Session of 2021
HOUSE BILL No. 2371
By Committee on Children and Seniors
2-12

1 AN ACT concerning children and minors; relating to eligibility for public
2 benefits; removing cooperation with child support from eligibility
3 requirements for food and child care assistance; exempting adults
4 enrolled in school from the 20-hour-per-week work requirement;
5 amending K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 39-709 and repealing the existing section.
6
7 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
8 Section 1. K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 39-709 is hereby amended to read as
9 follows: 39-709. (a) General eligibility requirements for assistance for
10 which federal moneys are expended. Subject to the additional requirements
11 below, assistance in accordance with plans under which federal moneys
12 are expended may be granted to any needy person who:
13 (1) Has insufficient income or resources to provide a reasonable
14 subsistence compatible with decency and health. Where a husband and
15 wife or cohabiting partners are living together, the combined income or
16 resources of both shall be considered in determining the eligibility of
17 either or both for such assistance unless otherwise prohibited by law. The
18 secretary, in determining need of any applicant for or recipient of
19 assistance shall not take into account the financial responsibility of any
20 individual for any applicant or recipient of assistance unless such applicant
21 or recipient is such individual's spouse, cohabiting partner or such
22 individual's minor child or minor stepchild if the stepchild is living with
23 such individual. The secretary in determining need of an individual may
24 provide such income and resource exemptions as may be permitted by
25 federal law. For purposes of eligibility for temporary assistance for needy
26 families, for food assistance and for any other assistance provided through
27 the Kansas department for children and families under which federal
28 moneys are expended, the secretary for children and families shall
29 consider one motor vehicle owned by the applicant for assistance,
30 regardless of the value of such vehicle, as exempt personal property and
31 shall consider any equity in any boat, personal water craft, recreational
32 vehicle, recreational off-highway vehicle or all-terrain vehicle, as defined
33 by K.S.A. 8-126, and amendments thereto, or any additional motor vehicle
34 owned by the applicant for assistance to be a nonexempt resource of the
35 applicant for assistance except that any additional motor vehicle used by
36 the applicant, the applicant's spouse or the applicant's cohabiting partner
HB 2371 2
1 for the primary purpose of earning income may be considered as exempt
2 personal property in the secretary's discretion.
3 (2) Is a citizen of the United States or is an alien lawfully admitted to
4 the United States and who is residing in the state of Kansas.
5 (b) Temporary assistance for needy families. Assistance may be
6 granted under this act to any dependent child, or relative, subject to the
7 general eligibility requirements as set out in subsection (a), who resides in
8 the state of Kansas or whose parent or other relative with whom the child
9 is living resides in the state of Kansas. Such assistance shall be known as
10 temporary assistance for needy families. Where the husband and wife or
11 cohabiting partners are living together, both shall register for work under
12 the program requirements for temporary assistance for needy families in
13 accordance with criteria and guidelines prescribed by rules and regulations
14 of the secretary.
15 (1) As used in this subsection, "family group" or "household" means
16 the applicant or recipient for TANF, child care subsidy or employment
17 services and all individuals living together in which there is a relationship
18 of legal responsibility or a qualifying caretaker relationship. This will
19 include a cohabiting boyfriend or girlfriend living with the person legally
20 responsible for the child. The family group shall not be eligible for TANF
21 if the family group contains at least one adult member who has received
22 TANF, including the federal TANF assistance received in any other state,
23 for 24 calendar months beginning on and after October 1, 1996, unless the
24 secretary determines a hardship exists and grants an extension allowing
25 receipt of TANF until the 36-month limit is reached. No extension beyond
26 36 months shall be granted. Hardship provisions for a recipient include:
27 (A) Is a caretaker of a disabled family member living in the
28 household;
29 (B) has a disability which precludes employment on a long-term basis
30 or requires substantial rehabilitation;
31 (C) needs a time limit extension to overcome the effects of domestic
32 violence/sexual assault;
33 (D) is involved with prevention and protection services (PPS) and has
34 an open social service plan; or
35 (E) is determined by the 24th month to have an extreme hardship other
36 than what is designated in criteria listed in subparagraphs (A) through (D).
37 This determination will be made by the executive review team.
38 (2) All adults applying for TANF shall be required to complete a
39 work program assessment as specified by the Kansas department for
40 children and families, including those who have been disqualified for or
41 denied TANF due to non-cooperation, drug testing requirements or fraud.
42 Adults who are not otherwise eligible for TANF, such as ineligible aliens,
43 relative/non-relative caretakers and adults receiving supplemental security
HB 2371 3
1 income are not required to complete the assessment process. During the
2 application processing period, applicants must complete at least one
3 module or its equivalent of the work program assessment to be considered
4 eligible for TANF benefits, unless good cause is found to be exempt from
5 the requirements. Good cause exemptions shall only include:
6 (A) The applicant can document an existing certification verifying
7 completion of the work program assessment;
8 (B) the applicant has a valid offer of employment or is employed a
9 minimum of 20 hours a week;
10 (C) the applicant is a parenting teen without a GED or high school
11 diploma;
12 (D) the applicant is enrolled in job corps;
13 (E) the applicant is working with a refugee social services agency; or
14 (F) the applicant has completed the work program assessment within
15 the last 12 months.
16 (3) The department for children and families shall maintain a
17 sufficient level of dedicated work program staff to enable the agency to
18 conduct work program case management services to TANF recipients in a
19 timely manner and in full accordance with state law and agency policy.
20 (4) TANF mandatory work program applicants and recipients shall
21 participate in work components that lead to competitive, integrated
22 employment. Components are defined by the federal government as being
23 either primary or secondary. In order to meet federal work participation
24 requirements, households need to meet at least 30 hours of participation
25 per week, at least 20 hours of which need to be primary and at least 10
26 hours may be secondary components in one parent households where the
27 youngest child is six years of age or older. Participation hours shall be 55
28 hours in two parent households ( ,35 hours per week if child care is not
29 used). The maximum assignment is 40 hours per week per individual. For
30 two parent families to meet the federal work participation rate both parents
31 must participate in a combined total of 55 hours per week, 50 hours of
32 which must be in primary components, or one or both parents could be
33 assigned a combined total of 35 hours per week ( ,30 hours of which must
34 be primary components), if department for children and families paid child
35 care is not received by the family. Single parent families with a child under
36 age six meet the federal participation requirement if the parent is engaged
37 in work or work activities for at least 20 hours per week in a primary work
38 component. The following components meet federal definitions of primary
39 hours of participation: Full or part-time employment, apprenticeship, work
40 study, self-employment, job corps, subsidized employment, work
41 experience sites, on-the-job training, supervised community service,
42 vocational education, job search and job readiness. Secondary components
43 include: Job skills training, education directly related to employment such
HB 2371 4
1 as adult basic education and English as a second language, and completion
2 of a high school diploma or GED.
3 (5) A parent or other adult caretaker personally providing care for a
4 child under the age of three months in their TANF household is exempt
5 from work participation activities until the month the child turns three
6 months of age. Such three-month limitation shall not apply to a parent or
7 other adult caretaker who is personally providing care for a child born
8 significantly premature, with serious medical conditions or with a
9 disability as defined by the secretary, in consultation with the secretary of
10 health and environment, and adopted in the rules and regulations. The
11 three-month period is defined as two consecutive months starting with the
12 month after childbirth. The exemption for caring for a child under three
13 months cannot be claimed:
14 (A) By either parent when two parents are in the home and the
15 household meets the two-parent definition for federal reporting purposes;
16 (B) by one parent or caretaker when the other parent or caretaker is in
17 the home, and available, capable and suitable to provide care and the
18 household does not meet the two-parent definition for federal reporting
19 purposes;
20 (C) by a person age 19 or younger when such person is pregnant or a
21 parent of a child in the home and the person does not possess a high school
22 diploma or its equivalent. Such person shall become exempt the month
23 such person turns age 20; or
24 (D) by any person assigned to a work participation activity for
25 substance use disorders.
26 (6) TANF work experience placements shall be reviewed after 90
27 days and are limited to six months per 24-month lifetime limit. A client's
28 progress shall be reviewed prior to each new placement regardless of the
29 length of time they are at the work experience site.
30 (7) TANF participants with disabilities shall engage in required
31 employment activities to the maximum extent consistent with their
32 abilities. TANF participants shall provide current documentation by a
33 qualified medical practitioner that details the abilities to engage in
34 employment and any limitations in work activities along with the expected
35 duration of such limitations. Disability is defined as a physical or mental
36 impairment constituting or resulting in a substantial impediment to
37 employment for such individual.
38 (8) Non-cooperation is the failure of the applicant or recipient to
39 comply with all requirements provided in state and federal law, federal and
40 state rules and regulations and agency policy. The period of ineligibility
41 for TANF benefits based on non-cooperation with work programs shall be
42 as follows:
43 (A) For a first penalty, three months and full cooperation with work
HB 2371 5
1 program activities;
2 (B) for a second penalty, six months and full cooperation with work
3 program activities;
4 (C) for a third penalty, one year and full cooperation with work
5 program activities; and
6 (D) for a fourth or subsequent penalty, 10 years.
