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Chapter 256J

Section 256J.24

Recent History

256J.24 Family composition and assistance standards.

Subdivision 1. MFIP-S assistance unit. An MFIP-S assistance unit is either a group of individuals with at least one minor child who live together whose needs, assets, and income are considered together and who receive MFIP-S assistance, or a pregnant woman and her spouse who receive MFIP-S assistance.

Individuals identified in subdivision 2 must be included in the MFIP-S assistance unit. Individuals identified in subdivision 3 are ineligible to receive MFIP-S. Individuals identified in subdivision 4 may be included in the assistance unit at their option. Individuals not included in the assistance unit who are identified in section 256J.37, subdivisions 1 to 2, must have their income and assets considered when determining eligibility and benefits for an MFIP-S assistance unit. All assistance unit members, whether mandatory or elective, who live together and for whom one caregiver or two caregivers apply must be included in a single assistance unit.

Subd. 2. Mandatory assistance unit composition. Except for minor caregivers and their children who must be in a separate assistance unit from the other persons in the household, when the following individuals live together, they must be included in the assistance unit:

(1) a minor child, including a pregnant minor;

(2) the minor child's minor siblings, minor half-siblings, and minor step-siblings;

(3) the minor child's natural parents, adoptive parents, and stepparents; and

(4) the spouse of a pregnant woman.

Subd. 3. Individuals who must be excluded from an assistance unit. (a) The following individuals who are part of the assistance unit determined under subdivision 2 are ineligible to receive MFIP:

(1) individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income or Minnesota supplemental aid;

(2) individuals disqualified from the food stamp program or MFIP, until the disqualification ends;

(3) children on whose behalf federal, state or local foster care payments are made, except as provided in sections 256J.13, subdivision 2, and 256J.74, subdivision 2; and

(4) children receiving ongoing monthly adoption assistance payments under section 259.67.

(b) The exclusion of a person under this subdivision does not alter the mandatory assistance unit composition.

Subd. 4. Individuals who may elect to be included in the assistance unit. (a) The minor child's eligible caregiver may choose to be in the assistance unit, if the caregiver is not required to be in the assistance unit under subdivision 2. If the eligible caregiver chooses to be in the assistance unit, that person's spouse must also be in the unit.

(b) Any minor child not related as a sibling, stepsibling, or adopted sibling to the minor child in the unit, but for whom there is an eligible caregiver may elect to be in the unit.

(c) A foster care provider of a minor child who is receiving federal, state, or local foster care maintenance payments may elect to receive MFIP-S if the provider meets the definition of caregiver under section 256J.08, subdivision 11. If the provider chooses to receive MFIP-S, the spouse of the provider must also be included in the assistance unit with the provider. The provider and spouse are eligible for assistance even if the only minor child living in the provider's home is receiving foster care maintenance payments.

(d) The adult caregiver or caregivers of a minor parent are eligible to be a separate assistance unit from the minor parent and the minor parent's child when:

(1) the adult caregiver or caregivers have no other minor children in the household;

(2) the minor parent and the minor parent's child are living together with the adult caregiver or caregivers; and

(3) the minor parent and the minor parent's child receive MFIP-S, or would be eligible to receive MFIP-S, if they were not receiving SSI benefits.

Subd. 5. MFIP-S transitional standard. The following table represents the MFIP-S transitional standard table when all members of the assistance unit are eligible for both food and cash assistance.

Number of Eligible People Standard 1 $351 2 $609 3 $763 4 $903 5 $1,025 6 $1,165 7 $1,273 8 $1,403 9 $1,530 10 $1,653 over 10 add $121 per additional member.

The commissioner shall annually publish in the State Register the transitional standard for an assistance unit sizes 1 to 10.

Subd. 5a. Food portion of MFIP-S transitional standard. The commissioner shall adjust the food portion of the MFIP-S transitional standard by October 1 each year beginning October 1998 to reflect the cost-of-living adjustments to the Food Stamp Program. The commissioner shall annually publish in the State Register the transitional standard for an assistance unit of sizes one to ten.

Subd. 6. Application of assistance standards. The standards apply to the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit.

Subd. 7. Family wage level standard. The family wage level standard is 110 percent of the transitional standard under subdivision 5 and is the standard used when there is earned income in the assistance unit. As specified in section 256J.21, earned income is subtracted from the family wage level to determine the amount of the assistance payment. Not including the family wage level standard, assistance payments may not exceed the MFIP standard of need for the assistance unit.

Subd. 8. Assistance paid to eligible assistance units. Except for assistance units where a nonparental caregiver is not included in the grant, payments for shelter up to the amount of the cash portion of MFIP benefits for which the assistance unit is eligible shall be vendor paid for as many months as the assistance unit is eligible or six months, whichever comes first. The residual amount of the grant after vendor payment, if any, must be paid to the MFIP caregiver.

Subd. 9. Shared household standard; MFIP. (a) Except as prohibited in paragraph (b), the county agency must use the shared household standard when the household includes one or more unrelated members, as that term is defined in section 256J.08, subdivision 86a. The county agency must use the shared household standard, unless a member of the assistance unit is a victim of domestic violence and has an approved safety plan, regardless of the number of unrelated members in the household.

(b) The county agency must not use the shared household standard when all unrelated members are one of the following:

(1) a recipient of public assistance benefits, including food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, adoption assistance, relative custody assistance, or foster care payments;

(2) a roomer or boarder, or a person to whom the assistance unit is paying room or board;

(3) a minor child under the age of 18;

(4) a minor caregiver living with the minor caregiver's parents or in an approved supervised living arrangement;

(5) a caregiver who is not the parent of the minor child in the assistance unit; or

(6) an individual who provides child care to a child in the MFIP assistance unit.

(c) The shared household standard must be discontinued if it is not approved by the United States Department of Agriculture under the MFIP waiver.

Subd. 10. MFIP exit level. (a) In state fiscal years 2000 and 2001, the commissioner shall adjust the MFIP earned income disregard to ensure that most participants do not lose eligibility for MFIP until their income reaches at least 120 percent of the federal poverty guidelines in effect in October of each fiscal year. The adjustment to the disregard shall be based on a household size of three, and the resulting earned income disregard percentage must be applied to all household sizes. The adjustment under this subdivision must be implemented at the same time as the October food stamp cost-of-living adjustment is reflected in the food portion of MFIP transitional standard as required under subdivision 5a.

(b) In state fiscal year 2002 and thereafter, the earned income disregard percentage must be the same as the percentage implemented in October 2000.

HIST: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 14; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 44-51; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 23-28

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Revisor of Statutes