Release 76:  Effective January 1, 2015

TANF -
D.  Nonfinancial Eligibility Requirements


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TANF nonfinancial eligibility requirements include age, residence, alien/citizen status, SSN, school attendance, pursuing assets, deprivation and pursuing treatment for drug abuse and mental health. In addition, households with noncustodial parent(s) must cooperate with the Division of Child Support (DCS) to establish the paternity of the child(ren) and pursue support from the appropriate parent(s) unless there is good cause.

Case Management Opportunity
  When asking about school attendance of children and teens, also ask about school performance. Ask about relationship with noncustodial parents when discussing DCS cooperation in order to look for children’s issues, past abuse or sources of support for children.

In situations involving domestic violence, waive or modify TANF eligibility requirements if those requirements make it more difficult for individuals to escape domestic violence or place them at risk of further, future violence.

Domestic violence Rule
461-135-1200 — Domestic violence


  1. Requirement to live with a caretaker relative

    In order to be eligible for TANF, a child must live with a caretaker relative. A caretaker relative is the person, regardless of age, who is responsible for the care, control and supervision of the dependent child and who is related to the child in any of the following ways:

    • A biological parent;
    • An adoptive parent and any person related to the child through the adoption who meets the degree of relationship specified in OAR 461‑120‑0630;
    • Grandfather or grandmother;
    • Brother, sister, half-brother or half-sister;
    • Uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew or niece;
    • Stepfathers, stepmothers, stepbrothers or stepsisters;
    • The spouse of anyone listed above.

    A stepparent or stepsibling may be considered a caretaker relative even if the marriage to the biological or adoptive parent ended in death or divorce. When a caretaker relative of one child applies for another child in the same household, the groups must be combined. A dependent child can be in only one filing group at a time.

    Definitions for Chapter 461 Rule
    461-001-0000 —Definitions for Chapter 461

    Alleged fathers of children may often be the caretaker relative of children for TANF purposes, even if paternity has not been established. If there are documents that verify that the alleged father is the father of the child, he may be the caretaker relative. If the Department of Child Support (DCS) or the district attorney (DA) proves at a later date that he is not the father, he can no longer be the caretaker relative. If there are no documents that verify that the alleged father is the father of the child, he cannot be the caretaker relative until DCS or the DA legally establishes that he is the father or a completed affidavit acknowledging paternity is filed with vital statistics.

    A biological parent or other relative (as defined above) can be the caretaker relative to a TANF child, even if an adoption exists, when the adoptive parent has given up care, control and supervision of the child.

    CARETAKER STATUS
      The status of caretaker relative ends when care, control and supervision of the child is given to or accepted by another person for 30 days or more.


    Example 1:

    Julie is applying for TANF with her great grandson Eli. Due to their relationship, Julie is not eligible since she is one generation removed from Eli.

    Example 2:

    Elisa and Brad are in the office applying for TANF. Elisa is pregnant and due next month. Both Elisa and Brad state that he is the father of the unborn child. Since both adults state that Brad is the father, he is considered the father.

    Requirement to Live With a Caretaker or Caretaker Relative Rule
    461-120-0630 —Requirement to Live With a Caretaker or Caretaker Relative


  2. Age

    To be eligible for TANF, the dependent child must be under age 18, or age 18 and regularly attending high school or an equivalent program full time (per the school’s definition of full time). The caretaker relative(s) may be any age.

    If the caretaker relative is under age 18, the case manager must have determined that there are no other adult relatives to care or be responsible for the well-being of the applicants and that they are living in a safe environment.

    Example 3:

    Sue is on her mother’s TANF grant and attending her local college GED program. Sue has been attending full time and recently turned 18. Since she is attending school full time, she may remain on her mother’s TANF case until she turns 19.

    Example 4:

    Linda and her son Abdi are the only children on Linda’s mother’s TANF case. Linda has been attending high school full time and recently turned 18. Once Linda turned 18, she and Abdi cannot remain on her mother’s case. Linda will need to apply separately for TANF with her son. The reason Linda needs her own case, is that she is no longer considered a dependent child because she is 18 years old and a caretaker relative.

    Age Requirements for Clients to Receive Benefits Rule
    461-120-0510 —Age Requirements for Clients to Receive Benefits

    TANF Eligibility for Minor Parents Rule
    461-135-0080 — TANF Eligibility for Minor Parents


  3. Oregon Residence

    Both the parent(s) or the caretaker relative(s) and the dependent child must:

    • Be a resident of Oregon. A person is a resident of Oregon if the person actually lives in Oregon. This includes people who come here looking for work or who have a job commitment, as long as they do not receive TANF from another state. Dependent children do not lose their Oregon residency if they are not living in Oregon because they are attending school in another state;

    • Intend to remain in Oregon. People with temporary absences out of state meet this requirement if they intend to return to Oregon when the purpose of the absence is completed;

    • Provide either a fixed mailing address to show that they are living in the state or a statement that they intend to live in Oregon.

    Residency does not require a:

    • Minimum amount of time to live in Oregon;

    • Commitment to remain in Oregon for a specific length of time;

    Those in Oregon only for vacation do not meet the residency requirement.

    Example 5:

    Patty has an open TANF grant and the worker received a call stating that she will be in Nevada for two months. Patty informs her worker that she will return and her mail can still go to her Oregon address. In this situation, Patty is still considered an Oregon resident.

