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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 05-1647




[35 Pa.B. 4977]

   The Department of Public Welfare (Department) intents to amend the Commonwealth's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 601--619) State Plan. The proposed amendment will permit individuals or families who otherwise qualify for TANF cash assistance to receive a nonassistance diversion payment as an alternative to receiving ongoing cash assistance.

   Federal regulation in 45 CFR 260.31(b) defines ''nonassistance'' as nonrecurrent, short-term benefits that are designed to deal with a specific crisis situation or episode of need; are not intended to meet recurrent or ongoing needs; and will not extend beyond 4 months. The Department intends to amend its TANF State Plan to create a nonassistance program known as Diversion.

   Diversion will provide a nonrecurring payment to eligible individuals or families as an alternative to ongoing cash assistance. Individuals/families must be employed or have a recent work history. A recent work history is defined as having worked within the 90-day period immediately preceding the date of application. Individuals or families must also have a plan for self-support from earned or unearned income.

   The purpose of this payment is to meet a specific crisis situation or episode of need that is expected to eliminate the need for ongoing cash assistance. A diversion payment is equal to the Family Size Allowance (FSA) for 1, 2 or a maximum of 3 months, depending upon a family's need (55 Pa. Code Chapter 183, Appendix B, Table 3). An eligible family may receive a maximum amount equal to 3 months of the FSA within a 12-month period.

   Services and/or items that may be purchased with this payment include:

   *  Work expenses such as uniforms and tools.

   *  Mortgage, rent or other housing expenses.

   *  Car repairs, inspections, payments, insurance premium payments and other transportation costs.

   *  Child care.

   *  Costs to relocate to secure employment.

   To be eligible for this initiative, the individual or family must:

   *  Meet the income/resource requirements and definitive conditions for TANF which are minor child, specified relative and deprivation.

   *  Be employed or have a recent work history.

   *  Have a specific crisis situation or episode of need that, if met, eliminates the individual's or family's need for ongoing TANF cash assistance.

   *  Have a verified plan for ongoing self-support from earned or unearned income.

   This notice and subsequent State Plan Amendments do not create a duty or obligation upon the Department to continue, renew or extend availability of Diversion. Continuation or renewal of the program is subject to availability of funds.

Public Comment

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding this notice to the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Income Maintenance, Edward J. Zogby, Director, Bureau of Policy, Room 431, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, (717) 787-4081. Comments received within 30-calendar days will be reviewed and considered for any subsequent revision of the notice.

   Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).


   Fiscal Note:  14-NOT-435. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption. Implementation of this notice will generate savings to the General Fund beginning in Fiscal Year 2005-2006 of $5.661 million.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 05-1647. Filed for public inspection September 2, 2005, 9:00 a.m.]

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