State of Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services
Don Jordan, Secretary
Integrated Service Delivery - Candy Shively, Deputy Secretary (785) 296-3271
Economic and Employment Support - Bobbi Mariani, Director (785) 296-3349
....Enriching lives today and tomorrow
EES Program Administrators
All Asst. Regional Directors
Bobbi Mariani, Director
Economic and Employment Support
|| Implementation Instructions - KEESM Revision 38, effective January 01, 2009
This memo provides implementation instructions and information for the following January 1, 2009, policy changes in the Kansas Economic and Employment Support Manual (KEESM):
- FOOD ASSISTANCE AND CHILD CARE
- Child Support/Alimony Income Budgeting – See Summary of Changes, item II, A, 1 and Section 7124 - With this revision, an averaged child support/alimony income amount will not be changed between the time of application, interim report and review unless the household reports that child support/alimony income has terminated. Child support/alimony will still be prospectively budgeted when it is first starting and/or there are not three full months to average. However, if an average of the past three full months of child support is put into place, it shall remain unless the household reports that child support income has terminated. The merits of each situation will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis if child support/alimony income is removed from the budget and guidelines to this effect are being included in the manual and in this memo.
What is terminated child support? For the most part, child support will be considered terminated or ended when child support payments stop on a permanent or an extended basis. Examples are:
- The support order ends (child ages out for example) and payments stop
- The AP is in prison or jail and the payments stop
- The AP is deceased and the payments stop
- The AP is disabled and cannot work for an extended period of time and the payments stop
- TAF is approved and child support becomes assigned to the State
What are examples of when child support has not terminated?
- The AP has changed employers and the Income Withholding Order has not been transferred yet
- Payments fluctuate - some months support is received and some months it is not.
What does it mean when the manual says you can’t average child support unless there are three full months of child support to average?
You have to review the payment history of the AP and when the court ordered support went into effect. Was the court order for support just finalized in one of the three months of the average? Did the AP just start paying for the first time in one of the three months of the average? If the answer to those questions is yes, then you don’t have three full months of support to average. Here are some examples:
- Mary applies in January 2009. She reports child support. She has an ongoing court order, and the AP has been making payments off and on for 5 years. In October, he made no payments, in November he paid $500 and in December he paid $1000. An average of October, November and December is done and the average is $500.
- Susan applies in April 2009. The court order was finalized in mid January and the AP was ordered to pay $90 a week. Only two $90 payments were made in January. In February and March, the AP paid $90 a week. Since the child support just started and we do not have three full months of payments to average, a prospective estimate is used for the application and an average will be completed at the time of the IR.
- Linda’s AP gets out of prison in May 2009. He finds a job in June and wage withholding starts in July. Linda applies for food assistance in September. Looking back at the three months to average – August, July and June – we don’t have three full months of child support to average since he didn’t start work until June and withholding didn’t start until July. In this example a prospective estimate would be done based on available information and an average completed at the time of the IR.
How do we average child support when TAF closes and the assignment of child support ends?
Use the same provisions that apply when deciding whether to average or prospect the support that is used at initial application, IR or review. If there were three full months of support assigned to SRS, use that in the average. If not, then prospect the support until an average can later be established at IR or review. Here are some examples:
- Brenda’s TAF case closes the end of May. Assigned support was received in February, none in March and a small payment in April. The AP’s payment history shows fluctuating payments. An average of February, March and April would be used to determine June benefits.
- Bill’s TAF case closes the end of July. The AP just starting making payments in June. Looking back at the three months to average, June, May and April, there are not three full months to average. Child support would be prospected until an average could be established at the time of IR or review.
The above are just some examples of situations that could occur and other situations can occur for each issue. Each case situation will have to be determined and documented on a case-by-case basis using the examples presented here and the guidelines in the manual.
How will the budgeting change be implemented?
The budgeting changes described will be applied to all applications received or processed on or after January 1, 2009. For ongoing cases, the change will apply at the time of the next IR or review, or a case change involving the affected policy whichever comes first. Here are some examples:
- An average has been established for June’s ongoing case. June calls to report that the AP has changed jobs and she will miss some child support until wage withholding starts at the new job. The established average will continue, and a new average will be completed at the time of the next IR or review whichever comes first.
- In another example, Judy’s TAF case closes the end of January 2009. The case is being worked on January 15th. Assigned support has been paid by the AP for the last two years. An average of 3 months of assigned support (October – December) will be used to determine February benefits instead of a prospective estimate.
- FOOD ASSISTANCE
- Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) - See Summary of Changes, item III, A, 1 and Section 2520 - January 1, 2009 starts a new 36 month eligibility period for ABAWDS. The 36-month period will end December 31, 2011. The following policies apply:
- ABAWDs that are receiving benefits at the end of the current 36-month period (applied in September, 3rd month is December 2008) do not have to reapply for benefits to continue into the new 36-month period. They should just be continued through March 2009.
- ABAWDs who applied in October - December 2008 shall receive benefits through the end of the current three year period, or December 31, 2008. They will then start their 3-month eligibility in the new 36-month period, from January - March 2009.
Example 1: An ABAWD is certified in October 2008. November and December are the ABAWD months in the current three year eligibility period. Since a new three year period starts January 1, 2009, eligibility for the new three year period will be January - March 2009.
Example 2: An ABAWD applies in December 2008. Since no months are left in the current three year period, the ABAWD months are January - March 2009.
- ABAWDs that have received their three months and been taken off an active FS case (SEPA code DI) shall be added back onto active FS cases for the benefit month of January 2009, if appropriate. A new application is not required. The person should be treated just like adding a person to an active case. All factors of eligibility must be met to re-add the person to the case. Persons should be re-added to cases for January 1, 2009. If not added in time for the regular January benefit, then lost benefits must be provided for January as appropriate. To assist staff in this effort, a printout of ABAWDs on active FS cases will be generated electronically and sent separately. The report will capture persons age 18-49 who are coded DI (or DF incorrectly) on SEPA. The JOPR coding will be included on the report. In addition, the report will only capture those that are coded as US citizens to narrow down the list of cases to review. ABAWD exempt counties will not be included.
- ABAWDs on cases that are closed will have to reapply to receive benefits in the next 36-month period. No notification of possible eligibility in the new period is required.
- The ABAWD Eligibility Tracking Form, ES-4312, has also been revised as noted in the Summary of Changes. The new form can be downloaded and printed from the KEESM website.
- Review Periods for Food Assistance - See Summary of Changes, item III, B, 4 and Section 9372 - Section 9372 is being revised to provide procedures for cases with 24 month review periods where one of the SSI household members starts receiving earned income, or a new household member joins the household that does not receive SSI. In these situations, the household can no longer be certified for 24 months. The review period will have to be modified from 24 months to 12 months with an IR due based on the new review due date as follows:
- If there are more than 12 months left in the review period, the review period must be modified to a 12 month review period. REHR must be coded Y/SR for an interim report to be sent based on the new review due date.
Example: Susan’s review period is 1/1/09 – 12/31/2010. She starts a job at McDonalds on March 1, 2009 and earned income is counted starting April 2009. There are 19 months left in the review period. The review period is modified to end 12/31/2009 and REHR coding is changed to Y/SR. An interim report will be due in June 2009.
- If there are 7 months to 12 months left in the review period, the review period does not need to be changed, but REHR coding must be changed to Y/SR to set the interim report due date.
Example: Mary gets SSI and her review period is 2/1/08 through 1/31/2010. Mary calls on March 5th, 2009 and reports she started working at Wal Mart. Earned income is added for the benefit month of April 2009. 10 months are left in the review period starting with April 2009. REHR coding is changed to Y/SR. An interim report will now be due July 2009 based on the January review due date.
- If there are 6 months or less left in the review period, the changes to the review period and REHR can be made at the time of review.
Example: Lewis gets SSI and his review period is 6/1/08 through 5/31/2010. He calls in March 2010 to report he started working at his daughter’s restaurant. Earned income is budgeted for April 2010. No changes are made to the review end date or REHR. At the time of the review in May 2010, if Lewis is still working, his review period is 12 months and REHR coding is changed to Y/SR so that an interim report is due in November 2010. When determining how many months are left in the review period, start counting with the benefit month the person or earned income is added to the case.
- Work Transition Allowance (WTA) See Summary of Changes section VI, A, 1 and KEESM 3411 (4).
- OVERVIEW: Phase II of the Work Incentive Enhancement plan will now provide a Work Incentive payment to help customers transition from TAF to self-sufficiency. The Support Services that are given to customers while on TAF and in Job Transition (JOTR) status will be used to assist customers with special needs that were covered by the WTA. Regions will consider customer requests on a case by case basis to decide which Support Services will be the most beneficial.
- WTA will be removed from KEESM as of January 1, 2009. Case managers will no longer issue WTA payments as of that date.
- Customers needing assistance with expenses during the transition from TAF to Self Sufficiency will be served through the Support Services available to customers participating in Work Programs and/or Employment.
Customer becomes employed and loses regular TAF the same month:
Mary Coe and her children have received TAF benefits for 20 months. Mary reports on January 5, 2009, that she has been hired to work 35 hours a week at the local grocery store. She provides a letter from the store documenting her schedule and hourly wages the same day. The case manager discusses the advantages of the Work Incentive (WI) payment with Mary and sets up the case for the $50.00 WI TAF benefit starting February 01, 2009. On February 03, 2009, Mary calls the case manager and states that she only received a partial paycheck on February 01. The $50.00 and partial check will not be enough to pay her rent or bills that are now due. The case manager staffs the request with his (her) supervisor and/or follows the guidelines set forth by the region to assist Mary in meeting her obligations as she transitions into self sufficiency.