STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL                                        09-17-09
REHABILITATION SERVICES                                                
Integrated Services Delivery
Docking State Office Building
Room 681 - West
Topeka, Kansas 66612

To:

Regional Directors
Economic and Employment Support Program Administrators
Economic and Employment Support Staff                                
KHPA Staff, including the HealthWave Clearinghouse
Social Service Administrators
Other Staff

Re: Summary of Changes for Kansas Economic and Employment Support Manual (KEESM) Revision No. 41 effective October, 2009.

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.

Adult Protective Services – The manual has been renumbered and rearranged, and titles or numbers for some sections may have changed. The section numbers and titles are as follows:

12000 - Program Description;
12100 - Intake and Screening Process;
12200 - Conducting the Investigation;
12300 - Case Findings;
12400 - Central Registry of Substantiated Perpetrators of Adult Abuse, Neglect or                Exploitation;
12500 - Providing Services;
12600 - Guardianship and Conservatorship Services;
12700 - Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division of the Kansas Attorney General’s               Office;
12800 - Community Based Income Eligible Program;
12900 - Definitions.

Policy changes and clarifications will be listed in the next section.

Child Care – This revision incorporates the temporary adjustment effective 10-1-09 in the family share deductions for all EM child care cases with a family share. Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT (ARRA) will be applied to temporarily reduce family share deductions by at least 50% for the period October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010

Food Assistance – This revision incorporates the annual adjustments to the Food Assistance Program that are effective October 1 of each year. Increasing are: the standard deduction amounts (with the exception of the standard deduction for household sizes of 1-3), the excess shelter deduction; the gross and net income limits; and the Standard Utility Allowance. The Limited Utility Allowance is also decreasing from $215 to $194. Also not increasing for October are the maximum allotment amounts since those changed in April 2009 based on the stimulus legislation.These changes were processed with rollover in August, effective October 1, 2009. Information about these changes was provided prior to rollover in August.

In addition, two changes are included that will assist staff with caseload management. Effective with this revision, the face-to-face interview can be waived in lieu of a telephone interview without the household having a hardship in getting to the office and the documentation of the same. This applies to initial application and review interviews. Most interviews for food assistance should now be done via the telephone. However, a face-to-face can be conducted if the agency deems it necessary or the household requests a face-to-face interview. These same policies apply to TAF, however a face-to-face is still recommended for TAF for purposes of completing the Work Readiness Screening. The other change involves the length of the review period for households where all adults are elderly or disabled and with no earned income . Effective with this revision, these households may now have a 24 month review period with a 12 month report form completed in the 12th month of the review period.

Food Assistance, Child Care and Successful Families – Instruction is being added regarding the change in CSE policy regarding arrears payments. Effective October 1, 2009 certain child support arrearage payments will be forwarded to the TAF customer. This income is countable towards the TAF, child care, and food assistance benefit amount.

Successful Families – A new section is being added in the policy manual for Grandparents as Caregivers to claim CSE good cause when they fear cooperating with CSE will cause the loss of physical custody of the child. This is a short term exemption and may not be claimed more than once in a twenty-four month period.

Information has been added to clarify who is eligible or not eligible for 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 (Coded DI on SEPA). When an individual who is not in the assistance plan has earnings which exceed the TAF budgetary standard, the case is to be closed, and no Work Incentive payment is to be authorized. Wording has been added to clarify when spousal support is to be assigned, and when it cannot be assigned. Spousal support, when there is no court ordered child support, is not assignable. Wording has been added to clarify a child must be under age 19 and in school for his/her earnings to be exempt. Clarification is being given on the 60% earnings disregard. The earnings disregard is allowed on a case that has received TAF in one of the four preceding months. With this clarification an employed person entering the home which has an open TAF case will be able to receive the 60% earnings disregard on that income.

Other changes and technical clarifications are also being added to the 2000 section and 3000 sections of KEESM.

DESCRIPTION, PURPOSE, AND DETAILS OF POLICY CHANGE

  1. All Programs

    1. Changes

      None

    2. Clarifications

      1. Time In Which Application is to be Processed and Case Disposition – A technical correction is being made to Section 1413. Reference to a signed signature page for an online application is being removed.

