Release 78:  Effective July 1, 2015

TANF -
E.  Time Limits for TANF


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  1. What is the Oregon time limit?
  2. 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 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 exemption.

      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.

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

  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- 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 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

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

  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 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.

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

    Year County
    2014 Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Josephine, Klamath, Lincoln
    2013 Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Harney, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath
    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?
  2. 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:

    • (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 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.

  3. Coding a time limit exemption
  4. 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:

    • 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*;
    • TLN – caring for a disabled family member in the HH*;
    • TLS – adult with a disability*;
    • TLX – person deprived of medical care.

    *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.

  5. Forty-eight-month notice and assessment
  6. 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:

    • If they reach 60 months and are not eligible for an exemption, their TANF grant will be lowered;
    • Children of adults who reach 60 months on TANF may still be eligible for TANF;
    • There are exemptions for time limits, and what they are;
    • 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 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 barriers preventing the family from moving off TANF;
    • Eligibility for an exemption (see TANF-E.6 for more on exemptions);
    • 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.

    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.

  7. Extending TANF beyond 60 months
  8. 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:

    • Qualify for an exemption; or
    • Live in Indian Country.

    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.

  9. JOBS participation after reaching 60 months
  10. 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.

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

    Example 8:

    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 9:

    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 10:

    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 11:

    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 12:

    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 13:

    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 14:

    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 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

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

  11. Coding requirements for clients who have reached 60 months
  12. 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.”

  13. Verifying months of TANF receipt
  14. 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 application for failure to complete the application process.

    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 date the case was opened for the children. Once verification is received the adult is considered to have met eligibility the date all other eligibility factors for TANF were cleared;
    • If over 60 months, the adult’s needs would not be added to the grant unless the client meets an exemption. 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 15:

    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 16:

    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 Rule
    461-115-0010 — Application Process; General

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

    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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