    Example 6:

    Angelina has been in New York for the past three months. She informed her worker that she will be returning to Oregon and all her mail can still go to her mother’s address in Oregon. Worker reviewed TheWORKNUMBER and verified that Angelina is employed with an adoption agency and a new home address in New York. Since Angelina has established a new residency and employment in another state, she is no longer considered an Oregon resident.

    Example 7:

    Robin is in the office applying for TANF and TA-DVS, during the interview, Robin informs the worker that she does not intend to stay in Oregon. In this situation, since Robin is applying for TA-DVS and TANF, the worker can waive the residency requirement.



    DEPENDENT CHILDREN AND OREGON RESIDENCY
      Dependent children do not lose their Oregon residency if they are not living in Oregon due to educational reasons.



    Example 8:

    Jasmine reports to her worker that her daughter Onyx is now attending a boarding school in Oklahoma and would like to know how this will affect her TANF. The worker informs Jasmine, since her daughter is in boarding school and does not require a change of residency, the TANF grant will not change.

    Example 9:

    Lucas is attending high school in Washington State. The school district confirms that to attend school, the child has to be a Washington resident. By claiming Washington residency, he is no longer considered an Oregon resident.

    Residency Requirements Rule
    461-120-0010 — Residency Requirements

    TA-DVS; Eligibility and Verification Requirements Rule
    461-135-1225 — TA-DVS; Eligibility and Verification Requirements

    Send a timely continuing benefit decision notice if a TANF client moves out of state.

    Notice Situations; Client Moved or Whereabouts Unknown Rule
    461-175-0210 — Notice Situations; Client Moved or Whereabouts Unknown


  4. Citizen/alien status

    To qualify for TANF, the client must be a U.S. citizen or a qualified noncitizen (QNC).

    A U.S. citizen includes the following people:

    • A person born in the U.S.;

    • A naturalized citizen;

    • A person born outside of the U.S. but whose parents (both mother and father) are U.S. citizens;

    • A person born outside of the U.S. who is over 18 years of age, but who has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen. The person must either have a certificate of U.S. citizenship or meet one of the following criteria:

      • - Born on or after December 24, 1952, and prior to November 14, 1986, and their citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possessions for 10 years or more, at least five of which were after age 14;

      • - Born on or after November 14, 1986, and their citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. or its outlying possessions five years or more, at least two of which were after age 14.

    • A child born outside of the U.S. who is under 18 years of age and has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen. The child is residing in the U.S. in the legal and physical custody of the citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence;

    • A person lawfully adopted by U.S. citizens;

    • A citizen of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Pagan), American Samoa and the Swains Islands.

    A qualified noncitizen includes the following people:

    • A person lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (they are the LPR);

    • A person admitted as a refugee under section 207 of the INA (they are the REF);

    • A person admitted to the United States under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000;

    • A person granted political asylum under section 208 of the INA (they are the ASY);

    • A person whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of the INA (they are the DBW);

    • A person who is paroled under section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year (they are the PAR);

    • A person who is granted conditional entry pursuant to section 203(a)(7) of the INA as in effect prior to April 1, 1980 (they are the REF and ASY);

    • Certain battered spouses and dependent children who are in the U.S. on a conditional resident status, as determined by USCIS (they are the BCR);

    • Cubans/Haitians who are either public interest or humanitarian parolees (they are the CUH); or

    • A person granted immigration status according to the Amerasian Homecoming Act, section 584(a) of the INA (they are the REF/AMR).

    The following people also meet alien status requirements for TANF:

    • American Indians born in Canada; or

    • Noncitizens (regardless of USCIS status) who are currently victims of domestic violence or are at risk of victimization by domestic violence.

    Qualified Noncitizen (QNC) coding Rule
    SS-PT-13-016 — Qualified Noncitizen (QNC) coding

    Citizen and Alien Status Requirements Rule
    461-120-0110 — Qualified Noncitizen (QNC) coding

    Alien Status Rule
    461-120-0125 — Alien Status


    I-551
      All lawfully admitted aliens are given a USCIS document showing their legal status in the U.S. People who are lawful permanent residents are given a Permanent Resident card (I-551). If they entered the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, they would either have a visa in their passport or an Arrival/Departure Record (I‑94) as temporary evidence of their lawful permanent residence.

    Refugees, asylees and parolees are given an I-94 initially and an I-551 after they have been granted lawful permanent residence. All these documents will indicate they are authorized to work. Some may request an Employment Authorization Document (I-688B) just for that purpose. Whether it is an I-94, I-551, or I-688B, it bears the cardholder’s alien registration number.

    All eligible noncitizens must have their immigration status verified through SAVE or through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) via a G-845 Supplement, Document Verification Request Supplement (G-845S) form.



  5. Social Security number

    To qualify for TANF, need group members must have a Social Security number or provide proof that they have applied for one.

    During initial eligibility if the client turns in all Social Security numbers for everyone in the house but one child, you may open TANF for everyone but not for the one child missing the SSN. Once the SSN or verification that the family has applied for a SSN is turned in, you would add the child to TANF the date they met eligibility.

