Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors (TA-DVS)
Authored By: Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon
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1. HOW CAN THIS TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM HELP ME?
Under the Temporary Assistance for Domestic Violence Survivors program (TA-DVS), the Department of Human Services (DHS) helps victims escape domestic violence and stay safe.
DHS will pay the minimum amount of money to meet your safety needs (up to $1,200.00) in a 90-day period. The money can be used for anything that would help make you and/or your children safe. For example, you could ask for help with lock changes, a post office box, medications, moving costs, rent, or a bus ticket. The money will usually not be given directly to you but will be paid to someone giving you service, such as a landlord or bus company.
TA-DVS money can be given in addition to a TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) grant or any other cash assistance, food stamps, or other benefits you are getting from DHS.
2. HOW DO I APPLY FOR TA-DVS?
You can apply over the telephone, in person, or in writing at the local DHS Self Sufficiency office.
3. WILL I QUALIFY?
·You must be a victim of abuse. This may mean that your spouse or partner or the other parent of your child has hurt you, tried to hurt you or threatened to hurt you
If you want to talk to an advocate about the abuse, please call the Portland Women's Crisis Line statewide hotline: 1-888-235-5333.
·You must have children or be pregnant and be anOregonresident to get these benefits
·You do not have to be aU.S.citizen to get TA-DVS
·You do not have to show proof of the abusive situation. DHS will listen to your own words about the abuse. You do not have to have a restraining order, witnesses, or a police report
DHS may be flexible with their rules depending on your circumstances. For example, if your family is over income for the program, but the abuser controls the money, you may be eligible.
4. HOW SOON WILL A DECISION BE MADE?
DHS has 16 working hours from when you apply to decide if you are going to be given TA-DVS benefits. If a decision is not made within 16 hours, you have the right to a hearing.
5. WHAT IF I AM TURNED DOWN?
If your request for TA-DVS benefits is turned down, or if you disagree with the amount of benefits you are given, you have the right to a hearing.
6. HOW DO I ASK FOR A HEARING?
The hearing must be held within five working days from the date you asked for the hearing. The hearing will probably be held over the telephone. You may be able to ask for an in person hearing.
7. DO I NEED TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY REPRESENT ME AT THE HEARING?
You can represent yourself at the hearing. If you want to have an attorney represent you, call your local Legal Aid office for possible advice or representation. Go HERE for a directory of legal aid programs.
8. HOW DO I PREPARE FOR THE HEARING?
Whether you represent yourself or have an attorney represent you at the hearing, it is a good idea to prepare for the hearing in advance. Be ready to explain to the judge why the money that you asked for is needed for your safety. It is helpful to make a list of what you need and get information about how you would like to deal with your safety concerns. For example, if you need money to change your locks, it is a good idea to get the name of a locksmith and how much the locksmith thinks it will cost.
You can read the TA-DVS rules and/or policies to see if the reason you were turned down is allowed. You can ask your caseworker or Legal Aid for a copy of the TA-DVS rules (which are located at OAR 461-135-1200 to 461-135-1235.)
9. WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?
After you apply for benefits, you and a DHS caseworker will talk about safety concerns and make a plan to deal with the concerns. The caseworker may talk to you about community resources and ask you questions about what you need the money for.
Before you meet with your caseworker, it is helpful to make a list of what you need and get information about how you would like to deal with your safety concerns. For example, if you need money to change your locks, it is a good idea to get the name of a locksmith and how much the locksmith thinks it will cost.
If you get TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) from DHS or are eligible to get TANF, DHS can be flexible about TANF rules if the requirements under the program make it more difficult for you to escape domestic violence or put you at risk. For example, DHS can be flexible about work requirements.