Release 88:  Effective January 1, 2018

Temporary Assistance For Domestic Violence Survivors Program (TA-DVS) -
B.   Application Process


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  1. Date of Request
  2. The Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS) application process starts with a request. The request may be in the form of:

    The date of request is the date the request for benefits is received by a Self-Sufficiency Program office of the Department of Human Services (DHS).

  3. Application time frames
  4. The branch must assess the emergent need within eight working hours of receiving the application, narrate and address any immediate safety concerns identified:

  5. Incomplete application process
  6. If a decision cannot be made because the survivor turned in an Application for Services (DHS 415F) and did not show at the appointment, try to contact the survivor to reschedule either by phone or mail (if we have a safe address). If unable to contact the survivor, hold the DHS 415F for 30 days, then fill out the decision notice denying the application and place in the file.

    Example 4:

    Soto was meeting with her intake worker for TA-DVS. During the intake Soto became distraught and requested to leave. She did not want to continue with the interview and walked out. In this situation, because we do not have a completed interview, we do not have enough information to determine TA-DVS eligibility. Hold the application for 30 days and narrate the situation. We can try to call Soto to reschedule, if we have a safe phone number.

    CAUTION
      If it is not known whether the address or phone number is safe, hold any notice in the file and narrate and do not leave any detailed voice messages.

  7. When a new application is required
  8. Interviewing the survivor
  9. In the TA-DVS program, we are required to complete a face-to-face interview with the victim.

    The requirement to complete a face-to-face interview can be waived if there is a safety risk due to domestic violence or, there is a hardship. Hardship follows the TANF rules and would be considered:

    In these cases, where there is a safety risk due to domestic violence or a hardship, we can complete the interview via phone, home visit or offsite appointment. Please narrate the safety concern.

    CAUTION
     

    If we are completing interviews via phone, we must first ask the survivor if this is a safe time to talk. We want to be mindful that in a phone interview we are not able to confirm who is there during the intake. Phone interviews should be used rarely for TA-DVS due to safety concerns.

    If completing an offsite appointment or home visit, confirm that the abuser will not be at the visit. We cannot complete a home visit if it is not safe for DHS staff. Before leaving, please make sure leadership in your office knows where you are going and what time you are expected to return.

    Safety is our primary concern when interviewing a client:

    NOTE
      The survivor’s sense of the most pressing matter may not be the same as yours. Show respect for the survivor’s priorities; this will help in developing rapport and trust.

    The survivor is the best judge of their safety.

    Consider the following:

    Interviews Rule
    461-115-0230 —Interviews

  10. Subsequent requests
  11. Field Offices are to jointly staff approval or denial of application requests for TA-DVS with Central Office if:

    If there is ever a case with multiple requests over many years or a case that the worker would like a second opinion, you can email TA-DVS Policy for guidance.

  12. Authorized representatives
  13. Authorized representatives are allowed in the TA-DVS Program to assist with payment requests, communication with DHS, understanding of the case plan, etc.

    Authorized representatives cannot complete the interview for the survivor Ė DHS must complete the interview process with the survivor. At the interview, an authorized representative can be determined. We must speak with the survivor before adding an authorized representative.

    NOTE
      We should have a conversation with the survivor about the safety of picking an authorized representative. It should be someone they can trust and someone that will not release sensitive information.

    Remind them the authorized representative will have access to their TA-DVS case information including but not limited to:

    • Payment requests;

    • Safe address and safe phone number;

    • Narrated conversations between worker and survivor.

    Authorized representatives specifications:

    Authorized Payee is never allowed on TA-DVS cases:

  14. Verification of eligibility
  15. To approve TA-DVS eligibility, survivor statement is an acceptable for of verification for financial and nonfinancial eligibility requirements. Verification is needed for payments.

    Example 8: Talia comes into the office and applies for TA-DVS. Talia is five months pregnant, does not have any other eligible children, and does not have verification of proof of pregnancy. If Talia meets all other TA-DVS eligibility, we can approve her for the TA-DVS grant. No payments may be issued until we receive verification that Talia is pregnant.

    Verification

    TA-DVS is intended to provide support to survivors of domestic violence and their children, not to the perpetrator.

    No verification is required that a person is a victim of domestic violence or that a domestic violence situation has occurred unless:

    Acceptable Verification of Domestic Violence:

    A statement or letter that the individual is not a perpetrator of domestic violence or is a self-defending victim from:

    Contact Central Office to identify other adequate types of verification. DHS can approve and issue payments on cases that provided appropriate verification.

    CAUTION
      Sometimes victims of domestic violence are arrested because at the time the police arrive they believe them to be the aggressor. Sometimes there are mutual arrests because the police officer is unable to determine who the primary or predominant aggressor is. Later it may be found that the person was a self-defending victim or the injury to the victim was not apparent at the time of the arrest. In some cases the perpetrator may be the one to call 911; they may access a restraining order before the victim or there may be mutual restraining orders. It is also common for abusers to claim to be the victim. If circumstances arise that lead you to believe that it is the abuser is applying or that the person you are seeing is a victim who was arrested and you are unsure what to do next, you can staff the case with Central Office.



    NOTE
      In most cases, it is not appropriate to pend TA-DVS cases as we have only 16 working hours to determine eligibility. If the survivor is in agreement that they need more time to verify an eligibility requirement, and verification is necessary or the case will be denied, narrate in TRACS how long the survivor has stated they need to verify the information and provide a pending notice, Notice of Pending Status (DHS 210), with the needed information and agreed-upon dates.



    Verification; General Rule
    461-115-0610 —Verification; General

    Specific Requirements; TA-DVS Rule
    461-135-1200 — Specific Requirements; TA-DVS

  16. Certification periods
  17. Benefits; TA-DVS Rule
    461-135-1230 — TA-DVS; Eligibility and Verification Requirements

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