Release 74:  Effective July 1, 2014

TANF -
E.  Time Limits for TANF


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  1. What is the Oregon time limit?

    Under federal and state law, most families can receive TANF cash assistance for a total of 60 months (five years). TANF cash assistance is intended to be a temporary means of support while families work towards self-sufficiency.

    In Oregon, the 60-month time limit began on July 1, 2003, and is applied based on state law.

    Note:  Eligibility decisions for TANF in Oregon are only based on time that counts against the Oregon Time Limit.

    Example 1: Al applies for TANF. His time limits records show that he has reached 60 months towards the federal time limit but only 24 months towards the Oregon Time Limit. Since eligibility is based on the Oregon Time Limit, Al may receive TANF if he meets all other eligibility requirements.

    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF: 461-135-0075


  2. To whom do time limits apply?

    The following people are subject to TANF time limits:

    Time limits do not apply to:

    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF: 461-135-0075


  3. What months do not count against the Oregon Time Limit?

    What Months count towards the Oregon Time Limit?

    Dates

    Did time count for those receiving Oregon TANF?

    If yes, who receiving Oregon TANf did it count for?

    Does out-of-state or tribal TANF count from that time towards the Oregon Time Limit?

    08/01/96-06/30/03

    No

     

    No

    07/01/03-09/30/07 (Max of 51 Months Possible)

    Yes

    Only clients serving a JOBS disqualification

    Yes, unless they lived in Indian Country.

    10/01/07-06/30/08 (Max of 9 Months Possible)

    Yes

    All adults and minor parent head-of-households receiving TANF except those who:

    • Qualified for an exemption;
    • Lived in Indian Country;
    • Were part of a two parent family where deprivation is based off un/underemployment; or
    • Participated in JOBS plus, PRE-TANF, Post-TANF, SFPSS, Degree Completion Initiative.

    Yes, unless they lived in Indian Country.

    07/01/08-04/30/12

    No

     

    Yes, unless they lived in Indian Country.

    05/01/12- Present

    Yes

    All adults and minor parent head-of-households except those who:

    • Qualify for an exemption;
    • Live in Indian Country;
    • Participate in JOBS plus, PRE-TANF, Post- TANF, SFPSS, Parents as Scholars (PAS).

    Yes, unless they lived in Indian Country.

    From July 1, 2008, to April 30, 2012, months did not count towards the Oregon time limit for any adult or minor parent head-of-household living in Oregon. This was due to an economic hardship in place due to high unemployment rates across the state.

    Example 2: Erica and her children move to Oregon from Colorado. In Colorado, Erica received TANF from 09/1997-08/2002 and then her TANF closed as she reached 60 months. Since Oregon does not count time prior to 07/2003, this time does not count towards the Oregon Time Limit and Erica may receive TANF in Oregon as long as she meets all other requirements.

    Definitions for Chapter 461: 461-001-0000
    Definitions of Terms, Components, and Activities; JOBS, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, TANF: 461-001-0025
    Benefit Group: 461-110-0750
    Good Cause; Employment Programs: 461-130-0327
    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF: 461-135-0075


  4. What is Indian Country?

    Indian Country is certain American Indian tribal reservations and communities that are defined by 18 USC 1151.

    In order to be exempt from time limits due to Indian Country, an individual must:

    DHS determines which areas are considered Indian Country retroactively. For example, in 2014, Indian Country for 2013 will be determined.

    Note:  When a client lives in a county deemed Indian Country, no months will count, even if the individual’s case was coded with a TLY.


  5. What counties are designated as Indian Country?

    What counties are considered Indian Country?

    Yes, unless they lived in Indian Country.

    Year

    County

    2012

    Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Josephine

    2011

    Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Jefferson, Josephine

    2010

    Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine

    2009

    Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine

    2008

    Crook, Curry, Josephine

    2007

    Crook, Josephine

    2006

    Crook, Josephine

    2005

    Crook, Curry, Josephine

    2004

    Curry, Josephine

    2003

    Coos, Curry, Josephine

    For 2013, counties that meet the definition of Indian Country in 2012 will remain coded as Indian Country. If it is later determined that those counties are not Indian Country, the Indian Country coding will be removed and time will count based off the exemption coding.

