1. When an Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Support Services (CSS) district office receives a non-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) SoonerCare (Medicaid) referral or case update from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) with a pending good cause indicator, and the custodial person (CP) is requesting Title IV-D services, the custodian must agree to cooperate with CSS, except when the case contains good cause, per Section 654 of Title 42 of the United States Code and Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 317:35-5-7. CSS district office follows the noncooperation procedures for good cause determination per OAC 340:25-5-114 Instructions to Staff (ITS) # 5.
2. (a) OAC 340:10-10-5(a) requires, as a condition of eligibility for TANF, applicants or recipients who are parents of the child(ren) in their custody to cooperate with DHS to receive services. CPs who are parents of the child(ren) receiving TANF benefits must cooperate with CSS. Other CPs receiving TANF benefits, who are not parents of the child(ren), such as grandparents, aunts, or unrelated persons, are not subject to this requirement.
(b) CSS staff
updates the cooperation block on the CSS
Custodial Person Data Update (CCPU) screen of the automated Oklahoma Support Information System to 'O' and notify Adult and Family Services (AFS) staff when a CP is not cooperating. When the CP resumes cooperation with CSS, that is, has taken specific action to cooperate, CSS
staff changes the cooperation block on the CCPU screen to Y. CSS
staff does not consider the CP's statement of willingness to complete the requested action as fulfilling the requirement to cooperate.
(c) When the
CP is noncooperative, but cooperation is not essential for the next step in providing child support services, CSS staff does not report noncooperation to AFS staff. For example, if the
CP failed to appear at a child support hearing but the court entered a child support order, CSS staff
changes the cooperation block on the CCPU screen to Y since the
CP's cooperation was not essential in obtaining the child support order.
(d) When CSS receives returned mail or is aware that the
CP is not at the address AFS used, CSS staff
does not report the
CP as noncooperative. Instead CSS staff emails the AFS worker. The AFS worker is responsible for sending Form 08AD092E, County Client Contact and Information Request, to the
CP and terminating TANF benefits if the
CP fails to contact the AFS worker with a current address. If the TANF case is closed, CSS staff may close the child support case per Section 303.11(b)(10) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 C.F.R. § 303.11(b)(10)).
(e) When noncooperation with CSS is determined, AFS county office staff reduces the family's cash assistance by 25 percent of the TANF payment standard per OAC 340:10-10-5.
(f) CSS may pursue legal remedies, such as contempt citations, bench warrants, license revocations, and body attachments, to compel cooperation of CPs, related and unrelated to the child. Legal remedies, such as these are the only means available to CSS to obtain the cooperation of:
CPs, as their TANF payments are not reduced; and
CPs in child-only non-TANF SoonerCare (Medicaid) cases, as they are not included in the case.
3. Retaining private counsel or other services for support collection purposes is not in and of itself justification for a noncooperation referral.
4. An example of conduct detrimental to CSS enforcement efforts is a CP who harasses an NCP's employer, such that it jeopardizes an ongoing reliable source of support.
5. (a) When CSS staff has reason to believe the TANF CP has good cause for noncooperation with CSS, staff refers the
CP to AFS county office staff for a good cause determination per OAC 340:10-10-6.
(b) OAC 340:10-10-6 Instructions to Staff (ITS) explain the AFS process used to determine good cause for noncooperation with CSS after considering
the CSS recommendation on Form 08TA009E, Good Cause Report.
6. (a) CSS staff builds the case in the Oklahoma Support Information System (OSIS) as "Pending Good Cause Determination," and sends the CP letter C11/03GN542E, Pending Good Cause Determination. This letter requests the CP return the required documentation within 14-calendar days to claim good cause.
(b) CSS staff does not contact or send letters to an NCP until the Pending Good Cause Determination is resolved.
(c) Upon receipt of the CP's completed information and documentation, CSS staff follows guidelines (1) through (3) to make the good cause determination.
(1) Has the noncustodial parent (NCP) been abusive to the
CP or the child(ren)?
(2) Was the child conceived as a result of rape or incest?
(3) Is the
CP considering or has the CP decided to place the child for adoption?
(d) When the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, then good cause for noncooperation exists. The type of documentation necessary to make the good cause determination includes:
(1) a birth certificate, medical record, law enforcement report indicating a rape occurred or that the child may have been conceived by rape or incest;
(2) a court document indicating adoption proceedings occurred or are pending;
(3) a written statement from public or licensed private social services agency indicating adoption proceedings are being considered or pending;
(4) a court, medical, child welfare, social services, psychological, or law enforcement record indicating physical or emotional harm inflicted by the NCP on the
CP or child; or
(5) sworn statements from individuals other than the
CP with knowledge of circumstances based on the good cause claim indicating there is a potential for physical or emotional harm from the NCP toward the
CP or child(ren).
(e) When CSS staff determines good cause exists, staff updates the CCPU screen with good cause 'G,' closes the case per 45 C.F.R. § 303.11(b)(10), and sends letter, C12/03GN543E, Good Cause Determination, to the CP. OSIS sends the good cause determination to OHCA.
(f) When the CP fails to provide adequate good cause documentation or fails to respond to the Pending Good Cause Determination letter, the case is pursued as a full service case. The case remains open and district office staff updates the CCPU with a Y. OSIS sends an electronic submission to OHCA indicating
CSS is proceeding with the case.
(g) When CSS staff determines good cause does not exist, letter, C13/03GN544E, Notice of Denial of Good Cause for Failure to Cooperate, is sent to the CP and CSS continues working the case.
(h) The CP may dispute the good cause determination by providing additional information on the Notice of Denial of Good Cause for Failure to Cooperate letter and submitting supporting documentation to
CSS State Office Center for Operations (CO).
(i) CO forwards the CP's good cause request and information to the appropriate Regional Administrator (RA) for review. The RA confirms or reverses the previous good cause determination and notifies the CP and CSS staff accordingly.
7. (a) When CSS receives a referral from OHCA with a pending good cause determination, CSS staff builds an information only case (Status 01). The case remains in Status 01 until the good cause determination is made or until the applicant fails to timely continue the good cause determination process.
(b) CSS staff follows the steps outlined in ITS #6 to resolve the Pending Good Cause claim.
(c) When good cause is denied and all opportunities to appeal or review the decision are exhausted or waived, the case is converted to Status 02.
(d) When good cause is determined, the case is closed.
8. When a CP on an existing
CSS non-TANF or Medical Enforcement Only case claims good cause for noncooperation in a district office,
CSS staff updates the case in OSIS
as Pending Good Cause, sends letter, C11/03GN542E, Request for Determination of Good Cause for Failure to Cooperate, to the CP and follows the steps outlined in ITS # 6 (f) through (i).
9. The penalty for noncooperation with CSS by a
CP who is a parent receiving non-TANF Medicaid benefits is the removal of the
CP's Medicaid benefits from the case. There is no penalty for noncooperation with CSS on child-only non-TANF SoonerCare (Medicaid) cases since adults are not included in the case.