EES POLICY NO. 09-10-03
RE: Food Assistance Employment and Training Program
Pam Jacob, Food Assistance Program Manager Ruth Arensdorf, Assistant TAF Program Manager
Mariani, Director, EES
Reference: 3100, 3230.1, 3500, 3510, 3511, 3522, 3530
DATE: October 28, 2009
Primary SRS Areas Affected:
Shawnee and Geary counties only: Food Assistance and Food Assistance Employment and Training Program
|Where Posted on Web:http://content.srs.ks.gov/ees/KEESM/
The purpose of this memo is to revise Food Assistance Employment and Training policies in the KEESM and outline new referral protocol due to the contracting out of the Food Assistance Employment and Training Program to Heartland Works, effective October 1, 2009. With this change, the program is also being changed from a mandatory program to a non-mandatory program. This means that otherwise non-exempt participants will no longer be penalized for failure to cooperate with the Food Assistance Employment and Training Program. The only work-related penalties that will still apply to food assistance are the potential employment provisions of 3540 and the comparable treatment for disqualification provisions of 2550.
At the time of approval, non-exempt food assistance participants will be referred to Heartland Works, however, it is their choice of whether or not they want to participate with Heartland Works. For ongoing cases where a person is on a penalty (coded DI) for failure to cooperate with a Food Assistance Employment and Training requirement, that person shall be included in the food assistance case at the time of the next review or IR whichever comes first, or if they request to be included in the food assistance case.
New Referral Protocol:
As of November 1, 2009, Heartland Works (HLW) will access the KSCARES Referral List (RELI) for names and directly contact all eligible, non-exempt customers. When needed HLW will open KSCARES and register those customers who volunteer to participate. HLW will code customers for E&T on KSCARES and will provide these customers with services. The KSCARES case will be in the HLW case managers SUC number unless Child Care is requested.
If an exempt customer expresses an interest in the E&T program services at IR, Review or any other time, the case manager will provide the customer with the contact information to Heartland Works and email a copy of the Cap1 to Arlene Ockwood [admin04@HeartlandWorks.org] as a referral. Heartland Works will contact the customer with further information about available services.
If the customer requests Child Care, the case will be CARC’ed back to the EES case manager who will determine eligibility and hours needed. HLW will provide the customer with the necessary documentation to determine how many hours of Child Care the EES case manager needs to approve. EES will administer all Child Care and HLW will administer E&T support services. Files for the Child Care portion of the E&T case will be maintained at the EES Office. HLW will maintain all other E&T volunteer files on site.
The EES case manager will directly contact the HLW case manager by email when a customer is no longer eligible for food assistance so that E&T services may end. The HLW case manager will directly contact the EES case manager by email if the customer obtains employment or if there are any other pertinent changes in the customer’s situation that may affect their food assistance. A report will be made available to HLW and EES listing all customers participating in E&T services. The frequency of this report will be determined as the transition is made and the need is assessed. If you have further questions, please contact Carla Layne.
The following sections of the manual have been revised for the January 2010 KEESM Revision, however, the effective date of these changes is the date of this memo. 3100, 3230.1, 3500, 3511.1, 3511.2, 3522, 3530.
The manual sections as noted above with changes are as follows. The marked out changes are included in this document to make the changes more apparent and understandable.
3100 WORK/SELF-SUFFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS
Mandatory Non-exempt food assistance only customers in designated counties are required may volunteer to participate in the federally mandated USDA Food Assistance Employment and Training Program (Food Assistance E&T). The designated counties include: Dickinson, Geary , Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, and Shawnee. Mandatory Non-exempt food assistance only customers are also required to "seek employment and meet all work related requirements" in all counties. will be automatically referred to a provider who will contact the customer and offer available E&T services. Requirements The opportunity for food assistance only customers to seek employment volunteer for services will be applied consistently within the county. Requirements shall not be imposed on food assistance only applicants with the exception of the Potential Employment provisions of 3540.