    Example 3: Trevor is on TANF and lived in Jefferson County in 2012. At the time, Jefferson County was coded as Indian Country as it met the criteria in 2011. At redetermination in January 2012, it is determined that Trevor does not meet any exemptions to time limits and is coded with a TLY N/R. In 2013, coding for Indian Country is updated for the year of 2012. Jefferson County did not meet the requirements for 2012 and the Indian Country coding is removed. Since Trevor was coded TLY, his record will now show that his time counted for 2012.

  1. What is an exemption?

    Exemptions are reasons that allow a month of TANF to be excluded from the Time Limit clock.

    In order for an individual to be granted an exemption, they must be unable to obtain or maintain employment for one of the following reasons:

    Note:  If appropriate, make sure that the TRACS disability tab is updated.

    Exemptions coded with ** must be verified by a licensed or certified professional that is qualified to determine the condition or circumstances. An exemption cannot be coded until verification is received.

    Example 4: Lisa is on TANF. She is a victim of domestic violence and she cannot obtain work right now due to safety issues. Since she is unable to obtain work, she is coded with a TLD N/R and her time is not counted towards the time limit.

    Example 5: Michelle is on TANF. She has a mental health condition. This condition is currently managed with medication and does not prevent her from looking for or accepting work. Since it does not limit her ability to work, she would not be eligible for an exemption.

    Example 6: Lydia is on TANF. She tells her worker during a JOBS appointment in January that she is unable to work since she is caring for her disabled mother who lives with her. The worker explains to Lydia that she must provide documentation that she is needed in the home to care for her mother to exempt her from time limits. Lydia provides the documentation in March. Since the documentation was provided in March, the exemption will begin in March. The worker also reviewed for a JOBS exemption.


  2. Coding a time limit exemption

    Exemptions are coded on UCMS using a need resource code. If an adult or minor parent head-of-household does not qualify for an exemption, use a TLY code.

    The need resource codes are:

    *Documentation required.

    Note:  Though JOBS participation exemptions are different than time-limit exemptions, many clients who are exempt from JOBS participation may also qualify for a time limit exemption. Review cases that are JOBS exempt for possible time limit exemptions.

    Exemptions that need to be changed

    Occasionally, there are times when an exemption has been coded in error. When this occurs:

    1. Email the TANF Policy box with the recipient’s name, Social Security number and reason the exemption coding should be changed;
    2. Narrate the correct time limit exemption coding including when the time limit was in place and, if required, how the exemption was verified; and\
    3. Determine eligibility decisions off the correct time limit.


  3. Forty-eight-month notice and assessment

    TANF recipients will receive an auto-generated notice “Time Limit Update – 12 months remaining” when an adult or minor parent head of household on a TANF case reaches 48 months on the State Time Limit. It will not be sent to individuals at 48 months who are currently coded with an exemption or live in Indian Country, as they are not currently accruing additional months.

    This notice, the CM 07G, will be a mid-month notice that informs the recipient that:

    Forty-eight-Month Time Limit Assessment

    Individuals who receive the CM 07G should be scheduled for a 48-month Time Limit Assessment that will specifically address their time on TANF.

    A specific appointment notice, “12 Months Remaining on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Appointment” (DHS 7827), has been created for these appointments. It is available on the forms server.

    When an individual comes in for their assessment, the case manager should address and narrate:

    When creating a JOBS plan, please consider prioritizing these individuals for available JOBS program activities.

    Note:  Prior to the assessment, it is important to verify that past Time Limit exemptions were coded appropriately.

    A check list of what should be covered at the appointment can be found by clicking here.

    If an individual does not attend their 48-Month Assessment, the case manager should proceed with the re-engagement process, if appropriate.


