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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text

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Action:
Amend the Virginia Independence Program regulation by changing ...
Stage: Final
9/23/08  11:10 AM
22VAC40-35-10

22VAC40-35-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Actively seeking employment" means satisfactorily participating in any assigned job-seeking activity while in the program.

"Adult portion" means the TANF amount paid on behalf of the parent or other caretaker-relative with whom the TANF child resides, including a minor parent. This amount is the difference in the standard of assistance for a family size which includes the adult and the standard of assistance for a family size of one less person.

"AFDC-Foster Care" means a federal program authorized under §472 of the Social Security Act (42 USC §672) and administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services, which provides financial assistance on behalf of qualifying children.

"Agreement" means the written individualized agreement of personal responsibility required by §63.1-133.49 §63.2-608 of the Code of Virginia.

"Allotment" means the monthly food stamp benefit given to a household.

"Applicant" means a person who has applied for TANF or TANF-UP benefits and the disposition of the application has not yet been determined.

"Assistance unit" means those persons who have been determined categorically and financially eligible to receive assistance.

"Caretaker-relative" means the natural or adoptive parent or other relative, as specified in 45 CFR 233.90(c)(1)(v), who is responsible for supervision and care of the needy child.

"Case management" means the process of assessing, coordinating, monitoring, delivering or brokering activities and services necessary for VIEW participants to enter employment or employment-related activities as quickly as possible.

"Case management services" means services which include, but are not limited to, job development and job placement, community work experience, education, skills training, and support services.

"Case manager" means the worker designated by the local department of social services, a private-sector contractor or a private community-based organization including nonprofit entities, churches, or voluntary organizations that provide case management services.

"Child day care" means those services for which a participant is eligible pursuant to child day care services policy.

"Child day care services/program" means a regularly operating service arrangement for children where, during the absence of a parent or guardian, a person or organization has agreed to assume responsibility for the supervision, protection, and well-being of children under the age of 13 (or children up to 18 years of age if they are physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves or subject to court supervision) for less than a 24-hour period.

"Community work experience" means work for benefits in a public or private organization that serves a community/public function.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Social Services.

"Diversionary cash assistance" means a one-time lump sum payment to an individual or third-party vendor to prevent long-term receipt of TANF.

"Division of Child Support Enforcement" or "DCSE" means that division of the Virginia Department of Social Services which is responsible under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 USC §§651-669) to locate noncustodial parents, establish paternity, establish child support and health care orders, enforce payment of delinquent support, and collect and distribute support payments.

"Employer tax credit" means a tax credit available to an employer pursuant to §58.1-439.9 of the Code of Virginia.

"Family" means a TANF assistance unit.

"Food Stamp Program" means the program administered through the Virginia Department of Social Services through which a household can receive food stamps with which to purchase food products.

"Full Employment Program" or "FEP" means subsidized, training-oriented, employment which replaces the TANF and food stamp benefits of a participant. This component of VIEW is designed to train the recipient for a specific job, increase his self-sufficiency and improve his competitiveness in the labor market.

"Full-time unsubsidized employment" means employment which is considered by the employer to be full time, but in no case less than 30 hours per week, and for which no JOBS, VIEW, TANF, or food stamp funds are used to pay the individual's salary.

"Grant" means the monthly TANF benefit payment.

"Hardship exceptions" means prescribed reasons which, if applicable, would allow an extension of receipt of TANF benefits.

"He" means a male or female, as applicable.

"Hiring authority" means an individual with the authority to hire employees for a business.

"In loco parentis" means an adult relative or other adult who is acting in place of a parent.

"Incapacitated" means a medically verified condition which renders an individual unable to work.

"Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS)" means the program authorized by Title IV-F of the Social Security Act (42 USC §§681-687). This program provides education, training and work experience to enhance employment opportunities for TANF recipients who are not exempt from participation.

"Job finding" means identification of available jobs.

"Job matching" means matching a participant's minimum skills or prior work experience to available job openings.

"Job placement" means placing a participant in an unsubsidized or subsidized job. Job placement is the result of job finding and job matching.

"Job search" means a structured, time-limited period in which the participant is required to search for employment. To complete the job search, the participant must search and apply for a set number of jobs.

"Job skills training" means training in technical job skills or required knowledge in a specific occupational area in the labor market.

"Local agency" or "local department" means any one of the local social services or welfare agencies throughout the Commonwealth which administers the VIP program.

