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CHILD SUPPORT SANCTIONS

ISSUE DATE: 05/2017

MFIP:
IV-D determines when caregivers with children fail to cooperate with support requirements. When notified by the Child Support agency of non-cooperation, reduce the unit’s grant (cash/food portion) by 30% of the unit’s Transitional Standard. Act on the reported change as soon as possible but no later than 10 days from the date notified, allowing for 10-day notice. If the 10th day is after 10-day notice cutoff, impose the sanction no later than the next available month allowing for 10-day notice. The residual amount of the grant, if any, must be paid to the caregiver. Non-cooperation with IV-D requirements also results in the loss of child care benefits. See 0020.09 (MFIP/DWP Assistance Standards), 0026 (Notices).

Do not impose a sanction when a caregiver complies with support requirements prior to the effective date of the sanction. If you do impose a sanction, and the caregiver subsequently complies, remove the sanction the month following the month that he/she complies.

Caregivers who are not themselves on the MFIP grant are still required to cooperate with Child Support. This applies to parental caregivers who are not receiving MFIP because they receive SSI, are ineligible non-citizens, or are removed from the grant due to fraud, EBT misuse, a drug felony or for any other reason. It also applies to the 2nd parent in a 2-parent household who has chosen the post-60 removal option. Failure to cooperate results in a sanction occurrence against the caregiver and reduces the MFIP grant by 30%, even when the grant is issued for the needs of the child(ren) only.

Non-parental caregivers receiving assistance for a child(ren) MUST cooperate with Child Support even if they do not receive assistance for themselves. They must be sanctioned if IV-D determines non-cooperation. Instead of incurring a sanction, a relative caregiver may choose to remove the child(ren) from the unit, unless the child(ren) is required to be in the unit.

Do not impose a sanction when the Child Support agency reports a caregiver has not cooperated for a child who is no longer receiving MFIP.

After a notice of sanction is sent, the caregiver may then claim good cause. Give the participant the Cooperation with Child Support Enforcement (DHS-2338) (PDF) and send a copy of the signed notice to the child support agency. While the good cause committee is reviewing the claim the caregiver is considered to be cooperating. Do not sanction the case during the period the committee is deciding on the claim. If the claim is denied, the sanction would then be imposed. See 0012.21.06 (Child Support Good Cause Exemptions).

Consider each month that a caregiver with children fails to comply with support requirements as a separate occurrence of non-compliance. Vendor payment rules apply beginning with the 2nd occurrence of child support sanctions.

Sanctions count towards closure of the MFIP case. A participant will have his/her case closed at the 7th occurrence of non-compliance.

The count toward closure does NOT start over, even if the participant goes off assistance, comes into compliance, and remains in compliance. Use the STAT/SANC panel to track occurrences of non-compliance.

FOR THE 1ST OCCURRENCE OF NON-COMPLIANCE: Reduce the family’s grant by 30% of the Transitional Standard for the family’s size. The grant reduction must be in effect for a minimum of 1 month and must be removed in the month after the month the participant returns to compliance.

FOR THE 2ND - 6TH OCCURRENCE OF NON-COMPLIANCE: Vendor pay the shelter costs up to the amount of the cash portion of the grant. At county option, you may vendor pay utilities up to the amount of the cash portion of the grant. Vendor payment rules apply beginning with the 2nd occurrence of child support sanctions. See 0024.09 (Protective and Vendor Payments) for procedures to use when the information necessary to vendor pay is not on file and the vendor refuses to accept partial payment.

Reduce the residual amount of the cash grant after vendor payment, if any, and the food portion by an amount equal to 30% of the Transitional Standard for the family’s size.

The reduction in the grant must be in effect for a minimum of 1 month and must be removed the month after the month the participant returns to compliance.

Continue to vendor pay the shelter (and utilities, if applicable) for 6 months after the month in which the participant(s) return to compliance.

FOR THE 7TH OCCURRENCE OF NON-COMPLIANCE: Close the MFIP case (100% sanction). Closure during the first 60 months is NOT permanent. The case must be closed for 1 full month but can be reopened in the month following the month that the caregiver cooperates with the support requirements.

A good cause review is required when the MFIP case is sanctioned at 30% for 6 months. The county must attempt to meet face-to-face with the caregiver before case closure. At this face-to-face meeting the county must give the caregiver the Cooperation with Child Support Enforcement (DHS-2338) (PDF), or send it to the caregiver before closing in the 7th month if a face-to-face meeting does not occur. The caregiver may make a good cause claim even if good cause has previously been denied. If the caregiver claims good cause, send the signed Client Statement of Good Cause form to the good cause committee. The committee must review the good cause claim following normal procedures. While the committee is reviewing the claim, the caregiver is considered to be cooperating. If the claim is denied, then the 7th occurrence sanction would be imposed. See 0012.21.06 (Child Support Good Cause Exemptions).


Do not continue a prior child support sanction for new MFIP applications or for MFIP cases that have been closed for more than 30 days and reapply if a complete application is received. The completed application is considered cooperation with child support. See 0005.12.03 (What is a Complete Application).

Sanction the case at 30% if the case that was closed for non-compliance (100% sanction) is reopened after compliance and has another occurrence of non-compliance. Close the case if there is a subsequent occurrence of non-compliance for a case reopened after closure for non-compliance.

NOTE:

The sanction policy for non-compliance with child support is the same for households in the 1st 60 months and for extended households.


Closure for non-compliance does NOT make the participant ineligible for SNAP, if otherwise eligible. Determine eligibility for SNAP at the time of closure. Case closure also does not affect health care eligibility.


FOR DUAL SANCTIONS:
Impose sanctions as follows for participants who refuse to comply with child support requirements AND have a concurrent sanction for failure to attend orientation or to develop or to comply with their Employment Plan:

If the child support non-compliance and other program non-compliance occur in the SAME month, reduce the Transitional Standard and MFIP food portion, whichever applies, by 30% for the 1st month, then vendor pay shelter costs (and utilities, if applicable) for the 2nd month.

The participant remains subject to vendor payments and 30% sanction until BOTH issues of non-compliance have been resolved.



DWP:

Follow MFIP, EXCEPT when notified by IV-D that the caregiver with children is not cooperating, send a notice of termination and close the case. There are no sanction or vendoring provisions in DWP. The unit may be eligible for DWP again if the unit cooperates. A family unit that has been disqualified from DWP due to non-cooperation will not be eligible for MFIP or any other TANF cash program for the remainder of the 4-month DWP eligibility period.

If the family unit that has been closed due to non-cooperation applies for MFIP after the 4-month DWP period ends, the disqualification does not carry over to MFIP. IV-D will determine cooperation or non-cooperation based on the MFIP IV-D referral.


SNAP, MSA, GA, GRH:

No provisions.

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© 2018 Minnesota Department of Human Services Updated: 5/18/17 9:57 AM | Accessibility | Terms/Policy | Contact DHS | Top of Page | Updated: 5/18/17 9:57 AM