Sec. 65A-4.212 - Up-Front Diversion

ยง 65A-4.212. Up-Front Diversion

(1) Pre-screening. Individuals applying for temporary cash assistance (TCA) and who indicate an interest for up-front diversion must be TCA eligible in order to be referred to the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) designee for screening to determine up-front diversion eligibility. LWDBs will complete an up-front diversion screening to determine if due to an unexpected circumstance or emergency situation they have short-term barriers to obtain and maintain employment or child support that could be met through up-front diversion or if ongoing TCA is needed.

(2) The LWDB designee is responsible for determining up-front diversion eligibility and approval on a case-by-case basis for the receipt of up-front diversion services, up-front diversion payment amount, or both in accordance with Section 445.017, F.S. The applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria for up-front diversion:

(a) The applicant has a child(ren) under age 18 (or age 18 if the child is still a full-time student in secondary school or at the equivalent level of vocational or technical training) residing in the home or a pregnant woman in the family and meets TCA eligibility criteria in accordance with Sections 414.0252(8) and 414.095(5), (14)(a), F.S.;

(b) An explanation by the family of the unexpected circumstance or emergency situation and what may be needed to resolve it; and,

(c) A determination by the LWDB designee and the applicant whether or not the up-front diversion intervention will assist the family to overcome barriers to employment or child support and eliminate the need for ongoing TCA.

(3) Unexpected Circumstances or Emergency Situations. Some examples of unexpected circumstances or emergency situations that may be considered short-term barriers to obtain and maintain employment or child support in this regard are: automobile repairs; catching up on shelter payments to prevent eviction; catching up on utility bills, except for cable television and long distance telephone charges, to prevent interruption of service; medical services; replacement of income lost due to medical leave without pay; emergency child care while seeking permanent child care; and, clothing, shoes, tools or equipment necessary for employment.

(4) Verification.

(a) Identity. Identity will be verified through readily acceptable documentation that includes work or school ID cards, driver's license, voter's registration cards and birth certificates.

(b) Acceptance of the applicant's statement, unless questionable, as to household composition, income, resources, or other information pertinent to determining eligibility for TCA.

(5) Restriction on Application for TCA. The LWDB designee will notify applicants that receipt of up-front diversion will restrict application for TCA for three months unless an emergency is demonstrated to the LWDB designee. Both the applicant and LWDB designee must sign an agreement noting the restriction.

(6) Approval for Payment. The LWDB designee is responsible for determining the approval or denial of a family for receipt of up-front diversion services and determining the level of financial need for a one-time only payment of up to, but not to exceed $1,000, or both. Up-front diversion services, such as child care or transportation, cannot exceed four months in accordance with 45 CFR Section 260.31(b). Families who are diverted from the receipt of ongoing TCA through up-front diversion may be eligible to receive transitional support services such as child care and transportation as specified in subsection (11), of this rule. The LWDB designee must stipulate the amount of the authorized payment and inform the department.

(7) Denial or Opts Not to Receive. Individuals who are denied or opt not to receive up-front diversion are instructed to complete the entire work registration process for TCA.

(8) Violation of Agreement. If the family that has received an up-front diversion payment applies for TCA within three months, the family must be referred to the LWDB designee for work registration and verification of a determination that a demonstrated emergency exists. Upon receipt of the determination that the family meets emergency criteria, the department will complete the TCA eligibility determination and calculate the repayment value of the up-front diversion payment. The up-front diversion repayment amount will be withheld from any TCA benefit for which the family is otherwise eligible. The amount to be withheld will be based on proration of the up-front diversion payment over eight months.

(9) Processing Time Frame. Once approval of up-front diversion is received, the department must expedite the process and approve the payment within five working days.

(10) Medicaid, Food Assistance, and Time Limits Impact. Up-front diversion assistance does not count toward the TCA time limits. The application for up-front diversion will not impact the application for food assistance and/or Medicaid as long as the eligibility requirements of those programs are met.

(11) Transitional Child Care and Transitional Services. Individuals who receive up-front diversion may be eligible for transitional child care or transitional services to accept, maintain, actively seek employment, or to upgrade skills if their income does not exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level and they meet the eligibility criteria in accordance with Sections 445.029, 445.030, 445.031 and 445.032, F.S.

(New 1-27-98, Amended 6-10-01, Amended by Florida Register Volume 46, Number 014, January 22, 2020 effective 2-2-20.)

Rulemaking Authority 414.45, 445.017 (6) FS. Law Implemented 445.017 FS.

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