3.7.1 Time Limit Extension Decisions

Updated: August 24, 2017

Legal References:

TANF time limit policy has two separate sub-sections:

Section 3.7.1 Time Limit Extension Decisions describes how to make TANF/SFA time limit extension decisions. This section includes:

  • 3.7.1.1 What is the time limit for TANF and SFA?
  • 3.7.1.2 What is the difference between the adult recipient and ineligible parent time limit?
  • 3.7.1.3 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 56 months on TANF/SFA?
  • 3.7.1.4 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 58 months on TANF/SFA?
  • 3.7.1.5 What are the time limit extension categories?
  • 3.7.1.6 How do I determine whether an ineligible parent qualifies for a disability time limit extension?
  • 3.7.1.7 Who qualifies for the family violence time limit extension?
  • 3.7.1.8 How do I know if an adult recipient parent qualifies for a child in dependency time limit extension?
  • 3.7.1.9 What is the time limit hardship extension process?
  • 3.7.1.10 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for any time limit extensions?
  • 3.7.1.11 How do I send time limit decision notices to parents?
  • 3.7.1.12 Can a parent who was denied a time limit extension request an Administrative Hearing and receive continued benefits?
  • 3.7.1.13 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent offers more time limit extension evidence before we close their case?
  • 3.7.1.14 What if an adult recipient/ineligible parent reapplies before their case closes?
  • 3.7.1.15 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent states they qualify for a time limit extension after we close their case?
  • 3.7.1.16 Time Limit Client Interview - Step-by-step guide

Section 3.7.2 – Approved Time Limit Extensions describes how to maintain an approved TANF time limit extension case.

3.7.1.1 What is the time limit for TANF and SFA?

Federal law states an adult in the assistance unit can receive 60 months of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or State Family Assistance (SFA) in their lifetime. For adults who qualify for a TANF/SFA time limit hardship extension, cash assistance may extend past 60 months for up to 20 percent of the WorkFirst caseload to adults who qualify for a TANF/SFA time limit hardship extension.

State law applies the 60-month time limit to ineligible parents (SSI, disqualified or undocumented parent) during months they receive TANF/SFA for their children.  

See EA-Z manual, TANF/SFA Time Limits and Indian Country Disregard for more details about:

  • When months count towards the time limits;
  • How to add an adult recipient (but not ineligible parent)
  • Determining who qualifies for the Indian Country disregard;
  • ACES adjustments for repaid months of total ineligibility and L&I reimbursements.

ACES will send the Re-Certification letter (027-01) to an adult participant or an adult recipient/ineligible parent when they reach 48 months of cash assistance. The letter includes information on the 60-month time limit and lists all months of TANF/SFA assistance for each adult in the household, including any Tribal TANF months received. Staff determines whether the adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for a time limit hardship extension before they reach 60 months of TANF/SFA.

3.7.1.2 What is the difference between the adult recipient and ineligible parent time limit?

ACES uses the following definitions to track each adult’s 60-month limit, list each countable month as an ineligible parent or adult recipient month and indicate whether the case is closed or extended under the adult recipient or ineligible parent time limit:

  • An adult recipient is an adult who is receiving assistance in a TANF/SFA assistance unit. The adult recipient may be the parent or relative caregiver.

  • An ineligible parent is a non-recipient parent who is receiving a TANF/SFA grant for their child(ren).

The TANF/SFA months an adult recipient/ineligible parent receives for their child(ren) counts toward their 60 month limit. The assistance unit (AU) closes once an adult recipient/ineligible parent in the AU has 60 countable TANF/SFA months unless the adult qualifies for a time limit extension.

Examples:

  • Jane received 60 months for herself and her son between 2005 and 2010. Jane’s portion of the TANF grant was terminated due to a fraud conviction, but her son continued receiving TANF. Jane doesn't qualify for a time limit extension. Under the ineligible parent time limit, we close the case using the 60 adult recipient months even though Jane is no longer a recipient in the assistance unit.
  • Matthew, an undocumented father, gets 40 ineligible parent months due to his daughter’s TANF child-only grant. Matthew becomes a citizen (adult recipient) and is added to the TANF grant for 20 months. He doesn't qualify for a time limit extension. The AU will close using the 40 ineligible parent months plus the 20 adult recipient months.
  • A mother on SSI, Leah, receives TANF for her daughter for 50 months before she gets married to Damien. Damien and daughter receive TANF for an additional 10 months. Under the ineligible parent time limit, Leah now has 60 ineligible parent months. Because Leah receives SSI, approve a disability time limit extension to keep the TANF grant open.

