Chapter 5101:1-23 Income

5101:1-23-01 Ohio works first: time-limited receipt of assistance.

(A) What is the state time limit for Ohio works first (OWF) benefits?

In Ohio, an assistance group is ineligible to participate in OWF if the assistance group includes an individual, who meets one of the conditions set forth in paragraphs (C)(1) to (C)(5) of this rule, and who has received OWF assistance for thirty-six months. This time limit applies regardless of whether the thirty-six months are consecutive. Ohio law provides for extensions of OWF beyond the thirty-six month limit, with the provision that no assistance group shall receive assistance under the OWF program in violation of the federal sixty-month time limit for receipt of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) assistance. When an assistance group is receiving OWF cash assistance benefits on the basis of state hardship, good cause or a domestic violence waiver, as set forth in paragraphs (A)(1) to (A)(3) of this rule, such benefits continue to count toward the federal sixty-month time limit provided in paragraph (B) of this rule. The county agency should examine the assistance group's unique special circumstances that caused the need for an extension, and should address these special needs, barriers and conditions in the self sufficiency contract. When an assistance group is receiving OWF cash assistance due to either a state hardship, good cause or domestic violence waiver extension (as provided in paragraphs (A)(1) to (A)(3) of this rule), the assistance group is in receipt of OWF and as such is subject to all OWF eligibility requirements. The three types of extensions beyond the thirty-six month time limit that count toward the federal sixty-month limit are:

(1) State hardship

A county agency may exempt not more than twenty per cent of the average monthly number of OWF assistance groups from the thirty-six month limit on the grounds that the county agency determines that the time limit is a hardship. The twenty per cent calculation is set forth in rule 5101:1-23-01.1 of the Administrative Code. The county agency may not provide a state hardship extension until the assistance group has exhausted its thirty-six months of OWF assistance, as set forth in division (A) of section 5107.18 of the Revised Code.

(2) Good cause

An assistance group that has ceased to participate in OWF due to the thirty-six month time limit (i.e., the assistance group lost eligibility for OWF due to the thirty-six month time limit), as set forth in division (A) of section 5107.18 of the Revised Code and paragraph (A) of this rule, may be approved to participate in the program in accordance with rule 5101:1-2-01 of the Administrative Code twenty-four months later if the county agency determines that good cause for a twenty-four month extension of OWF exists. There is no twenty per cent limit for the extension of OWF assistance under the good cause provision. The good cause extension provides an assistance group additional time to overcome existing barriers to self sufficiency. Good cause may include losing employment and inability to find employment (reference section 5107.26 of the Revised Code); divorce; domestic violence considerations; unique personal circumstances; and any other reason the county agency determines to be good cause for participating in OWF beyond the thirty-six month limit. The assistance group must provide verification pursuant to rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code of whether any members of the assistance group had employment during the period the assistance group was not participating in OWF and the amount and source of the assistance group's income during that period. If the county agency determines that good cause exists for the assistance group, the county agency shall determine if the assistance group meets all eligibility requirements for participation in OWF. The assistance group may not participate in OWF under paragraph (B)(2) of this rule for more than twenty-four additional months.

The twenty-four month time limit for participating in OWF under paragraph (A)(2) of this rule applies regardless of whether the twenty-four months of the good cause extension are consecutive. Once good cause is initially determined to exist, and an assistance group is determined eligible under the good cause provision, a subsequent determination of good cause is not required, unless the assistance group becomes otherwise ineligible for OWF. However, if the assistance group becomes ineligible for OWF due to the imposition of a sanction for failure to comply with the terms of the self sufficiency contract, the assistance group may resume participation in OWF without a new good cause determination.

(3) Domestic violence

An assistance group may receive a waiver of the state thirty-six month time limit due to domestic violence, as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-20 of the Administrative Code. Any assistance group that receives a waiver of the thirty-six month time limit is not counted toward the county agency twenty per cent limit set forth in rule 5101:1-23-01.1 of the Administrative Code and section 5107.18 of the Revised Code.

(B) What is the federal time limit for OWF benefits?

No state may use any of its federal temporary assistance for needy families funds (including commingled funds as set forth in rule 5101:1-1-01 of the Administrative Code) to provide assistance to an assistance group that includes an individual who meets one of the conditions set forth in paragraphs (C) of this rule, who has received assistance for a total of sixty cumulative months. The sixty months do not have to be consecutive months.

Federal law allows states to extend assistance paid for by federal TANF funds (including commingled funds as defined in rule 5101:1-1-01 of the Administrative Code) beyond the federal sixty-month limit for up to twenty per cent of the average monthly number of families receiving assistance. The federal regulations provide that a state may extend assistance beyond the sixty-month limit based on hardship, as determined by the state.

(1) Ohio is extending benefits beyond the federal sixty-month limit based on hardship. Ohio defines hardship as the conditions set forth in paragraphs (B)(1)(a) to (B)(1)(b)(vii) of this rule. Therefore, counties may extend up to twenty per cent of the average monthly number of assistance groups receiving assistance in that county. The twenty per cent calculation is set forth in rule 5101:1-23-01.1 of the Administrative Code. The county agency should examine the assistance group's unique special circumstances that caused the need for an extension, and should address these special needs, barriers and conditions in the self sufficiency contract. The county agency may not provide this extension until the assistance group has exhausted its sixty months of OWF assistance. In Ohio, hardship is defined as follows:

(a) Any circumstance under which the county agency determines that the time limit is a hardship. The county agency shall use the same grounds for determining federal hardship as it uses for determining state hardship under paragraph (A)(1) of this rule; or

(b) Based on the fact that the family includes someone who is temporarily or permanently unable to work because the individual has been battered, or subjected to extreme cruelty based on the fact that the individual has been subjected to any of the following provisions set forth in paragraphs (B)(1)(b)(i) to (B)(1)(b)(vii) of this rule and rule 5101:1-3-20 of the Administrative Code:

(i) Physical acts that result in physical injury to the individual;

(ii) Sexual abuse;

(iii) Sexual activity involving a dependent child;

(iv) Being forced as the caretaker relative of a dependent child to engage in non consensual sexual acts or activities;

(v) Threats of, or attempts at physical or sexual abuse;

(vi) Mental abuse (including emotional harm); or

(vii) Neglect or deprivation of medical care.

(2) There is no federally prescribed limit for receipt of an extension beyond the federal sixty-month time limit. Each assistance group that requests an extension will have unique circumstances to be addressed in order for the assistance group to achieve self sufficiency and eliminate the need for assistance. In determining the length of each extension to be provided under paragraph (B) of this rule, the county agency must consider both of the following:

(a) That TANF was created to provide assistance that is temporary, and not as an entitlement; and

(b) That the county agency has a responsibility to assist the family in overcoming barriers and achieving self sufficiency.

(3) An assistance group receiving OWF cash assistance benefits beyond the federal sixty-month limit is in receipt of OWF, and as such is subject to all OWF eligibility requirements.

(4) In situations involving the provisions contained in paragraph (B)(1)(b) of this rule, acceptable verification, in accordance with rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code, includes, but is not limited to the following:

(a) Medical or law enforcement records;

(b) Court or other legal documents;

(c) Court, medical, criminal, child protective service, social service, psychological, or law enforcement records indicating the threat of physical or emotional harm;

(d) Medical records indicating the emotional health history and present emotional health of family members;

(e) Written statement from a mental health professional indicating the emotional health status of family members;

(f) Written statement from a public or private social agency; and

(g) Sworn statements from individuals, including friends, neighbors, clergymen, social workers, and medical professionals who might have knowledge of the family's circumstances.

(h) As set forth in rule 5101:1-3-20 of the Administrative Code, rely on the individual's allegation of domestic violence, as identified by the individual requesting the waiver on the JFS 03803 "Ohio Works First (OWF) & Food Stamps: Domestic Violence Waiver Request and Verification Form" (01/2010), unless the county agency has an independent, reasonable basis to find that the individual's allegation is not credible.

(C) Who is subject to the OWF benefits time limits?

An assistance group is ineligible to participate in OWF if the assistance group includes an individual who has been in receipt of assistance as defined in paragraph (E)(1) to (E)(4) of this rule for thirty-six months, which do not have be to be consecutive, as any of the following:

(1) An adult head-of-household. Adult is defined in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code;

(2) A spouse of the adult head-of-household;

(3) A pregnant minor head-of-household. Minor head-of-household is defined in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code.

(4) A minor parent head-of-household. Minor head-of-household is defined in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code; or

(5) A spouse of the minor parent head-of-household.

(D) How is the countable individual as head-of-household designated?

(1) When the assistance group is a two-parent assistance group as defined in rule 5101:1-3-01 of the Administrative Code, and the parents are unmarried (and both parents are adults), the county agency must explain to the two parents that one of them must be determined to be the adult head-of-household for time limit purposes. The parents must choose which one of them shall be designated as the head-of-household for time limit purposes. In the event that the parents disagree and/or decline to designate the head-of-household, the county agency shall make the designation. Once the head-of-household designation is made for time limit purposes, that designation shall remain unchanged as long as the assistance group contains both parents and no other parent(s) is subsequently added to the assistance group.

(2) When the assistance group is a two-parent assistance group as defined in rule 5101:1-3-01 of the Administrative Code, and another parent becomes a required member of the assistance group in accordance with rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code, a new head-of-household designation may need to be made. If a new head-of-household designation must be made, the county agency must explain to the parents that one of them must be determined to be the head-of-household for time limit purposes. The parents must choose which one of them shall be designated as the head-of-household for time limit purposes. In the event that the parents disagree and/or decline to designate the head-of-household, the county agency shall make the designation. Once the head-of-household designation is made for time limit purposes, that designation shall remain unchanged as long as the assistance group contains all of the parents.

(E) What is considered "receipt of assistance?"

An individual is considered to be in receipt of assistance for any month in which they meet one of the requirements set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule and receive:

(1) OWF cash assistance benefits issued in one of the following forms:

(a) Electronic funds transfer (EFT);

(b) Electronic benefits transfer (EBT); or

(c) Warrant, voucher or check if the assistance group cashes the warrant or check or utilizes the voucher.

(2) Supportive services such as transportation and child care, unless such payments meet the definition of non recurrent, short-term benefits as defined in 45 CFR 260.31 (10/01/01) as payments which:

(a) Are designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need;

(b) Are not intended to meet recurrent or ongoing needs; and,

(c) Will not extend beyond four months.

(3) TANF assistance (including commingled funds as defined in rule 5101:1-1-01 of the Administrative Code), was received in another state on or after October 1, 1997, except as provided in paragraph (E)(1) of this rule.

(4) Welfare-to-work (WTW) cash assistance, as defined in 45 CFR 260.32 (10/01/04). As set forth in 45 CFR 260.32 , WTW cash assistance only includes WTW benefits that meet the definition of assistance (as defined in rule 5101:1-1-01 of the Administrative Code) and are directed as basic needs, when they are provided in the form of cash payments, checks, reimbursements, electronic funds transfers, or any other form that can legally be converted to currency.

(F) What months are not countable toward time limits?

Receipt of assistance for purposes of applying the time limit does not include any month for which any of the following conditions exist:

(1) An assistance group received TANF assistance in another state, and that state had a waiver of time limits in effect during the months for which the assistance was received in that state.

(2) An assistance group received OWF cash assistance in the form of a warrant, check, voucher, EFT or EBT for a month, but returned either the check, warrant or voucher to the county agency uncashed or unused, or returned the amount of the OWF check, warrant, voucher, EFT, or EBT to the county agency.

(3) An assistance group is subject to the minimum payment provision set forth in rule 5101:1-23-40 of the Administrative Code.

(4) An assistance group is not receiving OWF cash assistance benefits due to participation in the subsidized employment program (SEP).

(5) An assistance group is not receiving OWF cash assistance benefits due to the imposition of a learning, earning and parenting (LEAP) sanction which reduces the OWF benefit to zero dollars, in accordance with the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-50 of the Administrative Code.

(6) An assistance group is not receiving OWF cash assistance benefits due to the imposition of a learnfare sanction which reduces the OWF benefit to zero dollars, in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 5107.284 and 5107.285 of the Revised Code.

(7) Supportive services such as transportation and child care are provided to assistance groups containing an employed member.

(8) An assistance group is not receiving OWF cash assistance benefits as delineated in paragraph (E) of this rule, but prevention, retention and contingency (PRC) services under the PRC program as set forth in sections 5108.01 to 5108.10 of the Revised Code are provided to the assistance group.

(9) Any month of receipt by an individual other than the individuals identified in paragraphs (C)(1) to (C)(5) of this rule shall not be counted toward the time-limited receipt of assistance.

(10) LEAP enrollment, attendance, grade completion and graduation bonuses provided to LEAP participants in accordance with the provisions contained in rule 5101:1-23-50 of the Administrative Code are not considered assistance for OWF time limit purposes.

(11) An assistance group is not receiving assistance as set forth in paragraph (E) of this rule, but WTW non-cash assistance benefits (as defined in rule 5101:1-1-01 of the Administrative Code) are being provided to the assistance group.

(12) An assistance group is not considered to be in receipt of assistance for any month in which the assistance group's cash assistance OWF benefits are reduced to zero to repay an overpayment.

(13) Any month of receipt of assistance by an adult while living in Indian country as defined in rule 5101:1-01-01 of the Administrative Code, or a native Alaskan village where at least fifty per cent of the adults were not employed.

(14) When an erroneous payment occurs because the assistance group was not eligible to receive assistance for a month, and the assistance group repays that erroneous payment in full, the month for which the overpayment occurred does not count toward the time limit.

(G) How are time limits tracked?

Receipt of assistance under the OWF program shall be tracked for each required member in the assistance group as set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule:

(1) The tracking record for each required member follows the member even if they move into and out of different assistance groups. The receipt of assistance transfers from one assistance group to another via the movement of the required member.

(2) Required members retain and accumulate actual months of receipt by each required member.

(3) The assistance group's number of months is the highest number of months of receipt by each of the required members.

(4) The movement of children from one assistance group to another has no effect on the time limits because receipt of assistance is not tracked separately for children.

Replaces: 5101:1-23-01

Effective: 10/15/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.18 , 5107.71 , 5107.711 , 5107.712 , 5107.713 , 5107.714 , 5107.715 , 5107.716 , 5107.717
Rule Amplifies: 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.18 , 5107.71 , 5107.711 , 5107.712 , 5107.713 , 5107.714 , 5107.715 , 5107.716 , 5107.717
Prior Effective Dates: 07/01/96 (Emer.), 09/29/96, 12/30/97, 07/01/98, 10/01/99, 10/02/00, 01/01/01, 05/01/01, 07/01/02, 10/12/02, 07/01/07, 01/01/08

5101:1-23-01.1 Ohio works first: calculation of the twenty per cent limits for state and federal hardship extensions.

(A) A county agency may exempt not more than twenty per cent of the average monthly number of Ohio works first (OWF) assistance groups from either the state thirty-six month time limit or federal sixty month time limit as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-01 of the Administrative Code.

(B) How is the twenty per cent limit calculated for state and federal extensions?

Per federal fiscal year the twenty per cent limit for hardship extensions is calculated by the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) for each county agency in the following manner:

(1) The number of OWF assistance groups in receipt of cash assistance is totaled for each of the twelve months in the previous federal fiscal year;

(2) The total from paragraph (B)(1) of this rule is divided by twelve. This number is the average monthly number of OWF assistance groups for the county agency.

(3) Twenty per cent of the average monthly number assistance groups found in paragraph (B)(2) of this rule is calculated. If this calculation does not result in a whole number, the number shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number. This number of assistance groups is the twenty per cent limit for the county agency for the federal fiscal year.

(C) Are any assistance groups exempt from the twenty per cent calculation?

(1) Any assistance group that receives a waiver of the thirty-six month state time limit due to domestic violence, as set forth in rules 5101:1-3-20 and 5101:1-23-01 of the Administrative Code, are excluded from the twenty per cent limit for the state thirty-six month time limit extensions.

(2) No assistance groups are excluded from the federal sixty month time limit twenty per cent calculation.

(D) How often is the twenty per cent limit for hardship extensions calculated?

The twenty per cent limit for hardship extensions is calculated for each county agency by ODJFS for each federal fiscal year.

Replaces: 5101:1-23- 01.1

Effective: 10/15/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 10/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.18 , 5107.71 , 5107.711 , 5107.712 , 5107.713 , 5107.714 , 5107.715 , 5107.716 , 5107.717
Rule Amplifies: 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.18 , 5107.71 , 5107.711 , 5107.712 , 5107.713 , 5107.714 , 5107.715 , 5107.716 , 5107.717
Prior Effective Dates: 05/01/00, 07/01/02, 07/01/07, 01/01/08

5101:1-23-10 Ohio works first: assistance group determination.

(A) Conflict with Revised Code

(1) Section (5) of Amended Substitute Senate Bill 238 of the 126th General Assembly (09/06) sets forth the following provision: Not later than September 30, 2006, the director of job and family services shall adopt rules as necessary for the state to comply with 42 U.S.C. 607(i)(2) (08/96). If necessary to bring the state into compliance with 42 U.S.C. 607(i) (2) (08/96), the rules may deviate from Chapter 5107. of the Revised Code. Rules adopted under this section that govern financial and other administrative requirements applicable to the department of job and family services and county departments of job and family services shall be adopted in accordance with section 111.15 of the Revised Code as if they were internal management rules. All other rules adopted under this section shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(2) The county agency shall administer the penalty provisions under the Ohio works first (OWF) program in accordance with the requirements contained in this rule and not in accordance with section 5107.36 of the Revised Code.

(3) All applicable requirements contained in the Revised Code section referenced in paragraph (A) (2) of this rule have been incorporated in this rule.

(B) Who must be included in the assistance group determination?

The following individuals must be included in the assistance group when residing in the same household, unless ineligible or excluded in accordance with paragraph (E) or (F) of this rule:

(1) A minor child who is determined eligible for OWF;

(2) All natural or adoptive parents of the minor child; and

(3) All minor siblings living with the minor child.

(C) What are the required living arrangements for minor parents to receive OWF?

A minor parent with a child may be eligible if they are residing in one of the following living arrangements:

(1) A minor parent and his or her eligible dependent child(ren) living independently.

(a) The minor parent may be eligible only if the minor parent has been or is married; or

(b) Residing in an approved adult-supervised living arrangement as set forth in section 5107.24 of the Revised Code.

(2) A minor parent and his or her eligible dependent child(ren) residing with the minor parent's parent(s).

(a) When the minor parent's parent(s) is either receiving or is requesting OWF, there shall be one OWF assistance group that consists of the eligible child(ren), minor parent and minor parent's parent(s) and dependent siblings of the minor parent.

(b) When the minor parent's parent(s) is self-sufficient or is not requesting assistance, the assistance group shall consist of the minor parent and his or her child(ren). The income of the minor parent's parent(s) is allocated when determining eligibility for the assistance group as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code.

(D) When may a specified relative be included in an assistance group?

(1) A specified relative may be included in the assistance group when he or she has no eligible children of his or her own, resides with a child(ren) who meets a degree of relationship as set forth in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code, and chooses to be included in the assistance group with the child(ren).

(a) When a specified relative chooses to be included in the assistance group with the child(ren), the specified relative's income is considered in determining the eligibility of the assistance group as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code.

(b) When the specified relative has a spouse, the spouse cannot be included in the assistance group. The income of the spouse must be allocated to the assistance group consisting of the specified relative and child(ren) as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code.

(2) A specified relative who resides with both his or her biological or adoptive child(ren) and the child(ren) who meets a degree of relationship, as set forth in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code, shall only be included in the assistance group with his or her child(ren).

(a) OWF eligibility for the assistance group containing the other related child(ren) shall be determined separately and independently of the assistance group containing the specified relative and his or her biological or adoptive child(ren). Income of the specified relative shall not be considered in determining eligibility of the assistance group with the related child(ren).

(b) When the children who meet a degree of relationship are half-siblings to the specified relative's child(ren) there must be two separate assistance groups: one containing the specified relative and his or her child(ren); and one containing the child(ren) who meets a degree of relationship.

(E) Who is ineligible to be included in the assistance group?

The individuals in this paragraph are ineligible to be included in the assistance group, but their income is used in determining the benefit amount as set forth in rules 5101:1-23-20 and 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code. Individuals listed in this paragraph may be a required work eligible individual as defined in paragraph (B) of rule 5101:1-3-12 of the Administrative Code.

(1) Aliens who fail to meet the citizenship requirement as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-30 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Aliens ineligible due to sponsor income as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-35 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Individuals disqualified from OWF due to an intentional program violation for as long as the disqualification period is applied as set forth in Chapter 5101:6-20 of the Administrative Code, if the disqualification period began prior to July 1, 1998. Individuals serving an intentional program violation which began prior to July 1, 1998, will continue to serve out the entire disqualification period, including individuals permanently disqualified.

(4) Fugitive felons as set forth in section 5101.26 of the Revised Code.

(5) Individuals who are violating a condition of probation, a community control sanction, parole, or a post-release control sanction imposed under a federal or state law.

(6) Individuals convicted in federal or state court for residency fraud as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-14 of the Administrative Code.

(7) Individuals who fail to cooperate with an eligibility requirement for which there is no penalty, such as a failure to:

(a) Provide information about a family member required to be included in an assistance group;

(b) Comply with an initial eligibility requirement, such as enumeration, or

(c) Comply with the living arrangement requirement.

(8) A teen parent who is under the age of eighteen, and:

(a) Has a child in his or her care at least twelve weeks of age;

(b) Has not successfully completed high school or the equivalent; and

(c) Is not participating in educational activities that are devoted to the receipt of a high school diploma or its equivalent, or an alternative educational training program defined by the county agency.

(F) Who is excluded from the assistance group?

The following individuals and their income are not considered when determining the assistance group and benefit amount, except for individuals listed in paragraph (F)(5) of this rule:

(1) As set forth in section 5107.11 of the Revised Code, legal guardians or custodians who do not meet the definition of specified relative, as set forth in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code, and individuals not related by blood or adoption, residing with an eligible child(ren). This also applies when a legal guardian or custodian and his or her child(ren) are eligible for OWF, and the adult is also the legal guardian or custodian of another child(ren) who, while not related to the adult, is a half-sibling to the adult's child(ren). In this situation, there must be two assistance groups: one containing the adult and his or her child(ren); and one containing the child(ren) for whom the adult is the legal guardian or custodian.

(2) The father of an unborn child, living with the pregnant mother, with no other eligible children. The father cannot be included in the assistance group until the child is born.

(3) Parents or children receiving supplemental security income (SSI). A recipient of SSI shall have the choice of receiving OWF, if eligible, or continuing to receive SSI, but shall not receive both OWF and SSI at the same time.

(4) Stepbrothers and stepsisters.

(5) Stepparents, unless there is a common child. The income of a stepparent is allocated in determining the payment amount as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code.

(6) Parents or children in receipt of federal, state or local foster care maintenance payments.

(7) Parents or children in receipt of federal, state or local adoption assistance payments. The exclusion of the individual receiving the payments shall not result in lower benefits to the assistance group than the benefits that the family would receive if the individual and his or her income were included in the assistance group.

(8) An adoptive or blood-related sibling to a child for whom assistance is requested and who is living in the home but does not meet the living arrangement requirement as defined in rule 5101:1-3-03 of the Administrative Code.

(G) What are the steps in determining the assistance group?

(1) Identify which minor child(ren), as defined in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code, for whom assistance is being requested. Include minor children who are temporarily absent from the home as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-04 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Add siblings to the minor child living in the household and who also meet the definition of "minor child." "Sibling" means any and all blood-related or adoptive brothers and sisters who are not specifically excluded. Include siblings who meet the temporary absence provision as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-04 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Add the natural or adoptive parents of the minor child(ren) living in the household who are not specifically excluded as set forth in paragraph (F) of this rule.

(a) When the child resides with a specified relative who is in need and requesting assistance instead of a parent, and the specified relative has no eligible biological or adoptive children, add that individual to the assistance group.

(b) Include a parent or specified relative in need who meets the temporary absence provision as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-04 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Include a parent or specified relative in need in the household with the minor child(ren) who is serving house arrest as defined in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code.

(4) This is the assistance group. If a person(s) is required to be in more than one assistance group within the same household, then the assistance groups must be combined, except as provided in paragraphs (D)(2) and (F)(1) of this rule.

(5) Eligibility is determined for the assistance group as a whole. The income provisions as set forth in rules 5101:1-23-20 , 5101:1-23-20.1, and 5101:1-23- 20.2 of the Administrative Code shall be applied in determining eligibility and the benefit amount.

Replaces: 5101:1-23-10

Effective: 03/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05 , Section 5 of Amended Substitute Senate Bill 238 of the 126th General Assembly
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/74, 12/31/77, 10/26/78, 5/1/79, 9/21/79, 10/1/81, 10/1/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 7/1/88 (Emer.), 9/25/88, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 10/1/90, 7/12/91 (Emer.), 9/22/91, 9/1/93, 9/1/94, 10/1/96 (Emer.), 12/15/96, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 10/1/99, 7/1/01, 12/1/02, 8/29/03 (Emer.), 11/1/03, 9/26/06 (Emer.), 12/29/06

5101:1-23-20 Ohio works first: income and eligibility.

Except for the provisions which are listed in rules 5101:1-23-20.1 and 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code, all payments received by assistance group members, and in some instances non-assistance group members, are considered income for purposes of determining eligibility for the Ohio works first(OWF) program. Income is categorized as earned or unearned.

(A) What is gross earned income?

(1) "Gross earned income" means the total amount of gross wages before taxes or deductions received in a month by all of the employed individuals in the assistance group.

(2) Gross earned income includes:

(a) All wages, back pay, bonuses and awards paid by the employer, commissions, severance pay, payments from job corps, work training programs, on-the-job training programs, sick leave paid as wages, annual leave, holiday and vacation pay.

(b) Wages legally obligated to members of the assistance group but which are diverted to a third party, as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Earnings of an individual residing with the assistance group who is a required assistance group member but who is ineligible to be included in the assistance group as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code.

(d) Earnings of the spouse of a married pregnant woman with no other OWF eligible children.

(i) The spouse's income is added to the pregnant woman's income.

(ii) The assistance group's total income, less appropriate disregards, is compared to the payment standard for two.

(iii) If the total income is less than the payment standard for two, the pregnant woman's eligibility for cash assistance is determined in accordance with paragraph (I) of this rule, using only her income.

(iv) Once the child is born, the spouse must be added to the assistance group in accordance with the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code and his income must be used in determining continued eligibility.

(e) State temporary disability insurance and temporary workers' compensation payments are considered gross earnings when such payments meet all of the following conditions:

(i) The payment is employer-funded; and,

(ii) The payment is made to an individual who remains employed during recuperation from a temporary illness or injury pending return to the job; and,

(iii) The payment is specifically characterized under state law as a temporary wage replacement.

(B) What are gross self-employment earnings?

(1) "Gross self-employment earnings" means the total profit from a business enterprise after the deduction of either fifty per cent of the gross receipts or the actual verified expenses (i.e., the business expenses directly related to producing the goods or services) from the gross receipts.

(2) Gross monthly self-employment earnings are based on an estimate of the individual's annual earnings.

(C) What is gross unearned income?

(1) "Gross unearned income" is income that is not gross earned income from employment or self-employment.

(2) It is the total amount of unearned income that is received in the month by all members of the assistance group, and of a parent ineligible to be included in the assistance group, as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Gross unearned income includes but is not limited to payments from the following:

(a) Annuities;

(b) Pensions;

(c) Retirement funds;

(d) Veterans benefits;

(e) Workers' compensation;

(f) Unemployment compensation;

(g) Social security retirement, survivor's and disability insurance (RSDI) benefits;

(h) Cash contributions from persons, organizations or assistance agencies;

(i) Income allocated to the assistance group from a required individual who is ineligible to be included in the OWF assistance group as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code.

(j) A non-recurring lump-sum payment that is not anticipated or expected to be received again. Receipt of a non-recurring lump-sum payment is only considered income in the month received;

(k) Child support and alimony payments received by the assistance group.

(i) Child support is considered as countable income in all budget calculations until the assignment of support is effective as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-10 of the Administrative Code.

(ii) Direct payments of support received by an assistance group from the month of application through the month in which eligibility is determined and assistance is approved shall be budgeted as unearned income.

(iii) Once the assignment of support is effective, any child support received by the assistance group is not counted as income in the actual grant calculation.

