Article - Human Services
(a) This section is not intended to create an incentive for individuals to seek temporary cash assistance benefits instead of employment.
(b) A local department shall provide temporary cash assistance to an applicant or recipient only if:
(1) the applicant or recipient meets the requirements for participation in the FIP set forth in § 5–308 of this subtitle;
(2) the applicant or recipient assigns to the State all right, title, and interest in support, for the period that the family receives temporary cash assistance, from any other person that the applicant or recipient has on behalf of any intended or potential recipient for whom the applicant or recipient is applying for or receiving assistance; and
(3) in the case of an applicant or recipient who is a minor parent, the applicant or recipient lives:
(i) with a parent, legal guardian, custodian, or other adult relative who will be the payee of the minor parent;
(ii) in an adult–supervised group living arrangement that provides a protective payee and:
1. there is no available parent, legal guardian, custodian, or other adult relative with whom the minor parent can live;
2. the minor parent or child would be subject to physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or neglect in the home of any available adult relative; or
3. a social service worker finds that living with any available adult relative would not be in the best interest of the minor parent or child; or
(iii) independently, if a social service worker confirms that the physical safety or emotional health of the minor parent or child would otherwise be in jeopardy.
(c) A recipient who meets the requirements of the FIP is entitled to temporary cash assistance benefits.
(d) In determining the eligibility for and the amount of temporary cash assistance to be provided to an applicant or recipient who is a legal immigrant, the income and resources of the applicant or recipient shall include, for the period of time established by federal law, the income and resources of any sponsor who executed an affidavit of support in accordance with 8 U.S.C. § 1183a on behalf of the legal immigrant.
(e) (1) (i) The local department shall impose a 30% reduction of the portion of a recipient’s grant amount designated for the adult member or members, minor parent or parents, or pregnant individual if an adult member, minor parent, or pregnant individual is found to be in noncompliance, without good cause, with FIP work activity requirements.
(ii) The portion of the grant amount designated for the child or children of the assistance unit may not be reduced or terminated based on noncompliance by an adult member’s or minor parent’s noncompliance with FIP work activity requirements.
(2) The local department shall impose a 25% reduction of the entire grant amount if an adult member or minor parent is found to be in noncompliance without adequate reason or good cause with child support requirements.
(3) (i) If a recipient is found to be in noncompliance with FIP requirements, the local department shall provide a 30–day conciliation period for each instance of noncompliance.
(ii) During the 30–day conciliation period, the case manager shall advise the recipient of the noncompliance, and help the recipient to comply by:
1. investigating the reasons for noncompliance, including by personally contacting the family of the recipient;
2. evaluating and preparing a written determination of whether the recipient qualifies for an exemption or good cause under § 5–308(b) or (c) of this subtitle;
3. sending the recipient a letter offering a conciliation conference; and
4. assisting the recipient in identifying and resolving any barriers to compliance.
(4) The Secretary may not reduce or terminate temporary cash assistance to a family until 30 days after the day on which the first written notice of noncompliance was sent to the recipient.
(5) For noncompliance with a FIP requirement, the full amount of temporary cash assistance shall resume on compliance with the FIP requirement.
(6) If temporary cash assistance is reduced or terminated under this subsection, a recipient shall retain eligibility for medical assistance and food stamps, as long as the recipient meets the medical assistance and food stamp program requirements.
(f) (1) After termination of temporary cash assistance under this section, a recipient may receive transitional assistance.
(2) If a caseworker determines that transitional assistance is appropriate, the FIP benefit that would have been paid to the recipient shall be paid instead to a third party payee on behalf of the recipient for a period of up to 3 months.
(3) The caseworker of a recipient, in conjunction with the recipient and subject to the approval of the Secretary, shall select a third party payee described in paragraph (2) of this subsection.
(4) The third party payee shall provide transitional assistance to the recipient in one or more of the following forms:
(iii) child care;
(iv) household supplies and equipment;
(v) direct assistance other than a cash payment; and
(vi) any other noncash assistance that may be necessary to assist the recipient to make the transition from welfare.
(5) A local department may pay an administrative fee to a third party payee to cover the administrative costs of the third party payee for providing the services described in paragraph (4) of this subsection.
(6) The funds provided through transitional assistance may not be used to further sectarian religious instruction.
(7) The Secretary shall adopt regulations specifying the selection criteria for third party payees under this subsection.
(8) A recipient who has received transitional assistance may reapply for the FIP benefit and the benefit shall be furnished with reasonable promptness to all eligible individuals.