A. Eligible individuals may be referred to a program component during the application process described in Regulation .04 of this chapter.
B. Welfare Avoidance Grant (WAG).
(1) Individuals may not apply for a WAG.
(2) A local department may offer a WAG according to criteria described in the local plan approved by the Department.
(3) A WAG is cash assistance to a family with children, which is paid based on an agreement signed by the applicant or recipient and the local department to avoid the family's reliance on Temporary Cash Assistance.
(4) A WAG agreement shall state the:
(a) Reason for the WAG;
(b) Period of time the WAG covers; and
(c) The maximum amount of the WAG.
(5) The total amount of the WAG may not exceed three times the maximum monthly allowable amount for the number of individuals in the assistance unit, as described in Regulation .17 of this chapter, unless:
(a) There is a compelling need; and
(b) The maximum does not exceed 12 months times the maximum monthly allowable amount for the number of individuals in the assistance unit as described in Regulation .17 of this chapter.
(6) WAG as it relates to TCA. The local department:
(a) Shall deny an application for TCA during the period covered by the WAG; and
(b) May not pay TCA until the period covered by the WAG has expired.
(7) The local department may provide a family with a WAG more than once if a new instance of emergency occurs after the period covered by the previous WAG has expired.
C. Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA).
(1) The individual may apply for TCA when the resources in §B of this regulation do not fully address the needs of the child.
(2) A local department shall require an individual to satisfy child support requirements, as described in Regulation .10 of this chapter, before approving TCA.
(3) If the assistance unit becomes ineligible because of a member's earnings and the assistance unit received TCA in 3 of the last 6 months, the assistance unit is eligible for:
(a) Transitional child care, based on the caretaker relative's income; and
(b) Transitional Medical Assistance for 4 months, without consideration of the assistance unitís income.
(4) After the termination of TCA, the local department shall provide transitional food supplement benefits as described in COMAR 07.03.17.49H.
D. Alternative Programs. An alternative program is an optional program in addition to FIP which:
(1) May be developed and implemented by a local department to achieve the goals of FIP;
(2) Has the approval of the Secretary; and
(3) Is funded within the local department's allocated cash assistance and any local supplement.
E. Emergency Assistance for Families with Children. Funds for meeting emergencies for families with children shall be paid as described in COMAR 07.03.08.
F. Office of Home Energy Programs.
(1) Customers may apply and have their eligibility determined for the programs of assistance that are within the Office of Home Energy Programs as described in COMAR 07.03.21, and 07.03.22.
(2) The programs within Office of Home Energy Programs are:
(a) Maryland Energy Assistance Program; and
(b) Electric Universal Service Program.