(iv) When the county agency adds an individual to an existing assistance group, the child support assignment is effective the first day of the month following the month the individual is added to the assistance group. The child support assignment may be deemed retroactive to the date the individual is required to be included in the assistance group. However, the child support payments received by or for the added individual prior to the effective date of assignment shall be treated as unearned income.

(v) In some circumstances, the child support payments received by the child support enforcement agency (CSEA) cannot all be distributed for present, future and past months. This results in a refund of child support payable directly to the assistance group. When child support money has been distributed by the CSEA and an amount is refunded to the assistance group, the amount may be considered a non-recurring lump sum as set forth in paragraph (C)(3)(j) of this rule.

(D) When is income available to the assistance group?

(1) Income must be received or reasonably anticipated to be received by the assistance group during the calendar month to be used in determining eligibility for OWF.

(a) Availability depends upon the date of receipt and the number of months the income is intended to cover.

(b) In certain instances, income may need to be apportioned to future months.

(c) An employee under an annual contract of employment shall have the income from such contract averaged over the number of months covered under the contract regardless of whether the employee chooses to receive the income in fewer months.

(2) Income received by a member of the assistance group is considered available to all members of the assistance group. This includes the receipt of social security Title II benefits. When a Title II beneficiary is a minor, benefits are usually paid through a representative payee. If the beneficiary is a member of the assistance group, it is necessary to determine if the entire amount of the Title II benefit is counted as income to the assistance group.

(a) If the representative payee resides in the same household, the total amount of Title II benefits received for the beneficiary is counted in determining the assistance group's eligibility for OWF.

(b) If the representative payee does not reside in the same household as the beneficiary, only that portion made available to the beneficiary and/or caretaker is countable. Title II benefits retained by a representative payee who does not reside in the same household as the beneficiary are not considered potential income to the OWF assistance group.

(3) If income is received jointly by a member of the assistance group and one or more persons not in the assistance group, the assistance group member's portion to be considered is the amount made available to the assistance group member unless evidence is produced to the contrary.

(4) The income of a parent ineligible to be included in the assistance group, as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code, is considered in determining the assistance group's eligibility and payment, except for excluded income set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20.1 of the Administrative Code.

(5) The county agency shall explore with each assistance group the potential development of monthly income. The assistance group must apply for any monthly benefits to which it is entitled. It is not appropriate to require the assistance group to apply for lump-sum withdrawals of retirement or pension funds which would negate the drawing of monthly benefits in the near future.

(6) The assistance group, including the person responsible for a child receiving OWF benefits, is responsible for giving information necessary for income determinations, and for taking all actions necessary to obtain unconditionally available income.

(a) Income shall be unconditionally available if the assistance group has only to claim or accept the income, or to establish eligibility for the income; e.g., relative's offer of a contribution, or RSDI benefits.

(b) Ineligibility to participate in OWF results if the assistance group refuses to accept unconditionally available income.

(E) How is gross earned and unearned income calculated?

(1) Each assistance group member's monthly gross income amount shall be rounded down to the nearest whole dollar by dropping all cents in gross weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly income prior to applying the conversion factors listed in paragraph (E)(3) of this rule.

(2) Income received in a frequency other than monthly shall be converted into a monthly amount. All cents shall be dropped after multiplying the individual's income by the appropriate conversion factor, and prior to applying applicable earned income disregards, as set forth in paragraph (H)(2) of this rule. Hourly rates which contain cents are not rounded, but are multiplied in the exact amount.

(3) Conversion shall be performed using the following factors:

(a) Income received on a weekly basis is multiplied by 4.3.

(b) Income received biweekly (every two weeks) is multiplied by 2.15.

(c) Income received semimonthly (twice a month) is multiplied by 2.

(4) If the employed individual works the same number of hours per pay period, the gross monthly income shall be computed by either using the gross earnings listed on the individual's pay stubs or by multiplying the number of hours per pay period by the hourly rate of pay.

(5) If the employed individual has fluctuating hours, the pays shall be averaged before converting to a gross monthly amount.

(a) If there are more than four weeks of pay stubs available and the individual states that an average of a longer period of time is more representative because the income received in the most recent four weeks was less or greater than average, the county agency may use all available income-related information for the immediately preceding three-month period. This includes situations when the individual disagrees with the use of income from the past four-week period as representative of future income. Some pay stubs reflect year-to-date earnings and this is an acceptable method of determining average income for longer than the four-week period.

(b) If there are fewer than four weeks of pay stubs available, the county agency may use all available income-related information to arrive at a representative figure. This includes situations when the employed assistance group member disagrees with the use of earnings from the past four-week period as indicative of future earnings.

(6) If there are no pay stubs available because the employment is new, the county agency may project an estimated amount for a pay period based on the best estimate of the projected wages and hours of employment as reported by the individual.

(F) How is self-employment income calculated?

Self-employment income is calculated by deducting the verified business expenses or a standard deduction of fifty per cent from the gross self-employment receipts. Gross receipts is the total profit of a business enterprise.

(1) Gross receipts

(a) In situations in which an individual has self-employment income, the county agency shall determine the gross receipts for the month based on an estimate of the individual's gross annual earnings by reviewing copies of his or her tax return from the previous year, as well as the current business records. The income listed on the previous year's tax return shall be used to estimate the expected earnings for the current and future months, unless the individual contests this determination of expected income. The individual's gross monthly earnings should be determined to be one-twelfth of the gross earnings as shown on the tax return for the preceding year. This method of estimating the self-employed individual's income should be applicable in situations in which the individual has been self-employed for some time, the gross earnings from self-employment have remained fairly constant (as evidenced by tax returns from previous years) and there is no anticipated change in circumstances.

(i) If the individual contests the estimate of the income from self-employment based solely on information on the previous year's tax return, the individual shall provide a projected estimate of the gross earnings for the current taxable year, based upon the current business records to support the contention. When the individual can estimate the gross earnings for the current taxable year, the county agency shall accept the individual's best estimate and allocate one-twelfth of the gross annual income equally into each month of the taxable year.

(ii) If the individual contests the county agency estimate of income from self-employment based solely on the previous year's tax return but does not provide a projected estimate of gross earnings for the taxable year based on current business records to support the contention, the county agency shall project his earnings based on the gross earnings listed on the previous year's tax return.

(b) If the individual does not have a tax return from the previous year, the county agency shall project an estimate of the individual's annual gross earning from self-employment based on the individual's current business records. The county agency shall determine that one-twelfth of the projected gross earnings from self-employment shall be allocated monthly.

(i) If the individual contests the determination, provides a reasonable explanation as to why the county agency projection is not satisfactory and a written estimate of his projected annual gross earnings from self-employment, the county agency shall use the individual's written estimate to base the eligibility determination.

(ii) If the individual does not provide a written estimate of projected annual gross earnings, the county agency shall project the estimate based on current records.

(c) In some situations the previous year's tax return is not representative of the expected earnings for the current year. There are some situations in which it will be difficult to project future earnings from the individual's self-employment and the previous year's tax return or current business records may not be considered to be accurate indicators of the individual's expected earnings for a variety of reasons.

(d) In the absence of both the previous year's tax return and current business records, the county agency shall require the individual to provide a written best estimate of his projected annual income. The county agency shall then determine that one-twelfth of the projected annual gross earnings shall be distributed into all months of the taxable year.

(e) The computed converted monthly figure shall remain unchanged until a change in income occurs as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code, or until the next reapplication. A reported change in income requires a recomputation of the budget.

(2) Expenses

The assistance group may choose one of the following two methods:

(a) Fifty per cent standard deduction from the gross self-employment receipts; or

(b) Actual deductions from the self-employment receipts as set forth in paragraph (C) of rule 5101:4-6-11 of the Administrative Code.

(G) How is microenterprise development income counted?

(1) For purposes of this rule, a "microenterprise development participant" is an individual participating in a training and education activity designed to prepare the individual for self-employment opportunities.

(2) Gross self-employment receipts are set forth in paragraph (F)(1) of this rule.

(3) The following are allowable operating expenses for up to one year following the month that the participant's business starts or expands:

(a) The provisions regarding non-allowable deductions from self-employment income, set forth in rule 5101:4-6-11 of the Administrative Code, are waived. Allowable business expenses shall not exceed seven thousand-five hundred dollars.

(b) The purchase of capital equipment or durable goods up to five thousand dollars.

(c) The interest and principal portion of a secured business loan not to exceed five thousand dollars.

(d) Payments made into an "unencumbered cash reserve account" in any month the total amount in the fund does not exceed three thousand dollars.

(4) The gross self-employment earnings, after deduction of expenses, up to one hundred thirty-three per cent of the federal poverty guideline for the participant's OWF assistance group size is excluded as countable income. Gross self- employment earnings received in excess of this standard shall be included as gross earned income.

(H) How is initial eligibility determined?

(1) If an assistance group applies for OWF and it has been more than four months since they last received OWF, the county agency shall determine whether the assistance group's gross income exceeds fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines as set forth in division (D)(1)(a) of section 5107.10 of the Revised Code. The county agency shall complete the following steps:

(a) Total the monthly gross earned income from each employed family member.

(b) Deduct the actual verified dependent care costs of the assistance group for nonpublicly funded dependent care for a child or an incapacitated adult who is residing in the home. The amount that is deducted is the actual verified cost that is paid for each child or incapacitated adult.

(c) Add unearned income of assistance group members to the amount in paragraph (H)(1)(b) of this rule.

(d) The assistance group is ineligible to receive OWF if the gross income in paragraph (H)(1)(c) of this rule exceeds fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines.

(2) If the assistance group's gross income does not exceed fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines, the county agency shall determine whether the assistance group's countable income is less than the payment standard set forth in paragraph (J) of this rule. For purposes of this paragraph, "countable income" shall be defined as:

(a) The assistance group's gross earned income; minus,

(b) The two hundred-fifty dollar and one-half of the remainder disregards set forth in division (D)(3) of section 5107.10 of the Revised Code, if applicable; minus,

(c) The actual verified dependent care costs of the assistance group for nonpublicly funded dependent care; plus,

(d) The assistance group's gross unearned income.

(e) The amount in paragraph (H)(2)(d) of this rule is compared to the OWF payment standard for the assistance group size.

(f) The assistance group is ineligible to participate in OWF if the assistance group's countable income equals or exceeds the payment standard.

(3) If an assistance group applies for OWF and it has not been more than four months since they last received OWF, the county agency shall apply the benefit determination in paragraphs (H)(2)(a) to (H)(2)(f) of this rule.

(I) How are ongoing benefits determined?

(1) To determine whether an assistance group receiving OWF continues to be eligible, the county agency shall determine whether the assistance group's countable income continues to be less than the payment standard. The determination of the assistance group's countable income is determined by applying the method set forth in paragraph (H)(2) of this rule.

(2) The assistance group is ineligible to receive OWF if the assistance group's countable income equals or exceeds the payment standard.

(3) The disregard set forth in division (D)(3) of section 5107.10 of the Revised Code shall not be applied to the assistance group's gross earned income for any month in which the assistance group failed without good cause to make a timely report of earnings as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(J) What are the income standards used for OWF?

The following standards are used in determining eligibility for OWF:

(1) The initial eligibility standard for OWF is fifty per cent of the federal poverty guidelines pursuant to section 5107.10 of the Revised Code. The gross income is compared to the initial eligibility standard pursuant to paragraph (H) of this rule to determine initial eligibility. As set forth in division (D)(2) of section 5107.10 of the Revised Code, the initial eligibility standard will be revised on the first day of July of the year in which the United States department of health and human services issues annual revisions to the federal poverty guidelines.

(2) As set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code, the allocation allowance standard is the amount used when a portion of the income of the individual, who is not a member of the assistance group, must be considered in the calculation of income to be applied to the assistance group. This standard is one hundred per cent of the federal poverty guidelines in effect on July 1, 1997.

(3) The OWF payment standard is the maximum amount of cash assistance an assistance group may receive. Income that is determined to be available to the assistance group as set forth in this rule is deducted from the OWF payment standard to determine the amount of the OWF cash payment.

(a) As set forth in section 5107.04 of the Revised Code, the OWF payment standard shall increase on the first day of each January by the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that is made in the preceding year.

(b) Changes to the OWF payment standards due to the cost-of-living adjustment are issued through an action change transmittal, which can be found in the cash assistance manual at the Ohio department of job and family services website.

(4) The ninety per cent payment standard is the amount that an assistance group on grant reduction due to an erroneous payment retains from its combined income (without disregards), liquid assets, and assistance payment.

(a) The work activity expense allowance and the learning, earning and parenting (LEAP) bonus are added after the payment standard is reduced for grant reduction.

(b) When an erroneous payment is recovered by grant reduction, and the individual who caused the erroneous payment was disqualified due to an intentional program violation as described in Chapter 5101:6-20 of the Administrative Code, and who is still residing with the otherwise eligible assistance group, the remaining assistance group members shall retain (from combined income, liquid assets, and assistance payment) an amount equal to ninety per cent of the payment standard for the assistance group excluding the disqualified individual's needs.

Effective: 03/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2011 and 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.18 , 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5101.17 , 5101.18 , 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.10 , 5107.16 , 5117.10
Prior Effective Dates: 8/1/75, 7/1/76, 9/1/76, 11/1/75, 5/14/77, 12/31/77, 3/10/78, 7/1/78, 8/4/78, 10/26/78, 1/1/79, 4/5/79, 5/1/79, 8/1/79, 9/21/79, 12/1/79, 1/25/80, 2/3/80, 5/29/80, 6/1/81, 9/7/81, 10/1/81, 5/1/82, 7/1/82, 12/1/82, 12/10/82, 12/29/82, 1/1/83, 1/13/83, 7/1/83, 1/1/84, 3/1/84, 6/1/84, 7/1/84 (Temp.), 9/1/84, 9/10/84, 10/1/84 (Emer.), 10/2/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 1/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 7/1/85 (Emer.), 8/1/85 (Emer.), 10/17/85, 1/1/86 (Emer.), 1/2/86, 2/23/86, 4/1/86, 7/1/86, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 2/1/87 (Emer.), 4/1/87, 7/1/87 (Emer.), 8/3/87, 10/1/87, 7/1/88 (Emer.), 9/1/88 (Emer.), 10/1/88 (Emer.), 12/20/88, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 4/1/89, 7/1/89 (Emer.), 8/21/89, 9/23/89, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 11/1/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 1/1/90 (Emer.), 1/29/90, 2/19/90, 3/22/90, 6/1/90, 7/1/90, 9/1/90 (Emer.), 10/1/90, 11/10/90, 5/1/91 (Emer.), 7/1/91, 7/11/91, 7/12/91 (Emer.), 9/22/91, 10/10/91 (Emer.), 12/20/91, 4/1/92, 7/1/92, 10/1/92, 10/1/92 (Emer.), 12/21/92 (Emer.), 1/1/93, 7/1/93, 10/1/93 (Emer.), 12/25/93, 5/18/94, 7/1/94, 8/14/94, 9/1/94, 11/1/94, 3/1/95, 5/1/95, 7/15/95, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/30/95, 3/1/96 (Emer.), 5/30/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 10/8/96, 7/1/97, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/99, 10/1/99, 1/1/00, 7/1/01, 7/1/02, 10/1/05, 7/1/06, 1/1/09, 8/1/10

5101:1-23-20.1 Ohio works first: excluded income.

