CHAPTER 65

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 102

AS AMENDED BY

SENATE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 AND 4

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO WELFARE REFORM.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. This Act shall be referred to as the "Welfare Reform Act of 1995".

Section 2. Amend § 501, Title 31, Delaware Code by inserting between the words "its" and "needy" the word "eligible" and inserting as a new sentence at the end of the existing text the following:

"It is further declared to be the legislative intent that public assistance be administered, to the extent practicable, in such a way that: private sector work is more economically attractive than public assistance; public assistance recipients exercise personal responsibility in exchange for government assistance; public assistance is transitional, not a way of life, for recipients; both parents are held responsible for supporting and parenting their children; recipients are not encouraged to have additional children while receiving public assistance; and the formation and maintenance of two-parent families is encouraged and teenage pregnancy is discouraged."

Section 3. Amend § 502(1), Title 31, Delaware Code by inserting between the words "person" and "who" the words "or family".

Section 4. Amend § 502(2), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting existing subsection (2) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(2) 'Assistance' means assistance to or on behalf of eligible needy persons or eligible families to enable them to improve their standard of living, including money payments, child care, job training, education, other support services, medical or surgical care, nursing, burial, board and care in a private institution, adult foster care, rest residential facility for adults, public medical institution as a patient, or such other aid as may be deemed necessary."

Section 5. Amend § 502(4), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the word "Board" where it appears both between the words "the" and "composed" and between the words "the" and "may" and inserting in lieu thereof "Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services" and by deleting the words "and the Department".

Section 6. Amend § 502(5), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(5) 'Medical assistance' means medical care furnished on behalf of recipients who are eligible for assistance in any of the categories in § 505 of this Title."

Section 7. Amend § 502(6), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof:

"(6) 'Medical Care' means payment of all or part of the costs on behalf of eligible recipients, provided that such payments arc within the limitations of the funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the United States Congress for this purpose, for (i) inpatient hospital services; (ii) outpatient hospital services; (iii) other laboratory and X-ray services; (iv) nursing services; (v) physician's services, whether furnished in the office, the patient's house, a hospital, a skilled nursing home, or elsewhere; (vi) drugs and medicine, or (vii) such other health services and supplies as specified by the Department on recommendation by the Medical Advisory Committee. Such payments shall be made only to persons, institutions, and entities which meet the standards as established by the Department of Health and Social Services and which promote safe and adequate treatment of individuals in the interest of public health and safety."

Section 8. Amend § 502(7), Title 31, Delaware Code by inserting between the words "person" and "to" the words "or family".

Section 9. Amend § 502(8), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting existing subsection (8) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(8) 'Standard of need' means the subsistence level for a decent standard of living established by regulations of the Department of Health and Social Services."

Section 10. Amend § 502, Title 31, Delaware Code by creating a new subsection (10) as follows:

"(10) 'Underemployment' and 'Unemployment' means as defined pursuant to regulations of the Department of Social Services in consultation with the Department of Labor."

Section II. Amend § 503, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting subsections (a),(b),(c),and (d), and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(a) Anti-Fraud. Assistance shall not be granted under this chapter to any person or family otherwise eligible for assistance under the categories described in § 505 of this Title, having conveyed or transferred real or personal property of a value of $500 or more without fair consideration within 2 years preceding the date of application for assistance or subsequently while receiving assistance, or to any person who is an inmate of any public institution (except as a patient in a medical institution).

(b) Medicaid. Medical assistance may be granted to medically and financially eligible persons in accordance with Titles IV-A, IV-E, XVI, and XIX of the Social Security Act, federally approved waivers of these sections of the Act, and rules and regulations established by the Department of Health and Social Services. Eligibility for and payment of medical assistance shall be determined under policies and regulations established by the Department of Health and Social Services. Eligibility standards, recipient copay, and provider reimbursement shall be set in accordance with state and federal mandates, state and federal funding levels, approved waivers, and rules and regulations established by the Department. The amount of assistance in each case of medical care shall not duplicate any other coverage or payment made or available for the costs of such health services and supplies.

