Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Texas Works Handbook
Revision: 14-2
Effective: April 1, 2014

Part A — Section 2100

Personal Responsibility Agreement

A—2110  General Policy

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Require Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients who are caretakers or second parents to sign Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA). This includes minor parents who are certified as an adult. The agreement requires the caretaker and second parent to:

  • participate in the Choices program (unless exempt),
  • cooperate with child support requirements,
  • not voluntarily quit a job,
  • have their child(ren) screened through the Texas Health Steps (THSteps) program,
  • have their child(ren) immunized,
  • have their child(ren) attend school,
  • attend parenting skills training if referred, and
  • not abuse drugs or alcohol.

Require TANF payees and disqualified adults to sign Form H1073. The PRA requires the payee/disqualified adult to:

  • cooperate with child support requirements,
  • have child(ren) screened through the THSteps program,
  • have child(ren) immunized,
  • have child(ren) attend school, and
  • not abuse drugs or alcohol.

If a caretaker, second parent, payee, or disqualified adult fails to sign Form H1073, deny the application. Failure to cooperate with the PRA results in a full-family sanction for the TANF household.

A payee certified as a caretaker on a separate TANF EDG may sign one PRA that is applicable to both EDGs.

A—2120  Individual Responsibilities

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Apply the following policies of the PRA, as appropriate, to caretakers, second parents, certified children, payees, and disqualified adults.

A—2121  Choices

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2121.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform the caretaker and second parents about the Choices requirements and full-family sanctions for noncooperation with Choices if they are required to register. Use TANF policies and procedures in A-1800, Employment Services, for a caretaker and second parent who sign Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement.

Related Policy
Noncooperation with Choices, A-1843
TANF-SP Procedures, A-1843.1
Action on Noncooperation, A-1845
Completing the Penalty Action, A-1845.2
Re-establishing Eligibility During the Penalty Period, A-1847
Determining Good Cause, A-1860

A—2121.2  Ending a Choices Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Complete or Incomplete Review — The penalty end date is the month of cooperation.

Related Policy
Ending an Open Penalty, A-2145

A—2122  Child Support

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

A—2122.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform the caretaker, second parent, payee and disqualified adult of the child support requirements and the full-family sanction. Use current TANF policies and procedures found in A-1100, Child Support, for individuals who are required to sign Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement.

Related Policy
TANF, A-1124
Counting Child Support, A-1326.2.1
Imposing a Penalty, A-2144
Ending an Open Penalty, A-2145

A—2122.2  Explanation of Child/Medical Support, Family Violence and Good Cause

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

In addition to signing Form H1010, which constitutes the assignment of rights to child/medical support, the individual must also sign Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement. Use Form H1712, Explanation of Child/Medical Support, Family Violence and Good Cause, to help the individual understand the child support requirements.

A—2122.3  Good Cause for Child Support Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Determine if the individual has good cause for not cooperating with child support requirements using TANF policy in A-1130, Explanation of Good Cause. If the individual has good cause, do not sanction the household.

A—2122.4  Starting a Child Support Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Use the following chart to determine when to start a penalty.

If the individual fails to cooperate with the child support requirements at ... then ...
application, complete review, or incomplete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
reapplication, if the individual has ... then ...
- no open penalty, follow procedures in A-2131.2.1, Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reappplication.
- an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2152, Second Noncooperation During Pay For Performance.

Note: A child support noncooperation is not applicable if the noncooperation occurred:

  • before Sept. 1, 2003, and the full-family sanction was never imposed; or
  • on or after Sept. 1, 2003, but before signing Form H1073. Advisors must not open new PRA penalties for noncooperations that occurred before they signed the PRA.

A—2122.5  Ending a Child Support Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the individual cures his penalty or proves good cause, end the penalty following procedures in A-2145, Ending an Open Penalty. Note: If the individual reports cooperation with the Office of Attorney General (OAG) but the advisor has not received Form H1701, contact the child support officer for the date of cooperation.

A—2123  Voluntary Quit

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2123.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform the caretaker and/or second parent (including a minor parent who is a caretaker or second parent) that they must not voluntarily quit a job of 30 or more hours a week. Voluntary quit applies to a caretaker/second parent who:

  • signed the responsibility agreement;
  • is non-exempt from Choices requirements whether the individual lives in a full service Choices county or a minimum service Choices county; and
  • quit a job that was 30 hours or more a week without good cause.

A person has voluntarily quit a job if the individual:

  • lost a job because of participation in a strike; or
  • left a job unannounced or does not return to work without good cause, even if the person was technically fired.

A person is not considered to have voluntarily quit a job if the individual:

  • reduced hours of employment, but continues to work for the same employer;
  • ends a self-employment enterprise;
  • resigns a job at the employer's demand;
  • is currently on strike; or
  • has good cause.

Note: See A-1850 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Voluntary Quit policy.

A—2123.2  Failure to Cooperate with Voluntary Quit

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Determine whether the individual failed to cooperate at application, complete or incomplete review after signing Form H1073. If the individual voluntarily quit a job before signing Form H1073, voluntary quit does not apply.

See Advisor Action on Noncooperation in A-2123.5.

A—2123.3  Curing Voluntary Quit

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF

The individual may cure the voluntary quit penalty if the individual:

  • obtains a job working 30 hours or more a week; or
  • becomes exempt from Choices.

A—2123.4  Good Cause for Voluntary Quit Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Good cause exists when circumstances beyond the recipient's control prevent the person from cooperating with the requirements. Explore all reasons for good cause before establishing voluntary quit. Reasons for good cause are the same as the SNAP Reasons for Good Cause in A-1861 with the following exception.

Exception: Acceptance of a job that later does not materialize or results in employment of less than 30 hours a week or weekly earnings of less than federal minimum wage multiplied by 30 hours is not considered good cause.

A—2123.5  Advisor Action on Noncooperation

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF

Apply a full-family sanction until the individual cooperates.

A—2123.5.1  Starting a Voluntary Quit Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Use the following chart to determine when to start a penalty.

If the advisor determines an individual voluntarily quit a job at ... then ...
initial application, start the full-family sanction the month of noncooperation if the individual signed Form H1073 before voluntarily quitting a job.
complete or incomplete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
reapplication, if the individual has ... then ...
- no open voluntarily quit penalty, follow procedures in A-2131.2.1, Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reappplication.
- an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2152, Second Noncooperation During Pay For Performance.

A—2124  Texas Health Steps (THSteps) Program

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2124.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform a caretaker, second parent, payee, or disqualified adult who receives TANF for a child age two through 18 that the child must have

  • a THSteps medical checkup according to the THSteps schedule, or
  • good cause for not having the THSteps medical checkup.

Provide the caretaker, second parent, payee, or disqualified adult with the THSteps schedule (THSteps Wallet Card) for medical checkups and additional information provided to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). See A-1531 for information about the THSteps program.

A—2124.1.1  Setting the THSteps Overdue Month

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

TIERS calculates and sets an overdue month for applications and complete reviews. TIERS uses the THSteps medical schedule and the child's birthdate plus 12 months to determine the overdue month. The child's birth month is month zero. The overdue month begins the first calendar day of the 12th month. This is the same formula DSHS uses to determine the child's overdue month for a medical checkup.

