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CHAPTER 256J. MINNESOTA FAMILY INVESTMENT PROGRAM

Table of Sections
SectionHeadnote
256J.001APPLICATION OF LAWS 2005, CHAPTER 56, TERMINOLOGY CHANGES.
256J.01ESTABLISHING MINNESOTA FAMILY INVESTMENT PROGRAM.
256J.02FEDERAL TANF BLOCK GRANT.
256J.021256J.021 SEPARATE STATE PROGRAM FOR USE OF STATE MONEY.
256J.03Repealed, 1999 c 245 art 1 s 20
256J.06COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.
256J.08DEFINITIONS.
256J.09APPLYING FOR ASSISTANCE.
256J.10MFIP ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
256J.11CITIZENSHIP.
256J.12MINNESOTA RESIDENCE.
256J.13MINOR CHILD IN ASSISTANCE UNIT; PHYSICAL PRESENCE.
256J.14ELIGIBILITY FOR PARENTING OR PREGNANT MINORS.
256J.15OTHER ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS.
256J.20PROPERTY LIMITATIONS.
256J.21INCOME LIMITATIONS.
256J.24FAMILY COMPOSITION; ASSISTANCE STANDARDS; EXIT LEVEL.
256J.25Repealed, 1998 c 407 art 6 s 118
256J.26PERSONS INELIGIBLE; VENDOR PAYMENTS.
256J.28FOOD STAMP OR FOOD SUPPORT ASSISTANCE.
256J.29Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 2 s 63
256J.30APPLICANT AND PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
256J.31APPLICANT AND PARTICIPANT RIGHTS; COUNTY AGENCY DUTY.
256J.315COUNTY AND TRIBAL COOPERATION.
256J.32DOCUMENTING, VERIFYING, AND RECERTIFYING ELIGIBILITY.
256J.33PROSPECTIVE AND RETROSPECTIVE MFIP ELIGIBILITY.
256J.34CALCULATING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS.
256J.35AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE PAYMENT.
256J.36ALLOCATION FOR UNMET NEED OF OTHER HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS.
256J.37TREATMENT OF INCOME AND LUMP SUMS.
256J.38CORRECTION OF OVERPAYMENTS AND UNDERPAYMENTS.
256J.39PAYMENT PROVISIONS; VENDOR PAYMENTS.
256J.395VENDOR PAYMENT OF SHELTER COSTS AND UTILITIES.
256J.396SUPPORT FROM PARENTS OF MINOR CAREGIVERS LIVING APART.
256J.40FAIR HEARINGS.
256J.415NOTICE OF 12 MONTHS OF TANF ASSISTANCE REMAINING.
256J.4260-MONTH TIME LIMIT; EXEMPTIONS.
256J.425HARDSHIP EXTENSIONS.
256J.43Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67
256J.44Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67
256J.45ORIENTATION.
256J.46SANCTIONS.
256J.462Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.47Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.48Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.49EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES; DEFINITIONS.
256J.50COUNTY DUTIES.
256J.51EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICE PROVIDER APPEAL.
256J.515OVERVIEW OF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES.
256J.52Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.521ASSESSMENT; EMPLOYMENT PLANS.
256J.53POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION AS APPROVED WORK ACTIVITY.
256J.531BASIC EDUCATION; ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.
256J.54MINOR PARENTS; EMPLOYMENT PLAN.
256J.545FAMILY VIOLENCE WAIVER CRITERIA.
256J.55PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS, RIGHTS, AND EXPECTATIONS.
256J.56Expired, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 90; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 49
256J.561UNIVERSAL PARTICIPATION REQUIRED.
256J.57GOOD CAUSE EXEMPTION FROM SANCTION.
256J.575256J.575 FAMILY STABILIZATION SERVICES.
256J.61REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
256J.62
256J.621256J.621 WORK PARTICIPATION BONUS.
256J.625Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.626MFIP CONSOLIDATED FUND.
256J.645INDIAN TRIBE MFIP EMPLOYMENT SERVICES.
256J.65Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 11 s 27
256J.655Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.66ON-THE-JOB TRAINING.
256J.67COMMUNITY WORK EXPERIENCE.
256J.68INJURY PROTECTION FOR WORK EXPERIENCE PARTICIPANTS.
256J.69GRANT DIVERSION.
256J.72NONDISPLACEMENT IN WORK ACTIVITIES.
256J.74RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS.
256J.75COUNTY OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POLICIES.
256J.751COUNTY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT.
256J.76Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107
256J.77256J.77 AGING OF CASH BENEFITS.

CHILD ONLY TANF PROGRAM

256J.88CHILD ONLY TANF PROGRAM.

DIVERSIONARY WORK PROGRAM

256J.95DIVERSIONARY WORK PROGRAM.
256J.001 APPLICATION OF LAWS 2005, CHAPTER 56, TERMINOLOGY CHANGES.
State agencies shall use the terminology changes specified in Laws 2005, chapter 56, section
1, when printed material and signage are replaced and new printed material and signage are
obtained. State agencies do not have to replace existing printed material and signage to comply
with Laws 2005, chapter 56, sections 1 and 2. Language changes made according to Laws 2005,
chapter 56, sections 1 and 2, shall not expand or exclude eligibility to services.
History: 2005 c 56 s 3
256J.01 ESTABLISHING MINNESOTA FAMILY INVESTMENT PROGRAM.
    Subdivision 1. Implementation of Minnesota family investment program (MFIP).
Except for section 256J.95, this chapter and chapter 256K may be cited as the Minnesota family
investment program (MFIP). MFIP is the statewide implementation of components of the
Minnesota family investment plan (MFIP) authorized and formerly codified in section 256.031
and Minnesota family investment plan-Ramsey County (MFIP-R) formerly codified in section
256.047.
    Subd. 2. Implementation of temporary assistance for needy families (TANF). The
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-193,
eliminates the entitlement program of aid to families with dependent children (AFDC) and
replaces it with block grants to states for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF). TANF
provides cash assistance for a limited time to families with children and to pregnant women.
Minnesota's TANF assistance will be provided through a statewide expansion of MFIP. The
modifications specified in this chapter are necessary to comply with the new federal law and to
improve MFIP. Eligible applicants and recipients of AFDC, family general assistance, and food
stamps will be converted to the MFIP program. Effective January 1, 1998, any new application
received for family cash assistance will be processed under the rules of this chapter. Case
maintenance conversion for existing AFDC and FGA cases to MFIP-S as described in this chapter
will begin January 1, 1998, and continue through March 31, 1998.
    Subd. 3. Relationship to other statutes and rules. MFIP-S replaces eligibility for families
with children and pregnant women under the general assistance program, governed by sections
256D.01 to 256D.21 and Minnesota Rules, parts 9500.1200 to 9500.1270.
    Subd. 4. Changes to waivers. The commissioner of human services may negotiate and obtain
changes in the federal waivers and terms and conditions contained in MFIP, MFIP-R, and MFIP-S.
The commissioner may also terminate federal waivers by directing so in the applicable state plan.
    Subd. 5. Compliance system. The commissioner shall administer a compliance system
for the state's temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) program, the food stamp or
food support program, general assistance, medical assistance, general assistance medical care,
emergency general assistance, Minnesota supplemental aid, preadmission screening, child support
program, and alternative care grants under the powers and authorities named in section 256.01,
subdivision 2
. The purpose of the compliance system is to permit the commissioner to supervise
the administration of public assistance programs and to enforce timely and accurate distribution of
benefits, completeness of service and efficient and effective program management and operations,
to increase uniformity and consistency in the administration and delivery of public assistance
programs throughout the state, and to reduce the possibility of sanction and fiscal disallowances
for noncompliance with federal regulations and state statutes.
    Subd. 6. Legislative approval to move programs or activities. The commissioner shall not
move programs or activities funded with MFIP or TANF maintenance of effort funds to other
funding sources without legislative approval.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 1; 1999 c 159 s 77; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s
8,106; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 28; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 22
256J.02 FEDERAL TANF BLOCK GRANT.
    Subdivision 1. Commissioner's authority to administer block grant funds. The
commissioner of human services is authorized to receive, administer, and expend funds available
under the TANF block grant authorized under title I of Public Law 104-193, the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and under Public Law 109-171,
the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
    Subd. 2. Use of money. State money appropriated for purposes of this section and TANF
block grant money must be used for:
(1) financial assistance to or on behalf of any minor child who is a resident of this state
under section 256J.12;
(2) the health care and human services training and retention program under chapter 116L,
for costs associated with families with children with incomes below 200 percent of the federal
poverty guidelines;
(3) the pathways program under section 116L.04, subdivision 1a;
(4) welfare to work transportation authorized under Public Law 105-178;
(5) reimbursements for the federal share of child support collections passed through to
the custodial parent;
(6) reimbursements for the working family credit under section 290.0671;
(7) program administration under this chapter;
(8) the diversionary work program under section 256J.95;
(9) the MFIP consolidated fund under section 256J.626; and
(10) the Minnesota Department of Health consolidated fund under Laws 2001, First Special
Session chapter 9, article 17, section 3, subdivision 2.
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 4. Authority to transfer. Subject to limitations of title I of Public Law 104-193, the
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, and
under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the legislature may transfer money
from the TANF block grant to the child care fund under chapter 119B, or the Title XX block grant.
    Subd. 5. Indirect cost liability. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 16A.127, the
statewide and agency indirect cost liability identified as part of the TANF grant for any current
fiscal year shall be limited to no more than the amount received in fiscal year 1996.
    Subd. 6. TANF funds appropriated to other entities. Any expenditures from the TANF
block grant shall be expended in accordance with the requirements and limitations of part A of
Title IV of the Social Security Act, as amended, and any other applicable federal requirement or
limitation. Prior to any expenditure of these funds, the commissioner shall ensure that funds are
expended in compliance with the requirements and limitations of federal law and that any reporting
requirements of federal law are met. It shall be the responsibility of any entity to which these
funds are appropriated to implement a memorandum of understanding with the commissioner
that provides the necessary assurance of compliance prior to any expenditure of funds. The
commissioner shall receipt TANF funds appropriated to other state agencies and coordinate
all related interagency accounting transactions necessary to implement these appropriations.
Unexpended TANF funds appropriated to any state, local, or nonprofit entity cancel at the end of
the state fiscal year unless appropriating or statutory language permits otherwise.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 2; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 18; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 5; 2000 c 488 art 10 s
6; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 9; art 11 s 11; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 23,24; art 19 s 17
256J.021 SEPARATE STATE PROGRAM FOR USE OF STATE MONEY.
    (a) Families receiving assistance under this section shall comply with all applicable
requirements in this chapter.
    (b) Beginning October 1, 2006, the commissioner of human services must treat MFIP
expenditures made to or on behalf of any minor child under section 256J.02, subdivision 2,
clause (1), who is part of a two-parent household, as expenditures under a separately funded state
program. These expenditures shall not count toward the state's maintenance of effort (MOE)
requirements under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.
    (c) Beginning February 1, 2008, the commissioner of human services shall treat MFIP
expenditures made to or on behalf of any minor child who is part of a household that meets
criteria in section 256J.575, subdivision 3, as expenditures under a separately funded state
program under section 256J.575, subdivision 8.
History: 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 5; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 10; 2006 c
282 art 18 s 1; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 25
256J.03 [Repealed, 1999 c 245 art 1 s 20]
256J.06 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT.
The MFIP program must be administered in a way that, in addition to the county agency,
other sectors in the community such as employers from the public and private sectors,
not-for-profit organizations, educational and social service agencies, program participants, labor
unions, and neighborhood associations are involved.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 3; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.08 DEFINITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Scope of definitions. The terms used in this chapter have the following
meanings unless otherwise provided for by text.
    Subd. 2. Absent parent. "Absent parent" means a minor child's parent who does not live in
the same home as the child.
    Subd. 3. Agency error. "Agency error" means an error that results in an overpayment or
underpayment to an assistance unit and is not caused by an applicant's or participant's failure to
provide adequate, correct, or timely information about income, property, household composition,
or other circumstances.
    Subd. 4. Appeal. "Appeal" means a written statement from an applicant or participant
who requests a hearing under section 256J.31.
    Subd. 5. Applicant. "Applicant" means a person who has submitted to a county agency an
application and whose application has not been acted upon, denied, or voluntarily withdrawn.
    Subd. 6. Application. "Application" means the submission by or on behalf of a family to
a county agency of a completed, signed, and dated form, prescribed by the commissioner, that
indicates the desire to receive assistance.
    Subd. 7. Assistance unit or MFIP assistance unit. "Assistance unit" or "MFIP assistance
unit" means a group of mandatory or optional people receiving or applying for MFIP benefits
together.
    Subd. 8. Authorized representative. "Authorized representative" means a person who is
authorized, in writing, by an applicant or participant to act on the applicant's or participant's behalf
in matters involving the application for assistance or participation in MFIP.
    Subd. 9. Basic needs. "Basic needs" means the minimum personal requirements of
subsistence and is restricted to food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and other items for which the loss,
or lack of basic needs, is determined by the county agency to pose a direct, immediate threat to
the physical health or safety of the applicant or participant.
    Subd. 10. Budget month. "Budget month" means the calendar month which the county
agency uses to determine the income or circumstances of an assistance unit to calculate the
amount of the assistance payment in the payment month.
    Subd. 11. Caregiver. "Caregiver" means a minor child's natural or adoptive parent or parents
and stepparent who live in the home with the minor child. For purposes of determining eligibility
for this program, caregiver also means any of the following individuals, if adults, who live with
and provide care and support to a minor child when the minor child's natural or adoptive parent or
parents or stepparents do not reside in the same home: legal custodian or guardian, grandfather,
grandmother, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, first
cousin or first cousin once removed, nephew, niece, person of preceding generation as denoted by
prefixes of "great," "great-great," or "great-great-great," or a spouse of any person named in the
above groups even after the marriage ends by death or divorce.
    Subd. 11a. Child only case. "Child only case" means a case that would be part of the child
only TANF program under section 256J.88.
    Subd. 12. Client error. "Client error" means an error that results in an overpayment or
underpayment and is due to an applicant's or participant's failure to provide adequate, correct, or
timely information concerning income, property, household composition, or other circumstances.
    Subd. 13. Commissioner. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of human services or
the commissioner's designated representative.
    Subd. 14. Corrective payment. "Corrective payment" means an assistance payment that is
made to correct an underpayment.
    Subd. 15. Countable income. "Countable income" means earned and unearned income that
is not excluded under section 256J.21, subdivision 2, or disregarded under section 256J.21,
subdivision 3
.
    Subd. 16. Counted earnings. "Counted earnings" means the earned income that remains
after applicable disregards under section 256J.21, subdivision 4, have been subtracted from
gross earned income.
    Subd. 17. County agency. "County agency" means the agency designated by the county
board to implement financial assistance for current programs and for MFIP and the agency
responsible for enforcement of child support collection, and a county or multicounty agency that
is authorized under sections 393.01, subdivision 7, and 393.07, subdivision 2, to administer MFIP.
    Subd. 18. County board. "County board" means a board of commissioners, a local services
agency as defined in chapter 393, a board established under the Joint Powers Act, section 471.59,
or a human services board under chapter 402.
    Subd. 19. County of financial responsibility. "County of financial responsibility" means
the county that has financial responsibility for providing public assistance as specified in chapter
256G.
    Subd. 20. County of residence. "County of residence" means the county where the caregiver
has established a home.
    Subd. 21. Date of application. "Date of application" means the date on which the county
agency receives an applicant's signed application.
    Subd. 22. Deem. "Deem" means to treat all or part of the income of an individual who is not
in the assistance unit, but who is financially responsible for members of the assistance unit, as if it
were income available to the assistance unit.
    Subd. 23. Department. "Department" means the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
    Subd. 24. Disregard. "Disregard" means earned income that is not counted when
determining initial eligibility or ongoing eligibility and calculating the amount of the assistance
payment for participants. The commissioner shall determine the amount of the disregard
according to section 256J.24, subdivision 10.
    Subd. 24a. Disqualified. "Disqualified" means being ineligible to receive MFIP due to
noncooperation with program requirements. Except for persons whose disqualification is based on
fraud, a disqualified person can take action to correct the reason for ineligibility.
    Subd. 24b. Diversionary work program or DWP. "Diversionary work program" or "DWP"
has the meaning given in section 256J.95.
    Subd. 25. Documentation. "Documentation" means a written statement or record that
substantiates or validates an assertion made by a person or an action taken by a person, agency,
or entity.
    Subd. 26. Earned income. "Earned income" means cash or in-kind income earned through
the receipt of wages, salary, commissions, profit from employment activities, net profit from
self-employment activities, payments made by an employer for regularly accrued vacation or sick
leave, and any other profit from activity earned through effort or labor. The income must be
in return for, or as a result of, legal activity.
    Subd. 27. Earned income tax credit. "Earned income tax credit" means the payment which
can be obtained by a qualified person from an employer or from the Internal Revenue Service as
provided by section 290.0671 and United States Code, title 26, subtitle A, chapter 1, subchapter
A, part 4, subpart C, section 32.
    Subd. 28.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 28a. Encumbrance. "Encumbrance" means a legal claim against real or personal
property that is payable upon the sale of that property.
    Subd. 28b. Employable. "Employable" means a person is capable of performing existing
positions in the local labor market, regardless of the current availability of openings for those
positions.
    Subd. 29. Equity value. "Equity value" means the amount of equity in real or personal
property owned by a person and is determined by subtracting any outstanding encumbrances
from the fair market value.
    Subd. 30. Excluded time. "Excluded time" has the meaning given in section 256G.02.
    Subd. 31. Expedited issuance of the food stamp portion. "Expedited issuance of the food
stamp portion" means the issuance of the food stamp portion to eligible assistance units on the
day of application as provided in section 393.07, subdivision 10a.
    Subd. 32. Fair hearing or hearing. "Fair hearing" or "hearing" means the evidentiary
hearing conducted by the department appeals referee to resolve disputes as specified in section
256J.40, or if not applicable, section 256.045.
    Subd. 33. Fair market value. "Fair market value" means the price that an item of a
particular make, model, size, material, or condition would sell for on the open market in the
particular geographic area.
    Subd. 34. Family. "Family" includes:
(1) the following individuals who live together: a minor child or a group of minor children
related to each other as siblings, half siblings, stepsiblings, or adoptive siblings, together with
their natural, adoptive parents, stepparents, or caregiver as defined in subdivision 11; and
(2) a pregnant woman with no other children.
    Subd. 34a. Family violence. (a) "Family violence" means the following, if committed
against a family or household member by a family or household member:
(1) physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
(2) the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, or assault; or
(3) terroristic threats, within the meaning of section 609.713, subdivision 1; criminal sexual
conduct, within the meaning of section 609.342, 609.343, 609.344, 609.345, or 609.3451; or
interference with an emergency call within the meaning of section 609.78, subdivision 2.
(b) For the purposes of family violence, "family or household member" means:
(1) spouses and former spouses;
(2) parents and children;
(3) persons related by blood;
(4) persons who are residing together or who have resided together in the past;
(5) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married
or have lived together at any time;
(6) a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father,
regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at anytime; and
(7) persons involved in a current or past significant romantic or sexual relationship.
    Subd. 34b. Family violence waiver. "Family violence waiver" means a waiver of the
60-month time limit for victims of family violence who meet the criteria in section 256J.545 and
are complying with an employment plan in section 256J.521, subdivision 3.
    Subd. 35. Family wage level. "Family wage level" means 110 percent of the transitional
standard as specified in section 256J.24, subdivision 7.
    Subd. 36. Federal Insurance Contribution Act or FICA. "Federal Insurance Contribution
Act" or "FICA" means the federal law under United States Code, title 26, subtitle C, chapter 21,
subchapter A, sections 3101 to 3126, that requires withholding or direct payment from earned
income.
    Subd. 37. Financial case record. "Financial case record" means an assistance unit's financial
eligibility file.
    Subd. 38. Full-time student. "Full-time student" means a person who is enrolled in a graded
or ungraded primary, intermediate, secondary, GED preparatory, trade, technical, vocational, or
postsecondary school, and who meets the school's standard for full-time attendance.
    Subd. 39. General educational development or GED. "General educational development"
or "GED" means the general educational development certification issued by the commissioner of
education as an equivalent to a secondary school diploma under Minnesota Rules, part 3500.3100,
subpart 4.
    Subd. 40. Gross earned income. "Gross earned income" means earned income from
employment before mandatory and voluntary payroll deductions. Gross earned income includes
salaries, wages, tips, gratuities, commissions, incentive payments from work or training programs,
payments made by an employer for regularly accrued vacation or sick leave, and profits from
other activity earned by an individual's effort or labor. Gross earned income includes uniform
and meal allowances if federal income tax is deducted from the allowance. Gross earned income
includes flexible work benefits received from an employer if the employee has the option of
receiving the benefit or benefits in cash. For self-employment, gross earned income is the
nonexcluded income minus expenses for the business.
    Subd. 41. Gross income. "Gross income" is the sum of gross earned income and unearned
income.
    Subd. 42. Gross receipts. "Gross receipts" means the money received by a business before
the expenses of the business are deducted.
    Subd. 43. Half-time student. "Half-time student" means a person who is enrolled in a graded
or ungraded primary, intermediate, secondary, GED preparatory, trade, technical, vocational, or
postsecondary school, and who meets the school's standard of half-time attendance.
    Subd. 44. Home. "Home" means the primary place of residence used by a person as the base
for day-to-day living and does not include locations used as mail drops.
    Subd. 45. Homestead. "Homestead" means the home that is owned by, and is the usual
residence of, the assistance unit together with the surrounding property which is not separated
from the home by intervening property owned by others. Public rights-of-way, such as roads
which run through the surrounding property and separate it from the home, do not affect the
exemption of the property. Homestead includes an asset that is not real property that the assistance
unit uses as a home, such as a vehicle.
    Subd. 46. Household. "Household" means a group of persons who live together.
    Subd. 47. Income. "Income" means cash or in-kind benefit, whether earned or unearned,
received by or available to an applicant or participant that is not an asset under section 256J.20.
    Subd. 48. Initial eligibility. "Initial eligibility" means the determination of eligibility for
an MFIP applicant.
    Subd. 49. In-kind income. "In-kind income" means income, benefits, or payments which
are provided in a form other than money or liquid assets, including the forms of goods, produce,
services, privileges, or payments made on behalf of an applicant or participant by a third party.
    Subd. 50. Inquiry. "Inquiry" means a communication to a county agency through mail,
telephone, or in person, by which a person or authorized representative requests information
about public assistance. The county agency shall also treat as an inquiry any communication in
which a person requesting assistance offers information about the person's family circumstances
that indicates that eligibility for public assistance may exist.
    Subd. 50a.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
    Subd. 51. Legally available. "Legally available" means a person's right under the law to
secure, possess, dispose of, or control income or property.
    Subd. 51a. Legal custodian. "Legal custodian" means any person who is under a legal
obligation to provide care for a minor and who is in fact providing care for a minor. For an Indian
child, "custodian" means any Indian person who has legal custody of an Indian child under tribal
law or custom, under state law, or to whom temporary physical care, custody, and control has
been transferred by the parent of the child, as provided in section 260.755, subdivision 10.
    Subd. 51b. Learning disabled. "Learning disabled," for purposes of an extension to the
60-month time limit under section 256J.425, subdivision 3, clause (3), means the person has a
disorder in one or more of the psychological processes involved in perceiving, understanding,
or using concepts through verbal language or nonverbal means. Learning disabled does not
include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities;
developmental disability; emotional disturbance; or due to environmental, cultural, or economic
disadvantage.
    Subd. 52. Low-income home energy assistance program or LIHEAP. "Low-income
home energy assistance program" or "LIHEAP" means the program authorized under United
States Code, title 42, chapter 94, subchapter II, sections 8621 to 8629, and administered by the
Minnesota Department of Commerce.
    Subd. 53. Lump sum. "Lump sum" means nonrecurring income that is not excluded in
section 256J.21.
    Subd. 54. Medical assistance. "Medical assistance" means the program established under
chapter 256B and Title XIX of the Social Security Act.
    Subd. 55. MFIP household report form. "MFIP household report form" means a form
prescribed by the commissioner that a participant uses to report information to a county agency
about changes in income and other circumstances.
    Subd. 55a. MFIP standard of need. "MFIP standard of need" means the appropriate
standard used to determine MFIP benefit payments for the MFIP unit and applies to:
(1) the transitional standard, sections 256J.08, subdivision 85, and 256J.24, subdivision 5; and
(2) the shared household standard, section 256J.24, subdivision 9.
    Subd. 56. Migrant worker. "Migrant worker" means a person who travels away from home
on a regular basis, usually with a group of other laborers, to seek employment in an agriculturally
related activity.
    Subd. 57. Minnesota family investment program or MFIP. "Minnesota family investment
program" or "MFIP" means the assistance program authorized in this chapter and chapter 256K.
    Subd. 58. Minnesota supplemental aid or MSA. "Minnesota supplemental aid" or "MSA"
means the program established under sections 256D.33 to 256D.54.
    Subd. 59. Minor caregiver. "Minor caregiver" means a person who:
(1) is under the age of 18;
(2) has never been married or otherwise legally emancipated; and
(3) is either the natural parent of a minor child living in the same household or is eligible for
assistance paid to a pregnant woman.
    Subd. 60. Minor child. "Minor child" means a child who is living in the same home of a
parent or other caregiver, is not the parent of a child in the home, and is either less than 18 years
of age or is under the age of 19 years and is a full-time student in a secondary school or pursuing a
full-time secondary level course of vocational or technical training designed to fit students for
gainful employment.
    Subd. 61. Monthly income test. "Monthly income test" means the test used to determine
ongoing eligibility and the assistance payment amount according to section 256J.21.
    Subd. 61a. Noncustodial parent. "Noncustodial parent" means a minor child's parent who
does not live in the same home as the child.
    Subd. 62. Nonrecurring income. "Nonrecurring income" means a form of income which is
received:
(1) only one time or is not of a continuous nature; or
(2) in a prospective payment month but is no longer received in the corresponding
retrospective payment month.
    Subd. 63. Overpayment. "Overpayment" means the portion of an assistance payment issued
by the county agency that is greater than the amount for which the assistance unit is eligible.
    Subd. 64. Parent. "Parent" means a child's biological or adoptive parent who is legally
obligated to support that child.
    Subd. 65. Participant. (a) "Participant" includes any of the following:
    (1) a person who is currently receiving cash assistance or the food portion available through
MFIP;
    (2) a person who withdraws a cash or food assistance payment by electronic transfer or
receives and cashes an MFIP assistance check or food coupons and is subsequently determined
to be ineligible for assistance for that period of time is a participant, regardless whether that
assistance is repaid;
    (3) the caregiver relative and the minor child whose needs are included in the assistance
payment;
    (4) a person in an assistance unit who does not receive a cash and food assistance payment
because the case has been suspended from MFIP;
    (5) a person who receives cash payments under the diversionary work program under section
256J.95 is a participant; and
    (6) a person who receives cash payments under family stabilization services under section
256J.575.
    (b) "Participant" does not include a person who fails to withdraw or access electronically
any portion of the person's cash and food assistance payment by the end of the payment month,
who makes a written request for closure before the first of a payment month and repays cash and
food assistance electronically issued for that payment month within that payment month, or who
returns any uncashed assistance check and food coupons and withdraws from the program.
    Subd. 65a. Participation requirements of TANF. "Participation requirements of TANF"
means activities and hourly requirements allowed under title IV-A of the federal Social Security
Act.
    Subd. 66. Payee. "Payee" means a person to whom an assistance payment is made payable.
    Subd. 67. Payment month. "Payment month" means the calendar month for which the
assistance payment is paid.
    Subd. 67a. Person trained in domestic violence. "Person trained in domestic violence"
means an individual who works for an organization that is designated by the Minnesota Center
for Crime Victims Services as providing services to victims of domestic violence, or a county
staff person who has received similar specialized training, and includes any other person or
organization designated by a qualifying organization under this section.
    Subd. 68. Personal property. "Personal property" means an item of value that is not real
property, including the value of a contract for deed held by a seller, assets held in trust on behalf
of members of an assistance unit, value of a prepaid burial, savings account, value of stocks
and bonds, and value of retirement accounts.
    Subd. 69. Probable fraud. "Probable fraud" means the level of evidence that, if proven as
fact, would establish that assistance has been wrongfully obtained.
    Subd. 70.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 71. Prospective budgeting. "Prospective budgeting" means a method of determining
the amount of the assistance payment in which the budget month and payment month are the same.
    Subd. 72. Protective payee. "Protective payee" means a person other than the caregiver of an
assistance unit who receives the monthly assistance payment on behalf of an assistance unit and is
responsible to provide for the basic needs of the assistance unit to the extent of that payment.
    Subd. 73. Qualified noncitizen. "Qualified noncitizen" means a person:
(1) who was lawfully admitted for permanent residence according to United States Code,
title 8;
(2) who was admitted to the United States as a refugee according to United States Code,
title 8; section 1157;
(3) whose deportation is being withheld according to United States Code, title 8, sections
1231(b)(3), 1253(h), and 1641(b)(5);
(4) who was paroled for a period of at least one year according to United States Code,
title 8, section 1182(d)(5);
(5) who was granted conditional entry according to United State Code, title 8, section
1153(a)(7);
(6) who is a Cuban or Haitian entrant as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education
Assistance Act of 1980, United States Code, title 8, section 1641(b)(7);
(7) who was granted asylum according to United States Code, title 8, section 1158;
(8) who is a battered noncitizen according to United States Code, title 8, section 1641(c); or
(9) who is a parent or child of a battered noncitizen according to United States Code, title 8,
section 1641(c).
    Subd. 73a. Qualified professional. (a) For physical illness, injury, or incapacity, a "qualified
professional" means a licensed physician, a physician's assistant, a nurse practitioner, or a
licensed chiropractor.
(b) For developmental disability and intelligence testing, a "qualified professional"
means an individual qualified by training and experience to administer the tests necessary
to make determinations, such as tests of intellectual functioning, assessments of adaptive
behavior, adaptive skills, and developmental functioning. These professionals include licensed
psychologists, certified school psychologists, or certified psychometrists working under the
supervision of a licensed psychologist.
(c) For learning disabilities, a "qualified professional" means a licensed psychologist or
school psychologist with experience determining learning disabilities.
(d) For mental health, a "qualified professional" means a licensed physician or a qualified
mental health professional. A "qualified mental health professional" means:
(1) for children, in psychiatric nursing, a registered nurse who is licensed under sections
148.171 to 148.285, and who is certified as a clinical specialist in child and adolescent psychiatric
or mental health nursing by a national nurse certification organization or who has a master's
degree in nursing or one of the behavioral sciences or related fields from an accredited college or
university or its equivalent, with at least 4,000 hours of post-master's supervised experience in the
delivery of clinical services in the treatment of mental illness;
(2) for adults, in psychiatric nursing, a registered nurse who is licensed under sections
148.171 to 148.285, and who is certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric and mental
health nursing by a national nurse certification organization or who has a master's degree in
nursing or one of the behavioral sciences or related fields from an accredited college or university
or its equivalent, with at least 4,000 hours of post-master's supervised experience in the delivery
of clinical services in the treatment of mental illness;
(3) in clinical social work, a person licensed as an independent clinical social worker under
chapter 148D, or a person with a master's degree in social work from an accredited college or
university, with at least 4,000 hours of post-master's supervised experience in the delivery of
clinical services in the treatment of mental illness;
(4) in psychology, an individual licensed by the Board of Psychology under sections 148.88
to 148.98, who has stated to the Board of Psychology competencies in the diagnosis and treatment
of mental illness;
(5) in psychiatry, a physician licensed under chapter 147 and certified by the American Board
of Psychiatry and Neurology or eligible for board certification in psychiatry; and
(6) in marriage and family therapy, the mental health professional must be a marriage
and family therapist licensed under sections 148B.29 to 148B.39, with at least two years of
post-master's supervised experience in the delivery of clinical services in the treatment of mental
illness.
    Subd. 74. Real property. "Real property" means land and all buildings, structures, and
improvements, or other fixtures on the land, belonging or appertaining to the land, and all mines,
minerals, fossils, and trees on or under the land.
    Subd. 75. Reasonable compensation. "Reasonable compensation" means the value received
in exchange for property transferred to another owner that is consistent with fair market value and
equals or exceeds the seller's equity in the property, reduced by costs incurred in the sale.
    Subd. 76. Recertification. "Recertification" means the periodic review of eligibility factors
to determine an assistance unit's continued eligibility.
    Subd. 77. Recoupment. "Recoupment" means the action of the county agency to reduce a
family's monthly assistance payment to recover overpayments caused by client or agency error
and overpayments received while an appeal is pending.
    Subd. 78. Recovery. "Recovery" means actions taken by a county agency to reclaim the
value of overpayments through voluntary repayment, recoupment from the assistance payment,
court action, revenue recapture, or federal tax refund offset program (FTROP).
    Subd. 79. Recurring income. "Recurring income" means a form of income which is:
(1) received periodically, and may be received irregularly when receipt can be anticipated
even though the date of receipt cannot be predicted; and
(2) from the same source or of the same type that is received and budgeted in a prospective
month and is received in one or both of the first two retrospective months.
    Subd. 80. Unemployment benefits. "Unemployment benefits" means the insurance benefit
paid to an unemployed worker under sections 268.03 to 268.23.
    Subd. 81. Retrospective budgeting. "Retrospective budgeting" means a method of
determining the amount of the assistance payment in which the payment month is the second
month after the budget month.
