Frequently Asked Questions
- I have a child that Children's Protective Services has placed in my home; can I get any help for this child?
If the child is related to you or you have legal custody (that is, a custody order signed by a judge), then you may be eligible to get Work First Family Assistance for this child.
Note: In most situations, a relative/legal guardian's income will not be counted when determining eligibility for this child; however, the agency will attempt to collect child support from the absent parent(s) for the child.
You will likely qualify for childcare assistance - talk to your social worker about a referral for childcare assistance. Certain eligibility conditions apply. You may also qualify for food and nutrition services; however, the income for the entire family will usually be considered.
- My friend came to your agency and got a "large check." I want to know if I am eligible for this program.
Work First Family Assistance includes a program called "benefit diversion" where a family may qualify for a three-month-cash-benefit lumped into one amount. This lump sum amount if paid, instead of ongoing monthly benefits. As with most programs, eligibility conditions apply and this program is designed to meet the needs of applicants with a likely offer of employment.
- I am in a domestic violence situation, can you help me?
The Work First Family Assistance Program can offer you options, including assistance with relocation. You will need to contact the local domestic violence shelter and make an appointment for an assessment. They can be reached at 652-8538 or 652-6150.
Anyone living in a violent situation and planning to leave should have an emergency safety plan. This includes having an extra set of car and house keys hidden in case you leave your home suddenly. You should also have copies of important papers (social security cards, birth certificates). When you start planning to leave a violent home, you should begin putting money away, even if it is only a few dollars weekly.
- I heard that there is a program that helps employed people pay for the cost of fuel, tell me about this program.
Work First Family Assistance administers a program referred to as Job Retention. This program pays .25 (up to a maximum of $75 monthly) for fuel expenses related to traveling to and from work. Occasionally, a minor car repair or insurance premium is made for employed clients.
- Okay, I am interested in Work First, but I heard that you have to do a bunch of stuff to get the check. Tell me about that. Also, what happens once I do get a job? Do I lose all my benefits?
The Work First Family Assistance Program definitely requires participants to engage in activities that will help him/her take care of himself and his family without "welfare." These activities are worked out with your Work First Social Worker and include activities like looking for work or educational training. Your worker will likely suggest engaging in a work experience designed to help you gain on-the-job skills and a solid work reference in the community. Work First will help you with the cost of transportation (or in some cases, provide transportation) when you are participating in these required activities.
When you are no longer eligible for Work First because of increased income, your food and nutrition services will likely be reduced or stopped; however you will likely be eligible for some transitional benefits, such as the "job retention program" or transitional Medicaid. You may also be eligible for Advanced Earned Income Credit from your employer! Most importantly, you will have the reward of being able to care for your family on your own!
- Can I get paid to provide care for a relative?
Only under specific circumstances. The relative must be a recipient of CAP-DA and you must meet requirements of the program. Contact a CAP-DA Case Manager for details.
- Can DSS pay my utility bills?
No, there are emergency programs which at times will assist with utility bills, but nothing to take care of these bills on an "on-going" basis.
- What's the difference in Rest Homes (Adult Care Homes) and Nursing Homes?
The level of care the client requires determines if they need a nursing home or adult care home placement. Nursing homes have nurses on staff and provide medical care, theremore are more expensive.
- Why does my neighbor get medicaid and I can't?
There are guidelines in place and criteria that must be met in order to receive Medicaid. Your income, assets, and martial status all determine if you are eligible and the type of Medicaid that you can receive. If you feel like you should receive Medicaid and were inproperly denied, you have the option of appealing your decision within 60 days of the decision day, or you can try and reapply for benefits.