The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline 12/13: Time Limit Extensions

Date: 
12/01/2013
Author: 
DTA

From the Hotline

Q. 1. A TAFDC client’s case was recently transferred into our TAO. This client is now in her 23rd month
of time-limited benefits and is making an extension request. I see nothing on BEACON or in the case
record indicating that she has made any attempts to cooperate with the Department in work-related
activities. Also, I was unable to find any recent ESP referrals for work-related activities. What should
be the next step in this case?
A. 1. This client needs to be given an opportunity to participate in an ESP component activity. If the client
fails to cooperate, without good cause, they should be sanctioned following established procedures.
Refer to 106 CMR 207.120 for details on ESP participation components.

Q. 2. My TAFDC client has appealed her 24-month extension denial. Part of the extension denial decision
included her history of being sanctioned for failure to cooperate with child support enforcement
rules. Narratives and various BEACON windows show this information. The client has requested a
fair hearing because she is “meeting her work program requirement.” Should I present this
information at the hearing, even though it is not related to her cooperation with work-related
activities?
A. 2. Yes. According to 106 CMR 203.210(A), any history of being sanctioned or failure to comply with
the Department’s rules or regulations must be considered in the decision to grant or deny an
extension. Any supporting proofs of this should be presented at the hearing.

Q. 3. My nonexempt client is in his 24th month of TAFDC time-limited benefits, but he is also three months
away from having his 60-month State Clock reset. Since his benefits could restart soon, can I
approve his 24-month extension request?
A. 3. Not necessarily. The time remaining until the 60-month State Clock reset must not be a
consideration when determining whether or not to extend time-limited TAFDC benefits. The
factors to be used in considering extension requests are found in 106 CMR 203.210.

Q. 4. My client was denied an extension of her 24-month benefits, and I am representing the Department
at the appeal hearing. What should I bring to this hearing?
A. 4. When appearing as the Department representative at appeal hearings, full preparation is important.
The case manager, supervisor and director summaries should all be reviewed and presented at the
hearing. Locate these in BEACON by noting the date on the client’s Case Review Summary –
Extension Request and Agreement document and then using this date to search for the Extension
Request Recommendation and Decision in the Extension Request Disposition workflow.
Remember to print and bring the following to the hearing:

  • when applicable, proof of the Department’s efforts to help your client overcome barriers to meeting program rules;
  • the Case Review Summary – Extension Request and Agreement document;
  • the Extension Recommendation Decision as well as the summaries which are located in the Explanation fields;
  • authorized sanctions (if any);
  • the history of ESP referrals;
  •  the Final Transition Plan; and
  • the Time Limits page, containing the 24-month clock information.

If you are having difficulty either locating or copying these items, please have your Hotline designee
call the Policy Hotline for more details.

 

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