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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

256D.06 AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE.

Subdivision 1.Eligibility; amount of assistance.

General assistance shall be granted in an amount that when added to the nonexempt income actually available to the assistance unit, the total amount equals the applicable standard of assistance for general assistance. In determining eligibility for and the amount of assistance for an individual or married couple, the agency shall apply the earned income disregard as determined in section 256P.03.

[See Note.]

Subd. 1a.

[Repealed, 1983 c 312 art 8 s 17]

Subd. 1b.Earned income savings account.

In addition to the $50 disregard required under subdivision 1, the county agency shall disregard an additional earned income up to a maximum of $500 per month for: (1) persons residing in facilities licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9520.0500 to 9520.0690 and 9530.2500 to 9530.4000, and for whom discharge and work are part of a treatment plan; (2) persons living in supervised apartments with services funded under Minnesota Rules, parts 9535.0100 to 9535.1600, and for whom discharge and work are part of a treatment plan; and (3) persons residing in group residential housing, as that term is defined in section 256I.03, subdivision 3, for whom the county agency has approved a discharge plan which includes work. The additional amount disregarded must be placed in a separate savings account by the eligible individual, to be used upon discharge from the residential facility into the community. For individuals residing in a chemical dependency program licensed under Minnesota Rules, part 9530.4100, subpart 22, item D, withdrawals from the savings account require the signature of the individual and for those individuals with an authorized representative payee, the signature of the payee. A maximum of $2,000, including interest, of the money in the savings account must be excluded from the resource limits established by section 256D.08, subdivision 1, clause (1). Amounts in that account in excess of $2,000 must be applied to the resident's cost of care. If excluded money is removed from the savings account by the eligible individual at any time before the individual is discharged from the facility into the community, the money is income to the individual in the month of receipt and a resource in subsequent months. If an eligible individual moves from a community facility to an inpatient hospital setting, the separate savings account is an excluded asset for up to 18 months. During that time, amounts that accumulate in excess of the $2,000 savings limit must be applied to the patient's cost of care. If the patient continues to be hospitalized at the conclusion of the 18-month period, the entire account must be applied to the patient's cost of care.

[See Note.]

Subd. 1c.

[Repealed, 1990 c 568 art 4 s 85]

Subd. 2.Emergency need.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 1, a grant of emergency general assistance shall, to the extent funds are available, be made to an eligible single adult, married couple, or family for an emergency need where the recipient requests temporary assistance not exceeding 30 days if an emergency situation appears to exist under written criteria adopted by the county agency. If an applicant or recipient relates facts to the county agency which may be sufficient to constitute an emergency situation, the county agency shall, to the extent funds are available, advise the person of the procedure for applying for assistance according to this subdivision.

(b) The applicant must be ineligible for assistance under chapter 256J, must have annual net income no greater than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines for the previous calendar year, and may receive an emergency assistance grant not more than once in any 12-month period.

(c) Funding for an emergency general assistance program is limited to the appropriation. Each fiscal year, the commissioner shall allocate to counties the money appropriated for emergency general assistance grants based on each county agency's average share of state's emergency general expenditures for the immediate past three fiscal years as determined by the commissioner, and may reallocate any unspent amounts to other counties. No county shall be allocated less than $1,000 for a fiscal year.

(d) Any emergency general assistance expenditures by a county above the amount of the commissioner's allocation to the county must be made from county funds.

Subd. 5.Eligibility; requirements.

(a) Any applicant, otherwise eligible for general assistance and possibly eligible for maintenance benefits from any other source shall (1) make application for those benefits within 30 days of the general assistance application; and (2) execute an interim assistance agreement on a form as directed by the commissioner.

(b) The commissioner shall review a denial of an application for other maintenance benefits and may require a recipient of general assistance to file an appeal of the denial if appropriate. If found eligible for benefits from other sources, and a payment received from another source relates to the period during which general assistance was also being received, the recipient shall be required to reimburse the county agency for the interim assistance paid. Reimbursement shall not exceed the amount of general assistance paid during the time period to which the other maintenance benefits apply and shall not exceed the state standard applicable to that time period.

(c) The commissioner may contract with the county agencies, qualified agencies, organizations, or persons to provide advocacy and support services to process claims for federal disability benefits for applicants or recipients of services or benefits supervised by the commissioner using money retained under this section.

(d) The commissioner may provide methods by which county agencies shall identify, refer, and assist recipients who may be eligible for benefits under federal programs for the disabled.

(e) The total amount of interim assistance recoveries retained under this section for advocacy, support, and claim processing services shall not exceed 35 percent of the interim assistance recoveries in the prior fiscal year.

Subd. 7.SSI conversions and back claims.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall contract with agencies or organizations capable of ensuring that clients who are presently receiving assistance under sections 256D.01 to 256D.21, and who may be eligible for benefits under the federal Supplemental Security Income program, apply and, when eligible, are converted to the federal income assistance program and made eligible for health care benefits under the medical assistance program. The commissioner shall ensure that money owing to the state under interim assistance agreements is collected.

(b) The commissioner shall also directly or through contract implement procedures for collecting federal Medicare and medical assistance funds for which clients converted to SSI are retroactively eligible.

(c) The commissioner shall contract with agencies to ensure implementation of this section. County contracts with providers for residential services shall include the requirement that providers screen residents who may be eligible for federal benefits and provide that information to the local agency. The commissioner shall modify the MAXIS computer system to provide information on clients who have been on general assistance for two years or longer. The list of clients shall be provided to local services for screening under this section.

Subd. 8.Recovery of ATM errors.

For recipients receiving benefits via electronic benefit transfer, if the recipient is overpaid as a result of an automated teller machine (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.

NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 1, by Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 28, section 5, is effective October 1, 2015. Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 28, section 5, the effective date.

NOTE: Subdivision 1b is repealed by Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 28, section 37, effective October 1, 2015.