Release 81: Effective April 1, 2016

Child Care Assistance -
B.  Application Process


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ERDC APPLICATION PROCESS
  This section covers the application process for Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC) only. Please refer to the chapters on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progran (SNAP), Pre-TANF and TANF programs for information about the application process for these programs.



CASE MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITY
  When explaining the listing process and provider requirements of the program, ask customers open-ended questions about how comfortable they are with their provider.

What child development activities does the provider offer?

How do you feel about leaving your child with this person?

How does your child feel?

What kinds of physical activities are provided for your child?

What information would you like to have about choosing a quality child care provider for your child?

If the provider is interested in additional training, they can contact the local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R).

Explain that the local CCR&R) can help answer questions for both parents and providers.

  1. Applying for ERDC
  2. Persons applying for ERDC begin the application process by contacting the local DHS branch or CCR&R and requesting an application to apply for child care benefits. This contact establishes the date of request. Child care benefits can be requested on the Application for Services (DHS 415F) and Application for Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Program (DHS 7470).

    The SNAP online (CAPI) application can be used to apply for ERDC, if used in conjunction with the Requesting ERDC During CAPI Interview (DHS 419) form.

    When a customer is over income, they may reapply in a subsequent month. A new budgeting period is established and income is recalculated.

  3. The ERDC Interview
  4. A phone or in-person interview must be completed. This is required to process the application or reapplication. An interview is the most effective way to obtain information from the caretaker who is applying and to give them information about the program.

    An interview is not required when an application is being denied because the Reservation List is in effect. (See below for exceptions). A phone interview is preferable. However, a face-to-face interview is an option if it can be arranged around the caretaker’s work schedule and the caretaker prefers a face-to-face meeting.

    If eligibility cannot be determined at the intake interview, give or mail the customer a Notice of Pending Status (DHS 210) explaining what is needed to determine eligibility.

  5. Reservation List exceptions, coding and selection process
  6. When the Reservation List is activated, DHS must review all applicants to determine if they are subject to the Reservation List. DHS must place all applicants subject to the Reservation List per OAR 461-115-0016 on the list for future selection. The worker must send the customer a decision notice of ineligibility for the ERDC program.

    Applicants may not be subject to the Reservation List if they meet:

    TANF Transition Policy – If a member of the filing group has received a partial or full month of REF, SFPSS or TANF program cash benefits from the State of Oregon in at least one of the preceding three months, the filing group is not subject to the Reservation List and the case is coded with a case descriptor of ETL, whether approved or denied.

    Head Start, Early Head Start Partnership and Oregon Program of Quality Policy – If a member of the filing group is eligible for a current slot opening with a Head Start, Early Head Start Partnership or OPQ-contracted Program, the filing group is not subject to the Reservation List, and the case is coded with a case descriptor of PQC. For this situation, approval from the Child Care Policy Unit must be received prior to opening an ERDC case.

    Child Welfare Referral Policy – If a child in the filing group has had involvement with Child Welfare and a Child Welfare worker has created an ongoing safety plan where child care will:

    The Child Welfare worker will determine when a family will meet this exemption. The Child Welfare worker will complete the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Reservation List Child Welfare Exception Referral (DHS 861) form and give a copy to the parent and scan and send a copy to Central Office. A parent who applies for ERDC and has a completed DHS 861 should be reviewed for ERDC eligibility. All other ERDC eligibility must still be met.

    TA-DVS Program benefits – If the filing group is currently eligible or has been determined eligible for TA-DVS in any preceding three months from the State of Oregon.

    Applicants who meet a criterion listed above must still meet all other ERDC eligibility requirements.

    Customers who do not meet one of the criteria above do not need to complete an application. An ERDC interview is also not required if the information received to determine the denial is not questionable, However, the denial must be narrated, a denial notice must be mailed and a reservation list referral emailed to Reservation.ERDC@state.or.us.

    ERDC RESERVATION LIST FOR REAPPLYING INDIVIDUALS
      Individuals reapplying for ERDC are only subject to the Reservation List if they have had a break in ERDC benefits of two consecutive calendar months or more.

