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1 Non-Compliance and Sanctions Agency for Workforce Innovation August 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Non-Compliance and Sanctions Agency for Workforce Innovation August 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Non-Compliance and Sanctions Agency for Workforce Innovation August 2007

2 2 What is a Sanction? Webster’s defines it as Loss of reward ~OR~ Intervention connected to a violation of a law as means of enforcing the law

3 3 What is a Sanction? What law is being enforced when we initiate the counseling and penalty process? Federal regulations – 45 CFR Florida Statutes section Florida Administrative Code 65A-4.205

4 4 What is a Sanction? Federal regulations state that cash must be terminated or reduced If the individual fails to comply with the signed IRP without good cause If the individual refuses to comply with work requirements without good cause Use this link for more information. Type 45 CFR 261 in the search box and click submit.

5 5 What is a Sanction? Florida Statutes section A reduction or termination of benefits as a result of a failure to comply or refusal to comply with work and alternative requirements Use this link for more information. Click on Chapter 414

6 6 What is a Sanction? The penalty process must be initiated If an individual required to participate in the WT program fails to comply with Individual Responsibility or Alternative Plan requirements without good cause If an individual required to participate in the WT program refuses to comply with work requirements without good cause If an individual required to participate in the WT program fails to comply with work activity requirements without good cause

7 7 What is a Sanction? A sanction is the result of a participant’s Failure to comply with the signed IRP OR Refusal to become fully engaged in work or alternative plan activities without good cause

8 8 Accountability Cash assistance recipients referred to the work program Are required to participate in work activities and/or alternative plan activities Are engaged in a plan to Meet goals Overcome barriers using work activities and alternative plan requirements

9 9 Accountability When we first begin to engage our participant, we establish Program requirements Program opportunities A plan that engages our participants in activities that will help them achieve their goals

10 10 Accountability  The sanction process actually begins with accountability  When we begin to engage participants in the program  When we develop the IRP  When we hold participants accountable for completing steps towards self-sufficiency  When we hold participants accountable for not participating

11 11 Accountability The signed IRP is a contract and/or agreement It is designed to help the participant move towards Their goals Employment Self-sufficiency The agreement between the participant and the career specialist must be reviewed for accountability

12 12 The Result of not Holding Participants Accountable?

13 13 Accountability Failure to hold participants accountable with the signed IRP ~OR~ Refusal to fully engage the participant in work activities May result in Time limits ending before the family becomes self-sufficient A negative impact on participation rate ~OR~ A federal penalty against Florida

14 14 Accountability If the participant does not have good cause for not participating and the penalty process is not initiated, Florida may be penalized

15 15 Accountability What are some key accountability provisions? Ensure participant knows about his or her requirements Ensure participant has clear deadlines and objectives Ensure participant reviews and signs the IRP with clear requirements and deadlines

16 16 Accountability How can a participant comply with the above requirements? What is the person supposed to do Monday? What is the countable activity? What document is supposed to be turned in?

17 17 Accountability When will it be determined the participant failed to meet this requirement?

18 18 Accountability General steps leads to confusion We should avoid general requirements that have No clear daily requirements Vague direction No clear deadlines Is this person supposed to get a job or participate in a countable activity? What is the countable activity?

19 19 Accountability These steps have clear guidelines and deadlines that details the participant’s requirements

20 20 Accountability If the participant failed to complete any one of these steps, staff could provide a clear description of the failure and hold them accountable for the exact failure.

21 21 Frequently Asked Question The participant has not signed an IRP yet because (s)he missed the first appointment or orientation. Can we initiate the counseling process?

22 22 Answer Yes The sanction process is about Engaging the participant Notifying the participant of his/her rights and responsibilities Offering another opportunity to participate Discovering if good cause exists Offering services that are needed

23 23 Answer However, once a participant meets with staff A clear plan of action should be established Clear assignment of activities should be put in writing Clear deadlines should be put in writing The information should be agreed on and signed by both parties

24 24 The Sanction Process-First Failure The participant fails to comply for the first time in 30 days The participant fails to comply with the signed IRP or refuses to participate Examples of failure include Failure to attend orientation Failure to attend an appointment Failure to attend work activity Failure to turn in documentation

25 25 The Sanction Process-First Failure Using the steps from earlier The participant fails to comply with one of the requirements The participant started class on April 2 nd, but the participant does not attend class on April 4, 2007

26 26 The Sanction Process-Failure The failure should be recognized immediately We strive to recognize the failure within two working days after the date of the failure If the failure is not noticed as soon as possible, it could have an impact on The participation rate Accountability