(A) What is excluded from gross earned income?

(1) All income excluded under the food assistance program regulations, as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative Code.

(2) The gross earnings of a minor child in the assistance group who is a full-time student as defined by the school, unless the minor is a parent. Minor child is defined in section 5107.02 of the Revised Code.

(3) Child support payments paid by an assistance group member for a child outside the assistance group, up to the amount ordered.

(4) The verified amount garnished from the income.

(5) Exclusions from self-employment income as set forth in rules 5101:1-23-20 , 5101:4-4-13 and 5101:4-6-11 of the Administrative Code. A deduction claimed as personal business and/or entertainment expense is not an allowable deduction from self-employment income.

(6) Exclusions from a microenterprise development set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code.

(7) Earned income tax credit payments whether added to the individual's wages or as part of an income tax refund. The individual's wages must be subject to federal withholding or Federal Insurance Contributions Act , 68A Stat. 415 (1954), 26 U.S.C. 3128 ,(FICA) taxes.

(8) Income received due to temporary employment with the bureau of the census for a decennial census.

(9) Any other income amounts that federal statutes or regulations and sections 5101.17 and 5117.10 of the Revised Code require be excluded.

(B) What is excluded from gross unearned income?

(1) All income excluded under the food assistance program regulations, as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-13 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Income of a recipient of supplemental security income (SSI), including the SSI payment.

(3) Income of a child for whom federal, state or local foster care maintenance payments are made, including the foster care payment.

(4) Income of step siblings who are not included in the assistance group.

(5) Payments made with county funds to increase the amount of cash assistance an assistance group receives in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 5107.04 of the Revised Code.

(6) Child support payments paid by an assistance group member for a child outside the assistance group. The amount paid, up to the amount ordered, is excluded.

(7) Contributions for shared living arrangements (i.e. cash payments received by an assistance group from an individual who is not an assistance group member but who resides in the household with the OWF assistance group and shares responsibility for the household expenses through an informal arrangement).

(8) Benefits received under Title VII, nutrition program for the elderly, Older Americans Act of 1965, Public Law (PL) 89-73, (7/14/65), title III, Section 339, as added, PL 106-501, title III, Section 313, (11/13/00), 114 Stat. 2252.

(9) Other payments made by a public or private agency for the purposes of supplementing standards, so long as there is no duplication of payment.

(10) Retroactive payments made as a result of a state hearing.

(11) Experimental housing assistance payments made under annual contributions on contracts entered into under Section 237(f)(2) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 ( 42 U.S.C. 1421b ), as in effect before 1/1/75.

(12) Housing and urban development (HUD) community development block grant funds paid under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 PL 93-383, (08/22/74), 42 U.S.C. 3535(d) , 42 U.S.C. 5309 as amended 1/5/99.

(13) Home energy assistance support and maintenance paid in cash or in kind, PL 97-377 (12/21/82), PL 97-424 (1/06/83), and PL 98-21 (4/20/83).

(14) Payments received under the provisions of the "Aroostook Band of Micmacs," PL 102-171, 25 U.S.C 1721 , (11/26/91).

(15) The verified amount which is garnished from the income.

(16) Earned income tax credit payments.

(17) Any other income amounts that federal statutes or regulations and sections 5101.17 and 5117.10 of the Revised Code require be excluded.

(18) Kinship permanency incentive (KPI) payments made in accordance with the provisions set forth in rule 5101:2-40-04 of the Administrative Code.

(19) The supplemental weekly unemployment compensation payments paid under the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 ( PL 111-5, 26 U.S.C. 3304 , (11/6/09).

Replaces:

5101:1-23-20

Effective: 08/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.18 , 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5101.17 , 5101.18 , 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.10 , 5117.10
Prior Effective Dates: 8/1/75, 7/1/76, 9/1/76, 11/1/75, 5/14/77, 12/31/77, 3/10/78, 7/1/78, 8/4/78, 10/26/78, 1/1/79, 4/5/79, 5/1/79, 8/1/79, 9/21/79, 12/1/79, 1/25/80, 2/3/80, 5/29/80, 6/1/81, 9/7/81, 10/1/81, 5/1/82, 7/1/82, 12/1/82, 12/10/82, 12/29/82, 1/1/83, 1/13/83, 7/1/83, 1/1/84, 3/1/84, 6/1/84, 7/1/84 (Temp.), 9/1/84, 9/10/84, 10/1/84 (Emer.), 10/2/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 1/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 7/1/85 (Emer.), 8/1/85 (Emer.), 10/17/85, 1/1/86 (Emer.), 1/2/86, 2/23/86, 4/1/86, 7/1/86, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 2/1/87 (Emer.), 4/1/87, 7/1/87 (Emer.), 8/3/87, 10/1/87, 7/1/88 (Emer.), 9/1/88 (Emer.), 10/1/88 (Emer.), 12/20/88, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 4/1/89, 7/1/89 (Emer.), 8/21/89, 9/23/89, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 11/1/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 1/1/90 (Emer.), 1/29/90, 2/19/90, 3/22/90, 6/1/90, 7/1/90, 9/1/90 (Emer.), 10/1/90, 11/10/90, 5/1/91 (Emer.), 7/1/91, 7/11/91, 7/12/91 (Emer.), 9/22/91, 10/10/91 (Emer.), 12/20/91, 4/1/92, 7/1/92, 10/1/92, 10/1/92 (Emer.), 12/21/92 (Emer.), 1/1/93, 7/1/93, 10/1/93 (Emer.), 12/25/93, 5/18/94, 7/1/94, 8/14/94, 9/1/94, 11/1/94, 3/1/95, 5/1/95, 7/15/95, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/30/95, 3/1/96 (Emer.), 5/30/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 10/8/96, 7/1/97, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/99, 10/1/99, 1/1/00, 7/1/01, 7/1/02, 10/1/05, 7/1/06, 1/1/09

5101:1-23-20.2 Ohio works first: allocation of income.

(A) When is income allocated to an assistance group?

Income shall be allocated to the Ohio works first (OWF) assistance group from an individual living with the assistance group who is one of the following:

(1) A stepparent who is ceremonially or legally married to the child's parent.

(2) A parent(s) of a minor caretaker when the minor caretaker's needs are included in the assistance group with the minor's child(ren). The minor parent must meet the following conditions:

(a) Under the age of eighteen; and

(b) Lives with his or her parent(s).

(3) A spouse of a specified relative in need, as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code.

(4) A parent who does not meet the citizenship requirements as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code.

(B) When is income not allocated?

Income shall not be allocated to the OWF assistance group from an individual living with the assistance group who is one of the following:

(1) A stepparent when the parent of the OWF child(ren) is ineligible or excluded from the assistance group.

(2) A stepparent of a minor caretaker.

(3) A parent(s) of the minor caretaker when the minor caretaker is not included in the OWF assistance group with his or her eligible child.

(C) How is income allocated?

(1) The allocation allowance standard is the amount used when a portion of the income of an individual identified in paragraph (A) of this rule, must be considered in the calculation of income to be applied to the assistance group. This standard is one hundred per cent of the federal poverty guidelines in effect on July 1, 1997.

(2) The income allocation budget is calculated as follows:

(a) If the individual has gross earned income, deduct the first ninety dollars;

(b) Add the individual's gross unearned income, if applicable, to the figure derived in paragraph (C)(1)(a) of this rule.

(c) Deduct the allocation amount as set forth in paragraph (C)(1) of this rule for the individual listed in paragraph (A) of this rule and any other individual who meets all of the following conditions:

(i) The individual is living in the home.

(ii) The individual's needs are not included in the OWF assistance group. Unless the individual is in receipt of social security income (SSI), or otherwise excluded from the assistance group pursuant to rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code, the parent of the OWF child(ren) must be included in the assistance group, so the parent's needs are not included in the allocation amount to be deducted.

(iii) The individual is claimed or could be claimed for federal personal income tax liability under the internal revenue service's rules by the individual whose income is being allocated.

(d) Deduct the amount of ongoing payments made by the individual listed in paragraph (A) of this rule for individuals who are not living in the home but are claimed or could be claimed by the individual as dependents for federal personal income tax liability under the internal revenue service's rules.

(e) Deduct the amount paid as alimony or child support for individuals not living in the home by the individual whose income is being allocated.

(f) The remainder is the amount that is allocated and treated as unearned income to the OWF assistance group.

(3) A non-recurring lump sum payment received by an individual listed in paragraph (A) of this rule, who is not a part of the OWF assistance group is considered as income available only in the month the payment is received.

Replaces:

5101:1-23-20

Effective: 08/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 08/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.18 , 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5101.17 , 5101.18 , 5107.02 , 5107.05 , 5107.10 , 5117.10
Prior Effective Dates: 8/1/75, 7/1/76, 9/1/76, 11/1/75, 5/14/77, 12/31/77, 3/10/78, 7/1/78, 8/4/78, 10/26/78, 1/1/79, 4/5/79, 5/1/79, 8/1/79, 9/21/79, 12/1/79, 1/25/80, 2/3/80, 5/29/80, 6/1/81, 9/7/81, 10/1/81, 5/1/82, 7/1/82, 12/1/82, 12/10/82, 12/29/82, 1/1/83, 1/13/83, 7/1/83, 1/1/84, 3/1/84, 6/1/84, 7/1/84 (Temp.), 9/1/84, 9/10/84, 10/1/84 (Emer.), 10/2/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 1/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 7/1/85 (Emer.), 8/1/85 (Emer.), 10/17/85, 1/1/86 (Emer.), 1/2/86, 2/23/86, 4/1/86, 7/1/86, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 2/1/87 (Emer.), 4/1/87, 7/1/87 (Emer.), 8/3/87, 10/1/87, 7/1/88 (Emer.), 9/1/88 (Emer.), 10/1/88 (Emer.), 12/20/88, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 4/1/89, 7/1/89 (Emer.), 8/21/89, 9/23/89, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 11/1/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 1/1/90 (Emer.), 1/29/90, 2/19/90, 3/22/90, 6/1/90, 7/1/90, 9/1/90 (Emer.), 10/1/90, 11/10/90, 5/1/91 (Emer.), 7/1/91, 7/11/91, 7/12/91 (Emer.), 9/22/91, 10/10/91 (Emer.), 12/20/91, 4/1/92, 7/1/92, 10/1/92, 10/1/92 (Emer.), 12/21/92 (Emer.), 1/1/93, 7/1/93, 10/1/93 (Emer.), 12/25/93, 5/18/94, 7/1/94, 8/14/94, 9/1/94, 11/1/94, 3/1/95, 5/1/95, 7/15/95, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/30/95, 3/1/96 (Emer.), 5/30/96, 7/1/96 (Emer.), 10/8/96, 7/1/97, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/99, 10/1/99, 1/1/00, 7/1/01, 7/1/02, 10/1/05, 7/1/06, 1/1/09

5101:1-23-23 Income tax refunds.

Income tax refunds received by a member of the assistance group or an individual whose income is considered in determining eligibility are exempt from consideration as income.

Eff 6-1-83; 10-1-89 (Emer.); 12-16-89
Rule promulgated under: RC 111.15
Rule authorized by: RC 5107.02

5101:1-23-40 Ohio works first: payments.

(A) General principles

(1) "Ohio works first (OWF) payments" are those payments made to an assistance group which represent the difference between the countable income and the appropriate OWF payment standard. All payments are calculated based on a thirty-day month.

(2) Payments are delivered unconditionally to the parent, specified relative, legal custodian or legal guardian, except as described in paragraph (J) of this rule.

(3) When an assistance group is eligible for a certain level of assistance on the first day of the month, the assistance group is eligible for at least that level of assistance for the entire month. A change in circumstances during the month does not reduce the level of assistance for which the assistance group is eligible that month, with the exception of the following provisions:

(a) OWF cannot be provided for a minor child, parent or specified relative who, without good cause, has been, or is expected to be, absent from the home for a period of more than forty-five consecutive days. The period of ineligibility begins with the forty-sixth day from the date that the member left the household, unless the provision set forth in division (E)(1) of section 5107.10 of the Revised Code is met.

A parent(s) or specified relative who fails to report that the absence of a child will exceed or has exceeded forty-five consecutive days as set forth in rule 5101:1-3-04 of the Administrative Code is also ineligible for a specified period of time. The beginning date of ineligibility shall be the same day determined as the beginning day of ineligibility for the absent child. The ineligibility continues until the day that the absence was reported by the parent(s) or specified relative or was discovered by the county agency.

(b) A child who was eligible for, and receiving OWF benefits on the first of the month, who is removed from the assistance group during the month and placed in IV-E foster care, is not eligible to receive both OWF and IV-E foster care in that month, unless the provision set forth in division (E)(1) of section 5107.10 of the Revised Code is met.

(B) Beginning date of OWF

(1) The "beginning date of OWF" to eligible applicants is the date all eligibility factors are met but not prior to the date of application.

(2) The date all eligibility factors are met is not necessarily the date verifications are provided to the county agency. Verification merely establishes that an eligibility factor has been met. To have the date of application be the beginning date of OWF, verification must confirm eligibility on the date of application.

(a) If the verification shows that the factor was met on a date different from the date of application, the date of verification shall be used if later.

(b) If verification does not indicate that the eligibility factor was met, the beginning date of OWF shall be the date verification was provided to the county agency.

(3) The following eligibility factors have special considerations that apply when determining the beginning date of OWF. The date these requirements are met will be the beginning date of OWF if all other factors were met on or before the date.