"Minor parent" means any parent under 18 years of age.

"On-the-job training" means training which is provided by an employer during routine performance of a job.

"Parent" means a mother or father, married or unmarried, natural, or adoptive following entry of an interlocutory order. The parent may be a minor parent.

"Participant" means a TANF or TANF-UP recipient who is participating in the VIEW program.

"Participating family" means an assistance unit including a parent who participates in the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare (VIEW) Program.

"Part-time unsubsidized employment" means employment of at least eight hours but less than 30 hours per week and for which no JOBS, VIEW, TANF, or food stamp funds are used to pay the individual's salary.

"Post-secondary education" means formal instruction at an institution of higher education or vocational school leading to the attainment of a certificate, an associate degree, or a baccalaureate degree.

"Qualified business employer" means an employer whose business employed not more than 100 employees at the time that the employer first hired a qualified employee.

"Qualified employee" means an employee who is a Virginia resident and is a recipient of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

"Qualified employer" means an employer who may participate in the Virginia Targeted Jobs Grant Program by virtue of meeting all of the program criteria for employers.

"Qualified participant" means a Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare participant who meets all of the program criteria and may be hired by a qualified employer.

"Recipient" means an individual who is presently receiving a TANF assistance payment or whose eligibility exists even though the assistance payment is zero.

"Recipient family" means an assistance unit in which the caretaker-relative is a parent of the eligible child and the parent's needs may or may not be included on the grant.

"Relative" means spouse, child, grandchild, parent, or sibling of a qualified employer.

"Sanction" means to reduce or suspend a participant's TANF grant or food stamp allotment or both, where applicable, for noncompliance with these regulations or the statute.

"School" means (i) any public school from kindergarten through grade 12 operated under the authority of any locality within this Commonwealth or (ii) any private or parochial school that offers instruction at any level or grade from kindergarten through grade 12.

"Support services" means services such as child care or transportation provided to program participants to enable the participant to work or to receive training or education which are intended to lead to employment.

"Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" or "TANF" means the program authorized in §406 of the Social Security Act (42 USC §606) and administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services, through which a relative can receive monthly cash assistance for the support of his eligible children.

"Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-Unemployed Parent" or "TANF-UP" means the program authorized in §63.1-105 §63.2-602 of the Code of Virginia and administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services, which provides aid to two-parent families with dependent children who are in financial need.

"Time limitations" means a specified period of time, under the statute, to receive TANF.

"Transitional support services" means child care, transportation, medical assistance or employment and training services provided to working participants whose TANF has been terminated either voluntarily, although still eligible for TANF, or involuntarily, due to time limitations.

"Truant" means a child who (i) fails to report to school for three consecutive school days, or for a total of five scheduled school days per month or an aggregate of seven scheduled school days per school calendar quarter, whichever occurs sooner, and no indication has been received by school personnel that the child's parent or guardian is aware of the child's absence, and a reasonable effort by school personnel to notify the parent or guardian has failed; or (ii) is not enrolled in school at any time during the month.

"Underemployed" means working at a job for less than the federal hourly minimum wage.

"Unsubsidized employment" means employment in which no government funds are used to subsidize directly the wages earned by a participant.

"Virginia Independence Program" or "VIP" means the program in the Commonwealth of Virginia which is made up of the TANF Program and the Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare.

"Virginia Initiative for Employment not Welfare" or "VIEW" means the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program as implemented in the Commonwealth.

"Virginia Targeted Jobs Grant" or "VTJG" means a grant paid to an employer in accordance with §63.1-25.3 of the Code of Virginia.

"Work activity" means participation in unsubsidized employment, FEP, part-time work, community work experience, or on-the-job training, job search, job readiness, community service, job skills training directly related to employment, satisfactory attendance at secondary school, or in a course of study leading to a certificate of general equivalence.

Statutory Authority

§§63.2-217 and 63.2-611 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 15, eff. July 1, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 15, Issue 6, eff. January 6, 1999; Volume 17, Issue 5, eff. December 20, 2000; Volume 17, Issue 10, eff. February 28, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. September 1, 2007.

Part II

Eligibility Requirements

22VAC40-35-80

22VAC40-35-80. Participant eligibility.

A. Individuals unable to participate because of a temporary medical condition that prevents entry into employment or training, as determined by a physician, must provide to the local department a written statement from such a physician to specify that he is incapacitated, the nature and scope of the incapacity, and the duration of the incapacity. The worker must reevaluate the participant's incapacity at the time prescribed by the medical statement or every 60 days, whichever comes first. The recipient must provide verification that he continues to be incapacitated.

