Sanctions are imposed at 3 levels. Determine the level of a new sanction by reviewing the levels of previous TANF sanction codes present on the case. This includes activity requirement, Child Support, and School Attendance Initiative sanctions. Determine the highest previous level and impose the new sanction at the next level. If there are no previous TANF sanction codes present, start at the first level.
The amount and length of the cash benefit reduction is based on the sanction level. The reduction at each level is:
- Level 1 - The cash benefit is reduced by 50% of the family's Payment Level. Benefits are restored as soon as the client cooperates. If the client does not cooperate within 3 months, despite continued case management, the entire cash benefit stops for the 4th month.
- Level 2 - The cash benefit is reduced by 50% of the family's Payment Level for 3 months. Benefits are restored for the 4th month if the client cooperates before then. If the client does not cooperate within 3 months, despite continued case management, the entire cash benefit stops for the 4th month.
- Level 3 - The entire cash benefit is stopped for at least 3 months. If the client cooperates within 3 months, cash benefits are restored for the 4th month. If the client does not cooperate, the sanction continues.
When the entire cash benefit stops due to the sanction, medical assistance continues.
A SNAP sanction is imposed when a TANF case is sanctioned due to a noncompliance with a work and training requirement. The noncooperating person who caused the sanction is disqualified from receiving SNAP benefits for the appropriate number of months (see PM 03-15-07), unless they are responsible for the care of a child under age 6. The person is sanctioned for SNAP the entire period, even if the TANF sanction is lifted or the case is SWAPped to medical. The SNAP sanction code information is centrally entered when the TANF sanction is imposed see ( WAG 03-13-05-a , WAG 03-15-08-b and WAG 03-15-09-b).
SNAP benefits cannot increase due to the reduction in the cash benefit.
Sanctions imposed prior to 07/01/97 do not count when deciding whether a sanction is a first, 2nd, or 3rd level sanction. Prior to 08/03/98, sanctions for Child Support and the School Attendance Initiative did not count either. Starting 08/03/98, review all previous TANF sanctions (activity requirement, Child Support, and School Attendance Initiative) and determine which one had the highest level. Impose the new sanction at the next level.
A previous cash penalty for refusal to comply with the activity requirement does not count as a sanction.
Sanctions accumulate by family (case), not by person, during any period of continuous assistance. If someone in the case previously incurred a sanction, the next time anyone in the case incurs a sanction (activity requirement, Child Support, or School Attendance Initiative), the next higher sanction level applies.
Start over at sanction level one when all previous 3-month sanction periods have ended and the family (case) has been off TANF and medical assistance for at least one full payment month before reapplication. The loss of all cash assistance due to sanction is not a break in assistance if the family continues to receive medical assistance.