Example: The household has a child who turns 6 on April 3. According to the THSteps schedule, the child is due for a checkup when the child turns age 6. Consider April as month zero, and add 12 months to determine the overdue month. In this example, if the child does not have a medical checkup by the end of March, the child is overdue beginning April 1.

A—2124.2  At the First Complete Review After the Caretaker and/or Second Parent Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Determine if the individual failed to comply at each complete review after the individual signs Form H1073. If the overdue month is

  • before or in the complete review interview month, the child is overdue. See A-2124.3.
  • after the interview month and you complete the EDG in the
    • interview month, the child is not overdue.
    • overdue month, the child is overdue and must be penalized if the child has not had a THSteps medical checkup. At the interview, refer the household to the THSteps worker for assistance.

A—2124.2.1  Determining if the Child had a THSteps Medical Checkup

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Determine if a child had a THSteps medical checkup using one of the following methods:

  • Checking information in TIERS Data Collection.
  • Verifying and accepting a doctor's written statement if it:
    • is provided with the application or at the interview; and
    • provides enough information to determine a THSteps checkup has been completed.
  • Verifying with the THSteps worker using Form H1087, Verification of Texas Health Steps (THSteps) Checkup.

Note: Do not pend for a doctor's statement. Follow the chart in A-2124.3, Advisor Action if the Overdue Month is Before or In the Complete Review Interview Month, if the individual states the child has had a checkup but does not have verification at the time of the interview.

A—2124.3  Advisor Action if the Overdue Month is Before or In the Complete Review Interview Month

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Determine if the child had a medical checkup and use the following chart to determine the action to take.

If at the complete review the checkup is ... then ...
not overdue, do not apply a penalty.
overdue but the individual provides proof of a medical checkup and the checkup occurred before the discovery date, update THSteps screening date in TIERS Data Collection.
overdue and the individual states the child had a checkup before the discovery date but the individual does not have proof,

fax Form H1087, Verification of Texas Health Steps (THSteps) Checkup, to THSteps staff at 512-533-3867 or 512-533-3869. Do not refer the individual to the Medicaid provider. Local THSteps staff will contact the Medicaid provider.

Pend the EDG to receive proof from THSteps staff. If proof is received within 10 days, update THSteps screening date in TIERS Data Collection. TIERS recalculates a new overdue month.

Note: If proof is not received within 10 days, contact Toni Sanders at 512-533-3478.

If THSteps staff inform the advisor that more than 10 days are needed, allow an additional 10 days. If the advisor determines that the additional 10 days may cause a delinquency, accept the individual's statement that the child had a checkup and document in case comments. If THSteps staff provide proof of a checkup, take no further action. If THSteps staff state that a checkup did not occur, send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, advising the individual of the sanction for noncooperation.

Note: The THSteps checkup date must be before the discovery date.

If the individual has good cause, select the good cause reason Refer to A-2124.5, Good Cause for THSteps Noncooperation.

overdue, the individual states the TANF child has not had a checkup and the individual states assistance is needed to make an appointment,
  • refer the individual to THSteps staff using Form H1093, THSteps Extra Effort Referral.
  • apply a penalty for each child out of compliance without good cause. Refer to A-2124.6, Starting a THSteps Penalty.
  • if the individual has good cause, select the good cause reason. Refer to A-2124.5, Good Cause for THSteps Noncooperation.

A—2124.4  THSteps Overdue Month At Application

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

For applications received in the last benefit month or in the two months following the last benefit month, determine if the child was not cooperating with the THSteps requirement in the last benefit month.

If the overdue month is:

  • before or in the last benefit month and a noncooperation has not been imposed, impose a full-family sanction.
  • after the last benefit month, do not impose a full-family sanction.

Related Policy
Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication, A-2131.2.1

A—2124.5  Good Cause for THSteps Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

When an individual fails to cooperate with the THSteps requirement, explore good cause before applying a penalty. The individual may claim good cause for the following reasons:

  • Medical — A screening puts the child's health at risk. The individual may provide medical records, a certificate, affidavit or statement from a licensed physician that the screening would be injurious to the health of the child. If verification from a THSteps worker indicates the child has had a screening within 12 months before the overdue date, allow a medical good cause. The THSteps worker will work with the provider to get the child back on schedule.
  • Religion — The family has a religious belief that does not allow the child to have a screening. The applicant may provide a verbal statement on behalf of the child stating that the screening conflicts with the practices of a recognized church or religious organization to which the family adheres.
  • No medical provider or transportation — There is no medical provider or transportation available within the geographic area. Regional THSteps staff provide this information to regional staff on a quarterly basis.

The individual must provide proof for good cause. If the advisor determines the individual has good cause for not cooperating with the THSteps requirements, select the good cause reason in TIERS Data Collection.

Use the following chart to determine when to start good cause.

If the advisor determines that good cause exists at ... and the individual has ... then ...
a complete review, no open penalty, start good cause the month the individual provides proof.
a complete review, an open penalty, start good cause the month after the individual provides proof. End the penalty the month the individual provides proof.
reapplication, no open penalty, start good cause the month of reapplication.
reapplication, an open penalty, start good cause the month of reapplication. End the penalty the month before the reapplication month. Exception: End the penalty the month of reapplication if the individual reapplies in a month in which benefits were received.

Redetermine good cause at the next complete review. The good cause end date is the month the advisor determines the individual no longer has good cause.

A—2124.6  Starting a THSteps Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Failure to comply with the THSteps schedule results in a full-family sanction.

Use the following chart to determine when to impose a full-family sanction.

If the individual fails to cooperate with the THSteps requirements at... then ...
complete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
reapplication, if the individual:
  • has an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2152, Second Noncooperation During Pay For Performance.
  • does not have an open penalty, See A-2131.2.1.

A—2124.7  Ending a THSteps Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

At complete or incomplete Reviews, end the penalty following procedures in A-2145, Ending an Open Penalty, if the individual cooperates with the THSteps requirements or provides proof of good cause.

A—2125  Immunizations

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2125.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform caretakers, second parents, payees and disqualified adults who receive benefits for a child certified for TANF they must provide:

  • proof that the child's immunizations are current; or
  • good cause for not immunizing the child.

See Form H1012, Immunization Record, for the immunization schedule.

Related Policy
Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication, A-2131.2.1

A—2125.2  Determining if Immunizations are Current

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF

To determine whether a child is current with immunizations, use:

  • Form H1012, Immunization Record;
  • verification that THSteps checkups are current for a child age 2 or older unless other information indicates the child is not up-to-date with his immunizations; or
  • verification that a child is enrolled and attending school unless other information indicates the child is not up-to-date with his immunizations.

If the records are not current but the individual provides proof that the child is on an alternate schedule, refer to A-2125.4 to allow good cause.

Do not count an immunization administered at birth as a required visit. An immunization is considered administered at birth if it is given between birth and seven days.

