Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1624
       By Senator Baxley
       12-01631-19                                           20191624__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to a TANF Pay-After-Performance
    3         program; creating s. 414.56, F.S.; requiring the
    4         Department of Children and Families, in consultation
    5         with the Department of Economic Opportunity, to
    6         implement a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    7         Pay-After-Performance program to provide assistance to
    8         certain eligible persons; requiring the Department of
    9         Children and Families to determine eligibility for
   10         participation in the program; requiring the department
   11         to refer an applicant for temporary cash assistance to
   12         the applicable regional workforce board for work
   13         registration and orientation; requiring the regional
   14         workforce board to provide certain information to an
   15         applicant; providing program participation
   16         requirements; requiring a regional workforce board to
   17         assess an applicant’s need for immediate support
   18         services to assist with work activity requirements;
   19         providing requirements for work activities, reporting
   20         excused absences, and verification of work hours;
   21         providing for a reduction of a program participant’s
   22         temporary cash assistance payment under certain
   23         circumstances; authorizing a specified number of hours
   24         of excused absences with good cause; authorizing a
   25         person to request a deferral from participation in the
   26         program; requiring a career advisor to assist such
   27         person in developing an alternative responsibility
   28         plan; requiring certain program applicants who are
   29         medically deferred to apply for specified services and
   30         programs; providing requirements relating to the
   31         assignment of work activities; providing for
   32         termination of program participation for noncompliance
   33         under certain circumstances; authorizing a participant
   34         to reapply after termination under certain
   35         circumstances; providing requirements relating to the
   36         methodology for temporary cash assistance payments;
   37         authorizing the Department of Children and Families to
   38         adopt rules; amending s. 414.0252, F.S.; conforming a
   39         cross-reference; providing an effective date.
   41  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   43         Section 1. Section 414.56, Florida Statutes, is created to
   44  read:
   45         414.56TANF Pay-After-Performance program.—
   46         (1)PROGRAM CREATION.—The department, in consultation with
   47  the Department of Economic Opportunity, shall implement a
   48  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Pay-After
   49  Performance program for eligible persons who receive temporary
   50  cash assistance pursuant to this chapter and who are referred to
   51  a regional workforce board for participation in the welfare
   52  transition program.
   53         (2)ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION.—The department shall
   54  determine the eligibility of persons who may receive temporary
   55  cash assistance. A person who is currently enrolled in the
   56  welfare transition program on the effective date of this act is
   57  not subject to the requirements of the TANF Pay-After
   58  Performance program.
   59         (3)REFERRAL AND ORIENTATION.—The department shall refer an
   60  applicant for temporary cash assistance to the applicable
   61  regional workforce board for work registration and orientation.
   62  During orientation, the regional workforce board shall inform
   63  the applicant in writing of the TANF Pay-After-Performance
   64  program rules and guidelines and assign the number of hours of
   65  work required per month for the applicant to receive full
   66  benefits under the program. The number of hours of work required
   67  by family type under the TANF Pay-After-Performance program are
   68  the same as those required under the welfare transition program.
   69         (a)An applicant who chooses to participate in the TANF
   70  Pay-After-Performance program must acknowledge his or her
   71  understanding of the program requirements in writing.
   72         (b)An applicant who chooses not to participate in the TANF
   73  Pay-After-Performance program has the opportunity to withdraw
   74  his or her application for temporary cash assistance. Such
   75  withdrawal does not affect the applicant’s eligibility to
   76  reapply for temporary cash assistance at any time.
   77         (4)SUPPORT SERVICES.—Each regional workforce board shall
   78  assess an applicant’s need for immediate support services during
   79  orientation as provided in subsection (3). The provision of
   80  needed support services, as described in s. 445.025, to assist
   81  participants with work activity requirements may only be
   82  provided if such services are necessary for an applicant to
   83  participate during the period before the applicant earns his or
   84  her temporary cash assistance benefit.
   85         (5)WORK ACTIVITIES AND WORK VERIFICATION.—A participant in
   86  the TANF Pay-After-Performance program must be assigned to work
   87  activities in accordance with s. 445.024 and provided with
   88  program instructions for reporting excused absences and the
   89  number of completed work hours to his or her career advisor for
   90  verification on a weekly basis.
   92  participant in the TANF Pay-After-Performance program is subject
   93  to a proportional reduction of temporary cash assistance for any
   94  month during which the participant fails to meet the program
   95  requirements without good cause. The amount of temporary cash
   96  assistance otherwise payable to the participant shall be
   97  prorated and proportional to the actual number of completed work
   98  hours.
   99         (7)EXCUSED ABSENCES.—A participant in the welfare
  100  transition program is permitted 16 hours per month of excused
  101  work activity hours for good cause, but no more than 80 hours of
  102  excused absences within a 12-month period. Such excused absences
  103  shall count as participation hours in the TANF Pay-After
  104  Performance program. A career advisor shall directly contact a
  105  participant to determine and verify whether good cause exists
  106  for such absences, and shall notify a participant if his or her
  107  public assistance case is subject to termination for
  108  noncompliance.
  109         (8)DEFERRALS.—If a person meets an exception under s.
  110  414.065, the person may request a deferral from participation in
  111  the TANF Pay-After-Performance program and must provide evidence
  112  to verify his or her need for such deferral. A career advisor
  113  shall assist a participant who has received a deferral in
  114  developing an alternative responsibility plan and shall maintain
  115  contact with each participant to ensure the participant’s
  116  compliance with the plan. The participant shall receive his or
  117  her full monthly temporary cash assistance benefit until the
  118  deferral has been reduced or eliminated or the participant has
  119  met his or her work requirements.
