Changes to the existing standard of need requirement by including the pregnant women assistance program and state family assistance to the other areas that have a standard of need applied. By Sept. 1, 2019, the department must submit to various entities, including the legislative-executive WorkFirst poverty reduction oversight task force a revised comprehensive study of living costs. By Sept. 1, 2029, and every 10 years thereafter, the department must submit a redesigned and updated comprehensive study.
HB1268 changes the current allowable 60 month TANF extension categories to include individuals who are participating satisfactorily in the program; are temporarily prevented from working or looking for a job; have, for the first time, a child who is a dependent of the state (or the equivalent if the finding was made in a tribal court); are in need of mental health or substance use disorder treatment; qualify as exempt from work participation in accordance with criteria adopted by the department in rule; are homeless or at substantial risk of losing stable housing or housing supports; are a recipient of SSI or SSDI; are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled; or demonstrate another basis by which the time limit would cause undue hardship to the recipient or the recipient’s family.
Additionally, the bill addresses the current sanction policy by directing the department to review the case and ensure that the department has taken into consideration any barriers to work activities and made any necessary revisions to the recipient’s Individual Responsibility Plan (IRP). Further, after four months of non-compliance the department may reduce the family grant by the recipient’s share, or by 40%, whichever is greater.
Outcome data related to the effectiveness of the WorkFirst program are established, including the reporting requirement on outcomes for sanctioned and time-limited families.
Further, HB1268 states that the department may not require WorkFirst participants to attend a WorkFirst orientation as a condition of eligibility; however, may incorporate orientation information into the recipient’s assessment .