A—2125.3  Failure to Cooperate with Immunizations

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

After the caretaker, second parent, payee or disqualified adult signs Form H1073, determine if the household cooperated with immunization requirements at each complete review.

Related Policy
Advisor Action on Noncooperation, A-2125.5
Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication, A-2131.2.1

A—2125.4  Good Cause for Immunizations Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Individuals have good cause for not cooperating with the immunization requirement if the caretaker, second parent, payee or disqualified adult can prove that:

  • immunizations are not in the child's best medical interest; or
  • the individual declined immunizations for the child for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.

Good cause exists in the following situations:

  • Medical — Administering immunizations puts the child's health at risk. The individual may provide medical records, a certificate, affidavit, or a statement from a licensed physician that the required immunization poses a significant risk to the health of the child.
  • Conscientious Objector — The immunization is being declined for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. The person claiming the exemption must complete an affidavit on a form provided by DSHS stating the reason for the exemption. The child's parent, managing conservator, or guardian must sign the affidavit and have it notarized.
  • Alternate Schedule — The child is behind on the current series of immunizations and the child is on an alternate schedule established by a doctor or health practitioner. The individual may provide a doctor's statement that the child is on an alternate schedule. Document the schedule and check the status at the next complete review.

Allow the individual 10 days to provide proof. Begin good cause the month the individual provides proof.

A—2125.5  Advisor Action on Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Apply a full-family sanction if a child does not meet the immunization requirement, and the household fails to provide proof of good cause.

Follow adverse action procedures in A-2343.1.

A—2125.5.1  Starting an Immunization Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective January 1, 2012

TANF

Use the following chart to determine when to apply a full-family sanction when an individual noncooperates with immunizations.

If the individual fails to cooperate with the immunization requirements at ... then ...
complete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
reapplication, if the individual
  • has an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2152, Second Noncooperation During Pay For Performance.
  • does not have an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2131.2.1, Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication.

A—2125.5.2  Ending an Immunization Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

At complete or incomplete Reviews, end the penalty the month the individual provides proof of cooperation with the immunization requirement or provides good cause following procedures in A-2145, Ending an Open Penalty.

A—2126  School Attendance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2126.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform a caretaker, second parent, payee, disqualified adult or disqualified teen parent about the school attendance eligibility requirements in A-1610.

Related Policy
School Attendance, A-1600
Initial Application, A-2131.1
Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication, A-2131.2.1
Imposing a Penalty, A-2144
Ending an Open Penalty, A-2145
Open Penalty at Reapplication, A-2151

A—2127  Parenting Skills Training

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2127.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Inform TANF household members they must attend parenting skills training if they meet the following parenting skills mandatory referral criteria:

  • There is a caretaker, and second parent, when the EDG includes a certified child under age 5; and
  • A minor parent is certified as a child.

Note: A household member who does not meet the mandatory referral criteria may volunteer for parenting skills training. Discuss the training with an individual who expresses a need or interest.

A—2127.2  Actions and Time Frames

Revision 06-2; Effective April 1, 2006

TANF

When explaining the PRA requirements at application, inform household members they must attend parenting skills training if referred.

At application or when a household member's status changes so that the member now meets the referral criteria, refer household members to parenting skills training if they:

  • meet the mandatory referral criteria; or
  • volunteer.

At the first review after referral, the complete review after approving good cause or imposing a penalty, an incomplete review after the individual notifies you of training completion and at reapplication after referral, follow procedures in A-2127.4, A-2127.5 and A-2127.6.

A—2127.3  Referral

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Do not refer an individual to parenting skills training if the TIERS “Individual Summary TANF Time Limits” page and the personal responsibility agreement indicate the individual has completed training. The “Parenting Skills” field will show Yes.

An individual must complete parenting skills training once. Acceptable verification of training completion includes training that occurred before the individual referral, such as in a high school curriculum.

When referring an individual to parenting skills training, provide:

  • one Form H1088, Verification of Parenting Skills Training, for each person referred. (Note: Advise the family that a parenting skills training certificate, letter, Women, Infants and Children identification card, or other documentation that verifies completion of training is acceptable proof.)
  • information from the Parenting Skills Resource Directory on classes in the area that are available.

    If the parenting skills classes in the area do not contain all of the following four components, provide the individual with information on the classes that contain the component(s) the individual and advisor determine would most benefit the individual:

    • nutrition education,
    • budgeting,
    • survival skills,
    • instruction on the necessity of physical and emotional safety for children.
  • the name(s) of the referred member(s) on Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action.
  • the following additional information on Form TF0001 for individuals who meet the mandatory referral criteria:
    • attendance of a parenting skills training must occur before the family's next TANF periodic review; and
    • the individual must provide verification of training completion at the next periodic review or the family's TANF EDG will be sanctioned, unless good cause exists. The penalty must remain on the EDG until the person(s) provides proof of training completion, has good cause, or is no longer mandatory.

A—2127.4  Failure to Cooperate with Parenting Skills Requirements

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

At the complete review after the individual is referred to parenting skills training, determine if the individual completed the training.

If an individual who continues to meet the mandatory referral criteria does not have verification of class completion, determine if the individual has good cause for not completing the training during the months between reviews.

If an individual no longer meets the mandatory referral criteria when you are verifying training completion, do not determine good cause or impose a full family sanction.

A—2127.5  Good Cause for Parenting Skills Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Use the following chart to determine if good cause exists for the individual.

Good cause exists if ... Verifications include, but are not limited to ...
no classes were available in the area.
  • no classes listed in the Parenting Skills Resource Directory for the area;
  • a statement from the provider(s) that all classes were full.
the individual currently attends parenting skills training. a statement or attendance record from the provider.
the person is or was ill and not able to attend an available class. a doctor's statement or other medical evidence that the person is or was ill and unable to attend during the time when classes were available.
circumstances beyond the individual's control prevented the person from attending and/or completing the class.

Note: Lack of usual transportation or dependent care is not acceptable for a good cause claim.

a report of a disaster or documentation of a family catastrophe that existed during the time when classes in the area were available.

A—2127.6  Advisor Action on Parenting Skills Noncooperation

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF

Apply a full-family sanction for failure to cooperate with the parenting skills requirement.

Follow adverse action procedures in A-2343.1.

A—2127.6.1  Starting a Parenting Skills Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Use the chart below to determine when to start a parenting skills penalty.

If the individual fails to comply with the parenting skills requirements at ... then ...
complete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.
reapplication, if the individual ... then ...
  has an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2152, Second Noncooperation During Pay For Performance.
  does not have an open penalty, follow procedures in A-2131.2.1, Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication.

A—2127.6.2  Ending a Parenting Skills Penalty or Good Cause

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Use the policies and procedures in the chart below:

  • at a complete review after good cause was approved or a penalty imposed; or
  • at an incomplete review if the individual notifies the advisor of training completion.
If the ... and there is an open parenting skills ... Then enter ...
individual provides verification of parenting skills training completion,
  • good cause; or
  • penalty
  • the month the individual verified training completion as the good cause or penalty end date.
individual provides verification of good cause for the months between reviews, penalty
  • the month the individual verified good cause as the penalty end date; and
  • begin the good cause. When ending a penalty, enter the month after the individual verifies good cause as good cause start date.
individual does not provide verification of continuing good cause, good cause
  • the month the advisor makes the determination that good cause no longer exists as the good cause end date, and
  • open a penalty effective the month of disposition. Note: Procedures in A-2343.1, How to Take Adverse Action if Advance Notice Is Required.
individual no longer meets the mandatory referral criteria,
  • good cause, or
  • penalty
the month the advisor determines the individual no longer meets the mandatory referral criteria as the good cause or penalty end date.

