This filing was published in the 03/15/2007, issue, Vol. 2007, No. 6, of the Utah State Bulletin.
Workforce Services, Employment Development
Family Employment Program
NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE
DAR File No.: 29587
Filed: 03/01/2007, 04:38
Received by: NL
Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:
The purpose for this amendment is to reflect recent changes in state law and federal regulation.
Summary of the rule or change:
This proposed amendment reflects changes made to the Family Employment Program (FEP) by S.B. 14, passed during the 2007 General Session. The changes include a provision that months of transitional cash assistance do not count toward the 36-month time limit and changes to the work extension. Additionally, Congress changed the work requirements for participants in the Family Employment Program (FEP) when it reauthorized Temporary Aid to Needy Family last year. The Department of Labor has determined that the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to FEP participants including the minimum wage law. The FEP grant does not meet minimum wage requirements unless the food stamp allotment is included so the Department has opted to operated a Mini Simplified Food Stamp Program which allows the Department to use the amount paid in food stamps in calculating minimum wage for FEP participants. Previously, FEP customers were exempt from food stamp employment and training requirements. Under the Mini Simplified plan, those customers will no longer be exempt and will be subject to the food stamp sanctions for nonparticipation. The Department has also increased the enhanced participation payment from $40 to $60. Recipients of Transitional Support living in two-parent household will no longer be able to share the 60 hour per week work requirement but will each have to work a minimum of 30 hours per week.
State statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:
Section 35A-1-104 and Subsections 35A-1-104(4) and 35A-3-302(5)(b)
Anticipated cost or savings to:
the state budget:
This is a federally-funded program so there are no costs or savings to the state budget. Changes are being made within current funding levels.
This is a federally-funded program so there are no costs or savings to local government.
There are no costs or savings to any other persons as there are no fees associated with this program and it is federally funded.
Compliance costs for affected persons:
There are no costs or savings to any affected persons as there are no fees associated with this program and it is federally funded.
Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:
There are no compliance costs associated with this change. There are no fees associated with this change. There will be no cost to anyone to comply with these changes. There will be no fiscal impact on any business. Tani Downing, Executive Director
The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Division of Administrative Rules, or at:Workforce Services
140 E 300 S
SALT LAKE CITY UT 84111-2333
Direct questions regarding this rule to:
Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:
This rule may become effective on:
Tani Downing, Executive Director
R986. Workforce Services, Employment Development.
R986-200. Family Employment Program.
R986-200-212. Reconciling Disputes and Termination of Financial Assistance for Failure to Comply.
If a client who is required to participate in an employment plan consistently fails, without reasonable cause, to show good faith in complying with the employment plan, the Department will terminate all or part of the financial assistance. This will apply if the Department is notified that the client has failed to cooperate with ORS as provided in R986-200-207. A termination for the reasons mentioned in this paragraph will occur only after the Department attempts reconciliation through the following process:
(1) The employment counselor will attempt to discuss compliance with the client and explore solutions. If compliance is not resolved the counselor will move to the second phase.
(2) In the second phase, the employment counselor will request a meeting with the client, the employment counselor, the counselor's supervisor and any other Department or allied entity representatives, if appropriate, who might assist in encouraging participation. If the client does not attend the meeting, the meeting will be held in the client's absence. A formal meeting with the client is not required for a third or subsequent occurrence. If a resolution cannot be reached, one of the following will occur:
(a) for the first occurrence, the client's financial assistance payment will be reduced by $100 for one month. The reduction will occur in the month following the month the determination was made. If the client does not participate during the $100 reduction month, financial assistance will be terminated beginning the month following the $100 reduction month.
(b) for the second occurrence, the client's financial assistance payment will be terminated and the client will be ineligible for financial assistance for one month. If the client re-applies during the one month termination period, the new application will be denied for non-participation. If the client re-applies after the one month termination period, the client must successfully complete a two week trial participation period before financial assistance will be approved.
(c) for the third and subsequent occurrences the client's financial assistance will be terminated beginning with the month following the determination by the employment counselor that the client is not participating. The client will be ineligible for financial assistance for two months and if the client re-applies during the two month period, the new application will be denied for non-participation. If the client re-applies after the two month termination period, the client must successfully complete a two week trial participation period before financial assistance will be approved.
(3) A client must demonstrate a genuine willingness to participate during the two week trial period.
(4) The occurrences are life-time occurrences and it does not matter how much time elapses between occurrences. If a client's assistance was reduced as provided in (2)(a) of this section three years ago, for example, the next occurrence will be treated as a second occurrence.
(5) The two week trial period may be waived only if the client has cured all previous participation issues prior to re-application.
(6) The provisions of this section apply to clients who are eligible for and receiving financial assistance during an extension period as provided in R986-200-218.
(7) A child age 16-18 who is not a parent and who is not participating will be removed from the financial assistance grant on the first and all subsequent occurrences. The financial assistance will continue for other household members provided they are participating. If the child successfully completes a two week trial period, the child will be added back on to the financial assistance grant.
(8) Reasonable cause under this section means the client was prevented from participating through no fault of his or her own or failed to participate for reasons that are reasonable and compelling.
