07.03.03.19

.19 Conciliation, Sanctions, and Other Penalties.

A. Conciliation Process.

(1) Conciliation and sanction are applied to recipient assistance units only.

(2) The local department shall allow one 30-day conciliation period for each recipientís failure to comply with requirements for each of the following:

(a) Work as specified in Regulation .07-1 of this chapter;

(b) Child support as specified in Regulation .10A of this chapter;

(c) Substance abuse treatment and testing as specified in Regulation .09 of this chapter;

(d) Long term disability requirements as specified in Regulation .08A and B of this chapter; and

(e) Minor parent school enrollment and attendance as specified in Regulation s.07H and .07-1 of this chapter.

(3) During the 30-day period, the case manager shall advise the individual of the noncompliance and help the individual to comply by:

(a) Sending the individual a letter to schedule a conciliation conference;

(b) Following up on the letter through telephone contact or personal contact as appropriate and feasible;

(c) Investigating with the individual any barriers or good cause reasons for the noncompliance; and

(d) Assisting the individual in resolving the barriers to compliance.

(4) After the 30-day period, a later instance of noncompliance with the same program requirement does not entitle the individual to another 30-day conciliation period.

B. Sanctions for Noncompliance.

(1) Except as provided in Regulation .09D and E of this chapter for substance abuse, when an adult recipient is found to be in noncompliance with program requirements, the:

(a) Entire assistance unit is ineligible; and

(b) Case manager shall:

(i) Investigate the reasons for noncompliance; and

(ii) Make personal contact with the assistance unit to the extent it is appropriate and feasible.

(2) When a child is found to be in noncompliance with program requirements, the:

(a) Child remains a member of the assistance unit;

(b) Childís incremental portion of the grant is deducted from the familyís TCA grant; and

(c) Case manager shall:

(i) Investigate the reasons for noncompliance; and

(ii) Make personal contact with the assistance unit to the extent it is appropriate and feasible.

(3) When implementing a sanction:

(a) For a first instance of noncompliance, a sanction may not be imposed less than 30 days from the first written notice of noncompliance with a program requirement, and:

(i) TCA shall be resumed immediately upon compliance with the work activity; or

(ii) If the noncompliance continues into a new month, TCA shall be prorated from the day after the day of compliance;

(b) For a second or subsequent instance of noncompliance, a sanction may be imposed:

(i) After the case manager investigates the reasons for the noncompliance;

(ii) Following adequate and timely adverse action; or

(iii) TCA shall be resumed and prorated from the day after the 10 calendar day period during which the sanctioned individual complied with the work activity for all available activity days; or

(c) For a third and any subsequent instance of noncompliance, TCA shall be resumed and prorated from the day after the 30 calendar day period during which the sanctioned individual complied with the work activity for all available activity days.

(4) If an individual fails to comply during a sanction period without good cause:

(a) The sanction period shall start over;

(b) No additional instance of noncompliance is counted against the noncomplying individual; and

(c) The TCA benefit may not be resumed until compliance is met.

(5) All individuals in the assistance unit are sanctioned except a child who is:

(a) Placed with another caretaker relative by the Social Services Administration;

(b) In the legal custody of another caretaker relative; or

(c) Living with another caretaker relative when the sanctioned caretaker relative is institutionalized.

(6) Transitional Assistance.

(a) After termination of TCA, transitional assistance may be available to assistance units in which an adult is not in compliance with a work requirement to the extent that a third-party payee is available to administer funds.

(b) Upon a determination that transitional assistance shall be provided, the TCA that would have been paid to the assistance unit shall be paid instead to a third-party payee on behalf of the recipient for a period not to exceed 3 months.

(c) Priority for transitional assistance shall be given to an assistance unit with:

(i) An active child protective service case;

(ii) An active intensive family service case;

(iii) An adult member who is disabled;

(iv) An adult member who is illiterate; or

(v) An adult member who is not fluent in English if notices are not translated in the individual's language.

C. Sanctions for Fraud and IPV. An assistance unit is ineligible for TCA benefits upon a finding of fraud or an IPV by a court of law, through an administrative disqualification hearing, or through the waiver of an administrative disqualification hearing in accordance with the requirements in COMAR 07.03.10.

D. Fraudulent Misrepresentation of Residence.

(1) An individual is ineligible for TCA for a period of 10 years when the individual fraudulently misrepresents residence to obtain benefits from two or more states.

(2) The 10 years begins with the date the individual is convicted in federal or state court of having made a fraudulent statement or representation in order to receive assistance simultaneously from two or more states.

(3) All of the income of the convicted individual is counted as available to the remaining assistance unit members.

E. A parent or caretaker who fails to report the absence of a dependent child, when the absence is expected to be more than 180 days, is not eligible for assistance for 3 consecutive months, according to the following:

(1) The absence shall be reported by the end of a 5 calendar day period that begins with the date it becomes clear that the child is absent;

(2) The income and assets of the parent are counted as being available to the remaining assistance unit members; and

(3) The 3 months shall begin the first day of the month following the adverse action period.