M E M O R A N D U M
TO: EES Program Administrators
FROM: Jaime Rogers
SUBJECT: Implementation Instructions - KEESM Revision #61
This memo provides implementation instructions and information for the following October 1, 2013 policy changes in the Kansas Economic and Employment Services Manual (KEESM).
- Child Care
Child Care Work Requirement – See Summary of Change II, A, 1, and KEESM sections 2820 and 2835.
Effective October 1, 2013, individuals must be employed 28 hours per week in order to qualify for child care assistance based on employment AND must also be earning the federal minimum wage per hour worked. EES staff will use this standard in determining eligibility for applications for child care that are processed on or after October 1, 2013. Ongoing child care cases must be reviewed for this policy the next time a change is made to the case, or at the next scheduled case review, whichever comes first.
- Food Assistance
Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD) – See Summary of Change IV, A, 4, and KEESM sections listed therein.
To summarize, the ABAWD statewide waiver will be ending and the change in work requirements will be effective October 1, 2013.
The USDA food assistance policies have work requirements for adult recipients who are ages 18 through 49 and are able bodied and without dependents. Previously, the state had a waiver from these requirements. The waiver will expire September 30 resulting in a change in these policies. An ABAWD is an able‐bodied adult without dependents ages 18 through 49. ABAWD eligibility for food assistance is limited to any 3 months in a 3‐month period (considered the 3‐month time limit) unless the individual meets the ABAWD work requirements (defined below). The 3‐month time limit does not apply to individuals who are: 1) under 18 (or 18 and receiving TANF) or 50 years of age or over; 2) physically or mentally unfit for employment; 3) responsible for a dependent child or residing in a food assistance household where a food assistance household member is under age 18; 4)pregnant; 5) caring for an incapacitated household member; 6) receiving unemployment compensation; 7) participating in an alcohol or drug treatment program; or 8) students enrolled at least half time in school, training program or institution of higher education.
Note: Receipt of food assistance benefits as an ABAWD (October 1, 2013, or after) in another state counts towards the 36 month limit in Kansas.
What is the ABAWD Work Requirement?
ABAWDs can meet the ABAWD work requirement by:
- working 20 or more hours a week, averaged monthly and earning at least minimum wage;
- participating in and complying with the requirements of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) or WIA program for 20 or more hours a week. (Information about the TAA program can be found here: http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/training/tradeact.htm); or
- participating in and complying with the requirements of an approved work program. The following programs would meet this requirement IF at least 20 hours a week of participation is being met:
- Volunteering for the Food Assistance Employment and Training Program;
- Participating in a work program with a Refugee funded Social Service Agency; or
- Participating in other approved training program (Central Office approved).
Persons subject to the ABAWD criteria and who meet any of the above are considered ABAWDs. Persons who do not meet the criteria and are subject to the 3 month time limit are considered ABAWDs. Persons exempt from the ABAWD criteria per 2521 are non-ABAWDs.
ABAWDs who exhaust their 3 months of benefits while not complying with the work requirement lose their benefits for the remainder of the 36‐month time period. An ABAWD can regain eligibility during this time period by meeting the work requirement for 30 days, after which they remain eligible to receive food assistance for as long as they continue to meet work requirements. There is also a one-time three month extension for persons who regain eligibility by meeting the work requirement and who then are no longer meeting the work requirement. See KEESM 2522 regarding regaining eligibility and 2523 regarding the three month extension.
- Applications - The new policies are effective for all applications received or processed on or after October 1, 2013 for cases in which a potential ABAWD is identified as a member of the food assistance household. ABAWDs are defined above. Those that are meeting the ABAWD work requirement (the work requirement includes training as indicated above) are also considered ABAWDs. All persons considered ABAWDs are to be coded AB on PRAP.
- All cases newly approved with an ABAWD subject to the 3 of 36 month eligibility limit are to be sent the F845 - FS-Important Information (ABAWD), in addition to the approval notice. The notice is in English and Spanish. This includes persons meeting the work requirement.
- Complete the ES-4312, ABAWD Eligibility Tracking Form appropriately and file appropriately.
- Set an alert to remove the person at the end of the 3 month period if not meeting the work requirement. Before closing the case or removing the person, check the person’s status to make sure they are not meeting the work requirement or are not otherwise exempt from the ABAWD provisions. For the 8 counties with the FA E&T program, check to see if the person is participating in the program at least 20 hours a week.
NOTE: Prorated months do NOT count in the 3 month time limit. For example, a one person ABAWD application is approved on October 15th with an application date of October 15th. The person is not meeting the work requirement. The 3 ABAWD months are November, December and January. If the person is not meeting the work requirement, or otherwise exempt from ABAWD requirements by adverse action deadline in January, the case would be closed the end of January.
- Ongoing cases, including cases with reviews or IRs due in Oct-December - All affected individuals who do not meet the ABAWD work requirement will first receive their 3 months out of 36 months as an ABAWD not meeting the work requirement before being terminated from food assistance. These months will be the months of October - December 2013. The individual would then lose food Assistance eligibility effective December 31, 2013, if they are not meeting the ABAWD work requirement by that time or are not otherwise exempt from the ABAWD provisions.
