37.78.601 EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
(1) Financial assistance and/or services may be authorized to meet the emergency needs of a child under the age of 21, who lives with a specified relative as defined in ARM 37.78.207 or who is under age 18 and has lived with a specified relative within the six months prior to the request date in a place of residence maintained by the relative as the child's home, in the following circumstances:
(a) where the emergency arises from an unforeseen event which was beyond the household's control, and which has caused or threatens to cause the destitution of the child; or
(b) where the emergency arises out of a situation identified by the department as involving abuse or neglect of the child.
(2) For purposes of this rule, household means the child whose needs are to be met by the emergency assistance and all other persons who live with the child and are related to the child by blood or marriage, as specified in ARM 37.78.207.
(3) Emergency assistance will be provided only if:
(a) the child and all household members are U.S. citizens or qualified aliens as defined in ARM 37.78.220.
(b) the emergency needs did not arise because the child or the child's caretaker relative refused without good cause to accept or maintain employment or training for employment;
(i) good cause for failure to accept or maintain employment or training for employment shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of ARM 37.78.508.
(c) the emergency situation could not have been foreseen by the household and was not under the household's control; and
(d) the household has exhausted all other means available to meet the emergency need, including but not limited to all liquid resources of the household and any benefits or services for which the household is eligible.
(4) Emergency assistance may be authorized once only in any period of 12 consecutive months.
(5) Emergency assistance shall be provided in the form of cash payments directly to the household or protective payee or to the vendor of a necessary item or service.
(6) Emergency assistance shall not be provided to pay for the following:
(a) penalties, fines, and taxes, including but not limited to personal and real property taxes;
(b) insurance - home, auto, or life;
(e) reimbursements for expenses already paid or money loaned to the household to pay expenses;
(f) rental, security, and/or utility deposits or any rental payment required to be paid in advance before the household takes possession;
(g) bills for services already received, including medical bills;
(h) bills more than 30 days past due, excepting the two most recent months of past due rent or utility bills if an eviction notice or utility cut-off notice is imminent and the cause of the eviction or utility shut-off was an unforeseen event. For purposes of this rule, "imminent" means likely to happen without delay as a result of unanticipated circumstances.
(i) legal fees, including but not limited to court costs and attorney fees;
(j) the purchase of a vehicle; or
(k) any travel expense that would be payable by any source including but not limited to Medicaid or TANF Cash Assistance supportive services.
(7) Emergency assistance may be provided to pay for home based services, substitute care or foster care if the department identifies a need for services to prevent the child's removal, expedite the return of the child to the home, or prevent the need for protective services for the child.
(8) Information will be provided and referrals will be made to meet the needs of the household for counseling, shelter, child care, legal services, homemaker services, or other services.
(9) A pregnant woman who has no children living with her is not eligible to receive emergency assistance to meet her own needs or the needs of her unborn child unless:
(a) she is in the last trimester of her pregnancy; and
(b) an employee of the department who provides protective services to children has determined that she is in need of emergency assistance.
(10) Receipt of emergency assistance does not count as using any month of time-limited TANF Cash Assistance.
History: 53-2-201, 53-4-212, MCA; IMP, 53-2-201, 53-4-211, MCA; NEW, 1998 MAR p. 3284, Eff. 12/18/98; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 199, Eff. 1/28/00; TRANS, from SRS, 2000 MAR p. 3414; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 15, Eff. 1/17/03.