Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual






Table of Contents


The assistance unit meets the Families First deprivation requirement when both parents live in the home with the child if one of the parents is incapacitated.  “Physical or mental incapacity” of a parent shall be deemed to exist when one parent has a physical or mental defect, illness, or impairment.  The incapacity shall be supported by competent medical testimony and must be of such a debilitating nature as to reduce substantially or eliminate the parent’s ability to support or care for the otherwise eligible child and be expected to last for a period of at least 30 days.  In making the determination of ability to support, the agency shall take into account the limited employment opportunities of handicapped individuals.


Incapacity exists if the mental or physical defect, illness, or impairment reduces substantially the parent’s ability either to provide financial support for the child or to provide for the child’s day-to-day physical care or guidance.  Therefore, “incapacity” exists in either of the following circumstances:


·        If the defect, illness, or impairment eliminates or substantially reduced the parent’s ability to work, regardless of whether the person retains the ability to perform other parental functions.  Examples include cases where there has been a significant reduction in a parent’s work-relevant physical or mental capacities, or in earnings (either because of a reduction in hours worked or rate of pay) due to the defect, illness or impairment.


·        If the person’s capacity to work is not reduced, but the defect, illness or impairment.  Substantially reduces his or her ability to provide day-to–day physical care or guidance for the child.


In determining whether incapacity exists under either test, the parent’s usual or assumed family function is irrelevant, and shall not be considered.




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