INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:40-3-1
1. (a) Child welfare specialists process applications made by:
(1) a foster parent whether or not a payment is made. Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC)
340:75-7-65 for Child Welfare Services (CWS) foster care child care requirements;
(2) a foster parent of a child in tribal custody with an open resource in the Child Abuse and Neglect Information System also known as KIDS;
(3) foster parents in the process of a trial adoption of the foster child in their care;
(4) clients requesting protective/preventive care when CWS is working with the family and recommending protective or preventive child care; and
(5) clients requesting care for a child placed in their home due to an Immediate Protection Plan or a Safety Plan.
(b) CWS adoption specialists process applications for trial adoptive families who are adopting a child in Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) custody that did not previously serve as the child's foster home.
(c) Adult and Family Services (AFS) workers process all applications for:
(1) clients when a copayment must be determined;
(2) children under Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). When a child is under an ICPC with another state, the local ICPC worker advises AFS staff when the foster family is receiving funds for child care from the other state. When funds are available for child care from the other state, the worker denies the application;
(3) a tribal foster family when there is not an open resource in KIDS. The worker sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org notifying AFS Child Care Subsidy staff of the approval. The email includes the case number, foster parent's name, and child's name. AFS Child Care Subsidy staff then requests CWS resource program staff determines why there is not an open resource in KIDS;
(4) protective/preventive child care as long as there is not an open CWS case. This may occur when the family is not court involved but CWS staff contracts with an outside agency for Comprehensive Home-Based Services (CHBS). Refer to OAC
340:40-7-8(f) for information about processing AFS protective or preventive child care requests; and
(5) clients whose children are in DHS custody and on trial reunification with their parents. When children are in DHS custody but on trial reunification with their parents, the parent's income is considered in determining the amount of the family share copayment.
2. When a change of payee is reported, the worker asks the client if the payee change is due to a temporary or permanent absence. When the parent's absence is temporary, he or she is considered a household member per OAC
340:40-7-6 (c) and remains the payee. When the change is permanent, the new payee must complete a new application.
3. When an adoptive child turns 6 years of age during an eligibility period, the child remains eligible until the next renewal. At renewal, a new application is required for the 6 year old.
4. (a) An authorized representative is a person who is knowledgeable of the household circumstances. The child care provider or a person working for the child care provider cannot be the authorized representative. The worker contacts the applicant to determine, if the:
(1) household freely requested the assistance of the authorized representative;
(2) household circumstances are correctly reported; and
(3) applicant understands that he or she is held liable for any overpayment resulting from erroneous information given by the authorized representative.
(b) The worker must enter information about the authorized representative in the Information Management System (IMS) using the computer transaction EBTU before an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card can be issued.
5. Refer to OAC
340:40-7-6 (c) when the absence of the parent is temporary.
6. Only the minor parent's income and need factor is used to determine the child's eligibility for subsidized child care benefits. Refer to OAC
7. The person acting on the parent's behalf must provide documentation from a professional, who is working with the parent, stating why the parent is incapable of completing the application or designating an authorized representative.
8. (a) A signature may be submitted in person, through a scanned document via email, fax, or okdhslive.org.
(b) An application submitted online through okdhslive.org is automatically copied to DiscImage and is considered to have an electronic signature. A paper application is not required.
9. When approving a child with disabilities for child care, refer to OAC 340:40-7-3.1 for information on the approval process for the higher special needs rate at the chosen facility.
10. (a) Child care subsidy benefits may be requested verbally, in writing, or through okdhslive.org.
(b) The date of request is entered in the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) Eligibility Notebook, Child Care tab in the "Request Date" field E1 before an EBT card can be issued. When the worker certifies or denies benefits, the date of request is also entered in the FACS Eligibility Notebook, Auth. Daycare tab in the "Child Care Req Date" field K9.