    Example 10:

    Honesty is applying for TANF with her newborn daughter Blossom. Honesty states that she has not applied for a social security card, due to having a home birth. Worker will need to pend Honesty to pursue a Social Security number for Blossom.

    Example 11:

    Karrie is an ongoing recipient of TANF and recently had her son. Karrie informed her worker of the birth and was informed that at the next recertification or six months from date of birth (whichever is sooner) is when Karrie will need to provide her son’s social security card.

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

    Requirement to Provide Social Security Number (SSN) Rule
    461-120-0210 — Requirement to Provide Social Security Number (SSN)

    During a TANF certification the worker determines that a child is missing their SSN on the case, but all the other children have their SSNs. We would give 10-day notice to reduce the TANF and remove the child missing the SSN.

    If there are no other eligible children in the home, we would give 10 day notice to close TANF for the whole benefit group, until verification is provided.

    Example 12:

    Rachel is receiving TANF for herself and her three kids. During an audit, it was discovered that one of Rachel’s children is missing their SSN. Worker will send a 10 day reduction notice and the child missing the SSN will become a NO on the case.

    Example 13:

    Ryan is receiving TANF for himself and his son Jake. The worker notices during a review that Jake SSN was never turned in or verified. Since there are no other eligible children in the home, the worker will send 10 day notice to close TANF for end of month.

    What a Decision Notice Must Include Rule
    461-175-0010 — What a Decision Notice Must Include

    Notice Period Rule
    461-175-0050 — Notice Period

    Effective Dates; Suspending or Closing Benefits and JOBS Support Service Payments Rule
    461-180-0050 — Effective Dates; Suspending or Closing Benefits and JOBS Support Service Payments


  6. School attendance

    School-age children are expected to regularly attend school full time. Parents or caretaker relatives are in violation of state statute if school-age children under their care do not maintain regular school attendance. Although school attendance for children is not an eligibility requirement for TANF, caretaker relatives can be required, as an assigned activity for self-sufficiency, to enroll and keep dependent children between the ages of 7 and 18 years who have not completed the 12th grade in school full time.

    Example 14:

    Alisha's daughter is a sophomore in high school and is having attendance issues. The worker and Alisha can add an activity on her PDP to work with the school and any other entity to help her daughter to increase her attendance.

    Eighteen-year-olds who are not regularly attending school full time as defined by the school are not eligible to receive cash benefits. Regular school attendance means attending high school, a GED program, vocational or technical training or the State School for the Deaf or for the Blind. Home schooling is an acceptable venue for schooling as long as the educational plan is approved by the local school district and the child is meeting the district standards.

    Schooling continues during an illness, family emergency or vacation, as long as the student intends to return to school.

    STUDENT STATUS
      The student's full-time or half-time status is defined by the school. Students are considered to be attending for the full month in which they complete or discontinue school or training.



    Age Requirements for Clients to Receive Benefits Rule
    461-120-0510 — Age Requirements for Clients to Receive Benefits


  7. Pursuing assets

    A TANF client must actively pursue any asset for which they have a legal right or claim. Active pursuit means the client must apply and satisfy all requirements to receive benefits from other programs. It also means the client will pursue legal remedies to obtain assets from any other source if they can secure legal counsel on a contingency fee basis. Clients are not required to pursue or apply for loans.

    Requirement to Pursue Assets Rule
    461-120-0330 — Requirement to Pursue Assets

    1. Penalties for not pursuing assets
      1. For applicants: denial of the application;
      2. For recipients: termination of TANf case benefits after a timely continuous benefit decision notice is sent.

      Requirement to Pursue Assets Rule
      461-120-0330 — Requirement to Pursue Assets

    2. Good cause for not pursuing assets
    3. A client may have good cause for not pursuing assets if any of the following is true:

      1. The assets are unavailable because:
        1. They are not in the client’s possession (e.g., a client has the title to a car, but the car is stolen, or client and another person’s name is on a car title); or
        2. They are jointly owned with others who are not in the financial group, who are unwilling to sell and the client’s interest is reasonable saleable.
        3. The client is incompetent and there is no legal representative to act on behalf of the client. The client’s condition must be verified by a doctor or other authorized person on the form designated by DHS.
      2. The client is a victim of Domestic Violence and pursuing assets will put the client or the client's children at risk of further, future violence;
      3. The asset is an irrevocable or restricted trust and cannot be used to meet the basic monthly needs of the financial group.

    Requirement to Pursue Assets Rule
    461-120-0330 — Requirement to Pursue Assets

    Domestic Violence Rule
    461-135-1200 — Domestic Violence

    Availability of Resources Rule
    461-140-0020 — Availability of Resources

    In the TANF program, we can accept an applicant’s statement that they have applied for UC or SSB, which meets the pursuit of UC and SSB asset. The case worker would check at a later date to determine the outcome.

    Example 15:

    Joshua is applying for TANF program benefits for himself and child. During the intake appointment, the case worker finds out that Joshua was injured in an auto accident and is trying to get the other insurance company to pay for damages. The worker will need to pend Joshua to complete a Vehicle Related Personal Injury form (MSC 451) and turn in to the Personal Injury Lien Unit.

    Example 16:

    Peter is in the office applying for TANF for himself and his three children. Peter informs the worker that Lois, his wife and the mother to his children, passed away six months ago due to a boating accident. The worker will need to pend Peter to apply for survivor benefits before TANF can be approved.

