Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2010

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2010

Outside Section 41



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DTA Program Requirements

SECTION 41.   (a) Item 4403-5000 shall provide disbursements for the programs of transitional aid to families with dependent children, nutritional benefits for low-income workers, state supplement to the supplemental security income program for the aged and disabled, and emergency aid to the elderly, disabled and children, subject to the following requirements for each such program.
          (b) Financial assistance paid from this item for the program of transitional aid to families with dependent children shall be paid only to citizens of the United States and to non-citizens for whom federal funds may be used to provide benefits. Notwithstanding any general or special law, or any provisions of this act to the contrary, no benefits shall be made available to illegal or undocumented aliens. The need standard shall be equal to the standard in effect in fiscal year 2008 and the payment standard shall be equal to the need standard. The payment standard for families who do not qualify for an exempt category of assistance under subsection (e) of section 110 of chapter 5 of the acts of 1995, or any successor statute, shall be 2.75 per cent below the otherwise applicable payment standard, in fiscal year 2009, pursuant to the state plan required under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. The department shall notify parents under the age of 20 receiving benefits from the program of the requirements found in clause (2) of subsection (i) of said section 110 of said chapter 5 of the acts of 1995, or any successor statute. A $40 per month rent allowance shall be paid to all households incurring a rent or mortgage expense and not residing in public housing or subsidized housing. A nonrecurring children's clothing allowance in the amount of $150 shall be provided to each child eligible under this program in September 2009 and shall be included in the standard of need for that month. All benefits under this program shall not be available to those families where a child has been removed from the household pursuant to a court order after a care and protection hearing under chapter 119 of the General Laws, nor to adult recipients otherwise eligible for transitional aid to families with dependent children but for the temporary removal of the dependent child or children from the home by the department of social services in accordance with department procedures. Notwithstanding section 2 of chapter 118 of the General Laws, or any other general or special law to the contrary, the department shall render aid to pregnant women with no other eligible dependent children only if it has been medically verified that the child is expected to be born within the month the payments are to be made or within the 3 month period after the month of payment, and who, if the child had been born and was living with her in the month of payment would be categorically and financially eligible for transitional aid to families with dependent children benefits. Certain families that suffer a reduction in benefits due to a loss of earned income and participation in retrospective budgeting may receive a supplemental benefit to compensate them for the loss. The department shall review its disability standards to determine the extent to which they reflect current medical and vocational criteria and report to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities on the results of that review before any changes to the standards are proposed. No funds from this item shall be expended by the department for child care or transportation services for the employment and training program. No funds from this item shall be expended by the department for family reunification benefits or informal child care. The department shall provide oral and written notification to all recipients of their child care benefits at the time of application and on a semi-annual basis and the notification shall include the full range of child care options available, including center-based child care, family-based child care, and in-home relative child care. The notification shall also detail available child care benefits for current and former recipients, including employment and training benefits, transitional benefits and post-transitional benefits. The department shall work with the department of early education and care to ensure that both recipients currently receiving benefits and former recipients during the 1 year period after termination of benefits are provided written and verbal information about child care services. The notice shall further advise recipients of the availability of food stamps benefits.
          (c) Financial assistance paid from this item for the nutritional benefit program for low-income workers shall be provided only to those for whom receiving these benefits will improve the work participation rate under the federal program of temporary assistance for needy families.
          (d) Financial assistance paid from this item for the state supplement to the supplemental security income program for the aged and disabled shall include a program for emergency needs for supplemental security income recipients. Expenses of special grants recipients residing in rest homes, as provided in section 7A of chapter 118A of the General Laws, may be paid from this item. The department, in collaboration with the executive office of health and human services, may fund an optional supplemental living arrangement category under the supplemental security income program that makes payments to persons living in assisted living residences certified under chapter 19D of the General Laws who meet the income and clinical eligibility criteria established by the department and the office. The optional category of payments shall only be administered in conjunction with the Medicaid group adult foster care benefit. Reimbursements to providers for services rendered in prior fiscal years may be expended from this item.
          (e) Financial assistance paid from this item for emergency aid to the elderly, disabled and children shall only be provided to those persons found by the department to be eligible for the aid under chapter 117A of the General Laws and regulations promulgated by the department. Benefits under this item shall only be provided to residents who are citizens of the United States or qualified aliens or non-citizens otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law and shall not be provided to illegal or undocumented aliens. The payment standard shall equal the payment standard in effect under the general relief program in fiscal year 1991. The department may provide benefits to persons age 65 or older who have applied for benefits under chapter 118A of the General Laws, to persons suffering from a medically-determinable impairment or combination of impairments which is expected to last for a period as determined by department regulations and which substantially reduces or eliminates the individual's capacity to support himself and which has been verified by a competent authority, to certain persons caring for a disabled person, to otherwise eligible participants in the vocational rehabilitation program of the Massachusetts rehabilitation commission and to dependent children who are ineligible for benefits under both chapter 118 of the General Laws and the separate program created by section 210 of chapter 43 of the acts of 1997 and parents or other caretakers of dependent children who are ineligible under said chapter 118 and under the separate program. No ex-offender, person over age 45 without a prior work history or person in a residential treatment facility shall be eligible for benefits under this program unless the person otherwise meets the eligibility criteria described in this item and defined by regulations of the department. No person incarcerated in a correctional institution shall be eligible for benefits under the program. No funds shall be expended from this item for the payment of expenses associated with any medical review team, other disability screening process or costs associated with verifying disability for this program. In initially implementing the program for this fiscal year, the department shall include all eligibility categories permitted in this item at the payment standard in effect for the former general relief program in fiscal year 1991. Nothing in this item shall be construed as creating any right accruing to recipients of the former general relief program. Reimbursements collected from the Social Security Administration on behalf of former clients of the emergency aid to the elderly, disabled and children program or unprocessed payments from the program that are returned to the department shall be credited to the General Fund.
          (f) In determining whether funding provided by this item is sufficient to meet annual projected spending, the department shall project spending for each of the 4 programs funded from this item as well as project spending for all four programs in aggregate. In adopting, amending or rescinding its regulations with respect to eligibility for, or levels of benefits under each of the 4 programs funded by this item, the department shall take into account the amounts available to it for expenditure by this item so as not to exceed the appropriation. The department may adopt emergency regulations under chapter 30A of the General Laws to implement changes to any of 4 programs funded by this item if the department determines that changes are required to ensure that program expenditures do not exceed the appropriation.
 
 

Summary:
This section contains detailed requirements for each program administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance.



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