      2. Denial – A technical correction is being made to Section 1414.2. Item (9) regarding the signature page for an on-line application is being removed.

      3. Other Countable Income and Gifts – A clarification is being provided regarding monetary gifts that exceed $50 per month. There has been confusion regarding whether $50 should be deducted from gifts in excess of $50. The answer to that is no, if a gift exceeds $50, the entire amount is countable. Two examples are provided in KEESM 6410(25). A correlating change is being made to 6220(11).

        A second clarification is included in 6220(11). Royalty payments made to tribal members from casino profits are not also known as per capita income, so the reference that indicated this was removed.

      4. Income Exempt as Income Only and Income Exempt as Income and a Resource – In item (1) of 6410, the name of the Permanent Guardian Subsidy Program has been changed to the Permanent Custodianship Subsidy Program as that is the correct name of the program.

  2. Adult Protective Services

    1. Changes

      1. Investigations of youth 18 - 21 – The manual has been revised regarding investigations involving youth 18 – 21 in the Secretary’s custody. Effective July 1, 2009 APS is no longer responsible for those investigations. The section in the manual referring to those investigations has been deleted.

      2. Screening timeframe – The policy for screening reports is being changed from ‘screened within four (4) hours’ to ‘the next half working day.’ Section 12110 is being updated with this change.

      3. Contacting the Involved adult – What needs to be documented after contact with the adult is being changed in Section 12211.

      4. Finding Language – The language for findings is being changed from confirmed and unconfirmed to substantiated and unsubstantiated, see Section 12300.

      5. Standard of Evidence – Section 12310, Case Findings, is being changed to include a standard of evidence to be considered prior to making a finding.

      6. Notification to QA/PI Regional supervisor – Section 12130 is being changed to include notification for persons receiving services on a waiver program (MR/DD, PD, TBI).

      7. Providing Services – Is being changed to include all services; Service Plan, Corrective Action Plan, Emergency Support Services, and Emergency Support Services, see Section 12500.

      8. Service Plans – Section 12500 is being changed to include the availability of providing needed services beyond 60 days, as appropriate, when law enforcement is involved and charges are resulting.

      9. Corrective Action Plans – Policy is being changed so corrective action plans will be available only when the allegation is exploitation or fiduciary abuse. Section 12510 is being updated with this change.

      10. Emergency Support Funds and Services – This is being changed to include expenditure codes which are to be included in ESF requests. Section 12512 is being updated with this change.

      11. ES 1012 – This is no longer a mandatory document for Guardianships resulting from an investigation, see Section 12600.

      12. Close after contact – This is being changed from screen out after initial acceptance. If a report is screened in and initial contact indicates there is no further need for investigation, then the case is staffed and closed with reason documented, see Section 12211.

      13. DLS 31A/DLS 31B – This is being replaced with the ES – 1011 for referral to Regional attorney for petition for guardian, see Section 12600.

    2. Clarifications

      1. Order of case files – This is being moved from Section 12160 to Section 12200.

      2. Contacting the Involved Adult – Reasonable efforts to determine safety is being clarified as to what is expected, and examples are being provided in section 12211.

      3. Contact by Authorized Collateral – Section 12211 is being clarified to indicate if an authorized collateral contacts the adult within the assigned timeframe, it counts as the initial contact.

      4. Notification to Law Enforcement – The notification form 1019a goes to law enforcement when there is imminent danger or criminal activity. The ES – 1000 and ES – 1001 are not sent to Law Enforcement. Section 12100 is being modified to clarify this.

      5. Notification to EES Worker – If an EES worker initiated a report related to fiduciary abuse or financial exploitation, the finding is to go to them once the investigation is completed. Section 12320 is being modified to clarify this.

  3. Cash and Food Assistance

    1. Changes

      1. Interviews – The manual is being revised regarding interviews. A face-to-face interview has long been required at application and review for the food assistance program. This policy was adopted for the cash programs for consistency purposes. The prior policy allowed the face-to-face interview to be waived in lieu of a telephone interview for certain hardship conditions as long as the reason for the telephone interview was documented in the case file.