    Submit either an MSC 451 or an MSC 451NV to Personal Injury Lien, if one of the two circumstances applies:

    • The individual has a pending claim against a third party that caused an injury; or
    • The individual was involved in an accident within the last two years, but does not have a pending claim.

    Requirement to Pursue Assets Rule
    461-120-0330 — Requirement to Pursue Assets

    Changes That Must be Reported Rule
    461-170-0011 — Changes That Must be Reported


  8. Cooperation with Division of Child Support (DCS)

    To qualify for benefits, clients must assign their support rights to and cooperate (unless good cause exists) with DCS. Assignment allows DCS to pursue, collect and keep child support and spousal support for any members in the benefit group. By signing the application, the client not only assigns support to DCS but also agrees to turn over any rights to health insurance or medical support.

    Cooperation with DCS includes assisting in establishing paternity, obtaining support cash payments and pursuing medical support, if available. Noncooperation without good cause will result in denial of cash benefits for applicants, reduction, and eventual termination of cash benefits for recipients. The person who fails to cooperate in pursuing medical support will be ineligible for medical benefits.


    CHILD SUPPORT FOR SSI/SSDI PROGRAMS
      There is no requirement to cooperate with child support (and no penalties for noncooperation) for recipients in the State Family Pre-SSI/SSDI program or those eligible for cash assistance as a two-parent household.



    Application Requirements Rule
    461-115-0020 — Application Requirements

    Assignment of Support Rights; Not SNAP Rule
    461-120-0310 — Assignment of Support Rights; Not SNAP

    Medical Assignment Rule
    461-120-0315 — Medical Assignment

    Clients Required to Obtain Health Care Coverage and Cash Medical Support;
    GAM, OSIPM Rule
    461-120-0345 — Clients Required to Obtain Health Care Coverage and Cash Medical Support; GAM, OSIPM

    Good Cause for noncooperation with DCS for child support

    • Cooperation is reasonably anticipated to result in emotional or physical harm to the dependent child;
    • Cooperation is reasonably anticipated to result in emotional or physical harm to caretaker relatives that would reduce their ability to care for a dependent child;
    • Continuing efforts to obtain support would be detrimental to the dependent child because of the following:

      • - The child was conceived as a result of incest or rape;

      • - Legal proceedings for adoption are proceeding before a court4.

    • The parent is being helped by a public or licensed private social agency to resolve the issue of whether to release the child for adoption. This good cause reason is limited to three months.


    GOOD CAUSE FOR NONCOOPERATION
      If the client is claiming good cause for noncooperation with DCS for child support because he/she believes that cooperation will put their safety at risk, the client’s statement is enough.



    Clients Excused for Good Cause from Compliance with Requirements to Pursue
    Child Support, Heath Care Coverage, and Medical Support Rule
    461-120-0350 — Clients Excused for Good Cause from Compliance with Requirements to Pursue Child Support, Heath Care Coverage, and Medical Support

    Sanctions for failure to cooperate with child support

    • For applicants: denial of applications for cash benefits for the entire family who fail to cooperate;
    • For recipients: the net monthly cash benefit amount, after income deductions and reductions for JOBS noncooperation are applied (where applicable), shall be reduced by the following percentages:

      • - 25 percent for the first month following the month in failure to cooperate is determined;
      • - 50 percent for the second month;
      • - 75 percent for the third month;
      • - 100 percent (total ineligibility for cash benefits) for the fourth and subsequent months.


    CAUTION
      Before applying each sanction a notice of reduction must be sent prior to 10 day.



    Client Required To Help Department Obtain Support From Noncustodial Parent; TANF Rule
    461-120-0340 — Client Required To Help Department Obtain Support From Noncustodial Parent; TANF

    Ending DCS Sanctions

      End the support noncooperation sanctions when the client cooperates by completing the necessary forms, providing requested information, scheduling an appointment with DCS, or taking whatever other actions are required to indicate cooperation or a determination for good cause has been made.

      Supplement the cash assistance back to the date the client cooperated by taking whatever other actions were required to indicate cooperation.

    Client Required To Help Department Obtain Support From Noncustodial Parent; TANF Rule
    461-120-0340 — Client Required To Help Department Obtain Support From Noncustodial Parent; TANF


  9. Requirement to complete an employability screening and participate in an overview of the JOBS program

    In single parent families: during the eligibility determination for TANF program benefits, the parent in the need group must:

    • Complete an employability screening; and

    • Participate in an overview of the JOBS program.

    In a two-parent family:

    • Each parent in the need group must complete an employability screening, and

    • At least one parent in the need group must participate in the overview of the JOBS programm.

    The employability screening and overview of the JOBS program must be offered during the initial eligibility intake for TANF. Additionally, the DHS 7823A must be completed at recertification but a verbal conversation asking the questions on the form and narrating the conversation is sufficient.

    Requirement to Complete an Employability Screening and Overview of the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program; TANF Rule
    461-135-0485 — Requirement to Complete an Employability Screening and Overview of the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program; TANF

    Employability screening tool and overview of the JOBS Program

    The Employability Screening Tool (DHS 7823A) must be completed by all adults in the Need Group when eligibility is being determined. This tool includes questions about the individual’s household, health, strengths and issues to solve.

    The DHS 7823A will be used to help determine the individual's service level in the JOBS Program.

    Example 17:

    Gretchen and Paul are applying for TANF with their three children. Gretchen attends the TANF intake without Paul who is watching the children. Gretchen completes the Employability Screening Tool (DHS 7823A) and listens to the JOBS overview. Before TANF can open, Paul will need to complete the DHS 7823A.

    Example 18:

    Bernadette is a noncitizen applying for TANF for herself and twin daughters. Since Bernadette is in the need group, the benefit for Bernadette to complete the DHS 7823A is for the worker to be able to address any concerns that the form may stand out and to address resources in the community for Bernadette and her family.

    If the DHS 7823A form has been completed upon an early eligibility period, we do not have to have the client complete another DHS 7823A. The worker may ask the questions from the DHS 7823A to the client and narrate clearly if there have been any changes.

    Need Group Rule
    461-110-0630 — Need Group

    Requirement to Complete an Employability Screening and Overview of the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program; TANF Rule
    461-135-0485 — Requirement to Complete an Employability Screening and Overview of the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills (JOBS) program; TANF


  10. Separation from employment; caretaker relative

    In order for the need group to be eligible for TANF, a caretaker relative (which includes both parents in a two-parent family) must not be separated from their employment for any of the following reasons:

    • Discharged or fired, without good cause for:

      • - Misconduct, or

      • - or Felony or theft.

    • Labor dispute, or

    • Voluntary quit:

      • - In anticipation of discharge, or

      • - Without good cause.

    What employment is reviewed?

    • The past employment is the last job the caretaker relative had that meets the two "tests" below:

      1. Was within the past 120 days from the date of request for TANF; and
      2. They were hired to work 100 hours or more per month, worked or scheduled to work at least 100 hours in the final full calendar month on the job.


    DETERMINING CALCULATION OF HOURS
      When determining the calculation of hours: Use actual hours for work done in the past; for future or scheduled weekly hours use actual days or weeks.



    Example 19:

    Ruth and her children are currently receiving TANF. Ruth was hired to work a job full time but quits her job, without good cause before she receives her first pay check. Ruth is not affected by the job separation rule, but she could be disqualified through the JOBS disqualification process.

    Example 20:

    Patrick and his wife Laurie are applying for TANF. Patrick states that he was working full time, but terminated last month due to a scheduling issue. After follow up questions, it is determined that Patrick does not have good cause for his separation of employment. The family is not eligible for 120 days from the date he was let go.

    What is the penalty for leaving a job without good cause?

    When it is determined a caretaker relative left their employment without good cause, the need group would be ineligible for TANF program benefits. The period of ineligibility lasts for 120 days from the date the caretaker relative left their employment.

    Example 21:

    Christina and her children are applying for TANF. The date or request for TANF program benefits was March 20. Christina left her last job, which she was working more than 100 hours, on March 10. She has not worked since that time. Since Christina's job ended less than 120 days from the date of request, the worker will need to determine good cause or not. After determination has been made and the worker did not find good cause, Christina is ineligible for TANF for 120 days from the date she was last employed.

    What would be the date the caretaker relative left their employment?

    There are several possibilities regarding the date a caretaker relative left their last job. They include:

    • The date the caretaker relative was fired.

      Example 22:

      Johnny was working for a local business for the past six months. He worked 40 hours per week. On October 15, his boss informed him he was being fired and his last day would be on October 19. October 19 would be the date Johnny left his last job.

    • The last day the caretaker relative worked before they quit a job.

      Example 23:

      Gretchen had worked full time for the past two years in a factory. She decided to go back to school and quit her job. She turned in her two-week notice on June 4 and left the job on June 22. June 22 would be the date she left the job.

    • The first day in which a caretaker relative was hired to work but did not show for the job or quit before the job began.

      Example 24:

      Martha was hired by a bakery to work 30 hours per week and was to begin working on July 7. She did not show up for work. The date she left the job would the first day she was to work, in Martha’s case July 7.

    • The date a caretaker relative on FEMLA, maternity leave, administrative leave or other type of authorized leave of absence from work, informs their employer they will not be returning to the job.

      Example 25:

      Erin was on maternity leave for the past eight-weeks. She contacted her employer on August 29 and informed them she would not be able to return to work. August 29 would be the date Erin left the job.

    How would a case be coded?

    A Needs Resource (NR) and Case Descriptor (CD) code is added to the caretaker relative who left their last employment without good cause. The NR and CD code is "ESD." The CD is used as an historical marker indicating the client was at one time denied TANF due to the employment separation rule. The NR code is used to prevent the system from allowing the case to be coded a Program 2 or 82 until the code is removed or falls off the case. The NR code requires an end date. The end date can only be a month and year therefore it will be important to include a narrative in TRACS indicating the exact day, month, and year the 120th day falls.

    In the scenario above, Christina left her job on March 7 and the 120th day falls on July 10. The ESD code would be added to the Needs Resource and Case Descriptor. The end date for the ESD NR code would be 07/12. A narrative would be added to TRACS indicating the 120th day falls on July 10.

    Are there individuals who are not affected by employment separation rule?