At each subsequent complete review until all individuals who meet the mandatory referral criteria have completed parenting skills training, continue to:

  • refer members to parenting skills training, including members who were added to the EDG since the last complete review;
  • verify completion of training;
  • verify good cause for not completing the training; and
  • impose parenting skills penalties.

A—2128  Alcohol or Drugs

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2128.1  When the Individual Signs Form H1073

Revision 12-4; Effective October 1, 2012

TANF

Inform a caretaker, second parent, payee or disqualified adult that they will forfeit a month of cash assistance if they are convicted (including a deferred adjudication) of a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense that involves using, selling or possessing marijuana or a controlled substance in violation of Health and Safety Code; Chapter 481, or abuse of alcohol after signing Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement. The penalty does not apply to an offense that occurred before the individual signed Form H1073. Note: A legal parent is permanently disqualified for a felony drug conviction (not deferred adjudication) for an offense that was committed on or after April 1, 2002, as specified in A-222, Who is Not Included.

Form H1010, Texas Works Application for Assistance — Your Texas Benefits, requires an applicant or recipient to answer a question regarding a conviction. Accept the individual's statement.

When the criminal history report in the Data Broker system indicates the individual was convicted of an alcohol or drug offense after signing Form H1073, discuss the situation with the individual. If the individual claims not to be the individual indicated on the criminal history report, but the identifying information (name, date of birth, physical description) leads the advisor to believe the information is correct, or the individual disagrees with other information provided in the report (such as the type of conviction or whether it was a felony or misdemeanor), the advisor must:

  • document the individual's response in the case record;
  • proceed with the appropriate case action without acting on the criminal history report;
  • contact the Office of Inspector General (OIG) by emailing the OIG General Investigations Policy and Quality Control Unit at oig_gi@hhsc.state.tx.us; and
  • document the reason for contacting OIG in case record. Once OIG obtains information to clear the discrepancy, the assigned OIG investigator provides the response/finding by creating a task within the Task List Manager (TLM) system. The assigned advisor documents the results of the OIG's findings in case comments and, if applicable, makes an overpayment referral. (See B-770, Filing an Overpayment Referral.)

A—2128.2  Failure to Cooperate with the Alcohol or Drug Requirement

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

At the complete review after Form H1073 is signed, if the individual answers yes to the question on Form H1010 regarding drugs and alcohol, determine if both the offense and conviction occurred after the individual signed Form H1073. If the offense and conviction occurred after Form H1073 was signed, apply a sanction.

Example 1: An individual signs Form H1073 in January 1999. The individual commits an offense in April 1999 and is convicted in November 1999. At the complete review after November 1999, the individual states on Form H1010 that he was convicted of possessing marijuana or a controlled substance. The advisor must impose a full-family sanction for one month.

Example 2: An individual signs Form H1073 in March. At the next complete review, the individual states he was convicted of a crime involving marijuana. The offense was committed before he signed Form H1073 and the individual was convicted after signing the form. The advisor cannot sanction the household because the offense occurred before the individual signed Form H1073.

A—2128.3  Advisor Action on Noncooperation

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF

If the individual states the offense and conviction occurred after signing Form H1073, apply a full-family sanction for one month. Accept the individual's statement as verification.

There is no good cause or cure for noncooperation with the alcohol or drug requirement.

Follow adverse action procedures in A-2343.1.

A—2128.3.1  Starting an Alcohol or Drug Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the individual does not cooperate with the alcohol or drug requirement at a complete review or incomplete review, refer to A-2144, Imposing a Penalty.

Related Policy
Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication, A-2131.2.1

A—2128.3.2  Ending an Alcohol or Drug Penalty

Revision 05-3; Effective July 1, 2005

TANF

End the penalty the month after the forfeit month following procedures in A-2145, Ending An Open Penalty.

A—2129  Good Cause

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

All requirements of the PRA have good cause except for the alcohol and drug requirement. If an individual has good cause for any requirement except alcohol and drug, do not penalize the individual for noncooperation.

Penalty and good cause start and end dates cannot overlap for the Choices, THSteps, immunization and parenting skills requirements. The good cause must end before a penalty can start and vice versa.

For more detailed information about good cause start and end dates, refer to each individual responsibility in A-2120, Individual Responsibilities.

A—2130  Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement, lists the recipient's and HHSC's responsibilities. A caretaker, second parent, payee, or disqualified adult must sign Form H1073 before being certified. This includes a minor parent applying as an adult. If a caretaker, second parent, payee, or disqualified adult is not present to sign the agreement during the interview, pend the EDG to obtain the required signature.

Explain Form H1073 responsibilities and penalties for noncooperation at each periodic review.

Once the caretaker or second parent signs Form H1073, they do not have to sign the form again unless they are:

  • denied and reapply; or
  • added to the EDG.

Note: A disqualified member (as listed in A-222 #4) who cooperates must sign Form H1073 before being added to the TANF EDG. See A-2132.2. A member ineligible for Medicaid because of a Choices or child support noncooperation is not required to sign Form H1073 to reinstate benefits if the cooperation is completed before the end of the second month of noncooperation.

A—2131  Processing the PRA at Application

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2131.1  Initial Application

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

At initial application, the individual must:

  • sign the PRA; and
  • be informed of its requirements and full-family sanction for noncooperation.

Impose a PRA noncooperation if the individual fails to comply with child support, voluntary quit or school attendance requirements after signing Form H1073 but before certification. If the individual cures the noncooperation before the eligibility determination, do not impose the full-family sanction and do not record the penalty.

The month the advisor discovers the noncooperation is also the first month of noncooperation. The applicant must cooperate by the end of the second noncooperation month to avoid reapplying in pay for performance. The forfeit month is the first month the household is otherwise eligible to receive a benefit, including a prorated benefit.

If the individual cooperates by the end of the second noncooperation month, certify the household with a future effective month equal to the month after the forfeit month.

After initial certification, impose a penalty for any PRA noncooperation discovered at complete review or when processing another case action.

If the required member(s) fails or refuses to sign the PRA, deny the application.

Continue to process the application for Medical Programs for Families and Children.

A—2131.2  Applicants Who Previously Received TANF

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Do not require a member who previously signed Form H1073 to sign it again unless the EDG is denied and the individual reapplies. In this situation, the member must sign Form H1073 again or the application must be denied.

