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
|October 1, 2008
Bobbi Mariani, Director
Economic and Employment Support
| Implementation Instructions - KEESM Revision 37 Effective October 1, 2008
This memo provides implementation instructions and information for the following October 1, 2008 policy changes in the Kansas Economic and Employment Support Manual (KEESM):
- ALL PROGRAMS
Resources – See Summary of Changes items IV, A, 6 and V,A, 1 and sections 5410 and 5430.
Exemption of all Pension Plans for Food Assistance – The following codes are being changed effective 10/1/08 to exempt the retirement plan for purposes of the food assistance program:
IR IRA/KEOUGH/ind.retire – cash value
MR Mandatory retirement/pension
WR Exempt for WH-IRA/Keough/Ind. Ret (LIRE and OTAP)
A new resource code has also been added applicable to the LIRE screen. This code will exempt a Learning Quest 529 savings account for purposes of the food assistance and TAF programs only:
LQ Learning Quest/529 ed. accounts.
A pen-and-ink addition needs to be made to the code cards, LIRE page 8, after the LS code add the LQ code and the description above.
In addition, another new code needs to be added to the code cards. This code is:
EF Electronic Debit Account
This code is for LIRE and is for any electronic accounts that consumers have for direct deposit of benefits (Workmen’s Compensation, SSA, Unemployment, Retirement/Pension Payments, Paycheck, etc). The code will count the resource for all programs. Add this new code and description to the LIRE card, page 8, after the DR code. Note: When using this code, be sure to deduct the current month’s income from the amount of the resource before entering on LIRE. KEESM 5200 (13).
- Food Assistance
- Annual Adjustments - See Summary of Changes, items IV, A, 2, 3 and 4 and sections 7222 and 7226 and the Appendix items F-2 and F-3.
The annual adjustments to the Food Assistance Program were processed with rollover in August. The standard deduction amounts, the excess shelter deduction amounts, the gross and net income limits, the maximum allotments and the minimum benefit for household sizes of 1 and 2, all increased effective 10/1/08. Affected households were notified with a mass change notice in late August.
- Dependent Care – See Summary of Changes item IV, A, 7 and section 7224.
Included with this year’s annual adjustments was a change mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill. With this change, the caps on the dependent care deduction, $175 and $200 have been removed. The necessary table change was made prior to rollover in August so the change could be automated with rollover. Any household with dependent care costs in excess of the capped amounts, were automatically rebudgeted for October benefits. If the actual amount of dependent care was not entered on the EXNS screen because the capped amount was listed instead, a manual rebudgeting of the cases must occur for October benefits. A report will be issued in September listing all active food assistance cases with dependent care on EXNS of exactly $175 or $200. A case-by-case review will be required and the proper amount of dependent care entered on EXNS. It is anticipated that a minimal number of cases statewide will be affected by this change, and a very limited number will be on the report needing manual rebudgeting.
It is also important to note that because of system limitations, the maximum amount that can be entered for dependent care is $999.99. If a case should have dependent care for one child (or adult) in excess of that amount, special procedures will be required. Contact Helpdesk if this occurs.
Since the caps are being lifted it is critical that staff enter dependent care costs correctly on the EXNS screen and review what’s been entered with the expected outcome. For example, if dependent care for a child is $75 a month and $750 is accidentally entered on EXNS, a very large food assistance payment error will most likely occur. So it is important to check the benefit determination on FSAD to be sure the benefit amount determined is as expected.
In addition, please be reminded that dependent care must be coded on EXNS by the child or adult for whom the care is being paid. Dependent care should not be entered next to the PI. In preparing the above report, it was discovered that approximately 137 cases have dependent care listed by the PI. A report of these cases will also be issued in September with instructions for corrective action.
- Expansion of Simplified Reporting – See Summary of Changes, item IV, A, 8 and sections 9110, 9120, 9121, 9122, 9372.
Effective October 1, 2008 all food assistance households will be considered simplified reporters. Previously, households in which all adults were elderly or disabled could not be subject to simplified reporting.
In addition, households who were simplified reporters but did not complete an interim report form - migrant/seasonal farmworkers and ABAWDS – will now be certified for 12 months and as a result will be required to complete an interim report form. The same is true of homeless households that were limited to a six month review. They will also be certified for 12 months and will be required to complete an interim report form.
Although all food assistance households are considered simplified reporters, one type of household cannot be required to complete an interim report form. That is households where all adult household members are elderly or disabled and there is NO earned income. These households CANNOT be required to complete an interim report form. All other food assistance households will have to complete an interim report. As a reminder, household members that are coded DI, DF or SH on SEPA are considered household members. Persons coded OU are not. The following examples should help to clarify this policy:
• Household consists of 65 year old getting Social Security (with no earned income) and her 22 year old son who is an ABAWD that has received his 3 months of benefits. He is coded DI on SEPA. In this case, the 22 year old is considered a household member and since not all adult household members are elderly or disabled, the case must complete an interim report form.