R986-200-217. Time Limits.
(1) Except as provided in R986-212-218 and in Section 35A-3-306, a family cannot receive financial assistance under the FEP or FEPTP for more than 36 months.
(2) The following months count toward the 36-month time limit regardless of whether the financial assistance payment was made in this or any other state:
(a) each month when a parent client received financial assistance beginning with the month of January, 1997;
(b) each month beginning with January, 1997, where a parent resided in the household, the parent's income and assets were counted in determining the household's eligibility, but the parent was disqualified from being included in the financial payment. Disqualification occurs when a parent has been determined to have committed fraud in the receipt of public assistance or when the parent is an ineligible alien; and
(c) each month when financial assistance was reduced or a partial financial assistance payment was received beginning with the month of January, 1997.
(3) Months which do not count toward the 36 month time limit are:
(a) months where both parents were absent from the home and dependent children were cared for by a specified relative who elected to be excluded from the household unit;
(b) months where the client received financial assistance as a minor child and was not the head of a household or married to the head of a household;
(c) months during which the parent lived in
Indian country, as defined in Title 18, Section 1151, United States Code 1999,
or an Alaskan Native village, if the most reliable data available with respect
to the month, or a period including the month, indicate that at least 50% of
the adults living in Indian country or in the village were not employed;[
(d) months when a parent resided in the home but
were excluded from the household assistance unit. A parent is excluded when
they receive SSI benefits[
(e) the first diversion period in any 12 month
period of time is not counted toward the 36 month time limit. A second and all
subsequent diversion periods within 12 months will count as one month toward
the 36 month time limit. If a client has already used 36 months of financial
assistance, the client is not eligible for diversion assistance unless the
client meets one of the extension criteria in R986-200-218 in addition to all
other eligibility criteria of diversion assistance[
R986-200-218. Exceptions to the Time Limit.
Exceptions to the time limit may be allowed for up to 20% of the average monthly number of families receiving financial assistance from FEP and FEPTP during the previous Federal fiscal year for the following reasons:
(1) A hardship under Section 35A-3-306 is determined to exist when a parent:
(a) is determined to be medically unable to work. The client must provide proof of inability to work in one of the following ways:
(i) receipt of disability benefits from SSA;
(ii) receipt of VA Disability benefits based on the parent being 100% disabled;
(iii) placement on the Division of Services to People with Disabilities' waiting list. Being on the waiting list indicates the person has met the criteria for a disability; or
(iv) is currently receiving Temporary Total or Permanent Total disability Workers' Compensation benefits;
(v) a medical statement completed by a medical doctor, a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, a licensed Physician's Assistant, or a doctor of osteopathy, stating the parent has a medical condition supported by medical evidence, which prevents the parent from engaging in work activities capable of generating income of at least $500 a month. The statement must be completed by a professional skilled in both the diagnosis and treatment of the condition; or
(vi) a statement completed by a licensed clinical social worker, licensed psychologist, licensed Mental Health Therapist as defined in UCA Section 58-60-102, or psychiatrist stating that the parent has been diagnosed with a mental health condition that prevents the parent from engaging in work activities capable of generating income of at least $500 a month. Substance abuse is considered the same as mental health condition;
(b) is under age 19 through the month of their nineteenth birthday;
(c) is currently engaged in an approved full-time job preparation, educational or training activity which the parent was expected to complete within the 36 month time limit but completion within the 36 months was not possible through no fault of the parent. Additionally, if the parent has previously received, beginning with the month of January 1997, 24 months of financial assistance while attending educational or training activities, good cause for additional months must be shown and approved;
(d) was without fault and a delay in the delivery of services provided by the Department occurred. The delay must have had an adverse effect on the parent causing a hardship and preventing the parent from obtaining employment. An extension under this section cannot be granted for more than the length of the delay;
(e) moved to Utah after exhausting 36 months of assistance in another state or states and the parent did not receive supportive services in that state or states as required under the provisions of PRWORA. To be eligible for an extension under this section, the failure to receive supportive services must have occurred through no fault of the parent and must contribute to the parent's inability to work. An extension under this section can never be for longer than the delay in services;
(f) completed an educational or training program at the 36th month and needs additional time to obtain employment;
(g) is unable to work because the parent is required in the home to meet the medical needs of a dependent. Dependent for the purposes of this paragraph means a person who the parent claims as a dependent on his or her income tax filing. Proof, consisting of a medical statement from a health care professional listed in subparagraph (1)(a)(v) or (vi) of this section is required unless the dependent is on the Travis C medicaid waiver program. The medical statement must include all of the following:
(i) the diagnosis of the dependent's condition,
(ii) the recommended treatment needed or being received for the condition,
(iii) the length of time the parent will be required in the home to care for the dependent, and
(iv) whether the parent is required to be in the home full-time or part-time; or
(h) is currently receiving assistance under one of the exceptions in this section and needs additional time to obtain employment. A client can only receive assistance for one month under this subparagraph. If the Department determines that granting an exception under this subparagraph adversely impacts its federally mandated participation rate requirements or might otherwise jeopardize its funding, the one month exception will not be granted.