        With this change, telephone interviews for both applications and reviews, can be conducted for all households without the need to have a hardship and to document the same. For all practical purposes, the majority of food assistance application and review interviews should now be conducted via the telephone. However, if the household requests a face-to-face interview one must be provided. In addition, if the agency determines that a face-to-face interview is necessary using prudent person judgment, one can be requested, however, if the household cannot attend the face-to-face interview and claims hardship, a telephone interview shall be provided.

        For TAF, a face-to-face interview is recommended at the time of initial application for the purpose of reviewing the Work Readiness Screening, and for child care one is recommended for the purpose of developing the childcare plan and providing program information and information on choosing quality child care.

        KEESM 1412.1, 1414.2(b) and 9332 are being revised to incorporate this change.

    2. Clarifications

      1. Trust Funds - A clarification is being provided in Section 5610 regarding ARCare Trusts and supplemental needs/care trusts. An additional federal cite (42 U.S.C. 1396p(d)(4)(c)) has been provided under which these exempt trusts can be established. ARCare Trusts do not need to be submitted to EES Central Office for TAF of food assistance review since they are exempt.

  4. Child Care

    1. Changes

      1. Family Share Deductions – Adjustments have been made to reduce the amount of the family share deductions for families receiving EM child care and who were assigned a family share deduction. Funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT is being used to assist parents with their out of pocket child care expenses. Families with incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will have their family shares reduced to zero. Families with incomes from 100% to 185% for the FPL will have their family shares reduced by approximately 50%.

    2. Clarifications

      1. Authorized Representative – Section 1523 is being modified to remove the last sentence of the section that was apparently placed there in error some time ago.

  5. Food Assistance

    1. Changes

      1. Household Composition – Effective with this revision, the boyfriend father of an unborn child (with no other mutual children in the home) can no longer be required to be a member of the household that includes the mother (pregnant woman) if the boyfriend father claims to purchase and prepare food apart from the mother. Once the child is born, however, the boyfriend father must be included per 4211 (4), first paragraph. The father must be included on the food assistance case the month following the month the newborn is included. This will allow time to gather needed information regarding the father to determine if the household is still eligible.

      2. Annual Adjustments to the Food Assistance Program Standards– Effective October 1, 2009, the following appendices are being updated to incorporate the annual federal adjustments to the Food Assistance Program that increases the standard deductions, excess shelter deduction, and gross and net income limits. Also increasing this year is the standard utility allowance. The limited utility allowance and the standard deduction for household sizes of 1-3 are decreasing. Households were notified of any changes to their benefits with the mass change notice issued after rollover in August 2009.

        Item F-2, Food Assistance Program Standards; and

        Item F-11, 130% Income Reporting Chart for Simplified Reporters. (The changes to item F-11 result from the increase in the Gross income limit.)

        Note: Due to the stimulus increase in the maximum allotments effective April 1, 2009, the maximum allotments are not being increased again for October 2009. F-3, Food Assistance Program Benefit Tables are being updated due to the increase in the net income limit.

      3. Standard Deduction – Section 7222 is being modified to increase the standard deduction amounts. The new amounts effective 10-01-09 are:

        Household size 1-3 = $141 (decrease form $144)
        Household size 4 = $153
        Household size 5 = $179
        Household size 6 or more = $205

      4. Shelter Costs – Section 7226 is being modified to increase the excess shelter deduction to $ 459. The standard utility allowance is being increased to $350.

        The limited utility allowance is also being changed for October 1, 2009. The amount is decreasing from $215 to $194. Additional information about this change was provided previously.

        These amounts were entered into the KAECSES-AE system prior to rollover in August 2009 and were processed automatically with rollover. Information about the implementation of the annual adjustments was provided separately.

      5. Review Periods for Food Assistance – Section 9372 is being changed to expand the policies for 24 month review periods. With this revision, households where all adults are elderly or disabled and with no earned income may be certified for a 24 month period. A 12 month report form must be completed as a condition of the 24 month review period. The REHR screen must be coded Y for SR with a reason code of ED for the 12 month report form to be generated and for the system to allow a 24 month review period.

