WAG 21-05-00: Supportive Services (TANF)

PM 21-05-00

Supportive services may be issued manually by Mercury payment or invoice voucher. These payments can also be authorized through VCM.

Once a worker determines that a client needs supportive services, the Mercury payment module in VCM allows staff to document the service provided and authorize the payment.

The Mercury payment module also contains edits that ensure that specific governing criteria concerning supportive services are not ignored.

The Mercury payment module can be accessed via the Selection of Service Need window by clicking on Tools. The system sends the worker through a series of windows which identify:

  • the client for whom the payment is being made,
  • what the payment is for (e.g., transportation, child care),
  • whether the need is to meet an employment or activity goal, and
  • details concerning the particulars of the supportive service need.

The system allows for the supportive service to be authorized. Built-in edits notify the worker if allowable supportive service criteria (e.g., amounts, maximum payments per month, etc.) are being exceeded.

The system maintains a history of service payments made for later review.


new textDocument all actions concerning a supportive service request in the case record.

  1. (Worker) Review supportive service needs each time you review the plan.
  2. (Worker) Document the written or oral requests for supportive services on the RSP.
  3. revised text(Client/Worker) Verifies the need and cost for all supportive services, except job search and work activity allowances. If the supportive service includes multiple items, obtain the cost for each item. Include sales tax in the cost of the item.  
  4. (Worker) Decide eligibility for the expense.

If ineligible:

  1. (Worker) Send the client Notice of Decision on Request for a Financial Assistance Increase/Special Authorization (Form 1934).

If eligible:

  1. (Client/Worker) Obtain one estimate for the purchase or repair of requested items, other than child care and transportation. An informal estimate may be used (TV, newspaper, or radio ads) for items of $100 or less. If the first estimate is over $100, obtain a 2nd estimate. Authorize the least expensive item(s).
  2. (Worker)  Obtain supervisory approval, if needed.
  3. (Worker)Authorize payments in advance, based on full participation for the next month. Do not prorate the first month's payment. Do not base payments on participation in the previous month. Do not file an overpayment for a supportive service payment issued for a month in which the client failed to participate.
  4. (Worker)Authorize payment by Mercury, Invoice Voucher (Form C-13), either manually or through VCM.
    1. Use code 786 for job-related transportation expenses.
    2. Use code 773 for activity-related transportation.
    3. Use code 787 for job-related expenses, except child care.
    4. Use code 772 for other activity-related expenses.
    5. Use code 775 for medical-related expenses.
    6. For Mercuries, enter the 4-digit activity code under PERSONS. If issuing supportive services for a client who is not in an activity, use activity code 0200.
    7. For voucher payments, send Form C-13 to the appropriate Supervisor or Administrator.
    8. For child care, determine the amount according to WAG 06-16-06.

      NOTE: Redirect Mercury child care payments to the provider. Use the child care needs code based on the type of care, with the activity code under PERSONS. 

  5. Refer clients approved for payment of physical examinations to an appropriate source of medical care by completing Referral for Medical Examination (Form 1864) (see also WAG 21-05-08.) See WAG 21-05-10 for eyeglasses and WAG 21-05-11 for dental expenses.
  6. When child care is authorized, notify the Child Care Resource and Referral agency of the amount authorized and the time period covered by the payment by sending a copy of the Mercury Form 552 which authorized the child care payment. Indicate in the REMARKS section the beginning and ending dates covered by the child care payment (no more than 30 calendar days).
Supportive Services Chart
new text WAG 27- 80-01-c WAG 21- 05-05 WAG 21-05-04 WAG 21- 05-08 WAG 21- 05-06 WAG 21- 05-07 WAG 21- 05-02
Basic Education (below post-secondary) Yes Yes++ Yes Yes No No Yes
Vocational Training Yes Yes++ Yes Yes No No Yes
Postsecondary Education Yes Yes++ Yes Yes No No Yes
Job Skills Yes Yes++ Yes Yes No No Yes
Job Search/ Job Readiness Yes Yes+ No Yes Yes* No Yes
Work Experience Yes Yes++ Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes
Self-employment Yes** Yes++ ** Yes Yes No No Yes
Work First Yes Yes++ Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes
Community Service Yes Yes++ Yes Yes Yes* Yes* Yes
Other Self-sufficiency Yes Yes++ No Yes No No Yes

+For travel to attend scheduled activities, not including employer contacts (employer contacts are covered by Job Search Allowance).

++Transportation payments are issued centrally at schedule cut-off for months in which an activity code is present with an amount under transportation.

*Job Search and Work Activity allowances are issued centrally at schedule cut-off for months in which this activity code is present in Item 60.

**Classes or workshops only.