DELAWARE HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Division of Social Services

Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code, Ch. 5, Section 512 (31 Del.C. §512)

FINAL

ORDER

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employment and Training Program

NATURE OF THE PROCEEDINGS:

Delaware Health and Social Services ("Department") / Division of Social Services initiated proceedings to provide information of public interest with respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employment and Training Program. The Department's proceedings 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 public comment pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10115 in the August 2006 Delaware Register of Regulations, requiring written materials and suggestions from the public concerning the proposed regulations to be produced by August 31, 2006 at which time the Department would receive information, factual evidence and public comment to the said proposed changes to the regulations.

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGE

Citations

• Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-171), enacted on February 8, 2006

• 45 CFR Part 261, Ensuring That Recipients Work

• 45 CFR Part 262, Accountability Provisions - General

• 45 CFR Part 263, Expenditures of State and Federal TANF Funds

• 45 CFR Part 265, Data Collection and Reporting Requirements

Summary of Provisions with Cost/Budgetary Impact

TANF Program

1) Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) 3001, 3006.2, 3006.2.1, 3006.3, 3006.4, 3008.1.4, 3009, 3010.2, 3011

The purpose of these changes to existing policy is due to the new interim final regulations that mandate states to meet stricter participation requirements.

These changes encourage Employment and Training participation.

TANF Program

2) Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) 3009.1, 3009.2, 3009.3, 3009.2, 3009.3, 3011.1, 3011.2, 3011.3, 3012, 3012.1, 3012.2, 3031, 3031.2 and 3031.4

The purpose of these changes to existing policy is due to the new interim final regulations that mandate states meet stricter participation requirements. Changes were also made to simplify the sanctioning process.

The changes to the Employment and Training sanction policy for not meeting the required participation hours eliminates the progressive 1/3, 2/3, and permanent sanction. The families are no longer permanently sanctioned off TANF. It is replaced with a full family TANF sanction that closes the TANF case once the individual does not meet the required hours of participation. Families may receive TANF benefits again as long as they complete a required consecutive 4 weeks of full participation.

The teen sanction changed so that a teen under the age of 16 not attending school will have the TANF grant sanctioned $50.00 each month until either the child returns to school, the mother works with the appropriate agencies, or the TANF grant is reduced to zero. If the mother works with the appropriate agencies and the child still does not return to school the benefit will be restored.

The sanction for teens over 16 and not attending school is the removal of the teen from the assistance group and the reduction of the household size. If the teen returns to school or participates with Employment and Training for the required hours they can be added back to the assistance case.

TANF Program

3) Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) 3006.1, 3006.2, 3006.3, 3009.1, 3011, 3011.3,3031, 3031.1, and 3031.2.

Additional changes were made to existing policies due to compliance with the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), interim final rules.

The DRA requires that the States implement this legislation by October 1, 2006. For this reason new language has been added to the regulation text as well as grammatical changes, where necessary.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS RECEIVED WITH AGENCY RESPONSE AND EXPLANATION OF CHANGES

The Disabilities Law Program (DLP), Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. and the State Council for Physical Disabilities (SCPD), the Poverty Law Program of the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. and the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council (DDDC), offered the following observations and recommendations summarized below. DSS has considered each comment and responds as follows.

DLP

The DLP recognizes that certain changes in Delaware's TANF Employment and Training program are mandated by changes in the federal welfare reform law. The DLP supports the comments submitted by Community Legal Aide Society, Inc.'s poverty program and offers the following comments to highlight areas in which the Department's proposed amendments may adversely impact people with disabilities.

1. Voluntary Employment and Training Program Participation with Reasonable Accommodations for People with Disabilities

Section 3006.2.1 of the proposed amendment lists the groups who "must participate in work related activities." Section 3006.3 states that "individuals deemed unable to work because they are physically or mentally disabled" will be referred to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. While the DLP supports the continued exemption for people who are unable to meet the employment and training program requirements as a result of a disability, the DLP also recognizes that there are people with disabilities who wish to participate in the Department's employment and training program. As a result of their disabilities, however, these recipients may be unable to comply with all of the employment and training program rules without reasonable accommodations. For example, a person with a disability may be unable to work the mandated 30 hours per week for single parent families. A person caring for a family member with a disability may face similar limitations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require the Department to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities in these and similar circumstances. The U.S. Department of Health and Social Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued guidance for state TANF programs in this area.

The DLP recommends that the Department adopt additional language to clarify that while people with disabilities may be unable to engage in activities necessary for work and thus are deemed "unemployable, "these recipients have the option of voluntarily participating in the Employment and Training program with reasonable accommodations. Any of the Employment and Training program rules may be modified where necessary as a reasonable accommodation for a physical or mental disability.

Agency Response: DSS currently allows all TANF recipients to volunteer for the Employment and Training program including individuals with disabilities who may otherwise be exempt. DSS agrees with adding the additional language regarding the availability of reasonable accommodations throughout the applicant and recipient process. See section 3006.1.

2. Assessment and Identification of People with Disabilities, Including Undiagnosed or "Hidden" Disabilities

The proposed amendments refer to the identification of barriers to employment, including, presumably, disabilities. For example, §3009 states in part that "[u]nder TANF, the client and worker must become partners in efforts to surmount any and all obstacles to success. While it is expected that the client verbalize any difficulties s/he may have or expect to have in meeting TANF requirements, the worker also has a duty to do whatever s/he can elicit from the client any information needed to identify and overcome hurdles." Section 3010.2.1 defines the Family Development Profile as "an assessment tool used to identify possible social, family, and emotional barriers to self-sufficiency as they affect an individual's ability to obtain and retain employment" and provides that it is a "mandatory assessment tool for all adult and teen TANF recipients."

Without additional information, the DLP cannot comment specifically on the Department's current practices and assessment tools in this area. The DLP recommends that the Department train its workers and utilize assessment tools that appropriately identify disability-related barriers to employment, recognizing the prevalence of disabilities among TANF recipients, including many disabilities that are not readily apparent. For example, studies indicate that one-fourth to one-third of TANF recipients have a serious mental health problem; more than one-fifth have physical impairments; more than one-fifth have learning disabilities; and, more than one-fifth have low intelligence. See Eileen P. Sweeney, "HHS Guidance Explains How Federal Laws Barring Discrimination Against People with Disabilities Apply in State and County TANF Programs," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Feb. 26, 2001; Eileen P. Sweeney, "Recent Studies Indicate that Many Parents Who Are Current or Former Welfare Recipients Have Disabilities or Other Medical Conditions," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Feb. 29, 2000.

Failure to comply with TANF requirements results in serious penalties. See §§3011.2, 3011 and 3031.

DLP recommends that the Department adopt language clarifying that while efforts to identify disability-related barriers to employment should be on-going, these issues should be assessed as early as possible in the case. For example, it is preferable to examine whether an adult is "unemployable" prior to imposing sanctions, rather than taking steps to remove the sanction after the fact.

An appropriate effective assessment of disability-related barriers to employment becomes all the more important given the Department's proposal to require two weeks of employment and training participation prior to the authorization of benefits. The DLP recommends that the Department adopt language recognizing the existence of disability-related barriers prior to referring applicants to employment and training activities. The Department should include language to clarify that applicants who meet the definition of "unemployable" on the basis of a physical or mental disability will be exempt from the two week participation requirement. The Department also should reiterate that it will provide reasonable accommodations where necessary to facilitate the participation of people with disabilities.

Agency Response: DSS agrees that efforts to identify disability related barriers to employment should be an on-going process, and assessed as early as possible. DSS requires an assessment prior to the referral to the Employment and Training contractor. The new Employment and Training contracts will require that the Employment and Training contractors assess all individuals to identify barriers to employment. In addition, DSS is in the planning process to develop a medical review process to identify, and evaluate individuals with disabilities to ensure appropriate service delivery.

3. Satisfactory School Attendance Should Account for Absences of Children with Disabilities for Disability-Related Reasons

Section 3012 provides for sanctions for "unsatisfactory school attendance." If the child's school does not define "acceptable" attendance, the Department will consider an 85% attendance rate as satisfactory.

Children who are enrolled in school full-time may not necessarily attend school full-time for reasons beyond their control. For example, a child with a disability may miss a significant number of days due to health problems or medical appointments. That child's parent consequently may be unavailable to participate in the required number of work hours per week because the parent needs to attend to the child's disability-related needs.

The DLP recommends that the Department clarify that sanctions for unsatisfactory school attendance will not be imposed if the child misses school for reasons related to disability.

Agency Response: DSS agrees that unsatisfactory school attendance that may result from disability related issues should be evaluated. Current policy allows for good cause determinations prior to implementing a sanction. Unsatisfactory school attendance due to verifiable disability related issues would be considered good cause.

SCPD, DDDC

As background, the impetus for the amendments is the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005. The Act prompted issuance of a 30-page set of federal HHS interim final rules which were effective June 29, 2006. See 71 Fed. Reg. 37453 (June 29, 2006). Consistent with the attached articles, the federal regulations are designed to impose stricter requirements on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program.

First, Section 3001, Pars. M and N contain some outdated language that could be improved. For example, "able-bodies parents" suggests that the standard applies only to persons with physical as juxtaposed to mental impairments. This is misleading. See also reference to "able-bodied children" in Section 3006. Contrast Section 3006.3 reference to "physically or mentally disabled". Similarly, the term "incapacitated" is ostensibly a stricter standard than the term "disabled work-eligible individual" in the new federal regulation, 45 C.F.R. §261.24(a)(2).

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comment regarding work-eligible individuals and will be adding this to the list of definitions in section 3001. Additionally, the word "Able-Bodied" is deleted in section 3006.1.

Second, there is a typo in the example at the top of p. 290. The reference should be "meet a 50% work participation rate" rather than "meet at 50% participation rate".

Agency Response: DSS agrees. The reference is changed to a.

Third, Section 3006.2 contains the following exemption: "Single custodial parents with a child under 12 months of age are able to receive an exemption from Employment and Training requirements for a total of 12 months of their lifetime." The federal regulation authorizes states to adopt this exemption as an option. See 45 C.F.R. §261.22(c). DSS may wish to consider omitting the "lifetime" restriction.

