Rule 5101:1-2-90 | The Ohio works first employment incentive pilot program.
The Ohio works first employment incentive pilot program shall be operated for three years in five participating county agencies. The names of the participating county agencies shall be published in a cash assistance action change transmittal.
(A) What is the Ohio works first employment incentive pilot program?
The pilot program provides a cash incentive payment to caseworkers in participating counties that help Ohio works first (OWF) participants find employment that leads to the participant being ineligible for OWF for at least six months due to an increase in earned income resulting from employment.
(B) Who is considered a caseworker?
For the purposes of this rule, "caseworker" means an employee of a county agency or of an entity the county agency has contracted with to perform tasks under the pilot, that has signed a self-sufficiency contract developed in accordance with rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code.
(C) Who is considered an OWF participant?
For purposes of this rule, "OWF participant" means a work eligible individual, as the term is defined in paragraph (EE) of rule 5101:1-1-01 of the Administrative Code.
(D) When has a caseworker helped an OWF participant find employment that leads to the participant becoming ineligible for OWF?
When the caseworker signed the OWF participant's self-sufficiency contract and all of the following conditions have been met:
(1) The self-sufficiency contract included an assignment of the OWF participant to at least one core work activity;
(2) After the date of the caseworker's signature on the self-sufficiency contract, the OWF participant's assistance group was determined to no longer be eligible for OWF due to income earned by the participant;
(3) The self-sufficiency contract signed by the caseworker was in effect on the date that OWF benefits terminated;
(4) The OWF participant received OWF benefits for at least three consecutive months prior to termination; and
(5) Since being terminated, the former OWF participant remained ineligible for OWF for six consecutive months and during the six month period, the former OWF participant was not:
(a) Denied OWF benefits for any other reason than excess earned income;
(b) Serving a disqualification period as a result of an intentional program violation;
(c) Otherwise ineligible for OWF due to the time limit described in rule 5101:1-23-01 of the Administrative Code;
(d) Subject to a sanction or penalty imposed under division 5101:1 of the Administrative Code; or
(e) In receipt of OWF benefits pursuant to rule 5101:6-7-01 of the Administrative Code.
(E) When does a caseworker qualify for an incentive payment?
A caseworker qualifies for an incentive payment upon verification of each condition described in paragraph (D) of this rule. Qualification for an incentive payment is contingent upon available funding, compliance with this rule and all other applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
(F) What are the responsibilities of a participating county agency?
Each participating county agency shall:
(1) Include in every self-sufficiency contract and plan:
(a) The name, date and signature of each individual the county agency expects to assist the OWF participant in finding employment. This includes, but is not limited to:
(i) The appraisal and assessment of the OWF participant;
(ii) The development of the OWF participant's self-sufficiency contract and plan; or
(iii) Providing supportive services to the OWF participant.
(b) When there is a change to the individual(s) expected to help the OWF participant find employment, the county agency shall initiate an amendment to the self-sufficiency contract in accordance with rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code.
(2) Develop a procedure for caseworkers to submit verification that they qualify for an incentive payment.
(3) Process the incentive payment within thirty days of determining a caseworker qualifies for an incentive payment.
(4) Provide monthly reports to ODJFS.
(5) Maintain documentation to support the payment of each incentive payment.
(G) How much is the incentive payment?
The incentive payment is equal to three hundred dollars per former OWF participant that meets the criteria described in paragraph (D) of this rule. When the OWF participant was part of a two-parent assistance group, as that term is defined in rule 5101:1-3-01 of the Administrative Code, the incentive payment shall be six hundred dollars.
(H) How will the incentive payment be divided when more than one caseworker qualifies for an incentive payment for helping the same OWF participant find employment?
Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (I) of this rule, the incentive payment shall be divided equally between the individuals that signed the self-sufficiency contract as required by paragraph (F)(1) of this rule. When the amount of the incentive payment will not divide equally, the remainder shall be retained as part of the participating county agency's incentive pilot program allocation.
The following prohibitions apply to the Ohio works first employment incentive pilot program:
(1) Obtaining a signature from a caseworker on the self-sufficiency contract shall not delay the authorization of OWF benefits or assignment of a work eligible individual to a work activity;
(2) The county agency shall not process more than one incentive payment per termination;
(3) An OWF participant may have no more than one self-sufficiency contract in effect at a time;
(4) No incentive payment will be issued to a former caseworker whose employment ended with the participating county agency or contracted agent before all conditions in paragraph (D) of this rule were met; and
(5) The county agency shall not impose any verification or reporting requirements on a current or former OWF participant in order to verify caseworker eligibility for an incentive payment.