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 41, effective October 01, 2009
This memo provides implementation instructions and information for the following October 1, 2009, policy changes in the Kansas Economic and Employment Support Manual (KEESM):
- All Programs
- Other Countable Income and Gifts – See Summary of Changes, Item I, B, 3 and KEESM 6410(25) and 6220(11). This modification clarifies that regular gifts of any amount are counted in full. Changes to affected cases must be made at the time of the next interim report, review or case change involving this policy whichever comes first. See examples in Section 6410(25).
- Cash and Food Assistance
- Interviews – See Summary of Changes, Item III, A, 1 and KEESM 1412.1,1414.2(b) and 9332. This revision allows the use of more telephone interviews since the need to document hardship has been removed. Telephone interviews for food assistance and child care cases are encouraged. Face-to-face interviews are still recommended for TAF assistance as stated in the SOC. All verification policies apply to applications and reviews regardless of the method of the interview.
To assist staff in making the transition to telephone interviews, it is suggested that Regions review the Tim Gard video presentation, Interviewing with Style. If your Region does not have the disc, you may borrow the Central Office disc to share with staff. Also attached to the Implementation Memo is a desk aide "Helpful Hints for Telephone Interviews".
- Food Assistance
- Household Composition – See Summary of Changes, Item IV, A, 1 and
KEESM 4211(4). This revision removes the mandate that the boyfriend father of an unborn child be required to be a member of the food assistance household of the pregnant mother. If the boyfriend father of an unborn child (with no other mutual children) claims to purchase and prepare separately from the pregnant woman, he does not have to be included on the pregnant woman's food assistance case. For implementation purposes, this new policy should be applied to applications processed on or after 10/1/09. For existing cases where the unborn father is included, no changes are required since the child will soon be born and the boyfriend father will then have to be included in the case anyway per KEESM 4211(4). However, if the boyfriend father claims to purchase and prepare separately, and this is not determined to be questionable, he shall be removed from the case until the baby is born.
- Review Periods for Food Assistance – See Summary of Changes, Item IV, A, 5 and KEESM 9372. With this revision staff may now establish 24 month review periods for households where all adults are elderly or disabled and there is no earned income. 24 month review periods are not required, but may be used when appropriate. The 12 Month Review Form is required, thus the REHR screen must be coded Y for SR with a reason code of ED for the 12 Month Review Form to be automatically generated. The SSI 12 Month Report Form has been renamed the 12 Month Report Form. Both the Word version and the system version of the form have been revised. Please refer to the Appendix for the definition of elderly and disabled. Disabled does include GA persons in Tier I.
We do understand that using a 24 month review with certain cases will result in an application for review being mailed and a 12 Month Report Form being mailed to the customer for completion in the same month. If the application for review is completed and returned and the 12 Month Report Form is not, the application for review should be accepted in lieu of the 12 Month Report Form per KEESM 9122.6.
- Group Living Arrangements – See Summary of Changes, Item IV, B, 2
and KEESM 2542. This revision clarifies that residents of for profit group homes or community service providers may not get food assistance if the resident pays for more than 50% of their meals. This includes situations where the resident is actually provided prepared meals and situations where the amount of money paid each month is used to pay for food purchased and prepared by the resident (or group of residents). If the for profit organization does not provide over 50% of the residents meals, then the person can apply for food assistance. Each situation will have to be determined on a case-by-case basis to determine if the resident can qualify for food assistance. For implementation purposes, this clarification shall be applied at the time of the next review or IR, or a case change involving the affected policy, whichever comes first.
- Successful Families
- Grandparents as Caregivers Good Cause for Failure to Cooperate – See Summary of Changes, item VI, A, 1 and KEESM section 2162.1.
Effective October 1, 2009, grandparents who do not have legal custody of the child(ren) in their care may claim good cause for not cooperating with Child Support Enforcement if they fear the loss of the child by cooperating. This is a short term, six month, exemption. It may only be claimed once in a twenty-four month period for each child. Grandparents who request this exemption are to be instructed to begin legal proceedings to obtain legal custody. Coding on the SPRD screen will be “GP” under COOP, then the start date of the good cause, enter ‘Y’ under APP, and enter the date of determination of good cause under DET. Case managers are to set a worker alert to change this coding at the end of the six months.