(c) When the child care request is mailed or left at the local county office or submitted through okdhslive.org, staff contacts the applicant the same day to explain that a child care interview must be completed and to advise what verification must be provided before care is approved. A phone interview is appropriate when it best meets the applicant's needs. When the worker cannot reach the client by phone, he or she sends Form 08AD092E, Client Contact and Information Request, advising the client that an interview must be completed and needed verification provided. The worker documents all attempts to contact the client by phone in case notes.
(d) The need for child care must be met within 30-calendar days of the request date.
11.(a) The only time the date of request and the date of certification are the same date is when the applicant completes a child care application, is interviewed, and provides all necessary verification on the same day. Refer to OAC 340:40-7 for eligibility factors the worker must verify before approving subsidized child care benefits. The applicant must also advise the worker of the name of the child care provider he or she plans to use before the certification date is determined.
(b) When the applicant chooses an ineligible provider, the worker is responsible for immediately informing the applicant of the provider's ineligibility and that he or she must choose a contracted provider.
(1) When the applicant chooses a child care provider with a pending DHS contract, the worker must inform the applicant that:
(A) the earliest date DHS approves child care and payment to the provider is the day the provider's contract is granted; and
(B) payment for any child care used prior to that date is the applicant's responsibility to pay.
(2) The worker determines when a new contract is granted by entering in IMS: PCI, space, and the contract number. The date shown under "contract begin date" is the earliest date services may be approved.
(c) The worker enters the date of certification in the FACS Eligibility Notebook in the Child Care tab, "Cert Date" field E2 and in the Auth. Daycare tab, "Begin/Change Date" field K45 when the applicant needs care on this date. When the applicant does not need care until a future date, the worker enters the future date in the "Begin/Change Date" field K45.
(d) When the applicant provides all requested verification and the worker determines more verification is needed, the certification date entered is the date the applicant provides the initially requested verification.
12.(a) The worker completes the interview with the person who signs the application or the household's authorized representative. The applicant must designate the authorized representative in writing prior to the interview. The worker explores the applicant's eligibility for child care and advises the applicant of other DHS programs for which the applicant may be eligible. The worker also arranges for the client to view the video, "EBT Child Care," explaining the EBT system. Local county staff is encouraged to develop at least two methods to assist applicants in accessing subsidized child care benefits. Examples of possible methods include:
(1) extended office hours;
(2) phone interviews when a face-to-face meeting would cause a client to miss work or school. A signed application must be received before the worker approves subsidized child care benefits;
(3) out-stationing staff to take applications;
(4) utilizing home visits. Refer to OAC
340:65-3-4(1) regarding home visits. When the worker schedules a home visit, it is usually planned so the worker has an opportunity to meet everyone in the household. The worker plans the visit at a time that does not interfere with the applicant's job or the child's school schedule; and
(5) allowing a client to be interviewed in a non-resident county when it is more convenient for the client.
(b) Local county staff makes every effort to interview the applicant on the date of request to inform the applicant what he or she must provide before child care is approved.
(1) When the applicant mails in or leaves the child care request at the local county office without staying for an interview, staff attempts to contact the applicant that same day by phone to explain that a child care interview must be completed and to advise what verification must be provided before care is approved.
(2) When the worker reaches the applicant by phone and the applicant consents to the interview, the worker completes the interview and informs the applicant what verification is required to make an eligibility decision.
(3) When the worker cannot reach the client by phone, he or she sends Form 08AD092E to inform the applicant of the scheduled interview date and required verification.
13. (a) The worker advises the applicant the child care plan may change depending on the documentation the applicant provides to verify the applicant's need for child care.
(b) The worker secures the applicant's signature and images the application. At the end of the interview upon request, the worker gives or mails a copy of the application to the applicant or the authorized representative.
(c) Refer to OAC 340:40-7 for details regarding conditions of eligibility, including need, and OAC 340:40-5 for detailed information regarding completing a child care plan and those child care providers who cannot be approved for subsidy payment.