(c) General Assistance. Eligibility for and the amount of General Assistance granted to recipients shall be determined in accordance with rules and regulations made by the Department with due regard to the resources, income, necessary expenditures of the recipient, the limit of funds appropriated therefor, and the legislative intent expressed in § 501 of this chapter.

(d) Aid to Families With Dependent Children. Eligibility for and the amount of assistance granted to families under Aid to Families with Dependent Children shall be determined in accordance with rules and regulations made by the Department with due regard to the resources, income, and necessary expenditures of Delaware families the limit of funds appropriated therefor, and the legislative intent expressed in § 501 of this chapter.

In order to receive assistance under this subsection, the parent, guardian, or persons standing in loco parentis to a dependent child must have instituted suit for nonsupport in the Family Court or must cooperate with the Department of Health and Social Services for the purpose of instituting proceedings for nonsupport in Family Court on the behalf of such parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis."

Section 12. Amend § 503, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting subsection (e) and (f) in their entirety.

Section 13. Amend § 503, Title 31, Delaware Code by redesignating existing § 503(g) as § 503(e) and by inserting as a title to newly designated § 503(e) before the words "Such monetary assistance" the following: "Form of Payment." and by deleting the words "to any needy person who has insufficient income or other resources to provide reasonable subsistence compatible with decency and health".

Section 14. Amend § 503, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting § 503(h) in its entirety.

Section 15. Amend § 504(b), Title 31, Delaware Code by inserting the words "or the Department of Health and Social Services" in between the words "Court" and "that" in the first line thereof and by inserting the words "or the Department may" in place of the word "shall" ; by deleting the word "father" as it appears both between the words "the" and "of" and "the" and "by" and inserting in lieu thereof the words "a child support obligor".

Section 16. Amend § 505(7), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the words "Health, Education & Welfare" where they appear both in § 505(7)(a) and § 505(7)(b) and insert in lieu thereof the words "Health and Human Services" and by redesignating § 505(7) as new § 512(8) of Title 31.

Section 17. Amend § 505, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 505. Categories of assistance.

Assistance may be granted, in accordance with rules and regulations established by the Department of Health and Social Services pursuant to § 503 of this Chapter, in the following categories:

(1) Aid to Families with Dependent Children; assistance with respect to needy families with children. Aid to families with dependent children means aid granted to a family, as that term is defined pursuant to Department of Health and Social Service Regulations, with respect to a child or children under the age of 18 who has or have been deprived of parental support or care by reason of death, continued absence from the home, physical or mental incapacity, unemployment, or underemployment.

If found feasible by and in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Department, the term Aid to Families with Dependent Children shall also include aid granted with respect to children who are removed from their home and placed in foster care as a result of a judicial determination initiated during the month in or for which such a family was receiving such aid or initiated during the month in or for which such a family would have received the aid if application for aid had been made, or if such children, who within 6 months prior to the month court proceedings were initiated, had been living with a specified relative and would have been eligible for assistance in or for such month except for failure to meet the 'living with' requirements, that continuation in the parent's or relative's home would be contrary to the child's welfare.

(2) General assistance; assistance granted to eligible needy persons residing in Delaware who are unemployable.

(3) Medicaid Assistance; Assistance granted in the form of medical care to individuals eligible in accordance with Title IV-A, XVI, XIX of the Social Security Act, federally approved waivers, and rules and regulations established by the Department of Health and Social Services."

Section 18. Amend § 512, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting existing subsections (1),(2), and (3) and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(1) Establish rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this chapter consistent with the intent as expressed in § 501, including but not limited to, rules, regulations and standards as to eligibility for assistance, the nature, duration, and extent of such assistance as well as sanctions for noncompliance with such rules, regulations and standards for eligibility for assistance;

(2) Cooperate with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services or with any successor department or agency thereof, in any reasonable manner not contrary to law, as may be required to qualify for federal aid with respect to functions and programs coming within the purview of this chapter, shall make such reports to the Department of Health and Human Services in such form and containing such information as that Department may from time to time require, shall comply with such provisions as said agency may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports, and shall apply to the Department of Health and Human Services and other relevant federal departments for waivers of federal rules and regulations deemed to impede the achievement of the legislative intent expressed in § 501 of this chapter.