(a) Pregnancy as an eligibility factor is met when it is medically verified that the child is expected to be born in the month the payment is made or within the following three months, and who, if such child had been born and was living with the mother in the month of payment, would be eligible for OWF.

(b) The social security number requirement is met when the applicant furnishes or applies for a social security number.

(c) For newborns, if the social security number is applied for no later than the first day of the second month following birth or following the mother's discharge from the hospital, the social security requirement is considered met on the child's date of birth.

(d) The beginning date of OWF eligibility for a teen parent who is required to enroll in school as a condition of OWF pursuant to the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-50 of the Administrative Code, is the date that the individual enrolls in school if all other eligibility factors were met on or before that date.

(C) Concurrent receipt of assistance

(1) "Concurrent receipt of assistance" is defined as the receipt of assistance by an assistance group under more than one public assistance money grant in the same month. The receipt of public assistance, from two or more different states, for a duplicate time period, also constitutes concurrent receipt of assistance.

(2) An assistance group member shall not be eligible to receive or have his needs covered by OWF in more than one assistance group or more than one county in any given month. The exception to this provision is the removal of a child by the public children services agency, as set forth in section 5107.10 of the Revised Code. In these situations, OWF could be authorized for up to six payment months for the following assistance groups:

(a) The OWF assistance group where the child(ren) was removed from and an OWF assistance group where the child(ren) is placed; or

(b) The OWF assistance group where the child(ren) was removed from and a Title IV-E foster care assistance group where the child(ren) is placed.

(3) It is not appropriate to determine that an assistance group member is ineligible for inclusion in a new assistance group solely because that member's needs are still included in a former assistance group. The county agency must determine at what point the assistance group member became ineligible for inclusion in the first assistance group. The county agency shall then determine eligibility and authorize assistance for the new assistance group. The fact that the assistance group member's needs have not been removed from the former assistance group shall not preclude eligibility or delay the beginning date of OWF for the new assistance group.

(4) An individual whose needs are met by the supplemental security income (SSI) program shall not be eligible to have his needs included in an OWF assistance group concurrently.

(5) If the assistance group is receiving or is believed to be receiving cash assistance from another state, the county agency must determine at what point the assistance group became ineligible for cash assistance in the former state prior to approving OWF.

(D) Concurrent receipt of disability financial assistance (DFA) and OWF and repayment (1) An assistance group may receive OWF and DFA in the same month, provided that the amount of DFA received is deducted from the OWF grant amount.

(2) The amount of OWF used to repay the DFA program for the DFA provided for the month is determined by subtracting the amount DFA the individual was eligible to receive from the amount of DFA already issued for the month.

(3) In situations where there is a separation of the DFA assistance group and part of the group is eligible for OWF, the county agency shall determine the DFA that the person was eligible for by taking the DFA grant issued and dividing by the number of persons in the DFA assistance group. The amount obtained is the DFA for one person. The county agency shall then multiply that figure by the number of the DFA assistance group members eligible for OWF.

(E) Assistance groups eligible for less than ten dollars after recoupment of an overpayment

When an assistance group is eligible to receive monthly recurring OWF of at least ten dollars, but recoupment of an overpayment reduces the recurring monthly amount to less than ten dollars, the assistance group shall be issued the amount of the OWF.

(F) Adding an individual to an existing OWF assistance group

(1) An individual is considered to be a part of the assistance group as of the date the individual becomes a required assistance group member in accordance with rule 5101:1-23-10 of the Administrative Code and meets all eligibility requirements as set forth in paragraph (F)(2) of this rule.

(2) If an individual is being added to the OWF case, the beginning date of OWF is:

(a) The date that the individual enters the home, if the reporting responsibilities as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code and all other eligibility factors are met; or

(b) The date that the change was reported to the county agency or the date that the county agency became aware of the change, if the reporting responsibilities as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code are not met, and all other eligibility factors are met.

(c) For newborns being added to the OWF case, the beginning date of OWF is the date of birth, provided the reporting responsibilities and all other eligibility factors are met.

(d) For specified relatives in need being added to the OWF case, the beginning date is the date that assistance is requested and all other eligibility factors are met.

(3) The county agency determines eligibility for the assistance group using the individual's needs and income from the date the individual is a required assistance group member, or in the case of the specified relative in need, the date that assistance is requested and all other eligibility factors are met.

(4) OWF can only be authorized for the period of time in which all eligibility factors have been met. For purposes of determining the beginning date of OWF, enumeration and child support assignment may be deemed to be met retroactive to the date the individual was a required assistance group member. The deeming of these eligibility requirements is only allowed if:

(a) The individual's presence in the home is reported to the county agency on a timely basis as outlined in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code; and

(b) The assistance group cooperates with the county agency in satisfying all required eligibility factors.

(5) If the assistance group fails to meet these conditions, the county agency shall not deem that enumeration and child support assignment requirements have been met.

(6) When the county agency receives written notification from a hospital indicating that a child has been born, the county agency shall follow the provisions as set forth in paragraph (F) of this rule.

(G) Prorated payments

(1) The county agency shall prorate the payment when an assistance group has eligibility for less than a full month's grant. Retroactive benefits may be authorized as the result of a hearing decision or court order or if OWF was erroneously denied, terminated, or delayed and a corrective action is being taken.

(2) A prorated payment may be required when OWF is approved during a month in which DFA has been issued.

(3) Time limits, as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-01 of the Administrative Code, may be applicable for any prorated or retroactive OWF payment. The assistance group has the option to decline a prorated month of benefits.

(4) Support services (e.g., transportation) and learning, earning and parenting (LEAP) program allowances are never prorated.

(H) Delivery of the OWF benefit

(1) The benefit is delivered only to the assistance group or protective payee. If the child is living with a parent, specified relative, custodian or legal guardian, the benefit shall be paid to that individual, unless there is a protective payee designated to receive payment as set forth in paragraph (I) of this rule.

(2) For two-parent assistance groups, the payee will be decided by the assistance group and should be the parent who will act in the best interest of the family.

(3) In an emergency situation which deprives an eligible dependent child of care from the parent, specified relative, custodian or legal guardian, that individual may designate another person to act as the protective payee during the emergency period, if that person is willing to be so designated. If the individual is not capable of making a choice, the county agency shall designate a protective payee.

(4) The emergency period must not exceed a maximum of two consecutive months following the month in which the emergency occurred. If the parent, specified relative, custodian or legal guardian will not resume care of the child within that period, or if it appears doubtful, alternative plans for the child's care must be completed within that period of time.

(I) Protective payee

(1) A protective payee is a representative of the assistance group who is responsible for receiving and managing the payment on behalf of the assistance group.

(2) Situations in which it is appropriate to have a protective payee include:

(a) The assistance group where a member is serving a permanent disqualification penalty due to an intentional program violation under the former aid to families with dependent children program.

(b) The assistance group with a minor parent or pregnant minor, as set forth in section 5107.24 of the Revised Code. The protective payment continues until the minor marries, turns eighteen years of age, or the adult parent, specified relative, custodian or legal guardian cannot or will not continue as the protective payee. Protective payments are not required for a minor residing in an adult-supervised supportive living arrangement as set forth in section 5107.24 of the Revised Code.

(c) The assistance group has a money mismangement situation. "Money mismanagement" is defined as a demonstrated inability to manage funds. A determination of mismanagement shall not be made solely on the fact that bills are not paid in a timely manner. The following are examples of money mismanagement situations and are not all inclusive:

(i) Payments received by the parent, specified relative, custodian or legal guardian have not been or are not currently used in the best interest of the child.

(ii) The parent, specified relative, custodian or legal guardian has misused funds to the extent that allowing that individual to manage the OWF grant is a threat to the health and safety of the child(ren).

(3) The selection of the protective payee shall be made by the assistance group or by the county agency with participation and consent from the assistance group. The protective payee may be a relative or friend of the assistance group, an agency providing protective services or a member of the assistance group. If no protective payee can be located, the disqualified member or minor parent can continue to receive the benefits in their name.

(a) Excluded from serving as the protective payee are:

(i) The county agency director.

(ii) The eligibility determiner for the assistance group.

(iii) Any county agency employee responsible for any fiscal aspects of the assistance group.

(iv) County agency special investigative or resource staff.

(v) Landlords, grocers, or any other vendor of goods or services dealing directly with the assistance group.

Replaces: 5101:1-23-40

Effective: 05/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 05/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/74, 1/1/75, 11/1/76, 12/31/77, 10/1/78, 10/26/78,
12/1/78, 5/1/79, 9/21/79, 12/1/81, 5/1/82, 7/1/83, 7/11/83, 11/1/83 (temp.), 11/11/83, 1/1/84, 6/1/84 (temp.), 6/1/84, 7/1/84, 7/15/84 (temp.), 7/15/84, 10/1/84 (temp.), 10/1/84, 10/2/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 1/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 7/1/85 (Emer.), 9/29/85, 4/1/86, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 1/1/88, 4/1/88 (Emer.), 6/10/88, 9/1/88 (Emer.), 11/3/88, 4/1/89 (Emer.), 4/24/89, 7/1/90, 10/1/90, 5/1/91, 10/1/91 (Emer.), 12/20/91, 5/1/92, 5/1/93, 9/1/93, 9/1/94, 5/1/95, 8/1/95 (Emer.), 10/30/95, 1/1/96, 10/1/96 (Emer.), 12/15/96, 5/1/97, 10/1/97 (Emer.), 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 10/1/99, 7/7/01, 3/1/02, 08/29/03 (Emer.), 11/1/03, 7/1/07

5101:1-23-50 Ohio works first: learning, earning and parenting program.

The learning, earning and parenting (LEAP) program, as set forth in section 5107.30 of the Revised Code, is a program designed to encourage pregnant and parenting teens to attend and complete high school or the equivalent.

(A) Who is eligible for LEAP?

With the exception of teens who have obtained a high school diploma or the equivalent, teen custodial parents, and pregnant teens under the age of nineteen who are applying for or in receipt of Ohio works first (OWF), are potentially subject to the LEAP program requirements. These requirements apply to teens who live on their own and to teens who live with their parents, other caretaker relatives, legal guardians or legal custodians. The requirements apply to both the teen custodial mother and the teen custodial father of the child and to all pregnant teens.

(B) The following definitions apply to the LEAP program:

(1) "Attendance bonus" means a sixty-two dollar financial bonus added to the OWF payment for the assistance group for each LEAP teen included in the assistance group who meets the LEAP attendance requirements set forth in this rule.

(2) "Attendance month" means the calendar month in which the teen attended school. Attendance in the month is evaluated in order to determine if an attendance bonus is issued or an attendance sanction is proposed in the corresponding payment month.

(3) "Attendance sanction" means that a LEAP teen with more than two unexcused absences in a month is:

(a) Not eligible for the attendance bonus payment; and

(b) The assistance payment for the assistance group containing the LEAP teen will be reduced by sixty-two dollars.

(4) "Enrollment bonus" means a one-time one-hundred dollar financial bonus added to the OWF payment for the assistance group for each LEAP teen included in the assistance group who enrolls in school for the first time after being notified of LEAP program participation.

(5) "Excused absence" means the reason for the absence meets the school district's definition of a valid reason for the teen not to attend school or it was not an absence excusable under the school's attendance rules but upon review by the county agency at the request of the teen, it was acceptable under the good cause reasons provided in the LEAP program.

(6) "Full day" means the entire school day as defined by the school district.

(7) "Grade completion bonus" means a one-hundred dollar financial bonus added to the OWF payment for the assistance group for each LEAP teen included in the assistance group for each subsequent grade completed, except grade twelve. Grade completion is defined by the local school district.

(8) "Graduation bonus" means a one-time five-hundred dollar financial bonus for each LEAP teen included in the assistance group who has graduated from high school or obtained a high school equivalence diploma .

(9) "High school equivalence diploma " means a diploma attesting to the achievement of the equivalent of a high school education as measured by scores on the tests of general educational development (GED) as published by the "American Council on Education." High school equivalence diploma includes a certificate of high school equivalence. This program formerly issued the general equivalency diploma or GED.

(10) "Home education" means education primarily directed and provided by the parent or guardian of the child under division (A) of section 3321.04 of the Revised Code for the child who is of compulsory school age and is not enrolled in a nonpublic school.

(11) "Internet or community-based computer school", as set forth in section 3314.02 of the Revised Code, means a community school in which students work primarily from their residences on assignments provided via an internet or other computer-based instructional method that does not rely on regular classroom instruction internet or community-based schools are also sometimes referred to as 'electronic schools,' or 'e-schools'.

(12) "Retrospective cycle" means a four sequential month period. The four month period begins with the attendance month, followed by two processing months, and ends with the payment month.

(13) "School" means an educational program which leads to a high school diploma or the equivalent and includes the following: a public school; a private school; a vocational, technical, or adult education school; or a course of study meeting the standards established by the state of Ohio for granting a high school equivalence diploma.

(14) "School attendance officer" means an employee designated by the school who is responsible for matters relating to school attendance and truancy.

(15) "School district" means the territorial unit for school administration as specified in section 3313.64 of the Revised Code.

(16) "School year" for the LEAP program is September through May. These are the months for which attendance will be monitored and enrollment/attendance bonuses and attendance sanctions will be given. This definition does not apply to teens enrolled in a GED program. The school year for GED program purposes is the twelve-month period beginning with the first month of mandatory attendance.

(17) "Unexcused absence" means the reason for the absence does not meet the school district's definition of a valid reason for the teen not to attend school and upon review by the county agency, at the request of the teen, the reason also does not meet any of the LEAP program good cause reasons.

(C) What is the LEAP assessment and orientation?

All teens who are under the age of nineteen, who have not graduated from high school or received a high school equivalence diploma or equivalent, and who are not exempt from participation in LEAP pursuant to the conditions set forth in paragraphs (D)(1) to (D)(3) of this rule, are required to attend an assessment and orientation interview.

(1) The assessment interview shall include:

(a) A discussion of the LEAP program goals.

(b) The criteria for receiving the LEAP bonuses and sanctions.

(c) The types of educational opportunities available in the community.

(d) The types of supportive services available in the community.

(e) The rights and responsibilities of program participants.

(f) The determination of whether the teen meets one of the exemptions from participation as set forth in paragraphs (D)(4) to (D)(10) of this rule.

