Release 81:  Effective April 1, 2016

TANF -
E.  Time Limits for TANF


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  1. What is the Oregon time limit?
  2. Under federal and state law, most adults and minor parent heads-of-households 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.

    Individuals who meet one of the hardship extension criteria but have used their 60 months may be eligible for additional months. If an individual does not meet one of the hardship extension criteria but is in the JOBS Plus program or has an extreme need in their 60th month, they may be granted a temporary continuation of benefits.

    NOTE
      Eligibility decisions for ongoing or recertifying TANF in Oregon are only based on time that counts against the Oregon Time Limit. Eligibility decisions for individuals who are applying in Oregon after receiving TANF in another state are based on federally accrued months.

    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; all of these months were accrued in Oregon. Since eligibility in this situation is based on the Oregon Time Limit, Al may receive TANF if he meets all other eligibility requirements.

    TANF Time Limits; General Provisions Rule
    461-135-0071 — TANF Time Limits; General Provisions

    TANF Time Limits; Extension Criteria Rule
    461-135-0073— TANF Time Limits; Extension Criteria

    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF Rule
    461-135-0075 — Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF

  3. To whom do time limits apply?
  4. The following people are subject to TANF time limits:

    • A minor parent head of household;
    • Adult single parents;
    • Both adults in a two-parent family;
    • Needy caretaker relatives;
    • Individuals who reached the 60 month TANF Time Limit in another state and do not currently qualify for an Oregon hardship extension.

      NOTE
        Some states count months when there is a child-only case. Oregon does not, and information about child-only cases should not be shared with another state or added to our system.

    Time limits do not apply to:

    • Children;
    • Non-needy caretaker relatives;
    • SSI parents;
    • Ineligible noncitizens.

  5. What months do not count against the Oregon Time Limit?
  6. 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- 03/31/16

    Yes

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

    • Qualified for an exemption;
    • Live in Indian Country;
    • Participated in JOBS plus, PRE-TANF, Post- TANF, SFPSS, Parents as Scholars (PAS).
    Yes, unless they lived in Indian Country.

    04/01/2016-Present

    Yes

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

    • Live in Indian Country;
    • Receive Employment Payments; or
    • Participate in JOBS plus (PL), PRE-TANF, SFPSS (SS) or Parents as Scholars (PS)
    Yes, unless they live 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. These months did count towards the federal TANF time limit.

    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.

    Example 3: Nancy and her children move to Oregon from Florida. In Florida, Nancy received TANF intermittently between 2004 and 2016. TANF was closed in Florida because Nancy received 60 months of federally funded TANF. >She does not qualify for a hardship extension in Oregon, so only the children will receive TANF in Oregon; Nancy will not be eligible but remains JOBS mandatory.

    Definitions for Chapter 461 Rule
    461-135-0075 — Definitions for Chapter 461

    Definitions of Terms, Components, and Activities; JOBS, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, TANF Rule
    461-001-0025 — Definitions of Terms, Components, and Activities; JOBS, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, TANF

    Benefit Group Rule
    461-110-0750 — Benefit Group

    Good Cause; Employment Programs Rule
    461-130-0327 — Good Cause; Employment Programs

    TANF Time Limits; General Provisions Rule
    461-135-0071 — TANF Time Limits; General Provisions

    TANF Time Limits; Extension Criteria Rule
    461-135-0073 — TANF Time Limits; Extension Criteria

    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF Rule
    461-135-0075 — Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF

    Specific Requirements: Employment Payments Rule
    461-135-1270— Specific Requirements; Employment Payments

  7. What is Indian Country?
  8. 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:

    • Live in a region designated “Indian Country”; and
    • Fifty percent or more of that region’s adult residents must be unemployed.

    DHS receives data from the Oregon Employment Department in late spring of each year and uses this to determine the economic criteria for the Indian County designation for the following federal fiscal years of October 1 to September 30.

    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.

  9. What counties are designated as Indian Country?
  10. What counties are considered Indian Country?

    Year County
    FFY 2016 (Oct-Sept) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lincoln
    FFY 2015 (Oct-Sept) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lincoln
    2014 (Jan-Sept) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lincoln
    2013 (Jan-Dec) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath
    2012 (Jan-Dec) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Josephine
    2011 (Jan-Dec) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Jefferson, Josephine
    2010 (Jan-Dec) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine
    2009 (Jan-Dec) Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine
    2008 (Jan-Dec) Crook, Curry, Josephine
    2007 (Jan-Dec) Crook, Josephine
    2006 (Jan-Dec) Crook, Josephine
    2005 (Jan-Dec) Crook, Curry, Josephine
    2004 (Jan-Dec) Curry, Josephine
    2003 (Jan-Dec) Coos, Curry, Josephine

    Beginning in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2015, Indian Country designations are determined in the summer of each year and are effective for the following Federal Fiscal Year of October 1 to September 30: f or example, in June 2016, the 2015 data will be received and will be used to determine the designation for  FFY 2017 October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017 . Prior years were determined retrospectively and for a calendar year.

    Example 4: Trevor is on TANF and lives in Lincoln County. Effective October 1, 2015: Lincoln County is determined to meet the definition of Indian Country. As of October 1, 2015, Trevor has accrued 57 months of TANF. Because he lives in an Indian Country county, none of the months from October 1, 2015, until Lincoln County’s Indian Country designation changes will be counted.

  1. What is an exemption?
  2. Exemptions are reasons that allow a month of TANF to be excluded from the Time Limit clock.

    Prior to April 1, 2016, in order for an individual to be granted an exemption, they must have been unable to obtain or maintain employment for one of the following reasons:

    • (TLA) Has a verified alcohol and drug treatment plan; **

    • (TLB) Is subjected to battery or extreme cruelty;

    • (TLC) Has a child with a disability, which prevents the parent from obtaining or keeping employment;**

    • (TLD) Is a victim of domestic violence (see OAR 461-001-0000);

    • (TLE) Participating in the Parents as Scholars (PAS) Activity (see OAR 461‑001‑0025);

    • (TLL) Has a certified learning disability;**

    • (TLM) mental health condition;**

    • (TLN) Is caring for a family member who has a disability, is in the home and is not attending school full-time;**

    • (TLS) Has a disability (see OAR 461-001-0000);** or

    • (TLX) Is deprived of needed medical care.

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

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

    Historical 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.

    Example 5: Lisa has been on TANF. She was a victim of domestic violence in 2015 and was not able to obtain or maintain work due to safety issues. Since she was unable to obtain work, she was coded with a TLD N/R and this time was not counted towards the time limit.

    Example 6: Michelle has been on TANF. She has a mental health condition. This condition has always been 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 have been eligible for an exemption and each month would have counted towards her time limit.

  3. What is a time limit hardship criteria extension
  4. Hardship extension criteria are situations that allow an adult or teen parent head-of-household to receive additional months once they have already accrued 60 months. The hardship extension may be granted at any point after 60 months, even if the individual has already been removed from the grant.

    In order for an individual to be granted a hardship extension, they must be unable to obtain or maintain employment that provides earnings in excess of TANF income limits for one of the following reasons:

    • (TLA) Has a verified alcohol and drug treatment plan; **

    • (TLB) Is subjected to battery or extreme cruelty*;

    • (TLC) Has a child with a disability, which prevents the parent from obtaining or keeping employment;**

    • (TLD) Is a victim of domestic violence (see OAR 461-001-0000);

    • (TLE) Participating in the Parents as Scholars (PAS) Activity (see OAR 461‑001‑0025);

    • (TLL) Has a certified learning disability;**

    • (TLM) mental health condition;**

    • (TLS) Has a disability (see OAR 461-001-0000);** or

    • (TLX) Is deprived of needed medical care*.

    Hardship extension criteria coded with a (*) must be staffed with a TANF policy analyst ; hardship extension criteria coded with (**) must be verified by a licensed or certified professional that is qualified to determine the condition or circumstances. A hardship extension cannot be coded until verification is received.

