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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

256.73 Assistance, recipients.

Subdivision 1. Repealed, 1997 c 85 art 1 s 74; 1Sp1997 c 5 s 12

Subd. 1a. Use of Code of Federal Regulations. In the event that federal block grant legislation eliminates the federal regulatory basis for AFDC, the state shall continue to determine eligibility for Minnesota's AFDC program using the provisions of Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, as constructed on the day prior to their federal repeal, except as expressly superseded in sections 256.72 to 256.87, or as superseded by federal law, or as modified by state rule or by regulatory waivers granted to the state.

Subd. 1b. Repealed, 1997 c 85 art 1 s 74; 1Sp1997 c 5 s 12

Subd. 2. Allowance barred by ownership of property. Ownership by an assistance unit of property as follows is a bar to any allowance under sections 256.72 to 256.87:

(1) The value of real property other than the homestead, which when combined with other assets exceeds the limits of paragraph (2), unless the assistance unit is making a good faith effort to sell the nonexcludable real property. The time period for disposal must not exceed nine consecutive months. The assistance unit must sign an agreement to dispose of the property and to give the local agency a lien to secure repayment of benefits received by the assistance unit during the nine-month period covered by the agreement. The provisions of section 514.981, subdivisions 2, paragraphs (a), clauses (1), (3), (4), and (5), and (e); 4 and 5, paragraphs (a), clause (2), and (b), clauses (3) and (4), and (d); and 6; section 514.982, subdivisions 1, clauses (1), (2), and (4); and 2; and sections 514.983 and 514.984, regarding medical assistance liens, shall apply to AFDC liens under this section, except that the filing fees paid by the county agency under this section shall be deducted from recoveries made under this lien provision. For purposes of this paragraph, all references in sections 514.981 to 514.984, to medical assistance liens and to medical assistance benefits shall be construed to be references to AFDC liens and to AFDC benefits, respectively. If the property is intentionally sold at less than fair market value or if a good faith effort to sell the property is not being made, the overpayment amount shall be computed using the fair market value determined at the beginning of the nine-month period. For the purposes of this section, "homestead" means the home that is owned by, and is the usual residence of, the child, relative, or other member of the assistance unit together with the surrounding property which is not separated from the home by intervening property owned by others. "Usual residence" includes the home from which the child, relative, or other members of the assistance unit is temporarily absent due to an employability development plan approved by the local human service agency, which includes education, training, or job search within the state but outside of the immediate geographic area. Public rights-of-way, such as roads which run through the surrounding property and separate it from the home, will not affect the exemption of the property; or

(2) Personal property of an equity value in excess of $1,000 for the entire assistance unit, exclusive of personal property used as the home, one motor vehicle of an equity value not exceeding $1,500 or the entire equity value of a motor vehicle determined to be necessary for the operation of a self-employment business, one burial plot for each member of the assistance unit, one prepaid burial contract with an equity value of no more than $1,000 for each member of the assistance unit, clothing and necessary household furniture and equipment and other basic maintenance items essential for daily living, in accordance with rules promulgated by and standards established by the commissioner of human services.

Subd. 3. Repealed, 1973 c 717 s 33

Subd. 3a. Persons ineligible. No assistance shall be given under sections 256.72 to 256.87:

(1) on behalf of any person who is receiving supplemental security income under title XVI of the Social Security Act unless permitted by federal regulations;

(2) for any month in which the assistance unit's gross income, without application of deductions or disregards, exceeds 185 percent of the standard of need for a family of the same size and composition; except that the earnings of a dependent child who is a full-time student may be disregarded for six months per calendar year and the earnings of a dependent child that are derived from the Jobs Training and Partnership Act (JTPA) may be disregarded for six months per calendar year. These two earnings disregards cannot be combined to allow more than a total of six months per calendar year when the earned income of a full-time student is derived from participation in a program under the JTPA. If a stepparent's income is taken into account in determining need, the disregards specified in section 256.74, subdivision 1a, shall be applied to determine income available to the assistance unit before calculating the unit's gross income for purposes of this paragraph. If a stepparent's needs are included in the assistance unit as specified in section 256.74, subdivision 1, the disregards specified in section 256.74, subdivision 1, shall be applied;

(3) to any assistance unit for any month in which any caretaker relative with whom the child is living is, on the last day of that month, participating in a strike;

(4) on behalf of any other individual in the assistance unit, nor shall the individual's needs be taken into account for any month in which, on the last day of the month, the individual is participating in a strike;

(5) on behalf of any individual who is the principal earner in an assistance unit whose eligibility is based on the unemployment of a parent when the principal earner, without good cause, fails or refuses to accept employment, or to register with a public employment office, unless the principal earner is exempt from these work requirements.

Subd. 3b. Eligibility not barred by working over 99 hours; past employment history; 30-day waiting period. An individual receiving assistance may work over 99 hours per month and remain eligible for assistance, provided all other requirements of the aid to families with dependent children-unemployed parent program are met. The applicant is not required to demonstrate past employment history or 30 days of prior unemployment to be eligible for the AFDC-unemployed parent. This subdivision is effective upon federal approval and implementation of the waiver under Laws 1995, chapter 178, article 2, section 46, subdivision 4.

Subd. 4. Repealed, 1987 c 363 s 14

Subd. 5. Aid for pregnant women. (a) For the purposes of sections 256.72 to 256.87, assistance payments shall be made to a pregnant woman with no other children who are receiving assistance. It must be medically verified that the unborn child is expected to be born in the month the payment is made or within the three-month period following the month of payment. Eligibility must be determined as if the unborn child had been born and was living with her, considering the needs, income, and resources of all individuals in the filing unit. If eligibility exists for this fictional unit, the pregnant woman is eligible and her payment amount is determined based solely on her needs, income, including deemed income, and resources. No payments shall be made for the needs of the unborn or for any special needs occasioned by the pregnancy except as provided in paragraph (b). The commissioner of human services shall promulgate, pursuant to the administrative procedure act, rules to implement this subdivision.

(b) The commissioner may, according to rules, make payments for the purpose of meeting special needs occasioned by or resulting from pregnancy both for a pregnant woman with no other children receiving assistance as well as for a pregnant woman receiving assistance as provided in sections 256.72 to 256.87. The special needs payments shall be dependent upon the needs of the pregnant woman and the resources allocated to the county by the commissioner and shall be limited to payments for medically recognized special or supplemental diet needs and the purchase of a crib and necessary clothing for the future needs of the unborn child at birth.

Subd. 5a. Parenting or pregnant minors; restriction on assistance with federal exceptions. (a) The definitions in this paragraph only apply to this subdivision.

(1) "Minor parent" means an individual who:

(i) is under the age of 18;

(ii) has never been married or otherwise legally emancipated; and

(iii) is either the natural parent of a dependent child living in the same household or eligible for assistance paid to a pregnant woman under subdivision 5.

(2) "Household of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative" means the place of residence of:

(i) a natural or adoptive parent;

(ii) a legal guardian pursuant to appointment or acceptance under section 260.242, 525.615, or 525.6165, and related laws; or

(iii) another individual who is age 18 or over and related to the minor parent as specified in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 233.90(c)(1)(v), provided that the residence is maintained as a home for the minor parent and child under Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 233.90(c)(1)(v)(B).

(3) "Adult-supervised supportive living arrangement" means a private family setting which assumes responsibility for the care and control of the minor parent and dependent child, or other living arrangement, not including a public institution, licensed by the commissioner of human services which ensures that the minor parent receives adult supervision and supportive services, such as counseling, guidance, independent living skills training, or supervision.

(b) A minor parent and the dependent child who is in the care of the minor parent must reside in the household of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative, or in an adult-supervised supportive living arrangement in order to receive AFDC unless:

(1) the minor parent has no living parent or legal guardian whose whereabouts is known;

(2) no living parent or legal guardian of the minor parent allows the minor parent to live in the parent's or legal guardian's home;

(3) the minor parent lived apart from the minor parent's own parent or legal guardian for a period of at least one year before either the birth of the dependent child or the minor parent's application for AFDC;

(4) the physical or emotional health or safety of the minor parent or dependent child would be jeopardized if the minor parent and the dependent child resided in the same residence with the minor parent's parent or legal guardian;

(5) the minor parent and dependent child have, on October 1, 1995, been living independently as part of an approved social services plan for less than one year; or

(6) an adult supervised supportive living arrangement is not available for the minor parent and the dependent child in the county in which the minor currently resides. If an adult supervised supportive living arrangement becomes available within the county, the minor parent and child must reside in that arrangement.

(c) Minor applicants must be informed orally and in writing about the eligibility requirements and their rights and obligations under the AFDC program. The county must advise the minor of the possible exemptions and specifically ask whether one or more of these exemptions is applicable. If the minor alleges one or more of these exemptions, then the county must assist the minor in obtaining the necessary verifications to determine whether or not these exemptions apply.

(d) If the county worker has reason to suspect that the physical or emotional health or safety of the minor parent or dependent child would be jeopardized if they resided with the minor parent's parent or legal guardian, then the county worker must make a referral to child protective services to determine if paragraph (b), clause (4), applies. A new determination by the county worker is not necessary if one has been made within the last six months, unless there has been a significant change in circumstances which justifies a new referral and determination.

(e) If a minor parent is not living with a parent or legal guardian due to paragraph (b), clause (1), (2), or (4), the minor parent must reside, when possible, in a living arrangement that meets the standards of paragraph (a), clause (3).

(f) When a minor parent and dependent child live with the minor parent's parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative, or in an adult supervised supportive living arrangement, AFDC must be paid, when possible, in the form of a protective payment on behalf of the minor parent and dependent child in accordance with Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 234.60.

Subd. 6. Reports by recipient. (a) An assistance unit with a recent work history or with earned income shall report monthly to the county agency on income received and other circumstances affecting eligibility or assistance amounts. All other assistance units shall report on income and other circumstances affecting eligibility and assistance amounts at less frequent intervals, as specified by the state agency.

