.02 Definitions.

A. In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) "Addictions specialist" means an individual who is licensed or certified by the Maryland Department of Health to screen, assess, and refer individuals to substance abuse treatment and support services.

(2) "Affordable formal child care arrangements" means that the fee charged by the provider is less than or equal to the assigned copayment for a non-TCA family of the same size and income level that receives a child care subsidy.

(3) "Alternative program" means an optional program which may be implemented upon approval by the Secretary of Human Services and which is designed and developed by a local department to achieve the goals of the Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) Program, within a local department's allocated cash assistance funds.

(4) "Applicant" means an individual who has submitted an application to the local department for assistance directly or through an authorized representative or, if incompetent or incapacitated, through someone acting responsibly for the individual, and whose application is pending.

(5) "Appropriate child care" means that the child care meets the parent's needs in terms of hours and a child's needs in terms of health, safety, and healthy development.

(6) "Assessment" means an evaluation of an applicant's strengths, resources, and needs to determine the services the applicant needs to become independent.

(7) Asset.

(a) "Asset" means any real or personal property an applicant or recipient owns which may be used to meet living expenses.

(b) "Asset" includes cash on hand, savings, and items such as stocks and bonds that can be converted to cash.

(8) "Assistance unit" means a group of eligible individuals living together for whom cash assistance has been authorized.

(9) "Authorized representative" means an adult non-assistance unit member who has been designated in writing to act on behalf of the household.

(10) "Caretaker relative" means a parent or other individual related by blood, marriage, or adoption living with and caring for a minor child.

(11) "Case" means the group of individuals living together whose needs and resources are considered when authorizing program benefits.

(12) Repealed.

(13) "Custodial relative" means an adult or minor biological or adoptive mother or father, stepmother or stepfather, or other caretaker relative who lives with a related minor child or pregnant woman.

(14) "Customer" means an individual applying for or receiving assistance.

(15) "Department" means the Department of Human Services.

(16) "Disability Entitlement Advocacy Program (DEAP)" means a State program to help severely disabled individuals establish eligibility for federal disability programs.

(17) "Domestic or family violence" means subjecting a spouse, ex-spouse, or intimate partner to:

(a) Physical acts that result in, or threaten to result in, physical injury to the individual;

(b) Sexual abuse;

(c) Sexual activity involving a dependent child;

(d) Nonconsensual sexual acts or activities;

(e) Threats of, or attempts at, physical or sexual abuse;

(f) Mental abuse;

(g) Neglect or deprivation of medical care; or

(h) False imprisonment.

(18) Drug-Related Felony.

(a) "A drug-related felony that was committed after August 22, 1996" means a felony involving the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance that was committed after August 22, 1996.

(b) "Convicted of a drug-related felony on or after July 1, 2000" means convicted of a felony on or after July 1, 2000, that has an element of manufacturing, distribution, or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.

(19) Earned Income.

(a) "Earned income" means payment received by an individual for work or services performed.

(b) "Earned income" includes wages, salary, commissions, tips, and proceeds from self-employment.

(20) "Electronic benefit transfer system (EBTS)" means a benefit issuance system in which benefits are stored in a central computer database and are accessed with reusable plastic cards at automated teller machines or at a point of sale.

(21) "Equity value" means the fair market value less all encumbrances.

(22) "Fair market value" means the price for which an item can be sold in an open market in a given geographic area.

(23) "Family independence plan" means a mutually agreed upon plan that:

(a) Outlines the family's goals;

(b) Describes the steps to achieve the goals; and

(c) Identifies the responsibilities of the local department and customer to implement the steps.

(24) "Family Investment Program (FIP)" means an individual assistance program of the Department that provides services, work experience, and cash assistance.

(25) "Impairment" means an individual is unable to work at any occupation because of a medically verified physical or mental condition.

(26) "Intentional program violation (IPV)" means an intentional false or misleading statement or misrepresentation, concealment, or withholding of facts for the purpose of:

(a) Establishing or maintaining the assistance unit's eligibility for Family Investment Programs; or

(b) Increasing or preventing a reduction of the amount of Family Investment Programs benefits.

(27) "Interim change" means a change in a customer's situation, after an application or recertification, that may affect the amount of benefits paid or continuing eligibility.

(28) "Local department" means:

(a) The department of social services in a county or Baltimore City;

(b) In Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services; and

(c) In the instance of Office of Home Energy Programs, the local administering agency.

(29) "Local plans" means the plans developed by local departments of social services to operate the TCA program within State guidelines and federal requirements.

(30) "National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA)" means Public Law 103-31 as amended.

(31) "Nonprofit organization" means a religious, charitable, or volunteer organization exempt from taxation under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

(32) "Qualified immigrant" means an individual who is not a citizen of the United States who:

(a) Is lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(b) Is admitted to the United States as a refugee under §207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(c) Is granted asylum under §208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(d) Has had deportation or removal withheld under §243(h) or 241(b)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(e) Has been granted status as a Cuban or Haitian entrant as defined in §501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980;

(f) Is paroled into the United States under §212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for a period of at least 1 year;

(g) Is granted conditional entry pursuant to §203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as in effect before April 1, 1980; or

(h) Is a battered spouse, battered child, or parent or child of a battered individual.

(33) "Reasonable distance" means that travel time to and from the child care provider cannot exceed 1 hour each way from the customer's home or work site.

(34) "Recertification" means the process of filing and completing a new application, being interviewed, and having certain information verified to continue benefits for a new certification period.

(35) "Recipient" means an individual in an active FIP assistance unit.

(36) "Resource" means the amount left from an asset or from income, after all exclusions and disregards are applied, which is countable against the assistance unit's benefit.

(37) "Secretary" means the Secretary of Human Services.

(38) "Sponsor" means an individual or a public or private agency or organization that has executed an affidavit of support or a similar agreement on behalf of an immigrant as a condition of the immigrant's entry into the United States.

(39) "Supplemental Security Income (SSI)" means the federally funded program paid by the Social Security Administration to individuals who:

(a) Meet established disability requirements; or

(b) Are 65 years old or older.

(40) "Temporary cash assistance (TCA)" means a form of cash assistance provided to assistance units which are technically and financially eligible.

(41) "Third-party payee" means a responsible individual, a nonprofit organization, a for-profit organization, or a government entity, which may include a local department, that is authorized to accept TCA payments on behalf of a recipient.

(42) "Transitional assistance" means assistance that may be provided to a Temporary Cash Assistance recipient whose temporary cash assistance is terminated for noncompliance with work requirements.

(43) "Unavailability or unsuitability of informal care" means that informal care does not meet the Child Care Subsidy Program, State plan, and State law requirements, and poses a risk to the health and safety of a child.

(44) "Unearned income" means money, goods, or services received from sources other than earned income such as pensions, benefits, returns from investments, payments of support, or contributions.

(45) Verification.

(a) "Verification" means proof that the statements made by an individual during the application or recertification of eligibility for FIP are true.

(b) "Verification" includes proof contained in documents or records of public or private agencies, or firms or individuals.

(46) "Welfare avoidance grant (WAG)" means a non-recurrent, short-term cash benefit paid to a family in accordance with the local plan for the family's immediate and limited needs to avoid continuing cash assistance.