(2) Additional months of financial assistance may be provided if the family includes an individual who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty which is a barrier to employment and the implementation of the time limit would make it more difficult to escape the situation. Battered or subjected to extreme cruelty means:
(a) physical acts which resulted in, or threatened to result in, physical injury to the individual;
(b) sexual abuse;
(c) sexual activity involving a dependent child;
(d) threats of, or attempts at, physical or sexual abuse;
(e) mental abuse which includes stalking and harassment; or
(f) neglect or deprivation of medical care.
(3) An exception to the time limit can be granted for a maximum of an additional 24 months if:
(a) during the previous month,
the parent client was employed for no less than [
8]0 hours. The employment can consist of self-employment if the parent's net
income from that self-employment is at or above minimum wage; and[ (b) during at
least six of the previous 24 months, the parent client was employed for no less
than 80 hours a month.]
c]) If, at the end of the 24-month extension,
the parent client qualifies for an extension under Sections (1) or (2) of this
rule, an additional extension can be granted under the provisions of those
(4) All clients receiving an extension must continue to participate, to the maximum extent possible, in an employment plan. This includes cooperating with ORS in the collection, establishment, and enforcement of child support and the establishment of paternity, if necessary.
(5) If a household filing unit contains more than one parent, and one parent has received at least 36 months of assistance as a parent, then the entire filing unit is ineligible unless both parents meet one of the exceptions listed above. Both parents need not meet the same exception.
(6) A family in which the only parent or both parents are ineligible aliens cannot be granted an extension under Section (3) above or for any of the reasons in Subsections (1)(c), (d), (e) or (f). This is because ineligible aliens are not legally able to work and supportive services for work, education and training purposes are inappropriate.
(7) A client who is no longer eligible for financial assistance may be eligible for other kinds of public assistance including food stamps, Child Care Assistance and medical coverage. The client must follow the appropriate application process to determine eligibility for assistance from those other programs.
(8) Exceptions [
granted for reasons listed
under paragraphs (1) or (2) of this subsection ]are subject to a review at
least once every six months.[
Exceptions granted under paragraph (3) of this subsection can only be
granted on a month by month basis and eligibility must be determined monthly.]
R986-200-240. Additional Payments Available Under Certain Circumstances.
(1) Each parent eligible for financial
assistance in the FEP or FEPTP programs who takes part in at least one enhanced
participation activity may be eligible to receive $[
month in addition to the standard financial assistance payment. Enhanced participation activities are
(a) work experience sites of at least 20 hours a week and other eligible activities that together total 30 hours per week;
(b) full-time attendance in an education or employment training program; or
(c) employment of 20 hours or more a week and other eligible activities that together total 30 hours per week.
(2) An additional payment of $15 per month for a pregnant woman in the third month prior to the expected month of delivery. Eligibility for the allowance begins in the month the woman provides medical proof that she is in the third month prior to the expected month of delivery. The pregnancy allowance ends at the end of the month the pregnancy ends.
(3) A limited number of funds are available to individuals for work and training expenses. The funds can only be used to alleviate circumstances which impede the individual's ability to begin or continue employment, job search, training, or education. The payment of these funds is completely discretionary by the Department. The individual does not need to meet any eligibility requirements to request or receive these funds.
R986-200-246. Transitional Cash Assistance.
(1) Transitional Cash Assistance, (TCA) is offered to help FEP and FEPTP customers stabilize employment and reduce recidivism.
(2) To be eligible for TCA a client must;
(a) have been eligible for and have received FEP or FEPTP during the month immediately preceding the month during which TCA is requested or granted. The FEP or FEPTP assistance must have been terminated due to earned or unearned income and not for nonparticipation under R986-200-212. If the immediately preceding month was during a diversion period, the client is not eligible for TCA, and
(b) be employed an average of 30 hours per week
for FEP households. [
The parents in
a FEPTP household must be employed a combined average of 60]hours per week.
(3) TCA is only available if the customer verifies employment averaging the minimum required in subparagraph (2)(b) of this section.
(4) TCA is available for a maximum of three months.
(a) The assistance payment for the first two months of TCA is based on household size. All household income, earned and unearned, is disregarded.
(b) Payment for the third month is one half of the payment available in (4)(a) of this section.
(5) If initial verification is provided and a client is paid one month of TCA but the client is unable to provide documentation to support that initial verification, no further payments will be made under TCA but the one month payment will not result in an overpayment.
(6) A client can only receive TCA once in any 24 month period. This time limit applies regardless of how many months of TCA a client received.
(7) TCA count[
the 36 month time limit found in R986-200-217.
KEY: family employment program
Date of Enactment or Last
Substantive Amendment: [
February 1, ]2007
Notice of Continuation: September 14, 2005
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 35A-3-301 et seq.
Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets (e.g., [
example]). Text to be added is underlined (e.g., ). Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.
For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Suzan Pixton at the above address, by phone at 801-526-9645, by FAX at 801-526-9211, or by Internet E-mail at email@example.com
For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Division of Administrative Rules (801-538-3764). Please Note: The Division of Administrative Rules is NOT able to answer questions about the content or application of these administrative rules.
Last modified: 03/13/2007 2:20 PM