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ISSUE DATE: 07/2018

Federal rules limit public assistance eligibility for caregivers to 60 months in their lifetime. Minnesota began counting months toward the 60-month lifetime limit 7-1-97 for receipt of Family GA and Transitional AFDC.

The 60-month limit is per caregiver receiving MFIP, and the months do not have to be consecutive. Count or exclude months as noted below. The counted and exempt months include months in which a caregiver received TANF benefits from another state, even if before 7-1-97 (states may have chosen earlier start dates and shorter limits for their TANF programs).

Count months for MFIP cases with a caregiver who has a fraud disqualification beginning on or after 10-1-07.

The same banking of months and exception policies that apply to MFIP caregivers also apply to disqualified caregivers. For example, months do not count for either an MFIP caregiver or a disqualified caregiver who is age 60 or older.

The following are EXCEPTIONS to counting a month toward the 60-month time limit. If a caregiver meets 1 of the exceptions, that month does NOT COUNT toward the 60-month limit.

Months in which the caregiver participated in the MFIP Field Trials, with a random assignment code on the STAT/MEMB panel of E1, E2, R1, C1, or C2.

Living on reservations with a “not employed” rate of at least 50% when the grant is issued. See TEMP Manual TE02.05.74 (60-Month MFIP Limit & Indian Reservations) for a list of these reservations.

Victims of family violence who request a Family Violence Waiver and are complying with an Employment Plan (EP). The exception starts the month the EP is approved and continues unless the participant is out of compliance with the EP. See 0005.12.12.09 (Family Violence Provisions/Referrals), 0010.18.33 (Verifying Family Violence), 0028.15 (Employment Plan (EP)), TEMP Manual TE13.016 (TANF Family Violence Exemptions).

Caregivers age 60 or older who have not already exceeded the 60-month time limit. Stop the clock the 1st of the month following the month the participant turns 60. Participants who are age 60 or older will not receive the 60-month warning notice referenced below, unless there is a 2nd MFIP caregiver in the household who is not exempt from the 60-month time limit.

Minor caregivers complying with an education plan. See 0012.06 (Requirements for Caregivers Under 20), 0028.12 (Education Requirements).

Custodial parents age 18 or 19 who are cooperating with education requirements of their Employment Plan. See 0012.06 (Requirements for Caregivers Under 20), 0028.12 (Education Requirements).

Emancipated minors who are cooperating with education requirements of their Employment Plan. See 0012.06 (Requirements for Caregivers Under 20), 0028.12 (Education Requirements).

Any month the unit chooses to opt out of the MFIP cash portion and the MFIP Housing Grant. See 0013.03.09 (MFIP Housing Assistance Grant), 0014.03.03.03 (Opting Out of MFIP Cash Portion).

Any month the unit receives ONLY the food portion of the grant AND the unit does not receive the MFIP Housing Grant. This includes if the unit is sanctioned and receives only the food portion. However, see below regarding months that include a vendor payment or a recoupment.

Any month the unit receives a grant for minor children only. This includes any month caregivers are ineligible or disqualified for a reason other than fraud.

Any month the unit would have received only the FOOD portion of the grant (prior to recoupment).

months toward the 60-month limit in these situations, unless exempt above:

Minnesota state-funded months for caregivers who received Family GA.

Minnesota state-funded months for certain non-citizens who are ineligible for TANF-funded assistance. See 0011.03.03 (Non-Citizens - MFIP/DWP Cash).

Minnesota state-funded months for participants receiving Family Stabilization Services (FSS).

Minnesota state-funded months for 2-parent households.

Months of assistance the client received from a Tribal TANF program, whether received in Minnesota or another state.

If there is a vendor payment or recoupment that reduces the CASH portion of the grant to $0.

The months following the month the 19-year old caregiver turns 20.

The months following the month the caregiver under 20 obtains a secondary school diploma or GED.

Months when 18- and 19-year old caregivers do NOT have an education component in their EP.

Months when minor caregivers are sanctioned for non-cooperation with educational requirements.

Months a person receives MFIP cash assistance and later is determined to be ineligible. That period of time is considered to have been months of assistance.

Months a caregiver is disqualified from MFIP due to an intentional program violation (IPV). This applies only to caregivers disqualified effective 10-1-07 or later. See TEMP Manual TE02.08.169 (MFIP IPV Fraud Disqualification) for information on how to process these cases.

Use the STAT/TIME panel in MAXIS to record the history of a caregiver’s receipt of assistance toward the 60-month limit. With the exception of caregivers disqualified due to IPV, this tracking triggers MAXIS to mail person-specific notices regarding the limits. The 1st notice is sent to participants in the 48th month of cash assistance. Subsequent notices are sent between the 10th and the 15th of each month after that, telling participants the number of cash assistance months they have left. See TEMP Manual TE02.08.169 (MFIP IPV Fraud Disqualification), TE13.022 (STAT/TIME), TE15.06 (MFIP Time Limit Notices). Also see TE15.04 (State Contacts - TANF Months) for other states’ TANF effective dates, time limits, and instructions for specific states.

When clients move to or from Minnesota:

When a client moves to another state, the other state will call to confirm the number of months of assistance received toward the 60-month limit. Provide only the number of TANF-funded months a client has used, unless the other state inquires about state-funded assistance.

When a client moves to Minnesota from another state, count only the TANF-funded months on assistance toward the 60-month limit. Do NOT count months when the unit received benefits only from a state-funded assistance program.

Certain people who have reached their 60-month lifetime limit may be eligible for an EXTENSION OF MFIP under a hardship extension category. See 0011.33 (MFIP Hardship Extensions).

During the last 12 months of MFIP there are specific requirements for determining whether a participant is eligible for an extension. See 0011.30.03 (MFIP Transition Period), 0011.30.06 (180 to 60 Days Before MFIP Closes).

When MFIP is closed at the end of 60 months, you must determine if the family is eligible for other types of assistance, including health care and SNAP. See 0005.09.06 (When Not to Require Completion of an Application), 0008.06.01 (Implementing Changes - Program Provisions), and the Minnesota Health Care Programs Eligibility Policy Manual. Workers also should provide information on how to apply for child care assistance.

Also see 0028.30.04 (Post 60-Month Empl. Services Sanctions).


The receipt of DWP does not count toward the 60-month time limit, BUT families are NOT eligible for DWP if a caregiver has reached the 60-month time limit.


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