    The following individuals are not affected by the employment separation rule when applying for TANF program benefits. They include:

    • A Parents as Scholars (PAS) participant who temporarily becomes ineligible for TANF program benefits for four months or less due to income from a paid work experience;

    • A teen parent returning to high school or equivalent;

    • An individual fleeing from or at risk of domestic violence;

    • An individual in the ninth month of pregnancy or experiencing a medical complication due to the pregnancy which is documented by a qualified and appropriate professional;

    • An individual unable to work due to a disability or medical condition documented by a qualified and appropriate professional, which is expected to last 30 days or more from the date of request for TANF program benefits;

    • An individual who is separated from his or her last employment for a reason the Department of Human Services (DHS) determines is good cause.

    Are there certain types of jobs that would not be considered under the employment separation rule?

    Yes, there are certain jobs that would not be considered. They include the following:

    • JOBS Plus (PL) assignment related to a JOBS case plan;

    • Work Experience (WE) related to a JOBS case plan;

    • Sheltered Work (SW) related to a JOBS case plan;

    • On-the-Job Training (OJT) related to a JOBS case plan;

    • Volunteer or unpaid employment;

    • Temporary or limited duration employment to include but not limited to WIA summer jobs, jobs connected to federal or state stimulus funding, day labor or on-call jobs, etc.


    FMLA
      An individual who is on Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or administrative, maternity or other form of a leave of absence from their current job is considered to still be working. Therefore, the employment separation would not be a factor because they have not been separated from their job.



    Specific Requirements; TANF Rule
    461-135-0070 — Specific Requirements; TANF

    Parents as Scholars Rule
    461-190-0199 — Parents as Scholars

    Guidance for determining good cause

    First we will look at a list of reasons which would not be good cause. They include, but are not limited to:

    • Leaving suitable work to seek other work;

    • Leaving work rather than paying union membership dues;

    • Refusing to join a bona fide labor organization when membership therein was a condition of employment;

    • Leaving work to attend school, unless required by law;

      • - (See OAR 461-135-0070 for information regarding Parents as Scholars participants who may not be impacted by leaving work to attend school.)

    • Resignation to avoid what would otherwise be a discharge for misconduct or potential discharge for misconduct;

    • Willful or wantonly negligent violation of the standards of behavior which an employer has the right to expect of an employee is misconduct. An act or series of actions that amount to a willful or wantonly negligent disregard of an employer's interest is misconduct.


    MISCONDUCT
      The following are not considered to be “misconduct”:
    • Isolated instances of poor judgment;
    • Good faith errors;
    • Unavoidable accidents;
    • Absences due to illness or other physical or mental disability;
    • Mere inefficiency resulting from lack of job skills or experience;
    • Compelling family reasons, when the individual has made the attempt to maintain the employer-employee relationship.



    Example 26:

    Brenda is applying for TANF program benefits for her and her child. She was recently working for a medical equipment fabrication company. She was hired five months ago for full-time work. The company has a six-month trial period. At her second- and fourth-month reviews, she received a below average performance rating due to her inability to perform at the required level. Brenda tried to improve her skills but was unable to succeed. The company chose to let her go. Worker determines that Brenda did not violate her employer’s standards of behavior. She was unable to perform the tasks associated with her job due to lack of skills. Brenda would be given good cause for leaving her employment.

    An individual can leave work to accept an offer of other work and it would be considered good cause, but only when:

    • The offer was definite;

    • Work was to begin in the shortest length of time as can be deemed reasonable under the individual circumstances;

    • The offered work must have been reasonably expected to continue; and

    • Would have paid an amount greater than the work the caretaker relative left.

    "Good cause" means a reasonable person of normal sensitivity, exercising ordinary common sense, would leave work. For an individual with a permanent or long-term physical or mental impairment (as defined at 29 CFR 1630.2(h)) good cause for voluntarily leaving work is such that a reasonable person with the characteristics and qualities of such individual would leave work.

    Accommodation or accommodations provided were not adequate enough to overcome a physical or mental impairment

    Example 27:

    Kristine was working for the local school district. She has a disability and required accommodations. The district provided the needed accommodations. Even with the accommodations, Kristine was unable to perform her assignments. The school district ended up letting her go from this job. The worker determined that Kristine is an individual with a disability. She needed accommodations in order to do her job. However, even with the accommodations her disability was preventing her from being successful. Kristine would have good cause for leaving this job.

    Accepted another job at a higher wage but less than 100 hours a month

    Example 28:

    Joseph was working over 100 hours and earning $1,450 per month. Forty-five days ago he left this job to accept a job paying $2,000 per month. He worked this job for one month before being laid off due to low company earnings. Joseph only worked 85 hours per month at this new job. The worker determines that Joseph left his job 45 days ago to accept a job at a higher monthly salary but less than 100 hours per month. He had good cause for leaving the one job to accept the other at a higher monthly salary. He was then laid off due circumstance beyond his control.

    Example 28:

    Joseph was working over 100 hours and earning $1,450 per month. Forty-five days ago he left this job to accept a job paying $2,000 per month. He worked this job for one month before being laid off due to low company earnings. Joseph only worked 85 hours per month at this new job. The worker determines that Joseph left his job 45 days ago to accept a job at a higher monthly salary but less than 100 hours per month. He had good cause for leaving the one job to accept the other at a higher monthly salary. He was then laid off due circumstance beyond his control.