3230.1 Loss of Exempt Status - A food assistance person becomes
mandatory eligible for non-mandatory for work program participation services when he or she loses exemption status due to changes that are required to be reported under the provisions of 9121 or 9122.
For those Persons who lose exempt status due to a change in circumstances which is not required to be reported under the provisions of 9121 or 9122 will be referred to a contracted provider who will offer non- mandatory work program services participation will be required at the time of the next review.
3500 FAILURE TO MEET WORK RELATED REQUIREMENTS
There shall be ineligibility for TAF/RE cash assistance
and food assistance benefits when a non-exempt person fails or refuses to meet work related requirements in either the Cash Assistance or Food Assistance Program s without good cause. No penalties are applicable to medical assistance, or food assistance with the exception of potential employment (KEESM 3540) and the comparable penalty provisions (KEESM 2550).
3511.1 Effect on Cash and Food Assistance Eligibility for Non-Recipients - For a failure occurring while the person is not a recipient, (e.g., application is pending and there has been a potential employment violation or there is an job search failure), there is ineligibility until the failure or refusal ceases.
- For cash, the mandatory filing unit of which the individual is a member shall be ineligible except in situations where the mandatory individual who fails the requirements is a child who is not able to act in his/her own behalf. In that circumstance, only the minor parent is ineligible.
- For food assistance, the only work related provisions that apply to applicants are the Potential Employment provisions of 3540.
For food assistance, o Only the individual who failed to comply is ineligible; and eligibility for the remaining household members shall be determined considering the individual who failed to comply an excluded household member.
Such failure or refusal does not incur a penalty in cash assistance or food assistance for purposes of establishing a first or subsequent penalty for recipients as described below.
3511.2 Effect on Cash and Food Assistance Eligibility for Recipients - For a failure to meet cash requirements while the person is in recipient status, the penalty period of ineligibility applies to the mandatory filing unit, unless the individual responsible for the failure is a teen parent under 18 who is unable to act in own behalf and is being treated as a child on the case. In this circumstance, only the individual teen parent is ineligible for assistance.
failure to meet food assistance, only potential employment and comparable treatment for disqualifications applies to recipients. If applied, the penalty only applies to person who failed to cooperate. requirements, the penalty period of ineligibility applies to the individual who failed to comply. Refer to 2550, Comparable Treatment for Disqualifications.
The period of ineligibility for cash and food assistance is until the failure or refusal ceases.
The penalty is cured when the individual completes the activity assignment(s) which caused the non-compliance or the individual completes another appropriate activity or activities as assigned by the case manager. Use of the Declaration of Cooperation and Self-Responsibility Plan (ES-4311) form is not appropriate to cure cash penalties.
For ongoing cash and food assistance cases ineligibility, the penalty shall be established giving timely and adequate notice.
A failure in work requirements from the Food Assistance Program will carry over to the cash assistance programs (and vice versa). This applies even though the cash program may not have been active at the time of the food stamp failure. For example, a person receiving food assistance only is penalized. The failure is not cured and application is made for cash assistance. The case is also ineligible for cash assistance until cooperation is established.
When individuals are ineligible under this provision, they shall be treated as sanctioned persons per 4113 (2) for cash
and excluded persons per 4212.2 for food assistance. If some family members are not made ineligible for cash assistance by the failure (e.g., minor parent unable to act in own behalf fails requirements), they may receive benefits if requirements are met. Ineligible individuals may receive medical under a determined category if requirements are met.
NOTE: Penalties accrued by a minor who is unable to act in his/her own behalf do not count as a first or subsequent penalty when the minor becomes an adult cash
or food assistance recipient. PRAP and JOPR codes for such an individual must be changed when the minor becomes an adult.
