0290.000.00 SANCTION

IM-#2, January 27, 2014

Unless a participant meets good cause, a temporary exclusion, or an exemption, FSD must sanction the participant's TANF grant 25 percent based on the recommendation from the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) provider.

The following MWA services must be provided to Temporary Assistance (TA) participants who contact the MWA service provider prior to recommending sanction:

After these services are provided, sanction must be recommended when policy was followed and the recipient:

Participants who fail to contact the MWA service provider will be subject to sanction once the conciliation period has expired.

Per 45 CFR 261.54, Missouri may be penalized for not sanctioning individuals who do not comply with work-related requirements.

NOTE: Refer to the MWA Conciliation/Sanction Checklist in the forms manual to ensure policy is followed.

0290.005.00 RECOMMENDING SANCTION WHEN THE TA RECIPIENT WAIVES DUE PROCESS

IM-#2, January 27, 2014

A recipient can choose not to comply with MWA and waive the conciliation due process.  The recipient must complete the MWA Conciliation Due Process Waiver form, which explains the ramifications for choosing not to comply.  Place the signed statement in the paper file and give a copy to the recipient.  Enter case notes and send the sanction alert to FSD immediately, but no later than three (3) business days after the MWA Conciliation Due Process Waiver was signed. The contractor shall continue to work with participants that are sanctioned.

0290.010.00 ADDRESS CHANGES

IM-#2, January 27, 2014, IM-37 June 17, 2011

When the MWA provider becomes aware of an address change and there is returned mail the letter needs to be resent.  If there is an address change and no returned mail, a letter should not be resent and the Conciliation/Sanction process should be continued.

0290.015.00 UNABLE TO LOCATE

IM-#2, January 27, 2014

For returned mail or TA participants who are "known" not to live at a certain address, please refer to Section 0262.010.00 Unable to Locate for more information.

0290.020.00 PROCESS FOR RECOMMENDING SANCTION

IM-#2, January 27, 2014, IM-#37, April 25, 2012, IM-37 June 17, 2011

When it is determined the Temporary Assistance (TA) participant should be sanctioned, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure the sanction appointment on the Conciliation letter is at least 10 business days into the future but no more than 20 business days into the future.
  2. Ensure the sanction appointment on the Conciliation letter was missed and the TA participant did not call to reschedule or s/he failed to participate in the required work activities.
  3. Ensure the sanction alert is sent to the Family Support Division (FSD):
  4. Close the Conciliation activity in the MWA System the same day the sanction alert is sent.
  5. Close any other open services in the MWA System.

    NOTE:  If steps 1 and 2 above were not followed, resend the Conciliation letter which restarts the conciliation/sanction process.

Refer to the MWA Conciliation/Sanction Checklist.

FSD imposes the sanction after the participant's 10-day adverse action period has expired.  A 10-day adverse action is FSD's official notice of intent to reduce a participant's TA benefit for not cooperating with the MWA service provider.  The adverse action notice also advises the participant of the right to a hearing and to representation of the participant's choice.  The TA individual's TA benefit is not reduced until the 10-day adverse action period expires or until the hearing is held and a decision made upholding the sanction.

The MWA System receives a sanction work status (SS) in the overnight data exchange.  This process may take up to thirty (30) days from the date the sanction alert was sent to FSD.  Refer to FSD Imposing Sanctions section.

NOTE:  The alert to recommend sanction should never be sent a second time when FSD has not imposed the sanction.  The MWA service provider should contact local FSD if the work status has not changed to Sanctioned (SS) in the MWA System within 30 days.

0290.025.00 SANCTION ALERTS SENT IN ERROR

IM-#2, January 27, 2014, IM-37 June 17, 2011

The sanction alert can be deleted up to 5:00 p.m. the same day it was sent, if it is determined the sanction alert was sent to the Family Support Division (FSD) in error.  If it is past 5:00 p.m. the same day the sanction alert was generated, do not send the "Recommend Sanction be Lifted" alert to correct the error.  (It is never appropriate to send another alert to correct an alert sent in error.)  Instead, notify the FSD MWA Coordinator that the sanction alert was sent in error.  The MWA case manager must enter case notes in the MWA System documenting the sanction alert sent in error, and that the FSD MWA Coordinator has been notified.

