WAG 21-01-05

Waive TANF program requirements when compliance would make it more difficult for an applicant or customer to escape sexual or domestic violence, unfairly penalize them, or subject them to further risk of the violence.

Authorize TANF benefits as presumed eligible text deletedif the person claims they are unable to provide verifications due to past or present violence. (See PM 17-02-01-b)

Presume good cause for not cooperating with Child Support Services when a person is approved for a Family Violence Exclusion due to actions of a noncustodial parent. For good cause claim for not cooperating with Child Support Services, see PM 24-02-04.

A Family Violence Exclusion is approved if:

  • a person is experiencing a current domestic or sexual violence crisis, or the effects of a prior domestic or sexual violence situation, or the risk of future domestic or sexual violence, making it hard for them to participate in work and training activities for 30 hours per week; or
  • it is determined it is unsafe for them to participate in work and training activities.

A person may be unable to participate in work and training activities because they or a member of their family are:

  • recovering from physical or psychological injuries;
  • seeking or receiving medical attention, including counseling;
  • seeking or receiving services from a victim services organization;
  • participating in safety planning or implementing a safety plan, including relocation;
  • seeking or receiving legal assistance or remedies.

It may not be safe or in the person's best interest to participate in work and training activities because they:

  • are being stalked or harassed by a person who is, or is not, known to them;
  • are at increased risk due to the location of the work or training site.

Sexual violence differs from domestic violence in that the assault or intimidation is not necessarily perpetrated by a member of the victim's household, and the perpetrator may or may not be known to the victim. For example, a person sexually assaulted by a stranger is a victim of sexual violence.

Stalking is a form of domestic or sexual violence. Stalking includes placing another person under surveillance and threatening immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint and the threat is directed toward that person or a family member of that person. Stalking includes cyberstalking, which includes harassment of another person through electronic communications. Communications may be via telephone, mobile phone, computer, e-mail, video recorder, fax machine, telex, pager, radio, or any other means of electronic communications.

The violence does not need to be recent to affect a person's ability to participate in work and training.

If someone qualifies for a Family Violence Exclusion, they are not required to participate in work and training activities and the TANF 60-month counter stops.

A person does not have to be receiving services from a domestic or sexual violence service provider to qualify for the Family Violence Exclusion. Not everyone who is in a domestic or sexual violence program will qualify for the Family Violence Exclusion.