Department of Human Services
Families First Online Policy Manual
To determine deprivation for a Families First unemployed parent, first determine which parent is the principal wage earner (PWE). Follow the steps listed below:
· Determine the total gross income earned by each parent during the 24 month period immediately preceding the application month.
· Consider the total 24 months of earnings for each parent in the home regardless of when their relationship with each other began.
· If only one parent had earnings during the 24 month period, designate this parent as the PWE.
· If both parents had earnings during the 24 month period, determine which parent had the greater amount of earnings during the period. Designate that parent as the PWE.
· If both parents had the same amount of earnings during the period, the caseworker and the family will designate the PWE.
The PWE designated at application remains the PWE during each consecutive month that assistance is received. However, if the case is closed and the parents later reapply, the PWE will be determined by the family’s circumstances during the 24 months preceding reapplication.
Once the PWE has been designated, he/she must meet all of the following conditions to qualify as the unemployed parent:
· The PWE parent must be unemployed, by definition in this section, and have been unemployed for 30 days prior to receipt of assistance. If employment was lost or terminated less than 30 days prior to application the PWE must complete the 30-day period before an assistance payment can be made. Payment will begin the date eligibility is attained in this instance rather than the date of application. Begin the 30-day count with the first day after the job loss.
· The PWE must not be on strike. If unemployment is caused by participation in a strike, the AU is not eligible for Families First.
· The PWE must not refuse to apply for or accept UC to which he/she might be entitled. If the PWE refuses to apply for or accept UC benefits, the AU is not eligible for Families First.
· 100 Hour Rule - If the PWE is working 100 hours or more in the month of application, determine the number of hours worked in each of the two months prior to the application. Then determine the number of hours likely to be worked in the month following the month of application.
- If the PWE worked fewer than 100 hours per month in each of the two months prior to application and is expected to work fewer hours in the month following application, the 100 hours rule is met.
- If the PWE either worked 100 hours or more in one or both months prior to application or expects to work 100 hours or more in the next month, the 100 hour rule is not met and the AU is not eligible for Families First.
A labor market connection can be established in either of the following ways:
· The PWE is currently receiving unemployment compensation payments or received at least one UC payment during the 12 months immediately preceding the application month.
· The PWE earned at least $50 in each of any six quarters within a 13-quarter period ending within one year prior to application. Full-time attendance in an elementary or secondary school or in vocational/technical training or participation in a JTPA project may be substituted for earnings for a maximum of four of the required six quarters.
The caseworker must choose one quarter out of the four quarters preceding the quarter in which the application was filed to start the count for the 13 quarters. If the PWE had at least $50 in earned income during six of those quarters (or was attending an elementary or secondary school or in vocational/technical training, or was participating in a JTPA project for not more than four of those six quarters), then he/she meets the labor market connections for the unemployed parent deprivation requirement. When choosing the quarter in which to start the count, the caseworker must choose the quarter that will be to the client’s advantage.
The exact amount of earnings does not need to be established, but it must be verified that the earnings were at least $50 for each quarter.
Example: The AU applied for Families First benefits based on unemployed parent Deprivation criteria in the third quarter of 1996. The PWE had $50 earnings in the second quarter of 1996 and the third quarter of 1995. Since both quarters are in the four quarters immediately preceding the quarter in which the application was filed, the caseworker must then determine which one to use for the start of the 13 quarter count by looking at the earnings, etc., for the remaining quarters to determine which quarter is to the PWE’s advantage.
In this example, the PWE had earnings in two of the four quarters prior to the quarter in which the application was filed. When counting back 13 quarters, the caseworker discovers that if the 2nd quarter of 1996 is used as the starting quarter, the PWE has only earnings in only five of the 13 quarters. However, if the third quarter of 1995 is used to start the count, the PWE had earnings in six of the 13 quarters and thereby meets the labor market connection requirement. Therefore, third quarter of 1995 should be used to establish the 13-month count. If the PWE meets the unemployed parent definition, then the AU meets the Families First deprivation requirement.