Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
Chiefs and Staff
|Date: December 9, 2002|
|From: Rachel Katuin||RE:
Implementation Instructions For Child
Subsidy Program Budget Reduction -
This memo provides background information and implementation instructions for reducing Child Care Subsidy Program expenditures beginning in state fiscal year 2003 (with savings seen in March 2003). Effective February 1, 2003, the income eligibility threshold for child care subsidy will change to 150% of the federal poverty level.
Detailed information can be found at http://content.srs.ks.gov/ees/briefing/Sec_briefing02.html
Child Care Subsidy Program Reduction
Beginning February 1, 2003, the income eligibility threshold will be reduced from 185% of the federal poverty level to 150% of the federal poverty level. Families with countable income exceeding 150% of the FPL according to household size, will not be eligible for child care assistance. It is expected that 1,288 families and 2,092 children will lose eligibility resulting from this change. The expected savings is $831,798 in state general funds and $2,089,944 in all funds.
The state is mindful of key values as reduced resource options are contemplated. These values include:
Choosing to reduce child care subsidy spending by lowering the income eligibility threshold is seen as meeting many of the values listed above. In the past, program reductions were made in a variety of ways including putting eligible families on waiting lists for services, limiting the number of child care hours paid by the state per month, and eliminating access to child care for education/training activities. These types of reductions impact program integrity and result in less of a value for those who qualify. Reducing the income eligibility threshold does reduce the number of families who qualify for child care assistance, but it insures that those who do qualify receive a good benefit. It allows the state to see more immediate fiscal savings. It also allows the basic program structure to remain, provides services to the most in need, and provides an opportunity to quickly and easily restore the program when the economy improves.
Beginning February 1, 2003, to be eligible for child care assistance, the total countable gross income must not exceed 150% of the current federal poverty guidelines based on the household size. All families, existing and new, with countable income above the new standard will not qualify for the program.
Current Cases - A case listing is attached to this memo to assist workers in identifying cases with income above the new standard. This listing was compiled using numerous variables and should be seen as a tool for identifying cases needing possible action in accordance with the new guidelines. Workers should carefully review cases to insure appropriate action is taken. Families who will not be financially eligible beginning 2/1/03, should be sent a State Eligibility Reduction notice (C500) no later than December 31, 2002. This notice will inform the family that services will not be paid by the state after 1/31/03. An example is attached to this memo. Child care plans will then need to be terminated on CHCP 1/31/03.
Providers must also be notified of the termination of assistance at the same time the family is notified. The Provider Notice - Case Closed (P502) should be used. Using this provider notice will preserve client confidentiality in regard to income.
Interim Cases - Cases processed prior to 2/1/03 having income between 150% and 185% FPL shall not have plans extending beyond 1/31/03. Workers can identify these cases as they are processed using information shown on INEL. Workers can reference the Family Income and Share Schedule to identify cases with income above 150% FPL. A special Temporary Eligibility notice (C200) may be sent to the client for these situations. An example notice is attached. The provider is notified of the end date of authorization as the child care plan will indicate an end date of 1/31/03.
Clean up Reports - A case listing program will be run on or about 1/1/03
and again after 2/1/03 to insure that cases are identified and closed
appropriately. This will account for any cases opened in the interim and
also insure that the state is able to see the expected fiscal savings
KsCares Table Change - The monthly gross income ceiling will be updated on the Family Income and Share Schedule to reflect changes in the new federal poverty guidelines. KsCares will be updated after 5:00 pm on 1/17/03 with the changes effective 2/1/03. An edit stating "means test failed" will appear on all cases processed which have income above the new standard. Any cases processed on or after 2/1/03 will use the new Family Share table with the new income ceiling.
KEESM - The following manual sections will be revised on the internet version of KEESM effective February 1, 2003 - 2840, 2835, 7440, Appendix #78 Definition of Common Terms, and Appendix #48 Family Income and Share Schedule for Child Care Services. Updates will be made to the hard copy with the May 2003 revision.
Child Care and Development Fund State Plan - CCDF regulations state that approved Plans be amended whenever a substantial change in the program occurs. A Plan amendment is to be submitted within 60 days of the effective date of the change. The Kansas CCDF State Plan will be amended prior to April 1, 2003.
Impact on Families - Families losing child care assistance may need to make new child care plans for the future without state assistance. Due to the impact of this program reduction, current families should be given at least 30 days notice rather that the 10 day notice requirement indicated on the Child Care Plan. Giving families more notice may allow for a smoother transition to private pay status, and lessen the potential risk that parents will be forced into unsafe child care arrangements in order to maintain employment. Families continue to have a right to a Fair Hearing on any adverse agency action. If a family requests a Fair Hearing solely due to the fact that the state income eligibility limit has changed, hence making them ineligible, workers may complete a Motion to Dismiss. A sample Motion to Dismiss is attached.
Community Resources - In order to maintain independence from cash assistance, families should continue to be informed of various resources for which they may qualify. Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies have been alerted and are ready to assist families who may need to make alternate child care arrangements. Though financial assistance may not be provided through CCR&R, referrals to alternate child care providers with openings and their fees charged can be provided.
cc: Sandra Hazlett
Attachments: Family Income and Share Schedule for family size 2-5 eff. February 1, 2003
C500 State Eligibility Reduction notice example
C200 Temporary Eligibility notice example
P502 Provider Notice - Case Closed example
Child Care Resource and Referral Agency listing
Motion to Dismiss example