Fourth, Section 3006.4, sixth bullet, limits job search and job search readiness activities to six (6) weeks. Consider with the attached excerpt from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), Analysis of New Interim Final TANF Rules, at 7, Delaware is one of 30 states which meet HHS criteria for adopting a twelve (12) week standard. DSS may wish to consider this option.

Fifth, Section 3006.4 refers to credit for "study time" based on "the Blevins bill". The new federal regulations ostensibly limit counting "study time" to supervised or monitored study hours. See attached CBPP analysis at pp. 12-15, 18. DSS may wish to consider whether this new requirement should be reflected in Section 3006.4.

Sixth, Section 3009 contains sanction standards. The philosophy here is somewhat harsh, i.e., the sequence of penalties is applied to maximize the cumulative effects of sanctions. For example, Section 3009.3 recites as follows:

The order in which sanctions are imposed is important because we cannot sanction a closed case. If a client has both an enhanced family function and a self-sufficiency sanction for the same period it is important to make sure the enhanced family sanction that reduces the TANF grant is imposed prior to the self-sufficiency sanction that closes the case.

To the extent DSS enjoys some discretion in this context; it may wish to consider a less rigid approach to imposing cumulative sanctions which maximize the overall penalty on the family.

Seventh, Section 3011.1 deletes a reference to good cause for termination of employment. Literally, this creates some tension with Section 3011 which contemplates good cause for termination of employment. Literally, Section 3011.1 would not allow termination of employment even if an employee is severely injured on the job, subjected to sexual harassment, or at risk of death or health impairment due to conditions (e.g. asbestos; heat) and irrespective of medical opinion.

Eighth, Section 3011.3 refers to failure to maintain work activities as an "offense". This term connotes a violation of criminal law. It would be preferable to refer to a "sanctionable event".

Ninth, Section 3012 does not differentiate between excused and unexcused absences from school. Children with disabilities may be absent for many days due to surgeries or conditions (e.g., sickle cell anemia). The focus should be on unexcused absences rather than a simple 85% attendance figure which does not differentiate between excused and unexcused absences.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comments regarding sections 3006, 3006.3, 3006.2, 3006.4, 3009, 3009.3, 3011.1, 3011.3 and 3012 and will take them under consideration.

Poverty Law Program

In addition to the points below, the Poverty Law Program supports the comments already submitted by the Disabilities Law Program of the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc.

1. §3001

Good Cause

The definition of "good cause" for quitting should not be eliminated. In addition to the examples of "on the job discrimination" and "health and/or safety risk" which should be retained, other examples should be added, such as "lack of adequate day care" and "lack of transportation." These are the most frequent reasons we hear that clients had to leave jobs. Another example that should be added would be "domestic violence" which could affect the ability to keep a job either because the abuser will not allow the victim to work or because the victim is not safe at a job where the abuser knows where to find her. This definition should state specifically that "good cause" applies to all Delaware TANF requirements.

Sanction

This definition uses the phrase "quits a job without good reason." The word "reason" should be changed to "cause" so that it matches the term that is defined.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comments in section 3001. The definitions for "Good Cause" and "Sanction" have been revised.

2. §3006

While no changes are proposed to this section, we would suggest adding on to the second sentence so that it reads "The Division maintains that the way for persons to avoid TANF dependency is for them to find and maintain employment and to develop marketable job skills through education and training."

3. §3006.2

We commend the Division for defining the teen parent participation requirement as including "[e]lementary, secondary, post-secondary, vocational, training school, and participation in GED program." Our comment here is grammatical. There should be a period after the word "work" and before the word "If."

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the support. Grammar is corrected.

The Division should consider an additional paragraph to specify that Delaware's Temporary for Needy Families (TANF) Program will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Services Act. This paragraph should state that persons who have disabilities who are working or participating in work related activities for a minimum number of hours that they are able to do will be counted as fully participating even if the number of hours completed is less than what would be required for a similarly situated non-disabled person, as a reasonable accommodation under the above mentioned federal laws.

4. §3006.3

We reference and will not repeat the comments made by our DLP regarding services and procedures for persons with disabilities. We fully support the comments made by our DLP.

A second sentence should be added to the second paragraph that states that "the Division will require TANF contractors to offer referrals for employment and training activities offered by the state and private entities.

5. §3006.4

The terms "nursing or nursing assistant activities" should be defined. We think you are describing a person who is not a nurse but is caring for someone with a disability, which we commend. However, the terms should be defined here or in §3001 to be clear.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comments regarding sections 3001, 3006, 3006.2, 3006.3, 3006.4 and will take them under consideration.

6. §3009

We are concerned with the sixth paragraph of this section which discusses the need for workers to respond quickly with clients who have a clear understanding yet fail to meet obligations. There is no comparable statement to address what happens when clients do not have a clear understanding of the program and thus fail to meet obligations. The Division needs to recognize that some of the people in the TANF program will have cognitive impairments that will negatively affect the ability to comply with the complex TANF rules.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comments regarding section 3009 and recognizes that individuals with disabilities may have difficulties understanding and meeting the requirements. To identify as many individuals with disabilities as possible DSS requires an assessment prior to the referral to the Employment and Training contractor. The new Employment and Training contracts will require that the Employment and Training contractors assess all individuals to identify barriers to employment. In addition, DSS is in the planning process to develop a medical review process to identify, and evaluate individuals with disabilities to ensure appropriate service delivery.

7. §3009.1 (3)

We applaud the Division for considering the school attendance requirement cured if the parent is otherwise compliant and working with the school to improve attendance, even if the child does not return to school. This recognizes the reality of parent and controlling a teenager.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the support.

We similarly applaud the Division for allowing a teen to return to the TANF case after school attendance is improved.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the support.

We note that in subparagraph (2) the Division twice uses the term "mother" to refer to a parent. The Division should probably substitute the word "parent" as is used earlier in this section or even substitute "adult in assistance unit" for both "mother" and "parent" in this section, since not every assistance unit is headed by a mother or even a parent.

Agency Response: For section 3009.1, subparagraph (2) and changes "mother" to "caretaker" as used earlier in this section.

8. §3011.1

This section would be more consistent and clear if the last word of the first sentence was "hours" instead of "amounts." This is what we believe is intended. If "hours" is not what is intended, the sentence should be rewritten to be more clear.

The Division should not remove the indicated phrase from the second sentence. The regulations need to be clear that some TANF participants will have "good cause" for termination a job, as defined under section 3001. The failure of the Division to allow for "good cause" reasons for failing to keep a job could open the State to legal challenges for failing to provide due process and failing to accommodate person with disabilities.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comments regarding section 3031 and will take them under consideration.

9. §3011.2

We applaud the elimination of the "3 strikes and you're out" sanction system.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the support.

10. §3011.3

The Division should state that noncash assistance will be provided during the four consecutive weeks of compliance during the cure period. Such noncash assistance should include child care assistance, transportation assistance, and emergency assistance in the form of vendor payments for rent and utilities. Many TANF participants will not be able to participate for four weeks without child care and transportation assistance. Emergency assistance should also be available to participants actively curing the sanction so that families are not further destabilized, such as homelessness, as they return to a road to self-sufficiency.

The Division should also provide a retroactive cash benefit for the four weeks of compliance. This will help the family get on their feet and avoid violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act if the compliance required participation in the Work for your Welfare program.

Finally, the Division should allow families subject to the lifetime sanction under the prior policy to cure the sanction under the new regulations. Our office have begun to see people who allowed their cases to close subject to the lifetime ban because they did not fully understand it and/or because they had found employment or family to help them at that time. A lifetime ban is unduly harsh, considering the nature of the TANF program and the minimal cash assistance it provides. Even criminals who commit far worse crimes than noncompliance with TANF program requirements are given another chance once they serve their prison terms. Four weeks of compliance should satisfy the Division that a participant is serious about complying with program rules this time.

Agency Response: DSS intends to provide non-cash assistance during the required two week of pre-participation as well as during the 4 week sanctioning process. DSS intends to give retroactive payment for the completion of the two-week pre-participation. DSS does not plan on giving retroactive payments if an individual complies with the 4-week sanction. This would not be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards act since the individual receives the TANF assistance from the first of the month. The sanction will be applied when an individual has not completed the requirements in a month that they have already received a TANF check.

11. §3031

The Division should specifically state that noncash assistance will be provided during the initial two week period after a family applies for TANF assistance. Such noncash assistance should include child care assistance and transportation assistance. Many TANF applicants will not be able to participate for two weeks without child care and transportation assistance. The Division should also provide a two week retroactive cash benefit once the case is opened.

The phrase "approved employment related activities" is not defined throughout this section. A definition or list of approved activities would be helpful.

Work for your Welfare hours should be based upon the Delaware State minimum wage, not the federal, as cited in the third paragraph.

The provisions of §§3031.1 and 3031.2 that close TANF cases when work for your welfare hours are not completed would appear to violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA is the reason that the number of hours is determined by dividing the cash and food stamp grants by the state minimum wage. The Division recognizes that FLSA is violated if the hours a family must work for their cash and food stamp grants exceeded what that family would be paid under the minimum wage for the same hours of work. If a family works partial hours under the work for your welfare program but has their case closed as a sanction, FLSA would similarly be violated because the family would be paid nothing for hours they worked. This regulation should be changed.

12. §3031.2

This section is also troubling because it closes the case of a two-parent household if just one parent fails to comply. In addition to the FLSA violation described above, this provision fails to recognize that the compliant parent may not have control over the noncompliant parent, particularly in the instance of domestic violence.

13. §3031.4

Again, the Division should specifically state that noncash assistance will be provided during the initial two week period after a family applies for TANF assistance. Such noncash assistance should include child care assistance and transportation assistance. Many TANF applicants will not be able to participate for two weeks without child care assistance and transportation assistance. The Division should also provide a two week retroactive cash benefit once the case is opened.

Agency Response: DSS appreciates the comments regarding section 3031 and will take them under consideration.