3522 Re-Establishing Eligibility (For Cash and Food Assistance Potential Employment/Comparable Treatment Penalties ) - Eligibility may be established for a new applicant situation which was denied because requirements have not been met or reinstated during a penalty if one of the following events occurs:
- The individual becomes exempt, (see 2551 regarding exempt food assistance persons who have a comparable penalty applied); or
- The individual secures employment with weekly gross earnings, or adjusted gross earnings for self-employment, at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours; or
- The individual establishes cooperation. For potential employment violations, cooperation must be established by the person completing the equivalent of one full week of (applicant) job search, participation in other appropriate components, or use of the Declaration of Cooperation and Self-Responsibility Plan form.
For penalties other than potential employment violations, other activity assignments may be applied to establish cooperation.
If the cash assistance individual who failed to comply leaves the cash assistance household and enters a new household, other family members of the first household may be reinstated. The new mandatory filing unit of which the person is a member or the individual if unable to act in own behalf becomes ineligible.
If the food assistance individual who failed to comply (potential employment/comparable penalties only) leaves the food assistance household and enters a new food assistance household, the food assistance individual remains ineligible until he/she establishes cooperation.
3530 Good Cause (TAF and Food Assistance) -The individual shall be determined to have good cause for failure to meet work related requirements (for food assistance, potential employment or comparable penalties) if the individual presents verification that:
- The person was exempt from participation for work related requirements at the time of the failure or refusal, or employment reduction or termination;
- There was no bona fide offer of employment or training;
- The person was incapable of performing the work or training;
- The work or training was so dangerous or hazardous according to OSHA standards as to make the refusal or termination a reasonable one;
- The payment offered for employment was less than the federal minimum wage;
- Child care, or adult day care for an incapacitated family member living in the same home, is necessary for an individual to participate or continue participation in work related requirements or accept employment, and such care is not available and the agency fails to provide such care;
- The total daily commuting time to and from home to the work site or activity to which this individual is assigned exceeds two hours, not including the transporting of a child to and from a child care facility. If a longer commuting distance is generally accepted in the community, the round trip commuting time shall not exceed the generally accepted community standards; or
- The failure occurred during the period of time from the termination of the person's pregnancy through the two following months.
- A single custodial parent has demonstrated the inability to obtain needed child care for a child under 6, because of one or more of the following reasons:
- Unavailability of appropriate child care within a reasonable distance from the individual's home or work site.
- Unavailability or unsuitability of informal child care by a relative or under other arrangements.
- Unavailability of appropriate and affordable formal child care arrangements.
- The person was a victim of domestic violence whereby compliance with program requirements would increase risk of harm for the individual or any children in the individual's care, with domestic violence defined as:
- Physical acts resulting in or threatening to result in, physical injury;
- Sexual abuse, sexual activity involving dependent children, or threats of or attempts at sexual abuse;
- Mental abuse, including threats, intimidation, acts designed to induce terror, or restraints on liberty; or
- Deprivation of medical care, housing, food or other necessities of life.
An individual's statement and one piece of corroborating evidence shall meet the burden of proof unless there is an independent, reasonable basis to doubt the veracity of the statement. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, police or court records, protection from abuse (PFA) orders (filed for and/or obtained) or documentation from a shelter worker, attorney, clergy, medical or other professional from whom the client has sought assistance; or other corroborating evidence such as a statement from any other individual with knowledge of the circumstances which provides the basis for the claim, or physical evidence or domestic violence, or any other evidence which supports the statement.
Exception: In extremely rare situations such as when an individual is in hiding and afraid that there could be information disclosed that could reveal the individual's whereabouts and when the worker does not doubt the veracity of the individual's statement, a written statement from the victim signed under penalty of perjury shall meet the burden of proof.
In rare situations there may be other extenuating circumstances not provided for in the above criteria which results in the inability of the agency to determine whether the refusal to meet the work related requirements, or the employment refusal or termination, was with or without good cause. In such cases a presumption may be made in the favor of the applicant/recipient and the basis for the decision must be documented in the case record.