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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 22-626




[55 PA. CODE CHS. 123 AND 133]

Definitions and Redetermination

[52 Pa.B. 2548]
[Saturday, April 23, 2022]

Statutory Authority

 The Department of Human Services (Department) amends Chapters 123 and 133 (relating to definitions; and redetermining eligibility) as set forth in Annex A under the authority of §§ 201(2), 403(b) and 432.2 of the Human Services Code (62 P.S. §§ 201(2), 403(b) and 432.2). Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 7193 (December 19, 2020).

Purpose of this Final-Form Rulemaking

 The purpose of this final-form rulemaking is to expand the types of interviews available to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) applicants and recipients to meet application and redetermination requirements. This final-form rulemaking removes the need for a face-to-face interview and adds a definition for ''personal interview,'' which enables TANF applicants and recipients to participate in required interviews by phone, in person or by other means approved by the Department. This change makes the TANF interview process more flexible, efficient and accessible for applicants and recipients.

Affected Individuals and Organizations

 This final-form rulemaking affects TANF applicants and recipients.

Accomplishments and Benefits

 These final-form amendments make the TANF interview process more flexible, and accessible for applicants and recipients. The change also makes the TANF review process more flexible and efficient for the Department. With these changes, the required personal interview may be in person, by telephone or by other means approved by the Department. With expanded interview options, the Department may plan with applicants and recipients the most convenient and efficient type of personal interview. For applicants and recipients, these options can save time and avoid the extra travel and childcare expenditures they might have with face-to-face interviews.

Contact Persons

 For questions concerning this final-form rulemaking, contact Cathy Buhrig, Department of Human Services, Office of Income Maintenance, 1006 Hemlock Drive, Room 230, P.O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17110 or Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may use the Pennsylvania Hamilton Relay Service (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).

Fiscal Impact

 There are no costs associated with this final-form rulemaking. This final-form rulemaking may result in travel cost savings for applicants and recipients. Applicants and recipients may also avoid travel and childcare expenditures and lost wages from unpaid leave time.

Public Comment

 Public meetings or community participation processes were not used to develop this final-form rulemaking. The Department received one public comment from the Homeless Assistance Program (HAP), and one comment from the House Health Committee in support of the final-form amendments that would provide expanded interviews. There were no comments received from the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), other legislators or other State agencies. The Department made no changes in response to the two favorable comments received.

Regulatory Review Act

 Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.5(a)), on December 7, 2020, the Department submitted notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 50 Pa.B. 7193, to IRRC for review and comment and the Chairpersons of the House Committee on Health and the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on February 17, 2021, for review and comment.

 Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Department submitted to IRRC and the Committees copies of comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Department has considered all comments from IRRC, the House and Senate Committees and the public.

 Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act, (71 P.S. § 745.5a(j.2)) on March 9, 2022, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by IRRC effective March 10, 2022.


 The Department finds:

 (a) The public notice of intention to amend the administrative regulation by this order has been given under §§ 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 2018 (P.L. 769, No. 240) (45 P.S. §§ 1201 and 1202), referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law and the regulations at 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).

 (b) A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered in drafting this final-form rulemaking.

 (c) That the adoption of this final-form rulemaking in the manner provided by this order is necessary and appropriate for the administration and enforcement of §§ 201(2), 403(b) and 432.2 of the Human Services Code.


 The Department acting under §§ 201(2), 403(b) and 432.2 of the Human Services Code orders:

 (a) The regulations of the Department, 55 Pa. Code Chapters 123 and 133, are amended by amending §§ 123.22 and 133.23, to read as set forth in Annex A, with ellipses referring to the existing text of the regulations.

 (b) The Secretary of the Department shall submit this final-form rulemaking to the Offices of General Counsel and Attorney General for approval as to legality and form as required by law.

 (c) The Department shall submit this final-form rulemaking to IRRC and the Legislative Standing Committees as required by law.

 (d) The Secretary of the Department shall certify and deposit this final-form rulemaking with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

 (e) This final-form rulemaking shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Acting Secretary

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 14-550 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

Annex A






§ 123.22. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter and Chapters 125, 133 and 141 (relating to application process; redetermining eligibility; and general eligibility provisions), have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

*  *  *  *  *

Application interview—A personal interview between an applicant and an eligibility worker, to gather and record information and to secure verification needed to establish eligibility.

*  *  *  *  *

Monthly assistance payment—The amount of money issued monthly that is based on the family size allowance plus, if applicable, a special need allowance, reduced by the net income of the budget group.

Personal interview—A meeting or discussion between an applicant or recipient and an eligibility worker, in person, by telephone or by other means approved by the Department.

Reapplication—A completed, signed form approved by the Department which is filed with the CAO by a recipient and used for a complete redetermination of continued eligibility of a budget group.

*  *  *  *  *

Screening interview—A personal interview between the applicant and an eligibility worker which includes a review of the application to assure that information necessary to determine eligibility is provided prior to determining a person ineligible or prior to scheduling an application interview.



§ 133.23. Requirements.

*  *  *  *  *

 (c) Redetermination contacts. The Department shall schedule and conduct a personal interview with the recipient.

 (d) Controls for redeterminations. To carry out the function of redetermining eligibility, a central control of necessary future actions is maintained to provide a method whereby reasonably predictable changes in the total caseload can be acted on within appropriate time limits.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-626. Filed for public inspection April 22, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]

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