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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 33 : Human Services

Chapter 011 : REACH UP

Subchapter 003 : SEPARATE STATE PROGRAMS

(Cite as: 33 V.S.A. § 1121)
  • § 1121. Authorization to segregate State funds and create separate State and solely State-funded programs

    (a) Consistent with the purposes of this chapter, the Commissioner shall structure payment of appropriated TANF funds, State "maintenance of effort" funds, and general funds to create separate State and solely State-funded programs to aid families eligible for the financial assistance. For purposes of this chapter:

    (1) "Separate State program" means a program in which State funds are used to fund the program, and these funds are counted toward the State's maintenance-of-effort requirement under TANF.

    (2) "Solely State-funded program" means a program in which State funds are used to fund the program and are not counted toward the State's maintenance-of-effort requirement in order to maintain flexibility.

    (b) The Commissioner shall establish by rule standards, requirements, and criteria for the administration of any program established pursuant to this section that requires rules different from the financial assistance program.

    (c) Programs and payment structures created pursuant to this section shall accomplish one or more of the following purposes:

    (1) to provide work supports and assistance to working families while preserving their ability to receive financial assistance beyond the federal TANF 60-month lifetime limit;

    (2) to foster parental nurturing of children in their own homes;

    (3) to stabilize families in crisis;

    (4) to preserve financial assistance options beyond the federal TANF 60-month lifetime limit for families addressing multiple issues relating to self-sufficiency;

    (5) to preserve eligibility for financial assistance for certain parents who are under 18 and legal aliens whom federal law makes ineligible for TANF-funded assistance; or

    (6) to ensure that the State complies with the federal TANF program requirements and is able to avoid federal fiscal sanctions.

    (d)(1) The following solely State-funded programs shall be established, in accordance with rules adopted by the Commissioner:

    (A) the Postsecondary Education Program established under section 1122 of this title;

    (B) a program for families with a single parent, a caretaker, or two parents with one parent who is able-to-work-part-time or unable-to-work that have a primary caretaker of a child under 24 months of age who chooses pursuant to subsection 1114(b) of this title to defer the work requirement and to remain at home caring for the child, provided that the deferment is limited to any 24 months over the primary caretaker's lifetime, and the elimination of such work requirement is not a State option under TANF; and

    (C) a program for the following vulnerable families:

    (i) a minor parent who is not meeting the TANF requirements; and

    (ii) families who have received TANF-funded assistance for over 60 months and do not qualify for the hardship exemption as provided for by rule.

    (2) Solely State-funded programs may be established, in accordance with rules adopted by the Commissioner, for the following individuals:

    (A) families in which the parents or caretakers are ineligible immigrants, who are considered work-eligible under federal law but are unable to meet the number of hours in work activities required for the family to be counted as meeting the work requirement under federal law;

    (B) adults who have been in sanction for more than three months;

    (C) families in which the parents have disabilities;

    (D) families in which one or more child has a disability and in which a family member is considered a work-eligible individual;

    (E) families in which the parents or caretakers have an application pending for Supplemental Security Income; and

    (F) two-parent households who are unable to meet the number of hours in work activities required for the family to be counted as meeting the work requirement under federal law, unless the federal law allows the State to exclude these families from the work participation rate or provides for an achievable work participation rate as determined by the Commissioner.

    (e) The Reach Ahead program shall be a separate State program structured to pay appropriated State maintenance of effort funds to families in which the parent or caretaker is engaged in employment for the number of hours that meets the applicable TANF participation rate requirement.

    (f) The Commissioner may establish other separate State and solely State-funded programs necessary to meet the goals established in this chapter.

    (g)(1) Any family receiving or applying for Reach Up financial assistance who is being referred by the Department to apply for or who is applying for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) or aid to the aged, blind, or disabled (AABD) under chapter 13 of this title shall authorize the Department to reimburse the State for the amounts described in subdivision (2) of this subsection from any initial SSI payment owed the individual that includes SSI payment for retroactive amounts. The family shall authorize the Social Security Administration to send the initial SSI payment directly to the Department. The Department may require an individual to sign a recovery of financial assistance agreement as authorization.

    (2) The Department may deduct an amount equal to the State-funded Reach Up financial assistance paid to the family for the needs of the SSI applicant during the period or periods in which the family received Reach Up financial assistance paid for with State funds. The deduction shall be for no more than the prorated portion of Reach Up financial assistance provided for those family members receiving SSI who are included in the SSI grant. The Department shall send any remainder due to the family within 10 days of receiving the payment from the Social Security Administration.

    (h) In furtherance of the policy goals of this section and in order to establish an excess of maintenance-of-effort State funds, the Commissioner shall maximize maintenance-of-effort State funds in the reports to the U.S. Administration for Children and Families. (Added 1999, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. July 1, 2001; amended 2007, No. 30, § 14, eff. May 17, 2007; 2009, No. 67 (Adj. Sess.), § 91, eff. Feb. 25, 2010; 2011, No. 63, § E.323.)