SI BOS00830.404 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Related Programs — Maine (TN 5-259 — 02/2006)

A. Background

Based on federal legislation passed in 1996, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). The legislation provides cash block grants to States which gives states the flexibility to determine eligibility criteria, set benefit amounts and provide various related programs.

B. Policy - The Administration Of TANF And Related Programs In Maine

1. TANF

Because funding for TANF comes partially from Federal block grants, TANF payments are considered income based on need (IBON). The individual's share of a TANF grant counts dollar for dollar as income. The $20.00 general income exclusion does not apply to this income. See SI BOS00830.404C.1 for development.

2. Parents as Scholars (PaS) Program

Maine has a student financial aid program to aid needy students who have dependent children and are - participating in post secondary undergraduate 2-year or 4-year degree-granting education program. Eligibility for and the amount of assistance for PaS is determined in accordance with all eligibility criteria and procedures used in the TANF program. Income is an eligibility factor for determining PaS eligibility.

Since PaS is funded, for the first 12 months, through the TANF federal block grant, it is considered IBON (SI 00830.170) and counted as income (F1 income). PaS payments count dollar for dollar as income and the $20.00 general income exclusion does not apply. Beginning with the 13th month, PaS payments are wholly funded through the State, counted as assistance based on need (ABON) (SI 00830.175), and excluded from income. See SI BOS00830.404C.2 for development.

3. Cash Diversion (CD) Program – Alternative Aid Assistance

Maine has a cash diversion (CD) program known as Alternative Aid Assistance. This program is primarily used to help an individual obtain or maintain his/her employment during a difficult period. The Maine Office of integrated Access and Support (ME OIAS) will make vendor payment(s) for such items as rent, electric, and car loan for the Alternative Aid Assistance application month and the two subsequent months for which the family is eligible. No cash payment is made to the family. ME OIAS calculates the Alternative Aid Assistance using the same criteria that it uses for TANF payments.

The payments are equivalent to what the individual would have received had he/she chosen to receive a TANF payment. Alternative Aid Assistance is funded through the TANF federal block grant and income is an eligibility factor. The individual's share of the vendor payments for food and shelter are considered in-kind support and maintenance (H1 income). See SI 00835.350 on how to develop H1 income and SI BOS00830.404C.3. on how to develop Alternative Aid Assistance.

4. State Agency Administering TANF, PaS and Alternative Aid Assistance

The Office of Integrated Access and Support (OIAS) under the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administers TANF, Alternative Aid Assistance, and PaS. Information on these programs can be found on the agency's website at http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/bfi/Services.htm and the ME OIAS Public Assistance Manual for TANF and related programs at Chapter 332 of the Department of Human Services (Maine).

5. Simultaneous SSI/TANF/Alternative Aid Assistance and PaS Eligibility

In Maine, an individual may not be included in a TANF grant, Alternative Aid Assistance grant or PaS grant for the same months he or she is eligible for SSI. The monthly amount of any SSI payment must be reduced dollar for dollar by the individual's share of the TANF grant and the TANF funded PaS grant, until the State removes the individual from the grant. There is not a dollar for dollar reduction for State funded TANF. Since the Alternative Aid Assistance grant for food and shelter is considered ISM (H1 income), it is subject to the $20 general income exclusion. Sections SI BOS00830.404C. and SI BOS00830.404D. provide instructions for verifying the individual's share of the grants and the termination dates.

6. Frequency of Payment

Maine makes one TANF or PaS payment per month to each household or assistance unit (AU). The head of household who is applying for or receiving assistance for the AU is the grantee. ME OIAS makes this payment on the first (1st) of each month (regardless of holidays) via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) or direct deposit.

ME OIAS makes the Alternative Aid Assistance vendor payments after the expense is confirmed. Contact with ME OIAS is necessary to determine the payments in a month.

7. How Maine Computes TANF/PaS Grants/Alternative Aid Assistance

Maine OIAS uses the same method for determining the grant amounts for TANF and Alternative Aid Assistance. Maine OIAS uses an incremental method to determine the grant amount for a family. The amount of the grant increases or decreases as the number of people in the family increases or decreases. Assistance begins as of the date of application for the benefit or the date the applicant meets all eligibility requirements provided this date does not precede the date of application. Benefits for the first month of eligibility are prorated based on the application date. See the proration chart in SI BOS00830.404E.1. There is no proration for the last month of eligibility.

