Title: Letterhead Image  Description:   Department for Children and Families - Economic and Employment Services DCF Administration Building 555 S. Kansas Avenue, 4th Floor Topeka, KS 66603 Phone: 785-296-3349  Fax: 785-296-6960

M E M O R A N D U M

TO: EES Program Administrators

FROM: Sandra Kimmons

DATE: 4/19/19 (Revised 6/5/19)

SUBJECT: Implementation Instructions - KEESM Revision #93

This memo provides implementation instructions and information for the following May 1, 2019, policy changes in the Kansas Economic and Employment Services Manual (KEESM).

  1. Child Care – See Summary of Changes section II, A, 1, and KEESM Section 7640.

    Effective May 1, 2019, child care policy is being changed to align our definition of a temporary change with that of the federal Office of Child Care. When adults on an open child care case experience a temporary change in their employment status or participation in an approved education or training activity (including TANF or Food Assistance work program participation), their child care plans must remain open.  A change is considered temporary as long as the adult remains employed or enrolled in their activity and is expected to resume the activity (as verified with the employer or other entity.  A temporary change may include time limited absences due to: the need to care for a family member; student holidays and breaks; a reduction in work, training or education hours, as long as the parent is still employed or attending a training or educational program; changes in residency within the state; any other cessation of work or attendance at a training or educational program if it is verified that the parent remains employed or enrolled and is expected to resume the activity at some point). This temporary change could potentially last through the end of the 12-month eligibility period.

    Examples:

    1. Scenario: Mary is employed 30 hours per week and has an open child care case for two children with an eligibility period from January 2019 through December 2019.  In May, she reports that her income has gone down because her employer has reduced her work hours to 15 hours per week.

      Action to be taken:  Child care case will remain open for the remainder of the eligibility period with no reduction in hours. Due to the income reduction, her family share will need to be adjusted to the lower family share amount. When her case is reviewed in December, if she is still not employed at least 28 hours per week, the case would close December 31, 2019. 

    2. Scenario: Susan is employed 28 hours per week and has an open child care case for her 3-year old with eligibility from April 2019 through March 2020.  In January 2020 she reports that she will be off work for several months due to a medical condition. She will be receiving short term disability payments from her job which amount to approximately 60% of her previous salary, and eventually expects to go back to work.  She provides a statement from her employer indicating that she remains employed and will go back to her job when she is released by her doctor. She plans to continue taking her child to her child care provider while she is off work to hold the child care slot. When the case is reviewed in March 2020, Susan has not yet returned to work, and is not expected to do so until July 2020.

      Action to be taken: The child care review would be denied, as the extended eligibility for a temporary loss of employment cannot extend beyond the current 12-month eligibility period.

  2. Food Assistance

    1. Optional Release of Information See Summary of Changes III, B, 1; Forms section–Food Assistance, ES-3103; and KEESM 1212.4.

      During a review with USDA there was a finding that requires corrective action to provide an Optional Release of information form for all Food Assistance applicants. An Optional Food Assistance Release of Information form is being added to the Review form ES 3100r. Prior to this change, the signature page of the Application and Review forms also served as a release of information and was required to be completed. However, Food Assistance clients cannot be required to sign a release of information in order to apply for Food Assistance. The Optional Release of Information form allows the agency to contact other people or organizations (such as employers) with knowledge of the household’s circumstances.

      The Optional Release of Information form is not required to be signed by the Food Assistance applicant. However, it must be explained to the client during the interview that by signing the release form, it will help us get information we need to help them. The agency is not to deny, discontinue or make changes to a Food Assistance case where a client chooses not to sign the Optional Release of Information Form. If the client does not sign the Optional Release of Information form and the agency cannot get the information that is needed, it is the client’s responsibility to provide the missing information or ask us to help them. KEESM 1212.

      The Application and Review Form are still required to be signed on the signature page by the applicant. But for Food Assistance this page can no longer be used as the Release of Information. The optional release is in addition to the signature page and is for Food Assistance clients only. Workers will continue to follow BPM processes. The release is good for 12 months and will need to be signed at each Review. The form is to be printed and presented to Food Assistance clients at initial application and Review. When signed the form is to be Imaged to document type Release of Info. and it is to be marked on the interview template that the release was or was not signed. Standard notes would be First Name, Last Name of adult that the release is for. The form will be included with the Review Form starting May 2019. You can find the Food Assistance Optional Release of Information Form in the Form ES-3103. The Telephonic Signature process cannot be used for the Optional Release of Information form. For paper Applications and Reviews, SSP Applications and SSP Reviews, the Optional Release of Information is to be explained to the client during the interview either face to face or over the phone. If over the phone the 3-way calling process is to be followed for a verbal release of information.