FINDINGS OF FACT:

The Department finds that the proposed changes as set forth in the August 2006 Register of Regulations should be adopted.

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that the proposed regulation to amend the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Employment and Training Program is adopted and shall be final effective October 10, 2006.

Vincent P. Meconi, Secretary, DHSS, 9/14/06

DSS FINAL REGULATIONS #06-44

REVISIONS:

3000 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - Definition

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3001 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in the context of these policies, will, unless clearly indicated otherwise, have the following meanings:

A. Benefits (Non-Time-Limited) - the receipt of TANF benefits that are not subject to a time limitation.

Benefits (Time-Limited) - the receipt of TANF benefits for a limited period of time.

B. Caretaker (Needy) - a parent or non-parent included in the grant who is caring for a needy child. Needy caretakers are required to comply with the CONTRACT OF MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY to receive benefits. Needy caretakers are subject to the time limit requirements.

Caretaker (Non-Needy) - a non-parent, not included in the grant, who is caring for a needy child. Non-needy caretakers are required to comply with the CONTRACT OF MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY to receive benefits. Non-needy caretakers are not subject to the time limit requirements. These caretakers will receive benefits under the Children's Program.

C. Children's program - the name of the agency's program for persons who receive non-time-limited benefits. Persons in this program are not subject to the usual time limits for the receipt of benefits. However, persons in this program must comply with a non-work-related CONTRACT OF MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY, e.g., participation in parenting classes, school attendance for the child or immunizations as necessary.

D. Contract of Mutual Responsibility – an agreement between the TANF client and the agency which sets obligations and expectations between the TANF client and agency in exchange for benefits.

E. Cumulative Months - the total number of months, not necessarily consecutive months, which make up a particular time period.

F. Delaware’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program - the title of Delaware's new welfare reform program.

G. Employable - the ability to engage in activities necessary to acquire and retain a job, at a wage level at least equal to the minimum wage; an employable person is physically and mentally able to participate in employment or activities necessary to seek and obtain employment, e.g. job search, job training, job readiness, etc. While an individual is employable the receipt of benefits is time-limited.

H. Employment (Subsidized) - a public or private sector job for which the employer receives a grant or allotment to pay all or a portion of the employee’s wage.

Employment (Unsubsidized) - a public or private sector job for which the employer receives no grant or allotment to pay either all or a portion of the employee's wage.

I. Good Cause - An adult recipient may have legitimate reasons for not cooperating either in the development of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility or the requirements as set forth in the Contract. The adult recipient has "good cause" when either a circumstance or condition exists in either her/his personal or family situation beyond which she/he has no control, and which would prevent cooperation and/or participation.

Good cause for quitting a job would include but not necessarily be limited to:

On the job discrimination;

Health and/or safety risk;

[Domestic violence.]

J. H.B. 251 (1995) - House Bill 251 established the Delaware Welfare Employment Program. This is a program where the agency places TANF clients in jobs with local employers while subsidizing the client’s salary up to the State’s minimum wage for a maximum of six months.

K.J. Pay After Performance - A work experience and/or Employment and Training program required for families with employable adults where the adult has not found employment or has lost a job. Families who were continuously on TANF prior to 01/01/2000 will have 24 months before being required to enter into this program. Families reapplying on or after 01/01/2000 will immediately enter this program. Participants will work to earn TANF benefits.

L.K. Sanction - a financial penalty for TANF client’s failure or refusal without good cause to meet her/his work Employment and Training participation requirements. If the client refuses or fails to meet work related requirements (job search, training, etc.) or quits a job without good [reason cause], for the 1st offense the penalty is 1/3 reduction of the grant; the second offense is a 2/3 reduction; and the 3rd is permanent loss of the entire grantthe client’s TANF case will be closed. If the TANF client refuses or fails to attend a Contract of Mutual Responsibility requirement (e.g., participate in parenting education) the penalty is a $50.00 reduction in the grant for each month the client refuses or fails to participate.

M.L. Suitable Employment - employment that provides income at least equal to the payment standard after deduction of work expenses, the TANF work deduction and child care as paid, and provides wages at least equal to the minimum wage. Individuals will be expected to work at jobs that are below their skill levels, if such positions provide the only available employment.

N.M. Two Parent Program - able-bodied parents and their children who meet the standard of need and all TANF eligibility requirements, except deprivation, will be eligible for cash benefits. Eligibility for this program is based on need; there is no deprivation requirement. Cash benefits are time limited and both parents must comply with a Contract of Mutual Responsibility.

When one parent in an intact family is incapacitated, the family should not be placed in the two-parent program.

O.N. Unemployable - the inability to engage in activities necessary to work for at least the minimum wage; the person is prohibited because s/he is physically or mentally disabled. An unemployable individual cannot participate in employment or activities necessary to seek and obtain employment, e.g., job search, job training, job readiness, etc.

The determination and duration of unemployability are made by a health care professional (e.g., doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, therapist, etc.). Periods of unemployability are not counted toward the cumulative months of benefit eligibility under the time-limited program.

O. Week - A week is defined as seven consecutive days, Monday through Sunday.

[P. Work-eligible individual - an adult (or minor child head-of-household) receiving assistance under TANF or a separate State program or a non-recipient parent living with a child receiving assistance (child-only cases). See exclusions below.

Q. Excluded work-eligible individuals - Child-only cases that are:

A minor parent and not the head-of-household or spouse of the head-of-household;

An alien who is ineligible to receive assistance due to the immigration status; or

• At state option, on a case-by-case basis, a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

Other work-eligible exclusions: A parent providing care for a disabled family member living in the home, who does not attend school on a full-time basis, provided that the need for such care is supported by medical documentation.]

9 DE Reg. 1370 (03/01/06)

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3006 TANF Employment and Training Program

Delaware's Temporary Assistance To Needy Families welfare reform effort is based on the idea that TANF is a transitional benefit and should not become a way of life. The Division maintains that the way for persons to avoid TANF dependency is for them to find and maintain employment.

3006.1 Mandatory Participants

All adult caretakers and other adults in the assistance unit who are not exempt must participate in Employment and Training related activities. The two exemptions are: 1) a parent caring for a child under [13 weeks 12 months] of age or 2) an individual determined unemployable by a health care professional.

[Able bodied c C]hildren age 16 or older who are not attending school must participate in work or other alternative activities, e.g., GED.

[Individuals who are exempt from Employment and Training requirements can volunteer to participate in the Employment and Training Program. Individuals with disabilities will be afforded the same access and opportunities including reasonable accommodations to participate in the Employment and Training programs.]

3006.2 TANF Employment and Training Participation and Participation Rates

Under the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families Block Grant, DSS is required to meet the following work participation rates with respect to all families that include an adult or minor child head of household receiving assistance:

DSS may face a lower work participation rate if it experiences a net caseload reduction compared to FY 1995 2005.

Example: If it is determined that DSS' average monthly caseload in FY 1997 2006 was 4 percentage points lower than average monthly caseloads in FY 1996 2005, then, rather than having to meet a[t] 30% 50% work participation rate requirement in FY 1998 2006, the rate would be lowered by 4 percentage points to 26% 46%.

To be counted toward meeting the work participation rate, each individual must meet the minimum required number of hours averaged over a each month week. This differs from the old JOBS requirement in which the hours were averaged among participants, and where participants only had to meet at least 75% of the scheduled hours.

Single parents who are not working 30 hours a week or making an equivalent of 30 hours a week times minimum wage are required to participate in work and/or work related activities. Participation in work and work related activities must equal [of ]30 hours a week.

Two-parent families where one parent is not working at least 35 hours a week or making the equivalent of 35 hours a week times minimum wage are required to participate in work and/or work related activities. Participation in work and work related activities must equal 35 hours a week.

Two parent families who receive federally funded Purchase of Care services who are not working at least 55 hours a week or making the equivalent of 55 hours a week times minimum wage are required to participate in work and/or work related activities. Participation in work and work related activities for one parent must equal 35 hours a week. [The spouse must participate in work or work related activities equaling 20 hours a week.]

Teen parents are required to attend school, work, or participate in the employment and training activities. Elementary, secondary, post-secondary, vocational, training school, and participation in a GED program meets participation requirement for the month and is the equivalent to work If they are not attending one of the above types of school or working for 30 hours a week they must participate in employment and training activities for 30 hours a week.

Single custodial parents with a child under 12 months of age are able to receive an exemption from Employment and Training requirements for a total of 12 months in their lifetime. These 12 months can be used any time the parent has a child less than 12 months of age. Once the youngest child reaches 12 months of age the parents are required to participate in Employment and Training. If they are already working the equivalent of their required Employment and Training Hours (20, 30, [35,] 55), the DCIS II system will code them as volunteers for Employment and Training.

Example: Under JOBS, if Ms. Jones was scheduled for 20 hours and attended 15, she was counted as having participated for 20 hours. Under TANF, Ms. Jones would fail to meet her 20 hours requirement, and DSS could not count her as participating. In addition, under JOBS, you could pair participants and combine their hours to get more participants to the 20 hour level. For instance, one participant working 25 hours could be paired with one participant working 15 hours to get two participants. Under TANF, only one participant could count as having met the 25 hour rule.

The monthly participation rate is calculated as follows:

Numerator: # of [TANF and SSP-MOE] families [receiving assistance that include an adult or minor head of household who is engaged in work for the requisite hours with a work-eligible-individual who meet the participation requirement for the month]

divided by

Denominator: # of [TANF and SSP-MOE] families that include [an adult or a minor child head of household receiving assistance a work-eligible individual], less # of families sanctioned in that month for failure to participate in work (for up to 3 months in preceding 12 month period), less the number of non-needy caretaker households, less the number of temporarily incapacitated households, less the number of [mothers with a child under 13 weeks old single custodial parents opting to use one of the 12 months allowable exemptions for caring for a child under one year of age. A parent can only use this exemption for a total of 12 months in their lifetime.]

