DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Division of Social Services

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

FINAL

ORDER

Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Employment and Training

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 changes to Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employment and Training policies. The Department’s proceedings to amend its regulations were initiated pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10114 and its authority as prescribed by 31 Delaware Code Section 512.

The Department published its notice of proposed regulation changes pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10115 in the September 2005 Delaware Register of Regulations, requiring written materials and suggestions from the public concerning the proposed regulations to be produced by September 30, 2005 at which time the Department would receive information, factual evidence and public comment to the said proposed changes to the regulations.

Summary of Proposed Changes

Senate Bill 101, effective July 2, 1999, allows participants in Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to engage in secondary education, post-secondary education, and vocational training as part of the work activity requirement. The participants in this program must be enrolled as full-time students, must be students in good standing, and will be required to have a combination of credit hours and work hours equaling at least 20 hours per week while they are in school. Participants must attend accredited or approved programs and will receive the same support services while in school, such as child care and transportation, as do other TANF participants. By enabling TANF participants to pursue secondary education, post-secondary education, and vocational training, Delaware will create a workforce that is more financially stable and less likely to need public assistance again, while at the same time increasing its tax revenue as these same people earn higher wages. This is a correction to the previously published policy, which increased the minimum combination of credit hours and work to 25 hours.

Summary of Comments Received With Agency Response

The State Council for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD) offered the following observation summarized below. DSS has considered the comment and responds as follows:

The legislation S.B. 101, required participants to have a combination of credit hours and work hours aggregating at least 20 hours per week. However, the current regulation erroneously contains a 25-hour standard. DSS corrects that reference, and a reference to S.B. 101, through this proposed regulation. SCPD endorses the proposed regulation since it conforms to the legislation and favors TANF participants.

Agency Response: Thank you for the endorsement.

Findings of Fact

The Department finds that the proposed changes as set forth in the September 2005 Register of Regulations should be adopted.

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that the proposed regulation to amend the Division of Social Services Manual regarding changes to Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employment and Training policies required by Senate Bill 101, effective July 2, 1999 are adopted and shall be final effective November 10, 2005.

Vincent P. Meconi, Secretary, DHSS, October 13, 2005

DSS FINAL ORDER REGULATION #05-61

REVISIONS:

3006.6 Senate Bill 101- 1997 1999 and Employment & Training Activities

Under Senate Bill 101- 1997 1999, persons who must participate in Delaware's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, can qualify for participation purposes if they are engaged in secondary education, post-secondary education up to the baccalaureate level, adult basic education or vocational training. Participants must meet the following Senate Bill 101-1997 1999 requirements in order to meet participation rates.

(a) Persons who qualify for assistance under Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program shall be eligible to participate in adult basic education, secondary education, post-secondary education up to the baccalaureate level, adult basic education or vocational training as an approved work activity provided each of the following requirements are met:

1. The person does not hold a baccalaureate degree.

2. The secondary, post-secondary education up to the baccalaureate level or vocational training is pursued through an accredited or approved school program.

3. The person is enrolled with enough credit hours to have full-time student status and is in good standing as it relates to attendance and achievement as defined by the program the person is attending.

4. If the person attending school would otherwise be subject to a work requirement in order to receive assistance under TANF, the combination of credit hours and work hours shall equal at least 25 20 hours per week while the program is in session. This work requirement may be met through work-study, internships, externships, or through work as a research assistant. If possible, during scheduled breaks, the work requirement will be the same as for other program participants, with work experience related to the field of study. However, if the student is enrolled full-time for the next semester and work activity placement cannot be arranged for the duration of the break in classes, it may be excused.

For every 1 credit hour, count 1.5 hours of study as part of the fulfillment of the required work participation hours. Therefore, if a persons full-time status is 12 credit hours count the 12 hours plus an additional 18 hours (12 x 1.5=18) for a total of 30 hours of weekly participation.

(b) Loans, scholarships, grants and work-study received by the recipient to pay for tuition and materials are excluded in determination of eligibility for assistance under TANF or the amount of assistance received by the recipient.

(c) The Department of Health and Social Services shall advise all persons of this section at application interviews and, at a minimum, at each recertification appointment.

(d) Persons attending education and training programs under this section shall receive support services, such as assistance with transportation and child care, while they attend the educational or vocational training program on the same basis as support services are provided other persons who are receiving assistance under TANF.

(e) If program completion will occur within one semester or quarter after the time limit expires, an extension may be granted for that semester or quarter.

(f) Persons sanctioned while attending educational or vocational programs shall be afforded the same due process as provided other persons under TANF.

9 DE Reg. 798 (11/01/05) (Final)