• Household consists of 55 year old receiving SSI (with no earned income) and 19 year old daughter that is a full time college student that does not meet student eligibility criteria. The daughter is coded OU on SEPA. In this case all household members are elderly or disabled, so the case must NOT be required to complete an interim report form.
The following information is being provided to assist in implementation of these changes.
- New Cases Approved on or after 10/1/08: According to whether or not the case is required to complete an IR, code the REHR screen as noted below. The REHR screen is the screen where you tell the system whether the case should be sent an interim report or a mid-review report form for SSI cases with a 24 month review period per 9372(4). Coding has not changed for this screen but is being restated for implementation purposes:
- Case is required to complete an interim report form - all food assistance cases except those noted in b or c that follows – code the FS IR REQ field Y and the REASON code SR.
- Case is not required to complete an interim report form because the household consists of all adults who are elderly or disabled and with NO earned income – code the FS IR REQ field N and the REASON field NA.
- Case where all members get SSI with a 24 month review period – code the FS IR REQ field Y and the REASON code ED.
All food assistance households must then be sent a notice at the time of approval (and at review) notifying them of their reporting requirements. A new notice, V062, Simplified Reporter – E&D W/No Earn. Income, has been developed for simplified reporters that do not complete an interim report form. In addition, new approval notices with SR requirements, but no requirement to complete an interim report have been added. A combined food assistance – MS reporting requirements notice, V063, has also been developed that does not include the requirement for the interim report. See Appendix items T-8 and T-9 for a list of those notices that will be effective 10/01/08.
- Ongoing Cases as of 10/1/08 – A mass notice will be sent to all households newly subject to simplified reporting telling them of their new reporting requirements. The notice will be sent to cases that are active (OP, RV, PE, SU and FR) as of 10/01/08. Cases closed 09/30/08 and then reopened in October will have to be sent a worker generated notice of reporting requirements, either the V054 or V062. Because the notice is being mailed to all households newly subject to simplified reporting, the notice has been worded to include requirements for those that have to complete an interim report form and those that do not. The notice will be sent around October 1, 2008, and a copy will be in the notice history.
Case actions required are as follows:
- Household consists of all adult household members being elderly or disabled with NO earned income: The REHR screen should already be coded N/NA in the FS IR REQ and REASON fields respectively. A follow up report will be generated in November listing all active cases where all adult household members are elderly or disabled and with no earned income and the REHR screen is NOT coded N/NA in the FS IR REQ and REASON fields respectively. These cases will need correction as the household cannot be required to complete the interim report form - a QC error or possible closure of the case for failure to return the form may result if the REHR screen is coded incorrectly. Further instructions will be issued with the report.
- Household consists of all adult household members being elderly or disabled with earned income: A report will be available after the 10/1/08 implementation memo is issued, listing cases in which all adults are elderly or disabled and there is countable earned income (including countable self-employment) and the review period is May 2009 or later (because those cases will need an IR before the next review). Cases with review periods of April 2009 or earlier will not need to complete the interim report form since there is 6 months or less left in the review period (starting from the November benefit month.)
The REHR screen for the cases listed on the report must be changed to force an interim report to be mailed since there is more than 6 months left in the household’s review period. REHR must be coded Y and SR in the FS IR REQ and REASON fields respectively. FSAD must be accessed and the case reauthorized for the IR due date to be set. These changes must be completed by October 24th to insure that an IR is issued for May 2009 reviews (IR due November 2008) . If the deadline is not met, the interim report form (notice F843) will have to be sent manually and tracked manually for May 2009 reviews. The deadline for June 2009 reviews (IR due December 2008) is November 25th. All cases on the report should have REHR re-coded by November 25th.
If the case is not on the report because less than 6 months are left in the review period, the changes to REHR to require an interim report must be made at the time of the next review.
These households will be sent the mass notice of a change in reporting requirements, so no worker generated notice of a change in reporting requirements needs to be sent.
- Households consisting of migrant/seasonal farmworkers, homeless or ABAWDs that are now to be certified for 12 months: At the time of the next review the case will be certified for 12 months with an IR due at 6 months. These households will also be sent the mass notice of a change in reporting requirements, so no worker generated notice needs to be sent.
For ABAWDs, be sure to set a person alert if the person will only be eligible to participate for the prorated month of application and the 3 months following. A QC error will result if the ABAWD participates longer than the allowable time limits.
- Ongoing Changes in Circumstances: The following describes the actions needed when ongoing changes occur that would require an IR be sent or no longer be sent:
- Elderly or disabled household with no earned income: Person added to food assistance case with earned income or person on case gets earned income (and reports the change). REHR changed from N and NA to Y SR in the FS IR REQ and REASON fields. Go through FSAD and reauthorize the case. This will force an IR to be sent if there is more than 6 months left in the review period. If there is less than 6 months left in the review period, the system will set an IR 6 months from the due date of the next review period. A worker generated notice (V054) of new reporting requirements must be sent.
