D-1000: Eligibility Determination Process Overview

With the exception of children experiencing homelessness, a Board must ensure that its child care contractor verifies all eligibility requirements for child care services before authorizing child care.

Rule Reference: §809.42(a)

  1.Wait List pull/request for Child Care Services Customer submits application and supporting documents 2.Board verifies application and supporting documents 2.Board verifies if customer is eligible 3.If not eligible, Board issues (written or electronic) determination to customer; end process 4.If eligible, Board issues (written or electronic) eligibility notification and supporting documents to customer 5.Customer selects provider and 12 months of services begins; end process

Eligibility Determination Process (as depicted above):

  1. Wait List pull/request for Child Care Services
  2. Customer submits application and supporting documents
  3. Board verifies application and supporting documents
  4. Board verifies if customer is eligible
    1. If not eligible, Board issues (written or electronic) determination to customer; end process
    2. If eligible, Board issues (written or electronic) eligibility notification and supporting documents to customer
  5. Customer selects provider and 12 months of services begins; end process

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D-1001: Waitlist Applications

Boards must have a policy for determining potential eligibility and placing customers on a waitlist. Eligibility screenings conducted for the purpose of adding a customer to a waitlist may be based on customer self-attestation.

Rule Reference: §809.13(c)(2)

Wait list requests based on the customer’s self-attestation for potential eligibility for child care services are not subject to appeal by the parent.

Boards must ensure that when funds become available, customers are invited to submit a full eligibility application and are provided the minimum information required as part of the application for child care services as described in D-1001.

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D-1002: Enrollment Application for Child Care Services

Boards must ensure that customers applying for At-Risk and Transitional child care services complete a full application for services. Boards may use the TWC-developed sample forms included in Appendix J or develop their own local forms.

Boards must ensure that applications for child care services include the following required elements:

1. Instructions for completing application (paper or electronic)

2. Application form, which must include at a minimum:

  • Eligibility elements:
  • Supporting documentation for each of the eligibility elements
  • Statement for applicant to confirm that eligibility information is true and accurate

3. Parents’ rights information, which must contain at a minimum:

  • The basic rights listed in the TWC Sample Parent Rights (Appendix J) form
  • A statement that by selecting a provider and entering into care, the parent acknowledges that he or she has read and understood the information about parent rights

4. Parent agreement to report attendance, which must contain at a minimum:

  • Information on the attendance standards that the parent agrees to follow and the consequences for not meeting the standards
  • Information on attendance reporting and Child Care Attendance Automation (CCAA) cardholder responsibilities
5. Signature required (electronic acceptable)

 

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D-1003: Verification of Eligibility for Child Care Services

Boards must ensure that verification of eligibility is completed within 20 calendar days of receipt of the completed Enrollment Application for Child Care Services form. Boards must not issue a Notice of Eligibility for Child Care Services until all applicable eligibility criteria have been verified and the customer has submitted all required application documents as described in D-1002.

A customer failing to submit all required documentation may be grounds for making a determination of ineligibility. When a determination of ineligibility is made, the customer must be notified and given notice of the right to appeal the determination, as described in D:1003.b: Notification of Non-Eligibility for Child Care Services.

Rule Reference: §809.72(b)

For customers who are At-Risk, Transitional, or experiencing homelessness, Boards may use the TWC-developed Eligibility Documentation Log (Appendix J) to document the eligibility determination and verification of supporting documents. Boards may also use a locally developed form and/or process for verifying eligibility.

Resource: Child Care Services Eligibility Documentation Log, Appendix J

D-1003.a: Eligibility Verification for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must be aware that parent self-attestation is acceptable to establish initial eligibility for children experiencing homelessness. Boards must ensure that families experiencing homelessness have an initial eligibility period of three months to provide documentation that verifies eligibility.

Rule Reference: §809.52

The Board must ensure that appropriate staff creates a Homeless Initial Care "Activity Interruption" in the TWIST "Program Detail" to track the initial grace period for families who are experiencing homelessness who cannot provide documentation at time of enrollment in child care services.

However, Boards must be aware that families experiencing homelessness may provide complete eligibility documentation upon enrollment in child care services. When complete documentation is available at time of enrollment, the Board must ensure that appropriate staff enrolls the family under the "Homeless" eligibility characteristic but does not create an "Activity Interruption" record for Homeless Initial Care.

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D-1004: Notification of Eligibility for Child Care Services

Boards must ensure that once eligibility is verified, the parent is provided with a written notification of his or her eligibility (that is, Notice of Eligibility for Child Care Services, Appendix J-103). Receipt of the notification of eligibility must be acknowledged by the parent before the authorization of care.

The parent’s selection of a provider or entering into care at a previously selected provider constitute acknowledgement of the notification of eligibility.

The 12-month period begins on the date that authorized care is scheduled to begin at the selected provider.

