October 2003 Page 2 “If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people” Virginia Woolf From the Hotline This month’s “From the Hotline” addresses issues associated with Field Operations Memo 2003-21 and State Letter 1261: “Work Program Requirement Expansion and Revised Extension Requirements- TAFDC.” Q. A woman came in to the office last week applying for TAFDC. She is a nonexempt grantee with three children. Her youngest child is four years old. After I explained the work program requirement to her, she mentioned that she would like to enroll in a degree program at a local university. It is my understanding that a four-year program is not a Department-approved educational or training activity, and that she would be unable to meet her 20-hour work program requirement in this program. A. You are correct. Only an education - or training-related activity that is designed to prepare the applicant for a specific occupation or vocational proficiency upon the completion of the program is acceptable. Two-year Associate Degree programs designed to prepare the applicant for a specific occupation upon completion of the program are also acceptable. Remind the applicant, however that, by choosing this activity, the work program requirement will be met for only 12 months out of the 24-month period. Following the first 12-month period, work or other acceptable activities totaling 20 hours per week must be performed in order to continue meeting the work program requirement. Refer to 106 CMR 203.400 for more details. Q. A TAFDC recipient has one son who is four years old. She wants to attend a non-degree training program at our local community college. She plans to enroll in five courses and will be in class a total of 15 hours per week. Can I approve this training program? A. Yes. As long as the training activity is designed to prepare the applicant for a specific occupation or vocational proficiency upon the completion of the program, the activity is acceptable. Remember, however, that this recipient is also required to participate in work and/or community service for an additional five hours in order to fulfill her work program requirement. Q. Are TAFDC AUs with categorically ineligible grantee noncitizens who have a child(ren) age two or older now required to meet the work program requirement? A. Yes. Categorically ineligible grantee noncitizens who have a child(ren) age two or older and who are exempt from the reduced Need and Payment Standards because their noncitizen status prevents them from working in a paying job are now required to meet the work program requirement by participating in TEMP Community Service for 20 hours per week. Refer to 106 CMR 203.400(A)(3) for more information on their work program requirement.