Example 1: John and Mary Dear are both over 60 and getting Social Security retirement benefits. Their review period is May thru April (IR due month is October). John gets a part-time job at Wal Mart in August and reports it to his worker on 8/5. Wages are added to the case for September and REHR is changed to Y/SR as noted above. An interim report will be generated at the end of September, due October 5th. A notice of new reporting requirements (V054) is sent so the household knows they must complete the IR to continue receiving benefits.
Example 2a: Bill Jones is 65 and receiving Veteran’s Benefits. His review period is September 2008 through August 2009 (IR due month is February 2009). He reports on January 10th, 2009 that he started employment at Hy-Vee. Wages are added for the February 2009 benefit month, however, REHR is not changed by IR deadline in January to insure an IR is sent. Since an IR is now due in February, a worker generated IR must be sent and monitored. A notice (V054) explaining the new reporting requirements must also be sent.
Note: IR’s are mailed the 5th calendar day before the last day of the month, unless the 5th calendar day is a non-work day– then the IR is mailed the work day prior to the 5th calendar day. The deadline then to recode REHR to mail an IR, is the work day prior to either of of those days.
Example 2b: See 2a above for the basics. Instead of Bill reporting employment on January 10th , he reports the employment on January 20th. After getting verification of the wages, the earned income is added for the benefit month of March 2009. Since the change to a SR household that has to complete an IR occurs for the benefit month of March 2009 and it’s past the deadline for an IR due in February 2009, REHR is still coded Y SR and an IR will now be due 6 months from the start of next review period (September 2009 –August 2010), which would be March 2010.
Example 3: Norah Jones is 80 and gets a job in March at the local housing authority office answering the phone. The income is below her 130% threshold and she does not report the job. Her review period is June through May. When her review comes due in May, she reports the employment. When the review is processed, REHR is changed to Y/SR and an interim report will be issued in October due in November. Send review notice F107 that includes reporting requirement information. (Note – only use the F107 when the household has to complete an interim report form.)
- Elderly or disabled household WITH earned income - Earned income terminates and no more is expected: REHR changed from Y/ SR to N/ NA in the FS IR REQ and REASON fields and case reauthorized. An IR will no longer be sent to the household. If, however, an IR has already been sent to the household when the loss of earned income is reported, the IR must be completed and returned to continue assistance. Send notice of reporting requirements (V062), after processing the IR. REHR cannot be changed for a month if the benefit has already been paid for that month.
Note: When the loss of earned income is reported by households in which all adult household members are elderly or disabled, it will be a prudent person decision on a case-by-case basis regarding whether earned income may continue (thus leaving the IR requirement intact) or whether it will not continue (thus the IR requirement must be removed). Document the decision in the case record to support either the requirement for an IR, or the decision to remove the IR requirement.
Example 1: Norah Jones, age 80 worked for the housing authority answering phones, but had to quit her job at the end of August due to medical reasons. She does not anticipate working any more. Her review period is June through May with an IR due in November. She does not report that she quit her job until the IR is returned in November. REHR is changed for December to N/NA and the case is reauthorized for December. Send Norah the V062 notice explaining her reporting requirements.
Example 2: Brad Jolie is getting Social Security disability, but is also employed part-time as a telemarketer. His disability worsens and he terminates his employment at the end of January. He reports the change on February 2nd. His review period is September through August and an IR was sent in January, due February 5th. REHR cannot be changed for February since it is a paid month. Change REHR to N/NA for the benefit month of March and remove the earned income for March after verification of the termination is received. Since an IR was sent, it must be completed and returned to continue assistance. Send Brad the V062 notice explaining his new reporting requirements, after processing the IR.
- Successful Families
- Hardship – See Summary of Changes Item VII, A, 1, and KEESM Section 2243
- Overview: The Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005 increased the emphasis on engaging customers in work programs in order to achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. SRS is committed to promoting the opportunities the DRA affords our customers in Kansas. Our goal is to have all customers engaged from the point of application. Therefore, policy changes are being implemented to facilitate early engagement with frequent, regular contact to ensure customers have full access to available services and resources in their pursuit of self-sufficiency.
- The Hardship Criteria are being revised to reflect the Agency’s philosophy that all customers be engaged in work activities immediately. Current policy of determining hardship at 48 months is being changed to determine hardship by 24 months, thereby allowing customers ample time to overcome barriers. In addition, in order to encourage all families to achieve self-sufficiency, Hardship Criteria are being reduced from six criteria to five. The criterion for age 60 and over is being removed as a hardship and as a work exemption. The last hardship criterion, currently identified as cooperating but not meeting other hardship criteria, is being changed to an individual hardship criterion as determined with the Program Administrators’ or their designees’ approval. All cases are to be staffed at least once by an IST between 24 and 60 months. Documentation is to be in the case file regarding recommendations made by the IST. In addition, cases where there is no hardship will be closed at 60 months, unless the Program Administrator gives approval.
