DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Division of Social Services

Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code, Section 512 (31 Del.C., §512)

FINAL

ORDER

3028 Assistance Units

Nature of the Proceedings:

Delaware Health and Social Services ("Department") / Division of Social Services initiated proceedings to amend the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding mandatory composition of assistance units. The Department's proceedings to amend its regulations were initiated pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10113 and its authority as prescribed by 31 Delaware Code Section 512.

Nature of the Exempt Regulation:

Citations

• 29 Del.C. §10113, Adoption of Regulations; Exemptions

• 45 CFR §233.90, Factors Specific to AFDC

Summary of Proposed Change

The proposed rule provides clarification to DSSM 3028.1, Mandatory Composition of Assistance Units to eliminate confusion over the policy by removing an incorrect example.

An unrelated caretaker cannot receive TANF for the children in their care. The unrelated caretaker must receive General Assistance for the children. This is because under TANF the caretaker must be related to the children in the home.

DSS is not changing existing policy or procedures.

Findings of Fact:

The Department finds that these changes are exempt from the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (Title 29 Chapter 101).

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that the proposed revision regarding clarification changes to the policies regarding mandatory composition of assistance units be adopted informally as an exempt regulation and shall become effective June 10, 2006.

Karryl McManus for

Vincent P. Meconi, Secretary, DHSS, 5/16/06

DSS EXEMPT REGULATION #06-20

REVISION:

3028.1 Mandatory Composition of Assistance Units

In TANF, the assistance unit will always include:

1. The dependent child; and

2. The dependent child's blood related or adoptive siblings who are under 18 and who are also dependent children; and

3. The dependent child's natural or adoptive parent(s). If both parents live in the home, both parents must be included in the unit regardless of the parents' marital status. In a case where paternity has not been legally established, the putative father must acknowledge paternity as a condition of eligibility.

Note: In 2 and 3 above, the child or parent must also reside in the home and be otherwise eligible. Examples of persons who are not otherwise eligible include, but are not limited to SSI recipients, and the Employment and Training Program sanctioned individuals.

EXAMPLE: A grandmother has day to day care and control of her minor grandchild and is receiving TANF for herself and the child. The child's mother moves into the home, but the grandmother retains custody and continues to act as the child's caretaker. Since, according to TANF regulations, a parent is a mandatory member of the assistance unit, the mother must be added. If the mother has income, the income must be budgeted. The grandmother may remain in the unit because TANF regulations allow for the inclusion of a needy caretaker relative.

EXAMPLE: In TANF, where children who live in the home include the caretaker's own children and a child who is related in some other manner (e.g., niece or nephew), establish two assistance units. One will include the caretaker and his/her children, and the other will include the other related child with the caretaker as payee only. When more than one such child lives in the home, each child will be placed in a separate assistance unit unless the children must be considered together as specified in 1 and 2 above.

EXAMPLE: In GA, establish a separate assistance unit for an unrelated child living in the home of a family that is also eligible to receive a grant. When more than one such child resides in the home, each child will be placed in a separate assistance unit. However, children who are siblings are always considered together and will be placed in the same assistance unit.

EXAMPLE: In GA, establish a separate assistance unit for an unrelated child and the adult caretaker who is also eligible to receive GA on their own. For instance, the adult caretaker is age 55 or older. Establish two separate GA assistance units; one for the caretaker and one for the child. (See DSSM 4001)

EXAMPLE: An unrelated caretaker provides day to day care and control of a minor parent and her baby. Place the minor parent and the minor parent's baby in on TANF assistance unit. The unrelated caretaker is payee for the minor parent and the minor parent's baby.

9 DE Reg. 1979 (06/01/06)(Final)