    2. Clarifications

      1. Expedited Serivce – A technical correction is being made to Section 1415.1. Wording regarding the signature page for an online application are being removed, including use of the date of discovery field.

      2. Group Living Arrangements – A clarification has been provided to 2542 regarding disabled persons who reside in homes or apartments who are paying rent, utilities, HCBS services, transportation, food, etc to a for profit community service provider. These disabled persons are NOT eligible for food assistance if the resident pays for more than 50% of their meals. This includes situations where the resident is actually provided meals and situations  where the amount of money paid each month is used to pay for food purchased and prepared by the resident(s). If the community service provider is not-for-profit, then the disabled residents can apply for and receive food assistance if eligible. The key factor is determining if the group home or community service provider is considered nonprofit by the IRS. The facility can be required to verify this information if questionable. If the community service provider is determined to be for profit, then residents can only qualify if provided with 50% or less of their meals. If the normal fee paid provides more than 50% of the residents meals they are considered living in an institution and are not eligible for food assistance.

      3. Household Composition – A clarification is being provided regarding separate household status for persons 22 or older and living with a parent and they purchase and prepare meals separately. The word “majority” has been included to clarify that a person 22 or older living with a parent may have separate household status from the remainder of the household if they purchase and prepare a majority of their meals apart from the others. Section 4210 (5) is being modified to include this clarification.

      4. Pension Plans – A list of excluded retirement plans has been reference in Section 5430(18) and included in the Appendix, Item T-12.

      5. Child Support and Alimony Income – A clarification is included in this revision regarding arrearage child support that will be paid to TAF recipients effective October 1, 2009. This support must be counted and average just like other child support income for food assistance purposes. Section 7124 has been modified to include this clarification.

      6. Child Support Income and Deduction – Due to a recent clarification from USDA, policy is being clarified regarding the counting of child support income and allowing a child support deduction when the child for whom the support is paid is in the home of the parent paying the support. In these instances, the child support income is not counted as income since the parent’s income has already been counted and to count the child support income for the child would be counting the same income twice. Even though the child support income is not counted, the child support deduction must still be allowed since the parent has a legal obligation to pay the support. Previous clarifications regarding this policy stated that the child support deduction would not be allowed. Sections 6220 (4) and 7225 are being modified to include this clarification.

        Example: Mr. Jones pays child support for his son Robert who is in the home for the summer. The child support goes to the mother and she sends the support back to the father. In this case, the child support income is not counted as income to the child since the father’s income has already been counted. However, a child support deduction must still be allowed for the father since the support payment is legally obligated.

      7. Proration – A clarification is being included in 7401 regarding proration for food assistance when action is taken following the denial of a review application. If the review application is denied, and action is taken in the month following the end of the review period, benefits shall be prorated from the date the action is taken. A cross reference to 9350 is also included.

      8. Interim Report – Termination of Benefits – A clarification is being provided that if the completed interim report indicates the household is no longer eligible for benefits, the case shall be closed and only adequate notice is required. Section 9122.6 is being modified to include this clarification.

  6. Food Assistance, Child Care, and Successful Families

    1. Changes

      None

    2. Clarifications

      1. Income Exempt as Income Only and Income Exempt as Income and a Resource – A new section, KEESM 7125 is being added to address budgeting of child support arrears on TAF cases, and KEESM 6410 (10) is being updated to match section 2164 of KEESM which requires child support arrears payments to be budgeted for TAF. Child Support Enforcement will no long be retaining child support arrearages accumulated prior to TAF assignment. Any payments towards these non-assignable arrears will be paid directly to the TAF participant. These arrearage payments are to be counted as unearned income and included in determining eligibility for TAF, child care, and food assistance. The arrears will be counted towards the Child Support budget once the TAF case closes.

  7. General Assistance

    1. Changes

      None

    2. Clarifications

      1. GA Included Members - A note is being added to KEESM 4112 clarifying the allowable household composition for GA.

      2. Budgetary Standards - A note is being added to KEESM 7411 clarifying that the budgetary standards detailed in 7411 are not applicable to GA UA or GA PM.