    Example 7: Julie is on TANF. During her 60th month, she is a victim of domestic violence and cannot obtain work right now due to safety issues. Since she is unable to obtain or maintain employment, she is coded with a TLD N/R and is granted an additional three months of TANF.

    Example 8: Jodie is on TANF. She has accrued 60 months toward the time limit and has been removed from the grant for several months. She tells her worker that she is now in treatment for substance abuse. Jodie turns in documentation from her treatment provider that she is unable to work from July to October. The worker should code the case with a TLA N/R through October and code Jodie as an “AD” on the case.

  5. Coding time limit hardship extension criteria
  6. Once an individual has reached 60 months, they need to be coded with either a TRJ or TRH case descriptor. The TRJ code indicates that the individual has reached the 60-month TANF time limit, does not qualify for a hardship extension, will not receive TANF for themselves, but they are still JOBS mandatory; the TRH code indicates that the individual has reached the 60-month TANF time limit, qualifies for a hardship extension, will be able to receive TANF benefits and JOBS status will need to be determined. The corresponding hardship is coded on UCMS using a need resource code.

    The hardship criteria extension need resource codes are:

    • TLA – A&D**;
    • TLB – battered and subjected to extreme cruelty*;
    • TLC – adult caring for a child with a disability**;
    • TLD – domestic violence;
    • TLE – person in PAS;
    • TLL – learning disability**;
    • TLM – Mental health**;
    • TLS – adult with a disability**;
    • TLX – person deprived of medical care*.

    (*) Staffing with a TANF policy analyst is required.

    (**) Documentation required.

    NOTE
      Though JOBS participation exemptions are different than time-limit hardship extensions, many clients who are exempt from JOBS participation may also meet a hardship extension criterion. Review cases that are JOBS exempt for possible time limit hardship extensions.

  7. Temporary continuation of benefits
  8. If, during the 60th month, the individual is either actively engaged in a JOBS Plus activity or experiences an extreme need, they may be considered for a temporary continuation of their benefits. This is different than meeting a hardship extension criteria as it may only be considered in the 60th month, where a hardship extension can be granted at any point past the 60th month.

    The temporary continuation of benefit need/ resource codes are:

    • TLF – Family Crisis;

    • TLP – JOBS Plus Completion.

    The TLF code is appropriate for individuals who experience a crisis outside of their control during the 60th month. These situations include but are not limited to: a death in the immediate family, natural disaster impacting the family, or medical catastrophe impacting the family.

    Example 9: Kris is on TANF and received her 60th month of benefits on February 1. On February 7, Kris calls and reports that she had a house fire and is now homeless. Her worker staffs this situation with a TANF policy analyst and it is determined that Kris meets the Family Crisis Temporary Continuation of Benefits criteria. Her case is coded with a TRH C/D and a TLF N/R for 90 days. Once the 90 days TLF extension is over, Kris’ situation is reviewed for any other hardship; if none are identified, Kris is removed from the benefit group and timely notice is sent.

    The TLP code is appropriate for individuals who are actively engaged in a JOBS Plus activity, already having been placed on a JOBS Plus site and have an active agreement. An individual must be a TANF recipient in order to be in a JOBS Plus activity and the intent with this temporary continuation was to ensure that if a participant enters a JOBS Plus agreement they are allowed to complete the subsidized work experience.

    Example 10: Cecilia is on TANF and has been showing significant progress in her JOBS Plan. Her goal is to be placed in a JOBS Plus activity. In September, during her 57th TANF month, an appropriate site is identified and Cecilia begins her JOBS Plus agreement in her 58th month. Transitioning her case into JOBS PLUS coding should stopthe clock and allow Cecilia to finish out her agreement by March, leaving her two months on TANF (April and May) to secure unsubsidized employment. Her worker staffs with a TANF policy analyst and determines that Cecilia meets the criteria for a JOBS Plus Completion (TLP) temporary continuation of benefits. Her case is coded with a TRH C/D and a TLP N/R with an end date that matches the JOBS Plus agreement of 03/YY. When the TLP N/R date approaches, the case should still be reviewed for any other hardship extension criteria.

