Use information gathered during the Family Assessment to help the applicant develop a Responsibility and Services Plan (RSP) with specific goals that address the family's needs. The plan must contain steps that support the applicant's efforts to reach and maintain maximum independence. Stress the temporary nature of the TANF program and the applicant's personal responsibility to achieve independence.
Completion of the RSP is an eligibility requirement for each TANF case, except for child-only cases. Point out the consequences of refusing to cooperate in the development of the RSP (i.e., denial of cash assistance).
NOTE: The RSP is not an eligibility requirement for medical assistance, SNAP benefits, or TANF Child-Only cases. Approve medical assistance and SNAP benefits as soon as eligibility for those programs is established (see WAG 17-02-01-a and WAG 17-02-06). If a TANF applicant for whom an RSP is required refuses to cooperate with the development of their RSP, deny cash assistance only. Refusal to comply with the RSP requirement has no bearing on eligibility for any other assistance.
Identify strengths and resources the applicant has, and issues that present barriers, when designing the RSP. Record the goals and steps set jointly with the applicant. Although the RSP is jointly developed, DHS has the final say in determining what goals and steps are appropriate for the applicant. Ensure that the goals and steps set are appropriate.
Deferment of Engagement in Work, Training and Education Activities
When work, education and training activities are included in the RSP, they may begin as soon as the application is approved, but no sooner than 30 days after the date of application. For exceptions to the 30-day wait for approving a cash application, see PM 17-02-01.
Loss of TANF in Past 6 Months for Failure to Cooperate with Work & Training
An applicant who is not exempt from participating in work and training and is able to work, and whose TANF was swapped for July 2010 or later due to failure to comply with the work and training requirement any time within 6 months of re-application, must show cooperation before a subsequent TANF approval. In most cases, this means doing the thing the person failed to do which caused them to lose TANF. If this is not possible, include something else in the RSP that the person can do to show they are cooperating.
If the person fails to cooperate with completion of the activity, determine the reason they failed. If they had good cause, do not deny the application. Make a note of the good cause reason and approve TANF as though the person had cooperated. Intensify efforts to engage the client in following through on their RSP once the application has been approved.
If the person fails to cooperate without good cause, deny the application.
If the applicant is a teen parent who does not have a high school diploma or GED, do a brief RSP that only includes keeping an appointment with Teen Parent Services (TPS).
Treat keeping an appointment with with Teen Parent Services (TPS) before the application is approved as a voluntary activity. See PM 14-12-01.
If the teen parent has a high school diploma or GED, do a complete RSP and include a voluntary referral to TPS for advocacy.