(2) Documents provided to and/or completed by the participant shall include:

(a) The JFS 06905 "LEAP -Learning, Earning And Parenting Program Agreement" (rev. 01/2006). The JFS 06905 is not necessary if the LEAP participant is subject to the self-sufficiency contract requirements of section 5107.14 of the Revised Code, as delineated in paragraph (C)(4) of this rule.

(b) The JFS 06906, "LEAP - Learning, Earning And Parenting Program Rules Booklet: Questions and Answers." (rev. 01/2006)

(c) The JFS 06907 "LEAP - Learning, Earning And Parenting School Information Release Form." (rev. 08/2003)

(3) Both the teen and the assistance group payee, if different, shall be given a copy of the JFS 06905 and the JFS 06906. The teen and the assistance group payee, if different, should be encouraged to sign the JFS 06905; however, the signature is not a requirement. The teen is subject to the requirements of the LEAP program even if the JFS 06905 is not signed. The county agency shall document in the assistance group record that a copy of the JFS 06905 and the JFS 06906 were given to the teen and the assistance group payee, if different.

(4) Section 5107.14 of the Revised Code provides that in order to participate in OWF, the minor head of household or each adult member of the assistance group must enter into a written self-sufficiency contract with the county agency. When a county agency has adopted into its self-sufficiency contract, the rights and responsibilities and penalties for failure to comply with LEAP program requirements set forth in this rule, the JFS 06905 is not required to be completed in the LEAP assessment and orientation interview.

(5) The county agency shall assign a case manager to the LEAP program participant and the participant's family to assist the participant in promoting personal responsibility and in gaining self-sufficiency skills in order to reduce and/or eliminate dependency on cash assistance.

(6) Reassessment shall be an ongoing process. The teen shall be reassessed at least once per year. The county agency shall attempt to schedule reassessment when the teen is scheduled to enroll in the new school year. The county agency shall review with the teen, at a minimum, the JFS 06905. The reassessment interview shall serve to review school progress and to address any new barriers to continued attendance. No face-to-face interview is required to complete the reassessment.

(D) Who meets the exemptions from LEAP participation?

A teen who meets any of the conditions set forth in this paragraph is exempt from LEAP participation as long as the teen continues to meet the exemption criteria. While exempt, the teen does not earn the LEAP enrollment, attendance, grade completion and graduation bonuses or attendance sanctions as set forth in paragraphs (G), (L), (P), and (M) respectively of this rule.

With the exception of teens who are under the age of eighteen who meet the exemptions set forth in paragraphs (D)(1) to (D)(3) of this rule, all exempt teens under the age of eighteen must be assigned to an alternative educational or training program defined by the county agency, in order to be eligible for OWF. In addition, all exempt LEAP teens who are age eighteen, except those teens who meet the exemptions set forth in paragraphs (D)(1) to (D)(3) of this rule, must be either assigned to an alternative educational or training program defined by the county agency or referred for participation in a work activity in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 5107.40 to 5107.70 of the Revised Code.

The exemptions from LEAP participation are:

(1) The teen is the caretaker of a child under the age of twelve weeks old.

(2) The teen is excused from compulsory school attendance in accordance with section 3321.04 of the Revised Code for the purpose of home education.

(3) The teen is participating in an internet or community-based computer school as defined in section 3314.02 of the Revised Code.

(4) Child care services are necessary for the teen to attend school, but child care is unavailable.

(5) Transportation to or from the teen's school is necessary and there is no public, private, or county agency supported transportation available.

(6) Transportation to or from child care is necessary and there is no public, private, or county agency supported transportation available.

(7) The teen is reasonably prevented from attending school by a physical or mental illness which is expected to last one month or longer.

(8) The child of the teen parent is ill with a physical or mental illness which is expected to last at least one month or longer and this requires full-time care by the teen.

(9) The teen is unable to attend school because the teen was expelled from school and another school or GED program is not available because:

(a) There is no public or private school or GED program within reasonable travel time or distance which will accept the teen; or

(b) There is a public or private school which will accept the teen but the tuition charge is prohibitive and the teen's school district refuses to pay the tuition.

(10) There are other exceptional circumstances that reasonably prevent the teen from attending school.

(E) What if there is a failure to meet an assessment or orientation requirement?

Teens identified as potentially subject to LEAP program requirements, and who do not meet the exemption conditions set forth in paragraphs (D)(1) to (D)(3) of this rule, shall be scheduled for an assessment interview and orientation as set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule. Failure, without good cause to meet the assessment and orientation requirement will result in one of the following consequences set forth in paragraphs (E)(1) to (E)(2) of this rule.

If the county agency determines through available information that the teen is exempt as set forth in paragraphs (D)(1) to (D)(3) of this rule, neither of the consequences set forth in paragraphs (E)(1) to (E)(2) of this rule shall be proposed while the teen meets the exemption.

(1) Teen under the age of eighteen

A teen under the age of eighteen who is not exempt, as set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule, who fails without good cause to meet the assessment and orientation requirements is ineligible to participate in OWF until the teen complies. However, this consequence affects only the teen and does not affect the eligibility of the teen's child(ren),

(2) Teen who is age eighteen

A teen who is age eighteen who is not exempt as set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule, and who fails without good cause to meet the assessment and orientation requirements shall be referred for participation in a work activity, in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 5107.40 to 5107.70 of the Revised Code.

(F) Who must enroll in and attend school or an alternative educational program?

(1) A teen under the age of eighteen who does not meet any of the exemptions set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule shall be assigned to enroll in and attend school.

(2) A teen under the age of eighteen, who meets one of the exemptions in paragraphs (D)(4) to (D)(10) of this rule shall be assigned to an alternative educational or training program defined by the county agency. A teen assigned to this activity does not earn the LEAP enrollment, attendance, grade completion or graduation bonuses, or the LEAP attendance sanctions.

(3) A teen who is age eighteen who does not meet one of the exemptions set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule shall be assigned to enroll in and attend school.

(4) A teen who is age eighteen who meets one of the exemptions set forth in paragraphs (D)(4) to (D)(10) of this rule shall be either:

(a) Assigned to an alternative educational or training program defined by the county agency. A teen assigned to this activity does not earn the LEAP enrollment, attendance, grade completion or graduation bonuses, or the LEAP attendance sanctions; or

(b) Referred for participation in a work activity, in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 5107.40 to 5107.70 of the Revised Code.

(G) What are the requirements for school enrollment?

Within ten calendar days after the assessment and orientation, a LEAP teen who does not meet an exemption as set forth in paragraph (D) of this rule and who is determined by the county agency to be required to enroll in school as provided in paragraph (F) of this rule, shall be required to provide proof of enrollment in a school. This time period may be extended up to thirty days when there is documentation that school arrangements are being made. When enrollment is not possible because school enrollment personnel are not available (e.g., school is not open for enrollment during the summer months), the requirement shall be delayed until compliance is possible. The county agency shall document any delay.

A one-time enrollment bonus of one-hundred dollars is issued for each LEAP program participant included in the assistance group for the first enrollment following notification of the LEAP program requirements. The enrollment bonus is issued to the assistance group payee based upon the date of enrollment.

(1) When enrollment is verified prior to the beginning of the school year, the enrollment bonus shall be issued for the first month of the school year or for the month the teen is scheduled to begin attendance, whichever is later.

(2) When enrollment is verified after the beginning of the school year, the enrollment bonus shall be issued for the month for which the teen is scheduled to begin attendance. If the teen is enrolled and attending school prior to the assessment and orientation, the enrollment bonus shall be issued for the month of assessment.

(H) What are the consequences for a failure to enroll as assigned?

When the teen fails to provide enrollment verification as specified in paragraph (G) of this rule, the county agency shall send the JFS 06904 "LEAP-Learning, Earning And Parenting Seven-Day Good Cause Notice" (rev. 08/2003) or the client registry information system-enhanced (CRIS-E) equivalent in order for the teen or the assistance group payee to provide good cause for having failed to provide enrollment verification. If the county agency subsequently determines that good cause does not exist, the county agency shall propose one of the following actions :

(1) A teen who is under the age of eighteen who fails without good cause to enroll in school as assigned, is ineligible to participate in OWF. However, this consequence affects only the teen and does not affect the eligibility of the teen's child(ren).

(2) A teen who is age eighteen who fails without good cause to enroll in school as assigned shall be referred for participation in a work activity as set forth in sections 5107.40 to 5107.70 of the Revised Code.

(I) How is school attendance tracked?

The county agency shall request that the school attendance officer in each school that has a LEAP program participant enrolled to provide information monthly to the county agency about each participant's attendance. The county agency shall also request that each school make available the attendance records and other school records of a participant if requested by the county agency or other agency acting on the behalf of the county agency. The signed JFS 06907 "LEAP - Learning, Earning And Parenting Program School Information Release Form" (rev. 08/2003) shall be provided by the county agency for each student.

(1) The Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) will mail the CRIS-E equivalent of the JFS 06903 "LEAP - Learning, Earning And Parenting School Absence Report" (rev. 07/1996) to each school each month containing the name of the LEAP program participant. The county agency shall request that the school review the actual attendance of the teen and to record the specific days the teen was absent and whether the absence was excused or unexcused. If the school monitors attendance by half days, the county agency shall request that any half-day absences be reported. The county agency shall request that the school forward the completed attendance information to the county agency to be received by the fifth calendar day following the end of the attendance month. If the fifth calendar day falls on a weekend or a state or federal legal holiday, the report shall be received by the next working day. The county agency shall review this information within five days of receipt.

(2) If the school in which the teen is currently enrolled does not furnish the attendance information timely, and the county agency has not received information to the contrary, the teen shall be considered to have met the school attendance requirements in the attendance month.

(3) If the school does not keep daily attendance records, and the county agency has not received information to the contrary, the teen shall be considered to have met the school attendance requirement.

(4) The county agency may coordinate attendance reporting with the adult basic literacy and education coordinator in the county. To the extent possible, the adult and basic literacy and education instructor may be able to indicate the reason for an absence.

(5) When the school the participant is attending is not in regular session, including during holiday and summer breaks, or the teachers are on strike, the participant shall not be required to attend.

(J) How will LEAP attendance information be reviewed?

The CDJFS shall review the attendance information provided by the school.

(1) When the information reported under the category of "unexcused absences" is greater than the number stated in paragraph (L) of this rule, the county agency shall send the JFS 06904 or CRIS-E equivalent to the assistance group payee in order to gain information concerning the "unexcused absences."

(2) When the total number of absences (excused and unexcused) reported exceeds the number of allowable absences and the number of unexcused absences is within the allowable limit, the county agency shall send the JFS 06904 or the CRIS-E equivalent to the assistance group payee to gain information.

(3) If the county agency determines that good cause exists for an unexcused absence, the "unexcused absence" shall be considered "excused" for purposes of determining if attendance requirements have been met. If the county agency evaluates the reasons for the unexcused absence and finds good cause does not exist, or if the assistance group fails to respond within seven days to the JFS 06904, the "unexcused absence(s)" will be used in the determination of an imposition of a sanction.

(K) How is GED and adult basic literacy education participation information reviewed?

GED programs do not routinely capture information regarding the reason for a student's absence. For this reason, when the school reports any absences for a teen participating in a GED program, the county agency must contact the teen to determine the reason for the absence. The county agency shall send the JFS 06904 or the CRIS-E equivalent. The teen or assistance group payee, if different, shall have seven days to respond. The county agency shall evaluate the reason given for the absence using the good cause criteria set forth in paragraph (N) of this rule and process the information in accordance with paragraph (P) of this rule. If there is no response to the JFS 06904 or CRIS-E equivalent, the county agency shall assume that the absences reported by the school were unexcused absences.

(1) Teens enrolled in a GED or other high school equivalency program shall be required to attend classes up to the scheduled date of the GED test.

(2) The county agency shall attempt to coordinate attendance reporting with the adult basic literacy education coordinator in the county. Adult basic literacy education instructors may be able to indicate the reason for an absence.

(L) What is the LEAP attendance bonus?

A sixty-two dollar bonus shall be issued for each month for which the attendance requirement is met. The attendance standard shall be considered to have been met if the LEAP program participant has four or fewer total absences in a month with no more than two of such absences unexcused.

(1) Teens with two or fewer unexcused absences but more than four total countable absences in a month shall not be eligible for the sixty-two dollar attendance bonus payment.

(2) Teens enrolled in a GED program shall be required to attend the number of classes per month listed below in order to receive the attendance bonus:

(a) If classes are held five days a week, teen must attend all classes but four a month. No more than two of the total absences may be unexcused absences.

(b) If classes are held four days a week, teen must attend all classes but three a month. No more than two of the absences may be unexcused.

(c) If classes are held three days a week, teen must attend all classes but two a month. No more than one of the total absences may be unexcused.

(d) If classes are held two days a week, teen must attend all classes but two a month. No more than one of the total absences may be unexcused.

(e) If classes are held one day a week, teen must attend all classes but one a month. The absence must be an excused absence.

(3) A participant enrolled in a GED program who misses more than the total number of allowable class absences but does not exceed the number of allowable unexcused class absences shall not be eligible for the sixty-two dollar attendance bonus payment.

(4) Absences shall be waived if the absence is the result of the teen's or the teen's child's illness or injury, when the illness or injury is verified by a physician's statement. The county agency shall waive an absence if there is documentation that the absence was a result of a medical appointment for the teen or the teen's child that could not be scheduled outside of school hours. The county agency shall document that the absence has been waived .

(5) The attendance bonus is added to the assistance payment and issued in accordance with paragraph (P) of this rule.

(6) A teen who complies with the attendance requirements as delineated in paragraphs (L)(1) to (L)(2) of this rule shall be eligible to receive the attendance bonus as a part of the recurring OWF payment.

(a) A teen subject to mandatory participation who fails to comply with the attendance requirements shall be subject to a sanction in accordance with paragraph (M) of this rule.

(b) During the first three months of attendance in the school year, beginning with the month for which the enrollment bonus was issued, the JFS 06903 shall be received and reviewed for compliance with the LEAP program attendance requirements. Issuance of the bonus payment or application of the sanction based on attendance shall be determined retrospectively.

(M) What is the LEAP attendance sanction?

Teens with more than two unexcused absences in a month shall not be eligible for the attendance bonus payment and the assistance payment for the assistance group containing the LEAP program participant will be reduced by sixty-two dollars.

(1) For a teen enrolled in a GED program, the assistance payment for the assistance group containing the mandatory LEAP program participant shall be reduced by sixty-two dollars if the teen misses more than the total number of unexcused absences allowed in paragraph (L) of this rule.