8 DE Reg. 1618 (5/01/05)

3006.2.1 TANF Employment and Training Participants Who Count for TANF Participation

According to provisions of Delaware's Temporary Assistance For Needy Families, the following individuals must participate in work related activities and are included in the denominator for calculating the Federal participation rates.

• [Employable Work-eligible individuals] as defined in DSS TANF policy;

• [Employable Work-eligible] adults in the Time-Limited Temporary program;

• [Employable Work-eligible Aa]dults for whom the Contract of Mutual Responsibility specifies the employment-related activities that will be required;

• [Employable Work-eligible] adults who are not exempt because they are medically unable to participate; and

• [Employable Work-eligible] adults who are not exempt because they [are the caretaker parent of an infant under 13 weeks of age used their 12 month limit of child care for a child under one year of age].

3006.3 TANF Employment and Training Activities

The Division of Social Services, in conjunction with the Delaware Department of Labor and the Delaware Economic Development Office, has developed employment and training programs to move TANF clients to economic independence. These agencies will conduct initial and ongoing assessments of client employability and appropriateness of employment and training related activities. For individuals deemed unable to work because s/he is they are physically or mentally disabled a referral is to be made to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Use Form 134.

The Division will establish has agreements with the Delaware Department of Labor and the Delaware Economic Development Office to offer employment and training activities.

The goal is to place the adult recipient in an unsubsidized job in as timely a manner as possible. The Department of Labor will have the option of recycling through job search those adult recipients who are unsuccessful in finding work, and/or placing the adult recipient in an alternative work experience, OJT, remediation, or a skills training program. Also, both the Division and the Department of Labor are jointly responsible for the development of an Employability Development Plan.

Although the Department of Labor assumes primary responsibility for assigning adult recipients to employment-related activities for this age group, the Division retains responsibility for sanctions, federal reporting and other TANF requirements.

3006.4 TANF Employment and Training Activities Which Constitute Participation Under TANF

The following are employment-related activities that count as participation:

• Unsubsidized employment[; - means full- or part-time employment in the public or private sector where the employer in not subsidized by TANF or any other public program. (A subsidy does not include employer tax credits for hiring economically disadvantaged workers.)]

• Subsidized private sector employment[; - means employment in the private sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from TANF or other public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing a recipient.]

• Subsidized public sector employment[; - means employment in the private sector for which the employer receives a subsidy from TANF or other public funds to offset some or all of the wages and costs of employing a recipient.

• The goal of subsidized employment is to move participants into unsubsidized employment, so duration should be limited.

• Unlike work experience, a participant is paid wages and receives the same benefits as a non-subsidized employee.

• Preamble outlines 3 subsidized models:

1. Work supplementation where TANF funds that would otherwise be paid as assistance is paid to employer;

2. Third party contractor, like a temporary staffing agency, serves as employer of record and is paid a fee to cover salary, expenses and success in placing employees; and

3. Supported work for individuals with disabilities in an integrated setting.]

• Work experience (including work associated with refurbishing of publicly assisted housing) if sufficient private sector employment is not available[; - means a work activity, performed in return for welfare, that provides an individual with an opportunity to acquire the general skills, training, knowledge, and work habits necessary to obtain employment. The purpose of work experience is to improve the employability of those who cannot find unsubsidized employment. This activity must be supervised by an employer, work site sponsor, or other responsible party on an ongoing basis no less frequently than daily.

• Participants receive TANF assistance/benefits, not wages.

• May be considered an “employee” under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) broad definition. If so, participants must be compensated at the minimum wage and overtime rules apply. (See §§ 261.31-32 below for new flexibility in counting hours subject to FLSA.)

• TANF assistance/benefits that work experience participants receive are not considered wages for Social Security purposes, or taxable income for purposes of the Federal income tax, or the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit.

• A State may consider a work-experience participant to be an “employee” for purposes of worker’s compensation.]

• On the job training[; - means training in the public or private sector given to a paid employee while he or she is engaged in productive work and that provides knowledge and skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job.

• States may subsidize the employer to offset training costs.

• OJT must be supervised daily.

• Supported employment may be counted as OJT, if it includes significant on-site training in the skills and knowledge essential to job performance.]

• Job search and job search readiness (six week limit)[; - means the act of seeking or obtaining employment, preparation to seek employment, including life skills training, and substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or rehabilitation activities for those who are otherwise employable. Such treatment or therapy must be determined to be necessary and certified by a qualified medical or mental health professional. Job search and job readiness activities must be supervised by the TANF agency or other responsible party on an ongoing basis no less than daily.

• The “job search” aspect includes looking for suitable job openings, making contact with potential employers, applying for vacancies and interviewing for jobs.

• Job readiness assistance comprises of two activities:

1. Preparing an individual to obtain employment, such as preparing a resume or job application, interviewing skills, instruction in work place expectations and life skills; and

2. Substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment, or rehabilitation activities for those who are otherwise employable.

• A State may only count an individual’s actual hours of participation in treatment or rehabilitation activities.

• If a portion of the treatment or rehabilitation service meets a common-sense definition of another work activity, then the hours associated with that activity may count under the appropriate category, such as work experience.

• For purposes of the 6-week limitation (no more than 4 consecutive weeks), a week consists of 7 consecutive days.]

• Community service programs[; - means structured programs and embedded activities in which TANF recipients perform work for the direct benefit of the community under the auspices of public or nonprofit organizations. Community service programs must be limited to projects that serve a useful community purpose in fields such as health, social service, environmental protection, education, urban and rural redevelopment, welfare, recreation, public facilities, public safety, and child care. Community service programs are designed to improve the employability or recipients not otherwise able to obtain employment and must be supervised on an ongoing basis no less than daily. A State agency shall take into account, to the extent possible, the prior training, experience, and skills of a recipient in making appropriate community service assignments.

• Family- and self-improvement activities that do not provide a direct benefit to the community may not be counted as community service, including substance abuse treatment, mental health and family violence counseling, life skills and parenting classes, job readiness instruction and caring for a disabled household family member.

• Community service programs may not include activities that meet the definition of another allowable TANF work activity.

• Programs must include structured activities that both provide a community service and also improve the employability of participants.

• Excluded are unstructured and unsupervised activities such as helping a neighbor or friend, and foster parenting.

Participants may be considered an “employee” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) broad definition. If so, participants must be compensated at the minimum wage and overtime rules apply]

• Vocational educational programs (not to exceed 12 months);[; - means organized educational programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for employment in current or emerging occupations requiring training other than a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

• Vocational educational training must be supervised on an ongoing basis no less than daily. Vocational education does not include basis and remedial education, education in English proficiency, and postsecondary education.

• Unsupervised homework time may not count; however structured and monitored study sessions which can be documented may be counted.

• Vocational education must be provided by education or training organizations, such as vocational-technical schools, community colleges, postsecondary institutions and proprietary schools, etc.]

• Job skills training directly related to employment[; - means training or education for job skills required by an employer to provide an individual with the ability to obtain employment or to advance or adapt to the changing demands of the workplace. Job skills training directly related to employment must be supervised on an ongoing basis no less frequently than daily.

• Barrier removal activities, such as substance abuse counseling and treatment, may not be included.]

• Education directly related to employment for a recipient who has not received a high school diploma or equivalent[; - means education related to a specific occupations, job, or job offer. Education directly related to employment must be supervised on an ongoing basis no less frequently than daily.

• May also include adult basic education and ESL, and where required as a prerequisite for employment education leading to a General Educational Development (GED) or high school equivalency diploma.

• Participants should make “good or satisfactory progress” in terms of grades and completion timeframes under the standards of the institution.

[Satisfactory attendance at secondary school or certificate of general equivalence;]

• [Satisfactory school attendance at secondary school or in a course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence, in the case of a recipient who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate - means regular attendance, in accordance with the requirements of the secondary school or course of study, at a secondary school or in a course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence, in the case of a recipient who has not completed secondary school or received such a certificate. This activity must be supervised on an ongoing basis no less frequently than daily.

• To count, participants should make “good or satisfactory progress” in terms of grades and timeframes under the standards of the institution.

• May not include other related educational activities, such as adult basic education or language instruction.

• Unsupervised homework time may not count.]

[The provision of child care services to an individual participating in a community service program;]

[Providing child care services to an individual who is participating in a community service program - means providing child care to enable another TANF recipient to participate in a community service program. This activity must be supervised on an ongoing basis no less frequently than daily.]

• Education, training and job search activities. Eligibility will be determined by the employment contractors.

• Pay-after-performance work experience, with the hours determined by dividing the benefits by the minimum wage, plus up to 10 hours of job search weekly;

• Regular school attendance or appropriate alternative activity (e.g., training or employment) for dependent children and minor parents[; .]

Job search may be required for applicants and recipients.

• Participation in Vocational Rehabilitation program for eligible recipients.

[Nursing or nursing assistant activities performed without pay are considered work experience.]

Other work-related activities that assist in obtaining or maintaining employment or improving work performance.

Education and Training

Students who do not meet the Blevins Bill requirements in section 3006.6 can receive 1.5 hours of study time for each credit hour if the education or training class requires homework and study time to be completed outside of class time. A 3-credit course would equal 7.5 hours of participation. (3 + (3 x 1.5) = 7.5. [Study hours must be supervised to count towards participation.]

If a recipient is attending training or a program that does not have a designated credit hour, a determination of the amount of study time required for this training will have to be determined independently. This will be reported on the General Activity Screen in the DCIS II Employment and Training sub-system. A question will ask if this activity requires study time, if it is answered yes, then a mandatory screen will appear to enter the amount of weekly study hours. The amount of study hours necessary will be determined by the contractor.

The student must be in good standing as it relates to attendance and achievement as defined by the program the student is attending.

Example: A participant who is working 15 hours a week and taking 2 three-credit classes will have a participation rate of 30 hours. (15 hours of work + 6 credit hours of class + 9 hours of study time.

9 DE Reg. 1372 (03/01/06)

3006.5 TANF Employment and Training Participants Who Count for TANF Participation

According to provisions of Delaware's TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO NEEDY FAMILIES, the following individuals must participate in work related activities and are included in the denominator for calculating the Federal participation rates.