    Subd. 82. Sanction. "Sanction" means the reduction of a family's assistance payment by
a specified percentage of the MFIP standard of need because: a nonexempt participant fails to
comply with the requirements of sections 256J.515 to 256J.57; a parental caregiver fails without
good cause to cooperate with the child support enforcement requirements; or a participant fails to
comply with other requirements of this chapter.
    Subd. 82a. Shared household standard. "Shared household standard" means the basic
standard used when the household includes an unrelated member. The standard also applies to a
member disqualified under section 256J.425. The cash portion of the shared household standard is
equal to 90 percent of the cash portion of the transitional standard. The cash portion of the shared
household standard plus the food portion equals the full shared household standard.
    Subd. 82b. Shelter costs. "Shelter costs" means rent, manufactured home lot rental costs,
or monthly principal, interest, insurance premiums, and property taxes due for mortgages or
contracts for deed.
    Subd. 83. Significant change. "Significant change" means a decline in gross income of the
amount of the disregard as defined in subdivision 24 or more from the income used to determine
the grant for the current month.
    Subd. 84. Supplemental Security Income or SSI. "Supplemental Security Income" or "SSI"
means the program authorized under title XVI of the Social Security Act.
    Subd. 84a. SSI recipient. "SSI recipient" means a person who receives at least $1 in SSI
benefits, or who is not receiving an SSI benefit due to recoupment or a one-month suspension
by the Social Security Administration due to excess income.
    Subd. 85. Transitional standard. "Transitional standard" means the basic standard for a
family without earned income and is a combination of the cash portion and food portion as
specified in section 256J.24, subdivision 5.
    Subd. 86. Unearned income. "Unearned income" means income received by a person
that does not meet the definition of earned income. Unearned income includes income from a
contract for deed, interest, dividends, unemployment benefits, disability insurance payments,
veterans benefits, pension payments, return on capital investment, insurance payments or
settlements, severance payments, child support and maintenance payments, and payments for
illness or disability whether the premium payments are made in whole or in part by an employer
or participant.
    Subd. 86a. Unrelated member. "Unrelated member" means an individual in the household
who does not meet the definition of an eligible caregiver.
    Subd. 87. Vendor. "Vendor" means a provider of goods or services.
    Subd. 88. Vendor payment. "Vendor payment" means a payment authorized by a county
agency to a vendor.
    Subd. 89. Verification. "Verification" means the process a county agency uses to establish
the accuracy or completeness of information from an applicant, participant, third party, or other
source as that information relates to program eligibility or an assistance payment.
    Subd. 90. Severe forms of trafficking in persons. "Severe forms of trafficking in persons"
means: (1) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion,
or in which the person induced to perform the act has not attained 18 years of age; or (2) the
recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services
through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude,
peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
History: 1986 c 444; 1997 c 85 art 1 s 4; 1998 c 398 art 5 s 55; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 20-34;
1999 c 107 s 66; 1999 c 139 art 4 s 2; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 6-13; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2000 c 488 art
10 s 7; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 6,7,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2003 c 130 s 12; 1Sp2003 c 14
art 1 s 11-24; 2004 c 206 s 37; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 29,30; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 147 art 1 s
68; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 26
256J.09 APPLYING FOR ASSISTANCE.
    Subdivision 1. Where to apply. To apply for assistance a person must submit a signed
application to the county agency in the county where that person lives.
    Subd. 2. County agency responsibility to provide information. When a person inquires
about assistance, a county agency must:
(1) explain the eligibility requirements of, and how to apply for any assistance for which the
person may be eligible; and
(2) offer the person brochures developed or approved by the commissioner that describe
how to apply for assistance.
    Subd. 3. Submitting the application form. (a) A county agency must offer, in person or by
mail, the application forms prescribed by the commissioner as soon as a person makes a written or
oral inquiry. At that time, the county agency must:
(1) inform the person that assistance begins with the date the signed application is received
by the county agency or the date all eligibility criteria are met, whichever is later;
(2) inform the person that any delay in submitting the application will reduce the amount of
assistance paid for the month of application;
(3) inform a person that the person may submit the application before an interview;
(4) explain the information that will be verified during the application process by the county
agency as provided in section 256J.32;
(5) inform a person about the county agency's average application processing time and
explain how the application will be processed under subdivision 5;
(6) explain how to contact the county agency if a person's application information changes
and how to withdraw the application;
(7) inform a person that the next step in the application process is an interview and what a
person must do if the application is approved including, but not limited to, attending orientation
under section 256J.45 and complying with employment and training services requirements in
sections 256J.515 to 256J.57;
(8) explain the child care and transportation services that are available under paragraph (c) to
enable caregivers to attend the interview, screening, and orientation; and
(9) identify any language barriers and arrange for translation assistance during appointments,
including, but not limited to, screening under subdivision 3a, orientation under section 256J.45,
and assessment under section 256J.521.
(b) Upon receipt of a signed application, the county agency must stamp the date of receipt
on the face of the application. The county agency must process the application within the time
period required under subdivision 5. An applicant may withdraw the application at any time
by giving written or oral notice to the county agency. The county agency must issue a written
notice confirming the withdrawal. The notice must inform the applicant of the county agency's
understanding that the applicant has withdrawn the application and no longer wants to pursue it.
When, within ten days of the date of the agency's notice, an applicant informs a county agency, in
writing, that the applicant does not wish to withdraw the application, the county agency must
reinstate the application and finish processing the application.
(c) Upon a participant's request, the county agency must arrange for transportation and child
care or reimburse the participant for transportation and child care expenses necessary to enable
participants to attend the screening under subdivision 3a and orientation under section 256J.45.
    Subd. 3a. Screening. The county agency, or at county option, the county's employment and
training service provider as defined in section 256J.49, must screen each applicant to determine
immediate needs and to determine if the applicant may be eligible for another program that is not
partially funded through the federal temporary assistance to needy families block grant under Title
I of Public Law 104-193, including the expedited issuance of food stamps under section 256J.28,
subdivision 1
. If the applicant appears eligible for another program, including any program funded
by the MFIP consolidated fund, the county must make a referral to the appropriate program.
    Subd. 3b. Interview to determine referrals and services. If the applicant is not diverted
from applying for MFIP, and if the applicant meets the MFIP eligibility requirements, then a
county agency must:
(1) identify an applicant who is under the age of 20 without a high school diploma or
its equivalent and explain to the applicant the assessment procedures and employment plan
requirements under section 256J.54;
(2) explain to the applicant the eligibility criteria in section 256J.545 for the family violence
waiver, and what an applicant should do to develop an employment plan;
(3) explain that the activities and hourly requirements of the employment plan may be
adjusted to accommodate the personal and family circumstances of applicants who meet the
criteria in section 256J.561, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), explain how a person should report
to the county agency any status changes, and explain that an applicant who is not required to
participate in employment services under section 256J.561 may volunteer to participate in
employment and training services;
(4) for applicants who are not exempt from the requirement to attend orientation, arrange for
an orientation under section 256J.45 and an assessment under section 256J.521;
(5) inform an applicant who is not exempt from the requirement to attend orientation that
failure to attend the orientation is considered an occurrence of noncompliance with program
requirements and will result in an imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46; and
(6) explain how to contact the county agency if an applicant has questions about compliance
with program requirements.
    Subd. 4. Verification of information on application. A county agency must verify
information provided by an applicant as required in section 256J.32.
    Subd. 5. Processing applications. Upon receiving an application, a county agency must
determine the applicant's eligibility, approve or deny the application, inform the applicant of its
decision according to the notice provisions in section 256J.31, and, if eligible, issue the assistance
payment to the applicant. When a county agency is unable to process an application within 30
days, the county agency must inform the applicant of the reason for the delay in writing. When an
applicant establishes the inability to provide required verification within the 30-day processing
period, the county agency may not use the expiration of that period as the basis for denial.
    Subd. 6. Invalid reason for delay. A county agency must not delay a decision on eligibility
or delay issuing the assistance payment except to establish state residence as provided in section
256J.12 by:
(1) treating the 30-day processing period as a waiting period;
(2) delaying approval or issuance of the assistance payment pending the decision of the
county board; or
(3) awaiting the result of a referral to a county agency in another county when the county
receiving the application does not believe it is the county of financial responsibility.
    Subd. 7. Changes in residence during application. The requirements in subdivisions 5
and 6 apply without regard to the length of time that an applicant remains, or intends to remain,
a resident of the county in which the application is made. When an applicant leaves the county
where application was made but remains in the state, section 256J.75 applies and the county
agency may request additional information from the applicant about changes in circumstances
related to the move.
    Subd. 8. Additional applications. Until a county agency issues notice of approval or denial,
additional applications submitted by an applicant are void. However, an application for monthly
assistance or other benefits funded under section 256J.626 and an application for emergency
general assistance may exist concurrently. More than one application for monthly assistance or
emergency general assistance may exist concurrently when the county agency decisions on one
or more earlier applications have been appealed to the commissioner, and the applicant asserts
that a change in circumstances has occurred that would allow eligibility. A county agency must
require additional application forms or supplemental forms as prescribed by the commissioner
when a payee's name changes, or when a caregiver requests the addition of another person to the
assistance unit.
    Subd. 9. Addendum to an existing application. (a) An addendum to an existing application
must be used to add persons to an assistance unit regardless of whether the persons being added
are required to be in the assistance unit. When a person is added by addendum to an assistance
unit, eligibility for that person begins on the first of the month the addendum was filed except as
provided in section 256J.74, subdivision 2, clause (1).
(b) An overpayment must be determined when a change in household composition is not
reported within the deadlines in section 256J.30, subdivision 9. Any overpayment must be
calculated from the month of the change including the needs, income, and assets of any individual
who is required to be included in the assistance unit under section 256J.24, subdivision 2.
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 the amount of the
overpayment.
    Subd. 10. Ineligibility for MFIP or the diversionary work program. When an applicant
is not eligible for MFIP or the diversionary work program under section 256J.95 because the
applicant does not meet eligibility requirements, the county agency must determine whether
the applicant is eligible for food stamps, food support, or health care programs. The county
must also inform applicants about resources available through the county or other agencies to
meet short-term emergency needs.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 5; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 35,36; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 8-12,66; 2002 c
379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 25-30,106; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 31
256J.10 MFIP ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS.
To be eligible for MFIP, applicants must meet the general eligibility requirements in sections
256J.11 to 256J.15, the property limitations in section 256J.20, and the income limitations in
section 256J.21.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 6; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.11 CITIZENSHIP.
    Subdivision 1. General citizenship requirements. (a) To be eligible for MFIP, a member
of the assistance unit must be a citizen of the United States, a qualified noncitizen as defined in
section 256J.08, or a noncitizen who is otherwise residing lawfully in the United States.
(b) A qualified noncitizen who entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996, is
eligible for MFIP. However, TANF dollars cannot be used to fund the MFIP benefits for an
individual under this paragraph for a period of five years after the date of entry unless the qualified
noncitizen meets one of the following criteria:
(1) was admitted to the United States as a refugee under United States Code, title 8, section
1157;
(2) was granted asylum under United States Code, title 8, section 1158;
(3) was granted withholding of deportation under the United States Code, title 8, section
1253(h);
(4) is a veteran of the United States armed forces with an honorable discharge for a reason
other than noncitizen status, or is a spouse or unmarried minor dependent child of the same; or
(5) is an individual on active duty in the United States armed forces, other than for training,
or is a spouse or unmarried minor dependent child of the same.
(c) A person who is not a qualified noncitizen but who is otherwise residing lawfully in the
United States is eligible for MFIP. However, TANF dollars cannot be used to fund the MFIP
benefits for an individual under this paragraph.
(d) For purposes of this subdivision, a nonimmigrant in one or more of the classes listed
in United States Code, title 8, section 1101(a)(15), or an undocumented immigrant who resides
in the United States without the approval or acquiescence of the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services, is not eligible for MFIP.
    Subd. 2. Noncitizens; food portion. State dollars shall fund the food portion of a noncitizen's
MFIP benefits when federal food stamp dollars cannot be used to fund those benefits. The
assistance provided under this subdivision, which is designated as a supplement to replace lost
benefits under the federal food stamp program, must be disregarded as income in all programs that
do not count food stamps or food support as income where the commissioner has the authority
to make the income disregard determination for the program.
    Subd. 3. Benefits funded with state money. Legal adult noncitizens who have resided in the
country for four years or more as a lawful permanent resident, whose benefits are funded entirely
with state money, and who are under 70 years of age, must, as a condition of eligibility:
(1) be enrolled in a literacy class, English as a second language class, or a citizen class;
(2) be applying for admission to a literacy class, English as a second language class, and
is on a waiting list;
(3) be in the process of applying for a waiver from the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services of the English language or civics requirements of the citizenship test;
(4) have submitted an application for citizenship to the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services and is waiting for a testing date or a subsequent swearing in ceremony; or
(5) have been denied citizenship due to a failure to pass the test after two attempts or because
of an inability to understand the rights and responsibilities of becoming a United States citizen, as
documented by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or the county.
If the county social service agency determines that a legal noncitizen subject to the
requirements of this subdivision will require more than one year of English language training,
then the requirements of clause (1) or (2) shall be imposed after the legal noncitizen has resided
in the country for three years. Individuals who reside in a facility licensed under chapter 144A,
144D, 245A, or 256I are exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 7; 1997 c 203 art 12 s 7; 3Sp1997 c 1 s 1; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 37;
1999 c 159 s 78,79; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 14,15; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 114;
1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 106; 2007 c 13 art 1 s 25
256J.12 MINNESOTA RESIDENCE.
    Subdivision 1. Simple residency. To be eligible for MFIP, an assistance unit must have
established residency in this state which means the assistance unit is present in the state and
intends to remain here. A person who lives in this state and who entered this state with a job
commitment or to seek employment in this state, whether or not that person is currently employed,
meets the criteria in this subdivision.
    Subd. 1a. 30-day residency requirement. An assistance unit is considered to have
established residency in this state only when a child or caregiver has resided in this state for at
least 30 consecutive days with the intention of making the person's home here and not for any
temporary purpose. The birth of a child in Minnesota to a member of the assistance unit does not
automatically establish the residency in this state under this subdivision of the other members
of the assistance unit. Time spent in a shelter for battered women shall count toward satisfying
the 30-day residency requirement.
    Subd. 2. Exceptions. (a) A county shall waive the 30-day residency requirement where
unusual hardship would result from denial of assistance.
(b) For purposes of this section, unusual hardship means an assistance unit:
(1) is without alternative shelter; or
(2) is without available resources for food.
(c) For purposes of this subdivision, the following definitions apply (1) "metropolitan
statistical area" is as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau; (2) "alternative shelter" includes any
shelter that is located within the metropolitan statistical area containing the county and for which
the family is eligible, provided the assistance unit does not have to travel more than 20 miles to
reach the shelter and has access to transportation to the shelter. Clause (2) does not apply to
counties in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan statistical area.
(d) Applicants are considered to meet the residency requirement under subdivision 1a if
they once resided in Minnesota and:
(1) joined the United States armed services, returned to Minnesota within 30 days of leaving
the armed services, and intend to remain in Minnesota; or
(2) left to attend school in another state, paid nonresident tuition or Minnesota tuition rates
under a reciprocity agreement, and returned to Minnesota within 30 days of graduation with
the intent to remain in Minnesota.
(e) The 30-day residence requirement is met when:
(1) a minor child or a minor caregiver moves from another state to the residence of a relative
caregiver; and
(2) the relative caregiver has resided in Minnesota for at least 30 consecutive days and:
(i) the minor caregiver applies for and receives MFIP; or
(ii) the relative caregiver applies for assistance for the minor child but does not choose
to be a member of the MFIP assistance unit.
    Subd. 2a. Migrant workers. Migrant workers, as defined in section 256J.08, and their
immediate families are exempt from the requirements of subdivisions 1 and 1a, provided the
migrant worker provides verification that the migrant family worked in this state within the
last 12 months and earned at least $1,000 in gross wages during the time the migrant worker
worked in this state.
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
    Subd. 4. Severability clause. If any subdivision in this section is enjoined from
implementation or found unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining
subdivisions shall remain valid and shall be given full effect.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 8; 1997 c 203 art 12 s 8; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 38; 1999 c 159 s
80; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 16,17
256J.13 MINOR CHILD IN ASSISTANCE UNIT; PHYSICAL PRESENCE.
    Subdivision 1. Minor child or pregnant woman. The assistance unit must include at least
one minor child or a pregnant woman. If a minor child is a recipient of Supplemental Security
Income or Minnesota supplemental aid, the assistance unit is eligible for MFIP, but the needs of
the minor child receiving Supplemental Security Income or Minnesota supplemental aid must not
be taken into account when the county agency determines the amount of the assistance payment to
be paid to the assistance unit.
    Subd. 2. Physical presence. A minor child and a caregiver must live together except as
provided in the following paragraphs.
(a) The physical presence requirement is met when a minor child is required to live away
from the caregiver's home to meet the need for educational curricula that cannot be met by, but
is approved by, the local public school district, the home is maintained for the minor child's
return during periodic school vacations, and the caregiver continues to maintain responsibility
for the support and care of the minor child.
(b) The physical presence requirement is met when an applicant caregiver or applicant minor
child is away from the home due to illness or hospitalization, when the home is maintained for
the return of the absent family member, the absence is not expected to last more than six months
beyond the month of departure, and the conditions of clause (1), (2), or (3) apply:
(1) when the minor child and caregiver lived together immediately prior to the absence, the
caregiver continues to maintain responsibility for the support and care of the minor child, and the
absence is reported at the time of application;
(2) when the pregnant mother is hospitalized or out of the home due to the pregnancy; or
(3) when the newborn child and mother are hospitalized at the time of birth.
(c) The absence of a caregiver or minor child does not affect eligibility for the month of
departure when the caregiver or minor child received assistance for that month and lived together
immediately prior to the absence. Eligibility also exists in the following month when the absence
ends on or before the tenth day of that month. A temporary absence of a caregiver or a minor
child which continues beyond the month of departure must not affect eligibility when the home
is maintained for the return of the absent family member, the caregiver continues to maintain
responsibility for the support and care of the minor child, and one of clauses (1) to (7) applies:
(1) a participant caregiver or participant child is absent due to illness or hospitalization, and
the absence is expected to last no more than six months beyond the month of departure;
(2) a participant child is out of the home due to placement in foster care as defined in sections
260B.007, subdivision 7, and 260C.007, subdivision 18, when the placement will not be paid
under title IV-E of the Social Security Act, and when the absence is expected to last no more than
six months beyond the month of departure;
(3) a participant minor child is out of the home for a vacation, the vacation is not with an
absent parent, and the absence is expected to last no more than two months beyond the month of
departure;
(4) a participant minor child is out of the home due to a visit or vacation with an absent
parent, the home of the minor child remains with the caregiver, the absence meets the conditions
of this paragraph and the absence is expected to last no more than two months beyond the
month of departure;
(5) a participant caregiver is out of the home due to a death or illness of a relative,
incarceration, training, or employment search and suitable arrangements have been made for the
care of the minor child, or a participant minor child is out of the home due to incarceration, and
the absence is expected to last no more than two months beyond the month of departure;
(6) a participant caregiver and a participant minor child are both absent from Minnesota due
to a situation described in clause (5), except for incarceration, and the absence is expected to last
no more than one month beyond the month of the departure; or
(7) a participant minor child has run away from home, and another person has not made
application for that minor child, assistance must continue for no more than two months following
the month of departure.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 9; 1999 c 139 art 4 s 2; 2001 c 178 art 1 s 44; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10
s 66; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 11
256J.14 ELIGIBILITY FOR PARENTING OR PREGNANT MINORS.
(a) The definitions in this paragraph only apply to this subdivision.
(1) "Household of a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative" means the place of
residence of:
(i) a natural or adoptive parent;
(ii) a legal guardian according to appointment or acceptance under sections 260C.325 or
524.5-201 to 524.5-317, and related laws;
(iii) a caregiver as defined in section 256J.08, subdivision 11; or
(iv) an appropriate adult relative designated by a county agency.
(2) "Adult-supervised supportive living arrangement" means a private family setting which
assumes responsibility for the care and control of the minor parent and minor child, or other living
arrangement, not including a public institution, licensed by the commissioner of human services
which ensures that the minor parent receives adult supervision and supportive services, such as
counseling, guidance, independent living skills training, or supervision.
(b) A minor parent and the minor child who is in the care of the minor parent must reside in
the household of a parent, legal guardian, other adult relative, or in an adult-supervised supportive
living arrangement in order to receive MFIP unless:
(1) the minor parent has no living parent, other adult relative, or legal guardian whose
whereabouts is known;
(2) no living parent, other adult relative, or legal guardian of the minor parent allows the
minor parent to live in the parent's, other adult relative's, or legal guardian's home;
(3) the minor parent lived apart from the minor parent's own parent or legal guardian for
a period of at least one year before either the birth of the minor child or the minor parent's
application for MFIP;
(4) the physical or emotional health or safety of the minor parent or minor child would be
jeopardized if the minor parent and the minor child resided in the same residence with the minor
parent's parent, other adult relative, or legal guardian; or
(5) an adult supervised supportive living arrangement is not available for the minor parent
and child in the county in which the minor parent and child currently reside. If an adult supervised
supportive living arrangement becomes available within the county, the minor parent and child
must reside in that arrangement.
(c) The county agency shall inform minor applicants both orally and in writing about
the eligibility requirements, their rights and obligations under the MFIP program, and any
other applicable orientation information. The county must advise the minor of the possible
exemptions under section 256J.54, subdivision 5, and specifically ask whether one or more of
these exemptions is applicable. If the minor alleges one or more of these exemptions, then the
county must assist the minor in obtaining the necessary verifications to determine whether or
not these exemptions apply.
(d) If the county worker has reason to suspect that the physical or emotional health or safety
of the minor parent or minor child would be jeopardized if they resided with the minor parent's
parent, other adult relative, or legal guardian, then the county worker must make a referral to child
protective services to determine if paragraph (b), clause (4), applies. A new determination by the
county worker is not necessary if one has been made within the last six months, unless there has
been a significant change in circumstances which justifies a new referral and determination.
(e) If a minor parent is not living with a parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative due
to paragraph (b), clause (1), (2), or (4), the minor parent must reside, when possible, in a living
arrangement that meets the standards of paragraph (a), clause (2).
(f) Regardless of living arrangement, MFIP must be paid, when possible, in the form of a
protective payment on behalf of the minor parent and minor child according to section 256J.39,
subdivisions 2 to 4
.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 10; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 39; 1999 c 139 art 4 s 2; 1999 c 245 art 6 s
18; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 31; 2004 c 146 art 3 s 26
256J.15 OTHER ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Eligibility when there is court-ordered custody. The language of a court
order that specifies joint legal or physical custody does not preclude a determination that a parent
is absent. Absence must be determined based on the actual facts of the absence according to
paragraphs (a) to (c).
(a) When a minor child spends time in each of the parents' homes within a payment month,
the minor child's home shall be considered the home in which the majority of the minor child's
time is spent. When this time is exactly equal within a payment month, or when the parents
alternately live in the minor child's home within a payment month, the minor child's home shall
be with that parent who is applying for MFIP, unless the minor child's needs for the full payment
month have already been met through the provision of assistance to the other parent for that month.
(b) When the physical custody of a minor child alternates between parents for periods of at
least one payment month, each parent shall be eligible for assistance for any full payment months
the minor child's home is with that parent, except under the conditions in paragraph (c).
(c) When a minor child's home is with one parent for the majority of time in each month
for at least nine consecutive calendar months, and that minor child visits or vacations with the
other parent under section 256J.13, the minor child's home remains with the first parent even
when the stay with the second parent is for all or the majority of the months in the period of the
temporary absence.
    Subd. 2. Eligibility during labor disputes. To receive assistance when a member of an
assistance unit is on strike, or when an individual identified under section 256J.37, subdivisions
1 to 2
, whose income and assets must be considered when determining the unit's eligibility is
on strike, the assistance unit must have been receiving MFIP or have been eligible for MFIP
on the day before the strike.
The county agency must count the striker's prestrike earnings as current earnings. A
significant change cannot be invoked when a member of an assistance unit, or an individual
identified under section 256J.37, subdivisions 1 to 2, is on strike. A member of an assistance unit,
or an individual identified under section 256J.37, subdivisions 1 to 2, is not considered a striker
when that person is not in the bargaining unit that voted for the strike and does not cross the
picket line for fear of personal injury.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 11; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 40; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.20 PROPERTY LIMITATIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Property ownership provisions. The county agency must apply paragraphs
(a) to (d) to real and personal property. The county agency must use the equity value of legally
available real and personal property, except property excluded in subdivisions 2 and 3, to
determine whether an applicant or participant is eligible for assistance.
(a) When real or personal property is jointly owned by two or more persons, the county
agency shall assume that each person owns an equal share, except that either person owns the
entire sum of a joint personal checking or savings account. When an applicant or participant
documents greater or lesser ownership, the county agency must use that greater or lesser share
to determine the equity value held by the applicant or participant. Other types of ownership
must be evaluated according to law.
(b) Real or personal property owned by the applicant or participant must be presumed legally
available to the applicant or participant unless the applicant or participant documents that the
property is not legally available to the applicant or participant. When real or personal property is
not legally available, its equity value must not be applied against the limits of subdivisions 2 and 3.
(c) An applicant must disclose whether the applicant has transferred real or personal
property valued in excess of the property limits in subdivisions 2 and 3 for which reasonable
compensation was not received within one year prior to application. A participant must disclose
all transfers of property valued in excess of these limits, according to the reporting requirements
in section 256J.30, subdivision 9. When a transfer of real or personal property without reasonable
compensation has occurred:
(1) the person who transferred the property must provide the property's description,
information needed to determine the property's equity value, the names of the persons who
received the property, and the circumstances of and reasons for the transfer; and
(2) when the transferred property can be reasonably reacquired, or when reasonable
compensation can be secured, the property is presumed legally available to the applicant or
participant.
(d) A participant may build the equity value of real and personal property to the limits in
subdivisions 2 and 3.
    Subd. 2. Real property limitations. Ownership of real property by an applicant or
participant is subject to the limitations in paragraphs (a) and (b).
(a) A county agency shall exclude the homestead of an applicant or participant according
to clauses (1) to (5):
(1) an applicant or participant who is purchasing real property through a contract for deed
and using that property as a home is considered the owner of real property;
(2) the total amount of land that can be excluded under this subdivision is limited to
surrounding property which is not separated from the home by intervening property owned by
others. Additional property must be assessed as to its legal and actual availability according to
subdivision 1;
(3) when real property that has been used as a home by a participant is sold, the county
agency must treat the cash proceeds from the sale as excluded property for six months when
the participant intends to reinvest the proceeds in another home and maintains those proceeds,
unused for other purposes, in a separate account;
(4) when the homestead is jointly owned, but the client does not reside in it because of
legal separation, pending divorce, or battering or abuse by the spouse or partner, the homestead
is excluded; and
(5) the homestead shall continue to be excluded if it is temporarily unoccupied due to
employment, illness, or as the result of compliance with a county-approved employability plan.
The education, training, or job search must be within the state, but can be outside the immediate
geographic area. A homestead temporarily unoccupied because it is not habitable due to a
casualty or natural disaster is excluded. The homestead is excluded during periods only if the
client intends to return to it.
(b) The equity value of real property that is not excluded under paragraph (a) and which is
legally available must be applied against the limits in subdivision 3. When the equity value of the
real property exceeds the limits under subdivision 3, the applicant or participant may qualify to
receive assistance when the applicant or participant continues to make a good faith effort to sell
the property and signs a legally binding agreement to repay the amount of assistance, less child
support collected by the agency. Repayment must be made within five working days after the
property is sold. Repayment to the county agency must be in the amount of assistance received
or the proceeds of the sale, whichever is less.
    Subd. 3. Other property limitations. To be eligible for MFIP, the equity value of all
nonexcluded real and personal property of the assistance unit must not exceed $2,000 for
applicants and $5,000 for ongoing participants. The value of assets in clauses (1) to (19) must be
excluded when determining the equity value of real and personal property:
    (1) a licensed vehicle up to a loan value of less than or equal to $15,000. If the assistance
unit owns more than one licensed vehicle, determine the loan value of all additional vehicles
and exclude the combined loan value of less than or equal to $7,500. The county agency shall
apply any excess loan value as if it were equity value to the asset limit described in this section,
excluding: (i) the value of one vehicle per physically disabled person when the vehicle is needed to
transport the disabled unit member; this exclusion does not apply to mentally disabled people; (ii)
the value of special equipment for a disabled member of the assistance unit; and (iii) any vehicle
used for long-distance travel, other than daily commuting, for the employment of a unit member.
    To establish the loan value of vehicles, a county agency must use the N.A.D.A. Official
Used Car Guide, Midwest Edition, for newer model cars. When a vehicle is not listed in the
guidebook, or when the applicant or participant disputes the loan value listed in the guidebook as
unreasonable given the condition of the particular vehicle, the county agency may require the
applicant or participant document the loan value by securing a written statement from a motor
vehicle dealer licensed under section 168.27, stating the amount that the dealer would pay to
purchase the vehicle. The county agency shall reimburse the applicant or participant for the cost
of a written statement that documents a lower loan value;
    (2) the value of life insurance policies for members of the assistance unit;
    (3) one burial plot per member of an assistance unit;
    (4) the value of personal property needed to produce earned income, including tools,
implements, farm animals, inventory, business loans, business checking and savings accounts
used at least annually and used exclusively for the operation of a self-employment business, and
any motor vehicles if at least 50 percent of the vehicle's use is to produce income and if the
vehicles are essential for the self-employment business;
    (5) the value of personal property not otherwise specified which is commonly used by
household members in day-to-day living such as clothing, necessary household furniture,
equipment, and other basic maintenance items essential for daily living;
    (6) the value of real and personal property owned by a recipient of Supplemental Security
Income or Minnesota supplemental aid;
    (7) the value of corrective payments, but only for the month in which the payment is
received and for the following month;
    (8) a mobile home or other vehicle used by an applicant or participant as the applicant's
or participant's home;
    (9) money in a separate escrow account that is needed to pay real estate taxes or insurance
and that is used for this purpose;
    (10) money held in escrow to cover employee FICA, employee tax withholding, sales tax
withholding, employee worker compensation, business insurance, property rental, property taxes,
and other costs that are paid at least annually, but less often than monthly;
    (11) monthly assistance payments for the current month's or short-term emergency needs
under section 256J.626, subdivision 2;
    (12) the value of school loans, grants, or scholarships for the period they are intended to
cover;
    (13) payments listed in section 256J.21, subdivision 2, clause (9), which are held in escrow
for a period not to exceed three months to replace or repair personal or real property;
    (14) income received in a budget month through the end of the payment month;
    (15) savings from earned income of a minor child or a minor parent that are set aside in a
separate account designated specifically for future education or employment costs;
    (16) the federal earned income credit, Minnesota working family credit, state and federal
income tax refunds, state homeowners and renters credits under chapter 290A, property tax
rebates and other federal or state tax rebates in the month received and the following month;
    (17) payments excluded under federal law as long as those payments are held in a separate
account from any nonexcluded funds;
    (18) the assets of children ineligible to receive MFIP benefits because foster care or adoption
assistance payments are made on their behalf; and
    (19) the assets of persons whose income is excluded under section 256J.21, subdivision
2
, clause (43).
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 12; 1997 c 203 art 12 s 9; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 41,42; 1999 c 245
art 6 s 19; 1Sp2001 c 2 s 144; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 32; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 27
256J.21 INCOME LIMITATIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Income inclusions. To determine MFIP eligibility, the county agency must
evaluate income received by members of an assistance unit, or by other persons whose income is
considered available to the assistance unit, and only count income that is available to the member
of the assistance unit. Income is available if the individual has legal access to the income. All
payments, unless specifically excluded in subdivision 2, must be counted as income. The county
agency shall verify the income of all MFIP recipients and applicants.