- The following hardships are to be considered for each case by the twenty-fourth month when all mandatory TAF recipients in the household, meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Is a caretaker of a disabled family member living in the household. Form ES-4310 must be completed at least annually indicating the nature of disability and duration. For disabilities that are not considered permanent, the ES-4310 must be completed yearly or as indicated. For those disabilities that are considered permanent, the ES-4310 must be completed at least once.
- Has a disability which precludes employment on a long term basis (as defined in the KEESM appendix) or requires substantial rehabilitation (as defined in the KEESM appendix). Verification is to be obtained through the new doctor’s statement ES-4309, or ES-4309 and a vocational assessment, or a psychological evaluation. The customer must be actively pursuing Social Security disability benefits.
- Needs a time limit extension to overcome the effects of domestic violence/sexual assault [see 2244, 3310.4 (11)]. This hardship must be re-established every six months through a joint staffing between EES staff, the OARS advocate and the customer.
- Is involved with Children and Family Services (CFS) and has an open social service plan verified by contact with CFS. An IST staffing should occur prior to using this hardship and every six months once invoked.
- Individual case by case hardship may be determined by the EES program administrator or their designee. Hardship for such a family member will end the first month cooperation ceases. The extension may be reviewed as needed or after 6, 9, and 12 months.
NOTE: All adults who are cooperating remain eligible until they reach 60 months of TAF assistance. If hardship #1, #2, #3, #4, or #5 does not exist the case is to close at the end of the 60th month. Cases which have closed after reaching the 60-month time limit (either in Kansas or another state) may re-establish eligibility if all mandatory TAF recipients in the family meet hardship criteria 1, 2, 3 or 4 above, and the family is otherwise eligible. For cases which lose their hardship or exempt status any individuals who have not completed the Hardship Protocol will be given a reasonable opportunity to do so. If documentation exists in the file that the Hardship Protocol has been attempted but that the customer has repeatedly failed to complete, Hardship Protocol will be considered completed.
- Notice X088 has been revised and will be mailed to the customer beginning at the 24th month of assistance. It informs the customer that closure may occur once they meet 60 months of TAF assistance.
- A new report, the Long Term TAF Report will be run monthly. This report will show all TAF cases in each caseload, with the number of TAF months for each adult and the existing PRAP, JOPR and SESP coding. Case managers are to monitor this report and review all TAF cases at the annual review, or before March 31, 2009, whichever comes first.
Case examples illustrating Hardship Criteria changes are located on Attachment I.
- Ongoing cases, 48 months or more, or cases with a Hardship Coding: Implementation of the above Hardship Criteria will begin October 1, 2008. All cases which have received TAF assistance for 48 months or more as of March 31, 2009 will be reviewed no later than March 31, 2009, and any case currently coded with a hardship code will be reviewed by March 31, 2009. Hardship codes of AG, CO, NH, and UE will no longer be valid after March 31, 2009, and are to be removed from the Program Alert (PRAP) screen. Alert code PX is being added to reflect those cases which meet the hardship code of Program Administrator approval. Alert code FE (Fully Engaged) is being added to reflect those cases which have been reviewed, but have no identifiable hardships.
- All cases which have received 48 months or more as of March 31, 2009 are to be reviewed to determine customer readiness to enter the workforce and maintain self-sufficiency. While the new hardship codes indicate closure at 60 months, cases nearing the 60 months (or over 60 months) will be given time to utilize SRS employment services to attain self-sufficiency. A one year extension is to be allowed for individuals not meeting a hardship criterion. This one year grace period starts from the date the case is reviewed. However, non-cooperation with work program activities negates the one year extension.
- Special attention is needed on cases with PRAP codes of CO, UE, NH, and AG, as these codes are no longer valid, and will need to be updated with appropriate coding. Case managers are to meet individually with customers to explain the 60 month time limit and SRS services available. The Self-Sufficiency form should be reviewed and signed again with an agreed upon course of action. The customer will be given time to meet these goals, however, at such time the customer fails, without good cause, to meet the work assignment, the TAF case will close, and if over the 60 month time limit, will not be eligible to reopen, unless they meet a hardship criteria.
- Cases currently coded with hardship of CT, DS, OR, or SS are to be reviewed to determine if these cases meet the revised criteria, i.e. all adults meet a hardship, Social Security application on file with SSA, medical form ES-4309, caretaker form ES-4310, etc., are in place. If not, action is to commence to verify families meet the new hardship criteria, or need to be mandatory work participants.
- If removal from a hardship criterion is necessary, staffing with the customer is vital to assure a self-sufficiency agreement is developed and signed, with an explanation of the 60 month time limit. The customer is to be given time to meet their goals, however at such time the customer fails without good cause to cooperate with a work assignment, the TAF case will close, and if over the 60 month time limit, will not be eligible to reopen unless they meet a hardship criteria.
- If the case has not been staffed with an Integrated Service Team, a staffing is to be scheduled. All Integrated Service Team collaborations will be documented in the case file, and are to include the date the team met, who was in attendance (VR, CFS, etc) and any recommendations.