NOTE: ME OIAS may refer to a grant as a “special need” grant. A “special need” grant is applicable to those households whose housing costs equal or exceed 75% of their countable income. These households are entitled to a higher grant. Treat a “special need” grant the same as a basic grant. See the rate chart in SI BOS00830.404E.2. for the difference between the “basic need” and “special need” rates.

8. Family Cap on Incremental Rate Grant

There is no family Cap.

9. Child Support Pass-Through and “Gap” Payments

TANF, PaS, Alternative Aid Assistance, and Medicaid recipients assign their child support rights to the State as part of their obligation to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts. From the child support ME OIAS collects each month, the agency pays the first $50.00 per month to the household. ME OIAS excludes this pass-through payment in determining need and the amount of the benefit payment. Assume that a regularly recurring payment of $50 or less made by ME OIAS is not income to the SSI recipient unless there is only one child in the family. If there is only one child in the family, accept the individual's allegation that the household receives the $50 pass-through payment. Consider this payment to be child support to the child. See SI 00830.425D.4. for more information.

ME OIAS also makes “gap” payments to the household from the child support collected to “fill the gap” between the State's TANF payment standard and the State's TANF need standard. Consider the “gap” payment as part of the grant. Assume ME OIAS takes into consideration the gap payment when providing us with information about the TANF/Alternative Aid/PaS income. No further development is necessary (SI 00830.425D)

10. Individual Development Accounts (IDA)

Maine does not have TANF funded IDAs. It does have a provision called Family Development Accounts in which accounts up to $10,000 are considered as excluded assets by the State. However, these accounts are not excluded for SSI purposes as they do not meet the SSI requirements for exclusion.

C. Procedure – Determining An Individual's Share Of A TANF Grant, Alternative Aid Assistance And Parents As Scholars Program

1. TANF

Individuals receive a ME OIAS statement (Exhibit 1) that shows the monthly grant amount and who is included in the grant upon approval, payment change, or redetermination of their TANF benefits. Use this statement and/or the recipient's allegation to determine the recipient's share of the grant amount if the statement and/or allegation cover the period requiring verification and the grant amount matches exactly a grant amount in the “Adult Included” chart in SI BOS00830.404E.2. It is possible to use a combination of the allegation and ME OIAS statement in order to verify the entire period applicable as long as there is an exact match between the statement/allegation and the chart. If the individual removed from the grant is an adult, use the “Adult Not Included” chart to determine the grant amount after the individual is removed from the TANF grant. If the individual removed from the grant is a child, use only the “Adult Included” chart to determine the amounts before and after the child is removed from the grant. See SI BOS00830.404E.2 for an example.

The “Special Need” grants sections on the charts are applicable to those households whose housing costs equal or exceed 75% of their countable income. These households are entitled to a higher grant. Develop cases with a “Special Need” grant in the same manner as you develop other TANF cases.

If you are verifying the first month of TANF payment using the ME OIAS statement and/or recipient's allegation, determine the prorated amount for the first month using the proration chart in SI BOS00830.404E.1. If there is not an exact match, contact the local ME OIAS as described below.

Document the grant amount, agency name, source of verification (i.e., ME OIAS statement and/or recipient allegation), date of contact, and charts used to determine the individual's TANF amount. For initial claims taken in MSSICS, use the IADC and ASSOCIATED REMARKS screens. For non-MSSICS cases, use the EVID screen and input the individual's share as type “F” income in the UM field per SM 01005.180 – SM 01005.185.

Note: For fully electronic folders, the documentation on the EVID or MSSICS screens as described in SI BOS00830.404ff is sufficient. Do not fax a copy of the ME OIAS statement to the electronic folder.

If the allegation and/or statement do not match the chart, contact the servicing DHHS ME OIAS office per SI 00830.403C. Its address and phone number is located on the DHHS ME OIAS website. Obtain from the agency:

  • the amount of the TANF grant paid to the family for each month of SSI eligibility and

  • the amount the grant would be without the SSI applicant for each month of SSI eligibility.