(2) The teen or assistance group payee shall be required to report to the county agency within ten calendar days when the teen ceases to attend or officially withdraws from school. For a mandatory participant who has enrolled in school, and subsequently officially withdraws from school, one of the following consequences is applicable:

(a) For a teen who is under the age of eighteen, the teen is ineligible to participate beginning with the month following the month of withdrawal from school. The OWF payment for the assistance group shall be reduced accordingly. The prior notice requirements set forth in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code are applicable.

(b) For a teen who is age eighteen when the teen ceases to attend or officially withdraws from school, the teen shall be referred to participate in a work activity in accordance with sections 5107.40 to 5107.70 of the Revised Code.

(3) The reduction in the OWF payment as the result of the mandatory participant having excessive unexcused absences will be applied retrospectively as delineated in paragraph (P) of this rule. The reduction in the OWF payment as the result of school withdrawal will be effective the month after the month of the withdrawal.

(N) What is considered good cause for non-attendance?

A teen shall be considered to have good cause for not attending school in the following situations. The county agency may require medical or other verification for all of the following circumstances:

(1) The teen was ill, injured, or incapacitated and was reasonably prevented from attending school;

(2) The child of the teen parent was ill, or injured and required care by the teen;

(3) The child care ordinarily used by the teen was temporarily unavailable and no alternative child care was available;

(4) The teen had a scheduled or emergency appointment for medical, dental or vision care;

(5) The child of the teen had a scheduled or emergency appointment for medical, dental or vision care that required the presence of the teen;

(6) A family member was ill and required full-time care by the teen. A "family member" is defined as an individual related by blood, marriage, adoption, legal assignment (foster parent) or is the other parent of the teen custodial parent's child. The family member must live in the same household as the teen;

(7) A member of the immediate family died. "Immediate family" is defined as a husband, wife, parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, sibling, step-sibling, adoptive sibling, child, stepchild, or the other parent of the teen custodial parent's child. A maximum of five consecutive school days of leave shall be allowed;

(8) A more distant family member died. This includes cousins, uncles, aunts, nephews and nieces. A maximum of three consecutive school days of leave shall be allowed;

(9) Transportation to or from the teen's school is necessary and the transportation ordinarily used was temporarily unavailable;

(10) Transportation to or from child care is necessary and the transportation ordinarily used was temporarily unavailable;

(11) The teen had a scheduled or emergency appointment at a court or the county agency;

(12) Other exceptional circumstance existed that reasonably prevented the teen from attending school.

(O) What happens when an individual fails to comply with their assignment?

Teens who meet one of the exemptions set forth in paragraphs (D)(4) to (D)(10) of this rule must be assigned to an alternative educational or training program defined by the county agency, in order to be eligible to participate in OWF. Failure by the teen to comply without good cause with this assignment will result in one of the following two consequences:

(1) A teen who is under eighteen who fails without good cause to comply with the alternative educational or training program assignment defined by the county agency is ineligible to participate in OWF.

(2) A teen who is age eighteen who fails without good cause to comply with the alternative educational or training program assignment defined by the county agency shall be referred for participation in a work activity as set forth in sections 5107.40 to 5107.70 of the Revised Code.

(P) What are the grade completion and graduation bonuses?

(1) Grade completion bonus

A one-hundred dollar grade-completion bonus shall be issued for each LEAP program participant included in the assistance group for each subsequent grade completed, except grade twelve, in a school or alternative school. Grade completion shall be defined by the local school district.

(a) The grade completion bonus shall be issued upon verification from the school that the LEAP program participant has achieved grade completion for the school year. The grade completion bonus is not issued in the retrospective cycle.

(b) Grade completion bonuses shall not be made for participants in adult basic literacy and education courses.

(2) Graduation bonus

A one-time five-hundred dollar bonus shall be issued for a LEAP program participant who has graduated from high school or obtained a high school equivalence diploma. The graduation bonus shall be issued upon verification that the LEAP teen has graduated or obtained a high school equivalence diploma. The graduation bonus is not issued in the retrospective cycle.

(Q) What is the LEAP retrospective cycle?

(1) The LEAP retrospective cycle is comprised of four sequential months. The cycle begins with the attendance month, continues with two processing months, and ends with the payment month. The retrospective cycle remains in place throughout the school year. Attendance shall not be monitored for teens attending summer school. However, when the teen is enrolled and attending a GED program that begins or continues during the summer months, attendance shall be monitored and issuance of the attendance bonus or application of the sanction based on attendance shall be determined using the retrospective cycle.

(2) The following conditions relate to the application of the attendance bonus and the sanction:

(a) The attendance bonus shall not be issued if there is no OWF eligibility in the corresponding payment month.

(b) The attendance bonus and the sanction shall remain with the teen when the teen becomes a member of a new assistance group.

(c) When there is a break in OWF eligibility:

(i) If the assistance group was ineligible for OWF in a particular attendance month but reapplies and is eligible for OWF in the corresponding payment month, any bonus earned in the attendance month shall be payable in the corresponding payment month.

(ii) If the teen had excessive unexcused absences during the attendance month that the assistance group was ineligible for OWF, no sanction shall be applied in the corresponding payment month.

(3) The penalties for failure to attend the scheduled assessment interview, for failure to enroll in school, for withdrawal from school, or failure to comply with an alternative educational or training program assignment are effective the month following the month of failure or withdrawal, and the retrospective cycle is not used to apply these penalties.

(4) When the participant is no longer subject to the LEAP program requirements and eligibility for OWF continues, the change shall be effective the month following the month the individual's LEAP program requirements end. However, the issuance of the attendance bonus payment or application of the sanction based on attendance information shall continue in the retrospective cycle provided eligibility for OWF continues.

(5) If the mandatory participant who has been ineligible for failure to enroll and to attend school, reports and verifies a change in circumstances that allows an exemption from participation, as provided in paragraph (D) of this rule, the change shall be handled in the manner of all reported changes that increase the assistance payment.

(6) If the mandatory participant has been enrolled and has been meeting the school attendance requirement, any change occurring that would allow the teen to be exempt shall be effective the month following the month of change. However, because of the retrospective cycle, the change shall not be reflected until the corresponding payment month.

(7) If the exempt participant meets the reporting responsibilities delineated in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code and complies with LEAP program requirements, no sanction shall be proposed and no erroneous payment, as defined in section 5107.76 of the Revised Code occurs. However, if the teen fails to comply with LEAP program requirements, an erroneous payment occurs beginning the first day of the month following the month in which the change occurred.

(8) If the teen fails to meet the reporting responsibilities and the county agency determined a change has occurred that would result in the loss of exemption status, the county agency shall schedule an assessment interview. If the teen complies with the assessment and enrollment requirements, an erroneous payment would be computed beginning with the first day of the month following the month the change occurred and would continue until the last day of the month prior to the month of the assessment. If the teen fails to comply with the assessment and enrollment requirements, the erroneous payment shall be computed beginning with the first day of the month following the month of change and shall continue through the last day of the month prior to the imposition of the appropriate penalty.

(R) What are the LEAP and self-sufficiency contract requirements for minor heads of households?

(1) Minor heads of households are subject to both LEAP and self-sufficiency contract requirements. LEAP is the appropriate assignment under the self-sufficiency contract for minor heads of households. If the LEAP teen fails to comply with the LEAP program requirements but complies with all other provisions of the self-sufficiency contract, the teen is subject to the LEAP sanctions and penalties as set forth in this rule. If the LEAP teen fails to comply with any of the provisions of the self-sufficiency contract, the teen is subject to the sanctions set forth in section 5107.16 of the Revised Code.

(2) A teen who is eighteen who is a work program participant has the option of returning to regular LEAP participation.

(3) This option cannot be utilized to avoid implementation of a sanction as set forth in section 5107.16 of the Revised Code.

Effective: 01/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/28/2010 and 01/01/2016
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05 , 5107.30
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05 , 5107.14 , 5107.16 , 5107.30 , 5107.40 , 5107.69
Prior Effective Dates: 7/14/89 (Emer.), 10/9/89, 1/1/90 (Emer.), 3/22/90, 9/1/90 (Emer.), 11/10/90, 1/1/92, 9/1/93, 1/1/94, 9/1/96, 11/1/96, 1/20/97, 12/30/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/99, 8/29/03 (Emer.), 11/1/03, 1/1/06

5101:1-23-60 Ohio works first: underpayments.

(A) What is an Ohio works first (OWF) underpayment?

(1) A cash assistance benefit received by or for an assistance group which is less than the amount the assistance group was eligible to receive; or

(2) The failure by the county agency to issue OWF to an eligible assistance group.

This includes a denial or termination of OWF.

(B) How is an underpayment calculated?

(1) An underpayment is calculated from:

(a) The date of the change, per the reporting responsibilities as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code; or

(b) The date that the county agency becomes aware of the change, if the reporting responsibilities as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code are not met.

(2) An underpayment shall be calculated for no more than twelve months prior to whichever of the situations in paragraph (B)(1) of this rule occurred first.

(3) The amount of the underpayment is the difference between the amount of OWF which an assistance group was eligible to receive for a particular period of time and the lesser amount the assistance group actually received for that same period of time.

(4) In calculating the underpayment amount for situations involving the untimely processing of income, the county agency shall use the actual income received by the assistance group, provided all of the documentation is available to the county agency. If all of the documentation is not available, the county agency shall follow the verification provisions as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(5) In situations where the error does not involve untimely processing of income, the county agency shall use the converted income already established for the month(s).

(6) When there is earned income, the appropriate deductions (i.e., earned income disregard, child care costs) are allowed in order to compute the amount of an underpayment.

(7) Underpayments of less than ten dollars are not subject to the minimum payment provisions as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-40 of the Administrative Code.

(C) How is an underpayment corrected?

Underpayments not offset against erroneous payments are adjusted by authorization of an auxiliary payment. An auxiliary payment shall be issued to correct the underpayment (unless the assistance group declines the benefits in order to avoid using time-limited months) regardless of whether the assistance group is currently in receipt of OWF.

Replaces: 5101:1-23-60

Effective: 07/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 07/01/2016
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/83, 11/1/84 (Emer.), 1/31/85, 4/1/86, 4/1/88
(Emer.), 6/10/88, 5/1/91, 10/1/95, 1/1/96, 5/1/97, 7/1/98, 1/1/99, 10/01/99, 7/1/03, 12/1/06

5101:1-23-70 Ohio works first: erroneous payments.

(A) Cash assistance under the former aid to families with dependent children (ADC) or temporary assistance to needy families (TANF) programs and/or Ohio works first (OWF) erroneous payments that occurred on or after July 1, 1998, or that occurred prior to July 1, 1998, but were discovered on or after July 1, 1998.

All ADC/TANF cash assistance and/or OWF erroneous payments that occurred on or after July 1, 1998, or that occurred prior to July 1, 1998, but were discovered on or after July 1, 1998, shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions set forth in this rule.

(B) ADC/TANF cash assistance and/or OWF overpayments that occurred and were discovered prior to July 1, 1998.

All ADC/TANF cash assistance and/or OWF overpayments that occurred and were discovered prior to July 1, 1998 are subject to the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-70.1 of the Administrative Code.

(C) Work allowance overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997.

Work allowance overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997 are subject to the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-70.2 of the Administrative Code.

(D) Agency caused overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997.

The county department of job and family services (CDJFS) has the option of whether to collect agency caused overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997 and that are discovered on or after July 1, 1998.

(E) What is the definition of "erroneous payment?"

An "erroneous payment" is defined in section 5107.76 of the Revised Code as a payment of cash assistance under OWF to assistance groups not eligible to receive the assistance. Section 5107.02 of the Revised Code defines OWF as the TANF program established in Title IV-A of the Social Security Act, 49 Stat. 620 (1935), 42 U.S.C. 301 , as amended. The provisions set forth in this rule apply to all erroneous payments made on or after July 1, 1998, under OWF, including payments of cash assistance for support services funded with TANF monies.

An erroneous payment may occur because of any change in an assistance group's situation which decreases the level of assistance for which the assistance group is eligible. Paragraph (J) of this rule sets forth the provisions for calculating the erroneous payment.

(F) What are the responsibilities of the county agency?

(1) Provide the assistance group with frequent and complete explanations of program eligibility, the factors that cause ineligibility and erroneous payments, and the assistance group's responsibility to report changes in income, need, and other circumstances affecting eligibility , as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Take action to terminate or adjust the OWF payment as soon as it learns of a change in circumstances which affects the assistance group's future eligibility for assistance , in accordance with the hearing provisions set forth in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code.

(3) Take action to recover the erroneous payments in accordance with the provisions set forth in this rule and sections 5107.05 and 5107.76 of the Revised Code.

(4) When the assistance group has a change, and the change results in the decrease in or termination of OWF cash assistance, the county agency shall issue a notice of adverse action within ten days of the date the change was reported or the county agency becomes aware of the change, unless one of the exceptions to the notice of adverse action in Chapter 5101:6-2 of the Administrative Code applies.

(G) What are the reporting requirements for an assistance group?

(1) The reporting requirements and timeframes are described in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Not withstanding the requirements in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code, the assistance group is not required to report any other changes in circumstances until the next reapplication. In such situations, no erroneous payments exist between the date that the unreported change occurs and the date that the change is reported or the CDJFS otherwise becomes aware of the change.

(3) The assistance group's report of an impending change in circumstances does not negate its responsibility to report any change identified in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code within ten days from the date that the change actually occurs.

(H) What is the effective date of a budget adjustment?

(1) When a notice of adverse action is issued, the decrease in the benefit level shall be made effective with the OWF benefit for the month following the month in which the notice of adverse action period has expired, provided a fair hearing and continuation of benefits have not been requested.

(2) When a notice of adverse action is not issued due to one of the exceptions of rule 5101:6-2-05 of the Administrative Code, the decrease shall be made effective no later than the month following the change. This applies for all reporting requirements listed in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(3) When the change is new employment of an assistance group member the budget adjustment does not become effective until the later of:

(a) The first day of the month following the month in which the assistance group receives earned income from employment, consistent with the application of the earned income disregard set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code; or

(b) The month following the month in which the notice of adverse action period has expired.

(I) When is an assistance group liable for an erroneous payment?

