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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Chapter 256J

Section 256J.24

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256J.24 FAMILY COMPOSITION; ASSISTANCE STANDARDS; EXIT LEVEL.
    Subdivision 1. MFIP assistance unit. An MFIP 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 assistance, or a pregnant woman and her spouse
who receive MFIP assistance.
Individuals identified in subdivision 2 must be included in the MFIP assistance unit.
Individuals identified in subdivision 3 are ineligible to receive MFIP. 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 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.
A minor child must have a caregiver for the child to be included in the assistance unit.
    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 who are recipients of Supplemental Security Income or Minnesota
supplemental aid;
(2) individuals disqualified from the food stamp or food support 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 if the provider meets the definition of caregiver
under section 256J.08, subdivision 11. If the provider chooses to receive MFIP, 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, or would be eligible to
receive MFIP, if they were not receiving SSI benefits.
    Subd. 5. MFIP transitional standard. The MFIP transitional standard is based on the
number of persons in the assistance unit eligible for both food and cash assistance unless the
restrictions in subdivision 6 on the birth of a child apply. The following table represents the
transitional standards effective October 1, 2004.
Number of Eligible
People
Transitional Standard
Cash Portion
Food Portion
1
$379:
$250
$129
2
$675:
$437
$238
3
$876:
$532
$344
4
$1,036:
$621
$415
5
$1,180:
$697
$483
6
$1,350:
$773
$577
7
$1,472:
$850
$622
8
$1,623:
$916
$707
9
$1,772:
$980
$792
10
$1,915:
$1,035
$880
over 10
add $142:
$53
$89
per additional member.
The commissioner shall annually publish in the State Register the transitional standard for an
assistance unit sizes 1 to 10 including a breakdown of the cash and food portions.
    Subd. 5a. Food portion of MFIP transitional standard. The commissioner shall adjust
the food portion of the MFIP 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. Family cap. (a) MFIP assistance units shall not receive an increase in the cash
portion of the transitional standard as a result of the birth of a child, unless one of the conditions
under paragraph (b) is met. The child shall be considered a member of the assistance unit
according to subdivisions 1 to 3, but shall be excluded in determining family size for purposes of
determining the amount of the cash portion of the transitional standard under subdivision 5. The
child shall be included in determining family size for purposes of determining the food portion of
the transitional standard. The transitional standard under this subdivision shall be the total of the
cash and food portions as specified in this paragraph. The family wage level under this subdivision
shall be based on the family size used to determine the food portion of the transitional standard.
(b) A child shall be included in determining family size for purposes of determining the
amount of the cash portion of the MFIP transitional standard when at least one of the following
conditions is met:
(1) for families receiving MFIP assistance on July 1, 2003, the child is born to the adult
parent before May 1, 2004;
(2) for families who apply for the diversionary work program under section 256J.95 or MFIP
assistance on or after July 1, 2003, the child is born to the adult parent within ten months of
the date the family is eligible for assistance;
(3) the child was conceived as a result of a sexual assault or incest, provided that the incident
has been reported to a law enforcement agency;
(4) the child's mother is a minor caregiver as defined in section 256J.08, subdivision 59, and
the child, or multiple children, are the mother's first birth; or
(5) any child previously excluded in determining family size under paragraph (a) shall be
included if the adult parent or parents have not received benefits from the diversionary work
program under section 256J.95 or MFIP assistance in the previous ten months. An adult parent or
parents who reapply and have received benefits from the diversionary work program or MFIP
assistance in the past ten months shall be under the ten-month grace period of their previous
application under clause (2).
(c) Income and resources of a child excluded under this subdivision, except child support
received or distributed on behalf of this child, must be considered using the same policies as for
other children when determining the grant amount of the assistance unit.
(d) The caregiver must assign support and cooperate with the child support enforcement
agency to establish paternity and collect child support on behalf of the excluded child. Failure
to cooperate results in the sanction specified in section 256J.46, subdivisions 2 and 2a. Current
support paid on behalf of the excluded child shall be distributed according to section 256.741,
subdivision 15
.
(e) County agencies must inform applicants of the provisions under this subdivision at the
time of each application and at recertification.
(f) Children excluded under this provision shall be deemed MFIP recipients for purposes
of child care under chapter 119B.
    Subd. 7. Family wage level. The family wage level is 110 percent of the transitional standard
under subdivision 5 or 6, when applicable, 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. The assistance payment may not
exceed the transitional standard under subdivision 5 or 6, or the shared household standard under
subdivision 9, whichever is applicable, for the assistance unit.
    Subd. 8.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    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 family violence and has an alternative employment 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 or food support,
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. 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 115 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 or food
support cost-of-living adjustment is reflected in the food portion of MFIP transitional standard
as required under subdivision 5a.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 14; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 44-51; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 23-28; 1Sp2001 c
9 art 10 s 14-16,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 35-39,106; 2004 c 288 art 4
s 34; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 13