3.7.1.3 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 56 months on TANF/SFA?

An indicator appears in the eJAS demographic screen and the Time Limit Extension tool becomes available when an adult in the AU or ineligible parent reaches 56 months of cash assistance.

3.7.1.4 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 58 months on TANF/SFA?

An adult recipient/ineligible parent appears on the CLMR in eJAS when they reach 58 months of TANF/SFA notifying the WFPS/WFSSS the adult recipient/ineligible parent is nearing the 60 month time limit. Each parent in a two-parent household appears separately on the CLMR when they reach 58 months.

Schedule an appointment with the adult recipient/ineligible parent using the ACES Online General Appointment Letter (50-05) or eJAS appointment letter to complete the time limit hardship extension between month 58 and 60. Include in the letter:

"Once you reach 60 months on TANF/SFA, you will only qualify for TANF/SFA cash aid if you qualify for a time limit hardship extension. Our records show you have [number] months of TANF/SFA. I need to meet with you on [date /time] to determine if you will qualify for an extension and review your plans for supporting your family if your case closes.

Please come to this appointment to make sure we know of any employment, family violence issues, child welfare actions and your (or a family members’) health problems. We may be able to use this information to approve an extension and can help you get any needed evidence.”

Give the adult recipient/ineligible parent 10 calendar days of adequate notice for the scheduled appointment.

To complete the Time Limit Hardship Extension appointment, parent may contact the WFPS/WFSSS:

  • in writing
  • by phone
  • by attending the scheduled appointment on their letter.

Note: An adult recipient/ineligible parent can ask for a different appointment time if needed.

An adult recipient/ineligible parent may waive the 10-day adequate notice and complete the time limit extension appointment if they are in the office or contact WFPS/WFSSS prior to their scheduled appointment.  

Document when an adult recipient/ineligible parent waives the 10-day notice and provide an eJAS appointment letter reflecting when the time limit extension hardship appointment occurred.

3.7.1.5 What are the time limit extension categories?

The entire assistance unit is ineligible for TANF/SFA when an adult recipient/ineligible parent in the assistance unit receives 60 months of TANF/SFA, unless the adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for a time limit hardship extension.

The entire assistance unit remains eligible for TANF/SFA if at least one parent has 60 months or more and qualifies for an extension.

Examples:
#1 Jasmine is on SSI and has received 45 months on TANF for her two children.  She marries Albert and he is added to the TANF grant.  When Jasmine reaches 60 months she will qualify for a time-limited extension and the TANF grant will continue.  When Albert reaches 60 months, they will continue to be eligible because Jasmine hit 60 months first and qualifies for the TLE as long as she is on SSI.
#2 Tommy has been on receiving TANF for himself and his son for 55 months.  He married Tina who is on SSI and has a daughter on TANF for 30 months.  Tommy doesn’t qualify for a TLE and the three person TANF grant will close with Tommy’s 60 months on TANF.

A caregiver relative who doesn't live with the child’s parent and has 60 months or more of TANF/SFA may choose to receive a child-only grant as allowed under WAC 388-408-0025(2)(c).  There are no time limits for child-only TANF cases.

An adult recipient/ineligible parent may qualify for a time limit extension (See #4 through #11 on the Time Limit Hardship Extension chart) when the adult recipient/ineligible parent:

  1. Qualifies for an exemption under WAC 388-310-0350; because they are:
    • A needy caretaker relative age 55 or older (#4); or
    • Applying for SSI as required in their IRP (#8); or
    • An adult with mental, physical, emotional or cognitive condition, based on medical evidence, that prevents them from working more than 10 hours per week and is expected to last 12 months or longer (#5) or,
    • Receiving SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (#5) or,
    • Caring for a child or adult with a disability (#6 or #7).
  2. Participates satisfactorily in specialized family violence activities according to a service plan developed by a person trained in family violence (#9);
  3. Has an open child welfare case with a state or tribal government and this is the first time the adult recipient/ineligible parent has had any child in dependency (#10);
  4. Works 32 hours or more per week in an unsubsidized job (#11). Use the ACES calculated number of hours for self-employment unless the person chooses to provide alternative proof from a credible, knowledgeable, reliable source to confirm self-employment hours (see WAC 388-490-0005). Please note this alternative proof doesn't affect how we determine actual hours of participation or whether we allow the adult recipient to engage in full-time employment as described in the WorkFirst Handbook 8.2, Self-employment;
  5. Is 65 years old, or older, blind as defined by the Social Security Administration or likely disabled as defined under chapter 388-449 WAC (#5).