A—2131.2.1  Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

When a household reapplies for TANF in the last month the household receives TANF assistance or the two months following, advisors must verify the household was in cooperation with all PRA requirements in the last month the household received TANF cash assistance. If the household was not in cooperation with all PRA requirements in their last month of TANF eligibility, impose a full-family sanction for a minimum of one month or until cooperation, whichever is longer. The month the advisor discovers the noncooperation is also the first month of noncooperation. The applicant must cooperate by the end of the second noncooperation month to avoid reapplying in pay for performance. The forfeit month is the first month the household is otherwise eligible to receive a benefit (including a prorated benefit). If the individual cooperates by the end of the second noncooperation month, certify the household with a future effective month equal to the month after the forfeit month. If the household reapplies for TANF later than two months following the month the household last received TANF benefits, treat the household like an initial application. See A-2131.1.

Related Policy
THSteps Overdue Month at Application, A-2124.4

A—2131.3  Imposing a Sanction on a New TANF Household When a Noncooperating Member Moves In

Revision 05-5; Effective October 1, 2005

TANF

When a noncooperating household member certified as an adult moves from an existing household into a new household that is currently not receiving TANF, but subsequently applies, determine which PRA requirement(s) the member did not cooperate with and use the following chart to determine what action to take.

If the adult ... then ... Follow policy in ...
did not cooperate with Choices, child support or voluntary quit, the new household is considered to be applying in pay for performance. A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance.
did not cooperate with parenting skills and moves into a household that includes a child under age 5, the new household is considered to be applying in pay for performance. A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance.
did not cooperate with parenting skills and moves into a household that does not include a child under age 5, treat the household as an initial application. A-2131.1, Initial Application.
moves from an existing household with a child who is not meeting THSteps, immunization, school attendance, or parenting skills requirements, the household is considered to be applying in pay for performance. A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance.
did not cooperate with any other PRA requirement, treat the household as an initial application. A-2131.1, Initial Application.

Note: If a noncooperating minor parent certified as a caretaker, second parent or disqualified individual is not in compliance with school attendance and moves from an existing household into a new household, follow policy in A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance.

When a household member certified as a child moves from an existing household into a new household that currently is not receiving TANF, but subsequently applies and the child has an open PRA noncooperation for immunizations, THSteps or school attendance, do not impose a full-family sanction on the new household. Follow policy in A-2131.1, Initial Application.

If the noncooperating household member moves back into the original household, follow policy A-2132.5.

A—2132  Processing Changes

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2132.1  Addition of a Caretaker or Second Parent at Incomplete Review

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Require the new member to sign Form H1073 within 10 days of the report date when adding a caretaker, second parent, payee or disqualified adult at incomplete review. If the new member refuses or fails to sign Form H1073, deny the EDG. Apply the full-family sanction policy if the member noncooperates with the PRA requirements after signing the PRA.

A—2132.2  Disqualification of a Caretaker or Second Parent

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If, after the PRA is signed, the caretaker is disqualified or both parents are disqualified in a two-parent household, inform the household of the payee/disqualified adult PRA requirements.

When the household consists of both the caretaker and second parent who have signed Form H1073 and only one parent is disqualified, the PRA requirements still apply to the household. When the disqualified member cooperates, the individual must sign Form H1073 before being added to the TANF EDG.

Note: This policy does not apply to members who are ineligible for Medicaid because of a noncooperation with PRA Choices or child support.

A—2132.3  Removing a Penalized Member During the First Noncooperation Month

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the household reports the move ... then...
before the PRA noncooperation is imposed, do not apply a full-family sanction to the household. Record the penalty for the noncooperating individual.*
after the PRA noncooperation is imposed and the advisor verifies the member moved out of the household before the second month, apply a full-family sanction to the household for one forfeit month only.

*Note: The noncooperation is recorded with the individual’s information only. TIERS will not set a Non Cooperation One (NC1) month until the individual reapplies.

A—2132.4  Removing a Penalized Member During the Second Noncooperation Month

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Deny the TANF EDG if the penalized member failed to cooperate and moved out during the second noncooperation month or afterwards. The household must reapply for TANF.

If the household reapplies for TANF and a member of the applying household

  • has an open PRA penalty, the household must demonstrate PRA cooperation for one month through pay for performance.
  • does not have an open penalty, the household does not have to demonstrate cooperation.

A—2132.5  Adding a Penalized Member to a Household

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

A household currently receiving TANF cannot receive a benefit for the new penalized member for the identified forfeit month(s). Pend the EDG to add the penalized member for 30 or 40* days after the change is reported to allow demonstrated cooperation.

If the penalized member ... then ...
demonstrates cooperation by the 30th or 40th day, add the new member to the TANF EDG following current change policy, but no earlier than the month after the forfeit month(s).
fails to demonstrate cooperation by the 30th or 40th day, Deny the EDG.**

*Follow policy in A-2151, Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance, to determine if the EDG should be pended for 30 or 40 days.

**TIERS will transfer sanction information on the individual to the new case/EDG from the old case/EDG so there will be no change to NC1, Non Cooperation 2 (NC2), Forfeit 1 or Forfeit 2.


Provide a separate Form H1020, Request for Information or Action, if other eligibility verification is required. If all eligibility information is provided except PRA cooperation, add the new member to the SNAP or Medicaid EDG as appropriate.

Example: On May 3, the Smith household requests that Sarah, who is a new member of the household and currently penalized, be added to their EDG. The advisor sends form H1020 to the household informing them that Sarah has an open penalty and cannot be added until she cooperates with the PRA. If the household fails to provide verification of cooperation by June 2, the advisor sends Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, to deny the TANF cash assistance. Take action on any associated Medicaid or SNAP EDGs following existing policy.

A—2132.6  Certified Children Who Age Out Before/After the Caretaker or Payee Fails to Cooperate with PRA Requirements

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Once a certified child ages out of the certified group, the caretaker or payee is not required to cooperate with the PRA requirements for that particular child even if timely action has not been taken to remove the child from the EDG.

When a caretaker or payee receives a noncooperation for a certified child ... then ...
and the certified child ages out before the noncooperation discovery month, do not sanction the household.
and the certified child ages out during or after the noncooperation discovery month, ensure the child is removed from the EDG and apply one forfeit month to the household.

Notes:

  • Process an overpayment referral if the child was not removed timely from the EDG.
  • A child ages out in the month the child turns 18 or the month the child graduates if graduating before or during the month of the individual's 19th birthday.

A—2140  Full-Family Sanction

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Impose a full-family sanction when an adult TANF recipient, minor parent certified as an adult or second parent, or payee/disqualified adult fails to cooperate with any applicable requirement of the PRA after the agreement has been signed. The full-family sanction is imposed for a minimum of one month or until cooperation, whichever is longer.

If the household does not cooperate with a PRA requirement for two consecutive months, the household loses TANF cash assistance and the family must demonstrate cooperation with the PRA for 30 days before receiving cash assistance again. This is referred to as pay for performance.

If the household does not cooperate with two or more PRA requirements during the initial NC1 or NC2 month, the household loses TANF cash assistance and the family must reapply in pay for performance.

A—2141  When to Start a Full-Family Sanction

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

After the TANF recipient or payee/disqualified adult signs the PRA, the entire household loses eligibility for cash assistance if a:

  • TANF recipient fails to cooperate with any PRA requirement, or
  • payee/disqualified adult fails to cooperate with any of the modified PRA requirements.