The following provides implementation information for ongoing cases:
- Identify affected cases: A printout based on the September extracts will be sent to the field in late September. This report lists all persons between the ages of 18 through 49 and working less than 20 hours a week at minimum wage that appear to be ABAWDs affected by this policy change. The report will not include persons turning 50 in the months of October, November, December 2013 or January 2014 or due for review in November or December 2013 or the interim report is due in October-December 2013. (Persons who will turn 50 in any of those months will become exempt from the ABAWD criteria and should not be terminated from food assistance due to this policy change.)
Please note that the programming for this report will provide staff with a list of potential persons affected by this change. A careful review of the case situation will be needed to determine if the person is actually impacted.
- Determine if individuals listed can be otherwise determined exempt from the ABAWD provisions: Using the list of persons identified as affected by this policy change, determine if the person would (or could with a doctors statement, etc.) be exempt for one of the reasons outlined in KEESM 2521.
- Persons found to be exempt - IF the person is found to be exempt from the ABAWD criteria, code JOPR with the correct food assistance work program referral and reason code. The person may or may not be exempt from the food assistance program work requirements. See the exemptions for food assistance in 3210 and 3230. Make sure, however, the reason code is NOT AB on JOPR. (The reason code of AB should only be used for persons subject to the 3 of 36 month time limit.) Document in the case file that this person has been determined exempt from the ABAWD criteria and why.
- Person found to NOT be exempt from ABAWD criteria - Once it’s been determined who is subject to the 3 in 36 month provisions, send special notice F848, FS-Notice of ABAWD Changes. This notice explains the policy change and that they will get benefits for October, November and December before they will be terminated from food assistance. This notice should be sent to all affected cases by November 15, 2013. Note: We are working with IT to automate the above notice. Further information will be provided once a decision is determined. Take no action to send the F-848 notice at this time.
Complete the ES-4312, ABAWD Eligibility Tracking Form appropriately.
Set an alert to remove the person by adverse action deadline in December.
NOTE: A separate report of potential ABAWDs, working 20 hours a week or more and earning at least minimum wage will be provided in November. This report will be used to correct/update PRAP and JOPR codes. In addition, the F848 as mentioned above will need to be sent so the potential ABAWD will understand what will happen if their hours go under 20 a week.
- A second printout will be issued based on the November extracts: A second printout of 18 through 49 year olds as described above, will be issued based on the November extracts and issued on approximately November 8, 2013. This printout will reflect the cases open as of that date that need a final review for continued eligibility or case closure in December. If the person is not exempt from the ABAWD provisions for any other reason, the case is to be closed if applicable effective 12/31/13. If the case is being closed, use the AB closure code as we will need to track the closures due to this policy change. If the case is not closing as another household member is still participating then code the ineligible ABAWD DI on SEPA. Send closure notice (F416) or change notice (F716) notice. Timely and adequate notice is required. Also use the AB denial code in future months if an ABAWD reapplies after getting their 3 months and they don't qualify by meeting the work requirement.
JOPR Coding - ABAWDs are subject to the food assistance program work requirements of KEESM 3100. For food assistance, the only mandatory provisions are potential employment (and the comparable provisions for TANF/FA recipients) due to the FA E&T program being voluntary. The following is a summary of correct JOPR coding:
- ABAWD working 20-29 hours a week = AB MD
- ABAWD not meeting ABAWD work requirement (getting their 3 months) = AB MD
- ABAWD participating in approved training program for at least 20 hours a week = AB MD
- ABAWD working 30 or more hours a week = EM EX
- Non-ABAWD = AD EX, AG EX, CU EX, HS EX, IN EX, NC EX, PA EX, ST EX, UC EX, NA MD as appropriate
EXAMPLE 1: John Smith is aged 32, an ABAWD, and is getting food assistance on his own case. He was not meeting the ABAWD work requirement at the time of his last review. His case must be reviewed by December 2013 to determine if he can continue to receive food assistance benefits. If he is not meeting the work requirement or otherwise exempt, his case must be closed by adverse action deadline in December 2013.
EXAMPLE 2: A food assistance case consists of Susie Doe, aged 45, an ABAWD and living with her sister Marie who is 50. Susie was not meeting the work requirement at the time of her last review. The case is evaluated in November 2013 and it is discovered that Marie’s 9 year old granddaughter has moved into the home. The granddaughter is added to the food assistance case. Susie is no longer considered an ABAWD and can continue to receive food assistance past the 3 month time limit since she is exempt from the ABAWD provisions due to a dependent child being on a food assistance case.
Notices: The following notices have been added due to this policy change:
F848, FS - Notice of ABAWD Changes
F216, FS Denial - ABAWD Requirements Not Met
F416, FS Closure - ABAWD Requirements Not Met
F716, FS Change in Benefits - ABAWD Requirements
F845, FS- Important Information (ABAWD)
In addition, all notices that mention the simplified reporting requirements have been modified to include the new reporting requirement for ABAWDs meeting the work requirement. The household must report if the ABAWD’s hours fall below 20 a week.
Training – An ABAWD desk aid is linked as an attachment to this Implementation Memo. In addition, the Personal Trainer is being updated to include the new ABAWD criteria. It is mandatory that all staff processing food assistance cases be trained on the ABAWD policies.
Attachment: ABAWD Desk Aid