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WORK FIRST/TANF INFORMATION SESSION Rev 6-1-09 IMPORTANT NOTICE! If you are not prepared to stay through this entire process today, you may choose to leave at this time and return by 9:00 a.m.or 1:00 p. m. on a day that you are prepared to complete the session. You will need to notify the receptionist as you leave. If you are unable to attend a session in full because of your employment schedule please notify us immediately. If you choose not to stay for this session but would like to apply for Medicaid and/or Food Stamps only please notify us at this time. Work First Mission Statement North Carolina’s Work First Program is built upon the belief that all people have a responsibility to their families and community to work and to provide for their children. The goal of Work First is to assist families with becoming self sufficient through services offered from the Employment Security Commission (ESC), Child Support Enforcement (CSE), Supportive Services and if needed, Work First Family Assistance (WFFA). IMPORTANT NOTE The terms “Work First” “WFFA” “TANF” are interchangeable and may be used together or separately during this presentation. All references are to the monthly cash money payment. The Work First Family Assistance payment is only available to families with dependent children living in their home. MAXIMUM WORK FIRST MONTHLY PAYMENT Family 1 2 3 4 5 Size Monthly 181 236 272 297 324 TANF Check (based on zero income) Additional children born subject to family cap requirement will not result in an increase of monthly benefits. . Work First Requirements Work First requires you (adults 18 years or older) to participate in a minimum of 35 hours weekly in employment, training, or unpaid work experience. We are here to assist you with getting paid employment. You will be assessed as to your immediate needs. If your needs can be met through child support or immediate employment then Work First Family Assistance may not be needed and you may choose not to apply. Other services are available to assist those that are going to begin work immediately. Employment Security Commission The Employment Security Commission office is located at 414 Ray Avenue (just off Rowan Street) in Fayetteville. The phone # is (910) 486-1010. First Stop is registration with the Employment Security Commission and is a requirement for mandatory adults to receive Work First. Complete the First Stop Registration form in the packet of information you are given to bring with you to the appointment with the application caseworker. Failure to register for First Stop, without good cause, will result in a denied application for Work First benefits. Job Bank-is the ESC data bank that lists employment opportunities. If you are a DSS client and potentially eligible to receive Unemployment Benefits you must file a claim for benefits. If you have questions or concerns, see an ESC representative or your worker. Employment Security website: http://www.ncesc.com EMPLOYMENT COORDINATORS PROVIDE EMPLOYMENT REFERRALS AND LEADS GIVE JOB SEARCH TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS ASSIST WITH LOCATING SKILLS TRAINING CLASSES Retention Social Workers Retention social workers can provide services to individuals who are …. working not currently receiving a Work First check. These social workers may be able to assist when a crisis or problem occurs on the job or at home that could lead to the loss of the job. They are able to provide many services for up to 12 months after the family’s TANF check stops. Please notify us at this time if you fit into this category and wish to meet with the Retention Social Worker instead of applying for Work First. Child Support Enforcement Child Support Enforcement is a nationwide program established by Congress in 1975 to ensure that both parents support their children to the extent of their ability. Child Support Requirements Individuals receiving TANF/Work First are automatically referred to the local Child Support Enforcement office and must cooperate as a condition of their eligibility to receive Work First benefits. All child support payments made for children receiving Work First benefits will be reassigned to the Dept. of Human Resources to offset the TANF monies received for the child. Child Support Services include…. Assistance in locating absent parent(s) Paternity establishment for children born out of wedlock Establishment of legal child support obligations (L.S.O.) Enforcement of child support obligations Collection of child support payments Child Support Information More information and applications for Child Support Services can be obtained by contacting the local Child Support Enforcement Office at 803-J Stamper Road (Eutaw Shopping Center) - phone 486-1092 or visiting child support services on line at http://www.ncchildsupport.com The Customer Service Center Voice Response System is available 24 hours per day with the exception of Sunday. The phone number is 1-800-992-9457. Substance/Alcohol Abuse Screening Requirement If you choose to apply for TANF/WFFA cash assistance you are required to be screened for substance/alcohol abuse. A caseworker will conduct this thorough screening with you personally and complete an Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). The caseworker will also complete the Drug Abuse Questionnaire (DAST-10) with you. WFFA policy requires completion of both the AUDIT and the DAST-10 if you receive Work First cash assistance benefits. WFFA CHILD-ONLY BENEFITS Are available to SSI parent(s), grandparents and other relatives who are responsible for the care of a child(ren) living in their home. If you fit into this category please notify us at this time. WFFA IS A TIME-LIMITED BENEFIT There are 2 clocks that