D-1004.a: Required Forms and Form Elements for Eligibility Notification

Boards may use the TWC-developed forms to notify parents of their eligibility for child care services. The following forms are designed to be included in an eligibility notification packet and can be found in Appendix J:

Boards may customize these forms or develop their own. However, the following elements must be included in any Board-developed notification of eligibility for child care services:

  • A written eligibility notification, which must contain at a minimum:
  • Parent’s rights information, which must contain at a minimum:
  • Parent agreement to report attendance, which must contain at a minimum:
  • Parent information for choosing a provider, which must contain at a minimum:

Boards must be aware that parents are not required to sign and return the written eligibility notification. Parent response through the selection of a child care provider or request for subsidized care to begin with a previously selected provider serves as acknowledgment and agreement with the eligibility determination and acceptance of the rights and responsibilities for receiving child care services.

D:1004.b: Notification of Ineligibility for Child Care Services

Boards must ensure that when a customer is found ineligible, the parent is provided with a written notification of the determination. The notification of ineligibility must contain, at a minimum:

  • Mailing date
  • Description of determination reasons
  • Improper payment amount (if applicable)
  • Fraud or non-fraud determination (if applicable)
  • Appeal rights and procedures
  • Address and fax number to send appeal

Rule Reference: §823.3

D-1004.c: Repayment of Parent Share of Cost Owed to a Board

If a parent owes a Board an unpaid parent share of cost at the time of eligibility determination or redetermination, the Board must ensure that the customer is prohibited from a new eligibility period until the outstanding amount is paid in full to the Board to which the parent owes repayment.

Rule Reference: §809.117(e)

Boards must be aware that a customer’s future eligibility for child care services is only affected by unpaid parent share of cost if the parent owes funds to a Board pursuant to a Board policy to reimburse providers, thereby making the Board the debtholder. If unpaid parent share of cost is owed only to a provider and not a Board, the customer’s eligibility for redetermination is not affected.

D-1004.d: Eligibility Determination and Excessive Absences

Boards must ensure that if a child has exceeded 65 total absences during the most recent eligibility period (as described in Section E-601), then the child shall be determined ineligible for care at the next scheduled eligibility determination and is ineligible for care for 12 months from the end of the most recent eligibility period.

Rule Reference: §809.78(a)(3)

Boards must ensure that absences due to a child’s documented chronic illness, disability, or documented court-ordered visitation are not counted in the number of absences.

Rule Reference: §809.78(c

Boards must be aware that there is no established number of allowable absences for court-ordered visitation. Boards must ensure that the duration of allowable absences is based on the order of the court. Boards also must ensure that providers are reimbursed for absences due to court-ordered visitation.

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D-1005: Process for Redetermining Eligibility

Notwithstanding the period of time required to review a customer’s application for child care services, a redetermination of eligibility may not occur before 12 months from the end of the most recent eligibility period.

Rule Reference: §809.42(a)

However, Boards must be aware that the process for redetermining eligibility should begin before the end of the 12-month eligibility period. The actual redetermination decision may be reached before the end of the 12-month eligibility period. However, if the parent is determined ineligible for a new period of care, care must continue through the end of the current 12-month eligibility period.

Rule Reference: §809.51(a)

Boards must ensure that, for the purposes of eligibility redetermination, applications for child care services include the following required elements:

  • Instructions for completing application
  • Application form, which must include at a minimum:
  • Parents’ rights information, which must contain at a minimum:
  • Parent agreement to report attendance, which must contain at a minimum:
  • Signature required (electronic acceptable)

Boards must be aware that if at time of eligibility redetermination the family is experiencing a temporary status change in work, education or job training, the Board has the option to extend the eligibility period to the date the parent is expected to return to work, school, or training. In accordance with local procedures, the redetermination would then be based on the work, education, training, and income upon the parent’s return to activity.

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D-1006: Transfers between Board Local Workforce Development Areas

Boards must be aware that a child who relocates from one local workforce development area (workforce area) to another—but remains within the state—must remain eligible and continue to receive services for the duration of his or her eligibility period. Eligibility must not be redetermined based on a move to a new workforce area under a different Board.

Rule Reference: §809.51(a)(2)(G)

If a transfer between workforce areas results in a need to change providers, the receiving Board must communicate with the originating Board to determine the customer’s eligibility period and parent share of cost and must work with the parent to locate an eligible provider.

Boards must ensure that child care contractors document transfers between Boards and any associated case changes in TWIST "Counselor Notes."

D-1006.a: Parent Share of Cost and Transfers between Local Workforce Development Areas

Boards must be aware that the parent share of cost cannot increase from the amount assessed at the beginning of the customer's 12-month eligibility period. However, if a move results in a decrease in the family income (and/or increase in family size), which would place the family in a lower parent share of cost range, then the parent share of cost must be reduced.

Boards must ensure that any adjustments to the parent share of cost related to a transfer between workforce areas are documented in TWIST "Counselor Notes."

D-1006.b: Verification of Changes Related to Transfers between Local Workforce Development Areas

Receiving Boards must ensure that case changes resulting from a customer’s relocation are documented and verified.

For residency information, verbal attestation from the customer is acceptable for the transfer to a new workforce area. If the parent’s employment has not changed, verbal attestation of continuing employment and that income remains below 85 percent ofSMI is also acceptable.

If employment has changed, however, the receiving Board’s child care contractor must verify and document the new employment and income, in accordance with D-108: Income Changes During the 12-Month Eligibility Period.

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Part A - Definitions

Part H - Consumer Education and Child Care Quality Activities

Part J - Appendix