Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0205.045.05 Misusing Benefits

Misusing a grant includes frequently spending the grant primarily for the recipient’s use rather than for the child’s necessities.

If aware of grant misuse or if complaints are received from reliable witnesses or persons having factual knowledge of grant misuse, discuss the situation with the family. Identify that further misuse will cause selection of an alternative payment method. If misuse continues, use an alternative payment method.

Occasionally a creditor requests FSD to pay Temporary Assistance benefits to them. If this occurs, notify the claimant of the creditor’s request. Determine if there is misuse of Temporary Assistance benefits. Another reason for late bill payment may exist, such as funds used for an emergency, expenses exceed income, etc. If determined that the family is not misusing benefits, notify them of this decision.

After determining if protective payments are needed, send the family an adverse action notice before the Temporary Assistance grant is made in the form of protective payments.

Refer the family to Children’s Services if it appears that the misuse of benefits is causing risk of abandonment or neglect to the child(ren). When the family indicates their ability to handle the grant satisfactorily, restore payment to them. When all efforts have failed to improve the family’s ability to manage benefits, and protective payments continue or are likely to continue beyond two years, seek judicial appointment of a guardian or other legal representative.