- At any time, a case manager may decide a customer who does not fit into hardship criteria 1 through 4, but will be unable to attain self-sufficiency, may staff the case with their respective supervisor. The supervisor in turn will staff the case with the Program Administrator, or their designee, regarding case continuation. Documentation is to be made, with the date and reasons for decision, in addition to any further action to be taken, and date for follow-up review in the case file.
- The case manager is to update PRAP with the appropriate hardship code as soon as the hardship is identified.
- If no hardship is identified, the case manager is to notify the customer of the one year limit on receiving TAF from date of review and the customer’s responsibility to cooperate with all work program assignments.
The examples in Attachment II explain how this procedure is to be implemented on cases at 48 months or more as of March 31, 2009.
- Ongoing cases under 48 months as of March 31, 2009: All on-going cases will be reviewed and engaged in appropriate work components by September 30, 2009.
The examples in Attachment III explain how this procedure is to be implemented on cases under 48 months, as of October 1, 2008.
- All cases are to be assessed for hardship, and if identified action will be taken to verify the hardship, as outlined in 2243. The case manager is to enter correct coding on PRAP.
- If not meeting a hardship criterion, review of the self-sufficiency agreement is needed, with an explanation of the 60 month time limit, and services available from SRS for a customer to attain employment. The case manager is to enter the correct coding on PRAP. The customer is to be placed in the appropriate component.
- Assessments such as the Psychological evaluation and Vocational assessment, while no longer mandatory for each customer, will be completed as indicated by customer needs. As assessments are completed, the WOPA screen on the KSCares system is to be updated.
Our goal for all TAF cases is early engagement and frequent interaction with our customers. The intent is to begin working on barriers earlier, thus reducing those barriers which deter self-sufficiency. This is not a means to close cases at 24 months of TAF assistance.
- Newly Opened Cases: All newly approved cases will engage the customer immediately and frequently.
- The customer is to be placed in an appropriate work component as early as possible. Work Experience, Community Service and/or Job Search are encouraged.
- When a customer discloses a hardship criterion, the case manager is to begin verification procedures as outlined in KEESM Section 2243.
- The customer is to have the 60 month life time limit explained, and resources available for the customers’ use to attain self-sufficiency.
- Work Experience and Supervised Community Service Program – See Summary of Changes, item number VII, A, 2, and KEESM 3310.4 and 3310.6.
These Sections are being updated to reflect the new requirement that scheduled work hours for Work Experience and Supervised Community Service assignments are to be determined by the following formula: TAF benefit plus Food Assistance benefit, minus any Child Support Retained by the State, divided by minimum wage, divided by 4.33 .
The Federal Labor Standards Act governs the amount of hours an individual can participate in Work Experience and Supervised Community Service Programs. When the hours determined by the above formula are less than the primary hours (20 hours for a single parent and 30 hours for a two parent household) we can deem participation up to the primary hours.
Benefits from the current month, prior to any recoupment, can be determined by accessing the CABH and FSBH screens for the current month. Child Support retained by the State can be determined by accessing the UNIN screen (CS EX) for the current month.
The following examples illustrate these changes:
- Joe and Alice have one three month old mutual child. Alice has two children from a previous relationship. Alice is caring for the children, while Joe participates in a Supervised Community Service Program. Their current TAF benefit is $476, the current Food Assistance is $575, and the Child Support retained by the State, as determined from the UNIN screen (CS EX) is $290. Using the FLSA formula, $476 plus $575, minus $290 equals $761. Divide this by minimum wage ($6.55), equals $116.18, divided by 4.33 equals 27.01. Joe would be assigned to SRV for 27 hours a week. Joe would also be placed in a secondary work component for five hours. If this case were pulled for a sample, and Joe’s verified Community Service hours averaged 27 per week, this case would be deemed to meet the core hours (30) and if he were participating in another component for 5 hours (primary or secondary), he would meet federal participation. (30 plus 5 equals 35 hours for a two parent household with no child care).
- Lewis has one son, 12 years old, and wants to participate in a Work Experience site. His TAF is $309 and his Food Assistance is $284. The Child Support retained by the State is $90. $309 plus $284, minus $90 equals $503. Divided by $6.55, divided by 4.33 equals 17.85. Lewis should be placed in the Work Experience site for 18 hours a week. Because Lewis normally would have to participate for 30 hours to meet federal participation requirements, Lewis should also be placed in a secondary work component for 10 hours. If Lewis participates at the Work Experience site for 18 hours a week, he would be deemed as meeting the core hours (20), and would meet federal participation if he worked ten hours in the additional component.
- Conrad and his 4 year old son are receiving TAF assistance. His cash, food assistance, and child support retained by the state total $503. Because Conrad has a child under six in the home, he is only required to work 20 hours to meet federal participation ($503 divided by $6.55, divided by 4.33 equals 17.85. He is scheduled for 18 hours at a Community Work Site. If Conrad participates at the Community work site for18 hours, he will be deemed as meeting primary hours (20). Conrad will not have to participate in any additional activities to meet federal participation.