    Pre-TANF IN DETERMINING FILING GROUP MEMBER TANF
      Pre-TANF is not counted when determining if a filing group member received TANF.



    Reservation List selection process

    Applicants must request benefits within the deadline on the selection letter or they will be dropped from the Reservation List until they reapply.

    Applicants selected from the Reservation List to apply who request benefits after the deadline on the selection letter will be returned to the Reservation List to await future selection.

    Those applying for ERDC only can complete the Application for Employment Related Day Care Program (ERDC) (DHS 7470) or the Application for Services (DHS 415F). Those applying for other programs must complete the DHS 415F. The application must be signed by the caretaker of the child(ren) requiring care.

    ERDC APPLICATIONS FROM CCR&R OFFICES
     

    Caretakers can also get an application for the ERDC Program, (DHS 7470), and establish a Date of Request at their local CCR&R. The CCR&R can also give them general information on the ERDC program and answer questions they may have. Their application must then be mailed or delivered to the local DHS branch office.

    A person who is at or calling a DHS office should never be referred to a CCR&R to complete an ERDC application or a provider listing form, unless the CCR&R location is more convenient due to transportation concerns.

    DHS 419 is to be used as an interview guide in conjunction with the SNAP online (CAPI) application to complete the application process for ERDC. The DHS 419 can be completed and copied into TRACS.

    IF APPLYING FOR SNAP BENEFITS
      Refer to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) chapter if the customer is also applying for SNAP benefits.



    If eligibility cannot be determined at the intake interview, give or mail the customer a Notice of Pending Status (DHS 210) explaining what is needed to determine eligibility.

    When a customer is over income, they may reapply in a subsequent month. A new budgeting period is established and income is recalculated.

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

    Application Process; Reservation List for ERDC Rule
    461-115-0016 — Application Process; Reservation List for ERDC

    Application Requirements Rule
    461-115-0020 — Application Requirements

    Date of Request Rule
    461-115-0030 — Date of Request

    Offices Where Clients Apply Rule
    461-115-0150 — Offices Where Clients Apply

    Application Processing Time Frames; Not Pre-TANF or SNAP Rule
    461-115-190 — Application Processing Time Frames; Not Pre-TANF or SNAP

    Interviews Rule
    461-115-0230 — Interviews

    ERDC; Children in the Head Start Program Rule
    461-135-0405 — ERDC; Children in the Head Start Program

    ERDC; Children in Oregon Program of Quality Contracted Child Care Rule
    461-135-0407 — ERDC; Children in Oregon Program of Quality Contracted Child Care

    No application needed
    When ERDC is closed during the certification period, the case may be reopened the month after it is closed if the family meets eligibility again. No application is needed as long as the report of new circumstances is received within the calendar month after the month of closure.

    Example: Alicia is receiving ERDC. Her current certification date is set to end Dec. 31. On July 10, Alicia reports she was permanently laid off from work. Alicia’s worker adds the Authorized Work Search (AWS) code to her case. The AWS need resource date is October 2015. At the end of October, Alicia’s case closes because she did not contact DHS to report new employment. On November 12, Alicia calls and reports she was hired for a new job and starts November 17. Her ERDC may be re-opened effective November 1. Her certification dates will remain the same.

    The worker must confirm the family still meets all eligibility factors. This can be conducted with a phone interview and narrated. Changes to employment, such as a job loss or temporary break must be reported. Verification of income or hours during the certification period should not be required, unless the customer requests more authorized child care hours during the certification period, or the customer requests a lower copay due to a change in income; it must be an ongoing change and verified.

    Example: Ben calls on October 12; his case was closed September 30, because he did not have a DHS-listed provider connected. His provider is now approved. The worker confirms the provider is now approved by checking DPPM, and asks Ben what date care started. The worker also asks Ben if he has any changes to his shift work schedule, work hours, rate of pay, household composition or children who need care. Ben has no other changes. The worker will reopen the case, narrate and email an electronic provider connect to DPU to connect Ben and his provider.

    VERIFICATION
     

    When a change in employment or income is reported during the certification period do not request verification.

    If verification is received do not take action on the ERDC case, unless the customer is requesting more authorized child care hours or a lower copay.