This loss of cash assistance is referred to as a full-family sanction. During the full-family sanction the household is ineligible for cash assistance for one month or until they cooperate, whichever is longer. Once the full-family sanction is imposed, that month's benefit is forfeited and the family cannot regain that month's benefit, even if they later cooperate.

If the nonexempt TANF recipient fails to cooperate with Choices or child support, or the payee/disqualified adult or Choices-exempt TANF recipient fails to cooperate with child support, the noncooperating individual also loses Medicaid coverage (excluding Transitional Medicaid) for one month or until cooperation, whichever is longer, unless the individual is under age 19 or pregnant. The other family members remain eligible for Medicaid.

A noncooperation is not applicable if the noncooperation occurred:

  • before Sept. 1, 2003, and the full-family sanction was never imposed, or
  • on or after Sept. 1, 2003, but before signing Form H1073. Advisors must not open a new PRA penalty for noncooperations that occurred before the individual signed the PRA.

Notes:

  • After the TANF EDG is denied for any reason, the noncooperating adult may reapply for Medicaid and qualify after the identified forfeit months. Exception: An adult who noncooperated with child support must comply before becoming eligible for Medicaid.
  • If the family has new or increased earnings, child support income or loss of the 90% earned income disregard (EID) that causes ineligibility and a PRA noncooperation that affect the same month, the earned income, child support or EID change has hierarchy. Exception: Legal parents who fail to cooperate with Child/Medical Support or TPR requirements are not eligible for Transitional Child Support Medicaid.

Related Policy
Transitional Medicaid Coverage, A-840

A—2141.1  Determining the First Month of Noncooperation

Revision 14-1; Effective January 1, 2014

TANF

The first month of noncooperation, or the NC1 month, is the month:

  • of the "noncooperation date" on Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report;
  • HHSC receives notice of child support noncooperation on Form H1708-A, Report of Noncooperation (Automated). Note: There is no noncooperation date on Form H1708-A. Use the date the data is posted to the online system; or
  • the advisor discovers noncooperation with other PRA requirements at either a complete or incomplete action.

A—2141.2  Determining the Second Month of Noncooperation

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

The second month of potential noncooperation/cooperation, or the NC2 month, is the calendar month following the first month of noncooperation. The family must cooperate with the PRA by the last calendar day of the second month to avoid a second forfeit month and pay for performance requirements.

Consider the individual a TANF recipient during the second month of noncooperation even if this is a forfeit month. The individual has not lost eligibility during the second month of noncooperation and may regain eligibility during the second month if cooperation is established by the last calendar day of the month.

Note: When a member fails to cooperate with the drug and alcohol PRA requirement, the individual is considered to be back in cooperation status the month after the month of noncooperation unless convicted of a subsequent offense.

A—2141.3  Determining the Forfeit Month(s)

Revision 12-3; Effective January 1, 2012

TANF

For PRA penalties imposed on active EDGs, the first month the advisor can actually apply the full-family sanction and forfeit a month of TANF cash assistance after sending Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, and allowing adverse action is the effective month.

For PRA penalties imposed at application, the first forfeit month for:

  • TANF is the first month the household would otherwise receive a TANF grant.
  • Medicaid for an adult who fails to cooperate with Choices or child support is the first month the advisor can impose the penalty on or after the PRA noncooperation discovery date. Provide Medicaid coverage for the adult for any eligible months before the PRA noncooperation discovery date.

Note: Forfeit months cannot be prior to the first noncooperation (NC1) month.

A TANF household that fails to cooperate with the PRA for two consecutive months must forfeit cash assistance for two consecutive months. The following individuals also forfeit Medicaid coverage for two consecutive months, unless the individual is pregnant or under the age of 19:

  • Choices mandatory TANF caretaker or second parent who noncooperates with Choices or child support;
  • Choices exempt TANF caretaker or second parent who noncooperates with child support; or
  • payee/disqualified adult who noncooperates with child support.

Note: When the full-family sanction month has been determined and a Choices or child support noncooperation is received after cutoff in the first month of noncooperation, disqualify the noncooperating member the next effective month.

A—2142  Applying a Full-Family Sanction to Multiple TANF EDGs

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the TANF recipient or payee/disqualified adult has more than one TANF EDG and fails to cooperate with:

  • parenting skills, voluntary quit or Choices, the sanction applies only to the EDG with the certified adult;
  • THSteps, immunizations or school attendance, the sanction applies to the EDG with the applicable child;
  • child support or drugs and alcohol, the sanction applies to all TANF EDGs.

A—2143  Reinstating Cash Assistance After Cooperation

Revision 14-1; Effective January 1, 2014

TANF

If the family cooperates with all required PRA components by the last calendar day of the second consecutive month, the advisor must reinstate TANF cash assistance for the first month after the full-family sanction month. If the advisor receives verification of cooperation from the individual, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Office of Attorney General (OAG) or other sources after the second month and before cutoff of the following month, the individual must have cooperated in the second month to have cash assistance reinstated. Note: If HHSC later receives proof that the individual did cooperate in the second month, the individual may reapply without going through the pay for performance process.

Example: The advisor receives Form H1708-A, Report of Noncooperation (Automated), in November after cutoff and processes the EDG before December cutoff. The family's first month of noncooperation is November, and the full-family sanction is effective January. The family has forfeited January TANF cash assistance permanently. The noncooperating adult has also lost Medicaid for January.

The family's second consecutive month of noncooperation/cooperation is December. On Jan. 4, the OAG provides Form H1701, Child Support, TANF Foster Care and TANF/Medicaid Case Information Exchange, verifying the individual cooperated with child support requirements on Dec. 29, 2003. The advisor must reinstate TANF cash assistance (and Medicaid for the disqualified adult) effective February (the month after the forfeited month).

A—2144  Imposing a Penalty

Revision 14-2; Effective April 1, 2014

To impose a penalty, ensure required individuals have signed Form H1073, Personal Responsibility Agreement. Impose a full-family sanction using the following chart.

If processing ... impose a full-family sanction ...
an initial application, effective the first month the applicant would otherwise receive a grant if the individual does not cooperate with child support, voluntary quit or school attendance requirements before certification but after signing the PRA. Do not impose a full-family sanction for any other noncooperation at application.
an incomplete review, the effective month based on the date Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, is sent if the individual does not cooperate with Choices, child support or voluntary quit requirements.
a complete review on an active EDG, the effective month based on the disposition date for any penalty.
a reapplication after denial, as explained in each individual responsibility section (A-2120, Individual Responsibilities).
an application received in the last benefit month or within two months after the last benefit month, effective the first month the applicant would otherwise receive a grant if the applicant was not cooperating with the PRA in the last benefit month (A-2131.2.1, Verifying Prior Cooperation Status at TANF Reapplication).

Issue Form TF0001, informing the individual of the PRA noncompliance. Include who did not comply with the PRA and which requirement the member failed to cooperate with.

Note: Impose a full-family sanction if the requested verification indicates the PRA requirement was met after the verification request date or if the verification is provided after the verification due date.