27 27 The Sanction Process-Failure How can we recognize a failure to participate quickly Create local processes Enter information on calendar or through “To-Dos” to verify participation The “To-Dos” should align with due dates and deadlines outlined in the steps on the IRP

28 28 The Sanction Process-First Failure Contact worksite supervisors and teachers to confirm attendance Contact the participant regularly to encourage the participant to attend Contact the participant regularly to resolve any problems or issues regarding work activity or alternative activity participation

29 29 The Sanction Process-First Failure Upon discovering the failure We must initiate the counseling process Initiate the counseling process by entering the failure on the Alternative Plan Screen  Enter the exact failure  Enter the exact failure date Mail the “Notice of Failure to Participate and Possible Sanction” (Form 2290)

30 30 The Sanction Process-First Failure The counseling process Counseling includes making an oral attempt to contact and counsel the participant regarding the failure Enter the exact failure and exact failure date on the Alternative Plan screen

31 31 The Sanction Process-Counseling A ten-day counseling period starts once the failure letter is mailed The counseling period is over when counseling occurs

32 32 So what is the ten-day counseling period about? Opening lines of communication Discussing why the participant failed Determining if good cause exists Determining what services may be needed to bring them into compliance and prevent future failures The Sanction Process-Counseling

33 33 The Sanction Process-Counseling The ten-day period is also about Discussing program requirements Updating the IRP Ensuring the participant is going to comply

34 34 What happens if the oral attempt is successful or the participant contacts the career specialist during the ten-day counseling period? The Sanction Process-Counseling

35 35 Find out if good cause exists for the failure If good cause exists, end the pre-penalty in the OSST system with “good cause” If good cause does not exist, do not end the pre- penalty in the OSST system, complete the counseling process The Sanction Process-Counseling

36 36 Discuss barriers to compliance If the individual needs support services, offer assistance Discuss professional behaviors Examples If you are going to miss an appointment, class or other activity, please call me in advance Not showing to work or failing to call an employer before missing work may lead to being dismissed or fired The Sanction Process-Counseling

37 37 Discuss program requirements Examples If you do not attend your activities, you cannot achieve your goals If you are going to be absent, you will need to provide good cause  Discuss what the RWB considers good cause and if documentation is required The Sanction Process-Counseling

38 38 Assign an activity, due date and follow-up appointment Examples Are you ready to go back to class? Please be at class at 9:00 AM tomorrow, Wednesday September XX I need you to meet with me on Thursday at 9:00 AM to turn in your time sheet Make sure your teacher signs your time sheet for Wednesday attendance Bring the time sheet to your appointment on Thursday The Sanction Process-Counseling

39 39 Discuss what happens if (s)he does not comply again Examples If you do not attend class tomorrow or attend your appointment, your cash and food stamps may be closed. You will also lose your childcare We do not want that to happen, so it is important to work with us and inform us in advance if you have to miss a class or appointment If you have to miss class or an appointment, make sure you have a good reason and discuss that reason with me in advance or as soon as possible The Sanction Process-Counseling

40 40 Do’s Use customer friendly language Ask directly what kept the participant from participating Tell the participant what is good cause and what is not good cause Tell the participant about documentation requirements for good cause The Sanction Process-Counseling

41 41 Do’s Set-up an activity Establish a clear deadline Discuss outcomes of not participating Enter clear case notes Don’t Use terms like “2290” or “pre-penalty” Leave a detailed message on a machine, with a friend or family member The Sanction Process-Counseling

42 42 The Sanction Process-Oral Contact The oral attempt could be a phone call or other locally determined method Document your attempt and the results in OSST by entering a case note

43 43 The Sanction Process-First Failure If the participant does not contact the career center during the counseling period and the oral contact is unsuccessful Request the appropriate level sanction Click on “Pre-Penalty Counseling” hyperlink in OSST on the Alternative Plan Page This generates an alert to DCF to take action to impose the sanction Do not mail the Notice of Failure to Demonstrate Satisfactory Compliance, AWI WTP 2292

44 44 The Sanction Process-First Failure The participant contacts the career center during the counseling period or the oral contact is successful Determine if the participant had good cause for the failure If good cause exists, end the “pre-penalty” with “good cause” Enter a case note The counseling period of ten days is over

45 45 The Sanction Process –First Failure If good cause does not exist or is not accepted Counsel the participant regarding his or her failure Discuss barriers to participation Refer for services Explain consequences of noncompliance and failure to “Demonstrate Satisfactory Compliance” Enter clear case notes