• Employable as defined in regular DSS TANF policy;

• Only employable adults in the Time-Limited Temporary program;

• Adults for whom the Contract of Mutual Responsibility specifies the employment-related activities that will be required;

• Employable adults who are not exempt because they are medically unable to participate; and

• Employable adults who are not exempt because they are the caretaker parent of an infant under 13 weeks of age.

8 DE Reg. 1618 (5/1/05)

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

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3008 Eligibility of Certain Minors

3008.1.1 Babies Born To Teen Parents

This policy applies to both applicants and recipients not covered by family cap rules.

Babies born after December 31, 1998 to a teenage parent are not eligible for cash assistance (TANF and GA) unless the parent is:

• married; or

• at least eighteen (18) years of age.

An emancipated minor is considered an adult and therefore, the baby would be eligible for cash assistance. If both parents live in the home, both parents must be at least eighteen (18) years of age or married for the baby to be eligible. Once the minor parent turns 18, the parent and the baby are both eligible for cash assistance, if otherwise eligible.

Babies not receiving cash assistance are eligible for all other DSS services and programs including food stamps, grant-related Medicaid, and Welfare Reform child care. In lieu of cash assistance, the Division may provide non-cash assistance services. (See DSSM 3008.1.3)

Determining financial eligibility and grant amounts for an assistance unit which contains a child(ren) affected by this provision:

The child(ren) is/are included when determining the assistance unit’s need for assistance. The child(ren)’s income and resources are included when determining the assistance unit’s income and resources. The child(ren) is/are not included when determining the payment standard for the assistance unit.

Exception:

This restriction will not apply when:

• the child is conceived as a result of incest or sexual assault; or

• the child does not reside with his/her parents.

9 DE Reg. 1978 (06/01/06)

3008.1.2 Three Generation Households

In a three (3) generation household, the grandparent could receive benefits for him/herself and for the teen parent but not for the child of the teen parent. This means that there is not grandparent deeming in these cases.

3008.1.3 Providing Non-cash Assistance:

The services that non-cash assistance will provide are as follows:

DSS will offer non-cash assistance to these families after their request for cash assistance has been denied. The purpose of the voucher program is so the caretaker can purchase necessary items for the child denied benefits due to the parent being unmarried and a minor. Necessary items may include formula, if the minor parent and child are not WIC eligible, diapers, baby wipes, clothing. This is not an all inclusive list. Items covered by Medicaid are not eligible. A determination of need is to be completed by the contracted vendor. Though a baby may receive these services in subsequent months, the service ends when the parent either marries or turns eighteen.

A monthly voucher is to be no more than $69. The primary caseworker will explain that the family could receive a monthly voucher that may cover more than one month, but shall not exceed $207, the amount of three months of A Better Chance Welfare Reform Program grant awarded to children born before January 1, 1999. When a customer receives a monthly voucher greater than $69, the customer will be ineligible to receive services as follows:

• For the following month when the voucher is between $70 and $138.

• For the following two months when the voucher is between $139 and $207.

The primary caseworker will make the initial referral for the non-cash assistance to the contracted vendor. Referrals will include the name and Social Security number of the adult caretaker and the minor parent, the name and date of birth of the baby, address, a phone number for contacting the family and a DCIS II case number. The adult caretaker will contact the vendor if there is a need for services in subsequent months. The case record will be documented when a referral for this program is made to a contracted vendor.

Provide families referred for this service with appropriate vendor address and telephone number.

3008.1.4 Minor Teen Parents

Teen parents are required to attend either:

• elementary;

• secondary;

• post-secondary;

• vocational;

• training school,

• a GED program; or

• work.

If these minor teen parents are not participating in any of the above activities they should be referred to the Employment and Training contractors.

Refer to DSSM 3012.2, DSSM 3012.4 and DSSM 3012.5 to be able to receive TANF.

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3009 Contract of Mutual Responsibility

The caretaker enters into a Contract of Mutual Responsibility with DSS. The Contract will specify self-sufficiency components such as, but not limited to, employment activities, cooperation in securing child support, school attendance requirements, family planning, parenting education classes, substance abuse treatment, and immunization requirements. The Contract is designed to be individualized to the specific needs and situation of each family. Therefore, the exact requirements within the Contract may vary from family to family. This document will be revised as the needs and the situation of the family evolve. (See DSSM 3010.2.5)

The State will ensure that services related to these provisions are available to the recipient. Additionally, other supportive services will be available (such as child care) if necessary. If the services are not available to the recipient and it is in the Contract, the recipient will not be sanctioned. The Contract will be modified to reflect that the service is unavailable at that time. For instance, if a recipient was directed to seek substance abuse treatment on an in-patient level, but a bed was not available for four months, that part of the Contract would be suspended until a bed became open for the individual.

In establishing and enforcing the Contract, the DSS worker has primary responsibility for ensuring that clients understand what is expected of them. While sanctions will be imposed for failure to meet the expectations of the Contract, the intended result of the sanction process is to convince clients of the need to cooperate. An important element of the process is "coaching" the client to transcend any barriers to meeting Contract expectations.

In the past, such barriers may have been good cause factors for clients not accomplishing what they need to do. Under TANF, however, the client and worker must become partners in efforts to surmount any and all obstacles to success. While it is expected that the client verbalize any difficulties s/he may have or expect to have in meeting TANF requirements, the worker also has a duty to do whatever s/he can to elicit from the client any information needed to identify and overcome hurdles.

Coaching is without question a difficult task, given the multitude and variety of problems a client may face and the many steps along the road to self-sufficiency. Nevertheless the worker needs to embrace it as a critical element in the achievement of our welfare reform objectives.

Certainly we want TANF clients to be clear at all times about their obligation to exercise personal responsibility in exchange for benefits. When clients have a clear understanding, yet still fail to meet their obligations, workers need to respond quickly. The swiftness of our actions will demonstrate the seriousness of our intentions. This was the primary reason we requested federal waiver of the conciliation process.

However, the ultimate goal of the sanction process should not only demonstrate how serious we are, but that we are available to help them become self-sufficient. We want clients to realize it is to their advantage to work with us and not against us.

Workers who truly understand the foundations upon which our sanction policies exist are in a better position to successfully steer clients through the welfare reform process. Keep in mind the following guidelines:

a) At every step of the way, workers should make the sanction process clear for clients; that is, explain clearly what the client’s responsibilities are and what the consequences are for failure to meet these responsibilities.

b) Encourage clients to discuss any problems they face in meeting TANF requirements. Coach them in a positive way to overcome these hurdles. Offer assistance, but make it clear that the client has ultimate responsibility for meeting requirements.

c) If and when clients fall short of expectations, before taking action to apply sanctions, make sure that clients understand exactly what requirement(s) was not met and the consequences of it. This is not to say that we want workers to offer conciliation, but rather that we want workers to emphasize cause and effect. In this way clients should more readily recognize the benefits of cooperating and doing what is expected in the future.

Sanctions are not our desired result. They are a means to accomplish the goal of client cooperation.

3009.1 Failure to Comply With CMR and Imposition of Sanctions

The Contract of Mutual Responsibility encompasses three broad categories of requirements: 1) enhanced family functioning, 2) self-sufficiency and 3) teen responsibility requirements.

1) Enhanced family functioning requirements of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility include, but are not limited to, attending family planning and parenting education sessions, ensuring that children are immunized, and participating in substance abuse assessment and treatment. Sanctions for non-compliance with these requirements start at $50.

2) Self-sufficiency requirements of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility are employment and training responsibilities., work related and ensuring school attendance requirements for dependent children under age 16. Sanctions for non-compliance with these requirements start at a one-third reduction in benefits result in the closure of the TANF case.

3) Teen responsibility requirements include maintaining satisfactory school attendance. Teens under the age of 16 must maintain satisfactory school attendance. The parent must work with the child and school to ensure satisfactory attendance. If the teen does not maintain satisfactory attendance at school and the parent fails to work with the school or appropriate agency to ensure school attendance, the case will be sanctioned. This sanction is an initial reduction of $50. This reduction will increase by $50 every month until there is compliance with the requirement. If the parent complies and works with the school the TANF benefit will be restored, even if the child does not return to school.

3) Teen responsibility requirements include maintaining satisfactory school attendance, or ensuring satisfactory attendance, for dependent children 16 years of age and older or participating in employment and training activities. The sanction for non-compliance with these requirements is $68, if the teen does not comply, and an additional $68 if the caretaker does not work to remedy the situation. the removal of the teen from the assistance grant. The teen can not be added back into the case until verification of school attendance is received or verification of four consecutive weeks of participation and one month of being removed from the grant.

The severity of the sanctions differs depending upon the type and number of violations. Individual penalties and the cure for each are noted in the policy sections which follow. However, when imposing sanctions, these are the rules in which sanctions are applied:

1. The penalty for failure to comply with self-sufficiency requirements of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility (employment and training responsibilities) is a 1/3 reduction of the TANF benefit for the first occurrence, 2/3 reduction of the TANF benefit for the second occurrence and a total loss of the TANF benefit for the third occurrence the closure of the TANF case.

2. The penalty for failure to comply with teen responsibility requirements for a child under 16 years of age is a $68 50 reduction in the grant, if the teen does not comply, . and an additional $68 if If the caretaker does not work with the appropriate agencies to remedy the situation, an additional $50 penalty continues each month until the [mother caretaker] works with the appropriate agency, the child returns to school or the [grand grant] reduces to zero. The only way to cure the sanction is for the [mother caretaker] to work with the appropriate agency and/or the child returns to school. If the child does not return to school but [t]he[ mother caretaker]has been working with he appropriate agency then the sanction can be lifted.

Failures to comply with self-sufficiency requirements are not treated as separate activity violations, but as one component. Accordingly, a person who quits employment without good cause and is sanctioned 1/3, receives a 2/3 sanction for the second violation whether it is for a job quit or noncompliance with employment and training activities or cooperation to ensure compliance with school attendance for dependent children under age 16.

