256J.39 PAYMENT PROVISIONS; VENDOR PAYMENTS.
Subdivision 1. Payment policy.
The following policies apply to monthly assistance
payments and corrective payments:
(1) Grant payments may be issued in the form of warrants immediately redeemable in cash,
electronic benefits transfer, or by direct deposit into the recipient's account in a financial institution.
(2) The commissioner shall mail assistance payment checks to the address where a caregiver
lives unless the county agency approves an alternate arrangement.
(3) The commissioner shall mail monthly assistance payment checks within time to allow
postal service delivery to occur no later than the first day of each month. Monthly assistance
payment checks must be dated the first day of the month. The commissioner shall issue electronic
benefits transfer payments so that caregivers have access to the payments no later than the first of
(4) The commissioner shall issue replacement checks promptly, but no later than seven
calendar days after the provisions of sections
256.01, subdivision 11
(5) The commissioner, with the advance approval of the commissioner of finance, may issue
cash assistance grant payments up to three days before the first day of each month, including three
days before the start of each state fiscal year. Of the money appropriated for cash assistance grant
payments for each fiscal year, up to three percent of the annual state appropriation is available to
the commissioner in the previous fiscal year. If that amount is insufficient for the costs incurred,
an additional amount of the appropriation as needed may be transferred with the advance approval
of the commissioner of finance.
Subd. 2. Protective and vendor payments.
Alternatives to paying assistance directly to a
participant may be used when:
(1) a county agency determines that a vendor payment is the most effective way to resolve an
emergency situation pertaining to basic needs;
(2) a caregiver makes a written request to the county agency asking that part or all of the
assistance payment be issued by protective or vendor payments for shelter and utility service only.
The caregiver may withdraw this request in writing at any time;
(3) the vendor payment is part of a sanction under section
(4) the vendor payment is required under section
(5) protective payments are required for minor parents under section
(6) a caregiver has exhibited a continuing pattern of mismanaging funds as determined
by the county agency.
The director of a county agency, or the director's designee, must approve a proposal
for protective or vendor payment for money mismanagement when there is a pattern of
mismanagement under clause (6). During the time a protective or vendor payment is being made,
the county agency must provide services designed to alleviate the causes of the mismanagement.
The continuing need for and method of payment must be documented and reviewed every 12
months. The director of a county agency or the director's designee must approve the continuation
of protective or vendor payments. When it appears that the need for protective or vendor payments
will continue or is likely to continue beyond two years because the county agency's efforts have
not resulted in sufficiently improved use of assistance on behalf of the minor child, judicial
appointment of a legal guardian or other legal representative must be sought by the county agency.
Subd. 3. Choosing payees for protective or vendor payments.
A county agency shall
consult with a caregiver regarding the selection of the form of payment, the selection of a
protective payee, and the distribution of the assistance payment to meet the various costs incurred
by the assistance unit. When choosing a protective payee, the county agency shall notify the
caregiver of a consultation date. If the caregiver fails to respond to the county agency's request
for consultation by the effective date on the notice, the county agency must choose a protective
payee for that payment month and subsequent payment months until the caregiver responds to the
agency's request for consultation. The county agency must notify the caregiver of the right to
appeal the determination that a protective or vendor payment should be made or continued and to
appeal the selection of the payee. If a county agency is not able to find another protective payee, a
county agency staff member may serve as a protective payee. The following persons may not
serve as protective payees: a member of the county board of commissioners; the county agency
staff member determining financial eligibility for the family; special investigative or resource
staff; the staff member handling accounting or fiscal processes related to the participant; or a
landlord, grocer, or other vendor dealing directly with the participant.
Subd. 4. Discontinuing protective or vendor payments.
A county agency shall discontinue
protective or vendor payments in two years or in the month following the county agency's failure
to grant six-month approval to a money management plan, whichever occurs first. At least once
every 12 months, a county agency shall review the performance of a protective payee acting
under subdivision 2, clause (3), to determine whether a new payee should be selected. When a
participant complains about the performance of a protective payee, a review shall occur within 30
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 28; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 77; 1999 c 245 art 1 s 19; 1Sp2001 c 9
art 10 s 22; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 106