Hardship Extension Categories for Participants Who Have Used 60 Months of TANF/MFIP Assistance

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Hardship Extension Categories for Participants Who Have Used 60 Months of TANF/MFIP Assistance. Effect on Employment Services requirements
Employed:
 
1a) Participants who are working. Participants in a one-parent MFIP unit must participate in work activities at least 30 hours per week of which 25 hours per week on average must be employment. Must meet minimum work requirements /NOT exempt from ES
1b) Participants who are working. Participants in a two-parent MFIP unit must participate in work activities at least 55 hours per week of which 45 hours per week on average must be employment . Hours may be divided between the two parents in any way that works for that family’s particular situation and should be documented in the employment plan. Must meet minimum work requirements /NOT exempt from ES
1c) Participants who can work, but less than 30 hours due to illness or incapacity. Participants who are determined by a qualified health care professional to be able to engage in employment, but less than the minimum required hours, are eligible for extension under this category as long as they work the number of hours the health care professional determines they are able to work. NOT exempt from ES
Hard-To-Employ:
 
2) Participants with mental retardation or mental illness. Participants must have been diagnosed by a licensed physician, psychological practitioner, or other qualified professional as a person with mental retardation or mental illness who is unable to obtain or retain unsubsidized employment. Verification of diagnosis of mental retardation or mental illness should include a statement that the individual is unable to obtain or retain unsubsidized employment. NOT exempt from ES
3) Participants with an IQ below 80. Participants must have been assessed by a vocational specialist or the county agency to be employable but not at a level that qualifies for a hardship extension in the employed participant category. The determination of IQ must be made by a qualified professional. NOT exempt from ES
4) Participants determined to be learning disabled. Participants must be determined to have a learning disability that severely limits their ability to obtain, perform and retain employment. The determination of the county must be based on a statement provided by a licensed professional who is qualified to assess learning disabilities. (Refer to Bulletin #02-11-02 for details page 14) NOT exempt from ES
5) Participants who are unemployable. Participants must have been assessed by a vocational specialist or the county agency as ‘unemployable’. (Refer to DHS Bulletin #02-11-01 for details page 13) NOT exempt from ES
Ill or incapacitated:
 
6) Participants who are ill, injured, or incapacitated. Participants must provide professional certification of an illness, injury, or incapacity that is expected to last more than 30 days, and that prevents them from obtaining or retaining employment. Participants must also be following the treatment recommendations of the health care provider certifying the illness, injury, or incapacity. Not expected to work. Exempt from ES
7) Participants who are needed in the home. Participants must provide verification that they are needed in the home to provide care for another member of the assistance unit, a relative in the household, or a foster child in the household who has a professionally certified illness or incapacity that is expected to continue for more than 30 days. Not expected to work. Exempt from ES
8) Participants with an adult or child in the household who meets certain disability or medical criteria. Participants must document they have a child or adult in the household who meets the disability or medical criteria for home care services, a home and community-based waiver services program, severe emotional disturbance, or serious and persistent mental illness. Participants are not required to verify they are needed in the home. Presumed to be unable to work. Exempt from ES
Victims of Domestic Violence:
 
9) Eff. 7-1-2002 MFIP participants who are victims of domestic violence can get an extension after s/he has verified s/he is a victim of domestic violence and developed an alternative employment plan (AEP). The AEP must be approved prior to the approval of an extension. Must develop and follow an alternative employment plan

NOTES -
All extension categories:

1) Participants must be in compliance in the 60th month in order to qualify for any hardship extension. Compliance means not in sanction for any reason on the MAXIS system. (Ex: if a participant was exempt from ES in month 60 s/he are considered to be in compliance).
2) An assistance unit may continue to receive a hardship extension as long as it continues to meet the criteria under which it received the extension. Individuals may also move between extension categories.
3) Cases in extension status must be reviewed, at minimum, every 6-12 months depending on the participant’s situation.
4) For extension categories where work is a requirement, participants may not claim an exemption from ES. However, they may claim “good cause” reasons for non-compliance as described in CM 0028.18 or ES Manual section 5.3. OR – they may qualify for a different extension category.

Employed extension category:

1) To be eligible for an extension under the employed extension category the participant must be in compliance with all MFIP requirements 10 out of the12 months immediately preceding the participant’s 61st month. This is not a requirement of the other extension categories.
2) Category #1c (a subset of the employed category) is effective 1-2-02.
3) Employment means: a) subsidized or b) unsubsidized employment, c) on-the-job training, d) apprenticeship, e) supported work, a combination of a) through e). Providing childcare services to another participant who is working in a community service program may also be counted when it is being done in combination with paid employment. Work and other hours required to qualify for an extension are considered minimums. Job Counselors should require the maximum hours appropriate for each participant who is extended. Participants who fail to meet hourly requirements without good cause under CM0028.18 will be sanctioned or disqualified.
4) Involuntary Loss of Employment – If non-compliance with an employment plan is the result of an involuntary loss of employment, the participant is exempt from meeting the hourly requirements for one month.
5) If a participant is complying with a child protection plan the number of hours required under that plan count toward the number of hours required to be extended under the “employed” category.

Hard-To-Employ extension category:

1) Unemployable - See Bulletin #02-11-01, page 13.
2) Participants with mental retardation or mental illness - the employment plan should include only activities and hourly requirements appropriate to the individual’s abilities. Participation hours may be below federal minimum requirements. Job counselors should develop plans in consultation with other professionals who work with the participant.

Victims of Domestic Violence extension category:

The goal of the alternative employment plan (AEP) is to ensure the safety of the MFIP caregiver and the children. The job counselor or designated county staff has final approval of an AEP. An extension may not be granted until the AEP is developed and approved. A participant must comply with the contents of the AEP to continue receiving assistance.

Sanctions:

Sanction policies for families who are receiving MFIP under a hardship extension category differ from those who haven’t reached 60 months of TANF assistance. Refer to CM 28.30.03.03 for more detail on post-60 month sanction policies. Refer to CM 0028.30 & 0028.30.03 and Chapter 5 of the Employment Services Manual for pre-60 month sanction policies.

Other:

This handout is meant to be used as a quick reference tool only. Please refer to appropriate bulletin material and manual sections for more detailed information related to extension policies. Please submit MFIP case specific questions to the Local Agency Support Policy Center.

Revised: 06-19-2002
DHS – Families with Children

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