All *FANF recipients must meet the voluntary quit requirements cited in Section 315.01, Definition of Voluntary Quit. In addition to these requirements, mandatory and voluntary NHEP participants must meet the following NHEP participation requirements to be considered to be in compliance:
• cooperate in the Service Determination Appointment (SDA), employment assessment, and in the development of an Employability Plan (EP);
• contact their ECS prior to being unable to attend orientations, assessments, NHEP activities, or other scheduled appointments;
• participate in the NHEP activities as specified on the EP; and
• make a good faith effort to comply with the steps described in the EP.
Participants may have good cause for not meeting the responsibilities listed above. See the Good Cause section below.
Participants who miss more than one appointment within a 30-day period without contact prior to the appointment, and without good cause for not making prior contact, do not meet compliance requirements.
Good Faith Effort
NHEP Participants are considered to be making a good faith effort to comply with the steps of their Employability Plan when they are:
• keeping scheduled appointments;
• providing verifications or information;
• attending scheduled classes, meetings, workshops, and appointments;
• going to scheduled job interviews;
• participating in the required activities for the required number of hours as specified on the EP; and
• continuing participation in employment and other NHEP activities.
Use the following factors to determine if employment is suitable:
• the degree of risk involved to a participant’s health, safety, and morals;
• the participant’s prior training and experience;
• the participant’s prospects for securing his or her customary occupation in the local labor market;
• the commuting distance should not be substantially greater than is customary for the area;
• the participant’s prior earnings and length of unemployment; and
• for participants with no work history or very little work history, consideration should be given to preference, interest, skills, employer benefits and potential for developing a work history.
Claiming Good Cause
A participant may claim good cause by calling, writing, or meeting face-to-face with a District Office or NHEP staff member and by completing the Form NHEP269, Client Statement for NHEP Non-Participation and Plan. If a face-to-face meeting is requested by the participant to explain the reason for the noncompliance, the participant has the right to bring a representative to the meeting. The participant has 7 business days from the date of the non-compliance notice or from the date of the verified postmark date on the notice to provide verification to substantiate their good cause reason and a plan to remedy the situation. The ECS must sanction participants no later than 10 business from the date of non-compliance when participants fail to contact their ECS, comply with NHEP requirements, or substantiate a good cause reason within 7 business days of the non-compliance notice.
Good Cause for Voluntary Quit/Refusal to Accept Suitable Employment
Good cause may exist when a cash assistance recipient voluntarily quits a job or refuses suitable employment. Refer to Section 315.03, Good Cause for Voluntary Quit, for voluntary quit good cause criteria.
Good Cause for Non-Compliance with NHEP Participation Requirements
NHEP participants may have good cause reasons for failing to meet NHEP participation requirements. Participants have good cause when the failure is caused by circumstances beyond the participant’s control including:
• lack of transportation;
• lack of adequate child care (see below);
• illness, incapacity, or disability of the participant;
• illness, incapacity, or disability of another household member that is serious enough to require the participant’s presence in the home;
• net loss of cash income (see below);
• mandated appointments, including court appearances;
• unreasonable risk to the health or safety of any household member;
• family/domestic violence; or
• other circumstances beyond the participant’s control.
Good Cause for Lack of Adequate Child Care
Adequate child care is available from providers who:
• have openings;
• are licensed or license exempt;
• are accessible given the participant’s means to transport the children;
• provide care that is representative of the quality of child care provided to other children in the community;
• are 16 years of age or older;
• are not residing in the family’s home;
• are not a parent of the child being cared for;
• allow the parent access to the child at all times; and
• meet the household’s basic requirements for child care, including the hours of care and special treatment for handicapped children.
Good cause for lack of adequate child care exists when there are no adequate providers available. Prior to the determination of good cause, the participant must:
• fully complete and submit Form NHEP269, Client Statement for NHEP Non-Participation and Plan;
• explore child care providers and options for obtaining adequate child care; and
• provide a written reason why available providers do not provide care that is representative of the quality of the child care provided to other children in the community.
Exception: Good cause for lack of adequate child care does not exist when:
• the child is age 18 or older;
• the child is age 13 or older, unless the child has a mental or physical condition that would result in harm to the child or others without supervision; or
• providers refuse to provide child care due to intentional non-payment of child care bills by the participant.
Good Cause for Net Loss of Income
Good cause for loss of net income applies when the net income available to a family at the time the offer of employment was made is less than the financial assistance the family received under FANF. Use the following procedures to determine if net loss of income will occur:
1. Total the family’s gross income, which includes but is not limited to, earnings, unearned income and cash assistance.
2. Determine the net income by subtracting from the gross income the total necessary work-related expenses such as child care, transportation, and any other mandatory work related expense required by the employer.
If the net income is less than the financial assistance the family received under FANF at the time the offer of employment was made, good cause due to net loss of cash income exists.
Making a Good Cause Decision
Determination of Good Cause Criteria
Good cause decisions are subject to the Department of Health and Human Services’ administrative appeals process. The ECS must consider all available facts and circumstances when making a good cause decision, including information submitted by the:
• other agencies providing a NHEP service/activity; and
• any other individual