  8. Successful Families

    1. Changes

      1. Grandparents as Caregivers Good Cause for Failure to Cooperate – A new section, section 2162.1 is being added to address the needs of Grandparents who fear the loss of physical custody of a child if they cooperate with Child Support Enforcement. This is a short term exemption which will allow Grandparents time to explore and obtain legal custody of the child. This exemption is only allowed one time in any twenty-four month period.

    2. Clarifications

      1. Work Incentive Payment – KEESM section 1111 is being clarified regarding current practices surrounding the Work Incentive Payment.

      2. Assignment of Support and Effective Date of Assignment (Not Applicable to Child Care) – Section 2164 is being clarified regarding assignment of spousal support when there is no order for child support. 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.

        Other changes are being made to clarify that certain arrears will no longer be paid to the state, but will go directly to the TAF customer. These arrears will be counted as unearned income and need to be budgeted for TAF as currently required in KEESM 2164.

      3. Income Exempt as Income Only and Income Exempt as Income and a Resource – Minor wording changes have been included in Section 6410 (11) to exempt earnings of minors under the age of 19 when they are working toward the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent.

      4. Persons Included in the Assistance Plan – KEESM clarifies that the 60% earnings disregard is applicable to the TAF case, not necessarily to the7211 individual. This will allow persons being added to the TAF case to receive the 60% disregard if the TAF case was open in at least one of the last four months.

      5. Using the FE Code – Wording is being added under the note in KEESM 2243 section to clarify that the Fully Engaged (FE) code is not appropriate for cases that are open after 60 month. The proper coding for such cases is contained in the instruction for hardship codes 1-5 contained in this section.

      6. RE Work Related Requirements – Wording is being added to KEESM 2420 clarifying that all TAF mandatory Refugee (RE) customers will receive the same services and be held to the same expectations as any other TAF mandatory customer, including the expectation to complete the WRS prior to cash approval and the receipt of Job Transitional services if eligible, upon the closure of TAF cash benefits.

      7. WRS Requirements – Wording is being added under the note in KEESM 3100.1 to clarify that cooperation in the Work Readiness Screening is an eligibility requirement. Applicants who are required to complete the WRS and fail to cooperate in the Work Readiness s creening process are ineligible for TAF.

      8. Use of PHC Component – Wording is being added to KEESM 3330.10 giving instruction and guidelines for the use of the Physical Health Component (PHC) as it pertains to post-partum assignment for customers who cannot use the CU exemption.

      9. Use of PRC Component – Wording is being added to KEESM 3330.7 giving instruction when the Two Parent Child Care Component (PRC) may be used. This defines that cases without a child under 13 years old may not use PRC unless the child has special needs.

      10. JOB Corps Services – Language is being included in KEESM 3310.1 that allows for the administering of the WRS if appropriate and allows EES case managers to collaborate with SRCC or OARS for additional services to Job Corps customers.

      11. Support services that age off the EBT card – Instruction is being added to KEESM 3400 handle work program support services that have aged off the EBT card.

      12. Re-establishing Eligibility – Clarification is being made in KEESM 3522 (3) that the Declaration of Cooperation/Self-Sufficiency Plan May not be used to cure Cash Case Penalties.

FORMS (Explanation provided if not mentioned previously in this summary.)

    1. ES-1510.1, Computation of Food Assistance Benefit The Excel version of this form is being revised based on the October 2009 deduction amounts and the increases to the net income limits.

    2. ES-1512, Change Report Form – The Change Report Form Word version is being revised to remove references to changes that were required to be reported for food assistance purposes since the form is no longer used for that program.

    3. ES-3105.1, Request for Information – This form is being revised to accommodate telephone interviews, along with other minor changes and corrections. The form is also now a ES form instead of an IM form.

    4. ES-3115, 12 Month Report Form – This form and the correlating system report form X853 are being revised to remove reference to SSI since the form will now be used for other elderly and disabled households with 24 month review periods.