      The Optional Release Form has been added to the end of the ES 3100 and ES 3100r in KEESM. This process begins for Applications and Reviews received on or after May 1, 2019.

      Examples:

      The following examples illustrate these changes:

      1. Food Assistance Review or Application is received. The signature page and Food Assistance Optional Release of Information form are signed by the client. During the interview information is needed from the employer. Worker calls the employer who requests a release of information. The Optional Release of Information for Food Assistance form is sent to the employer to give permission to disclosure information to the agency about the client. Do not send the Application or Review signature page as the release of information.

      2. Same scenario as above. Client did not sign the Optional Release of Information form for Food Assistance. During the interview information is needed from a child’s school due to residency being questionable. Worker calls school who will not disclose the information without a signed release. Since the client did not sign the Food Assistance Optional Release of Information form a Request for Information is sent to the household to verify residency. Do not send the Application or Review signature page as the release of information.

      3. Food Assistance Application or Review is received, the signature page is not signed but the Optional Release of Information form is signed. This is not a valid Application or Review. Follow the unsigned application process to obtain the signature.

      4. New Food Assistance Application is received and does not include a signed Optional Release of Information form. During the interview the worker explains the Optional Release of Information to the client. The client agrees to sign the form. Worker prints the release form for the client to sign. This form is to be mailed, signed and returned by the client if the client is not in front of the worker. Case is to be worked per BPM guidelines. If collateral contacts are unsuccessful a Request for Information is to be sent to the household to provide any verifications that may be needed to determine eligibility. No Food Assistance case will be pended because the Optional Release of Information form is not signed. All efforts will be made to obtain missing information to determine eligibility. Do not send the Application or Review signature page as the release of information.

      5. New Food Assistance Application is received and does not include a signed Optional Release of Information form. During the interview the client refuses to sign the form. All collateral contacts are attempted but unsuccessful without a release. Do not send the Application or Review signature page as the release of information.  Document on the interview template that client refused to sign the Optional Release of Information and request information that is needed from the client. Client comes into the lobby after receiving the request for information and needs help getting the required verifications. Client is again presented with the Optional Release of Information form and agrees to sign the form. Worker makes collateral contacts, sends release of information and is able to complete the case.

      6. A Food Assistance, TANF and Child Care application or review is received. The client refuses to sign the Optional Release of Information for Food Assistance. More information is needed to determine eligibility. The signature page on the application can be sent to obtain verification for TANF and Child Care. Verified information received for TANF and/or Child Care can be used to process the Food Assistance case.

    2. Death and Prisoner Matches – See Summary of Changes section III, A, 1, and KEESM Section 1436.

      Death and Prisoner Matches are being combined in the manual. This change is required to meet USDA Food and Nutrition Services Regulations. Policy is being updated to reference the most current procedures to follow specifically when a Death or Prisoner data match is received. Death and Prisoner matches are always considered unclear information because the match is not considered “verified upon receipt.” To be considered verified upon receipt the information must come from a direct source.

      Adequate verification of a Death match is to verify with Social Security, KDHE death matches, contact the household by phone, obituary, or information from the Medical case. If adequate verification is not obtained a request for verification of the Death match is required to be sent to the household.

      Adequate verification for a Prisoner match is information obtained from a contact to the household or correctional facility or information from the Medical case. If adequate verification is not obtained a request for verification of Prisoner match is required to be sent to the household.  

      If adequate verification is provided and the impact on the Food Assistance case is clear take appropriate action on the case.

      The V000 with a Verification Detail Type of “Other” must be used and Description Suggested Text for Request for Prisoner Data Match. The V000 with a Verification Detail Type of “Date of Death” must be used with Description Suggested Text for Request of Death data match. Please see the Verification Detail Type Desk Aid for the required text for each type of match. Workers may use the free format text box to list examples of adequate verification for the match.

      Examples Death Match:

      1. A Death match is received, and a task is created. The worker locates an obituary and takes appropriate action on the case.

      2. Same scenario as above. The worker is unable to find an obituary but successfully contacts the household by phone. The household verbally verifies that the individual is deceased. Worker takes appropriate action on the case.

      3. Same scenario as above. The worker is unable to find the obituary and cannot get anyone on the phone from the household. Worker checks the medical case which shows the date of death for the individual. Worker takes appropriate action on the case.