A—2144.1  Failing to Impose a Full-Family Sanction

Revision 12-4; Effective October 1, 2012

TANF

If HHSC does not take action on a noncooperation report within a reasonable time frame, send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, to initiate the noncooperation penalty as soon as possible.

Form TF0001 is sent within a reasonable time frame if:

  • for Choices penalties, a Choices penalty notice is received from TWC within five calendar days after the end of the month in which the Choices noncooperation occurred; and
  • for all penalties, the advisor sends Form TF0001 in the same calendar month as the date of noncooperation, or within 10 calendar days after becoming aware of the noncooperation if that is later.

If the advisor does not send Form TF0001 within a reasonable time frame, the first month of noncooperation becomes the month Form TF0001 was sent. This ensures the individual has a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate cooperation in the second month.

Note: A postponed first month results in a forfeit month, but does not count toward two consecutive months of noncooperation.

If the advisor sends Form TF0001 for a PRA penalty within a reasonable time frame but fails to timely impose the full-family sanction for the correct forfeit month, determine the actual first and second month of noncooperation. If the individual:

  • cooperates in the second month, file a claim for the month that should have been forfeited. The household does not need to reapply for TANF.
  • fails to cooperate in the second month, file a claim for the two months that should have been forfeited. The household must reapply in pay for performance status.

If a penalty is applicable but the EDG is denied, advisors still must enter the penalty information into TIERS and send Form TF0001.

A—2145  Ending an Open Penalty

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

The end date for a PRA penalty is the month the individual cooperates or has good cause for certain PRA requirements.

Close a PRA penalty if the household cooperates by the end of the second month of noncooperation and provides verification by cutoff of the next month.

If verification is provided after cutoff of the following month, the household must reapply as explained in A-2143.

Note: Do not close a child support penalty incurred while receiving TANF when an individual applies for adult Medicaid and has cooperated with the OAG.

The end date cannot be later than the effective month (the month the advisor can affect benefits).

Enter the verification type and date when ending a penalty. If the advisor enters an end month with no verification, TIERS pends the page.

Note: If after imposing a penalty you determine the individual was incorrectly penalized, remove the penalty and restore benefits, if appropriate.

A—2146  Action When an Individual Fails to Cooperate with the PRA at Complete or Incomplete Review

Revision 14-1; Effective January 1, 2014

TANF

If the caretaker, second parent, payee or disqualified adult noncooperates with ... then ...
Choices
(Caretakers and second parents only)
  • The first month of noncooperation is the month of the "noncompliance date" on Form H2581, Choices Noncooperation Report.
  • Refer the noncooperating adult to the workforce solutions office. Do not require a signed Form H2580, TANF Employment Services Notice.
  • Send Form H2581 response to TWC with the current appropriate response.
  • Send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, within five workdays after receiving Form H2581.
Note: TIERS will set the Work Registration Reason as "Sanctioned for Choices nonparticipation" for the noncooperating adult(s).
Child support
  • The first month of noncooperation is the month HHSC receives Form H1708-A, Report of Noncooperation (Automated).
  • Send Form TF0001 within five workdays after receiving Form H1708-A.
THSteps, immunizations, school attendance, parenting skills or voluntary quit
  • The first month of noncooperation is the month the advisor discovers the noncooperation.
  • Send Form TF0001.
Drugs and alcohol
  • The first month of noncooperation is the month the advisor discovers the drug and alcohol conviction.
  • Send Form TF0001.

Note: See A-2147, Action When the Individual Cooperates with the PRA Requirements Before the End of the Second Noncooperation Month, for situations where the individual cooperates with the PRA requirements before the end of the second potential noncooperation month. If the individual provides other information needed to complete the review and cooperates with the PRA requirement, complete the review and impose a full-family sanction. End date the penalty effective the month the individual cooperates.


A—2147  Action When the Individual Cooperates with the PRA Requirements Before the End of the Second Noncooperation Month

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the caretaker, second parent, payee or disqualified adult cooperates with the PRA requirement before the end of the second noncooperation month, then end date the penalty effective the month the individual cooperates. Send Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, informing the household the sanction has ended and the ongoing benefit amount.


Notes:

  • For Choices and child support, end the Medicaid disqualification the month the individual cooperates. Reinstate Medicaid benefits effective the month after the forfeit month.
  • If after imposing a penalty, it is determined the individual was incorrectly penalized, remove the penalty and restore benefits, if appropriate.
  • If the household cooperates with the PRA requirements but does not provide information requested to complete the periodic review, deny the household for failure to provide.

A—2148  Reserved for Future Use

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

A—2149  Individual Notices

Revision 14-2; Effective April 1, 2014

TANF

Issue Form TF0001, Notice of Case Action, to impose a full-family sanction. Issue a second Form TF0001 for any PRA noncooperation that occurs in the first or second month of noncooperation after the original noncooperation has been identified to inform the household of the new noncooperation. Advise the household of the penalty and how the member can cooperate.

Use adequate notice when imposing a penalty for one or more PRA noncooperations. See A-2344.1, Form TF0001 Required (Adequate Notice).

A—2150  Pay for Performance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the household does not cooperate with one or more PRA requirements for two consecutive months, the household loses TANF cash assistance and the family must demonstrate cooperation with all PRA requirements for 30 days before they are eligible to receive TANF cash assistance. This is referred to as pay for performance. Advisors must verify that the family has not cooperated by the end of the second consecutive month before applying the pay for performance policy. The 30 days of demonstrated cooperation starts when the family cooperated with the PRA requirement. Note: If cooperation was established before the application date, the 30 days of cooperation begins on the file date.

A household may reapply for TANF assistance under pay for performance after the second noncooperation month. Deny a TANF application, filed before the last day of the second noncooperation month as filed in error. Exception: Do not deny the TANF application if the appointment is scheduled after the second noncooperation month. At the interview, have the individual review Form H1010 and re-sign it. The file date is the first day of the interview month. Document the reason the file date changed.

Note: When a TANF applicant with an open PRA penalty applies for One-Time Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (OTTANF), the individual must demonstrate cooperation with all open noncooperations before being considered TANF-eligible. See A-2400 for OTTANF policy.

A—2151  Open Penalty at Reapplication in Pay for Performance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

If the TANF applicant or second parent is in pay for performance status because of failure to cooperate with ... then ...
Choices The individual must cooperate with Choices requirements for 30 days if the individual is not eligible for a Choices exemption. Refer the individual to the local workforce solutions office with Form H2588, Workforce Orientation Referral, indicating the individual is subject to pay for performance. Remind the individual to contact the local workforce solutions office within 10 days to allow enough time to demonstrate 30 days of cooperation. Pend the application until the 40th day after the interview date, and:
  • end the penalty the month of cooperation if notice of cooperation is received by the 40th day after the interview date and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • deny the application if the workforce solutions office:
    • has not sent a notice of cooperation by the 40th day after the interview date; or
    • sends Form H2588 indicating the individual cannot demonstrate 30 days of cooperation before the 40th day after the interview date.