- Protocol for 60 month limit closure – See Summary of Changes, items VII, A, 3, and KEESM 2242.
Agency protocol prior to terminating a TAF case due to the 60-month time limit is being revised to reflect the changes made in the assessment requirements and hardship criteria.
- It will no longer be required that customers complete the Kansas Competency System Appraisal (CASAS) or Learning Disabilities Screening.
- The Vocational Assessment will be required only in the case of a customer claiming disability. The Psychological Evaluation will no longer be mandatory unless indicated as necessary on the Vocational Assessment and/or a medical evaluation.
- Documentation of sustained efforts on the part of the customer with agency support to obtain Social Security benefits must be documented.
- There is only one IST required during the 60 month limit.
- Hardship will now be established at 24 months based on customer report and follow up assessment.
- If it is documented that the customer has been assigned to assessments but has failed to complete without good cause, protocol will be met without further efforts to assess customer.
CASAS and LD Screens are no longer required:
Vocational assessment only required when disability claimed:
- Upon receiving TAF benefits for 24 months, it has been determined that with vocational training Cathy Chatty could find gainful employment. She has a high school diploma, reads well and on her self assessment she indicated that she would like to be a surgical technician. It is determined that she does not need the LD Screen or the CASAS Assessment. Cathy is placed in Vo-tech to work on her surgical tech degree. She is coded NA/MD on JOPR code would be FE (Fully engaged).
- Cathy Chatty is now at 36 months and completing her studies at Vo-tech. She suddenly starts having severe head pain and numbness in her right arm. She reports this to her EES case manager who requests a medical statement from Cathy’s doctor. The doctor states that Cathy has developed a debilitating condition and should apply for social security benefits. Cathy is sent for a vocational assessment. The vocational assessment suggests Cathy could work and should have a psychological examination. Cathy is sent for a psychological evaluation. This evaluation supports the Dr’s statement. An IST is assembled and it supports Cathy’s decision of applying for social security benefits. The case worker refers her to KLS and places her in the SSA Component for 0 hours on SESP. She is coded IN/MD on JOPR and PRAP is coded DS. Cathy’s case will be reviewed in 6 mos.
Polly Teck has been approved for cash benefits for the first time. She recently went through a divorce and needs help for herself and 4 year old child, Star. The SASSI is administered and comes back indicating no drug or alcohol abuse. Polly reports she has a debilitating condition and the doctor has told her she will be bound to a wheel chair in another year or two. She will probably need in-home assistance from a family member or health care provider. She is very worried about what will happen to herself and Star. The case manager request’s a Doctor’s Statement and sends Polly for a Vocational assessment. The Vocational Assessment and Doctor’s Statement agree that Polly should apply for SSI. The case manager refers her to a Social Security advocate for assistance in applying for SSI and sets up the SSA component for 6 months on SESP for 0 hours. Polly’s JOPR code is IN/MD. PRAP may be coded as DS even though Polly has only received 4 months of TAF cash assistance. The case will be reviewed as needed or in 6 months.
Social security claims must be documented:
Bill Williams has received TAF assistance for 58 months. The case manager is reviewing his case for 60 month closure and finds that at one time, Bill had applied for SSI. The case notes indicate that SRS referred Bill to KLS, provided him with a transportation allowance so he could attend meetings and appointments in an effort to establish his disability. The case manager discovers that Bill was a no-show for several meetings, missed an appeal date and the final determination was that he was not disabled. He has been on and off TAF since then, an IST was done at 48 months and the case manager has referred him to additional assessments in an attempt to discover any barrier’s Bill may have. No barriers have been indicated. It is documented that Bill’s efforts to apply for disability were supported by the agency and unless Bill can provide documentation to establish a hardship his case will close at 60 months.
Only one IST is required:
Maggie May has received cash for 48 months. Her case manager calls her in for an appointment to discuss the plan for her last 12 months of TAF assistance as there are no hardships established. Upon reviewing the case file, the case manager see’s there is no record of an IST meeting. The case manager sets up an IST inviting Maggie and all appropriate providers and support staff. A 12 month plan is put into place. At month 58 Maggie still has not obtained employment. While it is an option, it is not required that another IST be held prior to closing Maggie’s case at 60 months as there are no established hardships.
Seamless service delivery to customers with established hardships:
Connie Must has received TAF benefits for herself and two children ( 7 and 9 yrs of age) for 49 months. She has willingly participated in activities and to date not reported any medical problems. When she attends a scheduled appointment, she is obviously bruised and injured. Further discussion reveals that her ex came to visit and beat her up. The case manager refers Connie to OARS and the advocate send confirmation that she has been accepted into the program. The case worker codes Connie as OARS on SESP at 0 hours. The PRAP code is OR and JOPR is code NA/MD. Connie’s case will be reviewed with the OARS advocate as needed, but must be reviewed every 6 months. At 60 months, if Connie is still in OARS, she will automatically receive an extension of services until her next scheduled 6 month review at which time it will be determined if she is to receive another 6 months of OARS services.
