65A-4.205. Penalties for Nonparticipation in Work Requirements  

Effective on Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • 1(1) Penalty Requirements. The provisions for receipt of temporary cash assistance (TCA) include the requirement of individuals who do not meet exemptions to participate in work activities or alternative requirement plans. For the purposes of this rule “work activities” include alternative requirement plans. Failure to do so, without good cause, will result in penalties being applied in accordance with Section 61414.065(1), F.S. 63Individuals who also receive food assistance and fail to meet TCA work requirements will be considered noncompliant with food assistance work requirements in accordance with 887 CFR, 90Section 273.7. Individuals will be notified at program entry of the work activities requirement and penalties for noncompliance without good cause on the ACCESS Florida Web Application, incorporated by reference in Rule 12265A-1.205, 123F.A.C., or the Communication and Work Activity Referral form, CF-ES 2097, Nov 2019, incorporated by reference and available at 142http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-11578 144for paper applications. The Spanish version, CF-ES 2097S, Nov 2019, and Creole version, CF-ES 2097H, Nov 2019, of the Communication and Work Activity Referral form are incorporated by reference and available at 176http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-11580 178and 179http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-11579, 181respectively182.

    183(2) Compliance with work requirements and determination of good cause for failure to comply with work requirements will be determined by the Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) designee, in accordance with Sections 215414.065(1) 216and (4), F.S. Other good cause reasons for failure to comply include the temporary inability to participate due to circumstances beyond the participant’s control such as:

    242(a) A family emergency due to the inability to find suitable child care for a sick child under age 12;

    262(b) Hospitalization, medical emergency or death of an immediate family member;

    273(c) Natural disaster;

    276(d) Lack of transportation;

    280(e) Court appearance, or

    284(f) Caring for a disabled family member when the need for care has been verified and alternative care is not available.

    305(3) Individuals failing to comply with work activities will be mailed notification of the failure and possible sanction by the LWDB designee within two working days following the failure. The notification must inform the individuals they have 10 calendar days from the date the notification is mailed to contact the LWDB designee to have a good cause determination made or to comply with the work requirement or penalty action will be imposed. During the 10-day period, the LWDB designee is required to make both oral and written attempts to contact and to counsel the participant to:

    401(a) Determine if the participant had good cause for failing to meet the work requirement;

    416(b) Refer to or provide services, if appropriate, to assist with the removal of barriers to participation;

    433(c) Understand the consequences for failure to comply with work or alternative requirement plan activity requirements without good cause;

    452(d) Provide information regarding transitional benefits in accordance with Section 462445.028(2), F.S., 464if the participant subsequently obtained employment; and,

    471(e) Understand that compliance with work activity during the 10-day period will avoid the imposition of a sanction. The LWDB designee must provide the participant with another work activity within the 10-day period if it is impossible for the participant to comply with the original assigned activity.

    518(4) Upon failure of the individual to respond by the date indicated, the LWDB designee will notify the department to impose a sanction in accordance with Section 545414.065(1)(a), F.S. 547Upon receipt of the sanction request, the department will notify the individual of the penalty action using the Notice of Work Penalty form, CF-ES 4192, 57204/2007, incorporated by reference and available 578at 579http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-11581581. 582The Spanish version, CF-ES 4192S, 4/2007, and Creole version, CF-ES 4192H, 4/2007, of the Notice of Work Penalty form are incorporated by reference and available at 608http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-11583 610and 611http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-11582, 613respectively. 614An individual who provides verification of good cause for failure to respond within the 10-day time frame will not be penalized.

    635(5) Temporary cash assistance groups who are receiving food assistance at the time of the disqualification for failure to perform a required TCA work activity, will also be disqualified for food assistance in accordance with federal food assistance policy at 6757 CFR Sections 273.7(f)(6) 679and 273.11(j)(4) and (k). Food assistance penalty periods are to be applied in accordance with 6947 CFR Section 273.7(f)(2). 698If the noncompliant individual is the head of household, the entire household will be disqualified from receipt of food assistance in accordance with 7217 CFR Section 273.7(f)(4). 725The department must determine if the noncompliant individual meets a food assistance work exemption before imposing a food assistance penalty. The food assistance penalty is not to be imposed if the individual meets a food assistance exemption. Individuals who are penalized for food assistance due to noncompliance with TCA work requirements cannot have a penalty lifted by opting not to receive TCA.

    787(6) Temporary cash assistance penalties are to be applied in accordance with Section 800414.065(1)(a), F.S. 802The fourth and each subsequent penalty prior to reinstatement as being in full compliance with TCA program requirements will be applied pursuant to Section 826414.065(1)(a)3., F.S.

    828(7) Time limits. If, during the penalty period, temporary cash assistance is received for children under age 16 through a protective payee, the months in which the penalties are applied will be counted as months receiving temporary cash assistance for purposes of the time limits in Section 875414.105, F.S.

    877(8) Reinstatement of Benefits. Reinstatement of benefits requires the filing of an ACCESS Florida Application, incorporated by reference in Rule 89765A-1.205, 898F.A.C., 899or an ACCESS Florida Web Application (only accepted electronically), incorporated by reference in Rule 91365A-1.205, 914F.A.C., and a face-to-face interview, unless the individual demonstrates compliance and action is being taken to reinstate benefits within 30 days from the beginning date of the penalty. Cash assistance benefits will be reinstated in accordance with Section 952414.065(1)(a), F.S., 954as determined by the LWDB designee, as long as all other factors of eligibility are met and any minimum penalty period has been served. Food assistance benefits will be reinstated in accordance with 9877 CFR Section 273.7(g) 991of the food assistance requirements. If at the end of the food assistance penalty period the head of household is still in noncompliance, the head of household remains ineligible, but other members of the assistance group may reapply. If the other assistance group members are reapproved for food assistance, the pre-sanction TCA grant amount must be included in the food assistance benefit calculation.

    1054Rulemaking Authority 1056414.45 FS. 1058Law Implemented 1060414.065(1), 1061(4) FS. History–New 12-21-97, Formerly 65A-1.521, Amended 6-10-01, 2-26-20.