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1064Ratification Number: 597Act Number: 511Introducing Body: SenateSubject: Employables Program Act
(A511, R597, S1064)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 5 OF TITLE 43 SO AS TO ENACT THE SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYABLES PROGRAM ACT, TO REQUIRE RECIPIENTS OF VARIOUS TYPES OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE ADMINISTERED BY THE STATE TO REGISTER AND ACCEPT APPROPRIATE EMPLOYMENT AS A CONDITION OF RECEIPT OF ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS, TO DESIGNATE THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES AS THE AGENCY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATION OF A STATEWIDE WORK SUPPORT SERVICE DELIVERY SYSTEM TO ASSIST PUBLIC ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS IN ATTAINING AND MAINTAINING THEIR HIGHEST LEVEL OF ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE THROUGH EMPLOYMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE MANPOWER NEEDS OF THE STATE, TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS TO THE WORK REQUIREMENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT REFUSAL TO ACCEPT SUITABLE EMPLOYMENT RENDERS THE RECIPIENT INELIGIBLE FOR ASSISTANCE UNDER THE ACT, AND TO MAKE SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTIVE PAYMENTS ON BEHALF OF DEPENDENT CHILDREN OF THOSE DECLARED INELIGIBLE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Employables Program Act enacted
SECTION 1. Chapter 5 of Title 43 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
South Carolina Employables Program Act
Section 43-5-510. This article may be cited as the South Carolina Employables Program Act.
Section 43-5-520. As used in this article:
(A) 'Assistance' means money, services, goods, shelter, burial, medical, and other health care, including nursing home care provided from or with municipal, county, state, or federal funds, for needy persons who reside in this State and need assistance to provide for themselves and their dependents a decent and healthful standard of living, and for needy homeless or transient persons.
(B) 'Protective payments' means payments with respect to any dependent child which are made to another individual who, as determined in accordance with standards prescribed by the department, is interested in or connected with the welfare of such child or relative, or made on behalf of the child, or relative directly to a person furnishing food, living accommodations, or other goods, services, or items to or for the child.
(C) 'Department' means the Department of Social Services (DSS).
(D) 'Legally responsible relative' means spouses or the parent for an unemancipated minor child.
(E) 'Timely notice' means notice which is mailed ten days or more before the intended change would be effective.
(F) 'Adequate notice' means a written notice which includes a statement of what action the agency intends to take, the reasons for the intended action, the specific regulations or statutes supporting the action, an explanation of the individual's right to request an evidentiary and an administrative hearing on the
propriety of the intended action, and the circumstances under which assistance is continued if a hearing is requested. Adequate notice must be sent not later than the date of action.
(G) 'Aid to Families with Dependent Children' (AFDC) means the program authorized by Title IV-A of the Social Security Act to provide financial assistance and services, (a) to families with children who are deprived of the support or care of one or more or both parents by reason of death, physical or mental incapacity, unemployment, or continued absence from home; and (b) to children living in alternate care arrangements as a result of judicial determination.
(H) 'Title IV-A State Plan' means a plan that describes aid and services to needy families and children through Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) which are provided by the State in accordance with the requirements set forth in Title IV-A of the Social Security Act.
(I) 'State Work Support Plan' means the statewide operational plan for the Office of Self-Sufficiency Work Support Services Program, covering policy and procedures also defining components and available services as developed by the department.
(J) 'Work Support Services Program Unit' means a designated staff unit within a selected target area which will be responsible for the operation of the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System within that target area. Functions of the unit include, but are not limited to, assessment, employability planning, supportive counseling, service provision, coordination with other community resources, client case management, and follow-up.
(K) 'Target Area' means a county or group of counties that are implementing a DSS Work Support Services Program Unit as determined by the availability of resources in the specified county.
(L) 'Public assistance applicant' means any individual applying for Aid to Families with Dependent Children or Food Stamps.
(M) 'Public Assistance Recipient' means any individual receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children or Food Stamps.
