible. If he cooperates, but does not sign a voluntary order because he questions paternity, he is treated as a nonrelative to the child and can receive assistance only if he otherwise qualifies as a caretaker or cohabitant (4100).
     

    If the mother is not available or if documentation of her death is not readily available, the case is to be processed treating him as the father provided other documentation and/or prudent person judgement would merit such. Upon case approval, the CHSE screen must be completed listing the mother as the absent parent and a narrative message "Single Parent Father" included. The father continues to be required to cooperate or the mandatory filing unit is subject to loss of eligibility per 2165 above.
     

    After the case has been processed either including or excluding persons as appropriate, the qualifying parent(s) continues to be responsible to cooperate in establishing or finalizing paternity as necessary. Failure to do so shall result in ineligibility for assistance per provisions in 2165 above.

     

2168 Voluntary Referral (Food Stamp and Medical) - All households which include a child whose parent(s) is absent may voluntarily request to be referred to CSS . CSS will help with establishing paternity if not already established, and obtaining support. The referral is an automatic process in KAECSES following completion of the appropriate screens, SPRD (Specified Relative/Deprivation/Child Support) and CHSE (Child Support Services Referral) and authorization of the Food Assistance Program. For medical cases, persons requesting CSS services shall be given the name and phone number of the appropriate contact person in the local CSS office. No automated process is in place for referring voluntary CSS participants.

A non-TANF household's failure to cooperate with CSS shall not result in delay, reduction or termination of food assistance benefits. For TANF/food assistance households, refer to 2550. Failure to cooperate with CSS does not impact medical coverage except as noted in 2165 for caretakers requesting or receiving medical.

A previous finding of noncooperation by a voluntary household shall not impact future assistance under any program, including delayed processing per 2165.1.


 

Revised 07/2014