Department of Human Services
Families First Online Policy Manual
· Emancipation of a minor by court order or any other action has no effect on a person’s status as a minor for Families First purposes.
· Different sets of children living in the same home (e.g., a mother and her children plus her two nephews who are siblings) may be in separate assistance units when it is to the advantage of the assistance unit. Bulletin 23, FA-10-12
· Legal Guardians or custodians may receive Families First for a child only if the guardian is within a specified degree of relationship to the child.
- If a child lives with a specified relative who has a legally appointed guardian or custodian, the guardian/custodian must file the application and be named payee for the grant.
- A guardian/custodian may file an application on behalf of a dependent child and be appointed payee for the grant. The child must, however, live in the home of a specified relative to be eligible.
· Convicted Drug Felons may be eligible to receive Families First if the felony has NOT been classified as a Class A felony involving the manufacture, possession, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, and the convicted individual:
- Is complying with, or has already complied with, all obligations imposed by the criminal court, including any substance abuse treatment obligations; and
- Is currently participating in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Department of Human Services; or
- Is currently enrolled in, and/or on a waiting list for, an approved substance abuse treatment program approved by the Department of Human Services, as long as he/she enters the treatment program at the first available opportunity; or
- Has satisfactorily completed a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Department of Human Services; or
- Has been determined by a treatment provider licensed by the Department of Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, not to need treatment according to TennCare guidelines. Bulletin 3, FA-11-2
Note: An approved substance abuse treatment program is one that has been licensed by the Tennessee Department of Health. A listing of such programs may be found on the Department of Health’s website at www.state.tn.us/health. Bulletin 3, FA-11-2
If the individual received treatment in a state other than Tennessee, this definition would extend to a substance abuse treatment program licensed or approved by the appropriate state agency in the state where the individual received treatment. Other treatment programs not covered in this definition may be considered on a case-by-case basis by contacting the Families First Policy Section in the State Office.
Effective July 1, 2011, if a drug treatment program is prescribed for an individual convicted on or after July 1, 2011 under federal or state law, of any drug felony offense (first or subsequent) involving possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance, and the individual fails to successfully complete the treatment program within three attempts, he/she will be ineligible for Families First for a period of three years. When it becomes known to the Department that an individual has failed to successfully complete a prescribed treatment program within three attempts, action will be taken to remove the individual from the case effective the next processing month. An additional three-year period of ineligibility will not be imposed when an individual fails within three attempts to successfully complete a prescribed drug treatment program while serving a three -year ineligibility period for a subsequent offense.
Effective July 1, 2011, an individual convicted on or after July 1, 2011, of a second or any subsequent drug felony offense under federal or state law, involving possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance, shall not be eligible for Families First benefits for three (3) years from the date of conviction. If the ineligible drug felon is convicted of any subsequent drug felony offense during his/her current three-year ineligibility period, the three-year period of ineligibility will be extended based on the date of the most recent conviction. This action will be necessary because each conviction date is subject to a three-year ineligibility period.
NOTE: To be eligible for Families First after the three-year ineligibility period ends, the individual must meet the eligibility criteria listed above in this section. Bulletin 23, FA-11-14