(N) 'AFDC Redetermination' means the reestablishment of an individual's eligibility to receive AFDC based on a review of the individual's current circumstances.
(0) 'State Business and Industrial Advisory Committee' means a committee composed of representatives from businesses and industries statewide whose purpose is to provide direction and guidance to the operation of the DSS Work Support Services Program.
(P) 'Intergenerational Reading Program (IRP)' means a program designed to provide a reading tutoring program for DSS Work Support clients in selected areas.
(Q) 'Teen Companion Program' means a program designed to provide services to encourage teenagers, male and female, to refrain from parenting children until they are prepared to become self-sufficient and can assume the role of a parent.
(R) 'Project Free Enterprise' means a program designed to expose young people between the age of fourteen and sixteen years who come from AFDC families to the American free enterprise system. Components of the program include, but are not limited to, on site visits to businesses, sessions of preparing for the world of work, and firsthand experiences in operating a business.
(S) 'South Carolina Employables Program' means the Department of Social Services Work Support Services Delivery System and firsthand experiences in operating a business.
Section 43-5-530. The provisions of Section 43-5-10, with respect to the promulgation of regulations, apply to this article.
Section 43-5-540. (a) Every applicant or recipient of public assistance, within ten days after the application for public assistance or the redetermination of eligibility as a condition of eligibility for Aid to Families with Dependent Children shall meet a work registration requirement in accordance with regulations of the DSS Work Support Services Delivery Program as set forth in the Department's Title IV-A State Plan, unless the individual is one of the following:
(1) a child who is attending school or college or an approved program or vocational training on a full-time basis or who is under the age of sixteen;
(2) ill or incapacitated;
(3) required to be present in the home because of illness or incapacity of another member of the household;
(4) the mother or other relative of a child under the age of six who is caring for the child;
(5) the mother or other caretaker of a child if the father or another adult male relative is in the home and not excluded from the requirement to register, unless the adult male relative has failed to register as required in this article or has refused without good cause to accept employment or to participate in work experience or training;
(6) actively participating in the federal Work Incentive Program, a training program, or both;
(7) employed full time.
(b) Any person excluded from the requirements of registration by reason of subsection (a) is encouraged to participate on a voluntary basis and may register to participate in the DSS Work Support Service Delivery System.
(c) No person registered pursuant to subsection (a) may refuse to accept a bona fide offer of employment or training. In order to be a bona fide offer of employment, there must be reasonable assurances that:
(1) appropriate standards for the health, safety, minimum wage, and other conditions applicable to the performance of work and training in the employment are established and will be maintained;
(2) with respect to such employment, the conditions of work, training, education, and employment are reasonable in the light of such factors as type of work, geographical region, and the proficiency of the participant;
(3) the employment is not available due to a bona fide labor dispute, strike, or lockout.
(d) Any person required to register, pursuant to subsection (a) who wilfully fails to register or refuses a bona fide offer of employment or training in violation of subsection (c), is ineligible for assistance. Where there is no other parent present who is eligible for assistance, any aid for which the child is eligible must be provided in the form of protective payment as defined in Section 43-5-520.
Section 43-5-550. (a) The department is responsible for the development and operation of a statewide Work Support Services Delivery System which will assist public assistance recipients, as required to register in Section 43-5-540, or those who participate on a voluntary basis, to attain economic independence through employment in response to the manpower needs of the State.
(b) The department must also develop and operate program components, as part of the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System, which focus upon the special needs of DSS youth whose ages are from fourteen to seventeen. These special program components may include, but are not limited to the Intergenerational Reading, Teen Companion, and Project Free Enterprise program components.
(c) A major focus of the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System is the mobilization of all available resources, toward a preventive effort designed to reduce or eliminate the need for economic assistance, which would break the 'welfare cycle'.
