Temporary Assistance/Case Management Manual

0295.025.00 Sanctions

IM-23 March 18, 2005,  IM-22 February 27, 2002

When conciliation efforts are exhausted and it is determined that the individual failed to participate without good cause, proceed with the sanctioning process.

Advise the participant of the proposed sanction and specific reason for the action with the Adverse Action Notice. Consider a sanction effective with the expiration of the adverse action period and reduction of the Temporary Assistance grant. The participant may contest the proposed sanction through the fair hearings process. Refer to the General Manual Chapter X, Section III for information regarding fair hearings.

During the sanction period the Temporary Assistance cash grant is reduced by 25%. The cash grant continues at the reduced amount until the individual complies or has good cause for not participating in a work activity. To reduce the cash grant by 25% refer to Section 0210.015.50 Sanction.

When a sanction is imposed for non-compliance, the sanction follows the individual. Notify the case manager via IM-16 when a non-compliant individual moves from one household to another. The sanction remains unless the individual is serving a first sanction and meets one of the criteria for ending a first sanction. Individuals not exempt from work requirements in a new case must comply with a work activity before lifting the sanction.

Sanction Time Frames

  1. First Sanction: Remain in effect until compliance.
  2. Second and Subsequent Sanction: Remain in effect for three months or until compliance, whichever is longer. However, if an individual states a wish to cooperate and demonstrates this willingness to staff, the sanction may be lifted prior to the end of three months.

EXAMPLE: A first sanction has been imposed. The non-compliant individual attends an orientation, and the first sanction is lifted. A Self-Sufficiency Pact (SSP) is completed, and the individual agrees to participate in a Community Work Experience site (CWEP) for 25 hours per week. The CWEP supervisor contacts the case manager and advises that the participant has not come to the CWEP all week. The case manager tries to contact the participant by phone but is unsuccessful and initiates the conciliation process. After numerous attempts to contact the participant for a face-to-face interview an IM-80 is sent, and a second sanction is imposed.

The participant contacts the case manager and explains that a family crisis occurred. He/she had been out of town but is ready to participate. The case manager discusses the situation with the participant, and they agree to find another CWEP. Once the site is found, the case manager meets with the CWEP supervisor and participant, expectations are discussed, and a follow-up meeting is scheduled. The participant completes the hours of participation requested and shows a positive attitude while working. The self-sufficiency case manager agrees that the participant has demonstrated a willingness to participate. The sanction is lifted prior to the end of the third month.

To determine that an individual’s failure to comply has ceased, the individual must agree to comply or participate satisfactorily for two consecutive weeks in an activity agreed upon with the case manager. Renegotiate the SSP prior to lifting the sanction.

When lifting the sanction, restore the 25% cash grant reduction beginning with the date the individual agrees to cooperate. If the case manager is not responsible for the budget adjustment, send a Communication Transmittal (IM-16) to the caseworker asking that the sanction be lifted and the date the benefits will be restored.

EXAMPLE: The non-compliant individual contacts the case manager and agrees to comply on January 21, 1999. The individual successfully completes, on February 5, 1999, two consecutive weeks in an agreed upon work activity. The caseworker or case manager must restore the cash grant as of January 1999 when the individual agrees to comply. Do not prorate the benefits for the month of compliance.

Lifting A Sanction At Application Approval

If a case is closed during the first sanction and the individual reapplies for Temporary Assistance, the sanction has been satisfied. If eligible for Temporary Assistance no sanction would be applied at the time of approval.

If the case was closed during a second sanction, at the time of approval the sanction would remain in effect until compliance or 3 months, whichever is longer. However, if the individual states they wish to cooperate and demonstrates their willingness to staff (2 weeks) the sanction may be lifted prior to the 3 months.

If the individual meets an exemption or exclusion the sanction should be lifted as the individual is not employable.

NOTE: An individual in a case sanctioned for non-cooperation with the Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) must continue to participate in a work activity. If the individual chooses not to participate in a work activity, no additional reduction in grant occurs. However, the family is considered sanctioned for non-cooperation with both the Division of Child Support Enforcement and the Family Support Division. If an individual is participating in a work activity and is sanctioned for non-cooperation with the Division of Child Support Enforcement, he/she may continue to participate in the work activity and receive supportive services.