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Minnesota Department of Human Services Combined Manual
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ISSUE DATE: 12/2014

Caregivers under the age of 18 without a high school diploma or GED must attend school unless exempt.

The caregiver must be enrolled in a secondary school and meeting the school's attendance requirements.

For caregivers under 18 years of age, who are enrolled in an on-line secondary school or GED program, refer to the school district to determine its legitimacy. Each district has a transfer specialist who will sort this out, probably by doing testing.

Consider a caregiver to be attending school when he or she is enrolled but the school is not in regular session (for example, during holidays and summer breaks).

At the intake interview, give caregivers under age 20 the Graduate to Independence/MFIP Teen Parent Informational Brochure (DHS-2887) (PDF) and the Notice of Requirement to Attend School (DHS-2961) (PDF).

For an 18- or 19-year old caregiver with an on-line diploma from a program other than one approved by the MN Dept. of Education, explain the MFIP policy and place the teen in the “work option”. See 0012.06 (Requirements for Caregivers Under 20).

Counties must allow 18- and 19-year old teen parents who do not have a high school diploma or its equivalent to choose an Employment Plan (EP) with either an education option or a work option. See 0028.06.03 (Who Must Participate in Empl. Services/SNAP E&T), 0028.15 (Employment Plan).

The following are EXEMPTIONS from the school attendance requirement:

Transportation services needed to attend school are not available.

Appropriate child care services are not available.

The caregiver is ill or disabled seriously enough to prevent school attendance.

The caregiver is needed in the home because of the professionally certified illness or disability of another member of the assistance unit, a relative or who is a foster child in the household.

The caregiver is the parent of a child who is younger than 6 weeks old.

When you deny an exemption, send a SPEC/LETR of exemption denial to the caregiver.

If a caregiver who is not exempt from school requirements fails to attend school, without good cause, impose a sanction. See 0028.18 (Good Cause for Non-Compliance--MFIP/DWP), 0028.30 (Sanctions for Failure to Comply - Cash).

Social Services will notify you if they determine that education is inappropriate for a custodial parent under age 18. Do not impose any other school attendance requirements unless Social Services notifies you to do so.

Caregivers who are required to attend school must meet enrollment and attendance requirements. Verify enrollment and attendance information at least monthly. Have the client sign the Request for Verification of School Attendance/Progress (DHS- 2883) (PDF) or a county version of the form that contains the same information and send it to the school. Do not sanction the parent if the school fails to cooperate.

Caregivers must meet enrollment and attendance requirements at the time of verification. If the school verification shows that a client is not enrolled or attending school, or appears to be facing barriers to completing education, notify the person responsible for case management and reassess the client's school attendance requirement.


Generally follow MFIP. Also see 0013.05 (DWP Bases of Eligibility).


When participants enter the program, the Employment Services Provider (ESP) must assess the participants to determine if the participants can find a job with the skills they possess. If the lack of basic education is a barrier to obtaining suitable employment, the ESP may include basic education or GED course work in the EDP. Examples of when to include basic education or GED course work in an EDP include:

GED course work or basic education is considered the best path to employment.

Low skill levels make it difficult to complete job applications; interfere with the ability to get, keep, or advance on the job; or block movement toward self-sufficiency.

The participant is very close (1 to 3 months) to completing a GED at the time of the individualized assessment.

Prior to including basic education in an EDP, the ESP should consider:

The participant’s interest and motivation to be in school.

The participant's history of participation and progress in similar educational activities.

Whether there is a reasonable expectation that the participant will make sufficient improvement in a short time to noticeably increase his/her marketability.

Any intellectual impairments or learning disabilities which may indicate the need for more specialized services.

The ESP should approve basic education in blocks of 3 months or less to allow for a review of progress prior to continuation of the activity.


Post-secondary training and education activities may be included in an EDP and are generally limited to 1 year. A 2nd year may be approved in limited circumstances. In order for a post-secondary education program to be approved, the participant or the provider must document that:

The goals in the participant's EDP can only be met with the post-secondary training.

There is a market for full-time employees with the proposed training where the participant will (or is willing to) reside upon completion of the program.

The average wage level for employees with this training is significantly greater than the participant can earn without this training.

The participant can meet the requirements for admission into the program.

There is a reasonable expectation that the participant will complete the training program based on such factors as the participant’s current assessment; previous education, training, and work history; current motivation; and changes in previous circumstances.

The ESP must ensure that the participant is making satisfactory progress in the program. Satisfactory progress must be defined in the participant's EDP. The ESP may accept or modify the definition of satisfactory progress used by the educational institution where the participant is enrolled.


No provisions.


No provisions. However, some people are required to attend school to get or maintain GA eligibility. See 0011.18 (Students).

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