3. The sanction for teens 16 years or older who do not attend school and/or employment and training activity for the required hours is the removal of that teen from the TANF grant and a reduction in the house hold size. The sanction can only be cured when the teen is removed from the grant for one month and participation in employment and training for four consecutive weeks is verified or satisfactory school attendance is verified.

3. 4. The penalty for failure to comply with enhanced family functioning requirements of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility is an initial $50 reduction of the TANF benefit. This reduction will increase by $50 every month until there is compliance with the requirement. The initial $50 reduction will be imposed whether the family fails to comply with one, or more than one, family functioning requirement. Clients will have to comply with all requirements before the sanction can end.

4. 5. Failing to comply with both enhanced family functioning and self-sufficiency requirements of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility will result in combined penalties for each. For example, both a $50 reduction and 1/3 reduction to the TANF benefit. For example, impose the $50 reduction and then close the case.

Failures to comply with self-sufficiency requirements are not treated as separate activity violations, but as one component. Accordingly, a person who quits employment without good cause and is sanctioned 1/3, receives a 2/3 sanction for the second violation whether it is for a job quit or noncompliance with employment and training activities or cooperation to ensure compliance with school attendance for dependent children under age 16.

When there are multiple sanctions always impose the monetary sanctions first; enhanced family functioning and teen under 16. The removal of a teen from the case is second, and the self-sufficiency which results in a case closure is last. All sanctions need to be imposed.

3009.2 Sanctions Flow Chart

Below is a flow chart, which describes in graphic detail the sanction process. This chart is intended to be a conceptual representation of the process and does not take into account the level of worker discretion and understanding needed to make sanction decisions. It will give workers a quick review of how the sanction process works and flows in the ideal, but is not a literal account of the way workers will always confront the process in actual practice.

One thing of note, the chart depicts the eligibility interview, the Employment and Training interview and initial participation with Contractor/DOL programs as one Orientation process not as individual events. This means clients, who fail to attend their employment and training interview and then comply, are not sanctioned a second time if they fail to attend contractor or DOL orientation. It simply means they have not completed the Orientation process and therefore, have not completely cured their initial sanction. In order to show compliance with the entire Orientation process, clients must attend the missed event and demonstrate cooperation for two weeks. Any failure to do this means the initial sanction continues. However, as noted further in these policies, should non-compliance continue beyond two months, workers will initiate a second sanction regardless of completion of the process.

3009.3 Benefit Reduction for Multiple Sanction Types

The sanctions for failure to meet Contract requirements allow for the possibility of multiple penalties to be imposed at the same time. The hierarchy is as follows:

1. If in place, the one-third penalty for failing to meet work and training requirements and the one-third penalty for not cooperating with school or agency officials to meet attendance requirements for dependent children under the age of 16 are the first to be imposed by DCIS.

2. 1. If in place, The $68 sanction for teens 16 and over teens who fail to meet school attendance requirements and an additional $68 for their parents who do not cooperate to remedy the situation is imposed next is the removal of the teen from the grant first, if applicable.

3. 2. If in place, The $50 sanction for failure to meet enhanced family functioning requirements (CMR) and the teen under 16 years of age sanction is first imposed next. by DCIS.

3. The self sufficiency sanction, failure to meet participation requirements is a full TANF sanction resulting in a case closure. This is imposed last.

The order in which sanctions are imposed is important, since different sequences result in different benefit amounts. By being familiar with the hierarchy, workers will be able to explain to clients how multiple penalties will impact benefits. because we can not sanction a closed case. If a client has both an enhanced family function and a self-sufficiency sanction for the same period it is important to make sure the enhanced family sanction that reduces the TANF grant is imposed prior to the self sufficiency sanction that closes the case.

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3010 Participation and Cooperation in Developing CMR

It is mandatory that the caretaker enter into a Contract of Mutual Responsibility. The Contract applies to those families in the Time Limited Program and Children's Program, as well as to teen parents. Other family members within the assistance unit may be subject to compliance with provisions of the Contract, even if the caretaker is a non-needy caretaker relative payee.

If the caretaker is a non-needy caretaker relative, the individual would not be required to participate in employment-related activities, but may be required to participate in other Contract activities.

The caretaker may object to certain aspects of the Contract. The caretaker needs to present any objections up front, at the time of the initial Contract or upon Contract revision. DSS retains the ultimate decision making authority as to what elements are put into the Contract of Mutual Responsibility.

DSS expects clients to cooperate in the development of the Contract of Mutual Responsibility. Certain aspects of the Contract, such as, but not limited, to participation in employment-related activities, meeting school attendance requirements and immunization, cannot be amended. However, even though certain aspects cannot be amended, this does not imply that caretakers cannot discuss and/or negotiate Contract requirements. Further, this is not to imply that such discussion and/or negotiation is non-cooperation. To the extent possible, each caretaker should be able to mutually develop her/his Contract. DSS is to give caretakers the opportunity to understand the Contract and its requirements, as well as to discuss the Contract with persons outside the DSS office. Reasons for requesting such an outside review of the Contract include, but are not limited to, language barriers, developmental disabilities, or to seek legal or other counsel. Caretakers therefore, should be granted their requests to remove proposed Contracts from the DSS office in order to review it with another person. This should not be considered non-cooperation.

Negotiating elements of the CMR can mean that aspects of the CMR are waived. On a case by case basis, elements of the CMR can be waived if good cause exists. If the particular circumstances of a family warrant waiving elements of the CMR it is to be justified and properly documented in the case record.

See Administrative Notice A-10-99 DFS/DSS Procedures.

For example: a parent's only child is terminally ill. It is reasonable to determine that a parent would want to spend as much time with the child as possible. Therefore, waiving school attendance requirements and parenting education requirements are reasonable. Document the child's illness and the reason for the waiving of the CMR requirements in the case record.

3010.1 Penalties for Not Cooperating in Development of CMR

The fiscal sanction for not cooperating, without good cause, in the development of the Contract will be an initial $50.00 reduction in TANF benefits. This reduction will increase each month by $50.00, either until there is compliance or the case is closed.

If caretakers are actively negotiating the terms of their Contracts, DSS will not impose the $50.00 penalty. DSS will provide caretakers up to 10 days to reach a resolution. After this time, DSS will consider caretakers as not cooperating if they refuse to participate in the further development of their Contracts.

DSS will also give those caretakers, who choose to do so, the opportunity to discuss their Contracts with persons outside of the DSS office. DSS will allow caretakers up to 10 days to take Contracts outside of the office, during which DSS will not impose the $50.00 penalty. DSS will consider caretakers who have not returned Contracts after that time as not cooperating and subject to the $50.00 penalty.

3010.2 Contract of Mutual Responsibility and Domestic Violence Screenings

3010.2.1 Family Development Profile

The Family Development Profile is a an assessment tool used to identify possible social, family and emotional barriers to self-sufficiency as they affect an individual’s ability to obtain and retain employment. The Family Development Profile covers issues of self-esteem, health and family relationships. This tool is designed to surface those issues which, when resolved, will increase the participant’s ability to become truly self-sufficient. This assessment tool is a mandatory assessment tool for all adult and teen TANF recipients.

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3011 Employment and Training and Work

DSS expects [employable work-eligible] adults to participate in either employment or activities related to finding work (e.g., employment and training activities) for [the required number of hours] 30 [, 35, or 55] hours a week for two consecutive weeks prior to TANF benefits to being authorized. The TANF benefit will continue uninterrupted as long as the participation in work or work activities continues for the required number of hours per week (see section 3006.2). Either an employable adult is working or is participating in activities to secure employment. DSS also expects caretakers to cooperate as necessary with school and other officials to ensure satisfactory school attendance by dependent children under age 16. The failure of clients to maintain any of these activities represent sanctionable offenses, which are components of the self-sufficiency requirements.

3011.1 Employment and Training Requirements

Clients must keep appointments with employment and training staff, cooperate in the development of the Employability Plan, and participate in employment and training activities equivalent to the required weekly amounts.

Clients who have secured employment are expected to continue employment [unless they have good cause for terminating a job (see Good Cause definition under 3001 Definitions)] and participate in approved employment and training activities.

Parents are expected to cooperate with school officials and other service providers in helping their child(ren) maintain satisfactory attendance. Penalties can be imposed if parents do not cooperate. Since Parents with children under age 16 are expected to exert more influence over their children, and since early school attendance is so important in moving children down the path to self-sufficiency., this requirement is grouped with employment and training and work requirements as part of the overall self-sufficiency requirements, which invoke harsher penalties for noncompliance. (See section DSSM 3009 and 3012 for requirements and sanctions related to cooperation to ensure school attendance by children 16 and over and children under the age of 16.). A third non-compliance will not result in a permanent but a curable penalty of loss of cash benefits. See DSSM 3011.2.

3011.2 Sanctions for Failing to Comply With Requirements

See Administrative Notice: A-7-99 Child Care Issues

Self-sufficiency requirements include those related to employment and training, and work, and cooperation with officials to ensure satisfactory school attendance by dependents under age 16.

The fiscal sanction for failure without good cause to meet school attendance requirements for a child under 16 are the same as for other self-sufficiency requirements. This includes teen parents who are dependent children.

The penalty for noncompliance with the self-sufficiency requirements will be:

a) for the first offense, a 1/3 reduction in TANF

b) for the second offense, a 2/3 reduction in TANF

c) for the third offense, a loss of all cash benefits.

the closure of the entire TANF case for one month and a mandatory four consecutive weeks of participation. The four consecutive week participation is mandatory to cure the sanction and reopen the case. The case may remain closed longer than one month if the four consecutive weeks of participation have not been completed.

The duration of the first and second sanctions will each be two months or until the person complies, whichever is shorter. If, after one month, the person has not complied, DSS will schedule an interview to explain again the participation requirements. If at the end of the two month period there is no demonstrated compliance, the sanction will increase to the next level. If the penalty is related to work non-compliance then the third penalty is permanent loss of benefits, If unless the adult is deemed unemployable, remove the sanction and enter the correct exemption. Then the case may be reopened for the length of time that the adult is not able to work. If there is a third penalty and it is related to school attendance, it can be cured by the adult caretaker cooperating with school officials to remedy the situation.

