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Library: Policy

340:10-20-1. Diversion Assistance (DA)

Revised 9-15-23

(a) Scope.  Applicants with a minor child(ren) may apply for a one time DA payment instead of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  There must be an immediate crisis need prohibiting the parent(s) or caretaker(s) from accepting a valid employment offer or endangering the parent's or caretaker's current employment.  DA is based on funding availability.   1

(1) DA does not pay fines, traffic fines, or any cost related to a criminal offense, such as legal fees, court costs, or reinstatement of a driver license due to driving under the influence or other criminal traffic violations.

(2) DA is not to reimburse expenses already paid by the family or others.

(3) Before approving DA, the worker must determine if a DA payment will allow the family to be self-sufficient for the next 12 months.  An applicant may only receive DA once in the applicant's lifetime after February 1, 2022, and when approved, the family may not receive a TANF cash assistance payment for 12  months.

(A) A DA payment does not count toward the family's 60-month  time limit for receiving a TANF cash assistance benefit.

(B) Any family that includes an adult who already reached the 60-month  time limit is not eligible for DA.

(4) Regardless of a change in caretaker, a child may only receive DA once during their childhood.  If a child begins living with another caretaker after receiving DA, the child is excluded from DA eligibility with any other caretaker.   2

(5) OKDHS does not include families approved for DA in the number of persons reported for TANF federal participation rates.

(b) Application filing.  Applicants must sign and submit an application and be interviewed, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:65-3-1(b) through (d) to apply for DA.   3

(1) In signing the application, an applicant agrees to not apply for TANF for at least one year from the DA application date.  In two-parent families, both parents must sign the application.

(2) A stepparent may be included in the benefit when the couple is legally married.

(3) To be timely, the worker must process a DA application within seven-business days.

(c) Eligibility criteria.  The family must meet the eligibility criteria described in (1) through (7) of this subsection to qualify for DA.   4

(1) The applicant must verify that the applicant is employed or has a bona fide offer of employment.   5

(2) There must be a financial need that, if not met, could cause the applicant to lose employment or not be able to accept an employment offer.   6

(3) An adult(s) must be included in the DA application and must meet the specified degree of relationship to the minor child(ren) included in the application, per OAC 340:10-9-1.   7

(4) The family's monthly gross income may not exceed the gross income maximum, per Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payments Standards, Schedule XVI, for the appropriate family size.   8

(5) The family's resources may not exceed the resource limits, per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule XVI.   9

(6) The applicant must furnish or apply for a Social Security number, per OAC 340:65-3-1(f).

(7) The family must meet citizenship and alienage requirements, per OAC 340:10-15 and OAC 340:65-3-1(g).

(d) DA payment amount.  The maximum DA payment is equal to four months of the payment standard, per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Schedule XVI, for the appropriate family size based on the family's financial need.  DA payments may be issued in more than one authorization to purchase or other approved method when the request for additional funds is made within 120-calendar days of the initial application date, and the total payments do not exceed four times the monthly payment standard for the family size.   10 


Revised 1-29-24

1The Diversion Assistance (DA) program only operates when funding is available.  Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) field office staff is notified when funds are available. 

2. The DA lifetime limit applies to the adult(s) included in the DA payment.  A child(ren) in a household that receives DA may not receive it again as long as the child(ren) remains a minor.

3. (a) During the application interview, the worker informs DA applicants of other social services available to them and their family members, such as:

(1) 211 and to connect with community resources;

(2) financial or consumer credit counseling;

(3) substance abuse treatment;

(4) domestic violence services;

(5) Prevention and Relationship Education Program (PREP) workshops; and

(6) marriage counseling services.

(b) When appropriate, the worker makes a referral to Child Welfare Services and documents the reason for the referral in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.

4. DA does not have a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work or deprivation of parental support requirement.

5. The worker must verify the applicant's employment or employment offer.  In two-parent families, both parents do not have to be employed; however, one parent must be at risk of losing employment or have an employment offer.  The worker documents how employment was verified in FACS case notes.

6. The worker verifies the financial need and the cost of meeting the need and documents this information in FACS case notes.  The worker may use a budget sheet to determine income and expenses.

7. Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-3-56(a)(3) for persons whose needs must not be included in the DA payment.

8. (a) Family gross income includes income from all family members in the DA payment.  When present in the home, it also includes the income of a person acting in the role of spouse and the income of parents of a minor parent, per OAC 340:10-3-57(e).

(b) Refer to OAC 340:10-3-26 through 340:10-3-40 for countable and excluded income and income exemptions and OAC 340:10-3-56 and 340:10-3-57 for information regarding whose income must be considered.

9. Refer to OAC 340:10-3-2 through 340:10-3-9 for consideration of resources.

10. (a) Prior to completing an authorization to purchase, the worker must:

(1) approve DA by certifying the FACS Financial Assistance tab with reason code 24D and entering four times the TANF payment standard for the number of eligible persons in the assistance unit in the payment amount field;

(2) determine on a case-by-case basis whether other resources meet the applicant's financial need.  This may include other OKDHS programs, service agencies, local churches, or civic groups; and

(3) negotiate with vendors to get the goods and services the client needs at the least possible cost, determine if any labor cost can be reduced or donated, and inform the vendor to not include state or local taxes in the negotiated amount.

(b) DA may be used to pay for one or more of the financial needs, per OKDHS Appendix H-4-B, Diversion Assistance Goods, Services, and Object Codes.

(1) To be eligible for an automobile repair or expenses related to tag, title, tax, or insurance, the payee or the payee's spouse must own or co-own the automobile.  The payee or spouse must have a valid driver license.  When the payee or spouse is younger than 21, the payee's parent or the spouse's parent may own the automobile.

(2) The vendor:

(A) must provide the service to the client before the client signs the form;

(B) completes the form signed by the supervisor and client;

(C) completes the vendor portion; and

(D) then mails it to Finance for payment.

(c) The client's relatives are not eligible for payment.

(d) The worker must inform the vendor about the voucher process by explaining:

(1) payment may only be made to vendors who have a federal employer identification number (EIN);

(2) no state or local taxes included in the negotiated cost of the goods or service;

(3) an Authorization to Purchase form is used to authorize payment and a description of the agreed upon service is detailed on the form; and

(4) payment is not made until the vendor provides the goods or services and completes the vendor portion of the form.

(e) To complete an Authorization to Purchase form, the worker accesses the payment screen on the Finance Applications web page and enters required information on the payment screen for DA.  This includes entering:

(1) the provider's EIN, address, and phone number;

(2) the case number;

(3) the negotiated amount of the service;

(4) the appropriate object code, per OKDHS Appendix H-4-B; and

(5) a description of the goods or services.  The description must be as detailed as possible to prevent any misunderstanding as to what the payment of the authorization covers.

(f) The worker prints the completed form generated from the information entered on the payment screen, obtains the supervisor's signature, and gives the form to the client to take to the vendor.  The worker advises the client to wait to sign the form until after the vendor provides the goods or services.  This practice ensures the client receives the agreed upon goods or services.  To receive payment, the vendor follows instructions on the form.

(g) The worker enters a FACS case note that includes:

(1) what circumstances caused the applicant to apply for assistance;

(2) whether the applicant and the worker agree that approving DA instead of TANF allows the applicant to be self-sufficient for at least 12 months;

(3) what resources the applicant and worker explored to try to meet the applicant's needs before approving DA;

(4) what goods or services the worker approved and why; and

(5) the cost of the goods or services and how prices were negotiated.

(h) The field manager or designee periodically monitors expenditures from the DA account.