1. Participant allowances and the work activity payment are appropriate for a person who agrees to comply with work activities during the 60-calendar day period following closure for non-compliance with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work activities.
2. The flexible fund guidelines are listed in (1) through (32) of this Instruction. The maximum amount authorized is $750 per object code, unless the appropriate regional director or designee approves the authorization for an amount above $750. Dental may be approved up to $2500 without regional director or designee approval. For a dental expense above $2500, the worker contacts Adult and Family Services (AFS) TANF staff for approval.
(1) Eye examinations. This service is utilized when there is a need for an eye examination.
(2) Eyeglasses - single vision. This service is utilized when there is a need for eyeglasses. Payment for contact lens may be approved when it is determined to be more cost efficient or beneficial to the client.
(3) Eyeglasses - bifocal or trifocal. This service is utilized when there is a need for eyeglasses.
(4) Dental. This service is utilized when there is a need for dental services.
(5) Vaccinations. To be eligible for vaccinations, such as Hepatitis B or tetanus, the participant must be otherwise ready to participate in a work activity requiring the vaccination.
(6) Work tolerance. This service is authorized to determine the participant's ability to participate in specific work activities. Form 08TW027E, Work Tolerance Report, and Form 08HI003E, Authorization to Disclose Medical Records, is completed when this service is authorized. Copies of Form 08TW027E and Form 08HI003E are filed in the case record.
(7) Weight control programs. This service is utilized when losing weight would enhance employability for the participant.
(8) Uniforms or special clothing. This service is utilized when the training facility or employer requires a uniform specifically required for the job or protective items, such as hard hats, goggles, or gloves.
(9) Clothing and/or shoes. This service is utilized when there is a need for clothing and/or shoes.
(10) Special equipment. This service is utilized when the training facility or employer requires special equipment for the job, such as tools.
(11) Self-employment. This service is utilized when the participant has a need for items that allow for implementation or continuation of self-employment.
(12) Licensure fees, certification, or bonding. To be eligible for this service, the participant verifies that license, certification, or bonding is required for employment.
(13) Automobile repair and maintenance. To be eligible for automobile repair, the automobile must be owned or co-owned by the participant, his or her spouse, or the participant's parent when the participant is younger than 21 years of age.
(A) The participant must provide two cost estimates from qualified repair persons. If the participant is unable to provide two free estimates, the worker may issue flex funds for estimates using the automobile inspection fee code per Appendix H-4, Flexible Accounts.
(B) The case record must contain a statement from a qualified repair person, such as a mechanic, as to whether the vehicle is worth repairing based on the age and overall condition.
(C) When parts are purchased separately for installation by someone other than a regular vehicle repair business; the qualified repair person must provide a statement attesting the parts were installed in the correct vehicle.
(D) This service may also include tire and a battery expenses, when the qualified repair person determines the vehicle is inoperable or unsafe without them.
(E) The service does not include expenses, such as body repair, painting, or sanding.
(14) Driver license. This service is utilized for a TANF Work participant who needs a private and/or commercial license to operate a motor vehicle. The loss of a driver license due to a traffic offense or fine is not paid with this fund.
(15) Automobile tags, title, and tax. The automobile to be tagged must be owned or co-owned by the participant, his or her spouse, or the participant's parent when the participant is younger than 21 years of age. This service includes excise tax and transfer of title.
(16) Automobile insurance. The automobile to be insured must be owned or co-owned by the participant, his or her spouse, or the participant's parent when the participant is younger than 21 years of age.
(17) Relocation and moving expenses. To be eligible for relocation and moving expenses, utility or rent deposits, the participant must relocate to accept employment. The employment must be located more than the locally accepted commuting distance from the participant's home.
(18) Reserved for future use.
(19) Automobile purchase. This service is authorized when the worker determines it is the only option available to meet the participant's transportation needs.
(20) Automobile down payment. This service is authorized when the worker determines it is the only option available to meet the participant's transportation needs.
(21) Rent and utilities. This service is utilized for an emergency shelter need.
(22) General Educational Development (GED) examinations. Effective January 1, 2014, flex funds are no longer used to pay for a participant to take the GED examination, or retest. After the participant's GED instructor confirms the client is ready to take the GED examination, the worker sends an email to TANF@okdhs.org requesting a voucher to pay for the examination and includes the participant's name and case number. The worker must document receipt of the GED instructor's approval in case notes. AFS TANF staff responds to the email with the voucher number for each module.
(23) Non-contractual transportation. This service is utilized only when a county office is in the process of obtaining a transportation contract or there is no vendor available or interested in contracting with the county office.
(24) Non-contractual training. This service is utilized when short-term training courses are not covered by existing local contracts. This includes vocational classes and job readiness training.
(25) Learning disabilities screening. This service is utilized to assess a participant for learning disabilities. Adult learning centers may provide this assessment.
(26) Child care fees. This service is utilized when the participant needs assistance paying for a child care enrollment or activity fee. These funds are not available actual child care costs.
(27) Past due automobile payments. This service is utilized to prevent repossession when transportation is essential to continue a work activity and the participant is able to make future payments. When the worker determines the participant is unable to make future payment, a different transportation plan must be developed.
(28) Automobile inspection fee. This service is utilized to have an automobile professionally inspected prior to purchase.
(29) Tow charge. This service is utilized when it is necessary to tow a vehicle for repair.
(30) Household items. This service is utilized to purchase or repair essential household items to prevent work activity disruption.