      4. Same scenario as above. Nothing can be found to verify the death of the individual based on the data match. The worker sends a V000 Request of death match to the household and allows 10 days for the household to respond.

      5. Same scenario as above. The worker sent a V000 Request of death match, the household does not respond within 10 days.The subject individual must be removed from the household and adjust benefits accordingly. The likelihood of this scenario occurring is rare. Please refer to Food Assistance Program Manager in these situations.

      Examples Prisoner Match:

      1. A Prisoner match is received, and a task is created. The worker locates information directly from Kansas Department of Corrections and takes appropriate action on the case.

      2. Same scenario as above. The worker is unable to find information directly from Kansas Department of Corrections but successfully contacts the household by phone. The household verbally verifies that the individual is in prison. Worker takes appropriate action on the case.

      3. Same scenario as above. The worker is unable to find information directly from Kansas Department of Corrections and cannot get anyone on the phone from the household. Worker checks the medical case and locates information to verify the prisoner match. Worker takes appropriate action on the case.

      4. Same scenario as above. Nothing can be found to verify the Prisoner match of the individual based on the match. The worker sends a V000 Request of the prisoner match to the household and allows 10 days for the household to respond.

      5. Same scenario as above. The worker sent a V000 Request of Prisoner match, the household does not respond within 10 days. The subject individual must be removed from the household and adjust benefits accordingly. The likelihood of this scenario occurring is rare. Please refer to Food Assistance Program Manager in these situations.

  3. TANF

    Testing Positive for Illegal Use of a Controlled Substance – See Summary of Changes section IV, A, 1, and KEESM Section 2260.

    For a first positive drug test the individual will be required to cooperate with SRCC services and complete a skills-based training course (KEESM 2260.12).  The career navigator will make a referral to SRCC via the ES-4412 requesting assessment services for a first positive UA and the client is to be directed to a skills-based course, either through SRCC or directed by the career navigator. On the Verification List page, take the following actions to add the pending verification:

        • Select Other from the Type drop-down menu
        • Select the client’s name from the Name drop-down menu
        • Select Pending from the Status drop-down menu
        • Select TANF/RCA, FA, CC from the Program drop-down menu
        • Enter the last day of the current month (or if after adverse action, use the last day of the following month) in the Request Date field
        • Enter 10 days from the Request Date in the Due Date field
        • Enter Need to participate in SRCC services in the Comments text box.

    Once the notice is generated, add the following copy and paste statement as found in the KEES User Manual:

    *NAME*’s suspicion-based drug test was returned with a positive result. In order to continue receiving assistance, *NAME* must participate in SRCC services and skills-based training. You need to make an appointment by contacting *CAREER NAVIGATOR NAME* at *PHONE NUMBER*. Failure to do so will result in *NAME* being removed from the cash assistance case.

    If you wish to have a second opinion of the results of the original UA sample, you may contact your career navigator.  You will be responsible for the cost of this retest. If the results are determined to be a false positive, the state of Kansas will reimburse you. To be reimbursed you will need to provide the invoice to the local DCF office.

    This action is based on Kansas Economic and Employment Services Manual.

    The Protective Payee forms continue to be required.

    The above process allows KEES to track the due date and assign a task for staff to check on SRCC enrollment.

    Allow 10 days for the client to make the appointment with SRCC; however, EES staff should not initiate disqualification processes until a report from the SRCC staff is returned. If the client enrolls in treatment, no further disqualification will occur for this positive test. SRCC will work with the client on employment skills training through their treatment plan. If, however, the client fails to enroll with SRCC or fails to enroll in the skills training, a disqualification for the individual will be applied. Enter the begin date as the first day of the first month the disqualification is applied, taking timely and adequate notice requirements into consideration. An end date should not be populated. Add to the comments section “1st positive”. Send the Standard Copy and Paste notice. The individual will not regain eligibility until compliance is completed.

    There will be times when SRCC determines a treatment plan is not the best course of action. SRCC will refer these individuals to an informational seminar. The career navigator will then be responsible to assign the individual to skills training.

    Once a response from SRCC is received, staff need to update the verification page to indicate the action requested is complete. This action will remove the future task. If a task is generated, EES staff and the career navigator will need to have direct communication in order to assure the correct action is taken on the individual.

    If a second positive occurs at a later date, it will be entered as a second positive with a 12-month disqualification, no matter whether a disqualification period occurred with a first positive drug test.
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