    Subd. 2. Income exclusions. The following must be excluded in determining a family's
available income:
    (1) payments for basic care, difficulty of care, and clothing allowances received for
providing family foster care to children or adults under Minnesota Rules, parts 9555.5050 to
9555.6265, 9560.0521, and 9560.0650 to 9560.0655, and payments received and used for care
and maintenance of a third-party beneficiary who is not a household member;
    (2) reimbursements for employment training received through the Workforce Investment Act
of 1998, United States Code, title 20, chapter 73, section 9201;
    (3) reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred while performing volunteer services,
jury duty, employment, or informal carpooling arrangements directly related to employment;
    (4) all educational assistance, except the county agency must count graduate student teaching
assistantships, fellowships, and other similar paid work as earned income and, after allowing
deductions for any unmet and necessary educational expenses, shall count scholarships or grants
awarded to graduate students that do not require teaching or research as unearned income;
    (5) loans, regardless of purpose, from public or private lending institutions, governmental
lending institutions, or governmental agencies;
    (6) loans from private individuals, regardless of purpose, provided an applicant or participant
documents that the lender expects repayment;
    (7)(i) state income tax refunds; and
    (ii) federal income tax refunds;
    (8)(i) federal earned income credits;
    (ii) Minnesota working family credits;
    (iii) state homeowners and renters credits under chapter 290A; and
    (iv) federal or state tax rebates;
    (9) funds received for reimbursement, replacement, or rebate of personal or real property
when these payments are made by public agencies, awarded by a court, solicited through public
appeal, or made as a grant by a federal agency, state or local government, or disaster assistance
organizations, subsequent to a presidential declaration of disaster;
    (10) the portion of an insurance settlement that is used to pay medical, funeral, and burial
expenses, or to repair or replace insured property;
    (11) reimbursements for medical expenses that cannot be paid by medical assistance;
    (12) payments by a vocational rehabilitation program administered by the state under chapter
268A, except those payments that are for current living expenses;
    (13) in-kind income, including any payments directly made by a third party to a provider of
goods and services;
    (14) assistance payments to correct underpayments, but only for the month in which the
payment is received;
    (15) payments for short-term emergency needs under section 256J.626, subdivision 2;
    (16) funeral and cemetery payments as provided by section 256.935;
    (17) nonrecurring cash gifts of $30 or less, not exceeding $30 per participant in a calendar
month;
    (18) any form of energy assistance payment made through Public Law 97-35, Low-Income
Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, payments made directly to energy providers by other
public and private agencies, and any form of credit or rebate payment issued by energy providers;
    (19) Supplemental Security Income (SSI), including retroactive SSI payments and other
income of an SSI recipient, except as described in section 256J.37, subdivision 3b;
    (20) Minnesota supplemental aid, including retroactive payments;
    (21) proceeds from the sale of real or personal property;
    (22) state adoption assistance payments under section 259.67, and up to an equal amount of
county adoption assistance payments;
    (23) state-funded family subsidy program payments made under section 252.32 to help
families care for children with developmental disabilities, consumer support grant funds under
section 256.476, and resources and services for a disabled household member under one of the
home and community-based waiver services programs under chapter 256B;
    (24) interest payments and dividends from property that is not excluded from and that does
not exceed the asset limit;
    (25) rent rebates;
    (26) income earned by a minor caregiver, minor child through age 6, or a minor child who is
at least a half-time student in an approved elementary or secondary education program;
    (27) income earned by a caregiver under age 20 who is at least a half-time student in an
approved elementary or secondary education program;
    (28) MFIP child care payments under section 119B.05;
    (29) all other payments made through MFIP to support a caregiver's pursuit of greater
economic stability;
    (30) income a participant receives related to shared living expenses;
    (31) reverse mortgages;
    (32) benefits provided by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, United States Code, title 42,
chapter 13A, sections 1771 to 1790;
    (33) benefits provided by the women, infants, and children (WIC) nutrition program, United
States Code, title 42, chapter 13A, section 1786;
    (34) benefits from the National School Lunch Act, United States Code, title 42, chapter
13, sections 1751 to 1769e;
    (35) relocation assistance for displaced persons under the Uniform Relocation Assistance
and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, United States Code, title 42, chapter 61,
subchapter II, section 4636, or the National Housing Act, United States Code, title 12, chapter
13, sections 1701 to 1750jj;
    (36) benefits from the Trade Act of 1974, United States Code, title 19, chapter 12, part
2, sections 2271 to 2322;
    (37) war reparations payments to Japanese Americans and Aleuts under United States Code,
title 50, sections 1989 to 1989d;
    (38) payments to veterans or their dependents as a result of legal settlements regarding Agent
Orange or other chemical exposure under Public Law 101-239, section 10405, paragraph (a)(2)(E);
    (39) income that is otherwise specifically excluded from MFIP consideration in federal
law, state law, or federal regulation;
    (40) security and utility deposit refunds;
    (41) American Indian tribal land settlements excluded under Public Laws 98-123, 98-124,
and 99-377 to the Mississippi Band Chippewa Indians of White Earth, Leech Lake, and Mille
Lacs reservations and payments to members of the White Earth Band, under United States Code,
title 25, chapter 9, section 331, and chapter 16, section 1407;
    (42) all income of the minor parent's parents and stepparents when determining the grant for
the minor parent in households that include a minor parent living with parents or stepparents on
MFIP with other children;
    (43) income of the minor parent's parents and stepparents equal to 200 percent of the federal
poverty guideline for a family size not including the minor parent and the minor parent's child
in households that include a minor parent living with parents or stepparents not on MFIP when
determining the grant for the minor parent. The remainder of income is deemed as specified
in section 256J.37, subdivision 1b;
    (44) payments made to children eligible for relative custody assistance under section 257.85;
    (45) vendor payments for goods and services made on behalf of a client unless the client has
the option of receiving the payment in cash;
    (46) the principal portion of a contract for deed payment; and
    (47) cash payments to individuals enrolled for full-time service as a volunteer under
AmeriCorps programs including AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National,
and AmeriCorps NCCC.
    Subd. 3. Initial income test. The county agency shall determine initial eligibility by
considering all earned and unearned income that is not excluded under subdivision 2. To be
eligible for MFIP, the assistance unit's countable income minus the disregards in paragraphs
(a) and (b) must be below the transitional standard of assistance according to section 256J.24
for that size assistance unit.
(a) The initial eligibility determination must disregard the following items:
(1) the employment disregard is 18 percent of the gross earned income whether or not
the member is working full time or part time;
(2) dependent care costs must be deducted from gross earned income for the actual amount
paid for dependent care up to a maximum of $200 per month for each child less than two years
of age, and $175 per month for each child two years of age and older under this chapter and
chapter 119B;
(3) all payments made according to a court order for spousal support or the support of
children not living in the assistance unit's household shall be disregarded from the income of
the person with the legal obligation to pay support, provided that, if there has been a change
in the financial circumstances of the person with the legal obligation to pay support since the
support order was entered, the person with the legal obligation to pay support has petitioned
for a modification of the support order; and
(4) an allocation for the unmet need of an ineligible spouse or an ineligible child under the
age of 21 for whom the caregiver is financially responsible and who lives with the caregiver
according to section 256J.36.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), when determining initial eligibility for applicant units
when at least one member has received MFIP in this state within four months of the most recent
application for MFIP, apply the disregard as defined in section 256J.08, subdivision 24, for all
unit members.
After initial eligibility is established, the assistance payment calculation is based on the
monthly income test.
    Subd. 4. Monthly income test and determination of assistance payment. The county
agency shall determine ongoing eligibility and the assistance payment amount according to the
monthly income test. To be eligible for MFIP, the result of the computations in paragraphs (a)
to (e) must be at least $1.
(a) Apply an income disregard as defined in section 256J.08, subdivision 24, to gross
earnings and subtract this amount from the family wage level. If the difference is equal to or
greater than the MFIP standard of need, the assistance payment is equal to the MFIP standard of
need. If the difference is less than the MFIP standard of need, the assistance payment is equal
to the difference. The employment disregard in this paragraph must be deducted every month
there is earned income.
(b) All payments made according to a court order for spousal support or the support of
children not living in the assistance unit's household must be disregarded from the income of
the person with the legal obligation to pay support, provided that, if there has been a change
in the financial circumstances of the person with the legal obligation to pay support since the
support order was entered, the person with the legal obligation to pay support has petitioned for
a modification of the court order.
(c) An allocation for the unmet need of an ineligible spouse or an ineligible child under the
age of 21 for whom the caregiver is financially responsible and who lives with the caregiver
must be made according to section 256J.36.
(d) Subtract unearned income dollar for dollar from the MFIP standard of need to determine
the assistance payment amount.
(e) When income is both earned and unearned, the amount of the assistance payment must be
determined by first treating gross earned income as specified in paragraph (a). After determining
the amount of the assistance payment under paragraph (a), unearned income must be subtracted
from that amount dollar for dollar to determine the assistance payment amount.
(f) When the monthly income is greater than the MFIP standard of need after deductions and
the income will only exceed the standard for one month, the county agency must suspend the
assistance payment for the payment month.
    Subd. 5. Distribution of income. The income of all members of the assistance unit must be
counted. Income may also be deemed from ineligible persons to the assistance unit. Income must
be attributed to the person who earns it or to the assistance unit according to paragraphs (a) to (c).
(a) Funds distributed from a trust, whether from the principal holdings or sale of trust
property or from the interest and other earnings of the trust holdings, must be considered income
when the income is legally available to an applicant or participant. Trusts are presumed legally
available unless an applicant or participant can document that the trust is not legally available.
(b) Income from jointly owned property must be divided equally among property owners
unless the terms of ownership provide for a different distribution.
(c) Deductions are not allowed from the gross income of a financially responsible household
member or by the members of an assistance unit to meet a current or prior debt.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 13; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 43; 1999 c 159 s 81; 1999 c 245 art 6 s
20-22; 2000 c 488 art 10 s 8; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 13,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14
art 1 s 33,34; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 32,33; 2005 c 56 s 1; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 12; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 28
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
256J.25 [Repealed, 1998 c 407 art 6 s 118]
256J.26 PERSONS INELIGIBLE; VENDOR PAYMENTS.
    Subdivision 1. Person convicted of drug offenses. (a) Applicants or participants who have
been convicted of a drug offense committed after July 1, 1997, may, if otherwise eligible, receive
MFIP benefits subject to the following conditions:
(1) Benefits for the entire assistance unit must be paid in vendor form for shelter and utilities
during any time the applicant is part of the assistance unit.
(2) The convicted applicant or participant shall be subject to random drug testing as a
condition of continued eligibility and following any positive test for an illegal controlled
substance is subject to the following sanctions:
(i) for failing a drug test the first time, the residual amount of the participant's grant after
making vendor payments for shelter and utility costs, if any, must be reduced by an amount
equal to 30 percent of the MFIP standard of need for an assistance unit of the same size. When a
sanction under this subdivision is in effect, the job counselor must attempt to meet with the person
face-to-face. During the face-to-face meeting, the job counselor must explain the consequences
of a subsequent drug test failure and inform the participant of the right to appeal the sanction
under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, the county agency must send the
participant a notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and
must include the information required in the face-to-face meeting; or
(ii) for failing a drug test two times, the participant is permanently disqualified from
receiving MFIP assistance, both the cash and food portions. The assistance unit's MFIP grant must
be reduced by the amount which would have otherwise been made available to the disqualified
participant. Disqualification under this item does not make a participant ineligible for food stamps
or food support. Before a disqualification under this provision is imposed, the job counselor
must attempt to meet with the participant face-to-face. During the face-to-face meeting, the job
counselor must identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs
of the family and inform the participant of the right to appeal the disqualification under section
256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, the county agency must send the participant a
notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and must include
the information required in the face-to-face meeting.
(3) A participant who fails a drug test the first time and is under a sanction due to other MFIP
program requirements is considered to have more than one occurrence of noncompliance and
is subject to the applicable level of sanction as specified under section 256J.46, subdivision 1,
paragraph (d).
(b) Applicants requesting only food stamps or food support or participants receiving only
food stamps or food support, who have been convicted of a drug offense that occurred after July
1, 1997, may, if otherwise eligible, receive food stamps or food support if the convicted applicant
or participant is subject to random drug testing as a condition of continued eligibility. Following a
positive test for an illegal controlled substance, the applicant is subject to the following sanctions:
(1) for failing a drug test the first time, food stamps or food support shall be reduced by an
amount equal to 30 percent of the applicable food stamp or food support allotment. When a
sanction under this clause is in effect, a job counselor must attempt to meet with the person
face-to-face. During the face-to-face meeting, a job counselor must explain the consequences
of a subsequent drug test failure and inform the participant of the right to appeal the sanction
under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, a county agency must send the
participant a notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and
must include the information required in the face-to-face meeting; and
(2) for failing a drug test two times, the participant is permanently disqualified from
receiving food stamps or food support. Before a disqualification under this provision is imposed,
a job counselor must attempt to meet with the participant face-to-face. During the face-to-face
meeting, the job counselor must identify other resources that may be available to the participant to
meet the needs of the family and inform the participant of the right to appeal the disqualification
under section 256J.40. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, a county agency must send the
participant a notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5, and
must include the information required in the face-to-face meeting.
(c) For the purposes of this subdivision, "drug offense" means an offense that occurred after
July 1, 1997, of sections 152.021 to 152.025, 152.0261, 152.0262, or 152.096. Drug offense also
means a conviction in another jurisdiction of the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled
substance, or conspiracy to commit any of these offenses, if the offense occurred after July 1,
1997, and the conviction is a felony offense in that jurisdiction, or in the case of New Jersey,
a high misdemeanor.
    Subd. 2. Parole violators. An individual violating a condition of probation or parole
or supervised release imposed under federal law or the law of any state is disqualified from
receiving MFIP.
    Subd. 3. Fleeing felons. An individual who is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody, or
confinement after conviction for a crime that is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction from
which the individual flees, or in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor, is disqualified
from receiving MFIP.
    Subd. 4. Disqualification for fraudulently misrepresenting residency. An individual who
is convicted in federal or state court of having made a fraudulent statement or representation with
respect to the place of residence of the individual in order to receive assistance simultaneously
from two or more states is disqualified from receiving MFIP for ten years beginning on the
date of the conviction.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 16; 1997 c 203 art 12 s 10; 1997 c 245 art 4 s 1; 1998 c 407
art 6 s 52-55; 1999 c 159 s 82-85; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 29; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 17; 2002 c 379
art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 106; 2005 c 136 art 7 s 21
256J.28 FOOD STAMP OR FOOD SUPPORT ASSISTANCE.
    Subdivision 1. Expedited issuance of food stamp assistance. The following households are
entitled to expedited issuance of food stamp assistance:
(1) households with less than $150 in monthly gross income provided their liquid assets
do not exceed $100;
(2) migrant or seasonal farm worker households who are destitute as defined in Code
of Federal Regulations, title 7, subtitle B, chapter 2, subchapter C, part 273, section 273.10,
paragraph (e)(3)
, provided their liquid assets do not exceed $100; and
(3) eligible households whose combined monthly gross income and liquid resources are less
than the household's monthly rent or mortgage and utilities.
For any month an individual receives expedited Food Stamp Program benefits, the individual
is not eligible for the MFIP food portion of assistance.
    Subd. 2. Food stamps for household members not in the assistance unit. (a) For
household members who purchase and prepare food with the MFIP assistance unit but are not part
of the assistance unit, the county agency must determine a separate food stamp benefit based on
regulations agreed upon with the United States Department of Agriculture.
(b) Fair hearing requirements for persons who receive food stamps under this subdivision
are governed by section 256.045, and Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, subtitle B, chapter
II, part 273, section 273.15.
    Subd. 3. Income disregard: food assistance portion of assistance payment. The portion
of the MFIP assistance payment that is designated by the commissioner as the food assistance
portion of the assistance payment must be disregarded as income in the following programs:
(1) housing subsidy programs;
(2) low-income home energy assistance program;
(3) Supplemental Security Income, when determining interim assistance amount; and
(4) other programs that do not count food stamps as income.
For the purposes of this subdivision, the food assistance portion of the assistance payment
means a predetermined portion of the MFIP assistance payment that may be received in
point-of-purchase sites or as food stamps. The predetermined portion of the assistance payment
will vary by family profile, which is based on family size.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1998 c 407 art 6 s 118]
    Subd. 5. Food stamps for persons residing in a battered woman's shelter. Members of
an MFIP assistance unit residing in a battered woman's shelter may receive food stamps or the
food portion twice in a month if the unit that initially received the food stamps or food portion
included the alleged abuser.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 17; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 56-58; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.29 [Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 2 s 63]
256J.30 APPLICANT AND PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
    Subdivision 1. Applicant reporting requirements. An applicant must provide information
on an application form and supplemental forms about the applicant's circumstances which
affect MFIP eligibility or the assistance payment. An applicant must report changes identified
in subdivision 9 while the application is pending. When an applicant does not accurately report
information on an application, both an overpayment and a referral for a fraud investigation may
result. When an applicant does not provide information or documentation, the receipt of the
assistance payment may be delayed or the application may be denied depending on the type of
information required and its effect on eligibility.
    Subd. 2. Requirement to apply for other benefits. An applicant or participant must apply
for, accept if eligible, and follow through with appealing any denials of eligibility for benefits from
other programs for which the applicant or participant is potentially eligible and which would, if
received, offset assistance payments. An applicant's or participant's failure to complete application
for these benefits without good cause results in denial or termination of assistance. Good cause
for failure to apply for these benefits is allowed when circumstances beyond the control of the
applicant or participant prevent the applicant or participant from making an application.
    Subd. 3. Responsibility to inquire. An applicant or participant who does not know or is
unsure whether a given change in circumstances will affect the applicant's or participant's MFIP
eligibility or assistance payment must contact the county agency for information.
    Subd. 4. Participant's completion of recertification of eligibility form. A participant
must complete forms prescribed by the commissioner which are required for recertification of
eligibility according to section 256J.32, subdivision 6.
    Subd. 5. Monthly MFIP household reports. Each assistance unit with a member who has
earned income or a recent work history, and each assistance unit that has income deemed to it
from a financially responsible person must complete a monthly MFIP household report form.
"Recent work history" means the individual received earned income in the report month or any of
the previous three calendar months even if the earnings are excluded. To be complete, the MFIP
household report form must be signed and dated by the caregivers no earlier than the last day of
the reporting period. All questions required to determine assistance payment eligibility must be
answered, and documentation of earned income must be included.
    Subd. 6.[Repealed, 1999 c 245 art 6 s 89]
    Subd. 7. Due date of MFIP household report form. An MFIP household report form must
be received by the county agency by the eighth calendar day of the month following the reporting
period covered by the form. When the eighth calendar day of the month falls on a weekend or
holiday, the MFIP household report form must be received by the county agency the first working
day that follows the eighth calendar day.
    Subd. 8. Late MFIP household report forms. Paragraphs (a) to (d) apply to the reporting
requirements in subdivision 7.
(a) When the county agency receives an incomplete MFIP household report form, the county
agency must immediately return the incomplete form and clearly state what the caregiver must do
for the form to be complete.
(b) The automated eligibility system must send a notice of proposed termination of assistance
to the assistance unit if a complete MFIP household report form is not received by a county
agency. The automated notice must be mailed to the caregiver by approximately the 16th of the
month. When a caregiver submits an incomplete form on or after the date a notice of proposed
termination has been sent, the termination is valid unless the caregiver submits a complete form
before the end of the month.
(c) An assistance unit required to submit an MFIP household report form is considered to
have continued its application for assistance if a complete MFIP household report form is received
within a calendar month after the month in which the form was due and assistance shall be paid
for the period beginning with the first day of that calendar month.
(d) A county agency must allow good cause exemptions from the reporting requirements
under subdivisions 5 and 6 when any of the following factors cause a caregiver to fail to provide
the county agency with a completed MFIP household report form before the end of the month
in which the form is due:
(1) an employer delays completion of employment verification;
(2) a county agency does not help a caregiver complete the MFIP household report form
when the caregiver asks for help;
(3) a caregiver does not receive an MFIP household report form due to mistake on the part of
the department or the county agency or due to a reported change in address;
(4) a caregiver is ill, or physically or mentally incapacitated; or
(5) some other circumstance occurs that a caregiver could not avoid with reasonable care
which prevents the caregiver from providing a completed MFIP household report form before the
end of the month in which the form is due.
    Subd. 9. Changes that must be reported. A caregiver must report the changes or
anticipated changes specified in clauses (1) to (16) within ten days of the date they occur, at the
time of the periodic recertification of eligibility under section 256J.32, subdivision 6, or within
eight calendar days of a reporting period as in subdivision 5 or 6, whichever occurs first. A
caregiver must report other changes at the time of the periodic recertification of eligibility under
section 256J.32, subdivision 6, or at the end of a reporting period under subdivision 5 or 6, as
applicable. A caregiver must make these reports in writing to the county agency. When a county
agency could have reduced or terminated assistance for one or more payment months if a delay in
reporting a change specified under clauses (1) to (15) had not occurred, the county agency must
determine whether a timely notice under section 256J.31, subdivision 4, could have been issued
on the day that the change occurred. When a timely notice could have been issued, each month's
overpayment subsequent to that notice must be considered a client error overpayment under
section 256J.38. Calculation of overpayments for late reporting under clause (16) is specified
in section 256J.09, subdivision 9. Changes in circumstances which must be reported within ten
days must also be reported on the MFIP household report form for the reporting period in which
those changes occurred. Within ten days, a caregiver must report:
(1) a change in initial employment;
(2) a change in initial receipt of unearned income;
(3) a recurring change in unearned income;
(4) a nonrecurring change of unearned income that exceeds $30;
(5) the receipt of a lump sum;
(6) an increase in assets that may cause the assistance unit to exceed asset limits;
(7) a change in the physical or mental status of an incapacitated member of the assistance
unit if the physical or mental status is the basis of exemption from an MFIP employment services
program under section 256J.56, or as the basis for reducing the hourly participation requirements
under section 256J.55, subdivision 1, or the type of activities included in an employment plan
under section 256J.521, subdivision 2;
(8) a change in employment status;
(9) information affecting an exception under section 256J.24, subdivision 9;
(10) the marriage or divorce of an assistance unit member;
(11) the death of a parent, minor child, or financially responsible person;
(12) a change in address or living quarters of the assistance unit;
(13) the sale, purchase, or other transfer of property;
(14) a change in school attendance of a caregiver under age 20 or an employed child;
(15) filing a lawsuit, a workers' compensation claim, or a monetary claim against a third
party; and
(16) a change in household composition, including births, returns to and departures from
the home of assistance unit members and financially responsible persons, or a change in the
custody of a minor child.
    Subd. 10.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 11. Requirement to assign support and maintenance rights. An assistance unit
is ineligible for MFIP unless the caregiver assigns all rights to child support and spousal
maintenance benefits according to section 256.741.
    Subd. 12. Requirement to provide Social Security numbers. Each member of the
assistance unit must provide the member's Social Security number to the county agency, except
for members in the assistance unit who are qualified noncitizens who are victims of domestic
violence as defined under section 256J.08, subdivision 73, clause (7). When a Social Security
number is not provided to the county agency for verification, this requirement is satisfied when
each member of the assistance unit cooperates with the procedures for verification of numbers,
issuance of duplicate cards, and issuance of new numbers which have been established jointly
between the Social Security Administration and the commissioner.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 18; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 59,60; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 30-33; 1Sp2001 c
9 art 10 s 66; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 40
256J.31 APPLICANT AND PARTICIPANT RIGHTS; COUNTY AGENCY DUTY.
    Subdivision 1. Right to information. An applicant or participant has the right to obtain
from the county agency information about the benefits, requirements, restrictions, and appeal
provisions of public assistance programs.
    Subd. 2. Right to authorized representative. An applicant or participant has the right
to designate an authorized representative to act on the applicant's or participant's behalf. An
applicant or participant has the right to be assisted or represented by an authorized representative
in eligibility determinations, recertification, conciliation conferences, the fair hearing process, and
any other contacts with the county agency or the department. When a county agency determines
that it is necessary for a person to assist an applicant or participant, the county agency must
designate a staff member to assist the applicant or participant. Upon a request from an applicant
or participant, a county agency must provide addresses and telephone numbers of organizations
that provide legal services at low cost or no cost to low-income persons.
    Subd. 3. Right of applicant to notice. A county agency must notify an applicant of the
disposition of the applicant's application. The notice must be in writing and on forms prescribed
by the commissioner. The county agency must mail the notice to the last known mailing address
provided by the applicant. When an application is denied, the county agency must notify the
applicant in writing of the reasons for the denial, of the right to appeal, and of the right to reapply
for assistance.
    Subd. 4. Participant's right to notice. A county agency must give a participant written
notice of all adverse actions affecting the participant including payment reductions, suspensions,
terminations, and use of protective, vendor, or two-party payments. The notice of adverse action
must be on a form prescribed or approved by the commissioner, must be understandable at a
seventh grade reading level, and must be mailed to the last known mailing address provided by the
participant. A notice written in English must include the Department of Human Services language
block and must be sent to every applicable participant. The county agency must state on the notice
of adverse action the action it intends to take, the reasons for the action, the participant's right
to appeal the action, the conditions under which assistance can be continued pending an appeal
decision, and the related consequences of the action.
    Subd. 5. Mailing of notice. The notice of adverse action shall be issued according to
paragraphs (a) to (d).
(a) A notice of adverse action must be mailed at least ten days before the effective date of
the adverse action, except as provided in paragraphs (b) to (d).
(b) A notice of adverse action must be mailed no later than four working days before the
end of the month when the county agency:
(1) is informed of the death of the only caregiver or payee in an assistance unit;
(2) receives a signed statement from the caregiver that assistance is no longer wanted;
(3) has factual information to reduce, suspend, or terminate assistance based on the failure
to timely report changes;
(4) verifies that a member of the assistance unit has entered a regional treatment center or a
licensed residential facility for medical or psychological treatment or rehabilitation;
(5) verifies that a member of an assistance unit has been removed from the home as a
result of a judicial determination or placed in foster care, and the provisions of section 256J.13,
subdivision 2
, paragraph (c), clause (2), do not apply; or
(6) cannot locate a caregiver.
(c) A notice of adverse action must be mailed for a payment month when the caregiver
makes a written request for closure before the first of that payment month.
(d) A notice of adverse action must be mailed before the effective date of the adverse
action when the county agency receives the caregiver's signed and completed MFIP household
report form or recertification form that includes information that requires payment reduction,
suspension, or termination.
    Subd. 6. Appeal rights. An applicant, participant, or former participant has the right to
request a fair hearing when aggrieved by an action or inaction of a county agency. A request for a
fair hearing and rights pending a fair hearing are set as specified in section 256J.40.
    Subd. 7. Case records available. A county agency must make financial case records
available to the participant or former participant as soon as possible but no later than the fifth
business day following the date of the request. When the participant or former participant asks
for photocopies of material from the financial case record, the county agency must provide one
copy of each page at no cost.
    Subd. 8. Right to manage affairs. Except for protective payment provisions authorized
under section 256J.39, participants have the right to manage their own affairs.
    Subd. 9. Right to protection. Minor caregivers have the right to protection. The county
agency must refer a minor caregiver to the social service unit within 30 days of the date the
application is approved. The social service unit must assist the caregiver who is less than 18 years
of age to develop a plan as specified in section 256J.54.
    Subd. 10. Protection from garnishment. MFIP grants or earnings of a caregiver shall be
protected from garnishment. This protection for earnings shall extend for a period of six months
from the date of termination from MFIP.
    Subd. 11. Responsibility to retain case records. The county agency must retain financial
case records and employment and training service records for MFIP cases according to chapter 13.
    Subd. 12. Right to discontinue cash assistance. A participant who is not in vendor payment
status may discontinue receipt of the cash assistance portion of the MFIP assistance grant and
retain eligibility for child care assistance under section 119B.05. For the months a participant
chooses to discontinue the receipt of the cash portion of the MFIP grant, the assistance unit
accrues months of eligibility to be applied toward eligibility for child care under section 119B.05.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 19; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 61-63; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 34,35; 1Sp2001 c
9 art 2 s 57; art 10 s 18,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113
256J.315 COUNTY AND TRIBAL COOPERATION.
The county agency must cooperate with tribal governments in the implementation of MFIP
to ensure that the program meets the special needs of persons living on Indian reservations. This
cooperation must include, but is not limited to, the sharing of MFIP duties including initial
screening, orientation, assessments, and provision of employment and training services. The
county agency shall encourage tribal governments to assume duties related to MFIP and shall
work cooperatively with tribes that have assumed responsibility for a portion of the MFIP
program to expand tribal responsibilities, if that expansion is requested by the tribe.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 20; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.32 DOCUMENTING, VERIFYING, AND RECERTIFYING ELIGIBILITY.
    Subdivision 1. Verification of information. A county agency must only require verification
of information necessary to determine MFIP eligibility and the amount of the assistance payment.
    Subd. 2. Documentation. The applicant or participant must document the information
required under subdivisions 4 to 6 or authorize the county agency to verify the information. The
applicant or participant has the burden of providing documentary evidence to verify eligibility.
The county agency shall assist the applicant or participant in obtaining required documents when
the applicant or participant is unable to do so. The county agency may accept a signed personal
statement from the applicant or participant only for factors specified under subdivision 8.
    Subd. 3. Contacting third parties. A county agency must not request information about an
applicant or participant that is not of public record from a source other than county agencies, the
department, or the United States Department of Health and Human Services without the person's
prior written consent. An applicant's signature on an application form constitutes consent for
contact with the sources specified on the application. A county agency may use a single consent
form to contact a group of similar sources, such as banks or insurance agencies, but the sources to
be contacted must be identified by the county agency prior to requesting an applicant's consent.
    Subd. 4. Factors to be verified. The county agency shall verify the following at application:
(1) identity of adults;
(2) presence of the minor child in the home, if questionable;
(3) relationship of a minor child to caregivers in the assistance unit;
(4) age, if necessary to determine MFIP eligibility;
(5) immigration status;
(6) Social Security number according to the requirements of section 256J.30, subdivision 12;
(7) income;
(8) self-employment expenses used as a deduction;
(9) source and purpose of deposits and withdrawals from business accounts;
(10) spousal support and child support payments made to persons outside the household;
(11) real property;
(12) vehicles;
(13) checking and savings accounts;
(14) savings certificates, savings bonds, stocks, and individual retirement accounts;
(15) pregnancy, if related to eligibility;
(16) inconsistent information, if related to eligibility;
(17) burial accounts;
(18) school attendance, if related to eligibility;
(19) residence;
(20) a claim of family violence if used as a basis to qualify for the family violence waiver;
(21) disability if used as the basis for an exemption from employment and training services
requirements under section 256J.56 or as the basis for reducing the hourly participation
requirements under section 256J.55, subdivision 1, or the type of activity included in an
employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 2; and
(22) information needed to establish an exception under section 256J.24, subdivision 9.
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1998 c 407 art 6 s 118]
    Subd. 5a. Inconsistent information. When the county agency verifies inconsistent
information under subdivision 4, clause (16), or 6, clause (5), the reason for verifying the
information must be documented in the financial case record.
    Subd. 6. Recertification. The county agency shall recertify eligibility in an annual
face-to-face interview with the participant and verify the following:
    (1) presence of the minor child in the home, if questionable;
    (2) income, unless excluded, including self-employment expenses used as a deduction or
deposits or withdrawals from business accounts;
    (3) assets when the value is within $200 of the asset limit;
    (4) information to establish an exception under section 256J.24, subdivision 9, if
questionable;
    (5) inconsistent information, if related to eligibility; and
    (6) whether a single caregiver household meets requirements in section 256J.575,
subdivision 3.
    Subd. 7. Notice to undocumented persons; release of private data. County agencies in
consultation with the commissioner of human services shall provide notification to undocumented
persons regarding the release of personal data to the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services and develop protocol regarding the release or sharing of data about undocumented
persons with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as required under sections
404, 434, and 411A of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
1996.
    Subd. 7a. Requirement to report to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The commissioner shall comply with the reporting requirements under United States Code, title
42, section 611a, and any federal regulation or guidance adopted under that law.
    Subd. 8. Personal statement. The county agency may accept a signed personal statement
from the applicant or participant explaining the reasons that the documentation requested in
subdivision 2 is unavailable as sufficient documentation at the time of application, recertification,
or change related to eligibility only for the following factors:
(1) a claim of family violence if used as a basis to qualify for the family violence waiver;
(2) information needed to establish an exception under section 256J.24, subdivision 9;
(3) relationship of a minor child to caregivers in the assistance unit;
(4) citizenship status from a noncitizen who reports to be, or is identified as, a victim of
severe forms of trafficking in persons, if the noncitizen reports that the noncitizen's immigration
documents are being held by an individual or group of individuals against the noncitizen's
will. The noncitizen must follow up with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to pursue
certification. If verification that certification is being pursued is not received within 30 days, the
MFIP case must be closed and the agency shall pursue overpayments. The ORR documents
certifying the noncitizen's status as a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons, or the reason
for the delay in processing, must be received within 90 days, or the MFIP case must be closed and
the agency shall pursue overpayments; and
(5) other documentation unavailable for reasons beyond the control of the applicant or
participant. Reasonable attempts must have been made to obtain the documents requested under
subdivision 2.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 21; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 64-66; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 36,37; 2000 c
488 art 10 s 9; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 19,20,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 41-44;
2004 c 288 art 4 s 35,36; 2007 c 13 art 1 s 25; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 29
256J.33 PROSPECTIVE AND RETROSPECTIVE MFIP ELIGIBILITY.
    Subdivision 1. Determination of eligibility. A county agency must determine MFIP
eligibility prospectively for a payment month based on retrospectively assessing income and the
county agency's best estimate of the circumstances that will exist in the payment month.
Except as described in section 256J.34, subdivision 1, when prospective eligibility exists, a
county agency must calculate the amount of the assistance payment using retrospective budgeting.
To determine MFIP eligibility and the assistance payment amount, a county agency must apply
countable income, described in section 256J.37, subdivisions 3 to 10, received by members of an
assistance unit or by other persons whose income is counted for the assistance unit, described
under sections 256J.21 and 256J.37, subdivisions 1 to 2.
This income must be applied to the MFIP standard of need or family wage level subject to this
section and sections 256J.34 to 256J.36. Income received in a calendar month and not otherwise
excluded under section 256J.21, subdivision 2, must be applied to the needs of an assistance unit.
    Subd. 2. Prospective eligibility. A county agency must determine whether the eligibility
requirements that pertain to an assistance unit, including those in sections 256J.11 to 256J.15 and
256J.20, will be met prospectively for the payment month. Except for the provisions in section
256J.34, subdivision 1, the income test will be applied retrospectively.
    Subd. 3. Retrospective eligibility. After the first two months of MFIP eligibility, a county
agency must continue to determine whether an assistance unit is prospectively eligible for the
payment month by looking at all factors other than income and then determine whether the
assistance unit is retrospectively income eligible by applying the monthly income test to the
income from the budget month. When the monthly income test is not satisfied, the assistance
payment must be suspended when ineligibility exists for one month or ended when ineligibility
exists for more than one month.
    Subd. 4. Monthly income test. A county agency must apply the monthly income test
retrospectively for each month of MFIP eligibility. An assistance unit is not eligible when the
countable income equals or exceeds the MFIP standard of need or the family wage level for the
assistance unit. The income applied against the monthly income test must include:
(1) gross earned income from employment, prior to mandatory payroll deductions, voluntary
payroll deductions, wage authorizations, and after the disregards in section 256J.21, subdivision
4
, and the allocations in section 256J.36, unless the employment income is specifically excluded
under section 256J.21, subdivision 2;
(2) gross earned income from self-employment less deductions for self-employment
expenses in section 256J.37, subdivision 5, but prior to any reductions for personal or business
state and federal income taxes, personal FICA, personal health and life insurance, and after the
disregards in section 256J.21, subdivision 4, and the allocations in section 256J.36;
(3) unearned income after deductions for allowable expenses in section 256J.37, subdivision
9
, and allocations in section 256J.36, unless the income has been specifically excluded in section
256J.21, subdivision 2;
(4) gross earned income from employment as determined under clause (1) which is received
by a member of an assistance unit who is a minor child or minor caregiver and less than a
half-time student;
(5) child support and spousal support received by an assistance unit;
(6) the income of a parent when that parent is not included in the assistance unit;
(7) the income of an eligible relative and spouse who seek to be included in the assistance
unit; and
(8) the unearned income of a minor child included in the assistance unit.
    Subd. 5. When to terminate assistance. When an assistance unit is ineligible for MFIP
assistance for two consecutive months, the county agency must terminate MFIP assistance.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 22; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 67,68; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 38; 2000 c
488 art 10 s 10
256J.34 CALCULATING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS.
    Subdivision 1. Prospective budgeting. A county agency must use prospective budgeting
to calculate the assistance payment amount for the first two months for an applicant who has
not received assistance in this state for at least one payment month preceding the first month
of payment under a current application. Notwithstanding subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause
(2), a county agency must use prospective budgeting for the first two months for a person who
applies to be added to an assistance unit. Prospective budgeting is not subject to overpayments or
underpayments unless fraud is determined under section 256.98.
(a) The county agency must apply the income received or anticipated in the first month of
MFIP eligibility against the need of the first month. The county agency must apply the income
received or anticipated in the second month against the need of the second month.
(b) When the assistance payment for any part of the first two months is based on anticipated
income, the county agency must base the initial assistance payment amount on the information
available at the time the initial assistance payment is made.
(c) The county agency must determine the assistance payment amount for the first two months
of MFIP eligibility by budgeting both recurring and nonrecurring income for those two months.
    Subd. 2. Retrospective budgeting. The county agency must use retrospective budgeting
to calculate the monthly assistance payment amount after the payment for the first two months
has been made under subdivision 1.
    Subd. 3. Additional uses of retrospective budgeting. Notwithstanding subdivision 1, the
county agency must use retrospective budgeting to calculate the monthly assistance payment
amount for the first two months under paragraphs (a) and (b).
(a) The county agency must use retrospective budgeting to determine the amount of the
assistance payment in the first two months of MFIP eligibility:
(1) when an assistance unit applies for assistance for the same month for which assistance
has been interrupted, the interruption in eligibility is less than one payment month, the assistance
payment for the preceding month was issued in this state, and the assistance payment for the
immediately preceding month was determined retrospectively; or
(2) when a person applies in order to be added to an assistance unit, that assistance unit has
received assistance in this state for at least the two preceding months, and that person has been
living with and has been financially responsible for one or more members of that assistance unit
for at least the two preceding months.
(b) Except as provided in clauses (1) to (4), the county agency must use retrospective
budgeting and apply income received in the budget month by an assistance unit and by a
financially responsible household member who is not included in the assistance unit against the
MFIP standard of need or family wage level to determine the assistance payment to be issued for
the payment month.
(1) When a source of income ends prior to the third payment month, that income is not
considered in calculating the assistance payment for that month. When a source of income ends
prior to the fourth payment month, that income is not considered when determining the assistance
payment for that month.
(2) When a member of an assistance unit or a financially responsible household member
leaves the household of the assistance unit, the income of that departed household member is not
budgeted retrospectively for any full payment month in which that household member does not
live with that household and is not included in the assistance unit.
(3) When an individual is removed from an assistance unit because the individual is no
longer a minor child, the income of that individual is not budgeted retrospectively for payment
months in which that individual is not a member of the assistance unit, except that income of an
ineligible child in the household must continue to be budgeted retrospectively against the child's
needs when the parent or parents of that child request allocation of their income against any
unmet needs of that ineligible child.
(4) When a person ceases to have financial responsibility for one or more members of an
assistance unit, the income of that person is not budgeted retrospectively for the payment months
which follow the month in which financial responsibility ends.
    Subd. 4. Significant change in gross income. The county agency must recalculate the
assistance payment when an assistance unit experiences a significant change, as defined in section
256J.08, resulting in a reduction in the gross income received in the payment month from the
gross income received in the budget month. The county agency must issue a supplemental
assistance payment based on the county agency's best estimate of the assistance unit's income
and circumstances for the payment month. Supplemental assistance payments that result from
significant changes are limited to two in a 12-month period regardless of the reason for the
change. Notwithstanding any other statute or rule of law, supplementary assistance payments shall
not be made when the significant change in income is the result of receipt of a lump sum, receipt
of an extra paycheck, business fluctuation in self-employment income, or an assistance unit
member's participation in a strike or other labor action.
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1998 c 407 art 6 s 118]
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 23; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 39-41; 2000 c 488 art 10 s 11,12
256J.35 AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE PAYMENT.
Except as provided in paragraphs (a) to (c), the amount of an assistance payment is equal
to the difference between the MFIP standard of need or the Minnesota family wage level in
section 256J.24 and countable income.
(a) When MFIP eligibility exists for the month of application, the amount of the assistance
payment for the month of application must be prorated from the date of application or the date
all other eligibility factors are met for that applicant, whichever is later. This provision applies
when an applicant loses at least one day of MFIP eligibility.
(b) MFIP overpayments to an assistance unit must be recouped according to section 256J.38,
subdivision 4
.
(c) An initial assistance payment must not be made to an applicant who is not eligible on
the date payment is made.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 24; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 69; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 42
256J.36 ALLOCATION FOR UNMET NEED OF OTHER HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS.
Except as prohibited in paragraphs (a) and (b), an allocation of income is allowed from
the caregiver's income to meet the unmet need of an ineligible spouse or an ineligible child
under the age of 21 for whom the caregiver is financially responsible who also lives with the
caregiver. That allocation is allowed in an amount up to the difference between the MFIP standard
of need for the assistance unit when that ineligible person is included in the assistance unit and
the MFIP standard of need for the assistance unit when the ineligible person is not included in
the assistance unit. These allocations must be deducted from the caregiver's counted earnings
and from unearned income subject to paragraphs (a) and (b).
(a) Income of a minor child in the assistance unit must not be allocated to meet the need
of an ineligible person, including the child's parent, even when that parent is the payee of the
child's income.
(b) Income of a caregiver must not be allocated to meet the needs of a disqualified person.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 25; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 70; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 43
256J.37 TREATMENT OF INCOME AND LUMP SUMS.
    Subdivision 1. Deemed income from ineligible household members. Unless otherwise
provided under subdivision 1a or 1b, the income of ineligible household members must be
deemed after allowing the following disregards:
(1) the first 18 percent of the ineligible family member's gross earned income;
(2) amounts the ineligible person actually paid to individuals not living in the same
household but whom the ineligible person claims or could claim as dependents for determining
federal personal income tax liability;
(3) all payments made by the ineligible person according to a court order for spousal support
or the support of children not living in the assistance unit's household, provided that, if there has
been a change in the financial circumstances of the ineligible person since the support order was
entered, the ineligible person has petitioned for a modification of the support order; and
(4) an amount for the needs of the ineligible person and other persons who live in the
household but are not included in the assistance unit and are or could be claimed by an ineligible
person as dependents for determining federal personal income tax liability. This amount is equal
to the difference between the MFIP standard of need when the ineligible person is included in
the assistance unit and the MFIP standard of need when the ineligible person is not included
in the assistance unit.
    Subd. 1a. Deemed income from disqualified members. The income of disqualified
members must be deemed after allowing the following disregards:
(1) the first 18 percent of the disqualified member's gross earned income;
(2) amounts the disqualified member actually paid to individuals not living in the same
household but whom the disqualified member claims or could claim as dependents for determining
federal personal income tax liability;
(3) all payments made by the disqualified member according to a court order for spousal
support or the support of children not living in the assistance unit's household, provided that,
if there has been a change in the financial circumstances of the disqualified member's legal
obligation to pay support since the support order was entered, the disqualified member has
petitioned for a modification of the support order; and
(4) an amount for the needs of other persons who live in the household but are not included
in the assistance unit and are or could be claimed by the disqualified member as dependents for
determining federal personal income tax liability. This amount is equal to the difference between
the MFIP standard of need when the ineligible person is included in the assistance unit and the
MFIP standard of need when the ineligible person is not included in the assistance unit. An
amount shall not be allowed for the needs of a disqualified member.
    Subd. 1b. Deemed income from parents of minor caregivers. In households where minor
caregivers live with a parent or parents who do not receive MFIP, the income of the parents must
be deemed after allowing the following disregards:
(1) income of the parents equal to 200 percent of the federal poverty guideline for a family
size not including the minor parent and the minor parent's child in the household according to
section 256J.21, subdivision 2, clause (43);
(2) 18 percent of the parents' gross earned income;
(3) amounts the parents actually paid to individuals not living in the same household but
whom the parents claim or could claim as dependents for determining federal personal income
tax liability; and
(4) all payments made by parents according to a court order for spousal support or the
support of children not living in the parent's household, provided that, if there has been a change
in the financial circumstances of the parent's legal obligation to pay support since the support
order was entered, the parents have petitioned for a modification of the support order.
    Subd. 2. Deemed income and assets of sponsor of noncitizens. (a) If a noncitizen applies
for or receives MFIP, the county must deem the income and assets of the noncitizen's sponsor
and the sponsor's spouse as provided in this paragraph and paragraph (b) or (c), whichever is
applicable. The deemed income of a sponsor and the sponsor's spouse is considered unearned
income of the noncitizen. The deemed assets of a sponsor and the sponsor's spouse are considered
available assets of the noncitizen.
(b) The income and assets of a sponsor who signed an affidavit of support under title IV,
sections 421, 422, and 423, of Public Law 104-193, the Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, and the income and assets of the sponsor's spouse, must
be deemed to the noncitizen to the extent required by those sections of Public Law 104-193.
(c) The income and assets of a sponsor and the sponsor's spouse to whom the provisions of
paragraph (b) do not apply must be deemed to the noncitizen to the full extent allowed under title
V, section 5505, of Public Law 105-33, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
    Subd. 3. Earned income of wage, salary, and contractual employees. The county agency
must include gross earned income less any disregards in the initial and monthly income test. Gross
earned income received by persons employed on a contractual basis must be prorated over the
period covered by the contract even when payments are received over a lesser period of time.
    Subd. 3a. Rental subsidies; unearned income. (a) Effective July 1, 2003, the county
agency shall count $50 of the value of public and assisted rental subsidies provided through
the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as unearned income to the cash
portion of the MFIP grant. The full amount of the subsidy must be counted as unearned income
when the subsidy is less than $50. The income from this subsidy shall be budgeted according to
section 256J.34.
(b) The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to an MFIP assistance unit which
includes a participant who is:
(1) age 60 or older;
(2) a caregiver who is suffering from an illness, injury, or incapacity that has been certified
by a qualified professional when the illness, injury, or incapacity is expected to continue for more
than 30 days and prevents the person from obtaining or retaining employment; or
(3) a caregiver whose presence in the home is required due to the illness or incapacity
of another member in the assistance unit, a relative in the household, or a foster child in the
household when the illness or incapacity and the need for the participant's presence in the home
has been certified by a qualified professional and is expected to continue for more than 30 days.
(c) The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to an MFIP assistance unit where the
parental caregiver is an SSI recipient.
(d) Prior to implementing this provision, the commissioner must identify the MFIP
participants subject to this provision and provide written notice to these participants at least 30
days before the first grant reduction. The notice must inform the participant of the basis for
the potential grant reduction, the exceptions to the provision, if any, and inform the participant
of the steps necessary to claim an exception. A person who is found not to meet one of the
exceptions to the provision must be notified and informed of the right to a fair hearing under
section 256J.40. The notice must also inform the participant that the participant may be eligible
for a rent reduction resulting from a reduction in the MFIP grant and encourage the participant to
contact the local housing authority.
    Subd. 3b. Treatment of Supplemental Security Income. The county shall reduce the cash
portion of the MFIP grant by up to $125 for an MFIP assistance unit that includes one or more
SSI recipients who reside in the household, and who would otherwise be included in the MFIP
assistance unit under section 256J.24, subdivision 2, but are excluded solely due to the SSI
recipient status under section 256J.24, subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (1). If the SSI recipient
or recipients receive less than $125 of SSI, only the amount received shall be used in calculating
the MFIP cash assistance payment. This provision does not apply to relative caregivers who could
elect to be included in the MFIP assistance unit under section 256J.24, subdivision 4, unless the
caregiver's children or stepchildren are included in the MFIP assistance unit.
    Subd. 4. Self-employment. Self-employed individuals are those who are responsible for
their own work schedule and do not have coverage under an employer's liability insurance or
workers' compensation. Self-employed individuals generally work for themselves rather than an
employer. However, individuals employed in some types of services may be self-employed even
if they have an employer or work out of another's business location. For example, real estate
sales people, individuals who work for commission sales, manufacturer's representatives, and
independent contractors may be self-employed. Self-employed individuals may or may not have
FICA deducted from the check issued to them by an employer or another party.
Self-employed individuals may own a business singularly or in partnership. Individuals
operating more than one self-employment business may use the loss from one business to offset
self-employment income from another business. A loss from a self-employment business may
not offset income earned under subdivision 3.
    Subd. 5. Self-employment earnings. The county agency must determine self-employment
income according to the following:
(a) Subtract allowable business expenses from total gross receipts. Allowable business
expenses include:
(1) interest on mortgages and loans;
(2) employee wages, except for persons who are part of the assistance unit or whose income
is deemed to the participant;
(3) FICA funds paid on employees' wages, payment of employee workers' compensation,
and unemployment benefits;
(4) livestock and veterinary or breeding fees;
(5) raw material;
(6) seed and fertilizer;
(7) maintenance and repairs that are not capital expenditures;
(8) tax return preparation fees;
(9) license fees, professional fees, franchise fees, and professional dues;
(10) tools and supplies that are not capital expenditures;
(11) fuel and transportation expenses other than fuel costs covered by the flat rate
transportation deduction;
(12) advertising costs;
(13) meals eaten when required to be away from the local work site;
(14) property expenses such as rent, insurance, taxes, and utilities;
(15) postage;
(16) purchase cost of inventory at time of sale;
(17) loss from another self-employment business;
(18) attorney fees allowed by the Internal Revenue Service; and
(19) tuition for classes necessary to maintain or improve job skills or required by law to
maintain job status or salary as allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.
(b) The county agency shall not allow a deduction for the following expenses:
(1) purchases of capital assets;
(2) payments on the principals of loans for capital assets;
(3) depreciation;
(4) amortization;
(5) the wholesale costs of items purchased, processed, or manufactured which are unsold
inventory;
(6) transportation costs that exceed the maximum standard mileage rate allowed for use of a
personal car in the Internal Revenue Code;
(7) costs, in any amount, for mileage between an applicant's or participant's home and
place of employment;
(8) salaries and other employment deductions made for members of an assistance unit or
persons who live in the household for whom an employer is legally responsible;
(9) monthly expenses in excess of $71 for each roomer;
(10) monthly expenses in excess of the Thrifty Food Plan amount for one person for each
boarder. For purposes of this clause and clause (11), "Thrifty Food Plan" has the meaning given
it in Code of Federal Regulations;
(11) monthly expenses in excess of the roomer rate plus the Thrifty Food Plan amount for
one person for each roomer-boarder. If there is more than one boarder or roomer-boarder, use the
total number of boarders as the unit size to determine the Thrifty Food Plan amount;
(12) an amount greater than actual expenses or two percent of the estimated market value
on a county tax assessment form, whichever is greater, as a deduction for upkeep and repair
against rental income;
(13) expenses not allowed by the Internal Revenue Code;
(14) expenses in excess of 60 percent of gross receipts for in-home child care unless a
higher amount can be documented; and
(15) expenses that are reimbursed under the child and adult care food program as authorized
under the National School Lunch Act, United States Code, title 42.
    Subd. 6. Self-employment budget period. The self-employment budget period begins in the
month of application or in the first month of self-employment. Gross receipts must be budgeted in
the month received. Expenses must be budgeted against gross receipts in the month the expenses
are paid, except for paragraphs (a) to (c).
(a) The purchase cost of inventory items, including materials which are processed or
manufactured, must be deducted as an expense at the time payment is received for the sale of
the inventory items.
(b) A 12-month rolling average based on clauses (1) to (3) must be used to budget monthly
income.
(1) For a business in operation for at least 12 months, the county agency shall use the
average monthly self-employment income from the most current income tax report for the 12
months before the month of application. The county agency shall determine a new monthly
average by adding in the actual self-employment income and expenses from the previous month
and dropping the first month from the averaging period.
(2) For a business in operation for less than 12 months, the county agency shall compute
the average for the number of months the business has been in operation to determine a monthly
average. When data are available for 12 or more months, average monthly self-employment
income is determined under clause (1).
(3) If the business undergoes a major change, the county agency shall compute a new rolling
average beginning with the first month of the major change. For the purpose of this clause, major
change means a change that affects the nature and scale of the business and is not merely the
result of normal business fluctuations.
(c) For seasonal self-employment, the caregiver may choose whether to use actual income
in the month of receipt and expenses in the month incurred or the rolling average method of
computation. The choice must be made once per year at the time of application or recertification.
For the purpose of this paragraph, seasonal means working six or less months per year.
    Subd. 7. Farm income. Farm income is the difference between gross receipts and operating
expenses. The county agency must not allow a deduction for expenses listed in subdivision
5, paragraph (b). Gross receipts include sales, rents, subsidies, soil conservation payments,
production derived from livestock, and income from home-produced food.
    Subd. 8. Rental income. The county agency must treat income from rental property as
earned or unearned income. Income from rental property is unearned income unless the assistance
unit spends an average of ten hours per week on maintenance or management of the property.
When the owner spends more than ten hours per week on maintenance or repairs, the earnings are
considered self-employment earnings. An amount must be deducted for upkeep and repairs, as
specified in subdivision 5, paragraph (b), clause (12), real estate taxes, insurance, utilities, and
interest on principal payments. When the applicant or participant lives on the rental property,
expenses for upkeep, taxes, insurance, utilities, and interest must be divided by the number
of rooms to determine expense per room and expenses deducted must be deducted only for
the number of rooms rented.
    Subd. 9. Unearned income. (a) The county agency must apply unearned income to the MFIP
standard of need. When determining the amount of unearned income, the county agency must
deduct the costs necessary to secure payments of unearned income. These costs include legal fees,
medical fees, and mandatory deductions such as federal and state income taxes.
(b) The county agency must convert unearned income received on a periodic basis to monthly
amounts by prorating the income over the number of months represented by the frequency of the
payments. The county agency must begin counting the monthly amount in the month the periodic
payment is received and budget it according to the assistance unit's budget cycle.
    Subd. 10. Treatment of lump sums. (a) The county agency must treat lump-sum payments
as earned or unearned income. If the lump-sum payment is included in the category of income
identified in subdivision 9, it must be treated as unearned income. A lump sum is counted as
income in the month received and budgeted either prospectively or retrospectively depending
on the budget cycle at the time of receipt. When an individual receives a lump-sum payment,
that lump sum must be combined with all other earned and unearned income received in the
same budget month, and it must be applied according to paragraphs (a) to (c). A lump sum may
not be carried over into subsequent months. Any funds that remain in the third month after the
month of receipt are counted in the asset limit.
(b) For a lump sum received by an applicant during the first two months, prospective
budgeting is used to determine the payment and the lump sum must be combined with other
earned or unearned income received and budgeted in that prospective month.
(c) For a lump sum received by a participant after the first two months of MFIP eligibility, the
lump sum must be combined with other income received in that budget month, and the combined
amount must be applied retrospectively against the applicable payment month.
(d) When a lump sum, combined with other income under paragraphs (b) and (c), is less than
the MFIP standard of need for the appropriate payment month, the assistance payment must be
reduced according to the amount of the countable income. When the countable income is greater
than the MFIP standard or family wage level, the assistance payment must be suspended for
the payment month.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 26; 1997 c 203 art 12 s 11; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 71-75; 1999 c 107 s
66; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 44-48; 2000 c 343 s 4; 2000 c 488 art 10 s 13; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 21,66;
2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 45-47; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 37; 1Sp2005 c 4 art 3 s 14
256J.38 CORRECTION OF OVERPAYMENTS AND UNDERPAYMENTS.
    Subdivision 1. Scope of overpayment. When a participant or former participant receives an
overpayment due to agency, client, or ATM error, or due to assistance received while an appeal is
pending and the participant or former participant is determined ineligible for assistance or for
less assistance than was received, the county agency must recoup or recover the overpayment
using the following methods:
(1) reconstruct each affected budget month and corresponding payment month;
(2) use the policies and procedures that were in effect for the payment month; and
(3) do not allow employment disregards in section 256J.21, subdivision 3 or 4, in the
calculation of the overpayment when the unit has not reported within two calendar months
following the end of the month in which the income was received.
    Subd. 2. Notice of overpayment. When a county agency discovers that a participant or
former participant has received an overpayment for one or more months, the county agency must
notify the participant or former participant of the overpayment in writing. A notice of overpayment
must specify the reason for the overpayment, the authority for citing the overpayment, the time
period in which the overpayment occurred, the amount of the overpayment, and the participant's
or former participant's right to appeal. No limit applies to the period in which the county agency is
required to recoup or recover an overpayment according to subdivisions 3 and 4.
    Subd. 3. Recovering overpayments. A county agency must initiate efforts to recover
overpayments paid to a former participant or caregiver. Caregivers, both parental and nonparental,
and minor caregivers of an assistance unit at the time an overpayment occurs, whether receiving
assistance or not, are jointly and individually liable for repayment of the overpayment. The county
agency must request repayment from the former participants and caregivers. When an agreement
for repayment is not completed within six months of the date of discovery or when there is a
default on an agreement for repayment after six months, the county agency must initiate recovery
consistent with chapter 270A, or section 541.05. When a person has been convicted of fraud
under section 256.98, recovery must be sought regardless of the amount of overpayment. When
an overpayment is less than $35, and is not the result of a fraud conviction under section 256.98,
the county agency must not seek recovery under this subdivision. The county agency must retain
information about all overpayments regardless of the amount. When an adult, adult caregiver, or
minor caregiver reapplies for assistance, the overpayment must be recouped under subdivision 4.
    Subd. 4. Recouping overpayments from participants. A participant may voluntarily repay,
in part or in full, an overpayment even if assistance is reduced under this subdivision, until the
total amount of the overpayment is repaid. When an overpayment occurs due to fraud, the county
agency must recover from the overpaid assistance unit, including child only cases, ten percent of
the applicable standard or the amount of the monthly assistance payment, whichever is less. When
a nonfraud overpayment occurs, the county agency must recover from the overpaid assistance
unit, including child only cases, three percent of the MFIP standard of need or the amount of the
monthly assistance payment, whichever is less.
    Subd. 5. Recovering automatic teller machine errors. For recipients receiving benefits via
electronic benefit transfer, if the overpayment is a result of an ATM dispensing funds in error to
the recipient, the agency may recover the ATM error by immediately withdrawing funds from the
recipient's electronic benefit transfer account, up to the amount of the error.
    Subd. 6. Scope of underpayments. A county agency must issue a corrective payment for
underpayments made to a participant or to a person who would be a participant if an agency
or client error causing the underpayment had not occurred. The county agency must issue the
corrective payment according to subdivision 8.
    Subd. 7. Identifying the underpayment. An underpayment may be identified by a county
agency, by a participant, by a former participant, or by a person who would be a participant except
for agency or client error.
    Subd. 8. Issuing corrective payments. A county agency must correct an underpayment
within seven calendar days after the underpayment has been identified, by adding the corrective
payment amount to the monthly assistance payment of the participant or by issuing a separate
payment to a participant or former participant, or by reducing an existing overpayment
balance. When an underpayment occurs in a payment month and is not identified until the
next payment month or later, the county agency must first subtract the underpayment from
any overpayment balance before issuing the corrective payment. The county agency must not
apply an underpayment in a current payment month against an overpayment balance. When an
underpayment in the current payment month is identified, the corrective payment must be issued
within seven calendar days after the underpayment is identified.
    Subd. 9. Appeals. A participant may appeal an underpayment, an overpayment, and a
reduction in an assistance payment made to recoup the overpayment under subdivision 4. The
participant's appeal of each issue must be timely under section 256.045. When an appeal based on
the notice issued under subdivision 2 is not timely, the fact or the amount of that overpayment
must not be considered as a part of a later appeal, including an appeal of a reduction in an
assistance payment to recoup that overpayment.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 27; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 76; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 49; 1Sp2003 c
14 art 1 s 48,49
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
the month.
(4) The commissioner shall issue replacement checks promptly, but no later than seven
calendar days after the provisions of sections 16A.46; 256.01, subdivision 11; and 471.415 have
been met.
(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 256J.46;
(4) the vendor payment is required under section 256J.26;
(5) protective payments are required for minor parents under section 256J.14; or
(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
calendar days.
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
256J.395 VENDOR PAYMENT OF SHELTER COSTS AND UTILITIES.
    Subdivision 1. Vendor payment. (a) Effective July 1, 1997, when a county is required to
provide assistance to a participant in vendor form for shelter costs and utilities under this chapter,
or chapter 256, 256D, or 256K, the cost of utilities for a given family may be assumed to be:
(1) the average of the actual monthly cost of utilities for that family for the prior 12 months
at the family's current residence, if applicable;
(2) the monthly plan amount, if any, set by the local utilities for that family at the family's
current residence; or
(3) the estimated monthly utility costs for the dwelling in which the family currently resides.
(b) For purposes of this section, "utility" means any of the following: municipal water and
sewer service; electric, gas, or heating fuel service; or wood, if that is the heating source.
(c) In any instance where a vendor payment for rent is directed to a landlord not legally
entitled to the payment, the county social services agency shall immediately institute proceedings
to collect the amount of the vendored rent payment, which shall be considered a debt under
section 270A.03, subdivision 5.
    Subd. 2. Vendor payment notification. (a) When a county agency is required to provide
assistance to a participant in vendor payment form for shelter costs or utilities under subdivision
1, and the participant does not give the agency the information needed to pay the vendor, the
county agency shall notify the participant of the intent to terminate assistance by mail at least ten
days before the effective date of the adverse action.
(b) The notice of action shall include a request for information about:
(1) the amount of the participant's shelter costs or utilities;
(2) the due date of the shelter costs or utilities; and
(3) the name and address of the landlord, contract for deed holder, mortgage company, and
utility vendor.
(c) If the participant fails to provide the requested information by the effective date of the
adverse action, the county must terminate the MFIP grant. If the applicant or participant verifies
they do not have shelter costs or utility obligations, the county shall not terminate assistance if the
assistance unit is otherwise eligible.
    Subd. 3. Discontinuing vendor payments due to dispute with landlord. The county
agency shall discontinue vendor payments for shelter costs imposed under this chapter when the
vendor payment interferes with the participant's right to withhold rent due to a dispute with the
participant's landlord in accordance with federal, state, or local housing laws.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 29; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 78; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.396 SUPPORT FROM PARENTS OF MINOR CAREGIVERS LIVING APART.
    Subdivision 1. General provisions. A minor caregiver and the minor's dependent child
living outside of the home of the adult parent must meet the criteria in section 256J.14, to be
eligible for assistance in the MFIP program. A parent who lives outside the home of a minor
child who is an unemancipated minor caregiver of an assistance unit is financially responsible
for that minor caregiver unless the parent is a recipient of public assistance, SSI, MSA, medical
assistance, general assistance, or general assistance medical care, and a court order does not
otherwise provide a support obligation.
    Subd. 2. Amount of support payment. The amount of support to be paid by a parent, except
a parent specified in subdivision 4, must be determined according to paragraphs (a) to (f).
(a) A minor caregiver must provide information required by the county agency to identify
the whereabouts of the minor caregiver's absent parent or parents.
(b) A county agency must notify an absent parent of the parent's legal responsibility to
support a minor caregiver and shall request that the absent parent provide the following:
(1) the amount of the parent's earned and unearned income for the previous tax year;
(2) the amount of the parent's earned and unearned income for the current month;
(3) the number and names of dependents who are claimed or could be claimed by the parent
on federal income tax forms;
(4) the amount of annual medical bills paid by the parent;
(5) the amount of annual housing costs paid by the parent;
(6) the costs for utilities and repairs to the home which are paid by the parent; and
(7) the amount of annual educational costs for family members paid by the parent.
(c) When a parent of a minor caregiver does not provide the information requested under
paragraph (b), the county agency must refer the matter to the county attorney. Assistance to
the minor caregiver must not be denied, delayed, reduced, or ended because of the lack of
cooperation of the minor caregiver's parent.
(d) When the information requested under paragraph (b) is received by a county agency,
the county agency must compare the parent's income against the scale set forth below using the
conditions and procedures specified in paragraph (e).
Size of Family
Federal Poverty Guideline
1
$ 9,288
2
12,432
3
15,576
4
18,720
5
21,864
For each additional family member add $3,144.
(e) The parent's income is the parent's gross earned income plus unearned income,
determined by the methods in section 256J.21. To determine family size, each person claimed or
who could be claimed by a parent as a dependent on federal income tax forms, exclusive of the
minor caregiver, must be included. A deduction from income must be allowed for the amount
that medical, educational, and housing costs together exceed 30 percent of the parent's income.
When the amount of income, after the allowable deduction, exceeds the annual income level
in paragraph (d), a parent is liable to pay one-third of the excess for the annual support of the
minor caregiver. These payments must be paid monthly to the minor caregiver or to the county
agency on behalf of the minor caregiver.
(f) A county agency must notify the parents of the minor caregiver that they are liable for
the amount of support determined by the county agency as specified in paragraph (e). When the
support payment is received by the minor caregiver, it must be treated as unearned income of the
assistance unit. When the support payment is not received, or a lesser amount is received in any
payment month, the county agency must refer the matter to the county attorney.
    Subd. 3. Reviews. A county agency must review financial responsibility every 12 months
until minor caregivers reach the age of 18 or are otherwise emancipated. When a parent reports
a change in circumstances, the county agency must review the required amount of payment
within ten calendar days.
    Subd. 4. Parents under court order for support. A parent who is required under an
existing court order issued under some other authority in state or federal law to pay child support
for a minor caregiver is subject to the conditions of that order in lieu of the requirements and
contribution levels in subdivision 2.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 30; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.40 FAIR HEARINGS.
Caregivers receiving a notice of intent to sanction or a notice of adverse action that includes
a sanction, reduction in benefits, suspension of benefits, denial of benefits, or termination of
benefits may request a fair hearing. A request for a fair hearing must be submitted in writing to
the county agency or to the commissioner and must be mailed within 30 days after a participant
or former participant receives written notice of the agency's action or within 90 days when a
participant or former participant shows good cause for not submitting the request within 30 days.
A former participant who receives a notice of adverse action due to an overpayment may appeal
the adverse action according to the requirements in this section. Issues that may be appealed are:
(1) the amount of the assistance payment;
(2) a suspension, reduction, denial, or termination of assistance;
(3) the basis for an overpayment, the calculated amount of an overpayment, and the level
of recoupment;
(4) the eligibility for an assistance payment; and
(5) the use of protective or vendor payments under section 256J.39, subdivision 2, clauses
(1) to (3).
Except for benefits issued under section 256J.95, a county agency must not reduce, suspend,
or terminate payment when an aggrieved participant requests a fair hearing prior to the effective
date of the adverse action or within ten days of the mailing of the notice of adverse action,
whichever is later, unless the participant requests in writing not to receive continued assistance
pending a hearing decision. An appeal request cannot extend benefits for the diversionary work
program under section 256J.95 beyond the four-month time limit. Assistance issued pending a
fair hearing is subject to recovery under section 256J.38 when as a result of the fair hearing
decision the participant is determined ineligible for assistance or the amount of the assistance
received. A county agency may increase or reduce an assistance payment while an appeal is
pending when the circumstances of the participant change and are not related to the issue on
appeal. The commissioner's order is binding on a county agency. No additional notice is required
to enforce the commissioner's order.
A county agency shall reimburse appellants for reasonable and necessary expenses of
attendance at the hearing, such as child care and transportation costs and for the transportation
expenses of the appellant's witnesses and representatives to and from the hearing. Reasonable and
necessary expenses do not include legal fees. Fair hearings must be conducted at a reasonable
time and date by an impartial referee employed by the department. The hearing may be conducted
by telephone or at a site that is readily accessible to persons with disabilities.
The appellant may introduce new or additional evidence relevant to the issues on appeal.
Recommendations of the appeals referee and decisions of the commissioner must be based on
evidence in the hearing record and are not limited to a review of the county agency action.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 31; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 50
256J.415 NOTICE OF 12 MONTHS OF TANF ASSISTANCE REMAINING.
(a) The county agency shall mail a notice to each assistance unit when the assistance unit has
12 months of TANF assistance remaining and each month thereafter until the 60-month limit has
expired. The notice must be developed by the commissioner of human services and must contain
information about the 60-month limit, the number of months the participant has remaining, the
hardship extension policy, and any other information that the commissioner deems pertinent to an
assistance unit nearing the 60-month limit.
(b) For applicants who have less than 12 months remaining in the 60-month time limit
because the unit previously received TANF assistance in Minnesota or another state, the county
agency shall notify the applicant of the number of months of TANF remaining when the
application is approved and begin the process required in paragraph (a).
History: 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 23; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 38
256J.42 60-MONTH TIME LIMIT; EXEMPTIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Time limit. (a) Except as otherwise provided for in this section, an assistance
unit in which any adult caregiver has received 60 months of cash assistance funded in whole or in
part by the TANF block grant in this or any other state or United States territory, or from a tribal
TANF program, MFIP, the AFDC program formerly codified in sections 256.72 to 256.87, or
the family general assistance program formerly codified in sections 256D.01 to 256D.23, funded
in whole or in part by state appropriations, is ineligible to receive MFIP. Any cash assistance
funded with TANF dollars in this or any other state or United States territory, or from a tribal
TANF program, or MFIP assistance funded in whole or in part by state appropriations, that
was received by the unit on or after the date TANF was implemented, including any assistance
received in states or United States territories of prior residence, counts toward the 60-month
limitation. Months during which any cash assistance is received by an assistance unit with a
mandatory member who is disqualified for wrongfully obtaining public assistance under section
256.98, subdivision 8, counts toward the time limit for the disqualified member. The 60-month
limit applies to a minor caregiver except under subdivision 5. The 60-month time period does
not need to be consecutive months for this provision to apply.
    (b) The months before July 1998 in which individuals received assistance as part of the
field trials as an MFIP, MFIP-R, or MFIP or MFIP-R comparison group family are not included
in the 60-month time limit.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed by amendment, 1998 c 407 art 6 s 79]
    Subd. 3. Adults living in Indian country. In determining the number of months for which
an adult has received assistance under MFIP, the county agency must disregard any month during
which the adult lived in Indian country if during the month at least 50 percent of the adults
living in Indian country were not employed.
    Subd. 4. Victims of family violence. Any cash assistance received by an assistance unit in
a month when a caregiver complied with a safety plan, an alternative employment plan, or an
employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3, does not count toward the 60-month
limitation on assistance.
    Subd. 5. Exemption for certain families. (a) Any cash assistance received by an assistance
unit does not count toward the 60-month limit on assistance during a month in which the caregiver
is age 60 or older, including months during which the caregiver was exempt under section
256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (1).
(b) From July 1, 1997, until the date MFIP is operative in the caregiver's county of financial
responsibility, any cash assistance received by a caregiver who is complying with Minnesota
Statutes 1996, section 256.73, subdivision 5a, and Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 256.736,
if applicable, does not count toward the 60-month limit on assistance. Thereafter, any cash
assistance received by a minor caregiver who is complying with the requirements of sections
256J.14 and 256J.54, if applicable, does not count towards the 60-month limit on assistance.
(c) Any diversionary assistance or emergency assistance received prior to July 1, 2003, does
not count toward the 60-month limit.
(d) Any cash assistance received by an 18- or 19-year-old caregiver who is complying with
an employment plan that includes an education option under section 256J.54 does not count
toward the 60-month limit.
(e) Payments provided to meet short-term emergency needs under section 256J.626 and
diversionary work program benefits provided under section 256J.95 do not count toward the
60-month time limit.
    Subd. 6. Case review. (a) Within 180 days, but not less than 60 days, before the end of the
participant's 60th month on assistance, the county agency or job counselor must review the
participant's case to determine if the employment plan is still appropriate or if the participant is
exempt under section 256J.56 from the employment and training services component, and attempt
to meet with the participant face-to-face.
(b) During the face-to-face meeting, a county agency or the job counselor must:
(1) inform the participant how many months of counted assistance the participant has
accrued and when the participant is expected to reach the 60th month;
(2) explain the hardship extension criteria under section 256J.425 and what the participant
should do if the participant thinks a hardship extension applies;
(3) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs of
the family; and
(4) inform the participant of the right to appeal the case closure under section 256J.40.
(c) If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, the county agency must send the participant a
notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31, subdivisions 4 and 5.
(d) Before a participant's case is closed under this section, the county must ensure that:
(1) the case has been reviewed by the job counselor's supervisor or the review team
designated by the county to determine if the criteria for a hardship extension, if requested, were
applied appropriately; and
(2) the county agency or the job counselor attempted to meet with the participant face-to-face.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 32; 1997 c 203 art 12 s 12; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 79; 1999 c 159 s
86,87; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 50,51; 2000 c 260 s 88; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 24-27,66; 2002 c 379
art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 51-53; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 30
256J.425 HARDSHIP EXTENSIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Eligibility. (a) To be eligible for a hardship extension, a participant in
an assistance unit subject to the time limit under section 256J.42, subdivision 1, must be in
compliance in the participant's 60th counted month. For purposes of determining eligibility
for a hardship extension, a participant is in compliance in any month that the participant has
not been sanctioned.
(b) If one participant in a two-parent assistance unit is determined to be ineligible for a
hardship extension, the county shall give the assistance unit the option of disqualifying the
ineligible participant from MFIP. In that case, the assistance unit shall be treated as a one-parent
assistance unit and the assistance unit's MFIP grant shall be calculated using the shared household
standard under section 256J.08, subdivision 82a.
(c) Prior to denying an extension, the county must review the sanction status and determine
whether the sanction is appropriate or if good cause exists under section 256J.57. If the sanction
was inappropriately applied or the participant is granted a good cause exception before the end of
month 60, the participant shall be considered for an extension.
    Subd. 1a. Review. If a county grants a hardship extension under this section, a county agency
shall review the case every six or 12 months, whichever is appropriate based on the participant's
circumstances and the extension category. More frequent reviews shall be required if eligibility
for an extension is based on a condition that is subject to change in less than six months.
    Subd. 2. Ill or incapacitated. (a) An assistance unit subject to the time limit in section
256J.42, subdivision 1, is eligible to receive months of assistance under a hardship extension if
the participant who reached the time limit belongs to any of the following groups:
(1) participants who are suffering from an illness, injury, or incapacity which has been
certified by a qualified professional when the illness, injury, or incapacity is expected to continue
for more than 30 days and prevents the person from obtaining or retaining employment. These
participants must follow the treatment recommendations of the qualified professional certifying
the illness, injury, or incapacity;
(2) participants whose presence in the home is required as a caregiver because of the illness,
injury, or incapacity of another member in the assistance unit, a relative in the household, or a
foster child in the household when the illness or incapacity and the need for a person to provide
assistance in the home has been certified by a qualified professional and is expected to continue
for more than 30 days; or
(3) caregivers with a child or an adult in the household who meets the disability or medical
criteria for home care services under section 256B.0651, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), or a home
and community-based waiver services program under chapter 256B, or meets the criteria for
severe emotional disturbance under section 245.4871, subdivision 6, or for serious and persistent
mental illness under section 245.462, subdivision 20, paragraph (c). Caregivers in this category
are presumed to be prevented from obtaining or retaining employment.
(b) An assistance unit receiving assistance under a hardship extension under this subdivision
may continue to receive assistance as long as the participant meets the criteria in paragraph
(a), clause (1), (2), or (3).
    Subd. 3. Hard-to-employ participants. An assistance unit subject to the time limit in
section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is eligible to receive months of assistance under a hardship
extension if the participant who reached the time limit belongs to any of the following groups:
(1) a person who is diagnosed by a licensed physician, psychological practitioner, or other
qualified professional, as developmentally disabled or mentally ill, and that condition prevents the
person from obtaining or retaining unsubsidized employment;
(2) a person who:
(i) has been assessed by a vocational specialist or the county agency to be unemployable
for purposes of this subdivision; or
(ii) has an IQ below 80 who has been assessed by a vocational specialist or a county agency
to be employable, but not at a level that makes the participant eligible for an extension under
subdivision 4. The determination of IQ level must be made by a qualified professional. In the case
of a non-English-speaking person: (A) the determination must be made by a qualified professional
with experience conducting culturally appropriate assessments, whenever possible; (B) the county
may accept reports that identify an IQ range as opposed to a specific score; (C) these reports must
include a statement of confidence in the results;
(3) a person who is determined by a qualified professional to be learning disabled, and the
disability severely limits the person's ability to obtain, perform, or maintain suitable employment.
For purposes of the initial approval of a learning disability extension, the determination must have
been made or confirmed within the previous 12 months. In the case of a non-English-speaking
person: (i) the determination must be made by a qualified professional with experience conducting
culturally appropriate assessments, whenever possible; and (ii) these reports must include a
statement of confidence in the results. If a rehabilitation plan for a participant extended as learning
disabled is developed or approved by the county agency, the plan must be incorporated into the
employment plan. However, a rehabilitation plan does not replace the requirement to develop and
comply with an employment plan under section 256J.521; or
(4) a person who has been granted a family violence waiver, and who is complying with an
employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3.
    Subd. 4. Employed participants. (a) An assistance unit subject to the time limit under
section 256J.42, subdivision 1, is eligible to receive assistance under a hardship extension if the
participant who reached the time limit belongs to:
(1) a one-parent assistance unit in which the participant is participating in work activities for
at least 30 hours per week, of which an average of at least 25 hours per week every month are
spent participating in employment;
(2) a two-parent assistance unit in which the participants are participating in work activities
for at least 55 hours per week, of which an average of at least 45 hours per week every month are
spent participating in employment; or
(3) an assistance unit in which a participant is participating in employment for fewer hours
than those specified in clause (1), and the participant submits verification from a qualified
professional, in a form acceptable to the commissioner, stating that the number of hours the
participant may work is limited due to illness or disability, as long as the participant is participating
in employment for at least the number of hours specified by the qualified professional. The
participant must be following the treatment recommendations of the qualified professional
providing the verification. The commissioner shall develop a form to be completed and signed by
the qualified professional, documenting the diagnosis and any additional information necessary to
document the functional limitations of the participant that limit work hours. If the participant is
part of a two-parent assistance unit, the other parent must be treated as a one-parent assistance
unit for purposes of meeting the work requirements under this subdivision.
(b) For purposes of this section, employment means:
(1) unsubsidized employment under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (1);
(2) subsidized employment under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (2);
(3) on-the-job training under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (2);
(4) an apprenticeship under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (1);
(5) supported work under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (2);
(6) a combination of clauses (1) to (5); or
(7) child care under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (7), if it is in combination with
paid employment.
(c) If a participant is complying with a child protection plan under chapter 260C, the number
of hours required under the child protection plan count toward the number of hours required
under this subdivision.
(d) The county shall provide the opportunity for subsidized employment to participants
needing that type of employment within available appropriations.
(e) To be eligible for a hardship extension for employed participants under this subdivision, a
participant must be in compliance for at least ten out of the 12 months the participant received
MFIP immediately preceding the participant's 61st month on assistance. If ten or fewer months of
eligibility for TANF assistance remain at the time the participant from another state applies for
assistance, the participant must be in compliance every month.
(f) The employment plan developed under section 256J.521, subdivision 2, for participants
under this subdivision must contain at least the minimum number of hours specified in paragraph
(a) for the purpose of meeting the requirements for an extension under this subdivision. The job
counselor and the participant must sign the employment plan to indicate agreement between the
job counselor and the participant on the contents of the plan.
(g) Participants who fail to meet the requirements in paragraph (a), without good cause
under section 256J.57, shall be sanctioned or permanently disqualified under subdivision 6.
Good cause may only be granted for that portion of the month for which the good cause reason
applies. Participants must meet all remaining requirements in the approved employment plan or
be subject to sanction or permanent disqualification.
(h) If the noncompliance with an employment plan is due to the involuntary loss of
employment, the participant is exempt from the hourly employment requirement under this
subdivision for one month. Participants must meet all remaining requirements in the approved
employment plan or be subject to sanction or permanent disqualification. This exemption is
available to each participant two times in a 12-month period.
    Subd. 4a. Hardship extension pending documentation. If the documentation needed to
determine if a participant is eligible for a hardship extension under subdivision 2 or 3 is not
available by the 60th month, the county agency may extend the participant pending receipt of the
documentation if the county believes the participant is likely to qualify for a hardship extension
and the participant is cooperating with efforts to obtain the documentation. If the participant is
found to be not eligible for an extension, the participant may be responsible for an overpayment.
    Subd. 5. Accrual of certain exempt months. (a) Participants who meet the criteria in
clause (1), (2), or (3) and who are not eligible for assistance under a hardship extension under
subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (3), shall be eligible for a hardship extension for a period of
time equal to the number of months that were counted toward the federal 60-month time limit
while the participant was:
(1) a caregiver with a child or an adult in the household who meets the disability or medical
criteria for home care services under section 256B.0651, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), or a home
and community-based waiver services program under chapter 256B, or meets the criteria for
severe emotional disturbance under section 245.4871, subdivision 6, or for serious and persistent
mental illness under section 245.462, subdivision 20, paragraph (c), who was subject to the
requirements in section 256J.561, subdivision 2;
(2) exempt under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (7); or
(3) exempt under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (3), and demonstrates at the time
of the case review required under section 256J.42, subdivision 6, that the participant met the
exemption criteria under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (7), during one or more months
the participant was exempt under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (3). Only months during
which the participant met the criteria under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (7), shall
be considered.
(b) A participant who received TANF assistance that counted towards the federal 60-month
time limit while the participant met the state time limit exemption criteria under section 256J.42,
subdivision 4
or 5, is eligible for assistance under a hardship extension for a period of time equal
to the number of months that were counted toward the federal 60-month time limit while the
participant met the state time limit exemption criteria under section 256J.42, subdivision 4 or 5.
(c) After the accrued months have been exhausted, the county agency must determine if the
assistance unit is eligible for an extension under another extension category in section 256J.425,
subdivision 2
, 3, or 4.
(d) At the time of the case review, a county agency must explain to the participant the
basis for receiving a hardship extension based on the accrual of exempt months. The participant
must provide documentation necessary to enable the county agency to determine whether the
participant is eligible to receive a hardship extension based on the accrual of exempt months or
authorize a county agency to verify the information.
(e) While receiving extended MFIP assistance under this subdivision, a participant is subject
to the MFIP policies that apply to participants during the first 60 months of MFIP, unless the
participant is a member of a two-parent family in which one parent is extended under subdivision
3 or 4. For two-parent families in which one parent is extended under subdivision 3 or 4, the
sanction provisions in subdivision 6 shall apply.
    Subd. 6. Sanctions for extended cases. (a) If one or both participants in an assistance unit
receiving assistance under subdivision 3 or 4 are not in compliance with the employment and
training service requirements in sections 256J.521 to 256J.57, the sanctions under this subdivision
apply. For a first occurrence of noncompliance, an assistance unit must be sanctioned under
section 256J.46, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (1). For a second or third occurrence of
noncompliance, the assistance unit must be sanctioned under section 256J.46, subdivision 1,
paragraph (c), clause (2). For a fourth occurrence of noncompliance, the assistance unit is
disqualified from MFIP. If a participant is determined to be out of compliance, the participant
may claim a good cause exception under section 256J.57, however, the participant may not
claim an exemption under section 256J.56.
(b) If both participants in a two-parent assistance unit are out of compliance at the same time,
it is considered one occurrence of noncompliance.
(c) When a parent in an extended two-parent assistance unit who has not used 60 months of
assistance is out of compliance with the employment and training service requirements in sections
256J.521 to 256J.57, sanctions must be applied as specified in clauses (1) and (2).
(1) If the assistance unit is receiving assistance under subdivision 3 or 4, the assistance unit
is subject to the sanction policy in this subdivision.
(2) If the assistance unit is receiving assistance under subdivision 2, the assistance unit is
subject to the sanction policy in section 256J.46.
(d) If a two-parent assistance unit is extended under subdivision 3 or 4, and a parent who
has not reached the 60-month time limit is out of compliance with the employment and training
services requirements in sections 256J.521 to 256J.57 when the case is extended, the sanction in
the 61st month is considered the first sanction for the purposes of applying the sanctions in this
subdivision, except that the sanction amount shall be 30 percent.
    Subd. 7. Status of disqualified participants. (a) An assistance unit that is disqualified under
subdivision 6, paragraph (a), may be approved for MFIP if the participant complies with MFIP
program requirements and demonstrates compliance for up to one month. No assistance shall
be paid during this period.
(b) An assistance unit that is disqualified under subdivision 6, paragraph (a), and that
reapplies under paragraph (a) is subject to sanction under section 256J.46, subdivision 1,
paragraph (c), clause (1), for a first occurrence of noncompliance. A subsequent occurrence of
noncompliance results in a permanent disqualification.
(c) If one participant in a two-parent assistance unit receiving assistance under a hardship
extension under subdivision 3 or 4 is determined to be out of compliance with the employment
and training services requirements under sections 256J.521 to 256J.57, the county shall give the
assistance unit the option of disqualifying the noncompliant participant from MFIP. In that case,
the assistance unit shall be treated as a one-parent assistance unit for the purposes of meeting the
work requirements under subdivision 4 and the assistance unit's MFIP grant shall be calculated
using the shared household standard under section 256J.08, subdivision 82a. An applicant who is
disqualified from receiving assistance under this paragraph may reapply under paragraph (a). If
a participant is disqualified from MFIP under this subdivision a second time, the participant is
permanently disqualified from MFIP.
(d) Prior to a disqualification under this subdivision, a county agency must review the
participant's case to determine if the employment plan is still appropriate and attempt to meet
with the participant face-to-face. If a face-to-face meeting is not conducted, the county agency
must send the participant a notice of adverse action as provided in section 256J.31. During the
face-to-face meeting, the county agency must:
(1) determine whether the continued noncompliance can be explained and mitigated by
providing a needed preemployment activity, as defined in section 256J.49, subdivision 13,
clause (9);
(2) determine whether the participant qualifies for a good cause exception under section
256J.57;
(3) inform the participant of the family violence waiver criteria and make appropriate
referrals if the waiver is requested;
(4) inform the participant of the participant's sanction status and explain the consequences of
continuing noncompliance;
(5) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs of
the family; and
(6) inform the participant of the right to appeal under section 256J.40.
    Subd. 8. County extension request. A county may make a request to the commissioner of
human services, and the commissioner may grant, an extension for a category of participants that
are not extended under section 256J.425, provided the new category of participants is consistent
with the existing extension policy in which an extension is provided to participants whose MFIP
requirements conflict with other statutory requirements or obligations. By January 15 of each
year, the commissioner must report to the chairs and ranking minority members of the senate and
house committees having jurisdiction over health and human services the extensions that were
granted under this section during the previous calendar year. The legislature must act in order for
the extensions to continue. If the legislature fails to act by the end of the legislative session in
which the extensions were reported, the extensions granted under this section during the previous
calendar year expire on June 30 of that year.
History: 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 28; 2002 c 374 art 10 s 9-12; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003
c 14 art 1 s 54-60; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 39-42; 2005 c 56 s 1
256J.43 [Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
256J.44 [Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
256J.45 ORIENTATION.
    Subdivision 1. County agency to provide orientation. A county agency must provide a
face-to-face orientation to each MFIP caregiver unless the caregiver is:
(1) a single parent, or one parent in a two-parent family, employed at least 35 hours per
week; or
(2) a second parent in a two-parent family who is employed for 20 or more hours per week
provided the first parent is employed at least 35 hours per week.
The county agency must inform caregivers who are not exempt under clause (1) or (2) that
failure to attend the orientation is considered an occurrence of noncompliance with program
requirements, and will result in the imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46. If the client
complies with the orientation requirement prior to the first day of the month in which the grant
reduction is proposed to occur, the orientation sanction shall be lifted.
    Subd. 1a. Pregnant and parenting minors. Pregnant and parenting minors who are
complying with the provisions of section 256J.54 are exempt from the requirement under
subdivision 1, however, the county agency must provide information to the minor as required
under section 256J.14.
    Subd. 2. General information. The MFIP orientation must consist of a presentation that
informs caregivers of:
(1) the necessity to obtain immediate employment;
(2) the work incentives under MFIP, including the availability of the federal earned income
tax credit and the Minnesota working family tax credit;
(3) the requirement to comply with the employment plan and other requirements of the
employment and training services component of MFIP, including a description of the range
of work and training activities that are allowable under MFIP to meet the individual needs
of participants;
(4) the consequences for failing to comply with the employment plan and other program
requirements, and that the county agency may not impose a sanction when failure to comply is
due to the unavailability of child care or other circumstances where the participant has good
cause under subdivision 3;
(5) the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of participants;
(6) the types and locations of child care services available through the county agency;
(7) the availability and the benefits of the early childhood health and developmental
screening under sections 121A.16 to 121A.19; 123B.02, subdivision 16; and 123B.10;
(8) the caregiver's eligibility for transition year child care assistance under section 119B.05;
(9) the availability of all health care programs, including transitional medical assistance;
(10) the caregiver's option to choose an employment and training provider and information
about each provider, including but not limited to, services offered, program components, job
placement rates, job placement wages, and job retention rates;
(11) the caregiver's option to request approval of an education and training plan according to
section 256J.53;
(12) the work study programs available under the higher education system; and
(13) information about the 60-month time limit exemptions under the family violence waiver
and referral information about shelters and programs for victims of family violence.
    Subd. 3. Good cause exemptions for not attending orientation. (a) The county agency
shall not impose the sanction under section 256J.46 if it determines that the participant has good
cause for failing to attend orientation. Good cause exists when:
(1) appropriate child care is not available;
(2) the participant is ill or injured;
(3) a family member is ill and needs care by the participant that prevents the participant
from attending orientation. For a caregiver with a child or adult in the household who meets the
disability or medical criteria for home care services under section 256B.0655, subdivision 1c,
or a home and community-based waiver services program under chapter 256B, or meets the
criteria for severe emotional disturbance under section 245.4871, subdivision 6, or for serious
and persistent mental illness under section 245.462, subdivision 20, paragraph (c), good cause
also exists when an interruption in the provision of those services occurs which prevents the
participant from attending orientation;
(4) the caregiver is unable to secure necessary transportation;
(5) the caregiver is in an emergency situation that prevents orientation attendance;
(6) the orientation conflicts with the caregiver's work, training, or school schedule; or
(7) the caregiver documents other verifiable impediments to orientation attendance beyond
the caregiver's control.
(b) Counties must work with clients to provide child care and transportation necessary to
ensure a caregiver has every opportunity to attend orientation.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 35; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 81-83; 1999 c 86 art
1 s 59; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 53,54; 2000 c 488 art 10 s 14; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 29,30; 2002 c 379
art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 61
256J.46 SANCTIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Participants not complying with program requirements. (a) A participant
who fails without good cause under section 256J.57 to comply with the requirements of this
chapter, and who is not subject to a sanction under subdivision 2, shall be subject to a sanction as
provided in this subdivision. Prior to the imposition of a sanction, a county agency shall provide a
notice of intent to sanction under section 256J.57, subdivision 2, and, when applicable, a notice of
adverse action as provided in section 256J.31.
(b) A sanction under this subdivision becomes effective the month following the month in
which a required notice is given. A sanction must not be imposed when a participant comes into
compliance with the requirements for orientation under section 256J.45 prior to the effective date
of the sanction. A sanction must not be imposed when a participant comes into compliance with
the requirements for employment and training services under sections 256J.515 to 256J.57 ten
days prior to the effective date of the sanction. For purposes of this subdivision, each month that a
participant fails to comply with a requirement of this chapter shall be considered a separate
occurrence of noncompliance. If both participants in a two-parent assistance unit are out of
compliance at the same time, it is considered one occurrence of noncompliance.
(c) Sanctions for noncompliance shall be imposed as follows:
(1) For the first occurrence of noncompliance by a participant in an assistance unit, the
assistance unit's grant shall be reduced by ten percent of the MFIP standard of need for an
assistance unit of the same size with the residual grant paid to the participant. The reduction in the
grant amount must be in effect for a minimum of one month and shall be removed in the month
following the month that the participant returns to compliance.
(2) For a second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth occurrence of noncompliance by a participant in
an assistance unit, the assistance unit's shelter costs shall be vendor paid up to the amount of the
cash portion of the MFIP grant for which the assistance unit is eligible. At county option, the
assistance unit's utilities may also be vendor paid up to the amount of the cash portion of the MFIP
grant remaining after vendor payment of the assistance unit's shelter costs. The residual amount of
the grant after vendor payment, if any, must be reduced by an amount equal to 30 percent of the
MFIP standard of need for an assistance unit of the same size before the residual grant is paid to
the assistance unit. The reduction in the grant amount must be in effect for a minimum of one
month and shall be removed in the month following the month that the participant in a one-parent
assistance unit returns to compliance. In a two-parent assistance unit, the grant reduction must be
in effect for a minimum of one month and shall be removed in the month following the month
both participants return to compliance. The vendor payment of shelter costs and, if applicable,
utilities shall be removed six months after the month in which the participant or participants return
to compliance. If an assistance unit is sanctioned under this clause, the participant's case file must
be reviewed to determine if the employment plan is still appropriate.
(d) For a seventh occurrence of noncompliance by a participant in an assistance unit, or when
the participants in a two-parent assistance unit have a total of seven occurrences of noncompliance,
the county agency shall close the MFIP assistance unit's financial assistance case, both the cash
and food portions, and redetermine the family's continued eligibility for food support payments.
The MFIP case must remain closed for a minimum of one full month. Before the case is closed,
the county agency must review the participant's case to determine if the employment plan is still
appropriate and attempt to meet with the participant face-to-face. The participant may bring an
advocate to the face-to-face meeting. If a face-to-face meeting is not conducted, the county agency
must send the participant a written notice that includes the information required under clause (1).
(1) During the face-to-face meeting, the county agency must:
(i) determine whether the continued noncompliance can be explained and mitigated by
providing a needed preemployment activity, as defined in section 256J.49, subdivision 13,
clause (9);
(ii) determine whether the participant qualifies for a good cause exception under section
256J.57, or if the sanction is for noncooperation with child support requirements, determine if the
participant qualifies for a good cause exemption under section 256.741, subdivision 10;
(iii) determine whether the participant qualifies for an exemption under section 256J.56
or the work activities in the employment plan are appropriate based on the criteria in section
256J.521, subdivision 2 or 3;
(iv) determine whether the participant qualifies for the family violence waiver;
(v) inform the participant of the participant's sanction status and explain the consequences of
continuing noncompliance;
(vi) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs of
the family; and
(vii) inform the participant of the right to appeal under section 256J.40.
(2) If the lack of an identified activity or service can explain the noncompliance, the county
must work with the participant to provide the identified activity.
(3) The grant must be restored to the full amount for which the assistance unit is
eligible retroactively to the first day of the month in which the participant was found to lack
preemployment activities or to qualify for an exemption under section 256J.56, a family violence
waiver, or for a good cause exemption under section 256.741, subdivision 10, or 256J.57.
(e) For the purpose of applying sanctions under this section, only occurrences of
noncompliance that occur after July 1, 2003, shall be considered. If the participant is in 30 percent
sanction in the month this section takes effect, that month counts as the first occurrence for
purposes of applying the sanctions under this section, but the sanction shall remain at 30 percent
for that month.
(f) An assistance unit whose case is closed under paragraph (d) or (g), may reapply for
MFIP and shall be eligible if the participant complies with MFIP program requirements and
demonstrates compliance for up to one month. No assistance shall be paid during this period.
(g) An assistance unit whose case has been closed for noncompliance, that reapplies under
paragraph (f), is subject to sanction under paragraph (c), clause (2), for a first occurrence of
noncompliance. Any subsequent occurrence of noncompliance shall result in case closure under
paragraph (d).
    Subd. 1a.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
    Subd. 2. Sanctions for refusal to cooperate with support requirements. The grant of
an MFIP caregiver who refuses to cooperate, as determined by the child support enforcement
agency, with support requirements under section 256.741, shall be subject to sanction as specified
in this subdivision and subdivision 1. For a first occurrence of noncooperation, the assistance
unit's grant must be reduced by 30 percent of the applicable MFIP standard of need. Subsequent
occurrences of noncooperation shall be subject to sanction under subdivision 1, paragraphs (c),
clause (2), and (d). The residual amount of the grant, if any, must be paid to the caregiver. A
sanction under this subdivision becomes effective the first month following the month in which a
required notice is given. A sanction must not be imposed when a caregiver comes into compliance
with the requirements under section 256.741 prior to the effective date of the sanction. The
sanction shall be removed in the month following the month that the caregiver cooperates with the
support requirements. Each month that an MFIP caregiver fails to comply with the requirements
of section 256.741 must be considered a separate occurrence of noncompliance for the purpose of
applying sanctions under subdivision 1, paragraphs (c), clause (2), and (d).
    Subd. 2a. Dual sanctions. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions 1 and 2, for
a participant subject to a sanction for refusal to comply with child support requirements under
subdivision 2 and subject to a concurrent sanction for refusal to cooperate with other program
requirements under subdivision 1, sanctions shall be imposed in the manner prescribed in this
subdivision.
Any vendor payment of shelter costs or utilities under this subdivision must remain in
effect for six months after the month in which the participant is no longer subject to sanction
under subdivision 1.
(b) If the participant was subject to sanction for:
(i) noncompliance under subdivision 1 before being subject to sanction for noncooperation
under subdivision 2; or
(ii) noncooperation under subdivision 2 before being subject to sanction for noncompliance
under subdivision 1, the participant is considered to have a second occurrence of noncompliance
and shall be sanctioned as provided in subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (2). Each subsequent
occurrence of noncompliance shall be considered one additional occurrence and shall be subject
to the applicable level of sanction under subdivision 1. The requirement that the county conduct a
review as specified in subdivision 1, paragraph (d), remains in effect.
(c) A participant who first becomes subject to sanction under both subdivisions 1 and 2 in the
same month is subject to sanction as follows:
(i) in the first month of noncompliance and noncooperation, the participant's grant must be
reduced by 30 percent of the applicable MFIP standard of need, with any residual amount paid to
the participant;
(ii) in the second and subsequent months of noncompliance and noncooperation, the
participant shall be subject to the applicable level of sanction under subdivision 1.
The requirement that the county conduct a review as specified in subdivision 1, paragraph
(d), remains in effect.
(d) A participant remains subject to sanction under subdivision 2 if the participant:
(i) returns to compliance and is no longer subject to sanction for noncompliance with section
256J.45 or sections 256J.515 to 256J.57; or
(ii) has the sanction for noncompliance with section 256J.45 or sections 256J.515 to 256J.57
removed upon completion of the review under subdivision 1, paragraph (e).
A participant remains subject to the applicable level of sanction under subdivision 1 if the
participant cooperates and is no longer subject to sanction under subdivision 2.
    Subd. 3. Restrictions on sanctions. A participant shall not be sanctioned for failure to meet
the agreed upon hours in a participant's employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision
2
, when the participant fails to meet the agreed upon hours of participation in paid employment
because the participant is not eligible for holiday pay and the participant's place of employment is
closed for a holiday.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 36; 1997 c 245 art 4 s 2; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 84-86; 1999 c 245 art
6 s 55-57; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 31,32; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 62-64,106;
2004 c 288 art 4 s 43; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 31
256J.462 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.47 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.48 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.49 EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES; DEFINITIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Scope. The terms used in sections 256J.50 to 256J.72 have the meanings
given them in this section.
    Subd. 1a.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 3. Employment and training services. "Employment and training services" means
programs, activities and services that are designed to assist participants in obtaining and retaining
employment.
    Subd. 4. Employment and training service provider. "Employment and training service
provider" means:
(1) a public, private, or nonprofit agency with which a county has contracted to provide
employment and training services and which is included in the county's service agreement
submitted under section 256J.626, subdivision 4; or
(2) a county agency, if the county has opted to provide employment and training services
and the county has indicated that fact in the service agreement submitted under section 256J.626,
subdivision 4
.
Notwithstanding section 116L.871, an employment and training services provider meeting
this definition may deliver employment and training services under this chapter.
    Subd. 5. Employment plan. "Employment plan" means a plan developed by the job
counselor and the participant which identifies the participant's most direct path to unsubsidized
employment, lists the specific steps that the caregiver will take on that path, and includes a
timetable for the completion of each step. The plan should also identify any subsequent steps
that support long-term economic stability. For participants who request and qualify for a family
violence waiver, an employment plan must be developed by the job counselor and the participant,
and in consultation with a person trained in domestic violence and follow the employment plan
provisions in section 256J.521, subdivision 3.
    Subd. 6.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 6a. Functional work literacy. "Functional work literacy" means an intensive English
as a second language program that is work focused and offers at least 20 hours of class time
per week.
    Subd. 7.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 8. Job counselor. "Job counselor" means a staff person employed by or under contract
with the employment and training services provider who delivers services as specified in sections
256J.50 to 256J.55.
    Subd. 9. Participant. "Participant" means a recipient of MFIP assistance who participates
or is required to participate in employment and training services under sections 256J.515 to
256J.57 and 256J.95.
    Subd. 10. Provider. "Provider" means an employment and training service provider.
    Subd. 11.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
    Subd. 12. Suitable employment. "Suitable employment" means employment that:
(1) is within the participant's physical and mental abilities;
(2) pays hourly gross wages of not less than the applicable state or federal minimum wage;
(3) meets health and safety standards set by federal, state and county agencies; and
(4) complies with federal, state, and local antidiscrimination laws.
    Subd. 12a. Supported work. "Supported work" means a subsidized or unsubsidized work
experience placement with a public or private sector employer, which may include services such
as individualized supervision and job coaching to support the participant on the job.
    Subd. 13. Work activity. "Work activity" means any activity in a participant's approved
employment plan that leads to employment. For purposes of the MFIP program, this includes
activities that meet the definition of work activity under the participation requirements of TANF.
Work activity includes:
    (1) unsubsidized employment, including work study and paid apprenticeships or internships;
    (2) subsidized private sector or public sector employment, including grant diversion
as specified in section 256J.69, on-the-job training as specified in section 256J.66, the
self-employment investment demonstration program (SEID) as specified in section 256J.65, paid
work experience, and supported work when a wage subsidy is provided;
    (3) unpaid work experience, including community service, volunteer work, the community
work experience program as specified in section 256J.67, unpaid apprenticeships or internships,
and supported work when a wage subsidy is not provided. Unpaid work experience is only an
option if the participant has been unable to obtain or maintain paid employment in the competitive
labor market, and no paid work experience programs are available to the participant. Unless a
participant consents to participating in unpaid work experience, the participant's employment
plan may only include unpaid work experience if including the unpaid work experience in the
plan will meet the following criteria:
    (i) the unpaid work experience will provide the participant specific skills or experience
that cannot be obtained through other work activity options where the participant resides or is
willing to reside; and
    (ii) the skills or experience gained through the unpaid work experience will result in higher
wages for the participant than the participant could earn without the unpaid work experience;
    (4) job search including job readiness assistance, job clubs, job placement, job-related
counseling, and job retention services;
    (5) job readiness education, including English as a second language (ESL) or functional
work literacy classes as limited by the provisions of section 256J.531, subdivision 2, general
educational development (GED) course work, high school completion, and adult basic education
as limited by the provisions of section 256J.531, subdivision 1;
    (6) job skills training directly related to employment, including education and training that
can reasonably be expected to lead to employment, as limited by the provisions of section 256J.53;
    (7) providing child care services to a participant who is working in a community service
program;
    (8) activities included in the employment plan that is developed under section 256J.521,
subdivision 3
; and
    (9) preemployment activities including chemical and mental health assessments, treatment,
and services; learning disabilities services; child protective services; family stabilization services;
or other programs designed to enhance employability.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 39; 1997 c 200 art 6 s 1 1998 c 407 art 6 s 90; 2000 c 488 art 10 s
16; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 35-37,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 65-70; 2004 c
206 s 52; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 44; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 32
256J.50 COUNTY DUTIES.
    Subdivision 1. Employment and training services component of MFIP. (a) Each county
must develop and provide an employment and training services component which is designed
to put participants on the most direct path to unsubsidized employment. Participation in these
services is mandatory for all MFIP caregivers, unless the caregiver is exempt under section
256J.56.
(b) A county must provide employment and training services under sections 256J.515 to
256J.74 within 30 days after the caregiver is determined eligible for MFIP, or within ten days
when the caregiver participated in the diversionary work program under section 256J.95 within
the past 12 months.
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 3a.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 4. Service providing agencies. Unless the provisions of subdivision 8 apply, a county
must select at least two employment and training service providers. A county may opt to provide
services on its own as one of these providers.
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 6. Explanatory materials required. The county must:
(1) explain to applicants and recipients and provide explanatory materials regarding the
relationship between the 60-month time limit on assistance funded with TANF dollars and the
receipt of various benefits, including cash assistance, food stamps or food support, medical
assistance, and child care assistance; and
(2) provide assistance to applicants and recipients to enable them to minimize the use of their
60 allowable months of TANF-funded assistance.
    Subd. 7.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 8. County duty to ensure employment and training choices for participants.
Each county, or group of counties working cooperatively, shall make available to participants
the choice of at least two employment and training service providers as defined under section
256J.49, subdivision 4, except in counties utilizing workforce centers that use multiple
employment and training services, offer multiple services options under a collaborative effort and
can document that participants have choice among employment and training services designed
to meet specialized needs.
    Subd. 9. Exception; financial hardship. Notwithstanding subdivision 8, a county that
explains in the service agreement required under section 256J.626, subdivision 4, that the
provision of alternative employment and training service providers would result in financial
hardship for the county is not required to make available more than one employment and training
provider.
    Subd. 10. Required notification to victims of family violence. (a) County agencies and
their contractors must provide universal notification to all applicants and recipients of MFIP that:
(1) referrals to counseling and supportive services are available for victims of family
violence;
(2) nonpermanent resident battered individuals married to United States citizens or
permanent residents may be eligible to petition for permanent residency under the federal
Violence Against Women Act, and that referrals to appropriate legal services are available;
(3) victims of family violence are exempt from the 60-month limit on assistance if they are
complying with an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3; and
(4) victims of family violence may choose to have regular work requirements waived while
the individual is complying with an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3.
(b) If an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3, is denied, the county or a
job counselor must provide reasons why the plan is not approved and document how the denial of
the plan does not interfere with the safety of the participant or children.
Notification must be in writing and orally at the time of application and recertification, when
the individual is referred to the title IV-D child support agency, and at the beginning of any job
training or work placement assistance program.
    Subd. 11. Coordination. The county agency and the county agency's employment and
training providers must consult and coordinate with other providers of employment and training
services to identify existing resources, in order to prevent duplication of services, to assure that
other programs' services are available to enable participants to achieve self-sufficiency, and to
assure that costs for these other services for which participants are eligible are not incurred by
MFIP. At a minimum, the county agency and its providers must coordinate with Jobs Training
and Partnership Act providers and with any other relevant employment, training, and education
programs in the county.
    Subd. 12. Access to persons trained in domestic violence. In a county where there is
no staff person who is trained in domestic violence, as that term is defined in section 256J.08,
subdivision 67a
, the county must work with the nearest organization that is designated as
providing services to victims of domestic violence to develop a process, which ensures that
domestic violence victims have access to a person trained in domestic violence.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 40; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 91-93; 1999 c 159 s 89; 1999 c 245
art 6 s 61; 2000 c 488 art 10 s 17,18; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 38-41,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113;
1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 71-73,106
256J.51 EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICE PROVIDER APPEAL.
    Subdivision 1. Provider application. An employment and training service provider that is
not included in a county's service agreement under section 256J.626, subdivision 4, because the
county has demonstrated financial hardship under section 256J.50, subdivision 9, may appeal its
exclusion to the commissioner of employment and economic development under this section.
    Subd. 2. Appeal; alternate approval. (a) An employment and training service provider that
is not included by a county agency in the service agreement under section 256J.626, subdivision
4
, and that meets the criteria in paragraph (b), may appeal its exclusion to the commissioner
of employment and economic development, and may request alternative approval by the
commissioner of employment and economic development to provide services in the county.
(b) An employment and training services provider that is requesting alternative approval
must demonstrate to the commissioner that the provider meets the standards specified in section
116L.871, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), except that the provider's past experience may be in
services and programs similar to those specified in section 116L.871, subdivision 1, paragraph (b).
    Subd. 3. Commissioner's review. (a) The commissioner must act on a request for alternative
approval under this section within 30 days of the receipt of the request. If after reviewing
the provider's request, and the county's service agreement submitted under section 256J.626,
subdivision 4
, the commissioner determines that the provider meets the criteria under subdivision
2, paragraph (b), and that approval of the provider would not cause financial hardship to the
county, the county must submit a revised service agreement under subdivision 4 that includes
the approved provider.
(b) If the commissioner determines that the approval of the provider would cause financial
hardship to the county, the commissioner must notify the provider and the county of this
determination. The alternate approval process under this section shall be closed to other requests
for alternate approval to provide employment and training services in the county for up to 12
months from the date that the commissioner makes a determination under this paragraph.
    Subd. 4. Revised service agreement required. The commissioner of employment and
economic development must notify the county agency when the commissioner grants an
alternative approval to an employment and training service provider under subdivision 2. Upon
receipt of the notice, the county agency must submit a revised service agreement under section
256J.626, subdivision 4, that includes the approved provider. The county has 90 days from the
receipt of the commissioner's notice to submit the revised service agreement.
    Subd. 5. Review not required. Notwithstanding subdivision 3, once a county meets the
requirements of section 256J.50, subdivision 8, the commissioner may, but is not required to,
act on a request by an employment and training services provider for alternative approval in
that county.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 41; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 74-77; 2004 c 206 s 52
256J.515 OVERVIEW OF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING SERVICES.
During the first meeting with participants, job counselors must ensure that an overview of
employment and training services is provided that:
(1) stresses the necessity and opportunity of immediate employment;
(2) outlines the job search resources offered;
(3) outlines education or training opportunities available;
(4) describes the range of work activities, including activities under section 256J.49,
subdivision 13
, clause (18), that are allowable under MFIP to meet the individual needs of
participants;
(5) explains the requirements to comply with an employment plan;
(6) explains the consequences for failing to comply;
(7) explains the services that are available to support job search and work and education;
(8) provides referral information about shelters and programs for victims of family violence
and the time limit exemption for family violence victims; and
(9) explains the probationary employment periods new employees may serve after being
hired and any assistance with job retention services that may be available.
Failure to attend the overview of employment and training services without good cause
results in the imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46.
An applicant who requests and qualifies for a family violence waiver is exempt from
attending a group overview. Information usually presented in an overview must be covered during
the development of an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 42; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 94; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 62; 1Sp2001 c 9 art
10 s 42; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 106; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 45; 1Sp2005 c 4
art 3 s 15
256J.52 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.521 ASSESSMENT; EMPLOYMENT PLANS.
    Subdivision 1. Assessments. (a) For purposes of MFIP employment services, assessment
is a continuing process of gathering information related to employability for the purpose of
identifying both participant's strengths and strategies for coping with issues that interfere with
employment. The job counselor must use information from the assessment process to develop
and update the employment plan under subdivision 2 or 3, as appropriate, to determine whether
the participant qualifies for a family violence waiver including an employment plan under
subdivision 3, and to determine whether the participant should be referred to family stabilization
services under section 256J.575.
    (b) The scope of assessment must cover at least the following areas:
    (1) basic information about the participant's ability to obtain and retain employment,
including: a review of the participant's education level; interests, skills, and abilities; prior
employment or work experience; transferable work skills; child care and transportation needs;
    (2) identification of personal and family circumstances that impact the participant's ability to
obtain and retain employment, including: any special needs of the children, the level of English
proficiency, family violence issues, and any involvement with social services or the legal system;
    (3) the results of a mental and chemical health screening tool designed by the commissioner
and results of the brief screening tool for special learning needs. Screening tools for mental
and chemical health and special learning needs must be approved by the commissioner and
may only be administered by job counselors or county staff trained in using such screening
tools. The commissioner shall work with county agencies to develop protocols for referrals and
follow-up actions after screens are administered to participants, including guidance on how
employment plans may be modified based upon outcomes of certain screens. Participants must be
told of the purpose of the screens and how the information will be used to assist the participant in
identifying and overcoming barriers to employment. Screening for mental and chemical health
and special learning needs must be completed by participants who are unable to find suitable
employment after six weeks of job search under subdivision 2, paragraph (b), and participants
who are determined to have barriers to employment under subdivision 2, paragraph (d). Failure to
complete the screens will result in sanction under section 256J.46; and
    (4) a comprehensive review of participation and progress for participants who have
received MFIP assistance and have not worked in unsubsidized employment during the past 12
months. The purpose of the review is to determine the need for additional services and supports,
including placement in subsidized employment or unpaid work experience under section 256J.49,
subdivision 13, or referral to family stabilization services under section 256J.575
.
    (c) Information gathered during a caregiver's participation in the diversionary work program
under section 256J.95 must be incorporated into the assessment process.
    (d) The job counselor may require the participant to complete a professional chemical use
assessment to be performed according to the rules adopted under section 254A.03, subdivision 3,
including provisions in the administrative rules which recognize the cultural background of the
participant, or a professional psychological assessment as a component of the assessment process,
when the job counselor has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that a participant's
ability to obtain and retain suitable employment is impaired by a medical condition. The job
counselor may assist the participant with arranging services, including child care assistance and
transportation, necessary to meet needs identified by the assessment. Data gathered as part of a
professional assessment must be classified and disclosed according to the provisions in section
13.46.
    Subd. 2. Employment plan; contents. (a) Based on the assessment under subdivision 1, the
job counselor and the participant must develop an employment plan that includes participation in
activities and hours that meet the requirements of section 256J.55, subdivision 1. The purpose
of the employment plan is to identify for each participant the most direct path to unsubsidized
employment and any subsequent steps that support long-term economic stability. The employment
plan should be developed using the highest level of activity appropriate for the participant.
Activities must be chosen from clauses (1) to (6), which are listed in order of preference.
Notwithstanding this order of preference for activities, priority must be given for activities related
to a family violence waiver when developing the employment plan. The employment plan
must also list the specific steps the participant will take to obtain employment, including steps
necessary for the participant to progress from one level of activity to another, and a timetable for
completion of each step. Levels of activity include:
    (1) unsubsidized employment;
    (2) job search;
    (3) subsidized employment or unpaid work experience;
    (4) unsubsidized employment and job readiness education or job skills training;
    (5) unsubsidized employment or unpaid work experience and activities related to a family
violence waiver or preemployment needs; and
    (6) activities related to a family violence waiver or preemployment needs.
    (b) Participants who are determined to possess sufficient skills such that the participant is
likely to succeed in obtaining unsubsidized employment must job search at least 30 hours per
week for up to six weeks and accept any offer of suitable employment. The remaining hours
necessary to meet the requirements of section 256J.55, subdivision 1, may be met through
participation in other work activities under section 256J.49, subdivision 13. The participant's
employment plan must specify, at a minimum: (1) whether the job search is supervised or
unsupervised; (2) support services that will be provided; and (3) how frequently the participant
must report to the job counselor. Participants who are unable to find suitable employment after six
weeks must meet with the job counselor to determine whether other activities in paragraph (a)
should be incorporated into the employment plan. Job search activities which are continued after
six weeks must be structured and supervised.
    (c) Beginning July 1, 2004, activities and hourly requirements in the employment plan may
be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the personal and family circumstances of participants
identified under section 256J.561, subdivision 2, paragraph (d). Participants who no longer meet
the provisions of section 256J.561, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), must meet with the job counselor
within ten days of the determination to revise the employment plan.
    (d) Participants who are determined to have barriers to obtaining or retaining employment
that will not be overcome during six weeks of job search under paragraph (b) must work with
the job counselor to develop an employment plan that addresses those barriers by incorporating
appropriate activities from paragraph (a), clauses (1) to (6). The employment plan must include
enough hours to meet the participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, unless a
compelling reason to require fewer hours is noted in the participant's file.
    (e) The job counselor and the participant must sign the employment plan to indicate
agreement on the contents.
    (f) Except as provided under paragraph (g), failure to develop or comply with activities
in the plan, or voluntarily quitting suitable employment without good cause, will result in the
imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46.
    (g) When a participant fails to meet the agreed upon hours of participation in paid
employment because the participant is not eligible for holiday pay and the participant's place of
employment is closed for a holiday, the job counselor shall not impose a sanction or increase
the hours of participation in any other activity, including paid employment, to offset the hours
that were missed due to the holiday.
     (h) Employment plans must be reviewed at least every three months to determine whether
activities and hourly requirements should be revised. The job counselor is encouraged to allow
participants who are participating in at least 20 hours of work activities to also participate in
education and training activities in order to meet the federal hourly participation rates.
    Subd. 3. Employment plan; family violence waiver. (a) A participant who requests and
qualifies for a family violence waiver shall develop or revise the employment plan as specified in
this subdivision with a job counselor or county, and a person trained in domestic violence. The
revised or new employment plan must be approved by the county or the job counselor. The plan
may address safety, legal, or emotional issues, and other demands on the family as a result of
the family violence. Information in section 256J.515, clauses (1) to (8), must be included as
part of the development of the plan.
(b) The primary goal of an employment plan developed under this subdivision is to ensure
the safety of the caregiver and children. To the extent it is consistent with ensuring safety, the
plan shall also include activities that are designed to lead to economic stability. An activity is
inconsistent with ensuring safety if, in the opinion of a person trained in domestic violence, the
activity would endanger the safety of the participant or children. A plan under this subdivision
may not automatically include a provision that requires a participant to obtain an order for
protection or to attend counseling.
(c) If at any time there is a disagreement over whether the activities in the plan are
appropriate or the participant is not complying with activities in the plan under this subdivision,
the participant must receive the assistance of a person trained in domestic violence to help
resolve the disagreement or noncompliance with the county or job counselor. If the person
trained in domestic violence recommends that the activities are still appropriate, the county or a
job counselor must approve the activities in the plan or provide written reasons why activities
in the plan are not approved and document how denial of the activities does not endanger the
safety of the participant or children.
    Subd. 4. Self-employment. (a) Self-employment activities may be included in an
employment plan contingent on the development of a business plan which establishes a timetable
and earning goals that will result in the participant exiting MFIP assistance. Business plans must
be developed with assistance from an individual or organization with expertise in small business
as approved by the job counselor.
(b) Participants with an approved plan that includes self-employment must meet the
participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1. Only hours where the participant
earns at least minimum wage shall be counted toward the requirement. Additional activities and
hours necessary to meet the participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, must be
included in the employment plan.
(c) Employment plans which include self-employment activities must be reviewed every
three months. Participants who fail, without good cause, to make satisfactory progress as
established in the business plan must revise the employment plan to replace the self-employment
with other approved work activities.
(d) The requirements of this subdivision may be waived for participants who are enrolled in
the self-employment investment demonstration program (SEID) under section 256J.65, and who
make satisfactory progress as determined by the job counselor and the SEID provider.
    Subd. 5. Transition from the diversionary work program. Participants who become
eligible for MFIP assistance after completing the diversionary work program under section
256J.95 must comply with all requirements of subdivisions 1 and 2. Participants who become
eligible for MFIP assistance after being determined unable to benefit from the diversionary work
program must comply with the requirements of subdivisions 1 and 2, with the exception of
subdivision 2, paragraph (b).
    Subd. 6. Loss of employment. Participants who are laid off, quit with good cause, or are
terminated from employment through no fault of their own must meet with the job counselor
within ten working days to ascertain the reason for the job loss and to revise the employment plan
as necessary to address the problem.
History: 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 78; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 46,47; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 33,34
256J.53 POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION AS APPROVED WORK ACTIVITY.
    Subdivision 1. Length of program. In order for a postsecondary education or training
program to be an approved work activity as defined in section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (6),
it must be a program lasting 24 months or less, and the participant must meet the requirements
of subdivisions 2, 3, and 5.
    Subd. 2. Approval of postsecondary education or training. (a) In order for a postsecondary
education or training program to be an approved activity in an employment plan, the plan must
include additional work activities if the education and training activities do not meet the minimum
hours required to meet the federal work participation rate under Code of Federal Regulations,
title 45, sections 261.31 and 261.35.
    (b) Participants seeking approval of a postsecondary education or training plan must provide
documentation that:
    (1) the employment goal can only be met with the additional education or training;
    (2) there are suitable employment opportunities that require the specific education or training
in the area in which the participant resides or is willing to reside;
    (3) the education or training will result in significantly higher wages for the participant than
the participant could earn without the education or training;
    (4) the participant can meet the requirements for admission into the program; and
    (5) there is a reasonable expectation that the participant will complete the training program
based on such factors as the participant's MFIP assessment, previous education, training, and
work history; current motivation; and changes in previous circumstances.
    Subd. 3. Satisfactory progress required. In order for a postsecondary education or training
program to be an approved activity in a participant's employment plan, the participant must
maintain satisfactory progress in the program. "Satisfactory progress" in an education or training
program means (1) the participant remains in good standing while the participant is enrolled in
the program, as defined by the education or training institution, or (2) the participant makes
satisfactory progress as the term is defined in the participant's employment plan.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 67]
    Subd. 5. Requirements after postsecondary education or training. Upon completion of
an approved education or training program, a participant who does not meet the participation
requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, through unsubsidized employment must
participate in job search. If, after six weeks of job search, the participant does not find a full-time
job consistent with the employment goal, the participant must accept any offer of full-time
suitable employment, or meet with the job counselor to revise the employment plan to include
additional work activities necessary to meet hourly requirements.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 44; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 45,66; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c
14 art 1 s 79-81; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 48; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 35
256J.531 BASIC EDUCATION; ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.
    Subdivision 1. Approval of adult basic education. With the exception of classes related to
obtaining a general educational development credential (GED), a participant must have reading or
mathematics proficiency below a ninth grade level in order for adult basic education classes to be
an approved work activity. The employment plan must also specify that the participant fulfill no
more than one-half of the participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, through
attending adult basic education or general educational development classes.
    Subd. 2. Approval of English as a second language. In order for English as a second
language (ESL) classes to be an approved work activity in an employment plan, a participant
must be below a spoken language proficiency level of SPL6 or its equivalent, as measured by
a nationally recognized test. In approving ESL as a work activity, the job counselor must give
preference to enrollment in a functional work literacy program, if one is available, over a regular
ESL program. A participant may not be approved for more than a combined total of 24 months
of ESL classes while participating in the diversionary work program and the employment and
training services component of MFIP. The employment plan must also specify that the participant
fulfill no more than one-half of the participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1,
through attending ESL classes. For participants enrolled in functional work literacy classes, no
more than two-thirds of the participation requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1, may be
met through attending functional work literacy classes.
History: 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 82
256J.54 MINOR PARENTS; EMPLOYMENT PLAN.
    Subdivision 1. Assessment of educational progress and needs. (a) The county agency
must document the educational level of each MFIP caregiver who is under the age of 20 and
determine if the caregiver has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent. If the caregiver
has not obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, the county agency must complete an
individual assessment for the caregiver unless the caregiver is exempt from the requirement to
attend school under subdivision 5 or has chosen to have an employment plan under section
256J.521, subdivision 2, as allowed in paragraph (b). The assessment must be performed as soon
as possible but within 30 days of determining MFIP eligibility for the caregiver. The assessment
must provide an initial examination of the caregiver's educational progress and needs, literacy
level, child care and supportive service needs, family circumstances, skills, and work experience.
In the case of a caregiver under the age of 18, the assessment must also consider the results of
either the caregiver's or the caregiver's minor child's child and teen checkup under Minnesota
Rules, parts 9505.0275 and 9505.1693 to 9505.1748, if available, and the effect of a child's
development and educational needs on the caregiver's ability to participate in the program. The
county agency must advise the caregiver that the caregiver's first goal must be to complete an
appropriate education option if one is identified for the caregiver through the assessment and, in
consultation with educational agencies, must review the various school completion options with
the caregiver and assist in selecting the most appropriate option.
(b) The county agency must give a caregiver, who is age 18 or 19 and has not obtained a high
school diploma or its equivalent, the option to choose an employment plan with an education
option under subdivision 3 or an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 2.
    Subd. 2. Responsibility for assessment and employment plan. For caregivers who are
under age 18 without a high school diploma or its equivalent, the assessment under subdivision 1
and the employment plan under subdivision 3 must be completed by the social services agency
under section 257.33. For caregivers who are age 18 or 19 without a high school diploma or its
equivalent who choose to have an employment plan with an education option under subdivision
3, the assessment under subdivision 1 and the employment plan under subdivision 3 must be
completed by the job counselor or, at county option, by the social services agency under section
257.33. Upon reaching age 18 or 19 a caregiver who received social services under section
257.33 and is without a high school diploma or its equivalent has the option to choose whether
to continue receiving services under the caregiver's plan from the social services agency or to
utilize an MFIP employment and training service provider. The social services agency or the job
counselor shall consult with representatives of educational agencies that are required to assist in
developing educational plans under section 124D.331.
    Subd. 3. Education option developed. If the job counselor or county social services agency
identifies an appropriate education option for a minor caregiver without a high school diploma or
its equivalent, or a caregiver age 18 or 19 without a high school diploma or its equivalent who
chooses an employment plan with an education option, the job counselor or agency must develop
an employment plan which reflects the identified option. The plan must specify that participation
in an educational activity is required, what school or educational program is most appropriate, the
services that will be provided, the activities the caregiver will take part in, including child care
and supportive services, the consequences to the caregiver for failing to participate or comply
with the specified requirements, and the right to appeal any adverse action. The employment plan
must, to the extent possible, reflect the preferences of the caregiver.
    Subd. 4. No appropriate educational option. If the job counselor determines that there
is no appropriate educational option for a caregiver who is age 18 or 19 without a high school
diploma or its equivalent, the job counselor must develop an employment plan, as defined in
section 256J.49, subdivision 5, for the caregiver. If the county social services agency determines
that school attendance is not appropriate for a caregiver under age 18 without a high school
diploma or its equivalent, the county agency shall refer the caregiver to social services for
services as provided in section 257.33.
    Subd. 5. School attendance required. (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 256J.56,
minor parents, or 18- or 19-year-old parents without a high school diploma or its equivalent who
chooses an employment plan with an education option must attend school unless:
(1) transportation services needed to enable the caregiver to attend school are not available;
(2) appropriate child care services needed to enable the caregiver to attend school are not
available;
(3) the caregiver is ill or incapacitated seriously enough to prevent attendance at school; or
(4) the caregiver is needed in the home because of the illness or incapacity of another member
of the household. This includes a caregiver of a child who is younger than six weeks of age.
(b) The caregiver must be enrolled in a secondary school and meeting the school's attendance
requirements. The county, social service agency, or job counselor must verify at least once per
quarter that the caregiver is meeting the school's attendance requirements. An enrolled caregiver
is considered to be meeting the attendance requirements when the school is not in regular session,
including during holiday and summer breaks.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 45; 1998 c 397 art 11 s 3; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 98-101; 1999 c 245
art 6 s 68; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 83-86
256J.545 FAMILY VIOLENCE WAIVER CRITERIA.
(a) In order to qualify for a family violence waiver, an individual must provide documentation
of past or current family violence which may prevent the individual from participating in certain
employment activities. A claim of family violence must be documented by the applicant or
participant providing a sworn statement which is supported by collateral documentation.
(b) Collateral documentation may consist of:
(1) police, government agency, or court records;
(2) a statement from a battered women's shelter staff with knowledge of the circumstances or
credible evidence that supports the sworn statement;
(3) a statement from a sexual assault or domestic violence advocate with knowledge of the
circumstances or credible evidence that supports the sworn statement;
(4) a statement from professionals from whom the applicant or recipient has sought
assistance for the abuse; or
(5) a sworn statement from any other individual with knowledge of circumstances or credible
evidence that supports the sworn statement.
History: 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 87
256J.55 PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS, RIGHTS, AND EXPECTATIONS.
    Subdivision 1. Participation requirements. (a) All caregivers must participate in
employment services under sections 256J.515 to 256J.57 concurrent with receipt of MFIP
assistance.
    (b) Until July 1, 2004, participants who meet the requirements of section 256J.56 are exempt
from participation requirements.
    (c) Participants under paragraph (a) must develop and comply with an employment plan
under section 256J.521 or section 256J.54 in the case of a participant under the age of 20 who has
not obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.
    (d) With the exception of participants under the age of 20 who must meet the education
requirements of section 256J.54, all participants must meet the hourly participation requirements
of TANF or the hourly requirements listed in clauses (1) to (3), whichever is higher.
    (1) In single-parent families with no children under six years of age, the job counselor and the
caregiver must develop an employment plan that includes 130 hours per month of work activities.
    (2) In single-parent families with a child under six years of age, the job counselor and the
caregiver must develop an employment plan that includes 87 hours per month of work activities.
    (3) In two-parent families, the job counselor and the caregivers must develop employment
plans which result in a combined total of at least 55 hours per week of work activities.
    (e) Failure to participate in employment services, including the requirement to develop and
comply with an employment plan, including hourly requirements, without good cause under
section 256J.57, shall result in the imposition of a sanction under section 256J.46.
    Subd. 2. Duty to report. The participant must inform the job counselor within ten working
days regarding any changes related to the participant's employment status.
    Subd. 3. Move to a different county. MFIP applicants or recipients who move to a different
county in Minnesota and are required to participate in employment and training services are
subject to the requirements of the destination county. An employment plan that was developed in
the county of origin may be continued in the destination county if both the destination county
and the participant agree to do so.
    Subd. 4. Choice of provider. MFIP caregivers must be able to choose from at least
two employment and training service providers, unless the county has demonstrated to the
commissioner that the provision of multiple employment and training service providers would
result in financial hardship for the county, or the county is utilizing a workforce center as specified
in section 256J.50, subdivision 8. Both parents in a two-parent family must choose the same
employment and training service provider unless a special need, such as bilingual services, is
identified but not available through one service provider.
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 46; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 102; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 69; 1Sp2001 c 9
art 10 s 66; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 88,89; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 36
256J.561 UNIVERSAL PARTICIPATION REQUIRED.
    Subdivision 1.[Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 11 s 27]
    Subd. 2. Participation requirements. (a) All MFIP caregivers, except caregivers who
meet the criteria in subdivision 3, must participate in employment services. Except as specified
in paragraphs (b) to (d), the employment plan must meet the requirements of section 256J.521,
subdivision 2
, contain allowable work activities, as defined in section 256J.49, subdivision 13,
and, include at a minimum, the number of participation hours required under section 256J.55,
subdivision 1
.
(b) Minor caregivers and caregivers who are less than age 20 who have not completed high
school or obtained a GED are required to comply with section 256J.54.
(c) A participant who has a family violence waiver shall develop and comply with an
employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3.
(d) As specified in section 256J.521, subdivision 2, paragraph (c), a participant who meets
any one of the following criteria may work with the job counselor to develop an employment plan
that contains less than the number of participation hours under section 256J.55, subdivision 1.
Employment plans for participants covered under this paragraph must be tailored to recognize the
special circumstances of caregivers and families including limitations due to illness or disability
and caregiving needs:
(1) a participant who is age 60 or older;
(2) a participant who has been diagnosed by a qualified professional as suffering from an
illness or incapacity that is expected to last for 30 days or more, including a pregnant participant
who is determined to be unable to obtain or retain employment due to the pregnancy; or
(3) a participant who is determined by a qualified professional as being needed in the home
to care for an ill or incapacitated family member, including caregivers with a child or an adult in
the household who meets the disability or medical criteria for home care services under section
256B.0651, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), or a home and community-based waiver services
program under chapter 256B, or meets the criteria for severe emotional disturbance under section
245.4871, subdivision 6, or for serious and persistent mental illness under section 245.462,
subdivision 20
, paragraph (c).
(e) For participants covered under paragraphs (c) and (d), the county shall review the
participant's employment services status every three months to determine whether conditions
have changed. When it is determined that the participant's status is no longer covered under
paragraph (c) or (d), the county shall notify the participant that a new or revised employment plan
is needed. The participant and job counselor shall meet within ten days of the determination to
revise the employment plan.
    Subd. 3. Child under 12 weeks of age. (a) A participant who has a natural born child who is
less than 12 weeks of age who meets the criteria in this subdivision is not required to participate
in employment services until the child reaches 12 weeks of age. To be eligible for this provision,
the assistance unit must not have already used this provision or the previously allowed child
under age one exemption. However, an assistance unit that has an approved child under age one
exemption at the time this provision becomes effective may continue to use that exemption until
the child reaches one year of age.
(b) The provision in paragraph (a) ends the first full month after the child reaches 12 weeks of
age. This provision is available only once in a caregiver's lifetime. In a two-parent household, only
one parent shall be allowed to use this provision. The participant and job counselor must meet
within ten days after the child reaches 12 weeks of age to revise the participant's employment plan.
History: 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 91; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 14
256J.57 GOOD CAUSE EXEMPTION FROM SANCTION.
    Subdivision 1. Good cause for failure to comply. The county agency shall not impose the
sanction under section 256J.46 if it determines that the participant has good cause for failing to
comply with the requirements of sections 256J.515 to 256J.57. Good cause exists when:
(1) appropriate child care is not available;
(2) the job does not meet the definition of suitable employment;
(3) the participant is ill or injured;
(4) a member of the assistance unit, a relative in the household, or a foster child in the
household is ill and needs care by the participant that prevents the participant from complying
with the employment plan;
(5) the participant is unable to secure necessary transportation;
(6) the participant is in an emergency situation that prevents compliance with the
employment plan;
(7) the schedule of compliance with the employment plan conflicts with judicial proceedings;
(8) a mandatory MFIP meeting is scheduled during a time that conflicts with a judicial
proceeding or a meeting related to a juvenile court matter, or a participant's work schedule;
(9) the participant is already participating in acceptable work activities;
(10) the employment plan requires an educational program for a caregiver under age 20,
but the educational program is not available;
(11) activities identified in the employment plan are not available;
(12) the participant is willing to accept suitable employment, but suitable employment is
not available; or
(13) the participant documents other verifiable impediments to compliance with the
employment plan beyond the participant's control.
The job counselor shall work with the participant to reschedule mandatory meetings for
individuals who fall under clauses (1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8).
    Subd. 2. Notice of intent to sanction. (a) When a participant fails without good cause to
comply with the requirements of sections 256J.515 to 256J.57, the job counselor or the county
agency must provide a notice of intent to sanction to the participant specifying the program
requirements that were not complied with, informing the participant that the county agency
will impose the sanctions specified in section 256J.46, and informing the participant of the
opportunity to request a conciliation conference as specified in paragraph (b). The notice must
also state that the participant's continuing noncompliance with the specified requirements will
result in additional sanctions under section 256J.46, without the need for additional notices or
conciliation conferences under this subdivision. The notice, written in English, must include the
Department of Human Services language block, and must be sent to every applicable participant.
If the participant does not request a conciliation conference within ten calendar days of the
mailing of the notice of intent to sanction, the job counselor must notify the county agency that
the assistance payment should be reduced. The county must then send a notice of adverse action
to the participant informing the participant of the sanction that will be imposed, the reasons for
the sanction, the effective date of the sanction, and the participant's right to have a fair hearing
under section 256J.40.
(b) The participant may request a conciliation conference by sending a written request, by
making a telephone request, or by making an in-person request. The request must be received
within ten calendar days of the date the county agency mailed the ten-day notice of intent to
sanction. If a timely request for a conciliation is received, the county agency's service provider
must conduct the conference within five days of the request. The job counselor's supervisor, or
a designee of the supervisor, must review the outcome of the conciliation conference. If the
conciliation conference resolves the noncompliance, the job counselor must promptly inform the
county agency and request withdrawal of the sanction notice.
(c) Upon receiving a sanction notice, the participant may request a fair hearing under
section 256J.40, without exercising the option of a conciliation conference. In such cases, the
county agency shall not require the participant to engage in a conciliation conference prior to
the fair hearing.
(d) If the participant requests a fair hearing or a conciliation conference, sanctions will
not be imposed until there is a determination of noncompliance. Sanctions must be imposed as
provided in section 256J.46.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 48; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 104; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 71; 1Sp2001 c 9 art
10 s 47; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 92; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 50
256J.575 FAMILY STABILIZATION SERVICES.
    Subdivision 1. Purpose. (a) The family stabilization services serve families who are not
making significant progress within the Minnesota family investment program (MFIP) due to a
variety of barriers to employment.
    (b) The goal of the services is to stabilize and improve the lives of families at risk of
long-term welfare dependency or family instability due to employment barriers such as physical
disability, mental disability, age, or providing care for a disabled household member. These
services promote and support families to achieve the greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency.
    Subd. 2. Definitions. The terms used in this section have the meanings given them in
paragraphs (a) to (d).
    (a) "Case manager" means the county-designated staff person or employment services
counselor.
    (b) "Case management" means the services provided by or through the county agency
or through the employment services agency to participating families, including assessment,
information, referrals, and assistance in the preparation and implementation of a family
stabilization plan under subdivision 5.
    (c) "Family stabilization plan" means a plan developed by a case manager and the participant,
which identifies the participant's most appropriate path to unsubsidized employment, family
stability, and barrier reduction, taking into account the family's circumstances.
    (d) "Family stabilization services" means programs, activities, and services in this section
that provide participants and their family members with assistance regarding, but not limited to:
    (1) obtaining and retaining unsubsidized employment;
    (2) family stability;
    (3) economic stability; and
    (4) barrier reduction.
    The goal of the services is to achieve the greatest degree of economic self-sufficiency and
family well-being possible for the family under the circumstances.
    Subd. 3. Eligibility. (a) The following MFIP or diversionary work program (DWP)
participants are eligible for the services under this section:
    (1) a participant who meets the requirements for or has been granted a hardship extension
under section 256J.425, subdivision 2 or 3, except that it is not necessary for the participant to
have reached or be approaching 60 months of eligibility for this section to apply;
    (2) a participant who is applying for Supplemental Security Income or Social Security
disability insurance; and
    (3) a participant who is a noncitizen who has been in the United States for 12 or fewer months.
    (b) Families must meet all other eligibility requirements for MFIP established in this chapter.
Families are eligible for financial assistance to the same extent as if they were participating in
MFIP.
    (c) A participant under paragraph (a), clause (3), must be provided with English as a second
language opportunities and skills training for up to 12 months. After 12 months, the case manager
and participant must determine whether the participant should continue with English as a second
language classes or skills training, or both, and continue to receive family stabilization services.
    Subd. 4. Universal participation. All caregivers must participate in family stabilization
services as defined in subdivision 2.
    Subd. 5. Case management; family stabilization plans; coordinated services. (a) The
county agency or employment services provider shall provide family stabilization services
to families through a case management model. A case manager shall be assigned to each
participating family within 30 days after the family is determined to be eligible for family
stabilization services. The case manager, with the full involvement of the participant, shall
recommend, and the county agency shall establish and modify as necessary, a family stabilization
plan for each participating family. If a participant is already assigned to a county case manager or
a county-designated case manager in social services, disability services, or housing services that
case manager already assigned may be the case manager for purposes of these services.
    (b) The family stabilization plan must include:
    (1) each participant's plan for long-term self-sufficiency, including an employment goal
where applicable;
    (2) an assessment of each participant's strengths and barriers, and any special circumstances
of the participant's family that impact, or are likely to impact, the participant's progress towards
the goals in the plan; and
    (3) an identification of the services, supports, education, training, and accommodations
needed to reduce or overcome any barriers to enable the family to achieve self-sufficiency and
to fulfill each caregiver's personal and family responsibilities.
    (c) The case manager and the participant shall meet within 30 days of the family's referral
to the case manager. The initial family stabilization plan must be completed within 30 days of
the first meeting with the case manager. The case manager shall establish a schedule for periodic
review of the family stabilization plan that includes personal contact with the participant at least
once per month. In addition, the case manager shall review and, if necessary, modify the plan
under the following circumstances:
    (1) there is a lack of satisfactory progress in achieving the goals of the plan;
    (2) the participant has lost unsubsidized or subsidized employment;
    (3) a family member has failed or is unable to comply with a family stabilization plan
requirement;
    (4) services, supports, or other activities required by the plan are unavailable;
    (5) changes to the plan are needed to promote the well-being of the children; or
    (6) the participant and case manager determine that the plan is no longer appropriate for
any other reason.
    Subd. 6. Cooperation with services requirements. (a) To be eligible, a participant shall
comply with paragraphs (b) to (d).
    (b) Participants shall engage in family stabilization plan services for the appropriate number
of hours per week that the activities are scheduled and available, unless good cause exists for not
doing so, as defined in section 256J.57, subdivision 1. The appropriate number of hours must
be based on the participant's plan.
    (c) The case manager shall review the participant's progress toward the goals in the family
stabilization plan every six months to determine whether conditions have changed, including
whether revisions to the plan are needed.
    (d) A participant's requirement to comply with any or all family stabilization plan
requirements under this subdivision is excused when the case management services, training and
educational services, or family support services identified in the participant's family stabilization
plan are unavailable for reasons beyond the control of the participant, including when money
appropriated is not sufficient to provide the services.
    Subd. 7. Sanctions. (a) The financial assistance grant of a participating family is reduced
according to section 256J.46, if a participating adult fails without good cause to comply or
continue to comply with the family stabilization plan requirements in this subdivision, unless
compliance has been excused under subdivision 6, paragraph (d).
    (b) Given the purpose of the family stabilization services in this section and the nature of
the underlying family circumstances that act as barriers to both employment and full compliance
with program requirements, there must be a review by the county agency prior to imposing a
sanction to determine whether the plan was appropriated to the needs of the participant and
family, and that the participant in all ways had the ability to comply with the plan, as confirmed
by a behavioral health or medical professional.
    (c) Prior to the imposition of a sanction, the county agency or employment services
provider shall review the participant's case to determine if the family stabilization plan is still
appropriate and meet with the participant face-to-face. The participant may bring an advocate
to the face-to-face meeting.
    During the face-to-face meeting, the county agency shall:
    (1) determine whether the continued noncompliance can be explained and mitigated by
providing a needed family stabilization service, as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (d);
    (2) determine whether the participant qualifies for a good cause exception under section
256J.57, or if the sanction is for noncooperation with child support requirements, determine if the
participant qualifies for a good cause exemption under section 256.741, subdivision 10;
    (3) determine whether activities in the family stabilization plan are appropriate based on
the family's circumstances;
    (4) explain the consequences of continuing noncompliance;
    (5) identify other resources that may be available to the participant to meet the needs of
the family; and
    (6) inform the participant of the right to appeal under section 256J.40.
    If the lack of an identified activity or service can explain the noncompliance, the county shall
work with the participant to provide the identified activity.
    (d) If the participant fails to come to the face-to-face meeting, the case manager or a designee
shall attempt at least one home visit. If a face-to-face meeting is not conducted, the county agency
shall send the participant a written notice that includes the information under paragraph (c).
    (e) After the requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) are met and prior to imposition of a
sanction, the county agency shall provide a notice of intent to sanction under section 256J.57,
subdivision 2
, and, when applicable, a notice of adverse action under section 256J.31.
    (f) Section 256J.57 applies to this section except to the extent that it is modified by this
subdivision.
    Subd. 8. Funding. (a) The commissioner of human services shall treat MFIP expenditures
made to or on behalf of any minor child under this section, who is part of a household that
meets criteria in subdivision 3, as expenditures under a separately funded state program. These
expenditures shall not count toward the state's maintenance of effort requirements under the
federal TANF program.
    (b) A family is no longer part of a separately funded program under this section if the
caregiver no longer meets the criteria for family stabilization services in subdivision 3, or if it is
determined at recertification that a caregiver with a child under the age of six is working at least 87
hours per month in paid or unpaid employment, or a caregiver without a child under the age of six
is working at least 130 hours per month in paid or unpaid employment, whichever occurs sooner.
History: 2007 c 147 art 2 s 37
NOTE:This section as added by Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 37, is effective
February 1, 2008. Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 37, the effective date.
256J.61 REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
The commissioner of human services, in cooperation with the commissioner of employment
and economic development, shall develop reporting requirements for county agencies and
employment and training service providers according to section 256.01, subdivision 2, paragraph
(17). Reporting requirements must, to the extent possible, use existing client tracking systems and
must be within the limits of funds available. The requirements must include summary information
necessary for state agencies and the legislature to evaluate the effectiveness of the services.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 49; 2004 c 206 s 52
256J.62    Subdivision 1.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1999 c 245 art 6 s 89]
    Subd. 2a.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1999 c 245 art 6 s 89]
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 5.[Repealed, 1999 c 159 s 154; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 89]
    Subd. 6.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 7.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 8.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 9.[Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 11 s 27]
256J.621 WORK PARTICIPATION BONUS.
    (a) Upon exiting the diversionary work program (DWP) or upon terminating MFIP cash
assistance with earnings, a participant who is employed may be eligible for transitional assistance
of $75 per month to assist in meeting the family's basic needs as the participant continues to
move toward self-sufficiency.
    (b) To be eligible for a transitional assistance payment, the participant shall not receive MFIP
cash assistance or diversionary work program assistance during the month and the participant or
participants must meet the following work requirements:
    (1) if the participant is a single caregiver and has a child under six years of age, the
participant must be employed at least 87 hours per month;
    (2) if the participant is a single caregiver and does not have a child under six years of age, the
participant must be employed at least 130 hours per month; or
    (3) if the household is a two-parent family, at least one of the parents must be employed
an average of at least 130 hours per month.
    Whenever a participant exits the diversionary work program or is terminated from MFIP
cash assistance and meets the other criteria in this section, transitional assistance is available for
up to 24 consecutive months.
    (c) Expenditures on the program are maintenance of effort state funds for participants under
paragraph (b), clauses (1) and (2). Expenditures for participants under paragraph (b), clause (3),
are nonmaintenance of effort funds. Months in which a participant receives transitional assistance
under this section do not count toward the participant's MFIP 60-month time limit.
History: 2007 c 147 art 2 s 38
NOTE:This section as added by Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 38, is effective
February 1, 2009. Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 2, section 38, the effective date.
256J.625 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.626 MFIP CONSOLIDATED FUND.
    Subdivision 1. Consolidated fund. The consolidated fund is established to support counties
and tribes in meeting their duties under this chapter. Counties and tribes must use funds from
the consolidated fund to develop programs and services that are designed to improve participant
outcomes as measured in section 256J.751, subdivision 2. Counties may use the funds for any
allowable expenditures under subdivision 2, including case management. Tribes may use the
funds for any allowable expenditures under subdivision 2, including case management, except
those in subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clauses (1) and (6).
    Subd. 2. Allowable expenditures. (a) The commissioner must restrict expenditures under the
consolidated fund to benefits and services allowed under title IV-A of the federal Social Security
Act. Allowable expenditures under the consolidated fund may include, but are not limited to:
    (1) short-term, nonrecurring shelter and utility needs that are excluded from the definition of
assistance under Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 260.31, for families who meet the
residency requirement in section 256J.12, subdivisions 1 and 1a. Payments under this subdivision
are not considered TANF cash assistance and are not counted towards the 60-month time limit;
    (2) transportation needed to obtain or retain employment or to participate in other approved
work activities or activities under a family stabilization plan;
    (3) direct and administrative costs of staff to deliver employment services for MFIP, the
diversionary work program, or family stabilization services; to administer financial assistance;
and to provide specialized services intended to assist hard-to-employ participants to transition to
work or transition from family stabilization services to MFIP;
    (4) costs of education and training including functional work literacy and English as a
second language;
    (5) cost of work supports including tools, clothing, boots, telephone service, and other
work-related expenses;
    (6) county administrative expenses as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45,
section 260(b);
    (7) services to parenting and pregnant teens;
    (8) supported work;
    (9) wage subsidies;
    (10) child care needed for MFIP, the diversionary work program, or family stabilization
services participants to participate in social services;
    (11) child care to ensure that families leaving MFIP or diversionary work program will
continue to receive child care assistance from the time the family no longer qualifies for transition
year child care until an opening occurs under the basic sliding fee child care program;
    (12) services to help noncustodial parents who live in Minnesota and have minor children
receiving MFIP or DWP assistance, but do not live in the same household as the child, obtain
or retain employment; and
    (13) services to help families participating in family stabilization services achieve the
greatest possible degree of self-sufficiency.
    (b) Administrative costs that are not matched with county funds as provided in subdivision 8
may not exceed 7.5 percent of a county's or 15 percent of a tribe's allocation under this section.
The commissioner shall define administrative costs for purposes of this subdivision.
    (c) The commissioner may waive the cap on administrative costs for a county or tribe
that elects to provide an approved supported employment, unpaid work, or community work
experience program for a major segment of the county's or tribe's MFIP population. The county or
tribe must apply for the waiver on forms provided by the commissioner. In no case shall total
administrative costs exceed the TANF limits.
    Subd. 3. Eligibility for services. Families with a minor child, a pregnant woman, or a
noncustodial parent of a minor child receiving assistance, with incomes below 200 percent of
the federal poverty guideline for a family of the applicable size, are eligible for services funded
under the consolidated fund. Counties and tribes must give priority to families currently receiving
MFIP, the diversionary work program, or family stabilization services, and families at risk of
receiving MFIP or diversionary work program.
    Subd. 4. County and tribal biennial service agreements. (a) Effective January 1, 2004, and
each two-year period thereafter, each county and tribe must have in place an approved biennial
service agreement related to the services and programs in this chapter. In counties with a city of
the first class with a population over 300,000, the county must consider a service agreement that
includes a jointly developed plan for the delivery of employment services with the city. Counties
may collaborate to develop multicounty, multitribal, or regional service agreements.
    (b) The service agreements will be completed in a form prescribed by the commissioner.
The agreement must include:
    (1) a statement of the needs of the service population and strengths and resources in the
community;
    (2) numerical goals for participant outcomes measures to be accomplished during the
biennial period. The commissioner may identify outcomes from section 256J.751, subdivision 2,
as core outcomes for all counties and tribes;
    (3) strategies the county or tribe will pursue to achieve the outcome targets. Strategies must
include specification of how funds under this section will be used and may include community
partnerships that will be established or strengthened;
    (4) strategies the county or tribe will pursue under family stabilization services; and
    (5) other items prescribed by the commissioner in consultation with counties and tribes.
    (c) The commissioner shall provide each county and tribe with information needed to
complete an agreement, including: (1) information on MFIP cases in the county or tribe; (2)
comparisons with the rest of the state; (3) baseline performance on outcome measures; and (4)
promising program practices.
    (d) The service agreement must be submitted to the commissioner by October 15, 2003,
and October 15 of each second year thereafter. The county or tribe must allow a period of not
less than 30 days prior to the submission of the agreement to solicit comments from the public
on the contents of the agreement.
    (e) The commissioner must, within 60 days of receiving each county or tribal service
agreement, inform the county or tribe if the service agreement is approved. If the service
agreement is not approved, the commissioner must inform the county or tribe of any revisions
needed prior to approval.
    (f) The service agreement in this subdivision supersedes the plan requirements of section
116L.88.
    Subd. 5. Innovation projects. Beginning January 1, 2005, no more than $3,000,000 of
the funds annually appropriated to the commissioner for use in the consolidated fund shall be
available to the commissioner for projects testing innovative approaches to improving outcomes
for MFIP participants, family stabilization services participants, and persons at risk of receiving
MFIP as detailed in subdivision 3. Projects shall be targeted to geographic areas with poor
outcomes as specified in section 256J.751, subdivision 5, or to subgroups within the MFIP case
load who are experiencing poor outcomes.
    Subd. 6. Base allocation to counties and tribes; definitions. (a) For purposes of this
section, the following terms have the meanings given.
    (1) "2002 historic spending base" means the commissioner's determination of the sum of the
reimbursement related to fiscal year 2002 of county or tribal agency expenditures for the base
programs listed in clause (6), items (i) through (iv), and earnings related to calendar year 2002 in
the base program listed in clause (6), item (v), and the amount of spending in fiscal year 2002
in the base program listed in clause (6), item (vi), issued to or on behalf of persons residing
in the county or tribal service delivery area.
    (2) "Adjusted caseload factor" means a factor weighted:
    (i) 47 percent on the MFIP cases in each county at four points in time in the most recent
12-month period for which data is available multiplied by the county's caseload difficulty factor;
and
    (ii) 53 percent on the count of adults on MFIP in each county and tribe at four points in time
in the most recent 12-month period for which data is available multiplied by the county or tribe's
caseload difficulty factor.
    (3) "Caseload difficulty factor" means a factor determined by the commissioner for each
county and tribe based upon the self-support index described in section 256J.751, subdivision 2,
clause (6).
    (4) "Initial allocation" means the amount potentially available to each county or tribe based
on the formula in paragraphs (b) through (d).
    (5) "Final allocation" means the amount available to each county or tribe based on the
formula in paragraphs (b) through (d), after adjustment by subdivision 7.
    (6) "Base programs" means the:
    (i) MFIP employment and training services under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.62,
subdivision 1
, in effect June 30, 2002;
    (ii) bilingual employment and training services to refugees under Minnesota Statutes 2002,
section 256J.62, subdivision 6, in effect June 30, 2002;
    (iii) work literacy language programs under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.62,
subdivision 7
, in effect June 30, 2002;
    (iv) supported work program authorized in Laws 2001, First Special Session chapter 9,
article 17, section 2, in effect June 30, 2002;
    (v) administrative aid program under section 256J.76 in effect December 31, 2002; and
    (vi) emergency assistance program under Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 256J.48, in
effect June 30, 2002.
    (b) The commissioner shall:
    (1) beginning July 1, 2003, determine the initial allocation of funds available under this
section according to clause (2);
    (2) allocate all of the funds available for the period beginning July 1, 2003, and ending
December 31, 2004, to each county or tribe in proportion to the county's or tribe's share of the
statewide 2002 historic spending base;
    (3) determine for calendar year 2005 the initial allocation of funds to be made available
under this section in proportion to the county or tribe's initial allocation for the period of July 1,
2003, to December 31, 2004;
    (4) determine for calendar year 2006 the initial allocation of funds to be made available
under this section based 90 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the statewide
2002 historic spending base and ten percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of
the adjusted caseload factor;
    (5) determine for calendar year 2007 the initial allocation of funds to be made available
under this section based 70 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the statewide
2002 historic spending base and 30 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's share of the
adjusted caseload factor; and
    (6) determine for calendar year 2008 and subsequent years the initial allocation of funds to
be made available under this section based 50 percent on the proportion of the county or tribe's
share of the statewide 2002 historic spending base and 50 percent on the proportion of the county
or tribe's share of the adjusted caseload factor.
    (c) With the commencement of a new or expanded tribal TANF program or an agreement
under section 256.01, subdivision 2, paragraph (g), in which some or all of the responsibilities of
particular counties under this section are transferred to a tribe, the commissioner shall:
    (1) in the case where all responsibilities under this section are transferred to a tribal program,
determine the percentage of the county's current caseload that is transferring to a tribal program
and adjust the affected county's allocation accordingly; and
    (2) in the case where a portion of the responsibilities under this section are transferred to a
tribal program, the commissioner shall consult with the affected county or counties to determine
an appropriate adjustment to the allocation.
    (d) Effective January 1, 2005, counties and tribes will have their final allocations adjusted
based on the performance provisions of subdivision 7.
    Subd. 7. Performance base funds. (a) Beginning calendar year 2008, each county and tribe
will be allocated 95 percent of their initial calendar year allocation. Counties and tribes will be
allocated additional funds based on performance as follows:
    (1) for calendar year 2008 and yearly thereafter, a county or tribe that achieves a 50 percent
MFIP participation rate or a five percentage point improvement over the previous year's MFIP
participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7), as averaged across the four
quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will
receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and
     (2) for calendar years 2005 and thereafter, a county or tribe that performs above the top of
its annualized range of expected performance on the three-year self-support index under section
256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to five percent
of its initial allocation; and
    (3) for calendar years 2005 and thereafter, a county or tribe that performs within its range of
expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751,
subdivision 2
, clause (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial
allocation; and
    (4) for calendar years 2008 and thereafter, a county or tribe that does not achieve a 50 percent
MFIP participation rate or a five percentage point improvement over the previous year's MFIP
participation rate under section 256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (7), as averaged across the four
quarterly measurements for the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will
not receive an additional 2.5 percent of its initial allocation until after negotiating a multiyear
improvement plan with the commissioner; or
    (5) for calendar years 2008 and thereafter, a county or tribe that does not perform within
its range of expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section
256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (6), will not receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of
its initial allocation until after negotiating a multiyear improvement plan with the commissioner.
    (b) Performance-based funds for a federally approved tribal TANF program in which the
state and tribe have in place a contract under section 256.01, addressing consolidated funding,
will be allocated as follows:
    (1) for calendar year 2006 and yearly thereafter, a tribe that achieves the participation rate
approved in its federal TANF plan using the average of four quarterly measurements for the
most recent year for which the measurements are available, will receive an additional allocation
equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; and
    (2) for calendar years 2006 and thereafter, a tribe that performs above the top of its
annualized range of expected performance on the three-year self-support index under section
256J.751, subdivision 2, clause (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to five percent
of its initial allocation; or
    (3) for calendar years 2006 and thereafter, a tribe that performs within its range of expected
performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751, subdivision
2
, clause (6), will receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation; or
    (4) for calendar year 2008 and yearly thereafter, a tribe that does not achieve the participation
rate approved in its federal TANF plan using the average of four quarterly measurements for
the most recent year for which the measurements are available, will not receive an additional
allocation equal to 2.5 percent of its initial allocation until after negotiating a multiyear
improvement plan with the commissioner; or
    (5) for calendar year 2008 and yearly thereafter, a tribe that does not perform within its range
of expected performance on the annualized three-year self-support index under section 256J.751,
subdivision 2
, clause (6), will not receive an additional allocation equal to 2.5 percent until after
negotiating a multiyear improvement plan with the commissioner.
    (c) Funds remaining unallocated after the performance-based allocations in paragraph (a) are
available to the commissioner for innovation projects under subdivision 5.
    (d)(1) If available funds are insufficient to meet county and tribal allocations under paragraph
(a), the commissioner may make available for allocation funds that are unobligated and available
from the innovation projects through the end of the current biennium.
    (2) If after the application of clause (1) funds remain insufficient to meet county and tribal
allocations under paragraph (a), the commissioner must proportionally reduce the allocation of
each county and tribe with respect to their maximum allocation available under paragraph (a).
    Subd. 8. Reporting requirement and reimbursement. (a) The commissioner shall specify
requirements for reporting according to section 256.01, subdivision 2, clause (17). Each county or
tribe shall be reimbursed for eligible expenditures up to the limit of its allocation and subject to
availability of funds.
(b) Reimbursements for county administrative-related expenditures determined through the
income maintenance random moment time study shall be reimbursed at a rate of 50 percent of
eligible expenditures.
(c) The commissioner of human services shall review county and tribal agency expenditures
of the MFIP consolidated fund as appropriate and may reallocate unencumbered or unexpended
money appropriated under this section to those county and tribal agencies that can demonstrate a
need for additional money as follows:
(1) to the extent that particular county or tribal allocations are reduced from the previous
year's amount due to the phase-in under subdivision 6, paragraph (b), clauses (4) to (6), those
tribes or counties would have first priority for reallocated funds; and
(2) to the extent that unexpended funds are insufficient to cover demonstrated need, funds
will be prorated to those counties and tribes in relation to demonstrated need.
    Subd. 9.[Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 2 s 63]
History: 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 94,106; 2004 c 206 s 52; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 51-53; 2005 c
159 art 5 s 7-9; 2006 c 282 art 18 s 2; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 39-45
256J.645 INDIAN TRIBE MFIP EMPLOYMENT SERVICES.
    Subdivision 1. Authorization to enter into agreements. Effective July 1, 1997, the
commissioner may enter into agreements with federally recognized Indian tribes with a
reservation in the state to provide MFIP employment services to members of the Indian tribe and
to other caregivers who are a part of the tribal member's MFIP assistance unit. For purposes of
this section, "Indian tribe" means a tribe, band, nation, or other federally recognized group or
community of Indians. The commissioner may also enter into an agreement with a consortium
of Indian tribes providing the governing body of each Indian tribe in the consortium complies
with the provisions of this section.
    Subd. 2. Tribal requirements. The Indian tribe must:
(1) agree to fulfill the responsibilities provided under the employment services component of
MFIP regarding operation of MFIP employment services, as designated by the commissioner;
(2) operate its employment services program within a geographic service area not to exceed
the counties within which a border of the reservation falls;
(3) operate its program in conformity with section 13.46 and any applicable federal
regulations in the use of data about MFIP recipients;
(4) coordinate operation of its program with the county agency, Workforce Investment Act
programs, and other support services or employment-related programs in the counties in which
the tribal unit's program operates;
(5) provide financial and program participant activity record keeping and reporting in the
manner and using the forms and procedures specified by the commissioner and permit inspection
of its program and records by representatives of the state; and
(6) have the Indian tribe's employment service provider certified by the commissioner of
employment and economic development, or approved by the county.
    Subd. 3. Funding. If the commissioner and an Indian tribe are parties to an agreement under
this subdivision, the agreement shall annually provide to the Indian tribe the funding allocated
in section 256J.626.
    Subd. 4. County agency requirement. Indian tribal members receiving MFIP benefits and
residing in the service area of an Indian tribe operating employment services under an agreement
with the commissioner must be referred by county agencies in the service area to the Indian tribe
for employment services.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 51; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 105; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 53; 2002 c 379
art 1 s 113; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 95; 2004 c 206 s 52
256J.65 [Repealed, 2007 c 147 art 11 s 27]
256J.655 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.66 ON-THE-JOB TRAINING.
    Subdivision 1. Establishing the on-the-job training program. (a) County agencies may
develop on-the-job training programs for MFIP caregivers who are participating in employment
and training services. A county agency that chooses to provide on-the-job training may make
payments to employers for on-the-job training costs that, during the period of the training, must
not exceed 50 percent of the wages paid by the employer to the participant. The payments are
deemed to be in compensation for the extraordinary costs associated with training participants
under this section and in compensation for the costs associated with the lower productivity of the
participants during training.
(b) Provision of an on-the-job training program under the Job Training Partnership Act, in
and of itself, does not qualify as an on-the-job training program under this section.
(c) Participants in on-the-job training shall be compensated by the employer at the same
rates, including periodic increases, as similarly situated employees or trainees and in accordance
with applicable law, but in no event less than the federal or applicable state minimum wage,
whichever is higher.
    Subd. 2. Training and placement. (a) County agencies shall limit the length of training based
on the complexity of the job and the caregiver's previous experience and training. Placement in an
on-the-job training position with an employer is for the purpose of training and employment with
the same employer who has agreed to retain the person upon satisfactory completion of training.
(b) Placement of any participant in an on-the-job training position must be compatible with
the participant's assessment and employment plan under section 256J.521.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 53; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 96
256J.67 COMMUNITY WORK EXPERIENCE.
    Subdivision 1. Establishing the community work experience program. To the extent of
available resources, each county agency may establish and operate a work experience component
for MFIP caregivers who are participating in employment and training services. This option for
county agencies supersedes the requirement in section 402(a)(1)(B)(iv) of the Social Security Act
that caregivers who have received assistance for two months and who are not exempt from work
requirements must participate in a work experience program. The purpose of the work experience
component is to enhance the caregiver's employability and self-sufficiency and to provide
meaningful, productive work activities. The county shall use this program for an individual after
exhausting all other employment opportunities. The county agency shall not require a caregiver to
participate in the community work experience program unless the caregiver has been given an
opportunity to participate in other work activities.
    Subd. 2. Commissioner's duties. The commissioner shall assist counties in the design and
implementation of these components.
    Subd. 3. Employment options. (a) Work sites developed under this section are limited to
projects that serve a useful public service such as: health, social service, environmental protection,
education, urban and rural development and redevelopment, welfare, recreation, public facilities,
public safety, community service, services to aged or disabled citizens, and child care. To the
extent possible, the prior training, skills, and experience of a caregiver must be considered in
making appropriate work experience assignments.
(b) Structured, supervised volunteer work with an agency or organization, which is
monitored by the county service provider, may, with the approval of the county agency, be used as
a work experience placement.
(c) As a condition of placing a caregiver in a program under this section, the county agency
shall first provide the caregiver the opportunity:
(1) for placement in suitable subsidized or unsubsidized employment through participation in
a job search; or
(2) for placement in suitable employment through participation in on-the-job training, if such
employment is available.
    Subd. 4. Employment plan. (a) The caretaker's employment plan must include the length of
time needed in the work experience program, the need to continue job-seeking activities while
participating in work experience, and the caregiver's employment goals.
(b) After each six months of a caregiver's participation in a work experience job placement,
and at the conclusion of each work experience assignment under this section, the county agency
shall reassess and revise, as appropriate, the caregiver's employment plan.
(c) A caregiver may claim good cause under section 256J.57, subdivision 1, for failure to
cooperate with a work experience job placement.
(d) The county agency shall limit the maximum number of hours any participant may work
under this section to the amount of the MFIP standard of need divided by the federal or applicable
state minimum wage, whichever is higher. After a participant has been assigned to a position for
nine months, the participant may not continue in that assignment unless the maximum number of
hours a participant works is no greater than the amount of the MFIP standard of need divided by
the rate of pay for individuals employed in the same or similar occupations by the same employer
at the same site. This limit does not apply if it would prevent a participant from counting toward
the federal work participation rate.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 54; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 78; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66
256J.68 INJURY PROTECTION FOR WORK EXPERIENCE PARTICIPANTS.
    Subdivision 1. Applicability. (a) This section must be used to determine payment of any
claims resulting from an alleged injury or death of a person participating in a county or a tribal
community work experience program that is approved by the commissioner and is operated by:
(i) the county agency;
(ii) the tribe;
(iii) a department of the state; or
(iv) a community-based organization under contract, prior to April 1, 1997, with a county
agency to provide a community work experience program or a food stamp community work
experience program, provided the organization has not experienced any individual injury loss or
claim greater than $1,000.
(b) This determination method is available to the community-based organization under
paragraph (a), clause (iv), only for claims incurred by participants in the community work
experience program or the food stamp community work experience program.
(c) This determination method applies to work experience programs authorized by the
commissioner for persons applying for or receiving cash assistance and food stamps, and to the
Minnesota parent's fair share program, in a county with an approved community investment
program for obligors.
    Subd. 2. Investigation of the claim. Claims that are subject to this section must be
investigated by the county agency or the tribal program responsible for supervising the work
to determine whether the claimed injury occurred, whether the claimed medical expenses are
reasonable, and whether the loss is covered by the claimant's insurance. If insurance coverage
is established, the county agency or tribal program shall submit the claim to the appropriate
insurance entity for payment. The investigating county agency or tribal program shall submit all
valid claims, in the amount net of any insurance payments, to the Department of Human Services.
    Subd. 3. Submission of claim. The commissioner shall submit all claims for permanent
partial disability compensation to the commissioner of labor and industry. The commissioner of
labor and industry shall review all submitted claims and recommend to the Department of Human
Services an amount of compensation comparable to that which would be provided under the
permanent partial disability compensation schedule of section 176.101, subdivision 2a.
    Subd. 4. Claims less than $1,000. The commissioner shall approve a claim of $1,000 or
less for payment if appropriated funds are available, if the county agency or tribal program
responsible for supervising the work has made the determinations required by this section, and
if the work program was operated in compliance with the safety provisions of this section. The
commissioner shall pay the portion of an approved claim of $1,000 or less that is not covered by
the claimant's insurance within three months of the date of submission. On or before February
1 of each year, the commissioner shall submit to the appropriate committees of the senate and
the house of representatives a list of claims of $1,000 or less paid during the preceding calendar
year and shall be reimbursed by legislative appropriation for any claims that exceed the original
appropriation provided to the commissioner to operate this program. Any unspent money from
this appropriation shall carry over to the second year of the biennium, and any unspent money
remaining at the end of the second year shall be returned to the state general fund.