run concurrently * a 24-month state clock * a 60-month federal clock The 2-year state clock will terminate Work First benefits after 24 months and you can not receive again for 3 years unless a special extension is granted. The 5- year federal clock limits receiving WFFA for a maximum lifetime benefit of 60 months unless a hardship hearing results in approval of extended months. (All months used of the 60 month clock are transferred and tracked from state to state). Due to these time limits, you may choose not to apply for WFFA benefits at this time but instead apply for other supportive services and programs that are not time limited. Other Available Services Social Services website: http://www.dss.co.cumberland.nc.us There are some options available to help meet your needs and that will not start the 2 or 5 year time limit clocks. Options include: 1) Food Stamps 2) Medicaid 3) Employment related needs 4) Referrals on budgeting, parenting skills and other needs 5) Child care services located on the 2nd floor-desk # 21 6) Other supportive services based on your individual family needs Handouts are available of agency and community resources If you are interested in these other services and do not wish to apply for Work First/TANF at this time please notify the receptionist. Should you choose to apply for Work First/TANF We will immediately initiate the Child Support referral and your full cooperation is required. You will also be required to register with First Stop(Employment Security Commission). You will be required to sign a Mutual Responsibility Agreement. Mutual Responsibility Agreement A Mutual Responsibility Agreement is an agreement between you and the Department of Social Services representative. This will be your plan for self-sufficiency. This agreement will detail expectations of activities that you will be performing and note any supportive services provided. Based on your assessment, your Mutual Responsibility Agreement may include 35 hours of weekly activity. You may begin job searching and/or be referred to our Employment Coordinators or to the Employment Security Commission for job leads and referrals. Mutual Responsibility Agreement - Core Requirement Examples __Register for work with First Stop __Provide proof of children’s check ups & immunizations __Cooperate with Child Support Enforcement __Complete a substance abuse screening __Insure school-aged children attend school __Keep all appointments with DSS workers __Report changes in your situation immediately MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY AGREEMENT PLAN OF ACTION REQUIREMENTS Participant’s Name:_______________ Case Number:_____________________ North Carolina’s Work First Program is based on the philosophy that all people have the responsibility to their families and community to work and provide for their children. The family and Social Services develop this Mutual Responsibility Agreement, Plan of Action. It outlines the steps to become self-sufficient. It will be reviewed and may be changed as needed. Employment Goals:_________________________________________________ Other Goals:_______________________________________________________ # of months remaining on 24-month time clock:_____60 month time clock:_____ Plan of Action: (Describe client and agency responsibility) Activity/ HRS/ Expectations Service WK Comments:_________________________________________________________ Our signatures indicate that we have jointly developed this Plan of Action and agree to the responsibilities and conditions outlined. The policy regarding time-limited benefits, sanctions hearings, and extensions have been explained. Work First Participant’s Signature:_______Date______Telephone___________ Work First Worker’s Signature: __________Date______Telephone___________ Pay For Performance Effective June 1, 2009 the Cumberland County Work First Program began Pay For Performance for all Work First cases that include an adult parent and/or step-parent. All applicants and recipients are required to comply with their MRA – Core Requirements before receiving a Work First check for that month. Those who are required to participate in Employment Services must also complete the activities on their Mutual Responsibility Agreement Plan of Action for the month before receiving a Work First check for that month. Work First Caseworkers and Employment Social Workers will meet with participants to sign the MRA’s and will decide if a check can be released each month. Failure to meet the requirements for the check will cause your Work First case to transfer to Medicaid. It is very important to stay in contact with your workers and report any changes or problems immediately. Should you choose to apply for Work First/TANF The caseworker processing the application will need the following information verified: 1) all sources of income 2) birth certificates and social security cards 3) verification of where you live and the names of all who are living in the household 4) other applicable information Most adults receiving Work First are required to participate in the Employment Program The 35 hours of weekly participation required may be in one or more of the following areas: * employment * training * unpaid work experience Failure to participate may result in denial of the Work First/TANF application, non-issuance of the monthly TANF check, or termination of the Work First case. Before leaving this Information Session today If you are still interested in applying for Work First Family Assistance… – Complete the personal information form – Turn the information form in to the facilitator – Receive an appointment time to meet with a Case Worker This is your opportunity to reach for the stars!!! You can do it!!!
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