    Example 11: Tammalita had an open TANF case for her children as she reached 60 months last year, and did not meet any hardship extension criteria. Because Tammalita is still JOBS mandatory, she requests a JOBS Plus placement. As JOBS Plus is only available to TANF recipients, her case manager talks about other options. Tammalita is not eligible for the JOBS Plus Completion Temporary Continuation of Benefits.

  9. Forty-eight-month notice and assessment
  10. 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:

    • DHS wants to partner with them to engage them in services leading to employment or other self-reliant alternatives prior to them using the remainder of their 60-month lifetime limit;
    • If they reach 60 months and are not eligible for an hardship extension, their TANF grant will be lowered or closed;
    • Children of adults who reach 60 months on TANF may still be eligible for TANF;
    • They should expect contact from their case manager.

    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 remaining 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:

    • Strengths and goals to help the family move off TANF;
    • Available supports from family, friends and the community;
    • Any necessary screenings;
    • Potential referrals to both internal and external programs including the State Funded Pre-SSI/SSDI Program and Family Support and Connections.

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

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

  11. JOBS participation after reaching 60 months
  12. 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), regardless of whether they are included on the TANF grant.

    Individuals who have been granted a hardship extension should have a plan to reflect the hardship criteria. Individuals who have been removed from the grant but remain JOBS mandatory should be given the opportunity to develop a plan that will encourage their progress and move them towards stability.

    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.

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

    Example 12:

    Lisa and her child have received TANF for 60 months. 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 13:

    Karen and her two children have received TANF for 60 months. 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 14:

    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 hardship extension 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 15:

    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 16:

    Mary is a single parent with one child applying for TANF. She has received TANF out of state for 60 months. 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 17:

    John is a single parent with two children who has received TANF in excess of 60 months. John does not meet any of the time limit hardship extension 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. If no good cause is found, John is subject to disqualification.

    Example 18:

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

    Definitions of Terms, Components, and Activities; JOBS, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, TANF Rule
    461-001-0025 — Definitions of Terms, Components, and Activities; JOBS, Pre-TANF, Post-TANF, TANF

    Benefit Group Rule
    461-110-0750 — Benefit Group

    Good Cause; Employment Programs Rule
    461-130-0327 — Good Cause; Employment Programs

  13. Coding requirements for clients who have reached 60 months
  14. 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 hardship extension criteria, make the following coding changes:

    1. Add a TRJ C/D;
    2. 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 a hardship extension criterion, make the following coding changes:

    1. Add a TRH Needs/Resource Code with a date that matches the review date;
    2. A TL hardship extension N/R code is required with an end date to match either the provided documentation or review date, whichever is sooner;
    3. A TLY N/R code is also required with an end date to match the review date; AND
    4. Keep the in-grant code as an “AD.”

  15. Verifying months of TANF receipt
  16. 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:

    • Pend the adult’s benefits for 45 days and open a case for the children if all other TANF eligibility requirements are met; and
    • Attempt to verify the out of state time by contacting the other state.

    If verification of time on TANF from another state is not received within the 45-day-application period, deny the adult’s application for failure to complete the application process, keep them coded as a “NO,” and leave the case open for the children, so long as they remain otherwise eligible. Even when the adult is a “NO,” the JOBS status and case plan still need to be considered.

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

    • If the adult has less than 60 months on TANF: Supplement TANF back to the filing date;
    • If over 60 months, the adult’s needs would not be added to the grant unless the client meets an a hardship extension criterion. The children would continue to receive benefits as long as all other TANF eligibility requirements were met.

    Out-of-state months, once verified, must be added to 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 19:

    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 20:

    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 extension. 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 Rule
    461-115-0010 — Application Process; General

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

    TANF Time Limits; General Provisions Rule
    461-135-0071 — TANF Time Limits; General Provisions

    TANF Time Limits; Extension Criteria Rule
    461-135-0073 — TANF Time Limits; Extension Criteria

    Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF Rule
    461-135-0075 — Limitation on Eligibility Period; TANF

    Effective Dates; Initial Month Benefits Rule
    461-180-0070 — Effective Dates; Initial Month Benefits

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