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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online


Title 33 : Human Services

Chapter 011 : REACH UP


(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 1116)
  • § 1116. Sanctions

    (a) The financial assistance grant of a participating family shall be reduced, in accordance with the provisions of this section, if a participating adult fails without good cause to fully comply or continue to comply in full with the family development plan or work requirements in sections 1112 and 1113 of this title.

    (b) Prior to the reduction in a family's financial assistance grant resulting from a sanction imposed under this section, the Department shall provide an independent review of the participant's circumstances and the basis for his or her noncompliance. The Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee shall perform the review.

    (c)(1) For a first, second, and third month in which a participating adult is not in compliance with a family development plan or work requirement and has not demonstrated good cause for such noncompliance, the family's financial assistance grant shall be reduced by the amount of $75.00 for each adult sanctioned.

    (2) For the fourth and any subsequent month not subject to the reduction required by subsection (e) of this section in which a participating adult is not in compliance with a family development plan or work requirement and has not demonstrated good cause for such noncompliance, the family's financial assistance grant shall be reduced by the amount of $150.00 for each adult sanctioned.

    (d) A participant may cure a sanction by coming into compliance in accordance with the Department's rules. During the first 60 months of the family's receipt of financial assistance, a participating adult may have all previous sanctions forgiven by demonstrating 12 consecutive months of compliance with family development plan requirements or work requirements or any combination of the two. Subsequent acts of noncompliance after a sanctioned adult has completed a successful 12-month sanction forgiveness period will be treated in accordance with subdivisions (c)(1) and (2) of this section without consideration of the sanctions that have been forgiven.

    (e) [Repealed.]

    (f)(1) Under no circumstances during the first six months that a family's grant is reduced due to fiscal sanctions imposed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section shall the grant be reduced to less than an amount which in combination with the family's other countable income is less than the family's actual incurred housing costs up to the applicable maximum housing allowance.

    (2) The Commissioner shall provide the housing costs by electronic or direct payment to the person to whom housing costs are owed. Any balance of financial assistance remaining after the electronic or direct payment has been deducted shall be paid in two payments, the first to be paid within the first half of the calendar month and the second to be paid within the second half of the calendar month.

    (g) The financial assistance grant of a family that has been subject to a fiscal sanction for more than six cumulative months shall be reduced in accordance with the full sanction amounts and without any consideration of the housing costs protection established in subsection (f) of this section. This section shall not apply if the family, after the fiscal sanction period of more than six months, has an intervening period of no less than 36 months before another fiscal sanction and spends those months in a state of program compliance, grant closure, or any combination of the two.

    (h) To receive payments during the fiscal sanction period, an adult who is the subject of the sanction shall meet no less than once each month to report his or her circumstances to the case manager or to participate in assessments as directed by the case manager. In addition, this meeting shall be for initial assessment and development of the family development plan when such tasks have not been completed; reassessment or review and revision of the family development plan, if appropriate; and to encourage the participant to fulfill the work requirement. Meetings required under this section may take place in the district office, a community location, or in the participant's home. Facilitation of meeting the participant's family development plan goals shall be a primary consideration in determining the location of the meeting. The Commissioner may waive any meeting when extraordinary circumstances prevent a participant from attending. The Commissioner shall adopt rules to implement this subsection.

    (i) A family sanctioned under this section for failure to meet work or family development plan requirements shall remain eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits and shall not, because of such failure, be sanctioned under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for reasons of "failure to comply without good cause" and "voluntary quit without good cause," provided that such eligibility and waivers of such sanctions are consistent with federal law and regulations governing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. (Added 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2001; amended 2007, No. 30, §§ 12, 13, eff. May 17, 2007; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), §§ E.323.1, E.323.2; 2011, No. 63, §§ C.105, C.105.1, eff. June 2, 2011; 2013, No. 50, § E.323.4, eff. May 1, 2014; 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 28, eff. May 20, 2014; 2015, No. 23, § 53.)