7 (9) Individuals that have not cooperated with TANF work programs
8 shall be ineligible to participate in the food assistance program. The
9 comparable penalty shall be applied to only the individual in the food
10 assistance program who failed to comply with the TANF work
11 requirement. The agency shall impose the same penalty to the member of
12 the household who failed to comply with TANF requirements. The penalty
13 periods are three months, six months, one year, or 10 years.
14 (10) Non-cooperation is the failure of the applicant or recipient to
15 comply with all requirements provided in state and federal law, federal and
16 state rules and regulations and agency policy. The period of ineligibility
17 for child care subsidy or TANF benefits based on parents' non-cooperation
18 with child support services shall be as follows:
19 (A) For the first penalty, three months and cooperation with child
20 support services prior to regaining eligibility;
21 (B) for a second penalty, six months and cooperation with child
22 support services prior to regaining eligibility;
23 (C) for a third penalty, one year and cooperation with child support
24 services prior to regaining eligibility; and
25 (D) for a fourth penalty, 10 years.
26 (11) Individuals that have not cooperated without good cause with
27 child support services shall be ineligible to participate in the food
28 assistance program. The period of disqualification ends once it has been
29 determined that such individual is cooperating with child support services.
30 (12) (A) Any individual who is found to have committed fraud or is
31 found guilty of the crime of theft pursuant to K.S.A. 39-720 and K.S.A.
32 2020 Supp. 21-5801, and amendments thereto, in either the TANF or child
33 care program shall render all adults in the family unit ineligible for TANF
34 assistance. Adults in the household who were determined to have
35 committed fraud or were convicted of the crime of theft pursuant to K.S.A.
36 39-720 and K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 21-5801, and amendments thereto, shall
37 render themselves and all adult household members ineligible for their
38 lifetime for TANF, even if fraud was committed in only one program.
39 Households who have been determined to have committed fraud or were
40 convicted of the crime of theft pursuant to K.S.A. 39-720 and K.S.A. 2020
41 Supp. 21-5801, and amendments thereto, shall be required to name a
42 protective payee as approved by the secretary or the secretary's designee to
43 administer TANF benefits or food assistance on behalf of the children. No
HB 2371 6
1 adult in a household may have access to the TANF cash assistance benefit.
2 (B) Any individual that has failed to cooperate with a fraud
3 investigation shall be ineligible to participate in the TANF cash assistance
4 program and the child care subsidy program until the department for
5 children and families determines that such individual is cooperating with
6 the fraud investigation. The department for children and families shall
7 maintain a sufficient level of fraud investigative staff to enable the
8 department to conduct fraud investigations in a timely manner and in full
9 accordance with state law and department rules and regulations or policies.
10 (13)(12) (A) Food assistance shall not be provided to any person
11 convicted of a felony offense occurring on or after July 1, 2015, which
12 includes as an element of such offense the manufacture, cultivation,
13 distribution, possession or use of a controlled substance or controlled
14 substance analog. For food assistance, the individual shall be permanently
15 disqualified if they have been convicted of a state or federal felony offense
16 occurring on or after July 1, 2015, involving possession or use of a
17 controlled substance or controlled substance analog.
18 (B) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (A), an
19 individual shall be eligible for food assistance if the individual enrolls in
20 and participates in a drug treatment program approved by the secretary,
21 submits to and passes a drug test and agrees to submit to drug testing if
22 requested by the department pursuant to a drug testing plan.
23 An individual's failure to submit to testing or failure to successfully
24 pass a drug test shall result in ineligibility for food assistance until a drug
25 test is successfully passed. Failure to successfully complete a drug
26 treatment program shall result in ineligibility for food assistance until a
27 drug treatment plan approved by the secretary is successfully completed,
28 the individual passes a drug test and agrees to submit to drug testing if
29 requested by the department pursuant to a drug testing plan.
30 (C) The provisions of subparagraph (B) shall not apply to any
31 individual who has been convicted for a second or subsequent felony
32 offense as provided in subparagraph (A).
33 (14)(13) No TANF cash assistance shall be used to purchase alcohol,
34 cigarettes, tobacco products, lottery tickets, concert tickets, professional or
35 collegiate sporting event tickets or tickets for other entertainment events
36 intended for the general public or sexually oriented adult materials. No
37 TANF cash assistance shall be used in any retail liquor store, casino,
38 gaming establishment, jewelry store, tattoo parlor, massage parlor, body
39 piercing parlor, spa, nail salon, lingerie shop, tobacco paraphernalia store,
40 vapor cigarette store, psychic or fortune telling business, bail bond
41 company, video arcade, movie theater, swimming pool, cruise ship, theme
42 park, dog or horse racing facility, parimutuel facility, or sexually oriented
43 business or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented
HB 2371