The penalty for individuals who quit their jobs without good cause, but who comply with subsequent job search requirements, will be:

a) for a first offense, a 1/3 reduction in TANF, to be imposed for a period of two months or until the individual obtains a job of equal or higher pay.

b) for a second offense, a 2/3 reduction in TANF, to be imposed for a period of two months or until the individual obtains a job of equal or higher pay.

c) for a third offense, a permanent loss of all cash benefits.

The penalty for individuals who quit their jobs without good cause and do not comply with subsequent job search requirements will be loss of all cash benefits for two months or until the individual obtains a job of equal or higher pay

[The penalty for individuals who quit their jobs without good cause and do not comply with subsequent job search requirements will be the closure of the TANF case for one month or until the individual obtains a job of equal or higher pay. If the individual participates for the required amount of hours in approved work related activities for four consecutive weeks the case can be reopened.]

Because the third sanction is for the duration of the demonstration, an additional supervisory review of case circumstances will be required before imposing the third sanction, in order to determine whether good cause for noncompliance exists. Impose the third sanction, after such a review, if good cause is found not to exist.

Noncompliance with more than one of the self-sufficiency requirements at a point in time will result in a one-third benefit reduction for each sanction.

Example: A person fails to attend the DOL orientation and, prior to a cure then fails to cooperate with officials to ensure school attendance by his/her 14 year old child. The resulting sanctions would result in a 2/3 (1/3 + 1/3) loss of case benefits.

Note: Under TANF regulations, Section 402(e)(2), DSS cannot impose sanctions when individuals refuse to participate in work or work-related activities if these individuals are single custodial parents with at least one child under age six, and these parents have demonstrated an inability to obtain needed child care. This provision neither makes parents exempt from participation in work activities, nor makes them exempt from time limits. It only restricts DSS authority to sanction.

Parents must demonstrate the following:

the unavailability of appropriate child care within a reasonable distance from their home or work (reasonable distance is defined as care that is located in proximity to either a parent’s place of employment or near the parent’s home, generally care that is within one hour’s drive);

the unavailability or unsuitability of informal child care by a relative or under other arrangements (unsuitability of informal care is defined as care that would not meet the physical or psychological needs of the child);

the unavailability of appropriate and affordable formal child care arrangements (affordable care is defined as care that would provide access to a full range of child care categories and types of providers ; and appropriate care is care that meets the health and safety standards as defined by State licensing guidelines, as well as the needs of the parents and children).

Parents who claim an inability to obtain needed child care must contact a DSS worker to press their claim. Parents will have 10 days, either from the date when they first attempted to find child care or ten days from the date DSS instructed them to participate in work activities, to contact the worker. DSS staff will have 20 days to review and decide whether the parents have a legitimate claim. If DSS determines that the parents did not demonstrate their claim, workers are to impose the sanctions. DSS will not sanction parents who have demonstrated their claims. Document reasons in DCIS under Case Remarks.

3011.3 Curing Sanction Penalties

Clients must keep appointments with Employment and Training staff, complete the Employability Development Plan and follow through with the recommendations of the Employment and Training staff for a minimum period of one month, including four two weeks consecutive weeks of [the required amount of hours for that household] 30 [, 35, or 55] hours of participation.

Clients, unless indicated otherwise, must participate in the work and/or work related activities attachment model for a minimum period of two four consecutive weeks.

EXAMPLE: A client fails to keep her initial appointment with Employment and Training staff, and to meet the required hours of participation and is sanctioned. In order to cure this sanction, the client must not only keep her appointment with Employment and Training staff, but must also keep her appointment with DOL contact the Employment and Training staff, and follow through with her DOL work activity for 30[, 35, or 55] hours a week (client’s required hours) for a minimum period of two four consecutive weeks before the sanction is considered cured.

The failure to keep appointments with both Employment and Training staff and DOL staff in the above example would be considered the first offense for sanctioning purposes. (It is a first offense because both Employment and Training and DOL are part of the same Orientation process, for which the cure can only be participation in DOL activity for two weeks). Any failure to continue the recommended activity after that point would be considered a second offense. For which the cure is participation in the activity to which the person was previously assigned, or an activity designed by Employment and Training to lead to full participation, for a minimum period of two weeks.

The sanction for quitting a job will end when the individual returns to the former job or obtains a job of equal or higher pay. However, cash benefits can be restored at a reduced level, depending upon the number of offenses (first or second), as long as there is compliance with the job search requirement for a period of two weeks. If after two months, clients have maintained compliance with the job search requirement, benefits can be restored in full.

DSS expects employable adults to participate in either employment or activities related to finding work (e.g., employment and training activities) for TANF benefits to continue uninterrupted. Either an employable adult is working or is participating in activities to secure employment. The failure of clients to maintain either of these activities is are a sanctionable offense.s, which are similar components of the employment and work related activity requirements.

3012 School Attendance Requirements

School attendance requirements exist for both adults and children. Children are expected to maintain satisfactory school attendance. Acceptable school attendance will be defined by the individual school. If the school does not define what is acceptable, use an 85% attendance rate.

Parents are expected to cooperate with school officials and other service providers in helping their child(ren) maintain satisfactory attendance. Penalties can be imposed if parents do not cooperate. These penalties will differ depending upon whether a child is under the age of 16 or is over age 16.

3012.1 Sanctions and Cures for Unsatisfactory School Attendance

CHILDREN UNDER 16 YEARS OLD

The fiscal sanction for noncompliance, without good cause, with school attendance (including dropping out of school) or alternative participation requirements will be:

A $50.00 reduction in the TANF grant each month if the parent does not work with the teen and the school to ensure school attendance. If the parent works with the school and the teen still does not comply with the requirement the sanction is removed.

CHILDREN AGE 16 AND OLDER, INCLUDING TEEN PARENTS WHO ARE DEPENDENT CHILDREN OR HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD

The fiscal sanction for noncompliance, without good cause, with school attendance, including dropping out of school, or alternative participation requirements will be:

A reduction of $68.00 in TANF which represents the teen's portion of the grant. The removal of the child from the grant and the subsequent reduction in household size.

If the parent or caretaker is not cooperating with school officials or other agencies, as appropriate, to remedy the situation, an additional $68.00 reduction in TANF will be imposed.

Teens who drop out of school can only have their need restored to the grant if they participate in work, or agree to re-enroll in school. So for teens to be in satisfactory compliance with school attendance requirements, they will either have to remain in school or, if not, they must be working.

To cure the sanction teens over 16 must first serve a full month sanction and either return to school, work, or participate in employment and training for four consecutive weeks whichever is longest.

3012.2 Curing Sanction Penalties

Compliance exists when there is evidence that the caretaker has cooperated with school officials, and the student has subsequently attained satisfactory attendance at the school.

Teen Parent up to age 18 Education/Training Requirements

Teen parents are required to attend either a). elementary, b). secondary, c). post-secondary, d). vocational, or e). training school, participate in a GED program or work.

Sanction for not meeting Teen Parent Education/Training requirement

A reduction of $68.00 in TANF.

Curing Teen Parent Education/Training Sanction

The sanction will end when either the Teen Parent re-enrolls in school or GED program, or participates in work.

(Break in Continuity of Sections)

3031 Work For Your Welfare

When a family applies for TANF assistance they will be referred to the contractor to participate and complete their required two consecutive weeks of required hours (30, 35, or 55) in approved employment related activities.

All two-parent households, who are without employment, must enter a Work For Your Welfare activity to qualify for benefits. Single adult recipients, who reach their 22nd month of benefit and are without employment, and all eligible applicants on or after 01/01/2000, must enter a Work For Your Welfare activity to qualify for benefits. Additionally, all TANF recipients who are employed must have regular earnings of the current [federal state] minimum wage at twenty-five hours per week. (The current [federal state] minimum wage is [$5.15 $6.15] per hour, which at [25 30] hours per week equals [$128.75 $184.50] per week earnings.) A person who is employed but not earning at least the equivalent of the current [federal state] minimum wage at twenty-five thirty hours per week will be considered mandatory for Work for Your Welfare. A contracted worker must receive his or her wages on a regular basis to be exempted from this requirement.

Work for Your Welfare is defined as a work experience [or community service] program [that is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act for minimum wage requirements] in which participants work to earn their benefits. In addition, DSS requires each participant to complete 10 hours of job search activity approved employment related activities per week. The failure to complete job search the required 10 hours of approved activities as required will result in a progressive 1/3 sanction full family sanction, closing the entire TANF case. For two parent households, one parent must participate in the work for your welfare program in order to earn benefits. The second parent, unless exempt, must also participate in required employment related activities as defined by DSS and the DSS contractor.

[A work-eligible individual who participates in a work experience or community service program that is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage requirements cannot be required to participate in that work activity for more hours than the value of the welfare grant and food stamps divided by the minimum wage. Individuals or families who complete the required workfare calculated hour of participation under the minimum wage requirement of the FLSA will have satisfied the 20-hour per week core activity requirement, if the calculated participation hours fall short of 20 hours per week.]

Currently DSS operates the work for your welfare program under contract with a work for your welfare services provider. The provider assumes responsibility for the assessment, placement and monitoring of all work for your welfare participants in unsalaried work assignments. The work assignments are with public or nonprofit organizations. In return for their services, participants earn the amount of the benefit they are eligible to receive.

Work for your welfare is not preferable to participants obtaining unsubsidized employment. Though the work for your welfare assignment should be a safe assignment, it should not be more attractive than unsubsidized employment.

DSS is to ensure that no participants placed in work for welfare activities displace regular paid employees of any of the organizations providing the placements.

Since placements are not voluntary, DSS expects participants to accept assignments unless the assignment represents an unreasonable health and safety risk (e.g., the participant has a health condition, which would be aggravated by the assignment).

Participants cannot appeal their assignments to work for your welfare work sites.