B. Any individual who is the sole caregiver of another member of the household who is incapacitated, and whose presence is essential for the care of the other member on a substantially continuous basis, shall be exempt from participation in VIEW. Incapacity is determined by receipt of Social Security Disability Benefits or Supplemental Security Income. The sole other condition under which an individual may be determined incapacitated is by a written medical statement from a physician.

C. AFDC recipients who meet an exemption from participation in VIEW may volunteer for the program.

D. A parent of a child under 12 months of age who personally provides care for the child. A parent of a child not considered part of the TANF public assistance unit due to the provisions listed in §63.2-604 of the Code of Virginia may be granted a temporary exemption of not more than six weeks after the birth of such child.

E. Nonparents who receive TANF shall participate in VIEW if not otherwise exempt.

F. Pregnant women shall participate in VIEW if not otherwise exempt. Pregnant women shall be assigned to job readiness, training, and educational activities during the last trimester of pregnancy.

Statutory Authority

§§63.2-602, 63.2-604, 63.2-606 to 63.2-609, 63.2-611, 63.2-613 and 63.2-617 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 15, eff. July 1, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. September 1, 2007.

22VAC40-35-90

22VAC40-35-90. Services.

A. The participant shall have the primary responsibility to arrange transportation to be employed or participate in activities required by the Agreement of Personal Responsibility. Transportation shall be provided only when the participant is unable to make the necessary arrangements.

B. The local department shall provide transitional medical assistance in accordance with the Department of Medical Assistance Services State Plan and regulations.

C. The local departments may provide those services itemized in §63.1-133.46 C §63.2-611 B of the Code of Virginia.

D. Transitional employment and training services shall be through the VIEW program to certain individuals.

1. Transitional employment and training services can be provided if the following criteria are met:

a. The individual is already employed or the provisions of the employment and training services would allow the individual to become reemployed within 60 days.

b. The activities are designed to maintain employment income, increase employment income or prevent the loss of employment income by the participant.

c. The individual had been enrolled in the VIEW program.

d. The TANF case of which the individual was a member is closed.

e. The case had not been in a VIEW sanction at the time of closure.

f. The individual has not completed an associate degree or four-year degree.

2. The individual can only receive up to 12 months of transitional employment and training services available through the VIEW program.

3. The individual shall enroll in an activity which can be completed within the 12-month time period.

4. An individual can only be enrolled in an activity if approved by a VIEW employment services worker.

5. Individuals may be enrolled only in education and training activities for which there are jobs in the community or jobs are projected to become available in the community.

6. Continued enrollment in education and skills training activities is dependent upon meeting the satisfactory progress requirements for participation in these activities.

a. For education below the post-secondary level (Adult Basic Education and General Equivalency Diploma), the individual must obtain one grade level increase every three months.

b. For certificate and job skills training activities, the participant must meet the satisfactory progress requirements of the institution providing the training.

7. Participants shall not be assigned to FEP (Full Employment Program).

E. A VIEW participant shall be eligible for a transitional job retention assistance payment of $50 per month for up to one year after the end of TANF cash assistance. To qualify the participant shall:

1. Be employed at the end of TANF cash assistance;

2. Maintain employment of at least 30 hours per week; and

3. Provide verification of earnings and continued employment of at least 30 hours per week.

Statutory Authority

§§63.2-217 and 63.2-611 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 15, eff. July 1, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 17, Issue 10, eff. February 28, 2001; Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. September 1, 2007.

22VAC40-35-100

22VAC40-35-100. VIEW activities.

A. VIEW recognizes that parents have the obligation to support their children through work/employment.

B. VIEW shall recognize clearly defined responsibilities and obligations on the part of public assistance recipients. VIEW shall require an Agreement of Personal Responsibility and the obligation to seek and obtain employment. Refusal to sign the Agreement of Personal Responsibility shall result in termination of AFDC and food stamps. The Agreement of Personal Responsibility shall be written for each nonexempt participant specifying, among other applicable requirements, the following:

1. The participant's obligations and responsibilities:

a. That it is the participant's responsibility to seek employment to support his own family.

b. That it is the participant's responsibility to participate in assignments made by the case manager.

c. That it is the participant's responsibility to notify the case manager of any change in the participant's circumstances which would impact the participant's ability to satisfactorily participate in the program.

d. That it is the participant's responsibility to accept offers of suitable employment. Refusal to accept offers of suitable employment will result in the loss of the participant household's AFDC and food stamps. Loss of food stamps for refusal to accept offers of suitable employment will result in the entire household's food stamp allotment being terminated when the participant is the head of household. If the participant is not the head of the household, only the participant's prorata share shall be removed from the allotment.

e. That it is the participant's responsibility to arrange and find transportation and day care. The agency will provide for transportation and day care, to the extent funding is available, only when the participant is unable to make his own arrangements.