  120         (a)A regional workforce board may refer a participant who
  121  is 100 percent medically deferred to a physician for a second
  122  opinion. Such a participant must apply for vocational
  123  rehabilitation services and benefits under the Social Security
  124  Disability Insurance program.
  125         (b)A participant who is not 100 percent medically deferred
  126  shall be assigned work activities and hours as recommended by
  127  the physician. To receive a full temporary cash assistance
  128  payment, a participant must participate for the full number of
  129  assigned work hours, or the benefit shall be reduced
  130  proportional to the number of hours of nonparticipation.
  131         (9)PROGRAM TERMINATION.—A participant in the welfare
  132  transition program who does not participate in the TANF Pay
  133  After-Performance program for 3 consecutive days, without good
  134  cause or without notifying his or her career advisor, unless
  135  medically unable to participate, must be terminated for
  136  noncompliance from the TANF Pay-After-Performance program and
  137  will no longer be eligible to receive his or her temporary cash
  138  assistance benefit. A participant may reapply for temporary cash
  139  assistance after termination as follows:
  140         (a)First incident of noncompliance, only after 30 days
  141  after the termination date.
  142         (b)Second incident of noncompliance, only after 90 days
  143  after the termination date.
  144         (c)Third incident of noncompliance, only after 180 days
  145  after the termination date.
  146         (10)PAYMENT METHODOLOGY.—Upon completion of up-front work
  147  registration and other eligibility requirements under the
  148  temporary cash assistance program, a participant’s public
  149  assistance case shall be opened for $10 per month. A participant
  150  who meets his or her full participation requirement for the
  151  month shall receive his or her monthly temporary cash assistance
  152  payment. A participant who does not meet his or her full
  153  participation requirement for the month shall have his or her
  154  temporary cash assistance payment reduced proportional to the
  155  number of hours that the participant failed to participate. The
  156  methodology for calculating temporary cash assistance payments
  157  is as follows:
  158         (a)Divide the monthly temporary cash assistance payment by
  159  the monthly scheduled work activity hours;
  160         (b)Multiply the figure in paragraph (a) by the number of
  161  hours missed without good cause during the month; and
  162         (c)Reduce the temporary cash assistance payment by the
  163  amount in paragraph (b), issuing payment for the amount in
  164  excess of the $10 for opening the participant’s public
  165  assistance case.
  166         (11)RULEMAKING.—The department, in consultation with the
  167  Department of Economic Opportunity, may adopt rules to implement
  168  this section.
  169         Section 2. Section 414.0252, Florida Statutes, is amended
  170  to read:
  171         414.0252 Definitions.—As used in ss. 414.025-414.56 ss.
  172  414.025-414.55, the term:
  173         (1) “Alternative payee” means an individual who receives
  174  temporary assistance payments on behalf of a minor.
  175         (2) “Applicant” means an individual who applies to
  176  participate in the temporary family assistance program and
  177  submits a signed and dated application.
  178         (3) “Department” means the Department of Children and
  179  Families.
  180         (4) “Domestic violence” means any assault, aggravated
  181  assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual
  182  battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false
  183  imprisonment, or any criminal offense that results in the
  184  physical injury or death of one family or household member by
  185  another.
  186         (5) “Family” means the assistance group or the individuals
  187  whose needs, resources, and income are considered when
  188  determining eligibility for temporary assistance. The family for
  189  purposes of temporary assistance includes the minor child, a
  190  parent, or caretaker relative who resides in the same house or
  191  living unit. The family may also include individuals whose
  192  income and resources are considered in whole or in part in
  193  determining eligibility for temporary assistance but whose
  194  needs, due to federal or state restrictions, are not considered.
  195  These individuals include, but are not limited to, ineligible
  196  noncitizens or sanctioned individuals.
  197         (6) “Family or household member” means spouses, former
  198  spouses, noncohabitating partners, persons related by blood or
  199  marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a
  200  family or who have resided together in the past as if a family,
  201  and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether
  202  they have been married or have resided together at any time.
  203         (7) “Homeless” means an individual who lacks a fixed,
  204  regular, and adequate nighttime residence or an individual who
  205  has a primary nighttime residence that is:
  206         (a) A supervised publicly or privately operated shelter
  207  designed to provide temporary living accommodations, including
  208  welfare hotels, congregate shelters, and transitional housing
  209  for the mentally ill;
  210         (b) An institution that provides a temporary residence for
  211  individuals intended to be institutionalized; or
  212         (c) A public or private place not designed for, or
  213  ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human
  214  beings.
  215         (8) “Minor child” means a child under 18 years of age, or
  216  under 19 years of age if the child is a full-time student in a
  217  secondary school or at the equivalent level of career training,
  218  and does not include anyone who is married or divorced.
  219         (9) “Participant” means an individual who has applied for
  220  or receives temporary cash assistance.
  221         (10) “Public assistance” means benefits paid on the basis
  222  of the temporary cash assistance, food assistance, Medicaid, or
  223  optional state supplementation program.
  224         (11) “Relative caretaker” or “caretaker relative” means an
  225  adult who has assumed the primary responsibility of caring for a
  226  child and who is related to the child by blood or marriage.
  227         (12) “Temporary cash assistance” means cash assistance
  228  provided under the state program certified under Title IV-A of
  229  the Social Security Act, as amended.
  230         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.