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Library: Policy

340:10-3-59. Assistance benefits

Revised 11-1-23

(a) Availability of funds.  The Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash Assistance Program is funded by a federal TANF block grant.  In the event of insufficient block grant funds, the program may be terminated or benefits not paid during the insufficiency period.

(b) Maximum benefits.  The maximum benefit a TANF assistance unit is eligible to receive cannot exceed a nine-person payment standard, per OKDHS Appendix C-1, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, Schedule IX.  A TANF eligible child(ren) who is not a blood-related sibling to the other TANF eligible child(ren) must receive benefits in a separate case, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:10-3-56(a).

(c) Minimum payments.  The minimum TANF benefit paid to a recipient is $10 unless the payment is reduced to recoup an overpayment, per OAC 340:65-9-6.  When the TANF cash assistance benefit would be less than $10, a benefit does not issue.  The TANF benefit remains in open status and, when applicable, per OAC 340:10-2, the parent or needy caretaker is subject to TANF Work participation rules.  The assistance unit remains eligible for SoonerCare (Medicaid) and may continue to receive food benefits in this case, when eligible.  • 1

(d) Payment to minors.  Minors may be the adult payee for TANF on behalf of others when the minor assumes the responsibilities of an adult and meets all conditions of eligibility for TANF.  For rules regarding when a minor parent may not be considered part of the assistance unit, refer to OAC 340:10-3-56(a)(3)(O).  • 2

(e) Pregnant recipients.  A pregnant TANF recipient who does not have any other children in the assistance unit qualifies as a one-person household, per Appendix C-1, Schedule IX.A, until the child's birth.  After the birth, the worker adds the child to the assistance unit.

(f) Overpayments.  When the recipient received assistance but did not meet all conditions of eligibility, refer to OAC 340:65-9 for overpayment procedures.

(g) Flat grant system and use of benefits.  The flat grant system of budgeting was developed to determine the extent of need based on the number of eligible persons. 

(1) A flat grant precludes any agreement on the part of OKDHS to pay or guarantee payment for goods or services provided to recipients by vendors in lieu of a monetary payment. 

(2) OKDHS issues TANF cash assistance by debit card or direct deposit, per OAC 340:65-3-6.

(3) OKDHS does not restrict where the recipient uses the TANF benefit, except per OAC 340:10-1-3(13).  

Revised 9-15-20

1. When the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefit would be less than $10, the system automatically places the case into Special Medical status.Special Medical status cases must be renewed every 12 months to determine continued eligibility for TANF, SoonerCare (Medicaid), and food benefits.

2. When available and appropriate, it is best practice for an adult to serve as a substitute payee for the minor.  Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:65-5-66 for information about substitute payees.  The worker must enter special coding in the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) system when a substitute payee is used.  In the:

(1) Household tab, the worker codes the "rel to payee" field for the minor parent as "applicant or recipient w/guardian, conservator, substitute payee"; and

(2) Case Information tab, the worker enters the name of the minor payee's guardian or substitute payee in the "guardian, substitute payee, conservator/extra address" field and indicates in the "extra address indicator" field "legal guardian," "natural guardian," or "substitute payee" depending on the relationship of the person to the minor payee.

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