8 DE Reg. 1024 (1/1/05)

8 DE Reg. 1618 (5/1/05)

3031.1 Hours of Participation - One Parent Families

Effective 10/1/98, participants in single parent households are required to work for up to 30 hours per week. The 30 hours are the maximum participation hours. DSS determines the actual hours of participation by dividing the TANF and Food Stamp benefits by the minimum wage. If the hours determined by dividing the grants by the minimum wage exceeds 30 hours per week, participants are to complete no more than the 30 hours maximum. In addition to these hours, every participant is expected to participate in 10 hours of job search approved employment related activities per week.

EXAMPLE: The TANF grant amount for two is $270. Divided by the minimum wage ($6.15), this equates to 52 hours per month for the TANF grant (always round down to the nearest whole number). The Food Stamp allotment amount is $224. Divided by the minimum wage ($6.15), this equates to 43 hours per month for the Food Stamp allotment. Together this would mean that the participant must work 95 hours per month. Divide the 95 monthly hours by 4.33 (number of weeks per month) to arrive at a weekly participation rate. 95 divided by 4.33 is 21 hours per week. So the above participant must participate 21 hours per week in a work-for-your welfare placement in order to receive his/her full grant and allotment.

[A work-eligible individual who participates in a work experience or community service program that is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage requirements cannot be required to participate in that work activity for more hours than the value of the welfare grant and food stamps divided by the minimum wage. Individuals or families who complete the required workfare calculated hour of participation under the minimum wage requirement of the FLSA will have satisfied the 20-hour per week core activity requirement, if the calculated participation hours fall short of 20 hours per week.]

Total performance hours are based on grant amounts regardless of sanctions. In other words, a participant who has a 1/3 sanction does not perform fewer hours because of the sanction. Performance is based on what the total grant would have been without the sanction.

EXAMPLE: A family of two has a grant of $270. The grant, however, has been reduced by 1/3 $50.00 because of an employment and training sanction a CMR sanction. When DSS assigns this adult to work, the total performance hours are based on the grant amount of $270 despite the 1/3 $50.00 sanction.

The 10 hours of approved employment related activities per week job search requirement still applies. The failure to complete the 10 hours of job search approved employment related activities is a sanctionable offense, punishable by the progressive 1/3 penalty for failure to comply with an employment and training activity resulting in a full TANF sanction which closes the entire TANF case.

Participants who fail to complete the hours required by dividing their grant by the minimum wage will have their grant adjusted entire TANF case closed. For each hour not worked, participants will have the grant adjusted downward by the amount of the minimum hourly wage.

EXAMPLE: A participant in a family size of 2 is required to work 52 hours in a month. The participant however, only works 50 hours. This participant will have the grant reduced by $6.15 (minimum wage) x 2. DSS will reduce the grant amount for this participant by $10.00, always rounding down to the nearest dollar amount.

Once DSS determines the hours participants are to work, the contractor will assign participants to a work site. At the work site, participants must complete their assigned hours within the time period determined by the contractor and the work site.

3031.2 Hours of Participation - Two Parent Families

Two parent households must participate in work for your welfare as soon as DSS determines the household eligible for benefits. In two parent households, one parent must participate at their assigned maximum performance hours (35 hours per week), and the second parent must participate in required employment related activities as determined by DSS and the DSS work for your welfare contractor, unless the second parent is otherwise exempt (e.g., caring for a disabled child or is incapacitated). DSS requires the second parent in the two-parent household to go to the workfare contractor to be placed in a component other than workfare approved employment related activities.

If the families of two-parent households receive federally subsidized child care, together they must participate in at least 55 hours per week of required activity. In this case, one parent will do work for your welfare activity, and the second parent must participate in a sufficient number of hours with the work for your welfare contractor so that, when combined with the hours of the first parent, together they equal 55 hours. If the one parent in the two parent household who is participating in work for your welfare does not complete his/her required performance hours, the grant allowance for the entire family is reduced by the hours not worked times the minimum wage TANF case is closed. The grant adjustment occurs case closes regardless of whether the second parent completed his/her required hours of employment related activities.

If the second parent does not complete or refuses to complete the required employment related activities, DSS will impose a separate 1/3 sanction on this second parent TANF full family sanction which closes the entire TANF case. This sanction will increase by 1/3 as long as this second parent refuses to complete his/her required activities. DSS will treat the second parent’s 1/3 sanctions separately from the first parent’s sanctions. For example, if the first parent in this two-parent family already has a 1/3 sanction, the 1/3 sanction for the second parent will not increase the sanction level to 2/3 for the entire family. However, the highest sanction level of either parent will determine the entire sanction level for the family

[A work-eligible individual who participates in a work experience or community service program that is subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage requirements cannot be required to participate in that work activity for more hours than the value of the welfare grant and food stamps divided by the minimum wage. Individuals or families who complete the required workfare calculated hour of participation under the minimum wage requirement of the FLSA will have satisfied the 20-hour per week core activity requirement, if the calculated participation hours fall short of 20 hours per week.]

3031.3 Initiating Work For Your Welfare - One Parent Families Reserved

3031.3.1 Families That Have A Forty-eight (48) Month Time Limit Who Are Continuously On Assistance: Reserved

DSS will alert single parent families to report to the work for your welfare contractor in the 22nd month of their receipt of benefits. The contractor will schedule participants for an interview for assessment and placement in a work for welfare activity. Participants’ failure to keep their scheduled interview with the contractor will result in the progressive 1/3 penalty for an employment and training activity.

Participants whose cases are closed can only have benefits restored once they have agreed to and have cooperated for two weeks with their work for your welfare assignment. If a participant fails to cooperate by not completing any portion of this two weeks of his/her work for your welfare placement, DSS will not restore benefits.

Participants are to begin their work for your welfare assignment on the 12th of the 23rd month of benefit receipt. Participants will have until the 11th of their 24th month to complete their work for your welfare monthly assignment in order to receive a benefit for their 25th month. Otherwise, DSS will reduce benefits for the 25th month based on any hours not worked.

FOR EXAMPLE: Mary Jones is a single parent receiving benefits. September 1998 is her 22nd month of TANF benefit receipt. On Post Adverse Action day in August, Mary’s October benefit as well as her work for your welfare requirement is calculated. A letter is generated to Mary informing her that she must participate in work for your welfare beginning in October. The letter also informs her of the required hours per day she must complete, and that she will have from October 12th until November 11th to complete her assignment if she is to get benefits in December. If Mary does not complete any of her Work For Your Welfare hours, she receives no benefit for December and her case closes. In order for her to start receiving benefits again, Mary would have to agree to go to her assigned Work For Your Welfare work site, and cooperate by completing her assigned hours for up to two weeks. If she fails to do this, her case remains closed.

3031.3.2 Families That Have A Thirty-Six Month Time Limit And Families That Have A Forty-eight Month Time Limit Who Reapply On or After January 1, 2000 Reserved

DSS will alert single adult families to report to the work for your welfare contractor immediately after they are approved to receive benefits. Participants will be required to participate in the Work For Your Welfare program activities to receive benefits for the month following initial approval. The contractor will schedule participants for an interview for assessment and placement in a work for welfare activity. Participants’ failure to keep their scheduled interview with the contractor will result in the progressive 1/3 penalty for an employment and training activity.

Participants whose cases are closed can only have benefits restored once they have agreed to and have cooperated for two weeks with their work for your welfare assignment. If a participant fails to cooperate by not completing any portion of this two weeks of his/her work for your welfare placement, DSS will not restore benefits.

FOR EXAMPLE: Sammy Smith is a single parent who applied for and was approved to receive TANF on December 2, 2000. A letter is generated to Sammy informing him that he must participate in work for your welfare beginning the following month. The letter also informs him of the required hours per day he must complete, and that he will have from January 12th until February 11th to complete his assignment if he is to get benefits in March.

3031.4 Initiating Work For Your Welfare - Two Parent Families

For two parent families, only one parent will have to complete a work for your welfare assignment. DSS will inform the family of their work for your welfare obligation once the family is eligible for benefits, usually within 30 days of the intake interview refer the family to the contractor at the time of application for TANF. In addition, the other parent in the family, unless exempt, must also participate in employment and training activities. Participation in Employment and Training for the required hours is required for two weeks prior to the receipt of benefits. Again, DSS will send a letter to the family instructing them that one parent must report to a work for your welfare assignment and the other parent must participate with the work for your welfare contractor in a component other than work for your welfare. The family must decide which parent will complete the work for your welfare assignment and which parent will participate in employment and training activities with the work for your welfare contractor. The failure to report to the contractor will result in a progressive 1/3 penalty for an employment and training activity. In addition, the parent who participates in the work for your welfare assignment must also complete 10 hours of job search approved employment related activities per week.

The following month is the first required month for which participation hours are calculated. DSS will calculate hours the same as it does for single parent families. That is, the parent in the two parent family must report by the 12th of the month and will have until the 11th of the following month to complete his/her work for your welfare hours.

For Example: Janet and Jim Roberts apply for cash assistance in October. By November DSS determines them eligible. The family decides that Jim will complete the Work For Your Welfare hours. Having calculated the hours Jim must complete, DSS sends them a letter instructing Jim that he has from November 12th until December 11th to complete his hours if the family is to receive benefits in January. In addition, the letter instructs Janet that she is to report to the Work For Your Welfare contractor to participate in a component other than Work For Your Welfare.

3031.5 Ending a Work For Welfare Placement

Work for welfare placements will end when any of the following circumstances occur:

• The participant secures a full-time, non-subsidized job or a part-time, non-subsidized job of 25 30 hours or more.

• The participant becomes exempt. Exemptions, however, can only occur if DSS declares participants unemployable, using the standard TANF definition for unemployable. In this case, DSS will transfer the participants to the Children’s Program under TANF.

• The participant requests an end to benefits payments.

• When the time limit has been reached.

Note: Participants in either one parent or two parent households are exempt from work for your welfare participation if a parent is working 25 30 or more hours per week in a non-subsidized job.

8 DE Reg. 1024 (1/1/05)

10 DE Reg. 706 (10/01/06)(Final)