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The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) amended the definition of ?unemployed parent? at 45 CFR 233.101(a)(1) in 1998 in response to the replacement of the former AFDC program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Each State was required to establish a ?reasonable standard? for measuring unemployment in order to determine whether an individual qualified for benefits under TANF or Medicaid and whether a child met the AFDC portion of title IV-E eligibility. The amended regulation specifically permits States to consider hours of work, dollar amounts earned, and family size in establishing the reasonable standard of unemployment.
At a minimum, States are required to include as an ?unemployed parent? an individual who is employed less than 100 hours per month, or exceeds that standard for a particular month if the work is intermittent and the excess work is temporary. Such work may be considered temporary if the unemployed parent worked fewer than 100 hours in the preceding two months and is expected to work fewer than 100 hours in the following month (see 45 CFR 233.101(a)(1)). States are constrained by this definition in order to preserve Medicaid and title IV-E eligibility for any individuals who would have been eligible under the AFDC rules previously in effect (see 63 FR 42270 - 42272, August 7, 1998). States are not required to establish a broader definition of ?unemployed parent? but may do so.
Section 471(a)(30) of the Act requires the title IV-E agency to provide assurances in the title IV-E plan that each child eligible for a title IV-E payment who has attained the minimum age for mandatory school attendance under State or Tribal law is a full-time elementary or secondary school student, has completed secondary school, or is incapable of attending school on a full-time basis, in accordance with sections 471(a)(30)(A) through (D). Section 471(a)(30) of the Act is a title IV-E plan requirement and, as such, does not place conditions on a child?s eligibility for or receipt of assistance under the foster care, adoption assistance or guardianship assistance programs. ACF may conduct a partial review pursuant to 45 CFR 1355.32(d), if necessary to determine compliance with the title IV-E plan.
The requirement at section 471(a)(30) of the Act is not prescriptive; therefore, the title IV-E agency may determine how it will assure that the requirement is being met and the frequency of any procedures for doing so.
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