HOPE Act 2.0 – KANSAS SENATE BILL No. 372

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AN ACT concerning public assistance; relating to recovery of assistance
debt; verification of identity and income; fraud investigations; child
care subsidies; work requirements; lifetime benefit limits; amending
K.S.A. 39-719b and K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 39-702 and 39-709 and
repealing the existing sections.
WHEREAS, The provisions of this act shall be known as the Kansas
hope, opportunity and prosperity for everyone (HOPE) act.
(2) All adults applying for TANF shall be required to complete a
work program assessment as specified by the Kansas department for
children and families, including those who have been disqualified for or
denied TANF due to non-cooperation, drug testing requirements or fraud.
Adults who are not otherwise eligible for TANF, such as ineligible aliens,
relative/non-relative caretakers and adults receiving supplemental security
income are not required to complete the assessment process. During the
application processing period, applicants must complete at least one
module or its equivalent of the work program assessment to be considered
eligible for TANF benefits, unless good cause is found to be exempt from
the requirements. Good cause exemptions shall only include:
(A) The applicant can document an existing certification verifying
completion of the work program assessment;
(B) the applicant has a valid offer of employment or is employed a
minimum of 20 hours a week;
(C) the applicant is a parenting teen without a GED or high school
diploma;
(D) the applicant is enrolled in job corps;
(E) the applicant is working with a refugee social services agency; or
(F) the applicant has completed the work the last 12 months.
(4) TANF mandatory work program applicants and recipients shall
participate in work components that lead to competitive, integrated
employment. Components are defined by the federal government as being
either primary or secondary. In order to meet federal work participation
requirements, households need to meet at least 30 hours of participation
per week, at least 20 hours of which need to be primary and at least 10
hours may be secondary components in one parent households where the
youngest child is six years of age or older. Participation hours shall be 55
hours in two parent households (35 hours per week if child care is not
used). The maximum assignment is 40 hours per week per individual. For
two parent families to meet the federal work participation rate both parents
must participate in a combined total of 55 hours per week, 50 hours of
which must be in primary components, or one or both parents could be
assigned a combined total of 35 hours per week (30 hours of which must
be primary components) if department for children and families paid child
care is not received by the family. Single parent families with a child under
age six meet the federal participation requirement if the parent is engaged
in work or work activities for at least 20 hours per week in a primary work
component.
 
The following components meet federal definitions of primary 
hours of participation: Full or part-time employment, apprenticeship, work
study, self-employment, job corps, subsidized employment, work
experience sites, on-the-job training, supervised community service,
vocational education, job search and job readiness.
 
Secondary components include: Job skills training, education directly related to employment such as adult basic education and English as a second language, and completionof a high school diploma or GED.
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