(32) Health related. This service is utilized for health-related expenses not covered by SoonerCare (Medicaid), such as non-compensable prescriptions, medical supplies, psychological evaluations, mandated drug tests, or physical examinations, not paid by an employer or training provider.
(33) Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) fees. This service is utilized when fees for special testing are not covered under the DAP contract.
3. (a) In addition to active TANF clients, clients in a Subsidized Employment Program component or in special medical or continuing medical benefit status may receive flexible funds.
(b) A client whose TANF benefits closed with a 52A or a 52B closure code may also be considered eligible as a participant when:
(1) he or she signs a new or updated Form 08TW002E, TANF Work/Personal Responsibility Agreement, Section 7;
(2) agrees to cooperate with TANF Work within 60-calendar days of the closure; and
(3) the worker opens a TANF Work authorization documenting the work activity agreed upon by the client and worker.
4. The worker must:
(1) determine on a case-by-case basis whether the service is available through any other resource, including other Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) programs, local churches, or civic groups;
(2) negotiate for goods and services for the participant at the least possible cost and determine if the labor cost may be reduced or donated;
(3) not include state or local taxes in the negotiated amounts;
(4) pre-determine and authorize any payment or service by signing the Authorization to Purchase form; and
(5) inform the participant to sign the Authorization to Purchase form only after the service has been rendered.
5. (a) The worker accesses the payment screen through the online Financial Services system or the Finance Applications website on the InfoNet.
(1) Data entered on the provider includes the federal identification number, address, and telephone number.
(2) The worker enters on the same screen the:
(A) case number;
(B) cash amount of the service;
(C) the applicable object code per DHS Appendix H-4, Flexible Accounts; and
(D) description of the service to be provided to the participant. The description is as detailed as possible to prevent misunderstanding as to what the payment of the authorization covers.
(3) The worker enters needed information, prints the completed form, and gives the form to the participant.
(b) The county director or designee is responsible for periodically monitoring the flexible fund account expenditures.
6. The worker authorizes the work activity payment through the ETPANEW screen. The worker:
(1) may issue up to a maximum of $40 per month when the participant has a specific need;
(2) does not routinely issue a work activity payment to supplement monthly living expenses; and
(3) documents all payment amounts and reasons for issuing payments in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.
7. The worker does not pay participant allowances for the TANF Work components of working full-time (WF), working part-time (WP), or on-the-job training (TT). Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-2-1 for the payment of participation allowances for holidays and excused absences.
8. Form 08TW013E, Time and Progress Report, instructs the participant to submit pages one and two to the local county office by the 20th of the current month and pages three and four by the fifth of the next month.
9. The worker enters the hours per day the participant participates in TANF Work activities in the ETPANEW transaction using information provided by the recipient on Form 08TW013E for that month. The worker rounds down to the next whole hour any portion of an hour equal to, or less than 29 minutes, and rounds up to the next whole hour any portion of an hour equal to, or greater than 30 minutes.
10. The worker accesses the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) background request form through a link on the InfoNet AFS Job Functions page for a TANF worker.
(1) The worker completes all applicable fields on the form and clicks the submit information button to send the request for processing.
(2) Adult and Family Services TANF staff sends the OSBI response to the requesting worker as soon as possible.
(3) The worker:
(A) images and saves the OSBI response in a section of the case record marked confidential;
(B) mails a copy, when required, to the requesting facility; and
(C) documents the reason for the request in case notes.
11. The worker images the child care application, files it in the case record, and documents the days and hours child care is approved in FACS case notes.
12. TANF clients in a SEP component or in special medical or continuing medical benefit status continue to be eligible to receive transportation services.
13. The worker refers the participant to DAP when the TANF Work recipient does not have current legal representation through a private attorney.
14. Refer to the Legal Aid website at http://legalaidok.org/RTF1.cfm?pagename=Law%20Offices for the listing of contracted Legal Aid offices.
(1) The worker initiates the referral by use of Form 08TA010E, Referral for the Disability Advocacy Program.
(2) The TANF Work recipient completes and signs Form 08TA010E, Part I, and the reverse side, Request for Release of Disability Information. When the person referred is a minor child(ren), the parent or guardian signs for the child.
(3) The worker faxes the signed and completed Form 08TA010E to the appropriate Legal Aid office.
(4) Contracted law firm staff completes Form 08TA010E, Part II, within 10- business days of completing the evaluation of merit.
15. Law firm staff is responsible for:
(1) interviewing the referred recipient;
(2) reviewing Social Security Administration (SSA) files;
(3) obtaining existing medical records;
(4) obtaining non-medical evidence;
(5) arranging medical examinations;
(6) obtaining evaluations of residual functional capacity;
(7) completing and submitting required SSA forms;
(8) submitting evidence to SSA; and
(9) advocating, formally or informally, on the recipient's behalf.
16. (a) By contract, the law firm must inform the worker within 10-business days when the:
(1) referral lacks sufficient merit to proceed at any stage of the process;
(2) recipient fires the law firm;
(3 recipient fails to cooperate with the law firm; or
(4) recipient refuses to pursue any stage of administrative appeal through a decision by the SSA Appeals Council.
(b) When the referral has sufficient merit to proceed, law firm staff must provide status updates to the worker within 10-business days of the:
(1) SSA application filing;
(2) SSA initial decision;
(3) SSA reconsideration request;
(4) SSA reconsideration decision;
(5) request for an Administrative Law Judge hearing;
(6) SSA hearing decision;
(7) SSA Appeals Council decision; and