1240-01-45-.02 - DEFINITIONS

1240-01-45-.02. DEFINITIONS

Listed below are definitions of some of the frequently used terms used by the Department of Human Services in the Families First program. This list is not inclusive and should be read in the context of instructions/policies contained in the Families First Handbook of the Family Assistance Manual.

(1) Absence. Refers to an individual who is physically not in the home.

(2) Adoptive Parent. The mother and/or father of a child whose parental relationship to the child has been formally established by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

(3) Alleged Father. The natural father of a child born out of wedlock for whom paternity has not been established.

(4) Assistance or Temporary Assistance. Cash benefits paid to an eligible Families First group.

(5) Assistance Group. A group of individuals for whom Families First is requested or authorized. An assistance group may also be referred to as an AG.

(6) Caretaker. A relative within a specified degree of relationship to the child who provides a home for the child, exercises primary responsibility for care and control of the child, and is included in the assistance group.

(7) Child or Children. A person or persons under 18 years of age, or a person who has not reached his/her 19th birthday and who is a full-time student expected to graduate by the 19th birthday.

(8) Continued Absence of the Parent from the Home (Reference State Rule 1240-01-47-.26 (Absence of a Parent) of these rules).

(a) Continued absence of the parent from the home constitutes the reason for deprivation of parental support or care when the parent is out of the home, the nature of the absence is such as either to interrupt or to terminate the parent's functioning as a provider of maintenance, physical care, or guidance for the child, and the known or indefinite duration of the absence precludes counting on the parent's performance of the function of planning for the present support or care of the child. If these conditions exist, the parent may be absent for any reason, and may have left only recently or some time previously.

(b) A parent whose absence is occasioned solely by reason of the performance of active duty in the uniformed services of the United States (as defined in section 101(3) of the Title 37, United States code) is not considered absent from the home.

(c) 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.

(9) Custody. Immediate charge and control exercised by a person (or an authority) over another. Legal custody is granted by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(10) Department. The Department of Human Services.

(11) Dependent Child. A needy child age 17 or younger who is deprived of parental support or care because at least one parent is dead, absent, physically or mentally incapacitated, or unemployed. Included in this definition also is a child age 18 who is deprived of parent support or care and is a full-time student in a secondary school or an equivalent level of vocational or technical school, and is reasonably expected to complete the course of education/training before age 19 or in the month of his/her 19th birthday.

(12) Disability. Disability is considered to exist if an individual has been approved for Social Security or SSI on the basis of his/her disability, Veterans Benefits based on his/her 100% disability, or Black Lung benefits based on his/her disability.

(13) Diversion. An option for assistance groups determined eligible for Families First where the family can get a one-time lump sum grant and/or child care assistance instead of a monthly recurring grant. AGs able to choose the diversion option must meet other criteria beyond Families First eligibility as described in 1240-01-49-.09.

(14) Family. A family is an eligible group of children and parent(s) or caretaker relatives living in a common residence.

(15) Family Cap. A ceiling on assistance group grant payments for a period of eligibility that occurs when a child is born to the assistance group at least 10 months from the date of application for Families First or the date of implementation of the Families First program, whichever is later.

(16) Grantee Relative. A person who receives Families First for children in his/her care. A grantee relative may be a relative other than a parent. A relative other than a parent may be included in or excluded from the AG, depending on case circumstances, but is not required to be included in the group.

(17) Guardian/Conservator. A guardian is a person who has been named to manage the affairs and/or the person of a minor; a conservator is an individual who has been named to manage the affairs and/or the person of a minor.

(18) Half-Siblings. Half-brothers/sisters who share one natural or adoptive parent.

(19) Home. A home is considered to be a family setting maintained (or in the process of being established) by the relative who requests Families First for a child living with him/her. Under this definition, the family setting may include, but is not limited to, a fixed address, a homeless shelter, or no stationary location. A home exists as long as the relative exercises care and control of the child, even though either the child or the relative is temporarily absent from the customary family setting.

(20) Incapacity. Incapacity is deemed to exist when a parent of a dependent child has a physical or mental defect, illness, or impairment. The incapacity shall be supported by competent medical testimony and must be of such a debilitating nature as to reduce substantially or eliminate the parent's ability to support or care for the otherwise eligible child and must be expected to last for a period of at least 30 days. Incapacity may be a reason for deprivation or may be a reason for a temporary exemption from a work requirement.