    When requesting verification use a Notification of Information or Verification Needed (DHS 210A). If the customer does not respond, do not take any action on the case. Do not close unless the income is at or above on ongoing income limit for ERDC (see CC-F.2).

    REMINDER
      Send an electronic connection request to DPU when reopening or restoring ERDC benefits to ensure a CCB is issued for that month.


    A new application will be needed if the benefits were closed during the last month in the certification period.

  7. Date of Request (DOR)
  8. The date of request is the date the person requests ERDC benefits.  This request can be made via phone, letter, application, walk-in or by requesting an application from the Child Care Resource and Referral. The date of request is date stamped or written on the application.

  9. Application processing time frames
  10. The application must be processed within 45 days of the date of request. The 45 days can be extended if needed. However the goal is to have all pended information received and the case approved and coded on UCMS, or denied no later than the 45th day. This date can be extended due to situations beyond the customers control that require additional time to gather verification requested.

  11. Using the Notice of Pending Status (DHS 210) Or Notice of Information or Verification Needed (DHS 210A)
  12. When processing the DHS 415F/DHS 7470 applications or the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Re-Application and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Application (DHS 7476) reapplication, use the Notice of Pending Status (DHS 210) to request verification. All requests for verification must be given in writing and the client must be given at least 10 days, up to 45 days, to provide the requested verification.. If verification is not received by the due date, send a denial notice to deny the application for ERDC.

    Priority Child Care Processing and DHS 210
    The DHS 210 is used when a family meets the Priority Child Care Processing requirements (see CC-C.4) and does not have proof of income or work schedule available right away. When the worker cannot obtain this information from the employer by phone, the case is opened and the priority child care processing section is completed on the DHS 210.

    Example:

    The DHS 210 serves as a close notice if the customer does not respond by 12/14. The worker needs to manually close the case.

    REMINDER
      When pending for verification, remember to allow time to determine eligibility and code the case on UCMS by the 45th day. This date can be extended due to situations beyond the customers control that require additional time to gather verification requested.

  13. Effective date of benefits
  14. The effective date for ERDC benefits is usually the first of the month in which the date of request is established.

    In some situations the effective date for ERDC benefits will be the first of the month after the date of request month. This will occur when not all eligibility requirements are met in the date of request month or because the amount of care provided in the date of request month is less than the family’s copay amount. When the care provided in the date of request month is less than the copay a denial notice does not need to be given.  Explain to the customer why benefits are starting the first of the next month.

    Example: Dad started his new job on March 27. He will only work two days. His cost of child care for March is $28; however; his copay is $98. In this situation, it makes sense to start ERDC effective April 1. Explain to the parent why benefits are starting the first of April and narrate the conversation. Benefits for March do not need to be denied, the parent was eligible, but there is nothing for DHS to pay on behalf of the parent to the provider.

  15. ERDC certification period lengths and coding
  16. In the ERDC program the certification period at initial application or recertification must be 12 months. The first month of the certification period starts with the effective date. If the effective date is in October, the certification period is October 1, YYYY through September 30, YYYY, of the following year.

    The ERDC effective date, first month of certification, is coded as a Need Resource (N/R). Use the BAS coding, month and year the certification starts (N/R BAS 10/YYYY).

    The ERDC certification end date is coded in the APR field on the front page of UCMS. Code the month, date and year (APR 09/30/YYYY). The APR date is the date used by the system to send the customer an ERDC re-application (DHS 7476) and close notice if they do not re-apply.

    The certification period can be longer in situations where an ongoing ERDC case is coded with authorized work search (AWS), authorized medical leave (AML) or authorized military transition (AMT), and the need resource date is after the APR date.

  17. Authorized representatives
  18. An authorized representative can be anyone the caretaker chooses; however, if the person may cause harm to the customer or may be considered as having a conflict of interest, they cannot be the authorized representative. A child care provider who will be paid on behalf of the family for subsidy child care cannot be that family’s authorized representative because this is a conflict of interest.

