- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
States that include TANF in the Combined State Plan must outline how the State will meet the requirements of section 402 of the Social Security Act including how it will:
(OMB Control Number: 0970-0145)
b. Require a parent or caretaker receiving assistance to engage in work (defined by the State) once the State determines the parent or caretaker is ready to engage in work, or once he or she has received 24 months of assistance, whichever is earlier, consistent with the child care exception at 407(e)(2) (section 402(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Social Security Act)
1. Requirements and Activities
The State will operate a welfare work program in compliance with Section 407 of Title IV-A of the Social Security Act and consistent with Alabama’s approved Work Verification Plan. The program is known as the JOBS Program. All parents/stepparents, including teen parents, who are receiving assistance, are referred to the JOBS Unit for assessment in regard to their skills, prior work experience and employability. The assessment process includes screening for disability and language assistance needs. An Individual JOBS Participation (IJP) and Family Responsibility Plan (FRP) will be developed for these individuals. Individuals determined to be ready to engage in work will be immediately placed in work or work-related activities for up to 40 hours per week. After receipt of assistance for 24 months, all individuals not already participating in such activities will be required to engage in work activities, as defined in state policy.
NONCOMPLIANCE WITH PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS Work Program-The parent(s) and/or stepparent(s) of a dependent child(ren) receiving assistance are required to participate in work activities designed to result in gainful employment unless the parent(s)/stepparent(s) is deferred or has good cause for not participating as specified in department program manuals. See Attachments B and C below. The penalties for failure to comply are as follows: Applicants: Upon overt refusal of the grantee relative or other member(s) of the assistance unit required to participate in JOBS activities, the application will be denied and entitlement to benefits for the month of application through the month of application disposition is lost even if reapplication is made in the month of the original application disposition. Recipients who have received for less than 24 months: For the first three months of non-compliance (consecutive or not), the grant amount is reduced by 50% of the payment standard for the assistance unit size. For a month of non-compliance in excess of three months, the assistance unit is disqualified for a one-month period for the first disqualification. For a month of non-compliance following the first disqualification, the assistance unit is immediately disqualified for a six-month period. For a month of non-compliance following the second and subsequent disqualifications, the assistance unit is immediately disqualified for a twelve-month period. Recipients who have received for 24 months or more: The assistance unit is immediately disqualified for a one-month period for the first instance of non-compliance; a six-month period for the second instance of non-compliance and a twelve-month period for the third and subsequent instances. Recipients who voluntarily terminate employment or refuse employment without good cause (regardless of the number of months of receipt): The assistance unit is immediately permanently disqualified. Attachment B WORK PARTICIPATION DEFERRAL CRITERIA and SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES DELAY CRITERIA A. Deferral Criteria -Individuals may be temporarily deferred from the participation requirements of the JOBS Program if the individual: 1. Is a person in the home whose presence is required on a substantially continuous basis due to the illness or incapacity, determined on the basis of medical evidence, of a related individual and no other appropriate individual is available to provide the needed care. 2. Has an illness or injury which is serious enough to temporarily prevent employment or training with the goal of employment. This includes pregnancy when it is determined by medical evidence that working or participation in training would be detrimental to the woman or the unborn child. 3. Is incapacitated with a physical or mental impairment determined by the Department of Rehabilitative Services which prevents the individual from engaging in employment or other work activity. 4. Has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty as defined in department program manuals to the extent participation in program work requirements is precluded. 5. Is participating in drug, alcohol or mental health counseling to the extent participation in program work requirements is precluded. 6. Is a single custodial parent caring for a child under the age of six (6) and appropriate childcare is not available or is inaccessible to the client. 7. Is a single custodial parent (age 18 or older) of a child age 6 months or younger. 8. Is age 60 or older. 9. Has no regular transportation of any kind available. 10. Has a personal barrier of such significance to preclude participation in a work activity or employment and is participating in other JOBS activities to overcome the barrier. 11. Is a parent in a two-parent family who has to provide childcare for a child while the other parent works or participates in a JOBS activity because appropriate childcare is not otherwise available, accessible and/or affordable. (Attachment B cont’d.) B. Special Circumstances Delay Criteria Participation for clients who are required to participate and do not meet deferral criteria may be delayed if no appropriate component/employment is available. Attachment C GOOD CAUSE FOR NONCOMPLIANCE WITH JOBS ACTIVITIES Good cause for failure or refusal to participate in JOBS activities or to accept employment includes the following: 1. Illness of individual or illness of a household member or family member which requires the presence of the individual. 2. Childcare problems 3. Transportation problems 4. Personal or family crisis 5. Domestic Violence issues 6. Rare/Unusual Circumstances 7. Non-receipt of correspondence 8. Administrative error .
Pursuant to 45 CFR 261.70, no adult in a work activity as described in 45 CFR 261.30 will be employed or assigned to an employment when any other individual is on layoff from the same or an equivalent job in the company, or if the employer has terminated the employment of any regular employee or otherwise caused an involuntary reduction of the workforce in order to fill the vacancy so created with a recipient of Family Assistance. Aggrieved individuals may file a written complaint with the Family Assistance Division, State Department of Human Resources. All complaints are investigated. Complainants are advised of findings in writing. Corrective action is taken by the Department as appropriate.