WAG 03-13-02-e

revised textWhen a TANF recipient is approved for a Family Violence Exclusion: 

  • they are Exempt from participating in Countable work, training and education activities ; 
  • the TANF 60-month counter stops (see PM 03-06-01-h);
  • good cause is presumed for not cooperating with Child Support Services when approved due to actions of a noncustodial parent (See PM 24-02-04);
  • TANF program requirements are waived when compliance would make it more difficult for an applicant or customer to escape the violence, unfairly penalize them, or subject them to further risk of the violence.

Requesting a Family Violence Exclusion

To qualify for a Family Violence Exclusion a person must:

  • request to be excused from Countable work, training and education activities because of a domestic or sexual violence, or stalking problem; and
  • provide proof that they or a member of their family are a current or past victim of domestic or sexual violence, or stalking.

In addition to personal threats or acts of physical violence, the domestic or sexual violence may be in the form of intimidation through stalking. Stalking may be via electronic device such as phone or e-mail.

See PM 02-09-05-a-2 for more about sexual violence and stalking.

A written request is not required. Document the person's verbal request in the case record. If a person wants to file a written request, they may do so. A person can request to be excused from Countable activities at anytime under the Family Violence Exclusion.

Criteria for Approval of Family Violence Exclusion

A Family Violence Exclusion is approved if:

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

A person may be unable to participate in Countable 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.

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

See PM 02-09-05-a-2 for definitions of sexual violence and stalking.

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.

Acceptable Proof

Acceptable proof of the claim of domestic or sexual violence may include:

  • a written statement from anyone other than the applicant or client, who has knowledge of the circumstances that supports the statement;
  • a police report, government agency record, or court record;
  • a statement, or other documentation, from a domestic or sexual violence program or rape crisis organization from whom the person sought services or advice;
  • documentation from a lawyer, clergy person, medical professional, or other professional from whom the person sought domestic or sexual violence services or advice;
  • other evidence, such as physical evidence of violence; or
  • any other credible evidence that supports the claim, including the statement of the client.

Never contact the person named to be the abuser or perpetrator, the abuser's or perpetrator's family, or any other person named by the applicant or client to be unsafe to contact, to verify the abuse or violence.

Do not require participation in work and training activities while the person is obtaining proof of the domestic or sexual violence.

If someone needs help in obtaining proof, help them obtain the needed proof. If the FCRC needs to contact a 3rd party to obtain proof of the domestic or sexual violence claim, the applicant or client must give their written consent.

Never contact a 3rd party without the applicant's or client's written consent.

If a person is currently receiving services from a domestic or sexual violence service provider, contact the service provider or have the applicant or client provide a statement from the service provider that they are receiving services.

When a person says they are the victim of domestic or sexual violence and does not receive services from a domestic or sexual violence service provider, refer them. If the person refuses or fails to follow through with the referral, do not deny the Family Violence Exclusion. Ask the person to provide other evidence to support their claim.

Multi-disciplinary Staffing (MDS)

Once proof is obtained, hold a Multi-disciplinary Staffing (MDS) as soon as possible after the proof of domestic or sexual violence, or stalking is submitted (see PM 03-13-05-c). The purpose of the MDS is to:

  • review the evidence and all available information about the client or applicant,
  • identify service needs,
  • develop options to include in the RSP,
  • review the need for additional referrals or referral actions, and
  • decide if the person is eligible for a Family Violence Exclusion.

The following persons always participate in the MDS:

  • LOA (or designee);
  • caseworker;
  • the caseworker's supervisor; and
  • a domestic or sexual violence consultant.

Other professionals or specialists may be included as needed.

Notify the applicant or client of the approval or denial of the request for a Family Violence Exclusion.

If an exclusion is approved, see PM 02-09-04-f for RSP development.

Length of Family Violence Exclusion

The initial approval period of a Family Violence Exclusion may be for up to 6 months, depending on individual case circumstances. Subsequent review periods are determined at the Multi-disciplinary Staffing (MDS) when determining if the exclusion will continue, and may be for up to 6 months. There is no limit on the number of times the Family Violence Exclusion may be continued. A person may refuse to be considered for the Family Violence Exclusion and may end the exclusion at anytime without penalty.

NEW TEXTThe MDS determines the frequency of case management contact, depending on individual case circumstances and needs. The minimum contact frequency is at the time of review.

When a Family Violence Exclusion will not be continued, notify the client of the decision.