Document the grant amount, agency name, date of contact, method of contact (i.e., phone or fax), and the name and phone number of the individual contacted. For initial claims taken in MSSICS, use the IADC and ASSOCIATED REMARKS screens. For non-MSSICS cases use the EVID screen and input the individual's share as type “F” income in the UM field per SM 01005.180 –SM 01005.185.

For post-eligibility situations, do not use the FILE DOCUMENTATION REMARKS of the ASSOCIATED REMARKS SCREEN (for the IADC screen) when documenting TANF. The screen must lock in order for the documentation to be acceptable. The FILE DOCUMENTATION REMARKS of the ASSOCIATED REMARKS SCREEN only locks for information posted at the time of adjudication. Use the EVID screen or the DROC screen (and lock it) in post eligibility situations.

Click the following links for examples on documenting TANF and coding the appropriate screens. These screens are located in the Maine TANF Guide in the SSI Subject Index on BOSNet:

Example 1 – Verification and Documentation of TANF Grant for SSI Applicant – MSSICS Case

Example 2 – Verification and Documentation of TANF Grant for SSI Applicant – Non-MSSICS Case

2. Parents As Scholars (PaS) Program

For the first 12 months, funding for PaS comes partially from Federal block grants and is considered Income Based on Need (IBON). Beginning with the 13th month, PaS payments are funded by the State Assistance Based on Need (ABON), and excluded from income. See SI 00830.175. As required in SI 00830.403, verify with ME OIAS the amount, individual's share of, and source of funding for the PaS grant. Do not use the charts because you must determine whether TANF funds or State funds are the source of the payment.

Contact the servicing DHHS ME OIAS office per SI 00830.403C. The office's address and phone number are located on the DHHS ME OIAS website. Obtain from the agency:

  • confirmation that the payment is a PaS payment,

  • how the payment is funded (i.e., TANF block grant or State funds only),

  • the month and year that the State will begin funding the payment,

  • the amount of the PaS grant paid to the family for each month of SSI eligibility, and

  • the amount the grant would be without the SSI applicant for each month of SSI eligibility.

Continue documentation for PaS payments funded by the TANF block grant as described in SI BOS00830.404C.1. However, indicate in the documentation that it is a TANF funded PaS payment and when the TANF funding will turn to State funding. If it appears funding will change prior to the termination of TANF PaS due to SSI eligibility, control the case to develop and document the change.

For payments funded solely by the State, develop the amount of the individual's share of the grant amount as described in SI BOS00830.404C.1. Document that the PaS payment is funded solely by State funds, the effective date, is income based on need, excluded as ABON, agency name, date of contact, method of contact (i.e., phone or fax), and the name and phone number of the individual contacted. For initial claims taken in MSSICS indicate a Y on the IMEN screen next to STATE OR LOCAL ASSISTANCE BASED ON NEED. Use the ISLA and ASSOCIATED REMARKS screens to complete documentation. For non-MSSICS cases use the EVID screen to document the information above and annotate receipt of state-funded PaS in the REMARKS section of the SSR. Make no input to the Unearned Income field.

For post-eligibility situations, use the EVID screen or the DROC screen (and lock it). Do not use the FILE DOCUMENTATION REMARKS of the applicable ASSOCIATED REMARKS SCREEN when documenting PaS. The screen must lock in order for the documentation to be acceptable. The FILE DOCUMENTATION REMARKS of the ASSOCIATED REMARKS SCREEN only locks for information posted at the time of adjudication.

Click on the following link for an example on documenting State Funded PaS Grant and coding the appropriate screens. The example is located in the Maine TANF Guide in the SSI Subject Index on BOSNet:

Example 3 – Verification and Documentation of State Funded PaS Grant – MSSICS Case.

3. Cash Diversion (CD) Program – Alternative Aid Assistance

Contact the servicing DHHS ME OIAS office per SI 00830.403C. The office's address and phone number are located on the DHHS ME OIAS website. Do not use the charts in this instance. Obtain from the agency:

  • confirmation that the individual receives Alternative Aid Assistance,

  • the amount of the vendor payments made by ME OIAS for only food and shelter for the household, and

  • what the amount of the vendor payments for food and shelter only would be without the SSI applicant for each month of SSI eligibility.

Exclude vendor payments not for food and shelter per SI 00815.400. The difference between the amount of vendor payments with and without the SSI applicant is the amount of support and maintenance paid on behalf of the SSI applicant. Apply the PMV or count the individual's actual share if less than the PMV. See SI 00835.320.

