The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 002 : REACH UP PROGRAM FAMILY DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND WORK REQUIREMENTS(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 1114)
§ 1114. Deferments, modifications, and referral
(a) The Commissioner shall establish by rule criteria, standards, and procedures for granting deferments from or modifications to the work requirements established in section 1113 of this title, in accordance with the provisions of this section and for referring individuals with disabilities to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
(b) The work requirements shall be either modified or deferred for:
(1) A participant for whom no unsubsidized or subsidized job or other equivalent supervised work activity recognized by the Commissioner by rule is available.
(2) A participant for whom support services that are essential to employment and other work activities and identified in the family development plan cannot be arranged. Such services shall include case management, education and job training, child care, and transportation.
(3) A primary caretaker parent in a two-parent family in which one parent is able-to-work-part-time or unable-to-work, a single parent, or a caretaker who is caring for a child who has not attained 24 months of age for no more than 24 months of the parent's or caretaker's lifetime receipt of financial assistance. To qualify for such deferment, a parent or caretaker of a child older than the age of six months but younger than 24 months shall cooperate in the development of and participate in a family development plan.
(4) An individual who has exhausted the 24 months of deferment provided for in subdivision (3) of this subsection and who is caring for a child who is not yet 13 weeks of age or a primary caretaker parent in a family with two parents who are able-to-work if the primary caretaker is caring for a child under 13 weeks of age and is otherwise subject to a work requirement because the other parent in the family is being sanctioned in accordance with section 1116 of this title.
(5) A participant who is needed in the home on a full- or part-time basis in order to care for an ill or disabled parent, spouse, or child. In granting deferments, the Department shall fully consider the participant's preference as to the number of hours the participant is able to leave home to participate in work activities. A deferral or modification of the work requirement exceeding 60 days due to the existence of illness or disability pursuant to this subdivision shall be confirmed by the independent medical review of one or more physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, or other health care providers designated by the Secretary of Human Services prior to receipt of continued financial assistance under the Reach Up program.
(6) A participant who is under 20 years of age, who is a single head of household or married, and who maintains satisfactory attendance at secondary school or the equivalent during the month, or participates in education directly related to employment for an average of 20 or more hours per week during the month.
(7) A participant who has attained 20 years of age and who is engaged in at least 15 hours per week of classes and related learning activities for the purpose of attaining a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate or completing a literacy program approved by the Department; provided that the participant is making satisfactory progress toward the attainment of the diploma or certificate; and provided further that a deferment or modification granted for this purpose does not exceed 18 months.
(8) A participant who is enrolled in, attending, and making satisfactory progress toward the completion of a full-time vocational training program that has a normal duration of no more than two years and who is within 12 months of expected completion of such program. Such deferment or modification shall continue until he or she has completed the program, he or she is no longer attending the program, or the 12-month expected completion period has ended, whichever occurs first.
(9) A participant for whom, due to the effects of domestic violence, fulfillment of the work requirement can be reasonably anticipated to result in serious physical or emotional harm to the participant that significantly impairs his or her capacity either to fulfill the work requirement or to care for his or her child adequately, or can be reasonably anticipated to result in serious physical or emotional harm to the child.
(10) Any other participant designated by the Commissioner in accordance with criteria established by rule.
(c) A participant who is able-to-work-part-time or is unable-to-work shall be referred for assessment of the individual's skills and strengths, accommodations and support services, and vocational and other services in accordance with the provisions of his or her family development plan. The work requirement hours shall reflect the individual's ability to work. Participants with disabilities that do not meet the standards used to determine disability under Title XVI of the Social Security Act shall participate in rehabilitation, education, or training programs as appropriate. A participant who qualifies for a deferment or modification and who is able-to-work-part-time shall have his or her work requirement hours modified or deferred. In granting deferments, the Department shall fully consider the participant's estimation of the number of hours the participant is able-to-work.
(d) Absent an apparent condition or claimed physical, emotional, or mental condition, participants are presumed to be able-to-work. A participant shall have the burden of demonstrating the existence of the condition asserted as the basis for a deferral or modification of the work requirement. A deferral or modification of the work requirement exceeding 60 days due to the existence of conditions rendering the participant unable-to-work shall be confirmed by the independent medical review of one or more physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, or other health care providers designated by the Secretary of Human Services prior to receipt of continued financial assistance under the Reach Up program.
(e) Deferments and modifications granted pursuant to this section shall continue for as long as the grounds for the deferment or modification exist or until expiration of a related time period specified in subsection (b) of this section, whichever occurs first.
(f) As used in this section, "health care provider" means a person, partnership, or corporation, other than a facility or institution, licensed or certified or authorized by law to provide professional health care service in this State to an individual during that individual's medical care, treatment, or confinement. (Added 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2001; amended 2007, No. 30, § 11, eff. May 17, 2007; 2013, No. 50, § E.323.2, eff. May 28, 2013; 2013, No. 179 (Adj. Sess.), § E.321.2; 2017, No. 109 (Adj. Sess.), § 4.)