  4. Extending TANF beyond 60 months

    An adult or minor parent head-of-household must meet one of the two extensions to be eligible for TANF after they reach 60 months:

    F SEE TF-E.6 FOR EXEMPTION REASONS.

    If a client lives in areas that met Indian Country requirements in the previous year when they reach 60 months, the client should be informed that if it is determined that the county is NOT Indian Country, the adults portion will be reviewed for an overpayment.

    Example 7: Mary is applying for TANF and previously received 60 months of TANF. At intake, it is determined that Mary is a victim of domestic violence and this prevents her from looking for or obtaining work. Since she meets an exemption, she may continue receiving TANF.

    Example 8: Coleen has received 60 months of TANF in Hawaii. She moved to Josephine County in 2014 and applied for TANF. Since Coleen is now living in Indian County, she can receive TANF even though she has reached 60 months. Her case manager has a conversation with her about Indian Country. She explains that Indian Country is determined retroactively. This means that in 2013, Josephine County was determined Indian Country. Many times counties remain Indian Country for several years so the coding remains. In 2015, DHS will determine if Josephine County meets the requirements to be Indian Country. If it is not, Coleen could have to repay her portion of the TANF. Coleen may choose to get TANF and risk an overpayment or only get TANF for her children.


  5. JOBS participation after reaching 60 months

    When a client reaches 60 months on TANF, the minor parent head of household or adults must cooperate with their case plan (if not otherwise exempt from JOBS), unless good cause exists regardless of whether they are included on the TANF grant.

    A client who meets the JOBS exemption criteria is not mandatory to participate in case plan activities.

    Individuals who are not cooperating with the requirements of their case plan are subject to disqualification only after the individual has had an opportunity to participate in the re-engagement process which includes a determination by the department of whether good cause exists.

    F REFER TO TANF-M (TF-M) – PARTICIPATION, COOPERATION, RE-ENGAGEMENT AND DISQUALIFICATION.

    Any disqualifications that have been accrued for the benefit group members prior to the 60 month limit remain in place.

    Example 9: Lisa and her child have received TANF for five years. DHS has documentation of Lisa’s learning disability, which has impacted her ability to obtain and maintain employment. Lisa and her child would be eligible to receive TANF beyond 60 months, as long as Lisa continued to cooperate with her case plan, and they continued to meet all other eligibility factors.

    Example 10: Karen and her two children have received TANF for five years. Karen has provided documentation from her child’s pediatrician that she is needed in the home to care for her child due to his disabilities. Karen and her children would be eligible to receive TANF beyond 60 months, as long as they continued to meet all other eligibility factors. Karen is not required to participate in case plan activities, because she is exempt from JOBS as she is caring for a disabled child.

    Example 11: Juan and Maria just moved to Oregon with their children. They had both received TANF in WA for 60 months. The family meets all financial and nonfinancial eligibility requirements except for time limits. Juan has been looking for work, but Maria has been staying at home with their child who has chronic asthma and needs round the clock care. Maria has provided documentation from the child’s doctor that she is needed in the home. Juan meets no time limit exemption criteria, so he will not be able to receive cash, but Maria and the children will continue to be eligible. Juan is mandatory for JOBS and must cooperate with his case plan for the family to continue to receive cash.

    Example 12: Lisa received TANF in a state where the time limit was 48 months. She moved to Oregon after having timed out in the state she came from. She fits all TANF eligibility requirements. Because Oregon has a 60-month time limit, Lisa is eligible for an additional 12 months of assistance.

    Example 13: Mary is a single parent with one child applying for TANF. She has received TANF out of state for five years. She has no identified barriers, all screenings have been offered, and she is cooperating with a case plan. Mary’s needs will be removed from the grant because she has exceeded the 60-month limit. Her children may receive TANF as long as Mary cooperates with her case plan.

    Example 14: John is a single parent with two children who has received TANF in excess of five years. John does not meet any of the time limit exemption criteria, but has been receiving TANF for his children. John has stopped participating in activities listed in case plan. Even though John’s needs have already been removed from the grant, John is entitled to have the opportunity to participate in the re-engagement process and look at good cause.