    Authorized Representatives; General Rule
    461-115-0090 —Authorized Representatives; General

  19. Redetermination of eligibility
  20. For ongoing eligibility, a completed DHS 7476 is due by the 10th day of the last month of the certification period, and must be received no later than the last day of the month. If the DHS 7476 is not processed by compute deadline, the case is automatically closed – see note below.

    If all eligibility requirements are met within 30 days of the close date, reopen the case effective the first day of the month after the case closed. If the DHS 7476 is received without required verification or the form is incomplete, use the DHS 210 to notify the customer in writing about what is needed. If required verification is not received by the due date, send a denial notice.

    If the DHS 7476 or required verification is received after the end of the month following the certification period, treat the DHS 7476 as a new application.

    NOTE
      When the certification date is not updated by compute deadline, the computer will automatically close the ERDC case and change the status to “AC” or “P2” effective the end of the month. A continuing benefit notice (CM 08A) is automatically sent by the computer prior to the end of the certification period to notify the client of the date benefits will end. If the client is receiving ERDC and JPI, the case will be automatically converted from M5 to P2.

    Send an electronic connection request to DPU when reopening or restoring ERDC benefits to ensure a CCB is issued for that month.

    Send the client a Notice of Income and Benefit Calculation (DHS 7294) to show how the income was calculated.

  21. Transitioning from TANF to ERDC
  22. When the TANF case has gone over income, the customer should be contacted right away to discuss the child care need and their ERDC eligibility . An application is not required to convert TANF to ERDC.  However, all eligibility must be met including an interview. Customers who have been receiving TANF child care assistance may not understand they need to request ERDC. In other cases, they may think the notice telling them they are over income for TANF means they are not eligible for any assistance. The process for converting from TANF to ERDC is a lot simpler if it is done soon, rather than a month or so later. This also gives customers more time to budget for the ERDC copay.

    For customers transitioning from TANF, a request for ERDC can be made in one of the following ways:

    Application Process; Reservation List for ERDC Rule
    461-115-0016 — Application Process; Reservation List for ERDC

    Date of Request Rule
    461-115-0030 — Date of Request

    When An Application Must Be Filed Rule
    461-115-0050 — When An Application Must Be Filed

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

  23. Approving the ERDC application
  24. When an ERDC case is approved and coded on the system, a system-generated approval notice will be sent to the customer.

    When the customer is approved, the worker should mail or hand the customer the following documents:

    It is important to code the case on UCMS as soon as eligibility is established. Billing forms can not be issued by DPU until the case is coded on UCMS.

    NOTE
      The billing form will not be sent until the listing process is completed by DPU and BCU or the electronic connection is made by DPU.

    See Section III-G in the Computer Guide for information about coding and setting up the ERDC case on CMS. See Changes in Programs, Providers and ERDC Filing Groups (CC-WG#2) in the worker guide section of this chapter for more information on converting from TANF to ERDC and from ERDC to TANF.

  25. Denying the ERDC application
  26. Deny the application in the following circumstances:

    In all denied cases, the customer is sent a basic decision notice explaining the reason for the denial and the customer's right to a hearing.

    Application Process; Reservation List for ERDC Rule
    461-115-0016 — Application Process; Reservation List for ERDC

    Specific Requirements; ERDC Rule
    461-135-0400 — Specific Requirements; ERDC

    APPLICATIONS DENIED
     

    Applications denied because the 45-day limit has expired ordinarily require a new application if the customer still requests ERDC.
    Exceptions to this are:

    • When the AWS, AML and AMT N/R date is beyond the APR date and the customer becomes employed or returns to work prior to the N/R date closing the case. (See sections CC-K.9 thru 11);
      • - If the re-application sent to the customer at the time of their APR was received it can be used;
      • - All information on the application will need to be confirmed during the ERDC interview – follow the normal recertification process when requesting verification;
    • When circumstances beyond the customers control cause a delay in their ability to send the re-application to DHS timely;
      • - The DHS worker has the option of updating and/or correcting the information already gathered;
      • - The date received establishes the date of request.


    Application Processing Time Frames; Not Pre-TANF or SNAP Rule
    461-115-0190 — Application Processing Time Frames; Not Pre-TANF or SNAP

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


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