(21) Joint Custody. Legal custody of a child held simultaneously by two or more persons. Usually, joint custody is granted to parents of children when the parents are divorced.

(22) Legal Father. The biological father of a child married to the child's mother; the mother's husband when a child is born during the marriage; the child's legally adoptive father; the natural father whose paternity of a child has been legally established.

(23) "Living With." Occupying a place of residence maintained by a specified relative as his/her own home and the home of the child for whom Families First assistance is requested.

(24) Marriage During the Receipt of Assistance. A legal union between a caretaker and another individual during a period of Families First eligibility.

(25) Minor. A person under 18 years of age. A minor is considered a dependent child if he/she is living with a specified relative who is requesting/receiving assistance for him/her. A minor parent may apply for assistance for her/himself and his/her child as a separate assistance group if living outside of a parent's home, or when living in the parent's home and the parent does not choose to apply for that minor (and his/her siblings, if appropriate), or the parent is ineligible for assistance.

(26) Natural Parent. The birth mother; the biological father of a child born in or out of wedlock.

(27) Payee. The person to whom a Families First grant check is payable.

(28) Protective Payee. The person other than the caretaker or grantee relative to whom a Families First grant is made payable. A protective payee has responsibility for administering the payment for the benefit of the assistance group.

(29) Relative Within a Specified Degree of Relationship. Any blood relative, i.e., father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, or first cousin once removed. This includes relationships to persons of the preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great or great-great, and those of half-blood; stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother and stepsister; legally adoptive parents of the child or of the child's parents; the natural and other legally adopted children of such persons and the blood relatives of such persons, including persons within the 5th degree of relationship to the child for whom assistance is requested. Termination of parental rights does not affect a child's blood relationship to his natural extended family. However, adoption of a child or his/her parent establishes a legal relationship to a new set of relatives - both immediate and extended families. The adopted relatives within specified degrees of relationship and the blood relatives within specified degrees of relationship qualify to receive Families First for an adopted child. Legal spouses of any of the above-named relatives are considered to be within the specified degree of relationship to the child. This applies even though the marriage may have been terminated by death or divorce. In determining whether any of these relationships exist, for the purpose of either granting or denying assistance, only the necessary blood relationship must be established.

(30) Set of Children. A set of children is one child, or two or more children who are whole brothers and/or sisters, half-brothers and/or sisters, or adoptive brothers and/or sisters.

(31) Stepparent. A person who is not the natural or adoptive parent of the child, but who is married to the child's natural or adoptive parent.

(32) SSI Beneficiary. A person who receives Supplemental Security Income benefits through the Social Security Administration.

(33) Step-Siblings. Stepbrothers/sisters share no natural or adoptive parent, but their respective parents are married to each other.

(34) Support. Refers to the furnishing of a means of livelihood or sustenance.

(35) Supportive Services. Those services deemed essential by the state for a Families First participant to become engaged in countable work, training or educational activities or continue engagement in countable work, training or educational activities.

(36) Technically Eligible. Meets all non-financial Families First eligibility requirements.

(37) Temporary Absence. Being away from the home for a short period of time (usually not to exceed three months) with a specific intention of returning to the home on or about a specific date. (Reference State Rule 1240-01-47-.20 (Living in the Relative's Home) of these rules).

(38) Whole Siblings or Siblings. Brothers/sisters who share the same mother and father.

(Original rule filed December 2, 1996; effective February 15, 1997. Public Necessity rule filed July 2, 2007; expired December 14, 2007. Amendment filed October 1, 2007; effective December 15, 2007. Amendment filed January 20, 2009; effective April 5, 2009.)

Authority: T.C.A. §§ 4-5-201 et seq. 4-5-202, 4-5-209, 71-1-105, 71-3-152, 71-3-153 and 71-3-154; 71-3-158(d)(2)(D); 42 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 607(c) and (d); 45 C.F.R. 233.9045 C.F.R. § 233.90(c)(1)(iii), 45 C.F.R. § 233.90(c)(1)(v)(A) and (B), 45 C.F.R. § 260.31, and 45 C.F.R. 261.2; and Deficit Reduction Act 2005 ( Pub. L. 109-171 §§ 7101 and 7102, February 8, 2006); 71 Federal Register 37454 (June 29, 2006); and Acts 2007, Chapter 31, and Acts 2007, Chapter 31; Public Chapter 950 (1996); 42 USC §§ 601 -- 617; Section 1115 of the Social Security Act; and 45 CFR 201 - 257.

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