    Caring for a family member with a disability

    Example 29:

    Sam was working for a department store. She has a child with several disability issues. Recently her son’s conditions worsened. She was forced to leave work on a regular basis. Her employer was unable or unwilling to accommodate absences. Sam was fired. Worker determines that Sam was needed to care for her child with a disability. She would have good cause.


    Circumstances beyond the control of the applicant such as but not limited to:
     
    • Layoff;

    • Employer went out of business;

    • Natural disaster preventing the individual from going to work.

    Example 30:

    Johanna was working at a restaurant. Last month there was a flood. The restaurant Johanna was working at was hit by a mud slide and damaged beyond repair. She lost her job and is now applying for TANF. Worker determines that Johanna lost her job due to the company going out of business. In Johanna's situation, good cause would be given for the reason she left her employment.



    Court order

    Example 31:

    Darren was working for a fast food restaurant. He was court ordered to attend classes. He tried to work with his employer to set up a schedule around his classes but the employer was unable to accommodate. Darren knew that the classes were required and missing them could lead to serving jail time. Darren decided to leave this job and continue to attend the classes. The worker determines that Darren has good cause for leaving his job. He chose to attend the court mandated classes. The alternative would have been mandatory jail time and the potential loss of his child. Darren tried to work out a solution with his employer but his employer was unable to work with Darren’s schedule.

    Employer was unable or unwilling to provide a needed accommodation

    Example 32:

    Andrew had just secured a job six weeks ago. He has a disability and requires some accommodations. After Andrew was offered the job, he told his employer he would need a few accommodations. His employer was unwilling to provide the needed accommodation. Andrew tried to do the job but ended up leaving the job after only one month. The worker determines that Andrew would have good cause because his employer was unable or unwilling to provide a needed accommodation.


    ADA ACT
      In Oregon, employers with six or more employees are required to follow the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which includes providing reasonable accommodations. Unless an employer can prove there is an undue hardship, they must provide any reasonable accommodation. This is required by law.



    Employer engages in employment practices that are illegally discriminatory on the basis of age, sex, race, religious or political belief, marital status, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.

    Example 33:

    Isabella was working as a payroll technician for a manufacturing company. She was asked to join a political organization affiliated with the company. She explained that she could not join this organization because of her religious beliefs. Three days later she was fired. The worker determines that Isabella was asked to join a political organization and refused due to religious beliefs she would have good cause for leaving this employment.

    Entered, or will be entering within the next 30 days, a residential treatment facility.

    Example 34:

    Julia, Mason and their three children apply for TANF. Mason has been working for the past three years with the same employer. Over the past year his use of alcohol has increased. It is now becoming a problem, which is threatening his job, family and himself. He is working with a local organization to get help. They recommend residential treatment. Mason attempts to work something out with his job but his employer is unable to accommodate. Mason leaves his job to enter treatment. The worker determines that Mason has good cause for leaving his employment. He entered residential treatment center to confront his alcohol abuse issue instead of allowing possible harm to his family or himself.

    Recommendation by Child Welfare or other agency

    Example 35:

    Alison was working as a supervisor in a warehouse. She was working the swing shift. Alison has two children. She has a history with Child Welfare. Her case worker suggests that she leave the swing-shift and find a job working during the day because of her children’s needs. Alison leaves the job and is currently looking for daytime work. She applies for TANF. The worker determines that Alison has good cause for leaving her employment.


    INDIVIDUAL SITUATION
      An applicant may be working with other agencies such as Parole and Probation, Vocational Rehabilitation, Veterans Affairs, etc. Each situation will be looked at individually.



    Unable to obtain or maintain appropriate child care

    Example 36:

    Sandy was working with a local computer company until two weeks ago. Her child, Michael, has special needs. Sandy had a good day care situation but her provider moved out of town. There were no other providers able to provide special needs care for Michael. She was forced to leave her job. Worker determines that Sandy has good cause for her job quit since she could not locate another special needs childcare provider.


    GOOD CAUSE
      Good cause is not limited to special needs care but also includes regular child care. The situation may be that the applicant had their hours reduce but still over 100 hours. However, the reduction caused the applicant to no longer be able to afford child care. This would also be good cause.



    Unsafe workplace, risk to an individual’s health and wellbeing

    Example 37:

    Judith is a TANF applicant in the sixth month of pregnancy. You find out she left a job last month. She was working full time, 100 plus hours per month. You ask why she left and she tells you she was working in a job that required close contact with different types of chemicals. She asked her boss about other positions but none were available. She says she was scared for the health of her unborn and decided, after consulting her doctor, it was best to leave this job. The worker determines that Judith was being reasonable and tried to work out a different position with her boss and when that failed she took the advice from her doctor and left the job.

    Self-employment

    What if the applicant was self-employed? Are they subject to the requirements in OAR 461-135-0070?

    Individuals, who are self-employed, regardless of where they were self-employed, are also affected by the employment separation OAR 461-135-0070. You will need to determine how much money the individual made in the last full calendar month they were self-employed; determine how many hours they worked; and find out the reason why the self-employment ended.

    If the caretaker relative’s self-employment job was within the past 120 days, we will use their income from the last full calendar month of self-employment to accurately determine the number of hours they worked.