    Example 15: Fred and his wife Mary came to Oregon after having received 60 months of TANF in Washington. The family meets all financial and nonfinancial eligibility criteria, except for time limits. Neither Fred nor Mary fit any Oregon exemption criteria. The TANF case would open just for the children. Both Fred and Mary would need to cooperate with their case plan for the family to remain eligible for TANF.

    Definitions for Chapter 461: 461-001-0000
    Definitions of Terms, Components, and Activities; JOBS, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, TANF: 461-001-0025
    Benefit Group: 461-110-0750
    Good Cause; Employment Programs: 461-130-0327
    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF: 461-135-0075


  6. Coding requirements for clients who have reached 60 months

    If any adult or minor parent head-of-household is no longer eligible to receive TANF due to having reached 60 months of time and meets no exemption criteria, make the following coding changes:

    1. Add a TRJ Needs/Resource code with the first month of ineligibility for that specific person;
    2. Add a TLY Needs/Resource code; and
    3. Change the in-grant code to ‘NO.’

    If any adult or minor parent head-of-household has reached 60-months but continues to be eligible because they meet an exemption, make the following coding changes:

    1. Add a TRH Needs/Resource Code with a date that matches the review date;
    2. Add a TRH case descriptor;
    3. A TL exemption code is required; and
    4. Keep the in-grant code as an “AD.”

    F SEE HERE FOR A TANF TIME LIMITS CODING GUIDE THAT INCLUDES CODING FOR WHEN A CLIENT REACHES 60 MONTHS.


  7. Verifying months of TANF receipt

    When a client indicates on the application that they received TANF benefits in another state(s), the agency must verify how many months the client received TANF in the other state(s).

    If verification is needed, do the following things:

    F CONTACT INFORMATION FOR VERIFICATION OF TIME IN ANOTHER STATE IS AVAILABLE IN MULTIPLE PROGRAM WORKER GUIDE #4 (MPWG#4) – CONTACTS FOR STATEWIDE VERIFICATION OF ASSISTANCE.

    If verification of time on TANF from another state is not received within the 45 day-application period, deny the application for failure to complete the application process.

    When verification is received within the 45-day application time frame:

    Out-of-state months, once verified, must be added to the Out-of-State Time Limits screen.

    F CLICK HERE ON HOW TO UPDATE THE OUT-OF-STATE TIME LIMITS SCREEN.

    Note: If verification from the other state identifies months in Indian Country or months a program was not federally funded, those months do not count towards the federal or Oregon state time limit.

    Example 16: Mary Ann moved to Oregon from Washington. At intake she said she had about four years on assistance in Washington. The worker called Washington but was unable to make a connection with anyone. Since all other eligibility factors were met, the worker opened TANF for the children but pended Mary Ann for proof of time on assistance in Washington. The worker emailed Washington. Two weeks later, she received an email from Washington verifying the client had received TANF for 48 months, none of which were in Indian Country. The worker was able to supplement TANF back to the date the grant opened for the children.

    Example 17: Josh and his children moved to Oregon from Washington, D.C. Josh said he had received 60 months of TANF in DC and so the family had timed out. Josh did not meet a current hardship exemption. The worker tried to call D.C., but the office was already closed because of the difference in time zones. Since the family met all other eligibility requirements, the worker opened benefits for the children and pended Josh for proof of time on assistance. The worker then faxed a request to D.C. to verify time on assistance for Josh. The verification was received two days later. Because Josh had received TANF for 60 months, all months being after July 2003 and no months being while Josh lived in Indian Country, nor was time funded with state dollars, the worker sent a notice to Josh denying him TANF and updated the Out-of-State Time Limit screens. TANF remained open for the children.

    Application Process; General: 461-115-0010
    Verification; General: 461-115-0610
    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF: 461-135-0075
    Effective Dates; Initial Month Benefits: 461-180-0070

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