2017 Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 46 - Welfare
§ 46-292 Eligibility for assistance

Universal Citation: AZ Rev Stat § 46-292 (2017)

46-292. Eligibility for assistance

A. A family without a dependent child in the household may not receive cash assistance.

B. Cash assistance may be given under this title to any dependent child and member of a needy family:

1. Who has established residence in Arizona at the time of application and who is either:

(a) A citizen by birth or naturalization.

(b) A qualified alien who entered the United States on or before August 21, 1996.

(c) A qualified alien who entered the United States as a member of one of the exception groups under Public Law 104-193, section 412, in which case the person shall be determined eligible in accordance with Public Law 104-193.

(d) Defined as a qualified alien by the attorney general of the United States under the authority of Public Law 104-208, section 501.

For the purposes of subdivisions (b) and (c) of this paragraph, " qualified alien" means a person who is defined as a qualified alien under Public Law 104-193, section 431.

2. If the parent or parents of the dependent child or the nonparent relative head of household receiving assistance, if employable, does not refuse to accept available employment. The department shall assess the applicant's employability at the time of initial application for assistance to establish a self-sufficiency diversion option, if appropriate, before benefit issuance. The determination of employability and the conditions under which employment shall be required shall be determined by the state department, except that claimed unemployability because of physical or mental incapacity shall be determined by the state department in accordance with this title.

3. If the parent or parents of the dependent child or the nonparent head of household in a needy family has not, within one year before application, or while a recipient, transferred or assigned real or personal property with the intent to evade federal or state eligibility requirements. Transfer of property with retention of a life estate for the purpose of qualifying for assistance is prohibited. Where fair consideration for the property was received, no inquiry into motive is necessary. A person found ineligible under this section shall be ineligible for such time as the state department determines.

4. Who meets the requirements of this section and department rule to qualify as part of the assistance unit.

C. Qualified aliens entering the United States after August 21, 1996 are ineligible for benefits for a period of five years beginning on their date of entry, except for Cuban and Haitian entrants as defined in section 501(e)(2) of the refugee education assistance act of 1980 and exceptions provided under Public Law 104-193 (personal responsibility and work opportunity reconciliation act of 1996) and Public Law 105-32 (balanced budget act of 1997).

D. A parent or any other relative who applies for or who receives cash assistance under this title on behalf of a child shall cooperate with the department by taking the following actions:

1. Providing information regarding the identity of the child's father and mother and other pertinent information including their names, social security numbers and current addresses or a sworn statement that attests to the lack of this information and that is accompanied by facts supporting the asserted lack of information.

2. Appearing at interviews, hearings and legal proceedings.

3. Submitting and having the child submit to genetic testing.

4. Signing authorizations for third parties to release information concerning the applicant or the child, or both.

5. In cases in which parentage has not been established, providing a sworn statement alleging paternity and setting forth facts establishing a reasonable possibility of the requisite sexual contact between the parties.

6. Supplying additional information the department requires.

E. The department shall sanction a recipient who, without good cause as prescribed in subsection F of this section, fails to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts according to the sanction provisions of section 46-300.

F. One or more of the following circumstances constitute good cause for failure to cooperate with child support enforcement efforts:

1. Cooperation may result in physical or emotional harm to the parent, child for whom support is sought or caretaker relative with whom the child is living.

2. Legal proceedings for adoption of the child for whom support is sought are pending before a court.

3. The participant has been working, for less than ninety days, with a public or licensed private social agency on the issue of whether to allow the child for whom support is sought to be adopted.

4. The child for whom support is sought was conceived as a result of sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1406 or incest.

G. A person claiming good cause has twenty days from the date the good cause claim is provided to the agency to supply evidence supporting the claim. When determining whether the parent or relative is cooperating with the agency as provided in subsection D of this section, the agency shall require:

1. If the good cause exception in subsection F, paragraph 1 of this section is claimed, law enforcement, court, medical, criminal, psychological, social service or governmental records or sworn statements from persons with personal knowledge of the circumstances that indicate that the alleged parent or obligor might inflict physical harm on the parent, child or caretaker relative.

2. If the good cause exception in subsection F, paragraph 2 of this section is claimed, court documents that indicate that legal proceedings for adoption are pending before a court of competent jurisdiction.

3. If the good cause exception in subsection F, paragraph 3 of this section is claimed, records from a public or licensed private social services agency showing that placing the child for whom support is sought is under consideration.

4. If the good cause exception in subsection F, paragraph 4 of this section is claimed, law enforcement, court, medical, criminal, psychological, social service or governmental records or sworn statements from persons with personal knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the conception of the child that indicate the child was conceived as a result of sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1406 or incest.

H. Notwithstanding subsection B of this section and except as provided in subsection I of this section, a dependent child or children who are born during one of the following time periods are not eligible for assistance under this title:

1. The period in which the parent or other relative is receiving assistance benefits.

2. The temporary period in which the parent or other relative is ineligible pursuant to a penalty imposed by the department for failure to comply with benefit eligibility requirements, after which the parent or other relative is eligible for a continuation of benefits.

3. Any period after November 1, 1995 that is less than sixty months between a voluntary withdrawal from program benefits or a period of ineligibility for program benefits which immediately followed a period during which program benefits were received and a subsequent reapplication and eligibility approval for benefits.

I. The following exceptions apply to subsection H of this section:

1. The department shall allow an increase in cash assistance under the program for a dependent child or children born as a result of an act of sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1406 or incest. The department shall ensure that the proper law enforcement authorities are notified of allegations of sexual assault or incest made pursuant to this paragraph. For the purposes of this paragraph, " an act of sexual assault" includes sexual assault of a spouse if the offense was committed before August 12, 2005.

