Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0205.060.25 Determining Good Cause

IM-69 May 26, 2020; IM-104 December 20, 2012; IM-44 July 11, 2011

Applicant or Temporary Assistance (TA) Participant’s Responsibilities

  1. The applicant or TA participant requests that a determination be made of his/her good cause claim for failure to cooperate.
  2. The applicant or TA participant alone or with the eligibility specialist assistance provides evidence in support of the good cause claim (see 0205.060.30 Types of Evidence). Allow the applicant or TA participant sufficient time to obtain the evidence, especially if it is unusually difficult to obtain. If an applicant or TA participant claims good cause based on physical harm and no evidence exists to verify the claim, request a written explanation for the record.

Income Maintenance Staff Responsibilities

  1. Good cause determination process should be completed within 20 days of the initial good cause claim. The 20 days may be extended for up to 45 days in case of difficulty in obtaining good cause verification.
  2. Give the applicant or TA participant a copy of the Notice of Requirement to Cooperate and Right to Claim Good Cause (IM-2E Part 1 or Part 2) that gives additional information regarding the good cause claim, his/her responsibilities, and space to make the claim in writing.

    NOTE: If the applicant or TA participant marks “yes” (claims good cause) on the IM-2E Part 2, the eligibility specialist needs to explore and comment about good cause on the Assignment/Referral (ASSIGN/FM86) screen in FAMIS. The Referral/Information for Child Support Services (CS-201) should not be sent to Child Support (FSD-CS) until it has been determined that good cause does not exist.

  3. Use the Communication Transmittal (IM-16) to notify FSD-CS of a good cause claim when a Referral/Information for Services (CS-201) was previously sent. The IM-16 should be sent to FSD.IntakeCenter@dss.mo.gov.
  4. Assist the applicant or TA participant in obtaining evidence when necessary. Advise him/her of methods to obtain documentation. The applicant or TA participant may be asked to provide sufficient identifying information and pay any fees required to obtain the document.

    EXCEPTION: The Family Support Division will pay for an evaluation from a mental health professional regarding risk of emotional harm when necessary. The applicant or TA participant’s inability to pay a fee will not negatively affect a determination that good cause exists.

  5. Send the IM-16 to FSD-CS at FSD.IntakeCenter@dss.mo.gov for their review. Consider any comments the child support specialist (CSS) has regarding the determination. It is the responsibility of the eligibility specialist to make the good cause recommendation. If no comments are received from FSD-CS within five (5) working days, complete the decision-making process.
  6. Refer all claims of good cause to the Program Manager/County Manager for their review before final determination.
  7. Notify the applicant or TA participant and FSD-CS in writing of the final determination on all good cause claims.
  8. Notify FSD-CS of any hearing requests regarding good cause claims and the hearing results.
  9. If it is determined good cause does not exist, follow sanction procedures as outlined in section 0205.060.35 Sanctions for Refusal to Cooperate. All efforts must be made to assist the applicant or TA participant in understanding his/her options.
  10. Document the decision, findings, and basis for the good cause determination on the comment screen on the Assignment/Referral (ASSIGN/FM86) screen in FAMIS. Keep any hard copy documentation in the case record.
  11. If a refusal to cooperate is determined to be with good cause, reassess the good cause determination at each review. Circumstances may have changed, and the applicant or TA participant may wish to establish paternity and/or child support.

Family Support Division-Child Support Responsibilities

  1. The child support specialist (CSS) notifies Income Maintenance (FSD-IM) via the IM-16 if an applicant or TA participant refuses to cooperate with FSD-CS or a Prosecuting Attorney.
  2. The CSS suspends all efforts to establish paternity or secure support when notified of a good cause claim. This suspension continues until the CSS receives notification of a final determination.
  3. The CSS may participate in a hearing regarding good cause determination either at the applicant or TA participant’s or the eligibility specialist’s request.
  4.  FSD-CS does not begin to establish paternity or secure support if FSD-IM finds good cause for refusal to cooperate. Once FSD-IM determines good cause and notifies FSD-CS, FSD-CS closes the case.