The Township Trustee will provide written notification to each township public assistance applicant of action taken for each request for assistance. Indiana law requires that this action be taken within seventy-two (72) hours (holidays and weekends excluded) from the time the completed application and all required information are filed with the township office.
In order to complete the application process and investigation within a seventy-two (72) hour period, an applicant must return information required by the Trustee’s office or assistance will automatically be denied and a notice will be issued by mail. If or when a completed application (including all substantiating documentation requested) is received for a non-emergency request, personal notice or mail notice will be given no later than seventy-two (72) hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays, advising the applicant of one of the following:
(1) The type and amount of assistance fully or partially granted or denied.
(2) The specific reasons (all) for denying all or part of the assistance requested.
(3) Any pending assistance and the reasons for pending.
(4) The procedure for appealing a decision to the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners.
If a non-emergency application for township public assistance is made and the Trustee, before granting the township public assistance, determines that an applicant or member of the household may be eligible for public assistance other than township public assistance, the applicant or household member will, when referred by the Trustee, make application and comply with all necessary requirements for completing the application process for public assistance administered by the Division of Family and Children, or any other county, state, or federal governmental entity (I.C. 12-20-6-5.5).
A. Workfare as a Condition for Receipt for Township Public Assistance
Any adult member of a household receiving township assistance (except for those receiving burial/ funeral assistance) will be obligated to perform workfare. The Trustee will determine a township public assistance recipient’s suitability to perform available workfare. The Township Trustee may provide for medical examinations necessary to make the determination (I.C. 12-20-11-1a,b).
The Trustee will obligate any adult member of a township public assistance recipient household to do any work needed to be done within the county (or an adjoining township in another county) for any nonprofit agency or governmental unit, including the state, having jurisdiction in that township (I.C. 12-20-11-1a).
Minimum criteria for satisfactory participation in the workfare program will be one (1) shift per day and five (5) shifts per week with completion within thirty (30) days unless otherwise assigned by the Trustee. A written workfare agreement will be instituted and signed by the obligated household member stating the details of the workfare assignment. Scheduling consideration will be given recipients who have employment. The township public assistance recipient is required to maintain the minimum criteria necessary for the fulfillment of the workfare responsibility until such time as the obligation with the township is satisfied. In satisfying this obligation, only the recipient or members of the recipient’s household will be allowed to perform the assigned workfare.
The agency given charge of the obligated household member will notify the Trustee of the successful or unsuccessful completion of the workfare assignment. If, for any reason, the obligated household member is unable to complete the workfare assignment as scheduled, he/she is obligated to immediately notify the trustee’s office and the workplace. If the household member fails to do so, the workfare assignment (not the work order itself) will automatically be canceled.
Work performed is considered as satisfaction of a condition for township public assistance and is not considered as services performed for remuneration. An adult household member will be required to do an amount of work that equals the value of assistance already received by the recipient or the recipient’s household. The recipient will receive credit for the work performed, as assigned by the Trustee, at a rate not less than the federal minimum wage (I.C. 12-20-11-1c).
Recipients will not be obligated to workfare only for one of the following reasons:
(1) the individual is not physically able to perform work and provides current medical evidence that he/she is unable to perform the work.
(2) the individual is a minor or is over 65 years of age.
(3) the individual has full-time employment at the time they receive township assistance.
(4) the individual is needed to care for a person as a result of that person’s age or physical condition. Current medical evidence of the person’s physical condition must be provided.
(5) the Trustee determines that there is no work available.
(6) the individual, is, at the direction of the Township Trustee, attending a job training program under I.C. 12-20-12-1 or another job training program approved by the Township Trustee, or is attending adult education or Ivy Tech courses, under the direction of the trustee. The township public assistance recipient is exempt from performing work or searching for work for not more than one hundred eighty (180) days.
(7) the individual is awaiting a determination from the Social Security Administration for SSI benefits (an initial application is still active and has not yet been denied). Individuals awaiting a determination from the Social Security Administration for SSI benefits will not be required to perform workfare as long as their initial application remains active. Once the initial application for SSI benefits has been denied by Social Security Administration, the applicant may be obligated to perform workfare at that point. Individuals currently receiving SSI monthly benefits are not automatically excused from workfare. In order to be excused, a SSI recipient must still meet one of the exempting reasons listed above (I.C. 12-20-11-5).
(8) the individual received funeral/burial assistance.
The unit of government or nonprofit agency for which workfare is performed will furnish the necessary tools and materials besides the supervision (I.C. 12-20-11-1d,e). When the worksite is not within reasonable walking distance or a recipient has no means of transportation, transportation to the worksite will be provided.
The failure of a recipient to perform work assigned by the Trustee, within the time period required by the trustee, is a basis for denying further assistance to the recipient or the recipient’s household for a period not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days, unless the recipient shows good cause for not performing the work (I.C. 12-20-11-1h).
Workfare obligations incurred in another township and which have not yet been satisfied may result in a denial for a period not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days.
B. Job Training as a Condition for Receipt of Township Public Assistance
As a condition of continuing eligibility, a Township Trustee may require a recipient of township public assistance or any member of a recipient’s household to participate in an appropriate work training program.
C. Reimbursement to the Township
If it is anticipated that a township public assistance applicant or any member of the household is likely to receive a judgment, compensation, or monetary benefits from a third party, (as in the case of Supplemental Security Income), the Trustee may require the applicant to enter into a subrogation agreement for repayment of any township public assistance benefits provided by the township during the interim period. Failure of an applicant to sign the necessary authorizations for reimbursement to the township will result in a denial of township public assistance (I.C. 12-20-27-1.5).
The repayment of assistance, or a promise to repay assistance, will not constitute a condition of eligibility for township public assistance, except as specified in the above paragraph.
A township public assistance recipient may be requested to repay township public assistance, if equity funds in real estate are expected to be received in the foreseeable future. In those cases, assignment and indemnifying mortgage forms may be required to be signed. The mortgage form sets forth clearly that repayment will occur only on the sale of the property, death of the applicant or other specific circumstances.
D. Protective Payee Requirement
The Trustee may report and recommend to other governmental agencies (Family Social Service Agency or Social Security Administration) the misuse of funds by a recipient. When reporting the misuse of funds, the trustee may officially recommend to other governmental agencies (FSSA or SSA) that the recipient’s payment be placed in the hands of a protective or designated payee. The township may refuse to extend aid to an individual or household member until such time as the person initiates and executes the proper instruments for obtaining a payee to handle their finances. The Trustee may agree to serve as the payee.