Document the vendor payments for food and shelter, the agency name, date of contact, method of contact (i.e., phone or fax), and the name and phone number of the individual contacted. This payment is for a maximum of 3 months. For initial claims taken in MSSICS use the IADC, LISM, LIID and ASSOCIATED REMARKS screens. For non-MSSICS cases use the EVID screen for documentation and input the individual's share as type “H” income in the UM field per SM 01005.180 - SM 01005.185.

For post-eligibility situations, use the EVID screen or the DROC screen (and lock it). Do not use the FILE DOCUMENTATION REMARKS of the applicable ASSOCIATED REMARKS SCREEN when documenting Alternative Aid Assistance. The screen must lock in order for the documentation to be acceptable. The FILE DOCUMENTATION REMARKS of the applicable ASSOCIATED REMARKS SCREEN only locks for information posted at the time of adjudication.

Click the following links for examples on documenting Alternative Aid Assistance and coding the appropriate screens. The examples are located in the Maine TANF Guide in the SSI Subject Index on BOSNet:

Example 4 – Verification and Documentation of Alternative Aid Assistance – MSSICS Case.

Example 5 – Verification and Documentation of Alternative Aid Assistance – non-MSSICS Case.

D. Procedure – Verifying TANF, Pas Or Alternative Aid Assistance Termination

Maine does not allow an individual to receive TANF, Alternative Aid Assistance or PaS concurrently with SSI. Notify the servicing DHHS ME OIAS office when the individual begins to receive SSI. Take the following actions upon approval of the claim.

  • Advise the agency of the individual's eligibility for SSI and the date of the first SSI payment.

  • Request the date that the individual will be removed from the TANF grant, Alternative Aid Assistance or PaS payment.

  • If a PaS payment, determine if there has been a change in funding (TANF/federal funding vs. wholly state funded) for any of the months of SSI eligibility.

  • Verify any changes in the grant amounts.

Upon receipt of the response, document the TANF, Alternative Aid Assistance or PaS termination date, agency name, date of contact, and name and phone number of the individual contacted. Document and input any changes in the TANF, Alternative Aid Assistance or PaS monthly amounts that are federally funded. For TANF or federally funded PaS MSSICS cases, use the IADC and DROC screens. Lock the DROC screen after entering the necessary data. For non-MSSICS cases, use the EVID screen and input the termination of “F” income in the UM field. Make no input to the Unearned Income field.

For wholly state funded PaS MSSICS cases, use the ISLA and DROC screens to enter the termination information. Lock the DROC screen after entering the information. For non-MSSICS cases, document the PaS termination on the EVID screen with a comment in the Remarks field of the SSR indicating receipt of PaS.

To terminate the Alternative Aid Assistance (ISM) in a MSSICS case, update the living arrangement by entering the last LCHG screen. This will present the living arrangement screens where you would indicate termination of ISM effective with the applicable month. Record the termination event on and lock the DROC screen. For non-MSSICS cases, use the EVID screen, and input the termination of “H” income in the UM field.

Click the following links for examples on documenting TANF termination and coding the appropriate screens. The examples are located in the Maine TANF Guide in the SSI Subject Index on BOSNet:

Example 6 – Verification and Documentation of TANF Termination for SSI Applicant – MSSICS Case.

Example 7 – Verification and Documentation of TANF Termination for SSI Applicant – non-MSSICS Case.

E. Rate Charts For Tanf In Maine

1. Proration Chart for first month of TANF – Effective 10/2001

Use the following chart to calculate the pro-rated benefit for the first month of TANF when using a statement of benefits from ME OIAS or the individual's allegation. Do not use the chart for PaS or Alternative Aid Assistance because contact with ME OIAS is necessary. For example, if a household is entitled to a $733 grant effective October 15, 2005, use the 31 day column (for the month of October) and day 15. The household is entitled to 54.84% of the $733 grant or $401.98 for October 2005.