Base the determinations for time limit extensions on whether the adult recipient/ineligible parent meets the criteria for an extension. See the Time Limit Hardship Extensions chart for more details about the extension categories, criteria, required documentation, participation requirements and review cycle.

Note: An adult recipient/ineligible parent may qualify for more than one time limit extension at a time. WFPS/WFSSS reviews the case and marks all extensions that apply to the adult recipient/ineligible parent in the eJAS time limit tool and eJAS will use the extension with the longest duration to extend TANF/SFA.

  • eJAS will use any other approved extension if an adult recipient/ineligible parent no longer qualifies for the longest duration time limit extension.

TANF/SFA ends when an adult recipient/ineligible parent no longer meets time limit extension criteria or TANF/SFA eligibility criteria during the hardship time limit extension.

3.7.1.6 How do I determine whether a parent qualifies for a disability time limit extension?

Note: WorkFirst support services can’t pay for medical evidence for any undocumented or fraud-disqualified individual (parent, caregiver, or disabled child/adult relative). Funds are available in ICMS to purchase medical evidence for undocumented or fraud-disqualified individuals. Don’t pay for more medical evidence than is needed to determine time limit extension eligibility.

For example, the adult recipient/ineligible parent may be able to access free clinics, or, if the parent is already seeing a doctor, we can purchase a report instead of a full medical exam.

Give the adult recipient/ineligible parent the Missing Verification for Interview (0023-01) pend letter requesting medical evidence using the same timeframes we use for all other time limit cases with the following text:

“You must provide documentation of your [or your child or adult relative’s] mental, physical, emotional or cognitive impairment and your ability to engage in work from a source such as one of the primary medical professionals or supplemental medical evidence described in WAC 388-447-0005.

Medical documentation must include:

  • Your [or your child’s or adult relative’s] diagnosis,
  • How long your [or your child’s or adult relative’s] impairment is expected to last; and
  • Whether you are able to engage in work or work-like activities for 10 hours or less per week or 11 hours or more per week.”

WFPS/WFSSS signs in to Barcode to access the ICMS subsystem and use the 06030 ineligible parent medical evidence code to pay for medical evidence when they receive the required medical evidence. The system uses the same medical evidence fee schedule as Aged, Blind and Disabled (ABD) program. See the Social Services Manual – Medical Evidence Requirements and Fee Schedule section and the Ineligible Parent Medical Evidence Desk Aid for more information on how to process these payments.

3.7.1.7 Who qualifies for the family violence time limit extension?

When an adult recipient/ineligible parent with 60 months of TANF/SFA declares family violence issues, the WFPS/WFSSS:

  1. Documents the family violence in eJAS,
  2. Obtains a family violence service plan created by someone trained in family violence, and
  3. Monitors the case to ensure the adult recipient/ineligible parent is following his or her family violence service plan.

Use the same verification requirements as the Division of Child Support (DCS) Good Cause process to document the family violence. Verification may include one of the following:

  • Completed 18-334(X) or other signed statement from the victim, outlining fears and/or concerns,
  • Civil/criminal court orders (domestic violence protection order, restraining orders, no-contact orders),
  • Medical, police, or court reports, or
  • Written statement from clergy, friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers.

Document family violence information in the eJAS family violence note type (but not on any eJAS or ACES letters). Offer a referral to the on-site or community based family violence advocate (or pro bono services, as available, for ineligible parents).

We follow the same requirements as DCS Good Cause to document a family violence issue but the adult recipient/ineligible parent may pursue the time limit extension without filing a DCS Good Cause claim.  Encourage the adult recipient/ineligible parent to request DCS Good Cause if establishing and/or collecting cash and/or medical support may result in serious physical or emotional harm to the child or adult recipient/ineligible parent.  

An adult recipient/ineligible parent must follow a family violence service plan developed by a person trained in family violence to be eligible for the family violence time limit extension. An on-site advocate or a trained WFPS/WFSSS can create a family violence plan.

