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.
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.
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.
A participant must complete forms prescribed by the commissioner which are required for recertification of eligibility according to section 256P.04, subdivisions 8 and 9. A county agency must end benefits when the participant fails to submit the recertification form and verifications and complete the interview process before the end of the certification period. If the participant submits the recertification form by the last day of the certification period, benefits may be reinstated back to the date of closing when the recertification process is completed during the first month after benefits ended.
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.
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.
(a) Paragraphs (b) to (e) apply to the reporting requirements in subdivision 7.
(b) 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.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) A county agency must allow good cause exemptions from the reporting requirements under subdivision 5 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.
A caregiver must report the changes or anticipated changes specified in clauses (1) to (15) within ten days of the date they occur, at the time of the periodic recertification of eligibility under section 256P.04, subdivisions 8 and 9, or within eight calendar days of a reporting period as in subdivision 5, whichever occurs first. A caregiver must report other changes at the time of the periodic recertification of eligibility under section 256P.04, subdivisions 8 and 9, or at the end of a reporting period under subdivision 5, as applicable. A caregiver must make these reports in writing to the agency. When an 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 (14) had not occurred, the 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 (15) 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 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) the marriage or divorce of an assistance unit member;
(10) the death of a parent, minor child, or financially responsible person;
(11) a change in address or living quarters of the assistance unit;
(12) the sale, purchase, or other transfer of property;
(13) a change in school attendance of a caregiver under age 20 or an employed child;
(14) filing a lawsuit, a workers' compensation claim, or a monetary claim against a third party; and
(15) 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.
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.
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, clauses (8) and (9). 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.
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; 2008 c 277 art 1 s 40; 2013 c 107 art 4 s 13,14; 2014 c 291 art 11 s 13,14; 2014 c 312 art 28 s 21,22
NOTE: The amendment to subdivision 4 by Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 28, section 21, is effective February 1, 2015. Laws 2014, chapter 312, article 28, section 21, the effective date.