DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES
Division of Social Services
Income Reporting Requirements for Child Care
NATURE OF THE PROCEEDINGS:
Delaware Health and Social Services (“Department”) / Division of Social Services initiated proceedings to amend Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding Child Care, specifically, to update the income reporting requirements for the Purchase of Care subsidy program. The Department’s proceedings to amend its regulations were initiated pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10114 and its authority as prescribed by 31 Delaware Code Section 512.
The Department published its notice of proposed regulation changes pursuant to 29 Delaware Code Section 10115 in the February 2019 Delaware Register of Regulations, requiring written materials and suggestions from the public concerning the proposed regulations to be produced by March 4, 2019 at which time the Department would receive information, factual evidence and public comment to the said proposed changes to the regulations.
SUMMARY OF PROPOSAL
Effective for services provided on and after July 11, 2019 Delaware Health and Social Services/Division of Social Services proposes to amend section 11003.10 of the Division of Social Service Manual specifically, to update the income reporting requirements for the Purchase of Care subsidy program.
45 CFR 98.21 (e)(1)(i,ii)
In 2014, the Child Care Development Block Grant Act was reauthorized with the focus on safety and continuity of care for children receiving child care subsidy funds. Households receiving subsidy funds are now only required to report limited changes in their circumstances. States have the discretion to establish policies requiring households to report changes addressing the limited reporting requirements. Households will be required to report income that exceeds 85% of the state median income (SMI) level for their household size. Households reporting changes resulting in a non-temporary change in their need for care will receive 90 consecutive days of child care before their child care is closed.
This policy establishes the new requirement that parents and caretakers are to report certain changes that may affect their eligibility. The revised policy addresses the changes to be reported, the timeframe in which parents and caretakers are to report the changes, and the 90 consecutive days of child care they will receive prior to the case closing.
In accordance with the federal public notice requirements established at Section 1902(a)(13)(A) of the Social Security Act and 42 CFR 447.205 and the state public notice requirements of Title 29, Chapter 101 of the Delaware Code, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS)/Division of Social Services (DSS) gives public notice and provides an open comment period for thirty (30) days to allow all stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the proposed regulation. Comments were to have been received by 4:30 p.m. on March 4, 2019.
Fiscal Impact Statement
The policy amendment will have no fiscal impact since the purpose is to revise the requirements of the program. The policy amendment does not require any additional staff, system changes, agency costs, etc.
Summary of Comments Received with Agency Response and Explanation of Changes
The following summarized comments were received:
Comment: One commenter raised concern regarding the proposed fiscal impact; suggesting the change would result in higher subsidies and extended assistance periods.
Agency Response: Under new federal requirements, the law establishes 12-month eligibility redetermination periods for families receiving child care subsidy, regardless of changes in their income (as long as the income is below 85% of the state median income) or temporary changes in participation in work, training, or education. The State has lowered the eligibility income limit for families applying for the program to 185% of the federal poverty level.
Comment: One commenter suggested the amendment would create a higher threshold for households to report income changes greater than $75/month.
Agency Response: The federal law specifies how states must address reporting guidelines as follows:
Comment: One commenter quested the increased cost of the change to the state.
Agency Response: The reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant created many new mandates to ensure continuity of care for the children in the child care subsidy program and to emphasize the importance of providing high-quality early education.
Comment: Two commenters suggest, “DSS explain how it will ensure that reporting requirements do not place an undue burden on eligible families and accommodate the needs of working parents”.
Agency Response: A section was added to DSSM 11003.10 Reporting Changes in Need and Income for Child Care listing the various ways that a family can report the required changes.
Comment: Two commenters expressed concern that, “the DSS Manual lacks adequate explanation as to how DSS will prevent fluctuations in income resulting in the closure of a child care case.”
Agency Response: A new policy will be developed addressing the new DSS copayment model and income guidelines.
Comment: Two commenters expressed concern regarding the clarity of the proposed language about reporting a change in monthly income.
Agency Response: DSSM 11003.10 (1) will be updated to, “A family must only report a change in income that results in the family's monthly income exceeding 85% of the state median income (SMI) guideline for the household size.”
Comment: Two commenters suggested that, “DSS should consider extending the 90-day time period for continued authorizations, or at least allow for extensions for reasons such as disability or other good cause.”
Agency Response: DSS has policies in place that address families who may have barriers. DSS offers programs that will assist these families and child care will be provided while the parent is participating.
Comment: Two commenters suggested that DSS, “include a policy explaining how DSS will evaluate whether a family has regained eligibility for benefits before closing a child care case after 90 days of continued authorization.”
Agency Response: DSS will consider your suggestion in regards to approving benefits for an additional 12-month eligibility period instead of only approving benefits until the next redetermination.
DSS is pleased to provide the opportunity to receive public comments and greatly appreciates the thoughtful input given by:
FINDINGS OF FACT:
The Department finds the proposed changes as set forth in the February 2019 Register of Regulations should be adopted with additions. The Department finds that the proposed does not require further public notice or comment under the APA because the amendments are non-substantive pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10118(c).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, that the proposed regulation to amend Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) regarding Child Care, specifically, to update the income reporting requirements for the Purchase of Care subsidy program is adopted and shall be final effective July 11, 2019.
Date of Signature
Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS, Secretary,
POLICY – AMENDMENT
Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Social Services
Policy and Program Development Unit
11003.10 Reporting Changes in Need or and Income for Child Care
Parents/caretakers are required to report changes that affect either their need for child care or their income. Parents/caretakers are to report these changes to their Case Manager within 10 days. The types of changes that parents/caretakers are to report are:
A. loss of job;
B. new employment;
C. any increase or decrease in wages or income resulting in a change to income of $75 or more per month;
D. any change in education/training or other status which would impact the parents/ caretakers need for care.
45 CFR 98.21 (e)(1)(i,ii)
Parents and caretakers are required to report a change in household income and need for child care to DSS within 10 days of the change.
1. A family must only report a change in [monthly] income that [exceeds results in the family’s monthly income exceeding] 85% of the state median income (SMI) guideline for the household size.
2. A family must report a non-temporary change that occurs in their household circumstance, including:
[3. A family may report changes by:
3.4.] When a family reports a non-temporary change that ends their need for child care, DSS will authorize 90 consecutive days of child care before the family’s child care case is closed.
[4.5.] DSS must verify a change reported by a third party agency or person with the family.