    Subd. 5. Claims more than $1,000. On or before February 1 of each year, the commissioner
shall submit to the appropriate committees of the senate and the house of representatives a list of
claims in excess of $1,000 and a list of claims of $1,000 or less that were submitted to but not paid
by the commissioner, together with any recommendations of appropriate compensation. These
claims shall be heard and determined by the appropriate committees of the senate and house of
representatives and, if approved, must be paid under the legislative claims procedure.
    Subd. 6. Compensation for certain costs. Compensation paid under this section is limited
to reimbursement for reasonable medical expenses and permanent partial disability compensation
for disability in like amounts as allowed in section 176.101, subdivision 2a. Compensation for
injuries resulting in death shall include reasonable medical expenses and burial expenses in
addition to payment to the participant's estate in an amount up to $200,000. No compensation
shall be paid under this section for pain and suffering, lost wages, or other benefits provided in
chapter 176. Payments made under this section shall be reduced by any proceeds received by the
claimant from any insurance policy covering the loss. For the purposes of this section, "insurance
policy" does not include the medical assistance program authorized under chapter 256B or the
general assistance medical care program authorized under chapter 256D.
    Subd. 7. Exclusive procedure. The procedure established by this section is exclusive of
all other legal, equitable, and statutory remedies against the state, its political subdivisions, or
employees of the state or its political subdivisions. The claimant shall not be entitled to seek
damages from any state, county, tribal, or reservation insurance policy or self-insurance program.
    Subd. 8. Invalid claims. A claim is not valid for purposes of this section if the county agency
responsible for supervising the work cannot verify to the commissioner:
(1) that appropriate safety training and information is provided to all persons being
supervised by the agency under this section; and
(2) that all programs involving work by those persons comply with federal Occupational
Safety and Health Administration and state Department of Labor and Industry safety standards.
A claim that is not valid because of failure to verify safety training or compliance with safety
standards will not be paid by the Department of Human Services or through the legislative claims
process and must be heard, decided, and paid, if appropriate, by the local government unit or tribal
program responsible for supervising the work of the claimant.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 55; 2007 c 13 art 3 s 15
256J.69 GRANT DIVERSION.
    Subdivision 1. Establishing the grant diversion program. (a) County agencies may
develop grant diversion programs for MFIP participants participating in employment and training
services. A county agency that chooses to provide grant diversion may divert to an employer part
or all of the MFIP cash payment for the participant's assistance unit, in compliance with federal
regulations and laws. Such payments to an employer are to subsidize employment for MFIP
participants as an alternative to public assistance payments.
(b) In addition to diverting the MFIP grant to the employer, employment and training funds
may be used to subsidize the grant diversion placement.
(c) Participants in grant diversion shall be compensated by the employer at the same rates,
including periodic increases, as similarly situated employees or trainees and in accordance with
applicable law, but in no event less than the federal or applicable state minimum wage, whichever
is higher.
    Subd. 2. Training and placement. (a) County agencies shall limit the length of training to
nine months. Placement in a grant diversion training position with an employer is for the purpose
of training and employment with the same employer who has agreed to retain the person upon
satisfactory completion of training.
(b) Placement of any participant in a grant diversion subsidized training position must
be compatible with the assessment and employment plan or employability development plan
established for the recipient under section 256J.521.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 56; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 66; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 97
256J.72 NONDISPLACEMENT IN WORK ACTIVITIES.
    Subdivision 1. Nondisplacement protection. For job assignments under jobs programs
established under this chapter or chapter 256, 256D, or 256K, the county agency must provide
written notification to and obtain the written concurrence of the appropriate exclusive bargaining
representatives with respect to job duties covered under collective bargaining agreements and
ensure that no work assignment under this chapter or chapter 256, 256D, or 256K results in:
(1) termination, layoff, or reduction of the work hours of an employee for the purpose of
hiring an individual under this section;
(2) the hiring of an individual if any other person is on layoff, including seasonal layoff,
from the same or a substantially equivalent job;
(3) any infringement of the promotional opportunities of any currently employed individual;
(4) the impairment of existing contract for services of collective bargaining agreements; or
(5) a participant filling an established unfilled position vacancy, except for on-the-job
training.
The written notification must be provided to the appropriate exclusive bargaining
representatives at least 14 days in advance of placing recipients in temporary public service
employment. The notice must include the number of individuals involved, their work locations
and anticipated hours of work, a summary of the tasks to be performed, and a description of how
the individuals will be trained and supervised.
    Subd. 2. Dispute resolution. (a) If there is a dispute between an exclusive bargaining
representative and a county provider or employer over whether job duties are within the scope of
a collective bargaining unit, the exclusive bargaining representative, the county, the provider, or
the employer may petition the Bureau of Mediation Services to determine if the job duties are
within the scope of a collective bargaining unit, and the bureau shall render a binding decision.
(b) In the event of a dispute under this section, the parties may:
(1) use a grievance and arbitration procedure of an existing collective bargaining agreement
to process a dispute over whether a violation of the nondisplacement provisions has occurred; or
(2) if no grievance and arbitration procedure is in place, either party may submit the dispute
to the bureau. The commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services shall establish a procedure
for a neutral, binding resolution of the dispute.
    Subd. 3. Status of participant. A participant may not work in a temporary public service
or community service job for a public employer for more than 67 working days or 536 hours,
whichever is greater, as part of a work program established under this chapter, or chapter 256,
256D, or 256K. A participant who exceeds the time limits in this subdivision is a public employee,
as that term is used in chapter 179A. Upon the written request of the exclusive bargaining
representative, a county or public service employer shall make available to the affected exclusive
bargaining representative a report of hours worked by participants in temporary public service
or community service jobs.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 57
256J.74 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS.
    Subdivision 1. Social services. The county agency shall refer a participant for social services
that are offered in the county of financial responsibility according to the criteria established by
that county agency. A payment issued from federal funds under title XX of the Social Security
Act, state funds under the Children and Community Services Act, federal or state child welfare
funds, or county funds in a payment month must not restrict MFIP eligibility or reduce the
monthly assistance payment for that participant.
    Subd. 2. Concurrent eligibility, limitations. (a) An individual whose needs have been
otherwise provided for in another state, in whole or in part by county, state, or federal dollars
during a month, is ineligible to receive MFIP for the month.
(b) A county agency must not count an applicant or participant as a member of more than one
assistance unit in this state in a given payment month, except as provided in clauses (1) and (2).
(1) A participant who is a member of an assistance unit is eligible to be included in a second
assistance unit the month after the month the participant joins the second unit.
(2) An applicant whose needs are met through federal, state, or local foster care payments for
the first part of an application month is eligible to receive assistance for the remaining part of the
month in which the applicant returns home. Foster care payments must be considered prorated
payments rather than a duplication of MFIP need.
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 4. Medical assistance. Medical assistance eligibility for MFIP participants shall
be determined as described in chapter 256B.
    Subd. 5. Food stamps. For any month an individual receives Food Stamp Program benefits,
the individual is not eligible for the MFIP food portion of assistance, except as provided under
section 256J.28, subdivision 5.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 58; 1998 c 407 art 6 s 106,107; 1999 c 245 art 6 s 79; 1Sp2001 c
9 art 10 s 66; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 15
256J.75 COUNTY OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POLICIES.
    Subdivision 1. County of financial responsibility. The county of financial responsibility
is the county in which a minor child or pregnant woman lives on the date the application is
signed, unless subdivision 4 applies. When more than one county is financially responsible for
the members of an assistance unit, financial responsibility must be assigned to a single county
beginning the first day of the calendar month after the assistance unit members are required to
be in a single assistance unit. Financial responsibility must be assigned to the county that was
initially responsible for the assistance unit member with the earliest date of application. The
county in which the assistance unit is currently residing becomes financially responsible for the
entire assistance unit beginning two full calendar months after the month in which financial
responsibility was consolidated in one county.
    Subd. 2. Change in residence. (a) When an assistance unit moves from one county to
another and continues to receive assistance, the new county of residence becomes the county of
financial responsibility when that assistance unit has lived in that county in nonexcluded status
for two full calendar months. "Nonexcluded status" means the period of residence that is not
considered excluded time under section 256G.02, subdivision 6. When a minor child moves from
one county to another to reside with a different caregiver, the caregiver in the former county is
eligible to receive assistance for that child only through the last day of the month of the move.
The caregiver in the new county becomes eligible to receive assistance for the child the first day
of the month following the move or the date of application, whichever is later.
(b) When an applicant moves from one county to another while the application is pending,
the county where application first occurred is the county of financial responsibility until the
applicant has lived in the new county for two full calendar months, unless the applicant's move is
covered under section 256G.02, subdivision 6.
    Subd. 3. Responsibility for incorrect assistance payments. A county of residence, when
different from the county of financial responsibility, will be charged by the commissioner for the
value of incorrect assistance payments paid to or on behalf of a person who was not eligible to
receive that amount. Incorrect payments include payments to an ineligible person or family
resulting from decisions, failures to act, miscalculations, or overdue recertification. However,
financial responsibility does not accrue for a county when the recertification is overdue at the time
the referral is received by the county of residence or when the county of financial responsibility
does not act on the recommendation of the county of residence.
    Subd. 4. Excluded time. When an applicant or participant resides in an excluded time
facility as described in section 256G.02, subdivision 6, the county that is financially responsible
for the applicant or participant is the county in which the applicant or participant last resided
outside such a facility immediately before entering the facility. When an applicant or participant
has not resided in this state for any time other than excluded time as defined in section 256G.02,
subdivision 6
, the county that is financially responsible for the applicant or participant is the
county in which the applicant or participant resides on the date the application is signed.
History: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 59; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 98
256J.751 COUNTY PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT.
    Subdivision 1. Monthly county caseload report. The commissioner shall report monthly to
each county the following caseload information:
(1) total number of cases receiving MFIP, and subtotals of cases with one eligible parent, two
eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;
(2) total number of child only assistance cases;
(3) total number of eligible adults and children receiving an MFIP grant, and subtotals for
cases with one eligible parent, two eligible parents, an eligible caregiver who is not a parent,
and child only cases;
(4) number of cases with an exemption from the 60-month time limit based on a family
violence waiver;
(5) number of MFIP cases with work hours, and subtotals for cases with one eligible parent,
two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;
(6) number of employed MFIP cases, and subtotals for cases with one eligible parent, two
eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;
(7) average monthly gross earnings, and averages for subgroups of cases with one eligible
parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent;
(8) number of employed cases receiving only the food portion of assistance;
(9) number of parents or caregivers exempt from work activity requirements, with subtotals
for each exemption type; and
(10) number of cases with a sanction, with subtotals by level of sanction for cases with one
eligible parent, two eligible parents, and an eligible caregiver who is not a parent.
    Subd. 2. Quarterly comparison report. The commissioner shall report quarterly to all
counties on each county's performance on the following measures:
    (1) percent of MFIP caseload working in paid employment;
    (2) percent of MFIP caseload receiving only the food portion of assistance;
    (3) number of MFIP cases that have left assistance;
    (4) median placement wage rate;
    (5) caseload by months of TANF assistance;
    (6) percent of MFIP and diversionary work program (DWP) cases off cash assistance or
working 30 or more hours per week at one-year, two-year, and three-year follow-up points from a
baseline quarter. This measure is called the self-support index. The commissioner shall report
quarterly an expected range of performance for each county, county grouping, and tribe on the
self-support index. The expected range shall be derived by a statistical methodology developed by
the commissioner in consultation with the counties and tribes. The statistical methodology shall
control differences across counties in economic conditions and demographics of the MFIP and
DWP case load; and
    (7) the TANF work participation rate, defined as the participation requirements specified
under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.
    Subd. 3.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
    Subd. 5. Failure to meet federal performance standards. (a) If sanctions occur for failure
to meet the performance standards specified in title 1 of Public Law 104-193 of the Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, and under Public Law 109-171, the Deficit
Reduction Act of 2005, the state shall pay 88 percent of the sanction. The remaining 12 percent of
the sanction will be paid by the counties. The county portion of the sanction will be distributed
across all counties in proportion to each county's percentage of the MFIP average monthly
caseload during the period for which the sanction was applied.
    (b) If a county fails to meet the performance standards specified in title 1 of Public Law
104-193 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, and Public Law
109-171, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, for any year, the commissioner shall work with
counties to organize a joint state-county technical assistance team to work with the county. The
commissioner shall coordinate any technical assistance with other departments and agencies
including the Departments of Employment and Economic Development and Education as
necessary to achieve the purpose of this paragraph.
    (c) For state performance measures, a low-performing county is one that:
    (1) performs below the bottom of their expected range for the measure in subdivision 2,
clause (6), in an annualized measurement reported in October of each year; or
    (2) performs below 40 percent for the measure in subdivision 2, clause (7), as averaged
across the four quarterly measurements for the year, or the ten counties with the lowest rates if
more than ten are below 40 percent.
    (d) Low-performing counties under paragraph (c) must engage in corrective action planning
as defined by the commissioner. The commissioner may coordinate technical assistance as
specified in paragraph (b) for low-performing counties under paragraph (c).
History: 1999 c 245 art 6 s 80; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 10 s 54; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113; 2003 c 130
s 12; 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 99-101; 2004 c 206 s 52; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 54; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 16;
2005 c 159 art 5 s 10,11; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 46,47
256J.76 [Repealed, 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 107]
256J.77 AGING OF CASH BENEFITS.
    Cash benefits under chapters 256D, 256J, and 256K, except food stamp benefits under
chapter 256D, by warrants or electronic benefit transfer that have not been accessed within 90
days of issuance shall be canceled. Cash benefits may be replaced after they are canceled, for
up to one year after the date of issuance, if failure to do so would place the client or family at
risk. For purposes of this section, "accessed" means cashing a warrant or making at least one
withdrawal from benefits deposited in an electronic benefit account.
History: 1998 c 407 art 6 s 108; 2007 c 147 art 19 s 18

CHILD ONLY TANF PROGRAM

256J.88 CHILD ONLY TANF PROGRAM.
Children who receive assistance under this chapter, in which the assistance unit does not
include a caregiver, but only includes a minor child, shall become part of the program established
under this chapter.
History: 2000 c 488 art 10 s 24; 2006 c 212 art 3 s 22

DIVERSIONARY WORK PROGRAM

256J.95 DIVERSIONARY WORK PROGRAM.
    Subdivision 1. Establishing a diversionary work program (DWP). (a) The Personal
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Public Law 104-193,
establishes block grants to states for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF). TANF
provisions allow states to use TANF dollars for nonrecurrent, short-term diversionary benefits.
The diversionary work program established on July 1, 2003, is Minnesota's TANF program to
provide short-term diversionary benefits to eligible recipients of the diversionary work program.
(b) The goal of the diversionary work program is to provide short-term, necessary services
and supports to families which will lead to unsubsidized employment, increase economic stability,
and reduce the risk of those families needing longer term assistance, under the Minnesota family
investment program (MFIP).
(c) When a family unit meets the eligibility criteria in this section, the family must receive a
diversionary work program grant and is not eligible for MFIP.
(d) A family unit is eligible for the diversionary work program for a maximum of four
consecutive months. During the four consecutive months, family maintenance needs as defined
in subdivision 2, shall be vendor paid, up to the cash portion of the MFIP standard of need for
the same size household. To the extent there is a balance available between the amount paid for
family maintenance needs and the cash portion of the transitional standard, a personal needs
allowance of up to $70 per DWP recipient in the family unit shall be issued. The personal needs
allowance payment plus the family maintenance needs shall not exceed the cash portion of the
MFIP standard of need. Counties may provide supportive and other allowable services funded by
the MFIP consolidated fund under section 256J.626 to eligible participants during the four-month
diversionary period.
    Subd. 2. Definitions. The terms used in this section have the following meanings.
(a) "Diversionary Work Program (DWP)" means the program established under this section.
(b) "Employment plan" means a plan developed by the job counselor and the participant
which identifies the participant's most direct path to unsubsidized employment, lists the specific
steps that the caregiver will take on that path, and includes a timetable for the completion of each
step. For participants who request and qualify for a family violence waiver in section 256J.521,
subdivision 3
, an employment plan must be developed by the job counselor, the participant, and
a person trained in domestic violence and follow the employment plan provisions in section
256J.521, subdivision 3. Employment plans under this section shall be written for a period of time
not to exceed four months.
(c) "Employment services" means programs, activities, and services in this section that are
designed to assist participants in obtaining and retaining employment.
(d) "Family maintenance needs" means current housing costs including rent; manufactured
home lot rental costs, or monthly principal, interest, insurance premiums, and property taxes due
for mortgages or contracts for deed; association fees required for homeownership; utility costs
for current month expenses of gas and electric, garbage, water and sewer; and a flat rate of $35
for telephone services.
(e) "Family unit" means a group of people applying for or receiving DWP benefits together.
For the purposes of determining eligibility for this program, the composition of the family unit is
determined according to section 256J.24, subdivisions 1 to 4.
(f) "Minnesota family investment program (MFIP)" means the assistance program as defined
in section 256J.08, subdivision 57.
(g) "Personal needs allowance" means an allowance of up to $70 per month per DWP unit
member to pay for expenses such as household products and personal products.
(h) "Work activities" means allowable work activities as defined in section 256J.49,
subdivision 13
.
(i) "Caregiver" means the caregiver as defined in section 256J.08, subdivision 11.
    Subd. 3. Eligibility for diversionary work program. (a) Except for the categories of family
units listed below, all family units who apply for cash benefits and who meet MFIP eligibility as
required in sections 256J.11 to 256J.15 are eligible and must participate in the diversionary work
program. Family units that are not eligible for the diversionary work program include:
    (1) child only cases;
    (2) a single-parent family unit that includes a child under 12 weeks of age. A parent is
eligible for this exception once in a parent's lifetime and is not eligible if the parent has already
used the previously allowed child under age one exemption from MFIP employment services;
    (3) a minor parent without a high school diploma or its equivalent;
    (4) an 18- or 19-year-old caregiver without a high school diploma or its equivalent who
chooses to have an employment plan with an education option;
    (5) a caregiver age 60 or over;
    (6) family units with a caregiver who received DWP benefits in the 12 months prior to the
month the family applied for DWP, except as provided in paragraph (c);
    (7) family units with a caregiver who received MFIP within the 12 months prior to the month
the family unit applied for DWP;
    (8) a family unit with a caregiver who received 60 or more months of TANF assistance;
    (9) a family unit with a caregiver who is disqualified from DWP or MFIP due to fraud; and
    (10) refugees as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, chapter IV, section 444.43,
who arrived in the United States in the 12 months prior to the date of application for family
cash assistance.
    (b) A two-parent family must participate in DWP unless both caregivers meet the criteria for
an exception under paragraph (a), clauses (1) through (5), or the family unit includes a parent who
meets the criteria in paragraph (a), clause (6), (7), (8), or (9).
    (c) Once DWP eligibility is determined, the four months run consecutively. If a participant
leaves the program for any reason and reapplies during the four-month period, the county must
redetermine eligibility for DWP.
    Subd. 4. Cooperation with program requirements. (a) To be eligible for DWP, an applicant
must comply with the requirements of paragraphs (b) to (d).
(b) Applicants and participants must cooperate with the requirements of the child support
enforcement program but will not be charged a fee under section 518A.51.
(c) The applicant must provide each member of the family unit's Social Security number to
the county agency. This requirement is satisfied when each member of the family unit cooperates
with the procedures for verification of numbers, issuance of duplicate cards, and issuance of
new numbers which have been established jointly between the Social Security Administration
and the commissioner.
(d) Before DWP benefits can be issued to a family unit, the caregiver must, in conjunction
with a job counselor, develop and sign an employment plan. In two-parent family units, both
parents must develop and sign employment plans before benefits can be issued. Food support and
health care benefits are not contingent on the requirement for a signed employment plan.
    Subd. 5. Submitting application form. The eligibility date for the diversionary work
program begins with the date the signed combined application form (CAF) is received by the
county agency or the date diversionary work program eligibility criteria are met, whichever is
later. The county agency must inform the applicant that any delay in submitting the application
will reduce the benefits paid for the month of application. The county agency must inform a
person that an application may be submitted before the person has an interview appointment.
Upon receipt of a signed application, the county agency must stamp the date of receipt on the
face of the application. The applicant may withdraw the application at any time prior to approval
by giving written or oral notice to the county agency. The county agency must follow the notice
requirements in section 256J.09, subdivision 3, when issuing a notice confirming the withdrawal.
    Subd. 6. Initial screening of applications. Upon receipt of the application, the county
agency must determine if the applicant may be eligible for other benefits as required in sections
256J.09, subdivision 3a, and 256J.28, subdivisions 1 and 5. The county must screen and the
applicant must apply for other benefits as required under section 256J.30, subdivision 2. The
county must also follow the provisions in section 256J.09, subdivision 3b, clause (2).
    Subd. 7. Program and processing standards. (a) The interview to determine financial
eligibility for the diversionary work program must be conducted within five working days of the
receipt of the cash application form. During the intake interview, the financial worker must discuss:
(1) the goals, requirements, and services of the diversionary work program;
(2) the availability of child care assistance. If child care is needed, the worker must obtain a
completed application for child care from the applicant before the interview is terminated. The
same day the application for child care is received, the application must be forwarded to the
appropriate child care worker. For purposes of eligibility for child care assistance under chapter
119B, DWP participants shall be eligible for the same benefits as MFIP recipients; and
(3) if the applicant has not requested food support and health care assistance on the
application, the county agency shall, during the interview process, talk with the applicant about
the availability of these benefits.
(b) The county shall follow section 256J.74, subdivision 2, paragraph (b), clauses (1) and
(2), when an applicant or a recipient of DWP has a person who is a member of more than one
assistance unit in a given payment month.
(c) If within 30 days the county agency cannot determine eligibility for the diversionary
work program, the county must deny the application and inform the applicant of the decision
according to the notice provisions in section 256J.31. A family unit is eligible for a fair hearing
under section 256J.40.
    Subd. 8. Verification requirements. (a) A county agency must only require verification of
information necessary to determine DWP eligibility and the amount of the payment. The applicant
or participant must document the information required or authorize the county agency to verify
the information. The applicant or participant has the burden of providing documentary evidence to
verify eligibility. The county agency shall assist the applicant or participant in obtaining required
documents when the applicant or participant is unable to do so.
(b) A county agency must not request information about an applicant or participant that is
not a matter of public record from a source other than county agencies, the Department of Human
Services, or the United States Department of Health and Human Services without the person's
prior written consent. An applicant's signature on an application form constitutes consent for
contact with the sources specified on the application. A county agency may use a single consent
form to contact a group of similar sources, but the sources to be contacted must be identified by
the county agency prior to requesting an applicant's consent.
(c) Factors to be verified shall follow section 256J.32, subdivision 4. Except for personal
needs, family maintenance needs must be verified before the expense can be allowed in the
calculation of the DWP grant.
    Subd. 9. Property and income limitations. The asset limits and exclusions in section
256J.20 apply to applicants and recipients of DWP. All payments, unless excluded in section
256J.21, must be counted as income to determine eligibility for the diversionary work program.
The county shall treat income as outlined in section 256J.37, except for subdivision 3a. The initial
income test and the disregards in section 256J.21, subdivision 3, shall be followed for determining
eligibility for the diversionary work program.
    Subd. 10. Diversionary work program grant. (a) The amount of cash benefits that a family
unit is eligible for under the diversionary work program is based on the number of persons in
the family unit, the family maintenance needs, personal needs allowance, and countable income.
The county agency shall evaluate the income of the family unit that is requesting payments under
the diversionary work program. Countable income means gross earned and unearned income not
excluded or disregarded under MFIP. The same disregards for earned income that are allowed
under MFIP are allowed for the diversionary work program.
(b) The DWP grant is based on the family maintenance needs for which the DWP family
unit is responsible plus a personal needs allowance. Housing and utilities, except for telephone
service, shall be vendor paid. Unless otherwise stated in this section, actual housing and utility
expenses shall be used when determining the amount of the DWP grant.
(c) The maximum monthly benefit amount available under the diversionary work program is
the difference between the family unit's needs under paragraph (b) and the family unit's countable
income not to exceed the cash portion of the MFIP standard of need as defined in section 256J.08,
subdivision 55a
, for the family unit's size.
(d) Once the county has determined a grant amount, the DWP grant amount will not be
decreased if the determination is based on the best information available at the time of approval
and shall not be decreased because of any additional income to the family unit. The grant must be
increased if a participant later verifies an increase in family maintenance needs or family unit
size. The minimum cash benefit amount, if income and asset tests are met, is $10. Benefits of
$10 shall not be vendor paid.
(e) When all criteria are met, including the development of an employment plan as described
in subdivision 14 and eligibility exists for the month of application, the amount of benefits for
the diversionary work program retroactive to the date of application is as specified in section
256J.35, paragraph (a).
(f) Any month during the four-month DWP period that a person receives a DWP benefit
directly or through a vendor payment made on the person's behalf, that person is ineligible for
MFIP or any other TANF cash assistance program except for benefits defined in section 256J.626,
subdivision 2
, clause (1).
If during the four-month period a family unit that receives DWP benefits moves to a county
that has not established a diversionary work program, the family unit may be eligible for MFIP
the month following the last month of the issuance of the DWP benefit.
    Subd. 11. Universal participation required. (a) All DWP caregivers, except caregivers
who meet the criteria in paragraph (d), are required to participate in DWP employment services.
Except as specified in paragraphs (b) and (c), employment plans under DWP must, at a minimum,
meet the requirements in section 256J.55, subdivision 1.
(b) A caregiver who is a member of a two-parent family that is required to participate in
DWP who would otherwise be ineligible for DWP under subdivision 3 may be allowed to develop
an employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 2, paragraph (c), that may contain
alternate activities and reduced hours.
(c) A participant who is a victim of family violence shall be allowed to develop an
employment plan under section 256J.521, subdivision 3. A claim of family violence must be
documented by the applicant or participant by providing a sworn statement which is supported by
collateral documentation in section 256J.545, paragraph (b).
(d) One parent in a two-parent family unit that has a natural born child under 12 weeks of
age is not required to have an employment plan until the child reaches 12 weeks of age unless the
family unit has already used the exclusion under section 256J.561, subdivision 3, or the previously
allowed child under age one exemption under section 256J.56, paragraph (a), clause (5).
(e) The provision in paragraph (d) ends the first full month after the child reaches 12 weeks
of age. This provision is allowable only once in a caregiver's lifetime. In a two-parent household,
only one parent shall be allowed to use this category.
(f) The participant and job counselor must meet within ten working days after the child
reaches 12 weeks of age to revise the participant's employment plan. The employment plan
for a family unit that has a child under 12 weeks of age that has already used the exclusion in
section 256J.561 or the previously allowed child under age one exemption under section 256J.56,
paragraph (a)
, clause (5), must be tailored to recognize the caregiving needs of the parent.
    Subd. 12. Conversion or referral to MFIP. (a) If at any time during the DWP application
process or during the four-month DWP eligibility period, it is determined that a participant
is unlikely to benefit from the diversionary work program, the county shall convert or refer
the participant to MFIP as specified in paragraph (d). Participants who are determined to be
unlikely to benefit from the diversionary work program must develop and sign an employment
plan. Participants who meet any one of the criteria in paragraph (b) shall be considered to be
unlikely to benefit from DWP, provided the necessary documentation is available to support the
determination.
(b) A participant who:
(1) has been determined by a qualified professional as being unable to obtain or retain
employment due to an illness, injury, or incapacity that is expected to last at least 60 days;
(2) is required in the home as a caregiver because of the illness, injury, or incapacity,
of a family member, or a relative in the household, or a foster child, and the illness, injury, or
incapacity and the need for a person to provide assistance in the home has been certified by a
qualified professional and is expected to continue more than 60 days;
(3) is determined by a qualified professional as being needed in the home to care for a
child or adult meeting the special medical criteria in section 256J.561, subdivision 2, paragraph
(d), clause (3);
(4) is pregnant and is determined by a qualified professional as being unable to obtain or
retain employment due to the pregnancy; or
(5) has applied for SSI or SSDI.
(c) In a two-parent family unit, both parents must be determined to be unlikely to benefit
from the diversionary work program before the family unit can be converted or referred to MFIP.
(d) A participant who is determined to be unlikely to benefit from the diversionary work
program shall be converted to MFIP and, if the determination was made within 30 days of the
initial application for benefits, no additional application form is required. A participant who is
determined to be unlikely to benefit from the diversionary work program shall be referred to MFIP
and, if the determination is made more than 30 days after the initial application, the participant
must submit a program change request form. The county agency shall process the program change
request form by the first of the following month to ensure that no gap in benefits is due to delayed
action by the county agency. In processing the program change request form, the county must
follow section 256J.32, subdivision 1, except that the county agency shall not require additional
verification of the information in the case file from the DWP application unless the information in
the case file is inaccurate, questionable, or no longer current.
(e) The county shall not request a combined application form for a participant who has
exhausted the four months of the diversionary work program, has continued need for cash and
food assistance, and has completed, signed, and submitted a program change request form within
30 days of the fourth month of the diversionary work program. The county must process the
program change request according to section 256J.32, subdivision 1, except that the county agency
shall not require additional verification of information in the case file unless the information is
inaccurate, questionable, or no longer current. When a participant does not request MFIP within
30 days of the diversionary work program benefits being exhausted, a new combined application
form must be completed for any subsequent request for MFIP.
    Subd. 13. Immediate referral to employment services. Within one working day of
determination that the applicant is eligible for the diversionary work program, but before benefits
are issued to or on behalf of the family unit, the county shall refer all caregivers to employment
services. The referral to the DWP employment services must be in writing and must contain
the following information:
(1) notification that, as part of the application process, applicants are required to develop
an employment plan or the DWP application will be denied;
(2) the employment services provider name and phone number;
(3) the date, time, and location of the scheduled employment services interview;
(4) the immediate availability of supportive services, including, but not limited to, child care,
transportation, 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 good cause, the consequences of refusing or failing to participate
fully with program requirements, and the appeal process.
    Subd. 14. Employment plan; DWP benefits. As soon as possible, but no later than ten
working days of being notified that a participant is financially eligible for the diversionary work
program, the employment services provider shall provide the participant with an opportunity to
meet to develop an initial employment plan. Once the initial employment plan has been developed
and signed by the participant and the job counselor, the employment services provider shall
notify the county within one working day that the employment plan has been signed. The county
shall issue DWP benefits within one working day after receiving notice that the employment
plan has been signed.
    Subd. 15. Limitations on certain work activities. (a) Except as specified in paragraphs (b)
to (d), employment activities listed in section 256J.49, subdivision 13, are allowable under the
diversionary work program.
(b) Work activities under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (5), shall be allowable
only when in combination with approved work activities under section 256J.49, subdivision
13
, clauses (1) to (4), and shall be limited to no more than one-half of the hours required in
the employment plan.
(c) In order for an English as a second language (ESL) class to be an approved work
activity, a participant must:
(1) be below a spoken language proficiency level of SPL6 or its equivalent, as measured
by a nationally recognized test; and
(2) not have been enrolled in ESL for more than 24 months while previously participating
in MFIP or DWP. A participant who has been enrolled in ESL for 20 or more months may be
approved for ESL until the participant has received 24 total months.
(d) Work activities under section 256J.49, subdivision 13, clause (6), shall be allowable only
when the training or education program will be completed within the four-month DWP period.
Training or education programs that will not be completed within the four-month DWP period
shall not be approved.
    Subd. 16. Failure to comply with requirements. A family unit that includes a participant
who fails to comply with DWP employment service or child support enforcement requirements,
without good cause as defined in sections 256.741 and 256J.57, shall be disqualified from the
diversionary work program. The county shall provide written notice as specified in section 256J.31
to the participant prior to disqualifying the family unit due to noncompliance with employment
service or child support. The disqualification does not apply to food support or health care benefits.
    Subd. 17. Good cause for not complying with requirements. A participant who fails
to comply with the requirements of the diversionary work program may claim good cause for
reasons listed in sections 256.741 and 256J.57, subdivision 1, clauses (1) to (13). The county shall
not impose a disqualification if good cause exists.
    Subd. 18. Reinstatement following disqualification. A participant who has been
disqualified from the diversionary work program due to noncompliance with employment
services may regain eligibility for the diversionary work program by complying with program
requirements. A participant who has been disqualified from the diversionary work program due to
noncooperation with child support enforcement requirements may regain eligibility by complying
with child support requirements under section 256.741. Once a participant has been reinstated,
the county shall issue prorated benefits for the remaining portion of the month. A family unit
that has been disqualified from the diversionary work program due to noncompliance shall not
be eligible for MFIP or any other TANF cash program for the remainder of the four-month
period. In a two-parent family, both parents must be in compliance before the family unit can
regain eligibility for benefits.
    Subd. 19. DWP overpayments and underpayments. DWP benefits are subject to
overpayments and underpayments. Anytime an overpayment or an underpayment is determined
for DWP, the correction shall be calculated using prospective budgeting. Corrections shall be
determined based on the policy in section 256J.34, subdivision 1, paragraphs (a), (b), and (c).
ATM errors must be recovered as specified in section 256J.38, subdivision 5. Cross program
recoupment of overpayments cannot be assigned to or from DWP.
    Subd. 20.[Repealed, 2005 c 98 art 2 s 18]
History: 1Sp2003 c 14 art 1 s 102; 2004 c 288 art 4 s 55-59; 2005 c 98 art 1 s 17-21; 2005 c
164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2007 c 147 art 2 s 48