Example: Alice applies for TAF for her niece on October 7, 2009. Alice states the mom’s living situation is not very stable, and if she cooperates with CSE, mom will remove the child from her care. Alice and the case manager discuss her option to attain legal custody, and Alice decides she wants to claim good cause under this provision. On the SPRD screen, the case manager will enter the following: GP, 10/07/09, Y, and 10/07/09. The case manager will set a WOAL for six months to review the status of legal custody, e.g. 04/07/09. If legal custody has been obtained or not pursued, the code will change to ‘CO’ and the dates and Y will be removed.
Example: Thomas recently moved in with his grandmother, Carrie, as his mom is in jail. Carrie states she wants to get legal custody of Thomas. The case manager in conjunction with the Integrated Service Delivery Team agrees good cause should be granted for six months, in order to allow Carrie time to get legal custody in place. Carrie successfully obtains legal custody of Thomas, and the child support referral is completed. The following month Carrie calls to say Trisha, Thomas’ half sister has also moved in with her. She fears Trisha’s dad (who she claims is an unfit parent) will make Trisha move home with him if child support gets involved. She will attempt to obtain legal custody of Trisha. Good cause is approved for six months and the appropriate coding is entered on SPRD and a review date is set on the WOAL screen.
- Work Incentive Payment – See Summary of Changes, item VI, B, 1 and KEESM section 1111.
Wording has been added to clarify policy regarding eligibility for and counting of five consecutive months of the Work Incentive payment. If TAF eligibility is regained during one of the five months of the Work Incentive payment, the Work Incentive counter is set to zero and the case is eligible for an additional five months of the Work Incentive payment.
Example: Joe obtains employment and his earnings exceed the TAF budgetary standard. He receives the Work Incentive payment for two months. On the 28th of the month, Joe reports and verifies he has been laid off. The Work Incentive payment for the following month has already been authorized. Joe receives the Work Incentive payment and a supplemental payment in month three. Joe reports on the 15th that he is going back to work on the 20th and will receive full pay for next month. Joe is once again eligible for the Work Incentive payment. Because he received a regular TAF benefit in the form of a supplemental benefit, the Work Incentive payment counter has been reset, and Joe is eligible for five additional months of the Work Incentive payment.
Wording has also been added to clarify when certain cases are not eligible to receive the Work Incentive payment. The Work Incentive payment is not available when TAF ineligibility is due to the income of a family member who is not in the cash assistance plan. This includes those individuals coded DI on SEPA as per KEESM 4113.
Example: Jose is an ineligible non-citizen. He is receiving assistance for his two children. Jose reports and verifies employment, which exceeds the TANF income guidelines. His earnings exceed the TAF budgetary standard. Because Jose is not part of the cash assistance plan, he is not eligible for the Work Incentive payment, and the TAF case is to be closed.
- Assignment of Support and Effective Date of Assignment (Not Applicable to Child Care) – See Summary of Changes, item VI, B, 2 and KEESM section 2164.
Spousal support, when there is no order for child support, is not assignable to the state. In cases where spousal support has been ordered, but child support has not been ordered, the spousal support is not assignable and must be counted as income against the TAF benefit.
Example: Kevin and Andee’s divorce agreement gives custody of their son to Kevin and grants custody of their daughter to Andee. No child support is ordered to be paid by either parent. Kevin is ordered to pay Andee $200 a month for spousal support. Andee applies for TAF. Because spousal support without a corresponding child support order cannot be assigned, the $200 spousal support is budgeted on UNIN as SU/NE.
This policy also applies when there is more than one court order.
Example: June has two children, Curtis and Cherry. They have different fathers. Curtis’ father was ordered to pay spousal support of $100 monthly, but no child support. He pays regularly. Cherry’s father was ordered to pay $200 a month child support. He also pays regularly. In this situation, there is no court order for child support for Curtis, therefore the spousal support is not assignable and will be budgeted as SU/NE on the UNIN screen.
- Food Assistance, Successful Families and Child Care
- Because of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Child Support Enforcement was instructed to begin distributing past due child support (arrears) to the TAF customer. Assignment of child support continues, however, the state will no longer retain collected past due support that was owed to the custodial parent prior to TAF approval. Current support will be retained by the state, and budgeting of current child support policies have not changed.
This policy change takes place on all TAF cases opened/approved effective October 1, 2009 and after. Case workers will need to budget arrearage payments as per KEESM sections 6220, 6410 and 7125.
At the time of the TAF application, the EES case manager is to explore current child support payments via the KANSAS AUTOMATED ELIGIBILITY AND CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM (if there is an open SRS child support case). Any child support payment made in the month of application prior to approval is to be counted in its entirety, with a code of CS CO on the UNIN screen. Any current support anticipated for the remainder of the month is to be counted as CS EX on the UNIN screen. If an arrearage payment is anticipated, code it separately on UNIN on a separate line as CS CO.
Example: Jenny B. Jones and her three children apply for TAF and food assistance on October 4, 2009. Jenny receives current child support of $75 a month, and receives $25 a month for the $10,000 arrears that is owed. The EES case worker receives all verification and is ready to approve the TAF and Food assistance case on October 15. The case manager reviews the PACC screen and notes Jenny received $50.00 on October 8th and usually receives the second child support payment on the 22nd of the month. Since there has been a child support payment made prior to TAF approval, the case manager budgets the $50.00 on UNIN as CS RE. The second payment is anticipated and is budgeted as CS EX. The past due support is averaged for the last 3 months and is budgeted as CS CO on the second line on the UNIN screen. Future months will budget current support as CS EX and averaged arrears as CS CO. Once the arrears are averaged, this projected amount can continue to be budgeted until the next IR (if there is a food assistance case) or review. At the time of the next IR or review, the arrearage payments will then be averaged (provided there are three full months of child support to average).
Example: Kathy has an open food assistance case with her two children. Kathy lost her job and is applying for TAF in October 2009. The boys’ father pays current child support and arrears. This income has been averaged and budgeted for food assistance. Kathy has been on TAF previously. At the time of TAF approval, a bi-weekly child support payment has been made. Code this payment as OO so it will be counted for the TAF benefit and change the current CS CO coding to OF so the food assistance case will not be adjusted. Code the expected second bi-weekly child support payment CS EX. Because Kathy has received TAF assistance previously, contact with CSE will be required to determine if the arrears payment will continue to be paid to Kathy or will be assigned to the state. If Kathy continues to be owed the arrearages, average the last three months of payments and code them separately as OO in the month of application.
On-going cases, Reviews and IR’s:
TAF customers are to report the amount of unearned income being counted increases or decreases by more than $50 per month. Once a customer reports receipt of child support arrearages, the case manager will need to determine if this income will continue, and if so, will prospect anticipated arrears payments for TAF and food assistance. Contact with CSE may be required.
At the time of all TAF reviews and IR’s (when there is an open TAF assistance case), each region will receive a report of any child support arrearage payments received in the preceding three months. This report will report payments by child, date disbursed and the amount sent. The EES case manager will need to explore if the payment is a countable payment by reviewing PACC and PAYR via the KANSAS AUTOMATED ELIGIBILITY AND CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM. Child support arrearage payments can be identified by the following on PACC: Distribution code (ACS), Distribution method (warrant), debit ($ amount), and warrant number. Occasionally, some payments identified as ACS will need to be excluded from the arrearage average. These payments may be debt set-off payments and can be identified by a ‘S’ or ‘F’ on the PAYR screen. This process is being enhanced to provide staff information on TAF cases that may be receiving child support arrearages.
Attachment: Helpful Hints for Telephone Interviews