Note: A family may qualify for the family violence time limit extension with past or current family violence. A parent doesn't have to be in immediate danger to qualify for a family violence time limit extension.

An adult recipient/ineligible parent living with an abuser may be approved for a family violence time limit extension. Develop a family violence service plan the adult recipient/ineligible parent can follow safely if living with the abuser.  Connect the adult recipient/ineligible parent to an on-site or local family violence advocate where appropriate for the family’s safety.

Family violence can also occur in a two-parent assistance unit. Use office protocol to interview parents separately (see WFHB 6.5.6). WFPS/WFSSS should omit any direct references to family or domestic violence in eJAS notes or the IRP for confidentiality.

An adult recipient/ineligible parent can complete a family violence service plan with a family violence advocate whenever possible. They can also complete a temporary service plan requiring a service plan within 30 days of creating a temporary plan (up to 90 days with a supervisor approval).  A WFPS/WFSSS trained in family violence can complete the plan if the adult recipient/ineligible parent does not want to complete a plan with a family violence advocate. The family violence service plan must be listed in the IRP as a condition of remaining eligible for a family violence time limit extension.

Create a reasonable and safe plan for ineligible parents, drawing on locally available resources. See Ineligible Parents' Family Violence Plans for more information. Document the ineligible parents' family violence plan in eJAS family violence case notes.

See the Social Services manual, Good Cause chapter, and the WorkFirst Handbook, Section 6.5, Family Violence, for more information about DCS Good Cause verification requirements and family violence.

3.7.1.8 How do I know if an adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for a child in dependency time limit extension?

Contact Children’s Administration (CA) to determine if the family has an open child welfare case and work collaboratively with them to address the family needs from both the child welfare system and the WorkFirst program. For a family who may have an open tribal child welfare case, send the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s name and eJAS ID to WorkFirst program managers Miranda Adams with a cc to Anna Minor to determine eligibility for the extension.

Approve an adult recipient/ineligible parent for a child in dependency time limit extension if:

  • It is the first-time any of the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s children are in court ordered dependency, and
  • There is an anticipated CA case closure of six months or less.

Note: This time period can cover any concurrent benefit period and six-month follow up while CA continues to work with the family.

Note: Voluntary placements or shelter care status doesn't qualify for the extension.

Document in eJAS any CA/tribal child welfare court ordered dependency considerations or actions and the actions taken on case including forwarding tribal child welfare cases to WorkFirst headquarters staff.

CA or tribal child welfare involved families may be required to do counseling or treatment activities to help keep their families together. Add these activities as WorkFirst participation requirements appropriately.

Involve CA or tribal child welfare in case staffings, assessments, and any intensive work with the family during a child dependency time limit extension to create joint plans that will meet the family’s needs.

3.7.1.9 What is the time limit hardship extension process?

The WFPS/WFSSS determines if the adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for a time limit hardship extension. You can’t authorize WorkFirst support services for ineligible parents per WAC 388-310-0800(1)(a).

Prior to the TLE appointment, review the case for evidence of potential eligibility for a time limit extension and identify:

  • Medical evidence received in the past 12 months for the adult recipient/ineligible parent, their child or adult relative who is living in the home
  • SSI applications, even if it’s an application filed by the adult on their own
  • Receipt of SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance Payments for ineligible parents
  • A history of family violence
  • A history of child welfare involvement
  • Current employment

Determine time limit eligibility during the time limit extension appointment by:

  • Reviewing adult recipient/ineligible parent’s current information in case record
  • Completing the eJAS time limit tool with the adult recipient/ineligible parent (if present)
  • Discussing the TANF time clock with the adult recipient/ineligible parent to confirm accurate TANF months
  • Discussing the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s plan for supporting their family if TANF/SFA terminates at 60 months
  • Explaining additional support to the family such as:
    • Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)
    • On-going medical
    • WCCC
    • Child support
    • Community resources
    • CEAP benefits that are available due to the 60-month lifetime limit

Note: If necessary, explain the process for obtaining additional medical or other needed evidence.

Note: If the adult recipient/ineligible parent is age 65 years or older or blind, approve the time limit hardship extension.

When reviewing the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s medical evidence and it doesn't meet the WorkFirst severity and duration requirements, refer adult recipient/ineligible parent to the TLE disability evaluation process using the Disability Determination section of the Social Services Manual.  Please see the Using the Sequential Evaluation Process (SEP) for TANF TLE Desk Aid (for staff use only) for detailed steps.