2. For those parents or other relatives who are currently authorized for cash assistance the department shall allow an increase in cash assistance under the program as a result of the birth of a child or children to the parent or other relative only if the birth occurred within ten months of the initial eligible month. The department may use only the additional child or children who are born from the pregnancies covered in this subsection in computing the additional benefit.

3. The department shall allow an increase in cash assistance for any dependent child born to a parent who has not received cash assistance under this title for at least twelve consecutive months if the child is born within the period beginning ten months after the twelve consecutive month period and ending ten months after the parent resumes receiving cash assistance.

4. A dependent child or children who were born during a period in which the custodial parent received cash assistance through the Arizona works program shall be eligible to receive assistance under this title.

5. A dependent child or children who were born within ten months after the custodial parent received cash assistance through the Arizona works program shall be eligible to receive assistance under this title.

6. The department of economic security shall allow cash assistance for an otherwise eligible dependent child during the period in which the dependent child is in the legal custody of the department of child safety, a tribal court or a tribal child welfare agency located in this state and is placed in unlicensed kinship foster care with a nonparent relative or unrelated adult.

7. The department shall allow cash assistance for an otherwise eligible child who meets one of the following:

(a) The court has placed the child with a nonparent relative.

(b) The child's parents are deceased and the child is living with a nonparent relative.

(c) A nonparent relative has custody of the child because the child is abandoned as defined in section 8-201.

J. The department shall calculate the sixty-month time period referenced in subsection H, paragraph 3 of this section in the following manner:

1. For persons who are receiving cash assistance on November 1, 1995, the sixty-month time period begins on November 1, 1995. A subsequent sixty-month time period begins immediately after the previous period ends if the person is receiving cash assistance through two sixty-month periods. If the individual is not receiving cash assistance at the end of the previous sixty-month period, any subsequent sixty-month time period begins on the date when cash assistance became effective again, regardless of when the person received an actual payment.

2. For persons who begin receiving cash assistance after November 1, 1995, the sixty-month time period begins on the date cash assistance becomes effective, regardless of when the person received an actual payment. A subsequent sixty-month period begins as provided in paragraph 1 of this subsection.

K. In calculating a parent's or any other relative's benefit increase that arises from any general increase that has been approved for all program recipients, the department shall not consider a child or children born under the time periods listed in subsection H of this section.

L. For the parents or other relatives who have additional children for whom they receive no cash assistance payment under subsection H of this section, the department shall make any necessary program amendments or request any necessary federal waivers to allow the parents or other relatives to earn income in an amount equal to the disallowed cash assistance payment without affecting their eligibility for assistance.

M. The director shall adopt rules:

1. To implement this section, including rules to define the investigatory steps that must be taken to confirm that an act of sexual assault pursuant to section 13-1406 or incest led to the birth of a dependent child or children.

2. That require the department to inform both verbally and in writing the parents and other relatives who are receiving assistance under this article of the specific family planning services that are available to them while they are enrolled as eligible persons in the Arizona health care cost containment system.

N. This section does not prevent an otherwise eligible child who is not included in the family's calculation of benefits under this article from being eligible for coverage under title 36, chapter 29 or for any services that are directly linked to eligibility for the temporary assistance for needy families program.

O. Assistance shall not be denied or terminated under this article because the principal wage earner works one hundred or more hours per month.

P. Except as provided in paragraph 2 of this subsection, all members of a needy family, including stepparents, must meet the same financial eligibility criteria established in this title, by department rule and as follows:

1. The department shall include all income from every source available to a needy family requesting cash assistance, except income that is required to be disregarded by this subsection and as determined by the department in rules. For the amount of income that is received from employment, each month every employed person is entitled to receive an earned income disregard of ninety dollars plus an additional thirty percent of the remaining earned income. A needy family that includes an employed person is entitled to an earned income disregard equal to the actual amount billed to the household for the care of an adult or child dependent household member, up to two hundred dollars a month for a child under two years of age and up to one hundred seventy-five dollars a month for each other dependent. This dependent care disregard is allowed only if the expense is necessary to allow the household member to become or remain employed or to attend postsecondary training or education that is preparatory to employment.

2. The total gross countable income of a needy family that includes a nonparent relative head of household who is not applying for or receiving cash assistance and who is requesting cash assistance only for a dependent child shall not exceed one hundred thirty percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

Q. If the total gross countable income in subsection P, paragraph 2 of this section does not exceed one hundred thirty percent of the federal poverty guidelines, in determining benefit amount, the department shall exclude the income of all members of the needy family except for the income of the eligible dependent child for whom cash assistance is requested.

R. For the purposes of eligibility and benefit amount, only the income of the dependent child is considered for a child only case.

S. Any parent or other relative who applies for or receives cash assistance under this article on behalf of a dependent child who is between six and sixteen years of age shall ensure that the child is enrolled in and attending school. An initial applicant is ineligible for benefits until the applicant's dependent children are verified to be enrolled in and attending an educational program. The department of education shall assist the department of economic security in obtaining verification of school enrollment and attendance. The director of the department of economic security may adopt rules for granting good cause exceptions from this subsection. The department of economic security shall sanction a recipient who fails, without good cause, to ensure school enrollment and attendance according to section 46-300.

T. Any parent or other relative who applies for or receives cash assistance under this section on behalf of a dependent child shall ensure that the child is immunized in accordance with the schedule of immunizations pursuant to section 36-672. The director of the department of economic security may adopt rules for granting good cause exceptions from this subsection. The department of economic security shall sanction a recipient, in accordance with section 46-300, who fails, without good cause, to obtain the required immunizations for a dependent child unless the recipient submits to the department of economic security the documentation described in section 15-873.

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