256K.03 Program requirements.
Subdivision 1. Notification of program. Except for the provisions in this section, the provisions for the AFDC, MFIP-S, and family general assistance application process shall be followed. Within two days after receipt of a completed combined application form, the county agency must refer to the provider the applicant who meets the conditions under section 256K.02, and notify the applicant in writing of the program including the following provisions:
(1) notification that, as part of the application process, applicants are required to attend orientation, to be followed immediately by a job search;
(2) the program provider, the date, time, and location of the scheduled program orientation;
(3) the procedures for qualifying for and receiving benefits under the program;
(4) the immediate availability of supportive services, including, but not limited to, child care, transportation, medical assistance, and other work-related aid; and
(5) the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of participants in the program, including, but not limited to, the grounds for exemptions and deferrals, the consequences for refusing or failing to participate fully, and the appeal process.
Subd. 2. Program orientation. The county must give a face-to-face orientation regarding the program to the applicant within five days after the date of application. The orientation must be designed to inform the applicant of:
(1) the importance of locating and obtaining a job as soon as possible;
(2) benefits to be provided to support work;
(3) the manner by which benefits shall be paid;
(4) how other supportive services such as medical assistance, child care, transportation, and other work-related aid shall be available to support job search and work;
(5) the consequences for failure without good cause to comply with program requirements; and
(6) the appeal process.
Subd. 3. Job search plan; employment advisor; financial specialist. At the end of orientation, the provider must assign an employment advisor and a financial specialist to the applicant. With advice from the employment advisor, the applicant must develop a job search plan based on existing job markets, prior employment, work experience, and transferable work skills, unless exempt under subdivision 5. A job search must be planned and conducted for a period of up to eight consecutive weeks from the date of application and for at least 32 hours per week. The types of and target number of job openings to be pursued per week must be written in the job search plan. The following activities may be included in the job search plan:
(1) motivational counseling;
(2) job networking or training on how to locate job openings;
(3) development of a personal resume; and
(4) information on how to conduct job interviews and establish a personal job network.
Following the development of the job search plan or the employability development plan under subdivision 8, the financial specialist must interview the applicant to determine eligibility for and the extent of benefits under sections 256K.06 and 256K.07 to support the job search or employability development plan. The provider must attach to the appropriate plan the summary of the necessary enabling services and benefits to be furnished by the provider. The provider or its representative and the applicant must sign the plan, with its attachment, to indicate a self-sufficiency agreement between the provider and the participant.
Subd. 4. Immediate job search. An applicant must be required to begin job search within seven days after the date of application for at least 32 hours per week for up to eight weeks, unless exempt under subdivision 5 or deferred under subdivision 8. For an applicant who is working at least 20 hours per week, job search shall consist of 12 hours per week for up to eight weeks. Within the first five days of job search, the applicant is required to initiate informational contacts with prospective employers, generate additional job leads from the job network, review references and experiences from previous employment, and carry out the other activities under the job search plan developed under subdivision 3.
Subd. 5. Exemption categories. (a) The applicant will be exempt from the job search requirements and development of a job search plan and an employability development plan under subdivisions 3, 4, and 8 if the applicant belongs to any of the following groups:
(1) individuals who are age 60 or older;
(2) individuals who are suffering from a professionally certified permanent or temporary illness, injury, or incapacity which is expected to continue for more than 30 days and which prevents the person from obtaining or retaining employment. Persons in this category with a temporary illness, injury, or incapacity must be reevaluated at least quarterly;
(3) caregivers whose presence in the home is needed because of the professionally certified illness or incapacity of another member in the assistance unit, a relative in the household, or a foster child in the household;
(4) women who are pregnant, if the pregnancy has resulted in a professionally certified incapacity that prevents the woman from obtaining and retaining employment;
(5) caregivers of a child under the age of one year who personally provide full-time care for the child. This exemption may be used for only 12 months in a lifetime. In two-parent households, only one parent or other relative may qualify for this exemption;
(6) individuals who are single parents or one parent in a two-parent family employed at least 35 hours per week;
(7) individuals experiencing a personal or family crisis that makes them incapable of participating in the program, as determined by the county agency. If the participant does not agree with the county agency's determination, the participant may seek professional certification, as defined in section 256J.08, that the participant is incapable of participating in the program. Persons in this exemption category must be reevaluated every 60 days; or
(8) second parents in two-parent families employed for 20 or more hours per week provided the first parent is employed at least 35 hours per week.