(3) Make periodic surveys of cost-of-living factors in relation to the needs of recipients of assistance and welfare services, in order that the standards for such assistance and welfare services remain reasonably sufficient and at the same time provide recipients with incentive to seek and maintain private sector work."

Section 19. Amend § 514, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the section in its entirety.

Section 20. Amend § 518, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 518. Failure to comply with job placement, education, training, work eligibility, parenting, or personal responsibility requirements.

The Department of Health and Social Services may issue and implement rules and regulations establishing sanctions for families receiving Aid to Families With Dependent Children who fail to comply with work, education, training, work eligibility, parenting, or personal responsibility requirements established by the Department pursuant to § 512(1) of this chapter. Such sanctions may, among other things, reduce assistance to such a family and may include, for a family who has failed to comply with job placement, education, training, or work eligibility requirements on three or more occasions, a permanent prohibition on further assistance under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. The Department shall afford recipients due process as provided under applicable rules and regulations prior to the implementation of any such sanctions."

Section 21. Amend § 521, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting between "household" and "shall" the words "(all clients, regardless of category, living in a single residential unit and using the same kitchen facilities)" and inserting in lieu thereof the following: "(except those households specifically excluded by the regulations)".

Section 22. Amend § 522, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the words "§ 505 (6) of throughout § 522.

Section 23. Amend § 603, Title 31, Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (8) thereto to read as follows:

"(8) Develop and implement, to the extent permitted by applicable federal law, eligibility requirements and sanctions for the violation thereof for recipients of food stamps who are also recipients of assistance under the Aid to Families With Dependent Children program, which are consistent with the eligibility requirements and sanctions established by the Department pursuant to § 503(d) and § 512(1) of this title."

Section 24. Amend § 901, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the existing language and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"The purpose of this chapter is to provide a time-limited opportunity for employable adults of families who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children to earn their public assistance during the time they are receiving such assistance, obtain job skills, develop strong work ethics, and establish work histories so as to better enable them to obtain private sector employment and become self-sufficient."

Section 25. Amend § 903, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the existing language and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 903. Application for assignment of assistance recipients.

Whenever the governing body of a county, city or town within this state, or the board or executive officer of any state agency or other public agency or public institution or private nonprofit organization, has any work to be done with the county, city, town, agency, institution or organization, or as a function of such agency, institution or organization, which it appears may be properly performed by one or more employable adults of families who receive assistance, the appropriate authority shall make application to the Department of Health & Social Services or the Department of Labor, in the form prescribed by the respective Department, for the establishment of a work project."

Section 26. Amend § 905(e), Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the existing language and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"(e) Employable adults of families receiving assistance shall be assigned to work projects for a number of hours determined by the amount of the assistance grant to the family divided by the minimum wage provided in § 902 of Title 19 of this Code. No employable adult shall be assigned for more hours than are necessary to work out his or her grant as determined above."

Section 27. Amend § 906, Title 31, Delaware Code, by deleting the existing text and inserting in lieu thereof'

"§ 906. Department to establish rules and regulations.

The Department of Health and Social Services shall establish such rules and regulations as it deems necessary for the efficient administration of this chapter and the achievement of the legislative intent expressed in § 901 of this chapter and § 501 of this title."

Section 28. Amend § 909, Title 31, Delaware Code by deleting the existing language and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

"§ 909. Effect of refusal to work.

The Department, as part of its authority pursuant to §§ 503, 512(1), 509, and 518 of this Title, may establish sanctions for any assistance recipient who refuses without good cause to report for or to perform that work to which he or she has been assigned by the Department, or who refuses without good cause to report for and participate in any training project designed to improve employability to which he or she has been referred."

Section 29. If any provision of this Act or the application hereof is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the Act which can be .given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this Act we declared to be severable.

Section 30. Amend §512, Title 31, Delaware Code by adding thereto new subsections (9) and (10) to read as follows:

"(9) The Social Services Advisory Council, which is appointed by the Governor, will review rules and regulations established by the Department to implement major changes in assistance programs.

(10) As part of welfare reform implementation, the Department will conduct an evaluation of the impact of changes with input and guidance from the Social Services Advisory Council."

Approved June 19, 1995