(d) The worker gives or mails Form 08AD092E to the applicant when verification must be provided before subsidized child care benefits are approved. When Form 08AD092E must be mailed because the interview is conducted over the phone, the worker tells the applicant what verification is needed before mailing the form.
14. The video explains the:
(1) proper care and use of the client's EBT card;
(2) client's responsibility to swipe accurate attendance before DHS helps pay for the child's care; and
(3) need to contact the worker immediately when a problem occurs so it may be resolved within 10-calendar days.
15. Refer to Presumptive Eligibility Coding | Quest for instructions on how to code the 30-calendar days.
16. (a) An example of verification that is beyond the applicant's control to provide includes instances when an employer refuses to verify income for an employee or DHS until a paycheck is received. In instances such as this, the applicant must provide all other verification that is within his or her control. The worker uses the applicant's statement for the verification that is out of the applicant's control to provide.
(b) The applicant is not automatically assigned a zero, family share copayment because the presumptive eligibility process is used. The worker uses the income processes in OAC
340:40-7-10 through 340:40-7-13to determine what income counts and when. In the case of two-parent families, when one parent has worked for some time and the other parent is starting a new job, the worker counts the income of the parent who has been working to determine the family share copayment.
17. Refer to OAC
340:40-7-8(a) for information on self-employed individuals.
18. The worker gives the client Form 08AD092E requesting proof of good cause and approves the child care request for 30-calendar days when the client provides all other required verification.
When the client provides good cause proof, the worker and supervisor must agree with the good cause claim before approving further care.
19. (a) When the client provides verification within the 30-calendar day approval period or within 30-calendar days of closure, the worker reopens the child care. Refer to Presumptive Eligibility Coding | Quest for instructions on how to reopen care following a 30-calendar day presumptive eligibility approval.
(b) When the client does not provide required verification within 60-calendar days, child care remains closed.
(c) The worker does not approve a new presumptive eligibility period unless the client provides all requested verification from the last presumptive eligibility approval.
(d) After the worker receives income proof and realizes the family share copayment should have been higher for the presumptive eligibility period, he or she does not complete an overpayment unless the worker and supervisor believe the client intentionally provided incorrect information. In those instances, the worker sends an overpayment memo to AFS Benefit Integrity and Recovery.
20. (a) When a new application is required because of a payee change or when an adopted child turns 6 years of age per (a)(1)(C) or (D), the household must meet the entry income threshold per DHS Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Copayment Chart, Schedule I.A or I.B, even when the child received subsidized child care in the prior month.
(b) When the applicant is eligible for child care for the month of application because income from a new source is not considered, but is not eligible at the entry income threshold per DHS Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Copayment Chart, Schedule I.A or I.B for the next month when income is considered, the worker uses the unfinished issuance process to approve child care benefits for the application month and closes child care benefits for the next month.
21. Circumstances beyond the control of the client or provider include, but are not limited to, some type of worker or system error.
22. (a) When the applicant is determined ineligible, the worker provides information and referral services that may help the family develop alternative arrangements, when requested.
(b) Refer to OAC
340:40-9-3 for notice requirements. The worker denies the child care request in the FACS Eligibility Notebook, Auth. Daycare tab by entering:
(1) "Person Number" field K4;
(2) "Action Taken" field K12;
(3) "Reason" field K16;
(4) "Child Care Req Date" field K9;
(5) "Begin/Change Date" field K45; and
(6) "Adult Day Services" field K95.
(c) When the child care provider's contract number is known and entered in "Contract Number" field K40, a notice computer-generates to both the applicant and the child care provider. When the contract number is unknown, a notice is computer-generated to the applicant only.
23. Examples include when the applicant's income exceeds agency standards or the applicant does not meet a need factor within 30-calendar days of the request date.
24.Examples include when the applicant misses the scheduled interview, refuses to cooperate with child support requirements, or requests cancellation of the application.