(b) A caregiver who is exempt under clause (5) must enroll in and attend an early childhood and family education class, a parenting class, or some similar activity, if available, during the period of time the caregiver is exempt under this section. Notwithstanding section 256J.46, failure to attend the required activity shall not result in the imposition of a sanction.
Subd. 6. County duties. The county must act on the application within 30 days of the application date. If the applicant is not eligible, the application will be denied and the county must notify the applicant of the denial in writing. An applicant whose application has been denied may be allowed to complete the job search plan; however, supportive services will not be provided.
Subd. 7. Job search plan status report. The applicant or participant must submit a completed job search plan status report form to the employment advisor every two weeks during the job search process, with the first completed form due 21 days after the date of application.
Subd. 8. Employability development plan. At the discretion and approval of the employment advisor, the applicant may be deferred from the requirement to conduct at least 32 hours of job search per week for up to eight consecutive weeks, if during the development of the job search plan, the applicant is determined to:
(1) not have worked within the past 12 months and not have a high school or a general equivalency diploma provided the applicant agrees to develop and carry out an employability development plan instead of job search, and concurrently work for at least 16 hours per week in a temporary public service job. The employability development plan must include the employment goals and specific outcomes the participant must achieve;
(2) be within six months of completing any post-secondary training program, provided that the applicant agrees to develop and carry out an employability development plan instead of a job search, and concurrently work for a minimum number of hours per week in a temporary public service job. The employability development plan must include the employment goal and specific outcomes that the participant must achieve. The applicant that is deferred under this subdivision may choose to work in a job other than a public service job for a minimum number of hours per week rather than in a temporary public service job. For individuals who are participating in an educational program under this clause, and who are attending school full time as determined by the institution, there is no work requirement. For individuals participating in an educational program on a part-time basis as determined by the institution, the minimum number of hours that a participant must work shall be decreased as the participant increases the number of credit hours taken, except that the participant shall not be required to work more than eight hours per week.
During vacation periods of one month or more, the 16-hour per week minimum work requirement shall apply. The applicant may be deferred for up to six months. At the end of the deferment period, the participant must develop a job search plan and conduct at least 32 hours of job search per week for up to eight consecutive weeks, and submit reports as required under subdivisions 3 and 4; or
(3) be in treatment for chemical dependency, be a victim of domestic abuse, or be homeless, provided that the applicant agrees to develop an employability development plan instead of a job search plan, and immediately follow through with the activities in the employability development plan. The employability development plan must include specific outcomes that the applicant must achieve for the duration of the employability development plan and activities which are needed to address the issues identified. Under this clause, the applicant may be deferred for up to eight weeks.
Subd. 9. EDP status report. The participant who is deferred from job search under subdivision 8 must submit a completed employability development plan status report form to the employment advisor every 14 days as long as the participant continues to be deferred, with the first completed form due 21 days after the date of application.
Subd. 10. Job offer. The participant must not refuse any job offer, provided that the job is within the participant's physical and mental abilities, pays hourly gross wages of not less than the applicable state or federal minimum wage, and meets health and safety standards set by federal, state, and county agencies. If a job is offered, the participant must inform the provider immediately to redetermine eligibility for and extent of benefits and services to support work. To enhance job retention, the provider may provide services such as motivational counseling or on-site problem solving for up to six months. The participant who has completed at least six months of work in a nonsubsidized job shall be encouraged to participate in a training program that would improve the participant's ability to obtain a job that pays a higher wage.
Subd. 11. Duty to report. The participant must immediately inform the provider regarding any changes related to the participant's employment status.
Subd. 12. Requirement to work in a temporary public service job. (a) If after the completion of the maximum eight weeks of job search the participant has failed to secure a nonsubsidized or a subsidized job for at least 32 hours per week, or does not earn a net income from self-employment that is equal to at least the AFDC, MFIP-S or family general assistance monthly grant for the household size, whichever is applicable, the participant is required to work in a temporary public service job for up to 67 working days for (1) at least 32 hours per week, or (2) a period equivalent to the result of dividing the monthly grant amount which the participant would otherwise receive, by the federal hourly minimum wage, or applicable hourly state minimum wage, or the hourly rate of pay for individuals employed in the same occupation at the site, whichever is highest. If the result is more than 128 hours per month, the participant's requirement to work in a temporary public service job shall not be more than 32 hours per week.
(b) Within seven days from the date of application, the participant who is deferred under subdivision 8, clause (1) or (2), and is participating in an educational program on a part-time basis must work in a temporary public service job as required under subdivision 8, clause (2).
(c) The provider shall strive to match the profile of the participant with the needs of the employers that are participating in a temporary jobs program under section 256K.05.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes