N.J. Admin. Code § 10:69-3.16 - Continued absence of parent from the home

(a) The CWA shall make every reasonable effort to locate an absent parent in order to obtain support payments. An absent parent shall be given the opportunity to voluntarily support his or her child, but it shall be explained to both parents that the extent of support shall be established by the court.
(b) Each applicant and beneficiary is required to cooperate in obtaining support and establishing paternity whenever necessary as a condition of eligibility for AFDC-related Medicaid.
(c) "Continued absence from the home" (see N.J.A.C. 10:69-2.9(d) ) may be for any reason. The following are some of the ways to establish absence:
1. Documentary proof of divorce, pending divorce, or separation agreement (that is, official legal documents, court or attorney records or newspaper accounts) may be indicative of "continued absence from the home" but shall be verified and documented in the case file.
2. A parent shall be considered absent from the home during a period of incarceration. There is a possible situation that a parent whose imprisonment is expected to be of short duration may also be "incapacitated." Where this appears to be so, consideration shall be given to possible eligibility under the "incapacity" factor rather than the "absence" factor.
i. Evidence to substantiate "absence" when a parent is incarcerated in the State penal or correctional institution shall be secured by use of Forms PA-17B and PA-17C. When the "tear sheet" has been returned and the date of release determined, the CWA shall immediately redetermine the basis of continued eligibility and note it in file.
ii. With regard to the absent parent's incarceration in a county or municipal jail, the CWA shall need to develop a procedure in cooperation with each jail within its jurisdiction regarding exchange of information both at time of initial AFDC-C application and at time of release of incarcerated parents. PA-17B and PA-17C are not appropriate and shall not be used for local jails. Procedures established by the CWA with regard to county and municipal jails may vary from a formal procedure to personal telephone contacts or visits, provided the information required is obtained and acceptable to the CWA. In situations where the absent parent is incarcerated in another county, it is recommended that the CWA of such county be consulted regarding its method for contacting county and municipal jails and a mutually agreeable decision made as to which county will contact the jail.
3. A parent who is a convicted offender but is permitted to live at home while serving a court-imposed sentence by performing unpaid public work or unpaid community service during the workday is considered absent from the home. The CWA shall verify such court-imposed sentence and document its findings in the case record prior to case validation.
i. Such parent shall not be eligible for AFDC-related Medicaid benefits.
ii. Income, if any, of such a parent shall be treated in accordance with N.J.A.C. 10:69-10.
iii. For child support and paternity purposes, the family is considered to be intact and is not subject to the CSP process.
4. A parent who has been deported from the United States shall be considered "continuously absent from the home." There must be proof of the deportation by inspection of an official notice or statement in possession of the applicant, or by obtaining written confirmation from the Immigration authorities. The information should include the date and conditions of deportation. The current address of the deported parent and his or her circumstances should also be obtained from the applicant parent, if known, and noted in the eligibility file.
5. A parent who is separated from his or her family because of uniformed service shall not be considered "continuously absent from the home" if such absence is occasioned solely by reason of active uniformed service. If, however, continued absence would exist irrespective of performance of uniformed service (for example, desertion of the family before or after entry into uniformed service or divorce), eligibility for AFDC-C may be established. Such findings shall be noted in the eligibility file.
i. When a parent serving in the uniformed services is not continuously absent from the home, the family may be eligible under the AFDC-F or-segment.
ii. "Uniformed service" is defined to mean the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Environmental Sciences Services Administration, Public Health Service of the United States, and the National Guard.
6. When a parent is temporarily absent in order to receive treatment for a mental or physical illness, defect or impairment, the family should be considered under the incapacity factor.
7. When the natural parents of a child are not married to each other and one lives apart from the children, a continuing relationship between the parents is not of itself evidence of a continuing relationship with the children. When there is no evidence of a continuing relationship between the absent parent and child(ren), "continuous absence" applies.
(d) The following concern the eligibility of a child born of unmarried parents:
1. The eligibility of a child is not affected by the fact that he or she was born of unmarried parents. The initiation of proceedings to determine paternity and to establish financial responsibility of reputed father shall not be a condition of eligibility.
2. Parents of a child born of unmarried parents are equally responsible for his or her support.
i. A father may voluntarily establish the fact of his paternity and establish with the CWA the extent of his ability to support his child. Voluntary support payments do not legally establish paternity and cannot be enforced in the absence of legally established paternity. A mother may initiate proceedings to establish paternity and/or gain support from the reputed father. She shall be informed of the advantages to the child of having paternity established legally such as certain inheritance rights and social security benefits (see N.J.A.C. 10:69-8.4 ).
3. Court action may be necessary to establish paternity or to obtain support; in the absence of the mother's willingness to initiate such proceedings, the CWA cannot refuse to establish Medicaid eligibility but may initiate proceedings. This provision shall be fully explained to each applicant mother of a child born of unmarried parents.
4. By law, the CWA are authorized to initiate proceedings to establish paternity and responsibility for support of a child born of unmarried parents who is a beneficiary of AFDC-related Medicaid. This authority should be used only when neither parent is willing to initiate proceedings. Filiation proceedings should be initiated in the Family Division of Superior Court.
(e) A parent may be considered continuously absent from the home when a condition of desertion is established. A desertion may already be a matter of public record, or may be alleged or presumed.
1. Desertion may be established by verifying that a parent has been convicted of desertion, charged with desertion by indictment or by filing of a complaint with the court or named as defendant in an action for divorce on grounds of desertion. Methods of verification would include records of the county prosecutor's office, juvenile and domestic relations court, municipal court where the complaint was filed, or, in the case of a divorce action documents or records in the possession of the applicant, appropriate court or attorneys.
2. Where desertion has not been established but the applicant alleges that the child for whom he or she is applying has been deserted, the factor of continuing absence by reason of "desertion" shall be considered. The CWA shall request of the applicant/beneficiary, during the completion of the application, information relating to the deserting parent's whereabouts and ask applicant/beneficiary to acknowledge such desertion. By signing the application, the client attests to the accuracy and verity of his or her statements.
i. The continuing effort to locate absent parents is a responsibility of the CWA. Since the law permits use of Social Security numbers to aid in location of deserting parents, the CWA shall make every effort to obtain such information.
(f) A parent shall be considered "continuously absent from the home" when by mutual agreement, not legal action, the parents have informally separated, for example, one parent is out of the home and such absent parent is not exercising responsibility as a member of the household consistent with the definition of "continued absence" although he or she may be making or demonstrating to the CWA his or her "intent" to make some financial contribution to the family.
(g) The CWA is charged with the general responsibility of reducing the extent of the beneficiary family's reliance on AFDC-related Medicaid. In striving for this objective, the CWA shall attempt to effect a resumption of medical support provided to the AFDC-related Medicaid family by the absent parent within the ability of such parent. In cases of absent parent(s) whose whereabouts are unknown, the CWA will contact the State Parent Locator Service (see N.J.A.C. 10:69-11.9 ).
1. This is a service to aid and supplement local efforts; the basic obligation for locating parents rests with the county's parent locator service.


N.J. Admin. Code § 10:69-3.16
Amended by 49 N.J.R. 3729(a), effective 12/4/2017

State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.

No prior version found.