(b) An assistance unit required to submit a report on the form designated by the commissioner is considered to have continued its application for assistance effective the date the required report is received by the county agency, if a complete report is received within a calendar month after the month in which assistance was received, except that no assistance shall be paid for the period beginning with the end of the month in which the report was due and ending with the date the report was received by the county agency.

Subd. 7. Repealed, 1989 c 343 s 7

Subd. 8. Recovery of overpayments and ATM errors. (a) Except as provided in subdivision 8a, if an amount of aid to families with dependent children assistance is paid to a recipient in excess of the payment due, it shall be recoverable by the county agency. The agency shall give written notice to the recipient of its intention to recover the overpayment.

(b) When an overpayment occurs, the county agency shall recover the overpayment from a current recipient by reducing the amount of aid payable to the assistance unit of which the recipient is a member for one or more monthly assistance payments until the overpayment is repaid. All county agencies in the state shall reduce the assistance payment by three percent of the assistance unit's standard of need or the amount of the monthly payment, whichever is less, for all overpayments whether or not the overpayment is due solely to agency error. For recipients receiving benefits via electronic benefit transfer, if the overpayment is a result of an automated teller machine (ATM) dispensing funds in error to the recipient, the agency may recover the ATM error by immediately withdrawing funds from the recipient's electronic benefit transfer account, up to the amount of the error. If the overpayment is due solely to having wrongfully obtained assistance, whether based on a court order, the finding of an administrative fraud disqualification hearing or a waiver of such a hearing, or a confession of judgment containing an admission of an intentional program violation, the amount of this reduction shall be ten percent. In cases when there is both an overpayment and underpayment, the county agency shall offset one against the other in correcting the payment.

(c) Overpayments may also be voluntarily repaid, in part or in full, by the individual, in addition to the above aid reductions, until the total amount of the overpayment is repaid.

(d) The county agency shall make reasonable efforts to recover overpayments to persons no longer on assistance in accordance with standards adopted in rule by the commissioner of human services. The county agency need not attempt to recover overpayments of less than $35 paid to an individual no longer on assistance if the individual does not receive assistance again within three years, unless the individual has been convicted of fraud under section 256.98.

Subd. 8a. Start work offset. An overpayment resulting from earned income received in the first month of employment is not recoverable by the county agency provided the aid to families with dependent children assistance unit has not voluntarily quit employment, without good cause under section 268.09, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), in the past two years. A "start work offset" for purposes of this subdivision is the amount of the overpayment the assistance unit would otherwise be required to repay to the county under subdivision 8. This subdivision is effective upon federal approval and implementation of the waiver under Laws 1995, chapter 178, article 2, section 46, subdivision 3.

Subd. 9. Appeal of overpayment determinations. The recipient may appeal the agency's determination that an overpayment has occurred in accordance with section 256.045.

Subd. 10. Underpayments. The county agency shall promptly repay the recipient for any underpayment. The county agency shall disregard that payment when determining the assistance unit's income and resources in the month when the payment is made and the following month.

Subd. 11. Compliance with federal law and regulation. None of the provisions in this section shall be implemented to the extent that they violate federal law or regulation.

HIST: (8688-6) 1937 c 438 s 4; 1939 c 195 s 2; 1943 c 7 s 2; 1951 c 229 s 2; 1953 c 140 s 1,2; 1953 c 639 s 2; 1955 c 414 s 1; 1955 c 743 s 1; 1957 c 690 s 2; 1963 c 794 s 4; 1965 c 799 s 4; 1973 c 26 s 4; 1974 c 575 s 18; 1977 c 412 s 1,3-5; 1977 c 448 s 5; 1979 c 50 s 71; 1980 c 614 s 130; 1981 c 360 art 2 s 19; 1Sp1981 c 4 art 4 s 63; 3Sp1981 c 3 s 5-8; 1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1985 c 45 s 1; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1985 c 252 s 6-8; 1986 c 398 art 5 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 403 art 3 s 3; 1988 c 629 s 51; 1988 c 689 art 2 s 124-129,268; 1989 c 282 art 5 s 24; 1990 c 568 art 4 s 1,2,84; 1Sp1993 c 1 art 6 s 4-7; 1995 c 178 art 2 s 3-6; 1995 c 207 art 5 s 2,3; 1996 c 451 art 6 s 8,9; 1996 c 465 art 3 s 12-15

* NOTE: Subdivisions 1a, 2, 3a, 3b, 5, 5a, 6, 8, 8a, 9, 10, *and 11, are repealed by Laws 1997, chapter 85, article 1, *section 74, effective July 1, 1998. From January 1, 1998, to *March 31, 1998, the statutory sections listed in Laws 1997, *chapter 85, article 1, section 74, paragraph (a), apply only in *counties that operate an MFIP field trial and that continue to *provide project STRIDE services to members of the MFIP *comparison group, and in those counties that have not completed *conversion to MFIP-S employment and training services. From *April 1, 1998, through June 30, 1998, the sections listed in *paragraph (a) are effective only in counties that operate an *MFIP field trial and that continue to provide project STRIDE *services to members of the comparison group.