28 Day

Month

Percent

29 Day

Month

Percent

30 Day

Month

Percent

31 Day

Month Percent

1

100.00

1

100.00

1

100.00

1

100.00

2

96.43

2

96.55

2

96.67

2

96.77

3

92.86

3

93.10

3

93.33

3

93.55

4

89.29

4

89.66

4

90.00

4

90.32

5

85.71

5

86.21

5

86.67

5

87.10

6

82.14

6

82.76

6

83.33

6

83.87

7

78.57

7

79.31

7

80.00

7

80.65

8

75.00

8

75.86

8

76.67

8

77.42

9

71.43

9

72.41

9

73.33

9

74.19

10

67.86

10

68.97

10

70.00

10

70.97

11

64.29

11

65.52

11

66.67

11

67.74

12

60.71

12

62.07

12

63.33

12

64.52

13

57.14

13

58.62

13

60.00

13

61.29

14

53.57

14

55.17

14

56.67

14

58.06

15

50.00

15

51.72

15

53.33

15

54.84

16

46.43

16

48.28

16

50.00

16

51.61

17

42.86

17

44.83

17

46.67

17

48.39

18

39.29

18

41.38

18

43.33

18

45.16

19

35.71

19

37.93

19

40.00

19

41.94

20

32.14

20

34.48

20

36.67

20

38.71

21

28.57

21

31.03

21

33.33

21

35.48

22

25.00

22

27.59

22

30.00

22

32.26

23

21.43

23

24.14

23

26.67

23

29.03

24

17.86

24

20.69

24

23.33

24

25.81

25

14.29

25

17.24

25

20.00

25

22.58

26

10.71

26

13.79

26

16.67

26

19.35

27

7.14

27

10.34

27

13.33

27

16.13

28

3.57

28

6.90

28

10.00

28

12.90

  

29

3.45

29

6.67

29

9.68

    

30

3.33

30

6.45

      

31

3.20

2. TANF Program Maximum Payment Charts – Effective 10/2001

The following charts provide the maximum payment rates for TANF. Do not use the charts for PaS or Alternative Aid Assistance as contact with ME OIAS is necessary.

If the SSI eligible individual is a child, use the “Adult Included” chart to verify the current grant amount with or without the SSI individual.

Use the “Adult Not Included” chart to determine the current grant amount without the SSI individual if the individual is an adult

The “Special Need” sections on the charts are applicable to households whose housing costs equal or exceed 75% of their countable income. These households are entitled to a higher grant. If that is the case, use the “Special Need” section.

Example: An adult is applying for SSI and alleges and/or brings in a statement from ME OIAS showing there are 3 individuals in the household with a grant amount of $485. This agrees with the “Adult Included” chart. To determine the incremental share of the individual, refer to the “Adult Not Included” chart for 2 in the filing unit – in this case, $262. The incremental share for the adult individual is $223 ($485-$262). If the SSI individual filing is a child, to determine the incremental share, refer to the “Adult Included” chart for 2 in the filing unit which is a $363 grant. The incremental share for the child is $122 ($485-$363).

ADULT INCLUDED: Use this chart to verify the current grant amount with the SSI individual included. Also, use this chart to verify the grant amount without the SSI eligible individual included if the SSI eligible individual is a child.

BASIC

NEED

SPECIAL

NEED

GRANT

Number in filing unit

Maximum Grant

Maximum Grant +

Special Need

= Total

     

1

230

230

50

280

2

363

363

50

413

3

485

485

50

535

4

611

611

50

661

5

733

733

50

783

6

856

856

50

906

7

981

981

50

1,031

8

1,105

1,105

50

1,155

Additional

Member

+124

+124

+50

+124

ADULT NOT INCLUDED: Use this chart to determine the current grant amount without the SSI individual if the individual is an adult. If the individual is a child, use the “Adult Included” chart.

Number in filing unit

Maximum Grant

Maximum Grant +

Special Need

= Total

     

1

138

138

50

188

2

262

262

50

312

3

386

386

50

436

4

508

508

50

558

5

634

634

50

684

6

756

756

50

806

7

880

880

50

930

8

1,004

1,004

50

1,054

Additional

Member

+124

+124

+50

+124

F. References

G. Exhibit

Exhibit 1–Sample TANF Letter from ME OIAS

 View PDF Version


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500830404BOS
SI BOS00830.404 - Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Related Programs -- Maine (TN 5-259 -- 02/2006) - 08/01/2012
Batch run: 08/01/2012
Rev:08/01/2012