Give applicants the Family Violence Referral (DHS-3323) (PDF) and Domestic Violence Information (DHS-3477) (PDF). Provide this information at application, recertification and as part of the Employment Services (ES) overview. See 0005.12.12.01 (Forms/Handouts for Applicants).
When an applicant or participant asks about the Family Violence Waiver or reveals that he/she or a household member has been or is a victim of family violence, explain exemption from the 60-month time limit for victims of family violence under the Family Violence Waiver Option and give the client the Domestic Violence Information (DHS-3477) (PDF). See 0011.30 (60-Month Lifetime Limit).
Explain the advantages to the client (exemption from the 60-month limit and ability to address safety issues), and provide the client with information about community resources that provide services to victims of family violence. Although you may believe it would be in the best interest of the client to choose a Family Violence Waiver, it is ALWAYS the client’s choice whether to ask for it. Never question a client’s self-identified need for a Family Violence Waiver.
Explain to the participant the documentation required to substantiate a claim of family violence. See 0010.18.33 (Verifying Family Violence). Follow regular verification time lines when requesting documentation. See 0010.21 (Verification Due Dates). Do not delay processing an application while the client gets documentation of family violence or is developing an Employment Plan (EP). Do NOT impose an ES sanction/disqualification during the period of time that a participant is obtaining documentation. Also see 0010 (Verification).
When a client requests a Family Violence Waiver, refer the client to a domestic violence advocate or someone trained in domestic violence if the client is not already working with someone. See PERSON TRAINED IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE in 0002.49 (Glossary: Permanent...). Each county must identify locally-trained people in order to ensure access for all clients. Counties can contact the Minnesota Center for Crime Victim Services at 651-282-6252 or 1-888-622-8799 for information about agencies in their area. You can also refer the client to legal services at 1-888-354-5522.
The client, the person trained in domestic violence, and the job counselor will jointly develop the Employment Plan (EP). Once a participant has requested and been approved for a Family Violence Waiver they meet qualifications for Family Stabilization Services (FSS). See Employment Services Manual 7.18.3 (FSS EP or EP for Participants with a Disability), 11.6 (FSS Eligibility Criteria).
County agencies and ES providers are required to follow data privacy procedures. It is also important to ensure confidentiality to victims of family violence, especially when the victim lives with the abuser. Consult with your county attorney regarding the county’s data practices policy if you are uncertain about how to apply this policy.
Obtain a release of information from the participant prior to talking to a domestic violence advocate about the participant’s issues related to family violence. Consult with the participant to determine where mail should be sent or phone calls made, since the abuser is often still in the home or has access to the home.
During the application process, if you become aware of a non-citizen who is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determined victim of battery and/or cruelty that could also meet the family violence exemption provision, make the necessary referrals using the Family Violence Referral (DHS-3323) (PDF). See 0011.03.21 (Non-Citizens - Victims of Battery/Cruelty).
A victim of family violence may be eligible for an extension of MFIP benefits after the person has verified he/she is a victim of family violence and has developed an Employment Plan (EP). See 0010.18.33 (Verifying Family Violence), 0028.15 (Employment Plan (EP)).
Follow MFIP, EXCEPT the references to information required at recertification and exemption from the 60-month time limits do NOT apply to DWP.
SNAP, MSA, GA, GRH: