JOBS Support Service Payments from DHS
Authored By: Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon
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1. What Are Jobs Support Service Payments?
The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) can provide supplemental payments to help families to become self-sufficient. These special payments are used to cover expenses such as child care, transportation, union dues, tools, work clothing, etc., that will help families find or retain a job. Even families who have just applied for welfare, but are not yet receiving a cash grant, and working families who don't receive welfare may be eligible for these benefits.
2. What Is a Case Plan?
In order to receive JOBS support service payments, you must be job ready or near job ready and agree to participate in the activities that are made part of a written case plan. A case plan is a written plan that lists activities you must participate in to become or stay employed.
If you are not job ready or near job ready, for example, if you are disabled, the case plan will have activities that take your disabilities into account and might not include employment related activities. The activities may be “family stability” activities, such as drug and alcohol services, mental health services, attending medical appointments, or rehabilitative services. If you are participating in one of those activities, there may be some limited JOBS support services that will be given to help you participate in the activities listed in the case plan. This must be approved by the DHS district office.
If you do not already have a case plan, your case manager will write a case plan for you. The JOBS support service payments must be listed in your case plan.
JOBS support service payments must be used for costs that are directly related to participating in your case plan.
Before issuing a JOBS support service payment, your case manager will ask you if you have other resources available to meet your needs. The case manager will also consider whether there are other lower-cost alternatives available in the community to help you meet your needs. You and your case manager will work together on this.
3. Who is Eligible for JOBS Support Service Payments?
A parent may qualify for a JOBS support service payment if the parent is:
- Applying for TANF or receiving TANF
- A non-citizen who is ineligible for TANF, has a child receiving TANF, and is legally able to work
- A domestic violence survivor who is eligible for the TA-DVS program may get benefits through the TA-DVS program.
4. How Do I Apply for a JOBS Support Service Payment?
Ask your case worker about how to apply for JOBS support service payments. A written request is not required, but it is a good idea to write the request so you and your case manager have a record of what you asked for and when.
You should explain what you need the money for and how much you need. Be specific. If possible, include copies of the bills you are asking to be paid. Your case manager may ask you to provide proof you need the payment and also proof of the amount you will need.
If you are in the Pre-TANF Program, when you ask for a JOBS support service payment,you will be assigned a case manager who will work with you on your request for benefits and case plan.
5. After I Request a JOBS Support Service Payment, How Quickly Must DHS Respond to My Request?
Your case manager must process your request for a JOBS support service payment on time to meet your need for the payment. For example, if you need to pay your union dues in three days in order to keep your job, your case manager must process your request within three days. But, if you have to provide verification for your request, the case manager will not be able to make the payment until you provide the verification.
If you are asking for a JOBS support service payment that is not for child care or transportaion, your case manager may have to ask the DHS district office to approve the payment.
In the TANF program, your case manager has 30 days to process your request for a JOBS support service payment. You will have "good cause" for not cooperating with your case plan if the delay in processing your request for a JOBS support service payment prevents you from complying with your case plan.
6. How Can I Receive JOBS Support Service Payments in the Pre-TANF Program?
If you are applying for TANF you may be placed in the Pre-TANF Program, although most people are put directly into the TANF program. The purpose of the Pre-TANF Program is to help you find work before being put on a monthly cash grant. The Pre-TANF Program lasts for up to, but not more than, 45 days.
While you are in the Pre-TANF Program, you can get cash to help you with child care and transportation if you need it to find a job. You can also get some help with personal incidental expesnes.
OAR 461-135-0475; 461-190-0211
If you need help with JOBS Support Service Payments or have questions, contact your local legal aid office for possible advice or representation. Click here for a directory of legal aid programs.
7. Can I Get JOBS Support Payments if I Am on TANF?
Once you are selected to participate in the JOBS program, you are eligible to receive support payments to enable you to find work and keep your job. If you have disabilities that prevent you from working, you may still be eligible for JOBS support service payments as long as they relate to the family stability activities in your case plan.