Assessments assigned but not completed:
- Charlotte O’Hara and her 14 yr old son Rhett have received 59 months of TAF benefits. Charlotte has cooperated in numerous work programs and will receive $200 in child support if her case closes. There are no obvious barriers to Charlotte finding gainful employment. When the case worker reviews the case for life time closure, it is discovered that Charlotte never attended her CASAS appointment and was penalized. Her cash was reopened when she reported she was a victim of Domestic Violence and the CASAS was never rescheduled. She is no longer in the OARS program and the new protocol does not require a CASAS Screening. The case will close at 60 months unless Charlotte documents one of the 5 hardships that would allow for a hardship extension. In this instance, if Charlotte is making progress, her case manager may advocate for her and request an extension from the PA so Charlotte can complete her current work program activity.
- Patty Cakes has received TAF benefits for 70 months. She has recently been let go from a work experience site for not showing up 4 days out of the last 6 she was scheduled. The case worker tries to contact Patty to see if there is a barrier that SRS can help with and finds out that Patty is visiting her sister in another state. The penalty will result in a life time closure. The case manager see’s that an IST was done at 56 months but that some assessments, although scheduled several times were never completed. Since it is documented that the assessments were scheduled and that Patty was given several opportunities to complete them, protocol is considered met and the case is given a life-time 60 month limit closure due to penalty.
- Applicant assignment to activities – See Summary of Changes, items VII, B, 1, and KEESM 3100.1.
Applicant assignment to appropriate work activities is being expanded in the following areas:
- Assignments must be customer directed and based on customer skills, needs and situation.
- The determination of a customer’s eligibility for cash and especially for food assistance and expedited food assistance is never to be delayed to see if an applicant participates in the work activity.
Applicant assigned to work program activity:
Angel Fire applies for TAF benefits on October 4th for herself and 9 year old child. In reviewing the work readiness screen it is discovered that she just left a job at a ski resort in New Mexico and moved to Kansas to be close to her mother. She has multiple job skills and a high school diploma. The case manager assigns her to a job search club and gives her a transportation allowance of $30.00 to support the activity. Four days later, Angel’s cash and food assistance case is open. Two days later the case manager finds out that Angel did not attend the job search club. Using the Work Program penalty protocol, the case manager will assess if a penalty is to be applied.
- Core assessment requirements – See Summary of Changes items, VII, A, 4, and KEESM 3130.2
The Kansas Competency System Appraisal and the Learning Disability Screen will no longer be required assessments for eligible TAF customers. Both will remain available to be given at the EES case manager’s discretion. The Work Readiness Screen (WRS), the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) and the Self Assessment Tool (E-6) will be the only required assessments for the TAF eligible population. Guidance is given as to how often the WRS and Self Assessment Tool may be given. The SASSI may only be given once.
Re-administering the WRS:
Phyllis Full has come in to apply for TAF benefits for her family. She has received 34 months of benefits in the past and has been off TAF for the last three months. The case manager sees that Phyllis has completed a Work Readiness Screen and SASSI 1 ½ years ago when she last applied for benefits. The case manager determines that this customer’s situation has changed in 18 months and decides it would be helpful to administer a new Work Readiness Screen. The case manager logs the reason for re-administering the WRS. On the WRS Phyllis reports that she has been the victim of DV during the last three months and that she and her children are in danger. An OARS advocate is called in to do a one-time crisis intervention and make sure services are provided. Once cash is open, Phyllis is referred to OARS.
Reviewing the WRS:
Dean James received TAF benefits for himself and his infant daughter for four months prior to finding a job and having his cash benefits close. The job turned out to be a temporary position and only lasted six weeks. He has now returned to apply for TAF benefits. The case manager sees that his WRS is less than a year old so they review the existing WRS with Dean and records the review in the case log. During the conversation, Dean states that this always happens to him, he can never get a permanent job because he has so much trouble reading. Once cash is open, the case manager collaborates with Dean and administers the LD Screen. The scores indicate that he may have a learning disability and he is referred to RS to determine what the next appropriate steps would be.
- Holidays, unsupervised study time and daily supervision – See KEESM 3300
Section 3300.1 is being revised to list the ten (10) approved holidays that can be counted towards federal participation rates for customers participating in unpaid allowable work components.
The holidays are: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Unsupervised study time is now countable towards federal participation rates under the following circumstances:
Unsupervised study time is now countable towards federal participation rates under the following circumstances:
- The hours of unsupervised study time are equal to the number of documented credit hours given for the course of study taken and,
- The total hours of supervised (documented) and unsupervised study time counted toward participation cannot exceed the hours required by the educational program for successful completion of the course.
Section 3300.2 has been revised to include the new federal definition of “daily supervision”, the documentation requirements for distance or on-line learning and the allowance of Bachelor Degree studies under Vocational Education.
