STATE DEPARTMENT FOR CHILDREN
Docking State Office Building
Room 581 - West
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Economic and Employment Services Program Administrators
Economic and Employment Services Staff
KDHE-HCF Staff, including the KanCare Clearinghouse
Prevention and Protection Services Administrators
Summary of Changes for Kansas Economic and Employment Services Manual (KEESM) Revision No. 62 effective November 1, 2013.
OVERVIEW OF CHANGES
A brief description of the major changes and clarifications is provided below.
The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 increased food assistance benefits across the board effective April 1, 2009 by 13.6%. ARRA provided that food assistance benefit levels would continue at the new higher amount until the program’s regular annual inflation adjustments to the maximum food assistance benefit exceeded those set by ARRA. Two laws were passed subsequent to ARRA, however, that accelerated the sunset of the ARRA benefit increase and used the estimated savings to fund other programs. The result is that benefits for November 1, 2013 are decreasing because the June 2013 Thrifty Food Plan established for Federal Fiscal Year 2014 is less than current benefit amounts as set by ARRA. Benefit decreases average approximately $10 per person per month, except those households of 1 or 2 getting the minimum benefit of $16. The minimum benefit is decreasing to $15.
We anticipate that many more calls will be made to local DCF offices and DCF Customer Service. Talking points have been prepared and shared with local office staff and DCF Customer Service. In addition, appeals due to the decrease in benefits are anticipated. However, if the appeal is solely due to the Federally mandated changes, the agency shall prepare the ARRA Motion to Dismiss the Appeal form and submit that with the request for a fair hearing since the agency lacks jurisdiction of the Federally mandated decrease in benefits. If there is another reason that the benefits decreased, such as an increase in income, then the appeal must be conducted. Requests for continuation of benefits must be based on the allotment levels as of November 2013, as the authority for the ARRA benefit levels expired on October 31, 2013.
This change was automatically processed with rollover in September 2013. Mass change notices were mailed the week of September 30th. A worker generated notice is also available explaining the reduction in benefits for cases not processed with the mass change with rollover, the F745 – FA Mass Change/Benefit Change. The following paragraph can also be pasted onto notices and placed in the “Other” section at the end:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided higher food assistance benefits during the recession. These extra benefits end as of November 1, 2013, and will result in reduced benefits starting in November.
A technical correction was made to 4212.2. This section was updated to include Ineligible ABAWDS – Persons who have received their 3 month time limited benefits and no longer qualify for food assistance shall be treated as an excluded household member.
Section 2640 was restored providing general eligibility requirements for MediKan
Successful Families and Child Care
Clarification is being added surrounding the penalties for TANF and Child Care when there is failure to cooperate with Child Support Services. A penalty for one is a penalty for both. A failure to cooperate while on assistance with one program, is also a penalty to cooperate for the second program. KEESM 2165 and 2165.1 are being updated to reflect this change.
ES-1510.1, Computation of Food Assistance Benefit
ES-2007 English and Spanish Inserts are being updated with the change in maximum benefit amounts.
F-2, Food Assistance Program Standards
F-3, Food Assistance Program Benefit Tables
The policy in this revision is effective for all benefits issued on or after November 1, 2013.
EFFECT ON LOCAL STAFF
This change is mandated by Federal Law and the State Agency must implement the benefit decreases. Phone calls about the decreases will result, as well as more request for a fair hearing. If the benefit decrease is solely due to the ARRA sunset, the Motion to Dismiss form will be prepared and sent with the Fair Hearing request.
MATERIALS OBSOLETED BY THIS REVISION
This change was coordinated with staff in Economic and Employment Services, Executive Leadership, and the EES Program Administrators.
Jaime Rogers, EES Director
Economic and Employment Services