Payments may be made for:
- Child care
- Telephone or message system
- Anything else you need in order to work
The payments must be reasonable and necessary for you to comply with your case plan. Also, your case manager will look at whether there are lower cost alternatives available to you. For some payments, you may have to get DHS district office approval.
When you receive a TANF grant, DHS expects you to meet your housing and utility expenses out of your grant, so you cannot get a JOBS support service payment to cover those expenses.
8. Can I Get JOBS Support Service Payments if I Have Medical Problems that Prevent Me from Working or Looking for Work?
Yes. If you are disabled, your case plan will have activities that take your disabilities into account. The activities may be “family stability” activities, such as drug and alcohol services, mental health services, attending medical appointments, or rehabilitative services. If you are participating in one of those activities, there may be some limited JOBS support services that will be given to you to help you participate in the activities listed in the case plan. For example, if your case plan activity is to go to your medical appointments and you need child care while you go to the doctor, you can ask for a JOBS support service payment for child care.
9. What Kind of Support Service Payments Can I Get?
You can ask for JOBS support service payments for anything you need to be able to successfully follow your case plan, look for work or maintain your job. These services/ payments can include but are not limited to:
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Mental health treatment
- Other counseling/ treatment
- Teen parent counseling
- Clothing (reasonably priced)
- Vehicle or professional license fees
- Telephone deposits
Some of these payments have special eligibility requirements:
Childcare - The amount paid will be based on a formula set by DHS rules. It may not cover the entire childcare cost. DHS will only pay for childcare during work hours including your lunch break and travel time to and from work
Transportation - DHS will either pay for public transportation or for fuel for a car
- If public transportation is available and the parent is medically able to use it, DHS will normally pay for public transportation rather than for car related expenses, unless it is more cost effective to pay the car expenses
- In order to pay car expenses, the person must have a valid license
10. Are There Special Rules for Teen Parents?
Teen parents may be eligible for child care, transportation or other support services for participation in a basic education program.
11. What Should I Do if I Am Denied a JOBS Support Service Payment?
Unless you need the payment in order to cooperate with your case plan, DHS may deny or end your JOBS support service payment if it is not related to your case plan or if you are disqualified for not complying with your case plan.
A decision on your request for a JOBS support service payment must be made on time to meet the need that led you to request the payment.
In the TANF program, the decision must be made within 30 days.
If you are denied a support service payment, your case manager is required to send you a written notice.
You may request a hearing if you are denied a payment or if you are given something different from what you asked for. For example, if you need child care for 20 hours to do the activitiews in your case plan, but your case manager only gives you 10 hours of child care, you can ask for a hearing because you were denied 10 hours of child care.
12. What Do I Do if My JOBS Support Service Payments are Ending?
If you receive recurring payments, such as child care payments, your case manager may approve the payment, but give you a notice saying that your benefits will end on the same day as your case plan activities end. Don't be confused by this notice - even though your benefits will be paid, it is a denial notice for future payments.
You must request a hearing within 45 days of receiving this notice. If you do not request a hearing, you will lose your right to challenge the termination of your benefits. This is important because your case manager may not be able to write a new case plan before your old plan ends even though your support service payments will end.
13. How Do I Ask for a Hearing?
In order to have a hearing, you must fill out a hearing request form. To obtain this form go to your local DHS office and ask the receptionist for a DHS Form 443 (Administrative Hearing Request) or get it on the Internet. (Go to http://dhsforms.hr.state.or.us/Forms/Served/DE0443.pdf)
Immediately fill out the form and turn it back into the receptionist. Ask the receptionist for a receipt to prove you turned in the form.
To find out about your hearing rights, call the Public Benefits Hotline (1-800-520-5292) or your local Legal Aid office for possible advice or representation. Click here for a directory of legal aid programs.