When the FSD MWA Coordinator is notified the sanction alert was sent in error, the FSD MWA Coordinator will review the record.  If the alert was sent in error, the FSD MWA Coordinator contacts local FSD staff to stop the sanction action, and notifies the MWA case manager.

NOTE: If the FSD MWA Coordinator discovers a sanction alert was sent in error prior to being notified, the FSD MWA Coordinator notifies the MWA case manager's supervisor of the error at the same time local FSD staff is notified.

0290.030.00 FSD IMPOSING SANCTIONS

IM-#2, January 27, 2014, IM-37 June 17, 2011

Temporary Assistance (TA) participants are subject to sanction for two reasons: failure to comply with work activities, and failure to comply with child support requirements.  For Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) purposes, the Family Support Division (FSD) only sends the sanction work status ('SS') for failure to comply with work activities.  The sanction for failure to comply with child support requirements does not impact MWA and MWA service providers are not notified of this sanction type.  MWA cannot assist participants in resolving child support sanctions; however, the MWA case manager can explain to the participants that s/he needs to contact Child Support Enforcement.  The participant can be sanctioned for both reasons at the same time, but the cash grant is only reduced by 25 percent.  If the participant is sanctioned for both reasons, s/he will have to satisfy the requirements of both sanctions to get the cash grant fully restored.

In certain instances, the sanction may not be imposed by FSD immediately, or at all.  These circumstances include, but are not limited to:

The sanctioned individual remains a mandatory participant and is required to participate in employment and training activities.  The MWA case manager must continue attempts to re-engage the individual in work or work-related activities.  The TA participant's cash grant is reduced based on the sanction until s/he:

0290.035.00 FSD IMPOSING SANCTIONS ON TWO-PARENT HOUSEHOLDS

One or both parents in a two-parent household may be sanctioned for non-compliance with work activities.  Because the household receives one cash grant, the grant is reduced by 25 percent regardless of whether one or both the parents are sanctioned.  In the event both parents are sanctioned for non-compliance with work activities, both must comply with work requirements to have the grant fully restored.  (If there is also a sanction for failure to comply with child support requirements, this sanction requirement must be satisfied prior to sanction removal.)  If only one parent is sanctioned, the second parent is case managed with all the rights and responsibilities of any other TA recipient in compliance.  (This includes receipt of Transportation Reimbursement Expense (TRE) and Work Related Expense (WRE) payments as outlined in the MWA provider's policy.)

0290.040.00 RE-ENGAGEMENT PROCESS

IM-#2, January 27, 2014, IM-#37, April 25, 2012, IM-37 June 17, 2011

Sanctioned Temporary Assistance (TA) participants have a mandatory work status and are included in the work participation rate after the first three months of non-participation (if not sanctioned for any three months within the preceding 12 months).  These individuals must be served.

Sanctioned recipients require an approach to case management different from recipients who are participating.

Re-engagement consists of a series of contacts to encourage the TA participant to comply with the Missouri Work Assistance (MWA) program.  When a sanctioned individual is referred to the MWA service provider, or the participant becomes sanctioned after the referral, the re-engagement process must begin immediately.  A sanctioned individual may agree to comply with work activities at any time and he/she must be given the opportunity.  The re-engagement process does not end while the mandatory participant is in sanctioned status.

Re-engagement should include various types of contacts with the TA participant at least once a month.  MWA case managers are encouraged to develop re-engagement plans that include processes to connect and motivate sanctioned individuals.

Example:   The MWA case manager may enlist the assistance of community groups or advocacy organizations.

The sanctioned individual is sent a re-engagement letter that states the reason for the letter and how the recipient may begin to comply with MWA.  If the participant responds to the first re-engagement letter:

The alert to lift sanction is sent only after the TA participant has complied with the work requirements of MWA.  Send the alert to lift the sanction when:

All TA recipients are required to participate for two consecutive weeks to lift the sanction and should be placed into 'MWA Trial Participation' and the appropriate work activity in the MWA System.

After the sanction has been lifted, the TA recipient's work status changes to mandatory (DD) instead of sanctioned (SS) on the Temporary Assistance Information screen in the MWA System.

If the recipient does not respond to the first re-engagement letter:

If the TA participant moves out of the MWA service provider's area, the MWA case manager should initiate a case file transfer to the appropriate MWA service provider.  If the case file transfer request has not been accepted within two weeks of request, contact the appropriate MWA service provider.  The service provider displayed in the MWA System is responsible for sending the re-engagement letter to the participant.