(1) When the county agency discovers that the assistance group failed to report a required change within the required timeframes as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code and as a result of the change, the assistance group received benefits it was not entitled to receive;

(2) When the county agency failed to act on a change timely and as a result, the assistance group received benefits it was not entitled to receive;

(3) The assistance group is not liable for an erroneous payment because of a failure to report a change that is not a part of the required reporting requirements as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(J) How is an erroneous payment calculated?

The amount of the erroneous payment is the difference between the amount of benefits the assistance group should have received for a calendar month, and the amount of benefits the assistance group actually received for that month. In determining the amount of an erroneous payment, the agency must consider the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (05/00) applicable requirements and/or any other federal labor laws which may apply. When the county agency becomes aware of a change in the assistance group's circumstances, the county agency shall determine the following:

(1) The date on which the change occurred, and whether the change was due to one of the reporting requirements listed in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(2) The date on which the change was reported by the assistance group to the county agency, or the county agency became aware of the change

(3) In accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraph (H) of this rule, the date on which the decrease or termination of benefits should have been effective had the assistance group reported the change in accordance with the timeframes as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code and/or had the county agency acted timely on reported and/or discovered changes.

(4) The dates and amounts of any erroneous payments, by month.

(a) When the assistance group has earned income, the earned income disregards set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code, shall be deducted as appropriate in computing the amount of the erroneous payment.

(b) For any month that the assistance group failed to report a change in earned income timely as set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code, the earned income disregards shall not be deducted from the assistance group's gross earned income in accordance with rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code when computing the erroneous payment.

(c) When an erroneous payment occurs because an adverse action was proposed, payments continued without change due to a timely hearing request, and the hearing decision affirmed the county agency proposal, the amount of the erroneous payment is the difference between the amount the assistance group actually received each month, and the amount the assistance group should have received for each month. When specific amounts of erroneous payments are stipulated in the hearing decision, those amounts are binding, in accordance with the rules set forth in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code.

(d) Child support that is assigned to ODJFS and which is paid through the child support enforcement agency (CSEA) must be included in the calculation of the erroneous payment. The county agency shall determine the exact amounts of the following categories prior to computing the erroneous payment:

(i) Child support collected on current obligation.

(ii) Child support used to reimburse assistance paid to the family. 42 U.S.C. 657 (01/02/06) defines what is reimbursable for child support distribution purposes.

(iii) Assistance provided to the assistance group.

(iv) Correct amount of OWF benefits the assistance group should have received. For purposes of this rule only, this amount shall be referred to as the OWF entitlement.

(v) Erroneous payment prior to child support adjustment. The erroneous payment will always equal the difference between OWF actually paid to the assistance group and the OWF entitlement.

(vi) Collectible erroneous payment after child support adjustment.

(vii) The erroneous payment to be collected after child support adjustment is computed using the table below and one of the two formulas in the paragraphs immediately following the table.

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

Child support collected on current obligation/child support used to reimburse OWF case grant.

Amount of OWF cash assistance actually paid to the AG for the month.

Actual OWF "entitlement" as defined in paragraph (4)(d)(iv) of this rule.

Amount of OWF erroneous payment [column (2) minus column (3)] prior to child support adjustment.

Collectible erroneous OWF payment after child support adjustment. See below.

The determination of the amount in column (5) is made using the one of the following 2 formulas:

- If the amount in column (3) is greater than or equal to the amount in column (1), the amount of the collectible erroneous OWF payment to be reflected in column (5) is the difference reflected by subtracting the amount in column (3) from the amount in column (2);

- If the amount in column (3) is less than the amount in column (1), the amount of the collectible erroneous OWF payment to be reflected in column (S) is the amount in column (4) less the difference calculated by subtracting the amount in column (3) from column (1)

(K) What is a grant reduction?

Grant reduction is one of the collection methods set forth in section 5107.76 of the Revised Code. If the method of recovery chosen by the county agency is grant reduction, the OWF cash payment is reduced each month until the total amount of the erroneous payment is repaid.

(1) The OWF cash payment may be reduced, provided that for any payment month, the assistance group shall retain from its combined income (without disregards) and assistance payment an amount equal to ninety per cent of the payment standard (as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code) for an assistance group of the same composition with no other income, unless the assistance group volunteers to pay more. The monthly recovery amount shall be computed from the income and assistance payment available in the payment month. Liquid assets may be explored as well.

(2) If recovery of the erroneous payment through grant reduction reduces the amount payable to the assistance group to zero, the members of the assistance group are considered to be OWF participants and in receipt of OWF benefits.

(3) When an assistance group is eligible for a monthly OWF payment of at least ten dollars, but recovery of an erroneous payment reduces the monthly payment to less than ten dollars, the minimum payment provision set forth in rule 5101:1-23-40 of the Administrative Code does not apply because the assistance group was eligible for a cash payment of at least ten dollars prior to adjustment of the overpayment.

(4) All grant reductions shall be effected with due regard for the fair hearing provisions, including prior notice, set forth in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code.

(5) If the assistance group becomes ineligible to participate in OWF, the balance of the erroneous payment shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 5107.76 of the Revised Code.

(L) What if an assistance group has an erroneous payment and an underpayment?

When an assistance group has both a current erroneous payment and underpayment as defined in rule 5101:1-23-60 of the Administrative Code, one may be offset against the other provided the erroneous payment is not being challenged under the state hearing procedures as set forth in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code. There will be no delay in the issuance of the underpayment in this instance.

(1) The county agency will notify the assistance group when an underpayment occurs concurrently with the discovery of an erroneous payment or when there is an outstanding delinquent balance from a previous erroneous payment. The notice will advise the assistance group of the underpayment and the amount the county agency proposes to use to offset the reported or delinquent erroneous payment balance. The assistance group may exercise its right to a state hearing if it disagrees with the decision of the county agency to offset the underpayment against the erroneous payment using the notice. All proposed actions shall be suspended pending the hearing decision.

(2) In a situation in which the underpayment amount is greater than the amount of the erroneous payment, the assistance group shall be issued the difference.

(M) Can an erroneous payment be recovered from a minor child?

As set forth in section 5107.76 of the Revised Code, if a minor child was a member of an assistance group that received an erroneous payment but becomes a member of a new assistance group that does not include a minor head of household or adult who also was a member of the previous assistance group, a county agency shall not take action against the new assistance group to recover the erroneous payment the previous assistance group received.

(N) IV-A/IV-D overpayments

(1) Payments made directly to the assistance group on support orders established or modified prior to December 1, 1986, constitute a IV-D overpayment.

(2) All support orders established or modified on or after December 1, 1986, must be paid through the CSEA. Payments on such orders which are made directly to the assistance group are not considered child support payments, but are considered a gift to the assistance group. The overpayment created by the assistance group's retention of direct payments constitutes a IV-A overpayment.

(3) In all cases, regardless of the date of the order, payments sent to the assistance group erroneously by the CSEA also constitute a IV-D overpayment.

Effective: 05/01/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/31/2014 and 05/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05 , 5107.76
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05 , 5107.76
Prior Effective Dates: 07/1/83, 07/11/83, 11/11/83, 07/15/84, 10/01/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 01/01/85 (Emer.), 04/01/85, 04/01/86, 11/01/86, 10/01/87, 04/01/88 (Emer.), 06/10/88, 06/30/88, 07/01/88 (Emer.), 09/25/88, 05/01/91 (Emer.), 07/11/91, 09/01/93, 09/01/94, 06/11/95, 10/01/96 (Emer.), 12/15/96, 05/01/97, 12/30/97, 07/01/98 (Emer.), 09/29/98, 10/01/99, 12/01/03, 02/01/09

5101:1-23-70.1 Ohio works first : overpayments of aid to dependent children / temporary assistance for needy families cash assistance and/or Ohio works first that occurred prior to July 1, 1998.

(A) How are aid to dependent children (ADC)/temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) cash assistance and/or Ohio works first (OWF) overpayments collected that occurred and were discovered prior to July 1, 1998?

ADC/TANF cash assistance and/or OWF overpayments that occurred and were discovered prior to July 1, 1998, are subject to the provisions set forth in appendix A of this rule. Appendix A of this rule contains the Administrative Code rules that set forth the provisions regarding ADC overpayment identification, computation and collection that existed prior to July 1, 1998.

(B) Are agency caused overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997 required to be collected?

The county agency has the option of whether to collect agency caused overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997, and that are discovered on or after July 1, 1998.

(C) How are ADC/TANF cash assistance and/or OWF erroneous payments collected that occurred prior to July 1, 1998, but were discovered on or after July 1, 1998?

ADC/TANF cash assistance and/or OWF erroneous payments that occurred prior to July 1, 1998, but were discovered on or after July 1, 1998, shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions set forth in rule 5101:1-23-70 of the Administrative Code.

Click to view Appendix

Effective: 01/01/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 07/03/2013 and 01/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05 , 5107.76
Prior Effective Dates: 07/01/83, 07/11/83, 11/11/83, 07/15/84, 10/01/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 01/01/85 (Emer.), 04/01/85, 04/01/86, 11/01/86, 10/01/87, 04/01/88 (Emer.), 06/10/88, 06/30/88, 07/01/88 (Emer.), 09/25/88, 05/01/91 (Emer.), 07/11/91, 09/01/93, 09/01/94, 06/11/95, 10/01/96 (Emer.), 12/15/96, 05/01/97, 12/30/97, 07/01/98 (Emer.), 09/29/98, 10/01/99, 12/01/03, 07/01/08

5101:1-23-70.2 Ohio works first : work allowance overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997.

(A) Ohio works first (OWF) work allowance overpayments that occurred and were discovered prior to October 1, 1997

Work allowance overpayments that occurred and were discovered prior to October 1, 1997, are subject to the provisions set forth in appendix A to this rule. Appendix A to this rule contains the Administrative Code rules regarding collection of OWF work allowance overpayments that existed prior to October 1, 1997.

(B) OWF work allowance overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997, and were discovered on or after October 1, 1997

Work allowance overpayments that occurred prior to October 1, 1997, and were discovered on or after October 1, 1997, shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 5107.76 of the Revised Code and rule 5101:1-23-70 of the Administrative Code.

Click to view Appendix

Effective: 01/01/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 07/03/2013 and 01/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5107.05
Rule Amplifies: 5107.05 , 5107.76
Prior Effective Dates: 07/01/83, 07/11/83, 11/11/83, 07/15/84, 10/01/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 01/01/85 (Emer.), 04/01/85, 04/01/86, 11/01/86, 10/01/87, 04/01/88 (Emer.), 06/10/88, 06/30/88, 07/01/88 (Emer.), 09/25/88, 05/01/91 (Emer.), 07/11/91, 09/01/93, 09/01/94, 06/11/95, 10/01/96 (Emer.), 12/15/96, 05/01/97, 12/30/97, 07/01/98 (Emer.), 09/29/98, 10/01/99, 12/01/03, 07/01/08

5101:1-23-75 Ohio works first and prevention, retention and contingency: assistance group ineligibility due to receipt of fraudulent assistance.

(A) What is fraudulent assistance?

In accordance with section 5101.83 of the Revised Code, "fraudulent assistance" means assistance and services, including cash assistance provided under the Ohio works first (OWF) program established under Chapter 5107. of the Revised Code, or benefits and services provided under the prevention, retention and contingency (PRC) program established under Chapter 5108. of the Revised Code, to or on behalf of an assistance group that is provided as a result of fraud by a member of the assistance group, including an intentional violation of the program's requirements. Fraudulent assistance does not include assistance or services paid to or on behalf of an assistance group that is provided as a result of an error that is the fault of the county department of job and family services (CDJFS) or the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS).

(B) What is an intentional violation of the program's requirements?

(1) An intentional violation is defined as an act by an individual, for the purpose of establishing or maintaining the family's eligibility for OWF or PRC or for increasing or preventing a reduction in the amount of assistance, which is intentionally: a false or misleading statement or misrepresentation, concealment, or withholding of facts; or any act intended to mislead, misrepresent, conceal, or withhold facts or propound a falsity.

(2) An intentional violation of the OWF or PRC program requirements can be established in one of four circumstances:

(a) A court of appropriate jurisdiction has found that the individual has committed a criminal offense connected to a violation of the OWF and/or PRC program requirements.

(b) An administrative disqualification hearing decision finds that the individual has committed an intentional program violation, as set forth in rules 5101:6-20-16 and 5101:6-20-17 of the Administrative Code.

(c) The individual signs a waiver of the disqualification hearing set forth in rule 5101:6-20-30 of the Administrative Code.

(d) The individual signs a disqualification consent agreement as set forth in rule 5101:6-20-40 of the Administrative Code.

(C) What are the consequences of a determination of fraudulent assistance?

If a county agency director determines that an assistance group has received fraudulent assistance in accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraph (A) of this rule, the assistance group is ineligible to participate in the OWF program or the PRC program until a member of the assistance group repays the cost of the fraudulent assistance. Ineligibility as a result of one of the conditions set forth in paragraphs (B)(2)(a) to (B)(2)(d) of this rule begins not later than the first day of the second month following the issuance of the notice of disqualification for intentional program violation (i.e., the issuance of the JFS 04062, "Notice of Disqualification for Intentional Program Violation") (rev. 05/2001).

(D) How is receipt of fraudulent assistance handled when there is assistance group movement and children in the assistance group?

When the assistance group members are ineligible in accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraph (C) of this rule, the caretaker(s) and the child(ren) remain ineligible until the fraudulent payment is repaid. If the child(ren) subsequently cease to reside with the ineligible caretaker(s), the ineligibility period ceases for the child(ren).

(E) How is repayment of the fraudulent assistance handled?

If a member of the assistance group repays the cost of the fraudulent assistance, and the assistance group otherwise meets the eligibility requirements for the OWF or the PRC program, the assistance group shall not be denied the opportunity to participate in the program. The beginning date of aid for assistance group members ineligible due to this provision who reapply to participate in OWF can be as early as the date on which the cost of the fraudulent assistance is repaid in full, provided that an application for assistance is submitted and all other eligibility requirements are met as of that date.

Replaces: 5101:1-23-75

Effective: 02/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 02/01/2017
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.83 , 5107.76
Rule Amplifies: 5101.83 , 5107.76
Prior Effective Dates: 9/1/94, 10/1/96, 7/1/98, 9/1/98, 9/29/98, 05/01/00, 07/01/03, 03/01/07

5101:1-23-80 Employment retention incentive (ERI) program. [Rescinded].

Rescinded eff 8-1-08