    5. ES-3820, Notice of Eligibility Review – This form is being revised to accommodate telephone interviews.

APPENDIX (Explanation provided if not mentioned previously in this summary.)

  1. All Programs

    1. B-7, Overpayment Checklist – Several technical changes have been made to the Checklist, including contact information for the Central Collection Unit.

  2. Child Care

    1. F-1, Monthly Family Income and Share Deduction Schedule for Child Care Services – This table is being changed to show the temporarily reduced amounts of the family share deductions due to the ARRA funding, as well as the old amounts that will go back into effect on October 1, 2010.

    2. W-13, Child Care Plan Hours Worksheet – This worksheet has been enhanced with a check box for use with child care providers who charge the three hour minimum. Staff no longer need to manually adjust daily hours for those cases.

  3. Food Assistance

    1. F-2, Food Assistance Program Standards;

    2. F-3, Food Assistance Program Benefit Tables

    3. F-11, 130% Income Reporting Chart for Simplified Reporters

    4. T-8, Reporting Notices Chart and T-9, Reporting Notices Maxtrix – These charts are being removed from the Appendix as they are no longer needed with the inclusion of reporting requirements on all approval and review notices. An accurate list of notices can always be found in the KAECSES Notice Index.

    5. T-12, Retirement Accounts Excluded From Resources by the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 – This chart is being added to provide a description of retirement plans that are exempt for food assistance purposes.

    6. X-6, Definitions of Common Terms – For food assistance, the definition of homeless individual is being revised to match the current federal requirements. Thus, the requirement that a temporary stay in a halfway house or similar institution be for less than three months has been removed. There is no time limit for temporary stays in a halfway house or similar institution to be considered homeless for food assistance purposes.

  4. General Assistance

    1. F-4 , TABLE I – TAF GA NonShared Living - This item is being retitled: “TAF/(All GA but GA UA/GA PM) NonShared Living

    2. F-6, TABLE III – GA NonShared Living - This item is being retitled: “All GA but GA UA/GA PM NonShared Living"

    3. F-7, GA Pro Rata Tables - This item is being retitled: “Pro Rata Tables – All GA but GA UA/GA PM

    4. F-10, GA Pro Rata Basic and Shelter Allowance - This item is being retitled: “Pro Rata Basic and Shelter Allowance – All GA but GA UA / GA PM
MISCELLANEOUS FORMS (Explanation provided if not mentioned previously in this summary.)

EFFECTIVE DATE

All policies in this revision are effective October 1, 2009, and these policies apply to all applications and reviews received or processed on or after that date unless stated otherwise. For ongoing cases the changes and clarifications are applicable at the time of the next review/IR or case change involving the affected policy. Additional information is being included in the Implementation Memo.

EFFECT ON LOCAL STAFF

Cash and Food Assistance: The changes contained in this revision regarding telephone interviews should save staff time since a telephone interview is generally shorter than a face-to-face interview.

Food Assistance: 24 month review periods for households where all adults are elderly or disabled and with no earned income will also save some staff time by decreasing the amount of reviews due each month.

Food Assistance, Child Care and TAF: Counting of CSE arrears payment in TAF and food assistance budgets will cause slightly more time for staff as they will need to budget and notify customers of changes in benefits.

Successful Families: With the implementation of the Grandparents good cause provision, staff will spend slightly more time explaining the requirements of good cause. Additional follow-up will also be necessary as the good cause is short term, and must be re-evaluated in six months. Grandparents cases only make up 18 percent of all TAF cases.

MATERIALS OBSOLETED BY THIS REVISION

Child Care

    1.  C-21 Child Care Plan Hour Worksheet – This worksheet was obsoleted  7-1-09 by the new worksheet, Appendix Item W-13.

COORDINATION EFFORTS

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, the Training Advisory Team.   Successful Families material has been coordinated with the Work Experience/Community Service Work Site Development/Utilization Work Group, SRS Legal, and KCSDV.

Sincerely,
Bobbi Mariani, Director
Economic and Employment Support
BM:AM:lf


Page Last Updated: 9/17/09 4:01 PM