When an adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't meet the criteria for an extension, generate a time limit extension denial letter after completing the eJAS tool. Add the appropriate text to the time limit denial letter using the eJAS template text or as shown on the Time Limit Hardship Extensions chart describing the evidence we took into consideration in making our decision. Notify the adult recipient/ineligible parent if they only meet some of the criteria needed to qualify. Save the eJAS denial letter or print for translation, if needed. Don’t mail the letter until the adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 60 months of TANF/SFA assistance to ensure the worker mails the eJAS and ACES letters at the same time. 

Note:  Don't document an adult recipient/ineligible parent's history of family violence on the eJAS letter to maintain client confidentiality and safety.

When an adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for an extension, eJAS automatically enters the time limit extension code(s) 4-11 in the time limit extension tool. When an adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for more than one time limit extension, ACES automatically allows the longest extension. When both parents have 60 months or more on a two-parent TANF/SFA AU, and one is approved for an extension while the other is denied, approval overrides the denial in ACES and TANF/SFA remains open for the entire AU. The ACES notice reflects the information for the approved time limit extension.

Enter the time limit decision into eJAS before the end of an adult recipient/ineligible parent’s 60 months, whenever possible, to avoid overpayments. ACES generates a 10-day notice in month 60 to close or extend TANF/SFA assistance based on the time limit extension decision. See 3.7.1.11, How do I send the time limit decision notices to the adult recipient/ineligible parent, for additional processing instructions.

3.7.1.10 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for any time limit extensions?

When an adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for a time limit extension, provide the following information regarding additional support to the family:

  • Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)
  • On-going medical,
  • WCCC,
  • Child support,
  • Community resources, and
  • CEAP benefits that are available due to the 60-month lifetime limit

If necessary, explain the process for obtaining additional medical or other needed evidence.

Add explanatory text to the eJAS time limit decision letter when there isn't enough evidence to qualify for a time limit extension. View the Time Limit Hardship Extensions chart.

If the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for an extension, eJAS passes information to ACES on a real-time basis and enters the extension reason 13 in ACES. Cases close once reason 13 is in eJAS, populated in ACES and the parent has reached 60 months.

ACES generates a 10-day notice to close the case by the end of the 60th month and an extension denial is in the eJAS time limit tool. See 3.7.1.11, How do I send the time limit decision notices to the adult recipient/ineligible parent, for additional processing instructions.

3.7.1.11 How do I send the time limit decision notices to an adult recipient/ineligible parent?

Process and send out English ACES and eJAS denial notices in one envelope. Approved time limit extension require no action. ACES generates and, as needed, translates the approval notices.

Translated time limit denial letters require the following action:

  • WFPS/WFSSS prints, translates and holds the eJAS denial notice after the time limit appointment without sending the translation to Barcode for imaging.
  • WFPS receives a tickle in Barcode when an ACES Termination Letter (006-02 Termination of TANF/SFA) generates and requires action.
  • If the ACES letter is in a supported language, staff:
    • Sends a copy of the translated eJAS time limit denial letter to Barcode for imaging.
    • Locally prints the ACES letter and mails it to the client with the original translated eJAS denial letter in one envelope.
    • Documents in eJAS time limit note type English and translated letters manually mailed out together from local office.
    • Clears the tickle in Barcode.

Note: When the ACES letter is in a non-supported language, the ACES letter requires translation following the translation process.

3.7.1.12 Can an adult recipient/ineligible parent who was denied a time limit extension request an Administrative Hearing and receive continued benefits?

An adult recipient/ineligible parent may request an administrative hearing if they receive 60 months of TANF/SFA and their case terminates, or they don’t agree with the months used towards their 60-month lifetime limit.

When an adult recipient/ineligible parent is eligible for continued benefits per the EAZ manual, Fair Hearing- Pending Continued Benefits, the Administrative Hearing Coordinator notifies the WFPS/WFSSS to approve an administrative hearing (#12) time limit extension in the eJAS time limit tool. Use the first month the case will remain open pending an administrative hearing decision as the start date in the eJAS tool, approve the extension in three-month increments and reinstate the case. ACES keeps the case open and sends a notice.

The Administrative Hearing Coordinator conducts the hearing and finalizes the decision, processing the case per the EAZ Manual, Fair Hearing-The Decision.

  • If the DSHS’s decision isn't upheld at the administrative hearing, WorkFirst staff:
    • Modifies the TANF/SFA months on the 3G Time Clock page when the ALJ modifies the month count, or
    • Enters the ALJ-approved time limit extension as of the first of the month of the ALJ decision date in the eJAS time limit tool.
    • Approves the extension for the maximum allowed review period. For example, if the ALJ approves a family violence time limits extension on June 10, staff will approve the extension for six months (June 1 through December 31).
  • If the adult recipient/ineligible parent receives continued benefits and the department decision is upheld at the administrative hearing, WFPS creates a new eJAS time limit extension tool with the time limit extension code 13. The Administrative Hearing Coordinator recalculates eligibility and adds the following language to the ACES termination letter in the free form text box:

"You requested an administrative hearing on [date] to contest [your TANF months/TANF time limit extension denial]. We continued TANF benefits on your case pending an administrative hearing decision. The Department's action was upheld on [date] and you no longer qualify for TANF continued benefits. WAC 388-418-0020 and 388-458-0040."

3.7.1.13 What happens when an adult recipient/ineligible parent offers more time limit extension evidence before we close their case?

An adult recipient/ineligible parent’s circumstances may change or the adult recipient/ineligible parent may be able to provide more evidence of time limit extension eligibility. For example, a medical condition may worsen, they may disclose family violence, or they may increase their hours at work.

When an adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for a time limit extension and offers more or new evidence before we close their case:

  1. Document the contact and type of new circumstances or evidence offered in eJAS time limit note type.
  2. Create an IRP to request additional information within 10 days or by no later than the last day of the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s 60th month on TANF/SFA. Use a Missing Verification for Interview (0023-01) pend letter.
  3. Offer to schedule an appointment with the adult recipient/ineligible parent if they want to meet to discuss the situation.

Once you receive the new evidence, re-determine eligibility for a time limit hardship extension. If the parent fails to provide the requested information by the date on the IRP or a Missing Verification for Interview (0023-01) pend letter, review the case and determine eligibility based on the information in the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s case record.

Use the eJAS time limit extension tool to document the decision. Translate the eJAS time limit extension decision letter as needed, adding any needed details per the eJAS time limit denial letter template or the time limit hardship extension chart, if the adult recipient/ineligible parent remains ineligible.

3.7.1.14 What if a person reapplies before their case closes?

An adult recipient/ineligible parent may choose to reapply for benefits before their TANF case closes due to time limits. WorkFirst staff obtains necessary information for TANF or Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) eligibility immediately:

  1. Ensure adult recipient/ineligible parent provides proof of pregnancy and the estimated due date if adult recipient/ineligible parent is pregnant.
  2. Gather necessary evidence to determine TANF time limit extension eligibility.

See 3.7.1.16 for instructions on processing the screened application in ACES.

3.7.1.15 What happens when the adult recipient/ineligible parent states they qualify for a time limit extension after we close their case?

An adult recipient/ineligible parent may reapply for cash assistance after termination of benefits due to time limits, including when they have new evidence or a change of circumstance (e.g., a new, serious medical condition) that may qualify them for a time limit extension.

  1. Treat the application in the same manner as any other TANF application.
  2. Complete a family violence screening along with the time limit interview and the intake interview.
  3. If the parent doesn't qualify for a time limit extension, deny the time limit extension tool in eJAS. 
    1. If the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s case terminated for another reason and the adult recipient/ineligible parent was eligible for an extension, review to ensure they still meet the extension criteria.  You won’t need to do another eJAS time limit tool.
    2. Determine eligibility per the Pregnant Women’s Assistance (PWA) if the adult recipient/ineligible parent is pregnant.
  4. Give the parent a pending letter for any information needed to determine financial, disability and time limit extension eligibility. Complete the CE if the adult recipient/ineligible parent is likely to qualify for TANF, including those we expect to meet time limit extension criteria.
  5. Use WorkFirst support services, categories 34 (testing/diagnostic) and/or 37 (medical exams/services) or Washington Apple Health (if services are available in the area) to pay for necessary medical evidence for adult recipients as described in WFHB 6.6, Disabilities, How do I pay for medical evidence.
    1. See section 3.7.1.6 for ineligible parents.
  6. If adult recipient/ineligible parents claiming mental or physical health issues don’t qualify for a time limit extension with current medical evidence, refer adult recipient/ineligible parent to a disability specialist for the Sequential Evaluation Process (SEP) for TANF TLE.
    1. The disability specialist notifies WF staff of the TLE determination after receiving medical evidence for the SEP process.
  7. Deny the extension in the eJAS time limit tool and the application will remain in pending status if you can’t determine TANF time limit extension eligibility without further information from the disability specialist.
  8. Once you have the time limit decision from the disability specialist and SEP process, use the eJAS time limit tool to document the time limit extension decision.
  9. If the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for an extension, add appropriate free form text from the eJAS denial letter template or the Time Limit Hardship Extension Chart to the ACES denial letter explaining why the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for an extension (No separate eJAS time limit denial letter is required).
  10. Send a separate ACES approval letter when the adult recipient qualifies for PWA due to pregnancy or HEN due to incapacity.

3.7.1.16 Time Limit Extension Decisions- Step-by-step guide

Prior to interview/appointment

  1. The adult recipient/ineligible parent receives a prominently displayed notice of the months of TANF receipt on the recertification notice as they approach 48 months on TANF/SFA.
  2. Once the adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 56 months on TANF, the eJAS demographic screen updates and the WFPS/WFSSS may access the eJAS time limit tool to process a decision.
  3. Once the adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 58 months on TANF/SFA, the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s case appears on the CLMR indicating a required time limit extension decision by the end of month 58 (when possible) and no later than the end of month 60.
  4. The WFPS/WFSSS sends an ACES Online 50-05, General Appointment Letter or the eJAS appointment letter and:
    1. Notifies the adult recipient/ineligible parent when they will reach 60 months and the need for a time limit extension decision, and
    2. Gives the adult recipient/ineligible parent at least 10 days to come to the scheduled appointment. The adult recipient/ineligible parent can waive the appointment and complete the time limit interview sooner.

At the time limit extension appointment, the WFPS/WFSSS:

  1. Explains the TANF/SFA time limit policy
  2. Reviews the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s TANF/SFA months for accuracy, including the adult recipient/ineligible parents out of state or tribal TANF months
  3. Discusses the available supports, such as transitional food or medical, for those who don’t qualify for a time limit extension and provides the adult recipient/ineligible parent a list of community resources
  4. Uses the Time Limit Hardship Extension Chart to determine whether the adult recipient/ineligible parent qualifies for one or more extensions
  5. Makes the TLE decision based on the evidence available, and requests any additional necessary evidence for a hardship determination using an IRP (or a Missing Verification for Interview pend letter (0023-01) for ineligible parents)
  6. Completes the eJAS time limit tool to document the appointment and time limit extension decision.

After the time limit extension interview/appointment, the WFPS/WFSSS:

  1. Refers the adult recipient/ineligible parent for a TLE disability evaluation when available medical evidence doesn't meet the severity or duration requirements for the disabled adult TANF/SFA exemption.
    1. The disability specialist:
      1. Follows the Disability Determination Process to determine eligibility.
      2. Communicates the determination to WF Staff.
    2. The WFPS/WFSSS:
      1. Denies the TLE if disability specialist determines the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s condition does not meet ABD criteria.
      2. Approves the TLE, using the XB reason code, if disability specialist determines the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s condition meets ABD criteria.
  2. Documents the evidence used to make the decision in the free form text box of the eJAS time limit tool, using language from the eJAS time limit denial letter template or the Time Limit Hardship Extension chart if the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for a time limit extension.
  3. Saves the letter. Or, for non-English letters, print, translate and hold (without imaging in DMS) the Time Limit Decision Letter. If the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for an extension, eJAS will enter the information on the ACES TWEP Screen and ACES automatically creates the 10-day notice to extend or close TANF/SFA when the adult recipient/ineligible parent reaches 60 months.
    1. During month 60, ACES sends out extension approvals and English extension denial letters. When receiving a Barcode tickle for extension denial letters needing translation, Staff:
      1. Sends a copy of the translated eJAS denial letter for imaging
      2. Translates the ACES termination notice if it’s in a non-supported language
      3. Locally prints and mails the translated ACES and eJAS letters to the adult recipient/ineligible parent in one envelope
      4. Documents that the letters were sent in the eJAS time limit note type and
      5. Clears the Barcode tickle
  4. Determines time limit extension eligibility decision based on available information if the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't show up for the time limit extension appointment.