(d) The department must seek to ensure that the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System will not be in competition with or duplicate services of other work-oriented programs but will supplement and compliment those programs through the initiation and maintenance of cooperative agreements and contracts, as considered necessary by the department.
(e) The department shall establish a State Business and Industrial Advisory Committee which must provide direction and guidance to the department in the planning, implementation, and operation of the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System.
(f) The Commissioner of the Department is also responsible, upon approval of the DSS State Board, for appointing the chairperson and membership of the committee.
(g) The department is also responsible for developing policies and procedures governing the operation of the committee.
(h) The department is responsible for developing a State Plan for the design, implementation, operation, and evaluation of the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System. The development of this State Plan must be done in coordination and cooperation with the State Reorganization Commission and the Human Services Integration Project. The State Plan must incorporate the following components: (1) Referrals must be made to the existing Intake Unit in the DSS County Office in which the Work Support Services Program is being operated. Applicants for public assistance who are determined ineligible will be referred, as considered appropriate by the department, to other service agencies.
(2) The client assessment component of the Work Support Services Unit is to determine the individual client's current employability status and level of functioning in the following areas as are appropriate for that client:
(a) vocational assessment;
(b) educational assessment;
(c) psychological assessment;
(d) social assessment;
(e) medical assessment;
(f) economic assessment.
(3) Following assessment, an individual employability plan must be written responding to the needs of the client. A vocational objective must be established for each client in keeping with identified abilities, aptitudes, competencies, and interests. Services must also be identified in the Plan which assist the client to enter employment.
(4) Work Support Services must be provided to assist public assistance recipients to enter the work force. Services must be provided based upon individual employability needs of the client and may include, but not be limited to the following:
(a) Adjustment services shall focus on the special personal, social, and work-related needs of the client such as work maturity, job tolerance, motivation, and other necessary employment skills. These adjustment services will be provided by Work Support Services staff or by contracts or cooperative agreements with other agencies, or both.
(b) Vocational and educational training must be provided to clients based on specific needs identified during the assessment phase. The following types of training may be provided depending on individual need:
(i) On-the-job training must be provided through cooperative agreements or contracts with employers, or both.
(ii) Semi-skilled and skilled training must be provided through cooperative agreements or contracts with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, State Department of Education, State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, the private sector, or all; and
(iii) Specialized training and education must be made available on an individual basis where appropriate and cost effective.
(c) Supportive counseling and guidance must be provided throughout the Work Support Services process and continue following job placement as determined necessary by the DSS Work Support Services staff and the client.
(d) These services must be provided on an individual basis and may include, but not be limited to, a child or dependent, or both, transportation, care, housing, physical restoration, and mental health. Some of the necessary ancillary services may be provided through the utilization of existing resources in the targeted areas of operation, such as day care providers, the Housing Authority, public or private transportation services, or both.
(5) Job marketing and selective placement services must be provided by the DSS Work Support Services staff and through cooperative agreement or contracts with the Employment Security Commission, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and Private Industry Councils (PIC), State Development Board, State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, or all. Emphasis must be placed on the identification and development of quality placements to assure the continued self-sufficiency of DSS clients served.
(6) The department is responsible for the development of policies and procedures related to case management, client staffings, and other requirements, in keeping with state and federal regulations.
(7) The department is responsible for the establishment of specific performance measurements, which must be incorporated into a comprehensive evaluation design, focusing on the cost effectiveness and efficiency of the program.
(a) The department is responsible for identifying specific target areas within the State to implement a Work Support Services Unit. The holistic service delivery approach may be adapted and implemented in a specific county or multi-county area within the State. The department must identify factors to be considered in implementing the Work Support Services Delivery System in a targeted area. These factors may include the special employability needs of the population, the uniqueness of the area, the manpower needs, and the availability of needed resources and services.