Calculating supervised and unsupervised study time:
Monty Carlos is attending Vo-Tech to get an electrician’s certification. He is scheduled for 11 hours of class time. His case is selected for the sample pull in November. The case manager contacts the Vo-Tech and gets Monty’s attendance records, grades and documentation that he attends a study group 2 hrs a week. According to the Vo-Tech program, an average student would need to put in 12 hours of study time a week to successfully complete the course. The case manager would report actual hours of documented attendance, 11 hours of unsupervised study time and 1 hour of supervised study time (to meet but not exceed the 12 hours put forth by the institution).
Distance Learning documentation:
Mary Poplin wants to take a course on-line that would help her get a higher paying job. The job she has now does not pay enough for her and her 5 children to attain self sufficiency and they continue to receive TAF benefits. Mary contacts her case manager and it is determined this on-line class would increase her earning power and would enable her to stay home at night with her children rather than finding a baby sitter. Mary contacts the school offering the on-line course and finds out that a weekly email report of her progress on assignments and her time spent in logged in to her class can be provided. Mary enrolls with the support of the agency. If her case is selected for the sample pull, the on-line course documentation will be included with her employment documentation to determine her participation hours.
- Baccalaureate degrees - See Summary of Changes, items VII, A, 5, and KEESM 3310.7 Federal regulations will now allow Vocational Education to include Baccalaureate Degree studies. Only the last 12 months of Baccalaureate studies may be counted.
Bachelor Degree Studies:
Kenny Dee, his wife and three children have received TAF benefits for 7 months. Kenny’s wife has stayed home with the children while he has participated in work program activities. Kenny has reported on his Self Assessment that he lacks 27 hours of study to obtain his bachelor’s degree in aeronautic wind testing at WSU. Kenny and his case manager collaborate and decide that if Kenny takes 9 hours of classes for the next 3 semesters (including summer school) he can graduate in 9 months and would have an earning potential that would enable him to support his family. The case manager calculates that Kenny can meet the required 35 hours of participation by attending classes 9 hours per week, being credited for 9 hours of unsupervised study time, attending a 2 hour study group held on campus once a week (based on the guidelines that at least 11 hours of study time are needed for successful course completion) and working 15 hours a week at the university book store. Kenny applies for and receives Pell Grants and student loans to pay for his classes and books, he is entered on SESP as VOC for 20 hrs (description line is noted that this is a Bachelor’s degree program) and EMP for 15 hrs. His wife is entered on SESP a PRC (parent responsible for child care in a two parent family) with 0 hrs.
- Job search activity actual hours - See Summary of Changes, items VII, A, 7, and KEESM 3310.8
According to federal guidelines, the formula that has been used in the past for counting participation in the Job Search component is no longer valid. As of October 1, 2008, only the actual time a customer spends in job search activities may be counted. A new ES-4306 (Employee Contact Record) will be available October 1, 2008 in the Forms section of KEESM. Travel time to the first appointment and home from the last appointment may not be counted. Travel time between multiple job interviews or job search activities done in the same day may be counted. Consideration will be given in whether the customer is driving their own car, being driving by a friend or family member or using public transportation. The time taken to fill out applications by hand must be reported and logged by the customer. Self declaration of job search hours, including travel time, is permitted as long as declaration is reasonable. Faxed and on line applications must also be documented with the transmission and/or confirmation sheets. Case managers and/or contracted providers will still be required to verify 10% of the reported applications and interviews turned in by customers.
- Zero hour components – See Summary of Changes, items VII, A, 8, and KEESM 3330.2
- This section is being revised to clarify that the ASE component is to be used primarily for the 90 day assessment period of a case. The ASE component will only be used in 30 day non-consecutive increments after the initial 90 days are completed.
- The NAC component is being removed from KEESM and will no longer be considered a valid component after October 1, 2008. It is being replaced by two new codes which are: PRC- Parent Responsible for Child Care in a Two Parent Household and WPP-Work Program Penalty (TAF Only). If a customer’s cash case is closed for reasons other than penalty or employment and the customer remains eligible for JOTR services, the case manager will use the code for the activity the customer was engaged in at the time they lost eligibility. A note is to be added on the description line to explain any circumstances.
- Flexible Transportation payments See Summary of Changes, items VII, B, 2 and KEESM 3411.1
The Flexible transportation payments (FTP) are being defined clearly. FTP is not a component and is never to be used as such. It is used only when approving transportation allowance for applicants and is not to be scheduled over long periods of time or have participation hours assigned to it. FTP is not to be used to pay for miscellaneous transportation needs such as car repairs or car purchase.
Attachment I: Cases Examples Regarding Hardship Criteria
Attachment II: Implementation Changes for TAF Cases 48 Months or Over as of 10/1/08
Attachment III: Implementation for All Cases Under 48 Months as of 10/1/2008
Attachment IV: KAECSES Tips For Interim Reports Deskaide