256J.47 Diversionary assistance program.
Subdivision 1. Eligibility. A family is eligible to receive diversionary assistance once every 36 months if:
(1) a family member has resided in this state for at least 30 days;
(2) the caregiver provides verification that the caregiver has either experienced an unexpected occurrence that makes it impossible to retain or obtain employment or the caregiver has a temporary loss of income, which is not due to refusing to accept or terminating suitable employment as defined in section 256J.49, without good cause under section 256J.57, resulting in an emergency;
(3) the caregiver is at risk of MFIP-S eligibility if diversionary assistance is not provided and household income is below 140 percent of the federal poverty guidelines; and
(4) the diversionary assistance will resolve the emergency and divert the family from applying for MFIP-S.
For purposes of this section, diversionary assistance means a one-time lump-sum payment to an individual or third-party vendor to prevent long-term receipt of public assistance.
Subd. 2. County agency duties. County agencies shall:
(1) thoroughly explain to the caregiver the consequences of receiving diversionary assistance, specifically the resulting period of ineligibility under subdivision 4 for other assistance programs; and
(2) determine eligibility for diversionary assistance within five working days of the receipt of the verification that substantiates eligibility or ineligibility. Verification means client declaration and the best determination of the county agency.
Subd. 3. Maximum amount of assistance. The maximum amount of diversionary assistance that may be provided to a family is equal to the amount of the MFIP-S transitional standard for the same family size and composition for four months. The assistance provided under this program must be based on the immediate needs of the family. Counties must strive to provide the most cost-effective solution to the one-time emergency. Diversionary assistance is not cost effective if the family's anticipated income added to the diversion payment will not be sufficient to cover the family's immediate needs for the period of ineligibility under subdivision 4, beginning with the month of application, or another emergency can reasonably be anticipated within the period of ineligibility.
Subd. 4. Ineligibility for MFIP; emergency assistance; and emergency general assistance. Upon receipt of diversionary assistance, the family is ineligible for MFIP, emergency assistance, and emergency general assistance for a period of time. To determine the period of ineligibility, the county shall use the following formula: regardless of household changes, the county agency must calculate the number of days of ineligibility by dividing the diversionary assistance issued by the MFIP standard of need a family of the same size and composition would have received under MFIP multiplied by 30, truncating the result. The ineligibility period begins the date the diversionary assistance is issued.
Subd. 5. Diversionary assistance grant; funding. The commissioner shall distribute diversionary assistance grants to counties. The commissioner may use federal block grant funding or state funding for the grants.