When the adult recipient/ineligible parent offers additional evidence before we close their case, the WFSSS/WFPS:

  1. Documents the adult recipient/ineligible parent contact and type of new evidence received in the eJAS time limit note type.
  2. Uses the IRP (or a Missing Verification for Interview (0023-01) pend letter for ineligible parents) to request additional information within 10 days, or no later than the last day of the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s 60th month.
  3. Schedules an appointment if the adult recipient/ineligible parent wants to meet and discuss the updated information.
  4. Uses the new medical evidence to determine eligibility for a time limit hardship extension.
  5. Makes the decision based on existing information in the case if the adult recipient/ineligible parent fails to provide new evidence by the required date.
  6. Uses the eJAS time limit tool to determine eligibility for a time limit extension and document the decision. If the extension is denied, print and translate the eJAS time limit decision letter, as needed (adding any needed details per the Time Limit Hardship Extension chart).

When a former adult recipient/ineligible parent states they qualify for a time limit extension after we close their case, they will need to reapply. The WFPS/WFSSS will use the application process and:

  1. Complete a family violence screening along with the time limit interview and the intake interview
  2. Approve (if you have documentation) or deny the time limit extension in the eJAS tool and note any information needed to determine financial and time limit extension eligibility on the pend letter.
  3. If the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for a time limit extension, deny the time limit extension tool in eJAS. 
    1. If the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s case terminated for another reason and the recipient/ineligible parent was eligible for an extension, review to ensure the client still meets the extension criteria.  You won’t need to do another eJAS time limit tool.
    2. Determine eligibility per for Pregnant Woman’s Assistance (PWA) if the parent is pregnant.
  4. Give the person a pending letter for any information needed to determine financial, disability and time limit extension eligibility. Complete the CE if the adult recipient/ineligible parent is likely to qualify for TANF, including those we expect to meet time limit extension criteria.
  5. Use WorkFirst support services, categories 34 (testing/diagnostic) and/or 37 (medical exams/services) or Washington Apple Health (if services are available in the area) to pay for necessary medical evidence for recipient/ineligible parents as described in WFHB 6.6, Disabilities, How do I pay for medical evidence.
    1. See section 3.7.1.6 for ineligible parents.
  6. If adult recipient/ineligible parents claiming mental or physical health issues don’t qualify for a time limit extension with current medical evidence, refer adult recipient/ineligible parent to a disability specialist for the Sequential Evaluation Process (SEP) for TANF TLE.

    1. Deny the extension in the eJAS time limit tool and the application will remain in pending status if you can’t determine TANF time limit extension eligibility without further information from the disability specialist.

Note: The disability specialist follows the instructions in the Social Services Manual – PWA or disability determination if the adult recipient/ineligible parent is pregnant or claims a mental or physical health issue prevents them from working to determine ABD eligibility and communicates the determination to WF staff.

  1. The WFPS/WFSSS:
    1. Denies the TLE if the adult recipient/ineligible parent’s condition does not meet ABD criteria.
    2. Approves the TLE, using the XB reason code, if the adult recipient/ineligible parents condition does meet ABD criteria.
    3. Uses the eJAS time limit tool to document the time limit extension decision, after receiving the time limit decision from the disability specialist and SEP process.
  2. If the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for an extension, add appropriate free form text from the eJAS denial letter template or the Time Limit Hardship Extension Chart to the ACES denial letter explaining why the adult recipient/ineligible parent doesn't qualify for an extension (No separate eJAS time limit denial letter is required).
  3. Send a separate ACES approval letter when the adult recipient qualifies for PWA due to pregnancy or HEN due to incapacity.

If the adult recipient/ineligible parent files an administrative hearing because benefits are terminated and qualifies for continued benefits:

  1. The worker processing the administrative hearing request will notify the WFPS/WFSSS.
  2. The WFSSS/WFPS will enter continued benefits due to the administrative hearing into the eJAS time limit tool to continue cash aid.
  3. If the ALJ rules in favor of the adult recipient/ineligible parent, process the ALJ approved extension into the eJAS time limit tool.
  4. If the department’s decision is upheld by the ALJ, close the administrative extension and enter specialized text into the ACES termination notice.

Resources

Related WorkFirst Handbook Chapters

Forms & Other Resources