The following are special procedures regarding COVID-19 and the TANF program.
TANF Work Activities
If the normal TANF Work activity would be participating in a Special Project (This includes High School Equivalency & Literacy classes) and:
- It is being offered virtually, and
- The client has a computer and wifi available*, and
- Adequate care is available for the children
Then the participant may participate in the Special Project class, receive their TANF hours and receive their TANF participation allowance.
*Some special project programs may be able to help with computer equipment. Please check with your local SP Coordinator)
If the individual is Work Ready, and their normal work activity would have been Job Search or Employment and:
- It is safe for them to participate in this activity, and
- There is adequate child care for the children and
- It is safe for them to job search / work and for the children to be in child care (no immunocompromised family member)
Then the participant may participate in the Job Search Activity.
For Job Search purposes, the Worker or CDS can meet with the client by telephone or Zoom/TEAMS to review their completed job search just as they would have in the county office.
Note: Remember! A TW-2 Must be completed and signed for all TANF work activities.
All other TANF RR’s should be coded with a COVID-19 authorization and document in case notes TANF WORK is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Determining TANF Eligibility
The current COVID processes currently remain in place allowing for Workers to conduct the interview by a password protected Zoom call, Teams call, or telephone. ZOOM / Teams meetings are the preferred method of contact.
Completion & signature of the following forms are still required PRIOR to certification:
- All Child Support Forms
- Lump Sum documentation
- Form 08TA011E Drug Screen Requirement Acknowledgement
These can be electrically signed. If the client cannot electronically sign, please print the forms and send with an ADM-92 with ten days to return. Let the client know this will cause a delay in the certification of their case if they are unable to receive and sign electronically.
Acceptable forms of electronic signature:
- Adobe signed PDF.
- Emailed photo of the document(s) with the signature.
When mailing required documents to your clients:
- Use the standard process being used by your county for mailing client information.
- Include a postage paid envelope for easy return.
- When documents are returned to the county office, follow normal county procedure for notifying Worker when documentation has arrived.
Note: Remember! All application forms, including ACES screens, must be uploaded into the case record.
Counties should be scheduling the SASSI and Educational Assessments for their clients now.
- Prior to scheduling, please contact your client to determine they do not have OCVID prior to coming to your county office.
- If the client has COVID, or is in mandatory quarantine, please postpone their Assessment until their quarantine is complete. Do not hold certification if all other factors of eligibility have been determined and all required signed forms have been received.
- Please follow protocol for Substance ASI/UA testing should the individual test high probability or invalid on the SASSI.
- New: Effective 09-01-20, A UA will only be conducted when the ASI warrants a UA. When a UA is not conducted, code the FACS Result block as no recommendation.
Note: Remember! If a client does not show for their scheduled SASSI/Educational assessments, an ADM-92 must be sent allowing at least 10 days’ notice for the next scheduled testing date.
If the client fails to reschedule or show up for the 2nd assessment date, the case can be closed on reason 44, Failure to cooperate in determining continued eligibility. ALL action taken regarding assessments must be documented in case notes.
TANF Case Closures
Only cases scheduled to close for 52A effective 04-01-20 were requested to be reopened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TANF Cases still are to be closed if:
- Client Request
- Moved out of State
- Fails to cooperate in determining continued eligibility
- Fails to cooperate with TANF Work (when assigned) without good cause.
- No eligible child
- Receipt of Child Support
- Unearned income or earnings exceed the maximum TANF allowance
- Any other valid reason for closure
Leave the Medical open on any TANF closure unless it closed due to:
- Client Request
- Moved out of State
Good Cause Determination
In the event a TANF participant has the ability to participate in a TANF Work component and fails to meet the required number of hours, the Worker MUST look at the following:
Why did they not complete? Is it due to COVID in any way? Child Care issues? A Quarantine issue? Is someone in the home immunocompromised?
If failure to cooperate is due in any way to COVID, this is considered good cause and case notes are to be documented as such.
If the client chose to participate in a TANF Work activity and it is not COVID related or one of the valid good cause reasons listed in 340:10-2-2 ITS #5, then you may proceed with closing on a 52A.
Prior to closing on 52A, please fully take a look each family’s situation we ask that you please extend leniency where possible. If you have questions regarding this COVID directive on 52A closures, please contact the TANF mailbox.
Case notes must still be documented at every interaction with your TANF client and on all actions taken on your TANF case.
Document, document, document!
We understand everyone is eager to get off our TANF families reengaged with their TANF Work activities. However, we must be able to do this is the safest way possible for both our staff and our TANF recipients. As we continue to monitor the COVID numbers, we appreciate you following the above COVID protocol until new TANF directives are provided for moving beyond COVID-19.
Please email TANF@okdhs.org with any questions you may have regarding this directive. Our staff is very responsive and ready to provide assistance.