Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 65A-4.201 - Criteria for Hardship Extensions and Exemptions to Cash Assistance Time Limit

(1) Hardship Extension and Exemption Determinations. An extension or exemption from the time limit for receipt of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) cannot be authorized until a hardship review, using the Hardship Extension Review, CF-ES 2082, 06/2012, http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-01349, incorporated by reference, is completed by the Department and the Regional Workforce Board (RWB) or its designee, and a favorable decision is made about the existence of a hardship. A recommendation, if appropriately made, and the decision about hardship eligibility will be based on the criteria established in this rule and Section 414.105, F.S.
(2) The Department will be responsible for:
(a) Determining that the TCA time limit is correct.
(b) Completing section A of the CF-ES 2082; forwarding the form to the RWB; and, if applicable, referring the participant to the RWB designee to complete the review process.
(3) The RWB or its designee will be responsible for reviewing the participant's potential to obtain and retain employment and assessing if the participant is recommended for a hardship extension or exemption. The RWB or its designee will document the review on the CF-ES Form 2082 and have the participant sign the form and indicate if an extension or exemption is being requested.
(4) A participant who did not request a hardship extension or exemption when the initial CF-ES 2082 was signed can request a hardship extension or exemption by completing the hardship review process. If the individual has not received TCA benefits or services for more than 30 days, the ACCESS Florida Application, CF-ES 2337, 11/2011, incorporated by reference in Rule 65A-1.205, F.A.C., or an ACCESS Florida Web Application (only accepted electronically), CF-ES 2353, 09/2011, incorporated by reference in Rule 65A-1.205, F.A.C., must also be completed.
(5) Upon documentation of a pending SSI or SSDI application or appeal, individuals who are not receiving TCA benefits because of the 48-month lifetime limit must be granted an extension of the time limit until a final determination is made pursuant to Section 414.105 (8), F.S.
(6) Hardship exemption criteria. Criteria for hardship exemptions are stated in Section 414.105, F.S.
(7) Diligent participation. To meet the diligent participation criteria, the participant must: have no more than one work sanction imposed in the last eighteen months of receipt of cash assistance; and, be in compliance with the individual responsibility plan as determined by the RWB or its designee's contracted career manager.
(8) Extraordinary barriers to employment. Extraordinary barriers to employment include the following criteria:
(a) The individual has been a custodial parent with a child under 3 months of age.
(b) The individual has been a single custodial parent caring for a child who has not attained age 6, and proves the inability to obtain needed child care due to the unavailability of appropriate child care within a reasonable distance from the home or worksite, unavailability or unsuitability of informal child care by a relative or under other arrangements, or unavailability of appropriate and affordable formal child care arrangements.
(c) The individual could not participate in assigned work activities due to a medical incapacity. The individual is required to comply with the course of treatment necessary for the individual to resume participation. The individual was excused from work activity requirements if the medical incapacity was verified by a licensed physician.
(d) An individual was temporarily unable to participate in assigned work activities due to circumstances beyond their control as determined by RWB or its designee.
(9) Significant barriers to employment. Significant barriers to employment include illiteracy, language barriers, domestic violence, local labor surplus, underemployment, living in an area with a high unemployment rate, homelessness, previous felony convictions and unavailability of support services or transportation.
(10) The RWB or its designee will forward to the Department a copy of the completed CF-ES 2082 that includes a recommendation for approval and recommended length of the extension or exemption or denial of a hardship extension or exemption. If all hardship criteria is met, the Department will approve the participant for continued receipt of TCA for the amount of time recommended by the RWB.
(11) Hearing Rights. Participants whose cash assistance is being terminated because they have reached their lifetime limit and have been denied a hardship extension or exemption can request a fair hearing in accordance with the Department's hearing procedures in Chapter 65-2, F.A.C. Unless waved, cash assistance will be continued or reinstated in accordance with 7 C.F.R § 273.15(k), when the request for a hearing is received by the end of the last day of the month prior to the effective date of the adverse action indicated on the notice. The notice allows at least ten days for the request. If the last day of the month falls on a holiday or weekend, the deadline is the next business day. The assistance group must repay cash assistance if the hearing decision is in favor of the Department.
(12) Review of Hardship Extension and Exemption Cases. A review of hardship extension and exemption cases must be completed at least once every two years using the hardship extension and exemption review process of this rule, except for domestic violence cases which must be redetermined no less often than every six months in accordance with 45 C.F.R. § 260.55(b).
(13) Materials incorporated by reference are available from the Economic Self-Sufficiency Headquarters Office at 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700. Forms are also available on the Department's website at http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/dcfforms/Search/DCFFormSearch.aspx. The CF-ES 2353 is available on the Department's website at http://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida/.

Notes

Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 65A-4.201
Rulemaking Authority 414.45 FS. Law Implemented 414.105, 414.14 FS.
New 9-28-98, Amended 5-27-01, 2-22-06, 11-13-06, 8-12-12.

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