2004 Florida Statutes
Time limitations of temporary cash assistance.
414.105 Time limitations of temporary cash assistance.--Unless otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, an applicant or current participant shall receive temporary cash assistance for episodes of not more than 24 cumulative months in any consecutive 60-month period that begins with the first month of participation and for not more than a lifetime cumulative total of 48 months as an adult, unless otherwise provided by law.
(1) The time limitation for episodes of temporary cash assistance may not exceed 36 cumulative months in any consecutive 72-month period that begins with the first month of participation and may not exceed a lifetime cumulative total of 48 months of temporary cash assistance as an adult, for cases in which the participant:
(a) Has received aid to families with dependent children or temporary cash assistance for any 36 months of the preceding 60 months; or
(b) Is a custodial parent under the age of 24 who:
1. Has not completed a high school education or its equivalent; or
2. Had little or no work experience in the preceding year.
(2) A participant who is not exempt from work activity requirements may earn 1 month of eligibility for extended temporary cash assistance, up to a maximum of 12 additional months, for each month in which the participant is fully complying with the work activities of the WAGES Program through subsidized or unsubsidized public or private sector employment. The period for which extended temporary cash assistance is granted shall be based upon compliance with WAGES Program requirements beginning October 1, 1996.
(3) A WAGES participant who is not exempt from work activity requirements and who participates in a recommended mental health or substance abuse treatment program may earn 1 month of eligibility for extended temporary cash assistance, up to a maximum of 12 additional months, for each month in which the individual fully complies with the requirements of the treatment program. This treatment credit may be awarded only upon the successful completion of the treatment program and only once during the 48-month time limit.
(4) A participant may not receive temporary cash assistance under this subsection, in combination with other periods of temporary cash assistance for longer than a lifetime limit of 48 months. Hardship exemptions to the time limitations of this chapter shall be limited to 20 percent of the average monthly caseload, as determined by the department in cooperation with Workforce Florida, Inc. Criteria for hardship exemptions include:
(a) Diligent participation in activities, combined with inability to obtain employment.
(b) Diligent participation in activities, combined with extraordinary barriers to employment, including the conditions which may result in an exemption to work requirements.
(c) Significant barriers to employment, combined with a need for additional time.
(d) Diligent participation in activities and a need by teen parents for an exemption in order to have 24 months of eligibility beyond receipt of the high school diploma or equivalent.
(e) A recommendation of extension for a minor child of a participating family that has reached the end of the eligibility period for temporary cash assistance. The recommendation must be the result of a review which determines that the termination of the child's temporary cash assistance would be likely to result in the child being placed into emergency shelter or foster care. Temporary cash assistance shall be provided through a protective payee. Staff of the 1Child Care Services Program Office of the department shall conduct all assessments in each case in which it appears a child may require continuation of temporary cash assistance through a protective payee.
(5) In addition to the exemptions listed in subsection (3), a victim of domestic violence may be granted a hardship exemption if the effects of such domestic violence delay or otherwise interrupt or adversely affect the individual's participation in the program.
(6) The department, in cooperation with Workforce Florida, Inc., shall establish a procedure for approving hardship exemptions and for reviewing hardship cases at least once every 2 years. Regional workforce boards may assist in making these determinations. The composition of any review panel must generally reflect the racial, gender, and ethnic diversity of the community as a whole. Members of a review panel shall serve without compensation but are entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061
(7) For individuals who have moved from another state, the months in which temporary cash assistance was received under a block grant program that provided temporary assistance for needy families in any state shall count towards the cumulative 48-month benefit limit for temporary cash assistance.
(8) For individuals subject to a time limitation under the Family Transition Act of 1993, that time limitation shall continue to apply. Months in which temporary cash assistance was received through the family transition program shall count towards the time limitations under this chapter.
(9) Except when temporary cash assistance was received through the family transition program, the calculation of the time limitation for temporary cash assistance shall begin with the first month of receipt of temporary cash assistance after the effective date of this act.
(10) Child-only cases are not subject to time limitations, and temporary cash assistance received while an individual is a minor child shall not count towards time limitations.
(11) An individual who receives benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program or the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is not subject to time limitations. An individual who has applied for supplemental security income (SSI) or supplemental security disability income (SSDI), but has not yet received a determination must be granted an extension of time limits until the individual receives a final determination on the SSI application. Determination shall be considered final once all appeals have been exhausted, benefits have been received, or denial has been accepted without any appeal. While awaiting a final determination, such individual must continue to meet all program requirements assigned to the participant based on medical ability to comply. If a final determination results in the denial of benefits for supplemental security income (SSI) or supplemental security disability income (SSDI), any period during which the recipient received assistance under this chapter shall count against the recipient's 48-month lifetime limit.
(12) A person who is totally responsible for the personal care of a disabled family member is not subject to time limitations if the need for the care is verified and alternative care is not available for the family member. The department shall annually evaluate an individual's qualifications for this exemption.
(13) A member of the staff of the regional workforce board shall interview and assess the employment prospects and barriers of each participant who is within 6 months of reaching the 24-month time limit. The staff member shall assist the participant in identifying actions necessary to become employed prior to reaching the benefit time limit for temporary cash assistance and, if appropriate, shall refer the participant for services that could facilitate employment.
History.--s. 14, ch. 96-175; s. 47, ch. 97-98; s. 10, ch. 97-173; s. 5, ch. 98-57; s. 14, ch. 99-241; s. 69, ch. 2000-139; s. 41, ch. 2000-165; s. 56, ch. 2001-62.
1Note.--As amended by s. 69, ch. 2000-139. The amendment by s. 41, ch. 2000-165, provides for conduct of the assessments by staff of the Department of Children and Family Services.