Montana Administrative Register Notice 37-535 No. 7   04/14/2011    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.78.102 pertaining to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)






TO:  All Concerned Persons


            1.  On May 9, 2011, at 10:30 a.m., the Department of Public Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing in the auditorium of the Department of Public Health and Human Services Building, 111 North Sanders, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule.


2.  The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice.  If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on May 2, 2011, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need.  Please contact Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov.


3.  The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:



            (1)  The TANF program shall be administered in accordance with the requirements of federal law governing temporary assistance for needy families as set forth in Title IV of the Social Security Act, 42 USC 601 et seq., as amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, and the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005.

            (2)  The "Montana TANF Cash Assistance Manual" dated October 1, 2010 July 1, 2011 is adopted and incorporated by this reference.  A copy of the Montana TANF Cash Assistance Manual is available for public viewing at each local Office of Public Assistance, and at the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Human and Community Services Division, 111 N. Jackson St., 5th Floor, P.O. Box 202925, Helena, MT 59620-2925.  Manual updates are also available on the department's web site at www.dphhs.mt.gov.


AUTH:  53-4-212, MCA

IMP:     53-4-211, 53-4-601, MCA


            4.  The Department of Public Health and Human Services (department) is proposing an amendment to ARM 37.78.102 pertaining to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).


Statement of Reasonable Necessity


ARM 37.78.102


ARM 37.78.102 currently adopts and incorporates by reference the October 1, 2010 TANF policy manual.  The department proposes to make some revisions to this manual that will take effect on July 1, 2011.  The proposed amendments to this rule are necessary to incorporate into the Administrative Rules of Montana the revised versions of the policy manual and to permit all interested parties to comment on the department's policies and to offer suggested changes.  It is estimated that changes to the TANF manual could affect approximately 9,161 TANF recipients, which is the average of the total number of recipients from October through December 2010.  Manuals and draft manual materials are available for review in each local Office of Public Assistance and on the department's web site at www.dphhs.mt.gov.


Following is a brief overview of the TANF manual sections with substantive changes related to the above rule changes.


TANF 001 - Monthly Income Standards


This section incorporates TANF Bulletin 60 to reflect the change in eligibility standards to 30 percent of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level.


TANF 102-1 - Civil Rights


This section is updated to include the Non-Discrimination Notice policy, to distinguish state and federal protected classes; to clarify the process on how to handle complaints including complaints on a state protected class but not a federal protected class.  Information is added on how central office staff will handle complaints.  The address for the Office for Civil Rights was updated.


TANF 102-1a - ADA Accommodations


This section adds policies and procedures to ensure that persons with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in our services, activities, programs, and other benefits.  The procedures outlined in the manual material are intended to ensure effective communication with patients/clients involving their medical conditions, treatment, services, and benefits.


TANF 103-1 - Verification and Documentation


This section incorporates TANF Bulletin 62 which outlines the process utilized for online applications.  It provides individuals the option of applying online as well as through the OPA; and, it clarifies the manner in which items are received through the online application system. 


TANF 103-4 - Verification and Documentation


This section incorporates TANF Bulletins 55 and 62.  TANF Bulletin 55 addresses the removal of the requirement for TANF households to comply with Third Party Liability (TPL for Medicaid) and Health Insurance Premium Insurance Payment System (HIPPS).  The reference to the use of the Accurint System to verify resources was removed as it was no longer cost effective to continue with this service.  If marital status is questionable, it has to be verified. 


TANF 300 - Overview


This section incorporates TANF Bulletin 55 which removes the requirement for TANF households to comply with TPL for Medicaid and HIPPS.


TANF 301-2 - Alien Status


This section incorporates TANF Bulletin 59 addressing Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) eligibility.  This section clarifies whom in central office, would receive the verification request form for a Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) request.




This section was removed from the manual as it is no longer a requirement for TANF eligibility.


TANF 701-3 - Participation Components


The Community Service component was updated to align with the information in the WoRC guidelines.  Information regarding the voluntary disclosure of disability information was added to this section when referencing a request from an individual to be exempt from employment and training activities due to disability.  Information was added regarding the information that must be provided prior to exempting an individual from employment and training activities.  Information was added to clarify that the sanction does not need to be lifted in order to enter the Fair Hearing Pending (FHP) component. 


TANF 702-4 - Fair Hearing Non-Compliance with FIA/EP or Tribal New – Continuation of Benefits


Clarification was added that the sanction does not have to be lifted in order to input the FHP component.


TANF 704-1 - Supportive Service Payments


This section adds requirements that a participant must certify that they have a valid driver's license, car registration, and insurance before a supportive service can be issued for gas and/or car repair.  Requirements were also added in regards to issuing a supportive service for another person's vehicle.  It clarifies that gift/incentive cards can no longer be used in the WoRC programs.  Information was added on what cannot be purchased with supportive services. 


TANF 1504-1 - Overpayments


Information was added to include the new procedure for clients to contact the Claims and Investigation unit to apply their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) benefits to their TANF debt.  The policy regarding the use of expunged TANF benefits to offset an existing overpayment was added to the manual.  New contact information was added to the overpayment log section.


            5.  Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing.  Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to:  Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena, Montana, 59604-4210; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., May 13, 2011.


6.  The Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.


7.  The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 5 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


8.  An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register.  The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


9.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.




/s/ Lisa Swanson                                           /s/ Anna Whiting Sorrell                   

Rule Reviewer                                               Anna Whiting Sorrell, Director

                                                                        Public Health and Human Services


Certified to the Secretary of State April 4, 2011



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