WAG 03-06-05: Exceptions to the 60-month Limit

PM 03-06-05.

A client is eligible for TANF without an exception until they have received 60 countable months. If a client requests and is approved for an exception before they have 60 countable months of TANF, the exception starts in month 61. We notify the client of exception policy when they reach month 57 in order to allow time to process the request. When the exception is approved, the Family Community Resource Center enters the exception coding right away to ensure the action is timely. This coding has no effect until month 61, when it prevents the loss of cash benefits due to the time limit. When a client has an exception, the family receives TANF benefits as though there were no time limit.

An exception does not stop the TANF clock; an exception applies only after the clock runs out. Stopping the clock keeps the client from reaching the 60-month limit. After they reach the 60-month limit, the client needs an exception to be eligible. If the clock stops before the end of month 60, they remain eligible without an exception. If they have requested an exception, it is denied because they do not need it to be eligible.

Do not reduce the counter due to approval of an exception. The client continues to receive TANF Cash because of the exception, even though the counter goes beyond 60.

Example: Mr. E requests an exception in month 57. The exception is approved in month 58. The Family Community Resource Center enters the exception coding for month 59. They do not reduce the counter.

NOTE: Two exception reasons are also reasons to stop the counter. When the counter is under 60, an exception will not be approved for a reason that stops the counter because the person does not need an exception when the counter stops before month 61.

A client with an exception must continue to meet other TANF program requirements. If a client with an exception fails to cooperate with Child Support, the School Attendance Initiative, or an activity unrelated to the exception reason and the reconciliation process fails, impose the appropriate sanction. A sanction that is unrelated to the exception reason does not affect the exception.

Example: Ms. D has an exception due to a pending SSI Disability application. She fails to keep appointments with the Family Support Specialist. Impose a child support sanction. Ms. D remains eligible for the exception.