STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL 10-20-11
Integrated Services Delivery
Docking State Office Building
Room 581 - West
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Economic and Employment Support Program Administrators
Economic and Employment Support Staff
KDHE-HCF Staff, including the HealthWave Clearinghouse
Social Service Administrators
Summary of Changes for Kansas Economic and Employment Support Manual (KEESM) Revision No. 51 effective November 1, 2011.
OVERVIEW OF CHANGES
A brief overview of the major changes is described below. Other clarifications and technical corrections are also included and described in the next section. Additional technical corrections not mentioned here are being incorporated in KEESM as needed.
Child Care – Non-TANF child care recipients will be required to be employed a minimum of 20 hours per week in order to qualify for child care assistance.
Child Care and Successful Families –Assistance units will now include the boyfriend or girlfriend cohabiting with the person legally responsible for the child. The income and resources of the cohabitant will be used in determining eligibility and benefit levels.
A tiered penalty system is being implemented for non-cooperation with child support enforcement.
Food Assistance – This revision incorporates changes to the comparable penalty provisions for failure to cooperate with a TANF work program requirement to correspond to the TANF change in penalties.
Successful Families – A tiered penalty system is being implemented for non-cooperation with work programs.
TAF is now renamed TANF – Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.
TANF is now time-limited to 48 months. Hardship provisions have been revised and now only allow households to remain eligible for 60 months. Hardship extensions are granted only by executive level approval. The implementation memo explains how this new time limit will be rolled out for existing households with more than 35 months of TANF assistance.
Applicants will be required to job search while their TANF application is pending.
Children, ages 7 through 18, must be enrolled in school for families to remain eligible for TANF assistance.
DESCRIPTION, PURPOSE, AND DETAILS OF POLICY CHANGE
- Child Care
- Reinstatement of Assistance – KEESM 1423 is being modified to remove reference to failures to cooperate with CSE and to remove the notation saying all failures were first time failures for child care.
- EM (Non-TANF) Child Care – KEESM section 2835 is being modified to require that all adults included in non-TANF child care cases be employed a minimum of 20 hours per week (average). All current child care cases will be reviewed in November and December, and any adult who is not employed at least 20 hours per week will be allowed 60 days to increase their work hours and provide proof of meeting the 20-hour-per-week requirement.
TANF recipients who lose eligibility for TANF due to employment are not subject to the 20-hour-per-week requirement for two months following the loss of TANF eligibility. However, if not employed at least 20 hours per week, the child care plan will be written only for those two months. If the parent is employed 20 hours or more per week at the end of those two months, they may reapply for child care assistance.
- Income Producing Cost Deduction - The note at the end of KEESM section 7122.1 is being modified to require that child care assistance be terminated for self-employed individuals if after six months they are not making a net income from self-employment equal to or greater than the federal minimum wage per hour. Self-employed individuals must also be working a minimum of 20 hours per week (average) to qualify for child care.
- Child Care and Successful Families
- Assistance Planning – Assistance planning is being revised to include the boyfriend or girlfriend cohabiting with the person legally responsible for the child in the assistance plan for Child Care and TANF. The income and resources of the cohabitant will be used in determining eligibility and benefit levels. This change will assure consistent treatment with married couples on TANF.
KEESM 4100 , 4111, 4120, and 4410 are being modified with this change.
- Non-cooperation with CSE –Policy is being modified to implement a tiered penalty system for non-cooperation with Child Support Enforcement.
TANF eligibility will end for the entire MFU of the person
who fails to cooperate with child support enforcement.
If a parent or legally responsible caretaker fails to cooperate with CSE for a child receiving child care assistance, eligibility for child care will end, and the parent will be disqualified from receiving child care benefits for all children for whom he or she is legally responsible.
Disqualification periods for failure to cooperate with CSE
will be established as follows:
- First disqualification – a minimum of three months and cooperation must be established.
- Second disqualification – a minimum of six months and cooperation must be established.
- Third disqualification – a minimum of one year and cooperation must be established.
- Fourth and subsequent disqualifications – a minimum of ten years.
KEESM sections 2165, 2165.1 and 2165.2 are being modified with this change.
- Disposition of Obsolete Case Record Material – KEESM 1711 is being revised to reflect the new requirement that case files that have had penalties imposed for non-cooperation with Child Support Enforcement and/or Work Program requirements be maintained in orange colored file folders, and that material related to such penalties be retained indefinitely.
- Food Assistance
- Comparable Treatment for Disqualification – KEESM section 2552 is being revised to incorporate the changes to TANF work program penalties. The comparable penalties of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 10 years, will apply to the Food Assistance Program.
Since the minimum penalty period must be served before the person can regain TANF eligibility, this section has been revised to state that the former TANF benefit is to be counted as income during the first month of the penalty period to insure that food assistance benefits do not increase as a result of a failure to comply with a TANF requirement.
The same is true for CSE penalties which are also tiered, except that no disqualification is applied to the food assistance person who failed to cooperate.
To re-establish eligibility after the minimum penalty period is served, the person must reapply for TANF and cooperate with work programs as established for TANF. Once the person cooperates after the end of the minimum penalty period, he/she can be added back onto the food assistance case. If they do not reapply for TANF, they shall be re-added to the food assistance case after the end of the minimum penalty period without any further requirements.