    Example 38:

    Patrick is self-employed. He last worked five weeks ago. He had been selling goods at Saturday market. He earned $600.00 in the final full calendar month. You will need to figure out the number of hours he worked. For self-employed, the hours worked is based on the income divided by Oregon minimum wage. Divide $600 / $8.95 = 67.04 hours, which are less than 100 hours. Since Patrick’s total hours was 68.2, he is not subject to the job separation rule.

    Additional examples

    Example 39:

    Zoey has been receiving TANF for a year. It is time to re-determine her eligibility for TANF. She turns in her re-determination packet and you begin your eligibility determination. The worker will need to re-establish Zoey's eligibility and look at if there was any current job separation.

    Example 40:

    Silvia is applying for TANF. You are reviewing her eligibility and are looking at her past jobs. You locate that Silvia was working about a month ago and she was hired part-time and worked 60 hours that month. Silvia’s last job before this one was six months ago. The worker determines that the job separation rule does not need to be looked at, because Silvia only worked 60 hours a month within the last 120 days.

    Example 41:

    Brighton and his two sons are applying for TANF benefits. He had a job four weeks ago but left this job to take a trip with his sister to Alaska. He worked 150 hours in the final full calendar month on this job. This is his last job. The worker determines that Brighton voluntarily left this job to take a trip with his sister. In this scenario, Brighton and his children would not be eligible for TANF program benefits.

    Example 42:

    Jennie has come into your office to apply for TA-DVS. She is attempting to escape an abusive relationship. You remember that certain requirements can be waived when applicants are escaping domestic violence. You are able to waive the requirements of the employment separation rule when considering an application for TA-DVS. Remember, you are able to waive the requirements of the employment separation rule when considering Jennie’s application for TANF program benefits. The reason you can do this is because of the risk to Jennie if we deny TANF, which could force her back to the abuser.

    Example 43:

    Alma and Pat, along with their five children, come into your office to apply for TANF. Both Alma and Pat have worked in the past 120 days. You will need to determine how many hours per month Alma and Pat were working and the reason they left their last jobs.

    You find out Alma left her job because her hours were cut to 15 hours per week and the couple could no longer afford child care. Alma had the highest earnings. Pat was working 40 hours per week. He left his job when the company was laying off staff due to a downturn in orders. Since Alma’s hours were cut to 15 hours per week, you will not need to look at the job separation rule, but you will need to look at the job separation rule for Pat, since he was working full-time hours
    .

    Example 44:

    Lorena is a tattoo artist. A friend of hers, Brad, has let her set up a space in his store. She was working there for the past year. Two months ago she got into an argument with her friend and he asked her to remove her things from his shop. The worker determines that Lorena was not working for Brad. She is self-employed and remains self-employed. At this time she does not have a location to set up her equipment. She would not be affected by the employment separation as she has not separated from a job.


  11. Strikers

    A striker is anyone involved in a strike, a concerted work stoppage or any interruption of operations by employees. This includes a work stoppage caused by expiration of a collective bargaining agreement.

    The following people are not considered participating in a strike:

    • Employees whose workplace is closed by the employer to resist the demands of employees (lock-out);
    • Employees unable to work because of striking employees (e.g., striking lumber mills: consequently, truck drivers do not have lumber to deliver);
    • Employees who terminate employment with a company involved in a strike and accept another full-time job. A full-time job is a job involving 30 hours or more per week or providing weekly earnings at least equal to the state minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours.


    ELIGIBILITY IN A STRIKE
      If the caretaker relative of a filing group participates in a strike, the filing group is ineligible for cash benefits. If other filing group member participates in a strike, only that person is ineligible.



  12. Pursuing substance abuse and mental health treatment

    Case managers will offer a client a referral to substance (alcohol and drug) abuse or mental health assessment when they determine that it is necessary for the client to function successfully in the workplace. A client who is identified by a professional substance abuse or mental health counselor to be in need of treatment services must cooperate. For JOBS-mandatory clients, cooperation with treatment is a JOBS requirement; noncooperation would make the client subject to a JOBS disqualification (DQ1-DQ4). For clients who are exempt from JOBS disqualification, treatment is an eligibility requirement and the following penalties (MQ1-MQ4) would not be counted against months accumulated for JOBS disqualifications.

    Example 45:

    If a client (over age 20) who has a DQ1 reaches the ninth month of pregnancy, she is exempt from JOBS disqualification. She is still required to pursue Substance Abuse/Mental Health treatment. If she refuses to do so, she would begin her SA/MH sanction at MQ1, not DQ2.

    The penalty for clients who refuse treatment or fail to cooperate with treatment without good cause is as follows:

    • At the first through third levels, the noncompliant individual is removed from the need group;
    • At the fourth level, the need group receives no cash benefit in the TANF program.

    Requirement to Attend an Assessment or Evaluation, or Seek Medically Appropriate
    Treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Health; Disqualification and Penalties;
    Pre-TANF, REF, TANF Rule
    461-135-0085 — Requirement to Attend an Assessment or Evaluation, or Seek Medically Appropriate Treatment for Substance Abuse and Mental Health; Disqualification and Penalties; Pre-TANF, REF, TANF

    Demonstrating Compliance with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Requirements; Restoring Cash Benefits Rule
    461-135-0089 — Demonstrating Compliance with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Requirements; Restoring Cash Benefits

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