2. Explanation of the two-year time limit.

C. Modification of the Agreement of Personal Responsibility shall not impact or change the two-year time limit for receipt of AFDC benefits.

D. A VIEW participant who does not meet an exemption and who is not employed in unsubsidized employment within 90 days of receipt of AFDC shall be required to participate in a work activity. The department shall ensure that participants are assigned to one of the following employment categories in priority order not less than 90 days after AFDC eligibility determination:

1. Unsubsidized private sector employment (full-time, part-time or temporary) is the preferred employment category. A participant shall be required to accept any offers of suitable employment as defined in §60.2-618 of the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act.

2. Subsidized employment as follows:

a. The department shall conduct a work activity which shall be known as the Full Employment Program (FEP), which shall replace AFDC and food stamp benefits with subsidized employment.

b. The local department, employer and the full employment participant shall sign a written agreement. At the expiration of this full employment agreement or when the participant leaves FEP, he will be reassessed and a modified Activity and Service Plan will be developed to reassign the participant to an appropriate employment category.

c. The employer is reimbursed for the wages paid to the participant up to the combined value of the participant's AFDC and food stamps as contained in the agreement signed between the department and the employer.

(1) The employer subsidy will be based on the actual hours the participant works.

(2) The value of the participant's AFDC and food stamp benefits will be based on the benefits received over the period of assignment to a Full Employment Program placement.

3. Community work experience.

a. If the The participant cannot can be placed into an unsubsidized job or Full Employment Program, the participant must be placed into community work experience. The department and local departments shall expand the community work experience program authorized under the Job Opportunity and Basic Skills Training Program (JOBS) to include job placement in community work experience programs which Job placements shall serve a useful public purpose as provided in §482 (f) of the Social Security Act (42 USC §682 F).

b. The department and local departments shall work with other state, regional, and local agencies and governments in developing job placements. Placements shall be selected to provide skills that will make the participant more employable and serve a public function. Participation in community work experience shall be for an initial period of six months. Program participants shall not displace regular workers.

c. At the expiration of the community work experience assignment or when the participant leaves community work experience, he will be reassessed and a modified Activity and Service Plan will be developed to reassign the participant to an appropriate employment category.

d. There shall be no sick leave benefit attached to this component since participants work in exchange for their AFDC and food stamp benefits. Participants who are ill or incapacitated will continue to receive their benefits.

4. In order to be considered a work activity in VIEW, on-the-job training must be provided by an employer. This is typically employer-required unpaid training by an employer which must be completed before an individual will be hired.

E. Other VIEW activities in conjunction with work include:

1. Education.

a. Education may only be provided in conjunction with work-related activities during the participant's two-year time period.

(1) Only eight hours per week of community work experience hours can be provided for educational activities during the participant's initial six-month placement in community work experience. After six months of participation in community work experience, the number of hours required in the work activity can be reduced to allow participation in education to further the participant's employability.

(2) Participants who enroll into education or training programs prior to coming in VIEW shall be required to meet the requirements of the program.

b. Post-secondary education. Participants assigned to post-secondary education should have demonstrated the capability to successfully complete the educational activity in the prescribed time period in an occupational area for which there is demand in the community.

2. Job skills training may only be provided in conjunction with work-related activities during the participant's two-year time period. The choice of occupational skills training offered will vary in each jurisdiction depending upon local labor market conditions. However, skills training must be related to the types of jobs which are available or are likely to become available in the community.

3. Job search and job readiness.

4. Community service.

5. Vocational education.

Statutory Authority

§§63.2-602, 63.2-604, 63.2-606 to 63.2-609, 63.2-611, 63.2-613 and 63.2-617 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 12, Issue 15, eff. July 1, 1996; amended, Virginia Register Volume 23, Issue 23, eff. September 1, 2007.