46 46 The Sanction Process –First Failure

47 47 After First Failure and Counseling Participant complies End the pre-penalty with “complied” Use the date the participant agreed to comply Make sure the IRP is updated Enter clear case notes Participant does not comply This is the second failure Wait three days for good cause Enter a sanction if good cause is not provided Enter clear case notes

48 48 The Sanction Process –Second Failure

49 49 The Sanction Process-Second Failure Two failures within 30 days What if the participant fails to complete an activity after the pre-penalty is lifted with “complied”? Ensure the second failure is within 30 days of the first failure Allow three working days for good cause If good cause exists, do not request sanction If good cause is not provided or not accepted, request sanction and mail the AWI WTP 2292 Enter clear case notes

50 50 Sanction Levels Sanction level should be entered based on sanction history Review Alternative Plan screen for previous sanctions Look at latest sanction level Review for six months of compliance since latest sanction If six months of compliance exists, start at level one If six months of compliance does not exist, request the next level sanction

51 51 Frequently Asked Question When requesting a sanction on a member of a two-parent family, how do you determine what level you should request?

52 52 Answer The sanction is attached to the individual Even though the sanction will affect the entire family If the last sanction requested was a level 2 and the individual has not complied for a minimum of six months since the last compliance, a level 3 sanction must be requested

53 53 Good Cause Good cause for a failure to participate must be documented clearly in the case notes Good cause must be documented according to local operating procedures

54 54 Good Cause There are a lot of good excuses Only some will qualify as “good cause” for missing activities The RWB determines good cause If your RWB has not given you a clear good cause policy, please ask for one

55 55 Good Cause The RWB should require documentation for certain good causes Ongoing medical incapacity or limits Missing an activity due to a court appointment Missing an activity due to school conference Etc.

56 56 Good Cause There are short term “good cause” reasons for missing activities Court appointment School conference Flu Minor surgery Storms Etc.

57 57 Good Cause There are also long-term reasons for missing activities Permanent or long-term medical issue In-patient treatment Inability to find adequate childcare that is within a reasonable distance and at a reasonable cost Domestic violence

58 58 Pop Quiz What are three populations that a sanction should not be requested on

59 59 Answer 1. Applicants 2. Transitional Participants 3. Single parents with a child under the age of six that have demonstrated an inability to secure adequate and reasonable childcare

60 60 Frequently Asked Question Scenario A first failure occurs During the “Pre-Penalty process”, the individual complies The pre-penalty is ended with “complied” A second failure occurs The individual provides good cause for the second failure Should the “Request Penalty” link be ended with “good cause”?

61 61 Frequently Asked Question No The good cause applies to the second failure not the original failure The 30-day period continues If a subsequent failure occurs (before the 30 days expire), the individual must provide good cause within three working days

62 62 Penalty Levels Request date should always be the date you request the sanction Lift date for good cause should be the same as the request date Lift date for compliance Level one—the date the individual agreed to comply, after complying Level two and three—the date the individual agreed to comply after complying

63 63 Sanctions- Do's and Don'ts Do not lift a sanction because you thought the individual was going to comply Do not lift a pre-penalty because the participant wants to comply or agrees to comply Do request sanctions timely

64 64 Forgiveness Policy Prior sanctions are forgiven if participant is compliant for six months (or longer) after a sanction is lifted due to compliance Begins with a clean slate Applies only to Cash Sanctions; Does Not Apply to Food Stamps Prior Sanctions Forgiven

65 65 Would You Accept Good Cause? Good cause is submitted after a sanction is imposed First determine if the participant had good cause for not responding to the 2290 within ten days or within three working days of the second failure If the good cause is accepted, lift date should be the same as the request date Ending the sanction with good cause means the sanction should not have been requested and participant should not lose any amount of cash assistance

66 66 Would You Accept This as Good Cause?

67 67 Sanctions-Support Services If complying to have the sanction lifted, applicant support services may be provided Childcare Transportation Not eligible for transitional services The participant may receive temporary support services to comply and have the sanction removed but would not be eligible for transitional support services upon removal of the sanction

68 68 Requesting a Sanction-Closed Cash If an individual is non-compliant during a month that TCA is received, and a sanction is appropriate, the sanction should be requested even if DCF has already closed their case Unless the case was closed due to becoming exempt Unless the case was closed due to earnings DCF will be posting sanctions to closed cases

69 69 Remember Accountability is the critical element of both engagement and the sanction process Establish clear requirements Hold participant accountable for failures Reward them for successes Use customer-friendly language No case manager “jargon” Avoid terms like “2290” and “pre-sanction”

70 70 If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact The Welfare Transition Team through the Agency for Workforce Innovation’s Call Center An equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. All voice telephone numbers on this document may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711.


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