      The individual must complete another application and restart the eligibility process.

      Note: Choices staff will sign off on the Form H2588 after the individual attends the workforce orientation. Staff should not end a Choices penalty until an electronic notice of demonstrated cooperation is received through the automated interface.

Child support The individual must cooperate with child support requirements. Refer the individual to the OAG and pend the application until the 30th day after the file date. If the individual:
  • complies by the 30th day after the file date, end the penalty the month of cooperation and continue pending the application until the 30th day after the cooperation date and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • has not complied with the OAG by the 30th day after the file date, deny the application.
Voluntary quit The individual must cure the voluntary quit. Verify the individual has obtained employment of 30 hours or more per week, or is eligible for a Choices exemption. If the individual is employed on the interview date or is eligible for a Choices exemption, pend the application until the 30th day after the file date for proof of cooperation, and if the individual:
  • complies by the 30th day after the file date, end the penalty the month verification is provided, continue pending the application until the 30th day after the cooperation date and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • is not employed for 30 hours per week or eligible for a Choices exemption, deny the application.
THSteps The individual must cooperate with THSteps requirements. Refer the individual to the local THSteps worker using Form H1087, or THSteps regional hotline. Pend the application until the 30th day after the file date for proof of cooperation, and if:
  • the individual complies by the 30th day after the file date, end the penalty the month the individual provides verification of medical screening and continue pending the application until the 30th day after the cooperation date and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • verification is not provided by the 30th day after the file date, deny the application.
Immunizations The individual must cooperate with immunization requirements. Pend the application until the 30th day after the file date for proof of cooperation. If:
  • the individual cooperates by the 30th day after the file date, end the penalty the month verification is provided and continue pending the application until the 30th day after the cooperation date and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • verification is not provided by the 30th day after the file date, deny the application.
School attendance The individual must cooperate with school attendance requirements. Pend the application until the 40th day after the interview date, and
  • end the penalty the month school attendance is verified and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • deny the application if verification is not provided by the 40th day after the interview date.
Parenting skills The individual must cooperate with parenting skills requirements. Pend the application until the 30th day after the file date, and if
  • the individual cooperates by the 30th day after the file date, end the penalty the month completion is verified and continue pending the application until the 30th day after the cooperation date and certify the application effective the:
    • month after the second forfeit month; or
    • 30th day from the file date if after the second forfeit month; or
  • verification is not provided by the 30th day after the file date, deny the application.
Drugs and alcohol When a member fails to cooperate with the drug and alcohol PRA requirement, he is considered to be back in cooperation status the month following the month of noncooperation, unless the advisor discovers a second separate noncooperation in the month following the first noncooperation month. See A-2128.

Notes:

  • When pending the EDG for verification of cooperation with PRA requirements, other than Choices or school attendance, document the following in the comments section of Form H1020: Your application cannot be certified earlier than the 30th day from the date of cooperation with (enter the PRA requirement)./Su solicitud sólo se puede certificar 30 días después de la fecha de cumplimiento con los requisitos relacionados con (enter the PRA requirement).
    • Child Support – la manutención de niños
    • Voluntary Quit – la renuncia voluntaria al trabajo
    • THSteps (enter name of child) – Pasos Sanos de Texas (enter name of child)
    • Immunizations (enter name of child) – las inmunizaciones (enter name of child)
    • Parenting Skills – la capacitación para ser buenos padres
    • Drugs/Alcohol – las drogas y el alcohol
  • If the individual reapplies in pay for performance, but does not have any open penalties, the 30 days of cooperation begins on the file date.
  • Explore Medicaid eligibility for the children and eligible adults.
  • If an individual has an open Choices, Voluntary Quit or Parenting Skills penalty and is now a payee, the individual does not have to demonstrate cooperation.

A—2152  A Second Noncooperation During Pay for Performance

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

The household must reapply in pay for performance to qualify for TANF cash assistance. An individual with an open penalty at application must cooperate with the PRA requirement that caused the penalty and demonstrate PRA cooperation for 30 days.

When a household reapplies for TANF during pay for performance and the advisor discovers a household member fails to cooperate with a second or subsequent PRA requirement:

  • Before or during the reapplication interview, allow the individual to demonstrate cooperation for the initial and second or subsequent noncooperation. Pend the application for the required 30- or 40-day time period to allow demonstrated cooperation for the initial and second or subsequent penalty. If the household:
    • cooperates with both the initial and subsequent penalties, close the initial penalty and certify the application. Document that the household cooperated with the second or subsequent penalty.
    • cooperates with the initial penalty, but not second or subsequent penalty, close the initial penalty, open the second or subsequent penalty and deny the application as a result of the second or subsequent noncooperation.
    • fails to cooperate with the initial penalty, leave the penalty open and deny the application. Do not open a second or subsequent penalty.
  • After the interview, deny the TANF reapplication. The initial penalty remains open. Open the second or subsequent penalty.

Note: Explore Medicaid eligibility for the children and eligible adults.

A—2160  Verification Requirements

Revision 08-3; Effective July 1, 2008

TANF

Verify a good cause claim as explained in A-2129, Good Cause.

Immunizations

Verify:

  • that the child's immunizations are current;
  • that a child is enrolled and attending school, unless there is other information that the child is not up-to-date with his immunizations; and
  • prior cooperation status at reapplication, according to A-2125.5.1, Starting an Immunization Penalty.

A—2161  Verification Sources

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

THSteps

  • Checking the THSteps Overdue MED DT in TIERS Data Collection
  • Verification from the individual such as a doctor's statement
  • Verification from THSteps staff
  • Form H1087, Verification of Texas Health Steps (THSteps) Checkup

Immunizations

  • Form H1012, Immunization Record
  • Statement from a medical provider such as a doctor or nurse
  • Verification that a child is enrolled and attending school, unless there is other information that the child is not up-to-date with immunizations

Parenting Skills

  • Form H1088, Verification of Parenting Skills Training
  • Training certification, letter or Women, Infants and Children (WIC) identification card that verifies completion of parenting skills training

Related Policy
Questionable Information, C-920
Providing Verification, C-930

A—2170  Documentation Requirements

Revision 12-3; Effective July 1, 2012

TANF

Document the:

  • personal responsibility requirements (PRA) were verbally explained to the individual according to A-2110, General Policy; and
  • reason for good cause, if applicable.

Parenting Skills

Include documentation of the name and:

  • address of the organization or person who provided the training; and
  • telephone number of the contact person.

Drugs and Alcohol

Document the:

  • individual's response when it disagrees with the information in a credit report, including the information the individual states is incorrect; and
  • reason for referral to OIG.

Immunization

Document the:

  • immunization status of each child; and
  • review of immunization record and visits.

Full-Family Sanction

Document the household's:

  • PRA noncooperation;
  • first month of the noncooperation;
  • full-family sanction month; and
  • reason for delay if the application is pended due to PRA pay for performance.

Pay for Performance

Document the reason for denial when denying an EDG for failure to demonstrate cooperation when a household reapplies in pay for performance.

Related Policy
Documentation, C-940
The Texas Works Documentation Guide