The Declaration of Cooperation and Self Responsibility Plan form, ES-4311, is being obsoleted with this revision.
Additional information and examples are being provided in the Implementation Memo.
- Successful Families
- 48 Month Time Limit – KEESM 2240, 2241, 2242, 2243, 2243.1 and 3110 are being revised to incorporate the change in TANF time limits and new hardship criteria.
- Paternity Referrals – KEESM 2220, 2167.1, 2167.2 and 4111.1 are being revised in keeping with the change in cohabiting individuals. Paternity referrals continue to be required as the Mandatory Filing Unit (MFU) changes occur.
- Work/Self- Sufficiency Requirements – KEESM 3100 is being revised to include the additional food assistance E&T counties and to include the eligibility requirement for all TANF applicants to job search while their application is in the processing period.
The ES-4306 has been updated to include applicant job search instructions.
- Provisions Specific to TANF Support Services – KEESM 3410 is being revised to exclude adults and MFU that loses eligibility for ten years for TANF due to a fourth or subsequent non-cooperation penalty from receiving Job transition services.
- Failure to Meet Work Related Requirements – KEESM 3500, 3511, and 3522 are being revised to incorporate the tiered penalty system whereas the following will result for those who do not cooperate with work program activities and any household they may be associated with:
- The first non-cooperation – a minimum three-month penalty.
- The second non-cooperation – a minimum six-month penalty.
- The third non-cooperation will result in a minimum one year penalty.
- The fourth or subsequent non-cooperation – a ten year loss of TANF eligibility.
Penalty cure after the mandatory minimum closure time will be dependent upon the individual(s) cooperation in assigned work program activities.
Children in the MFU will be able to apply when they reach 18 years of age or become emancipated.
The ES-4307 has been created to be added to the case file as a tool to track penalties.
- Work/Self-Sufficiency Requirements and Support Services Specific to TANF Work Program Participation – KEESM 3100 and 3411 are being revised to incorporate Applicant Job Search requirements for eligibility and to define support services available to applicants. All TANF applicants must now complete 20 job contacts/applications to be eligible for cash benefits. Applicants and new recipients are required to continue to job search 20 hours and complete 20 job contacts/applications a week until they meet with their EES worker to assign a new work program activity. The code AJS will be added to the KSCARES SESP screen to facilitate support service payments.
- Assessment Process – KEESM 3130 is being modified to indicate that 20 job contacts are required prior to TANF approval.
Because of the 48-month time limit,
information is being included in 3130 regarding timeframes for assessments.
The following items are being added to 3130.2 to assist working toward self-sufficiency:
- Additional Substance Use Disorder screens
- Employment Screening
- Psychological Evaluations
- Medical Assessments
- Child in Family – KEESM 2210 is being revised to include a new requirement that all school age children be enrolled in school, or are registered with the State of Kansas as home schooled, in order for the family to be eligible for assistance. Additional information will be provided in the Implementation Memo.
Continue use of Notice A800, School Enrollment Verification and form ES-4103.
FORMS (Explanation provided if not mentioned previously in this summary.)
Child Care, Food Assistance, Successful Families
ES-3100a, Application Addendum: The Application Addendum is being provided for staff to attach to the current paper application to explain the new tiered penalties to customers.
- ES-3102, Important Information About Cooperation: Information is being revised to reflect the new tiered penalty process for Work Programs and CSE. A note that TANF is limited 48 months is also on this form.
- ES-4306, Employer Contact Record: ES-4306 is being revised to give TANF applicants instructions on applicant job search requirements. It also gives instruction on expectations for job search until the work program activity is assigned.
- ES-4307, Penalty Tracking Sheet: This form is being developed for tracking the tiered CSE and Work program penalties. It should be printed and kept in the front of the paper file.
APPENDIX (Explanation provided if not mentioned previously in this summary.)
- Child Care
C-25, Child Care Checklist: This checklist is being updated to reflect the 20-hour-per-week work requirement for EM child care recipients and the penalties for non-cooperation with child support enforcement.
- E-11, Education/Training Assistance Desk Aid: This desk aid is being updated to remove the exemption from the 20-hour-per-week work requirement for students within 6 months of completion of their education.
- Successful Families
X-6, Definitions Of Common Terms: The mandatory filing unit definition is being expanded to include the cohabiting boyfriend or girlfriend of the legally responsible person for the child.
MISCELLANEOUS FORMS (Explanation provided if not mentioned previously in this summary.)
The policies in this revision are effective November 1, 2011.
EFFECT ON LOCAL STAFF
The changes in this revision will require substantial effort by field staff to implement. The changes in policy will increase the complexity of the decision making process for eligibility purposes. Depending on the specific policy change, staff will be required to make changes to current cases within the next 60 days or as they come up for review over the next 12 months. Additional training on the changes will also be provided within the next month.
MATERIALS OBSOLETED BY THIS REVISION
Form ES-4311, The Declaration of Cooperation and Self Responsibility Plan, is being obsoleted with this revision.
Within EES, the material in this letter and manual revision has been coordinated with staff in Economic and Employment Support, the EES Program Administrators, the Implementation Planning Team, and the Training Advisory Team.
Kathe Decker, Director
Economic and Employment Support