(b) The department shall establish a community-based Work Support Council in each of the target areas in which a Work Support Services Unit is operated. The department is also responsible for developing policies and procedures governing the operation of the Council. This Council shall provide input and guidance regarding the operation of that specific DSS Work Support Services Program Unit. The Legislative Delegation shall appoint members in proportion to population of county and the chairmanship shall rotate between counties. All members shall serve terms of four years with no limit on the number of terms that may be served. Membership shall include the business and industrial sector, involved agencies and organizations, and DSS clientele in the targeted area. The membership of the Council shall include, as a minimum, the following composition:
(1) five members from the involved agencies and organizations,
(2) five members from the business and industrial sector, and
(3) two members from DSS clientele.
(c) The department shall take all appropriate measures to obtain any necessary federal approval and assistance for the South Carolina Employables Program.
(d) No department or agency of this State and no vendor delivering social services funded in whole or in part by contracts with or grants from the department shall discriminate in any manner, including employment or job placement, against any person because that person is or was an applicant for or recipient of assistance.
Section 43-5-560. The department may appoint a protective payee to take charge of the expenditure of assistance granted any person under this act when, in its opinion, consistent with federal regulations, such protective payee is necessary. In any such case, payment must be made directly to the protective payee. A protective payee shall serve without compensation and is subject to such regulations and accounting as the department shall prescribe.
Section 43-5-570. A person is not in a class of persons excluded from mandatory participation in the South Carolina Employables Program who without good cause (1) voluntarily terminates employment or reduces his earning capacity for the purpose of qualifying for assistance or a larger amount thereof, (2) refuses to participate in the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System in keeping with the State Plan, or (3) fails or refuses to accept referral to and participate in a vocational rehabilitation or training program, or refuses to accept referral to and work in employment in which he is able to engage, provided the employment conforms to the standards established for a bona fide offer of employment in the South Carolina Employables Program and is disqualified from receiving assistance for three payment months for the first such failure and for six payment months for any subsequent such failure.
Section 43-5-580. (a) Every applicant for assistance whose eligibility is based on deprivation due to absence of a parent from a home must be referred to the Office of Child Support Enforcement within two working days of the furnishing of aid or the determination that an individual is a recipient of public assistance. The department is responsible for taking all steps necessary to identify, locate, and obtain support payments from absent parents.
(b) The department shall establish a scale of suggested minimum contributions to assist courts in determining the amount that an absent parent should be expected to pay toward the support of a dependent child. Copies of this scale must be made available to courts, district attorneys, and to the public. It is intended that the scale formulated pursuant to this section be optional.
(c) Failure of the absent parent to comply with his support obligations must be referred to the court having jurisdiction of this matter for appropriate proceedings.
Section 43-5-590. In accordance with a child support plan approved by the federal government, the department has the power and its duty must be to:
(a) Require as a condition of eligibility for assistance that the applicant or recipient:
(i) furnish his social security account number or, to the extent permitted by federal law, proof of making application for a social security account number if the applicant or recipient has no social security account number;
(ii) assign to the State any rights to support from any other person the applicant may have in his own behalf or in behalf of any other family member for whom the applicant is applying for or receiving aid and which have accrued at the time the assignment is executed or which may accrue in the future; provided, that by accepting public assistance for or on behalf of a child or children, or by making application for services under Title IV-D, or through placement of a child or children in state-funded foster care or under Title IV-E, except where good cause as determined by the agency exists, the recipient or applicant is considered to have made an assignment to the State Department of Social Services of any rights, title, and interest to any support obligation which is owed for the child or children or for the absent parent's spouse or former spouse who is the recipient or the applicant with whom the child is living, if and to the extent that a spousal support obligation has been established and the child and the child support obligation is being enforced pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act. The assignment to the department is considered to have been made up to the amount of public assistance money or foster care board payments paid for or on behalf of the child or children for that period of time as the public assistance monies or foster care board payments are paid. The assignment shall consist of all rights and interest in any support obligation that the recipient may be owed past, present, or future by any person up to the amount of public assistance money paid to the recipient for or on behalf of the minor child or children or a child in foster care. The department is subrogated to the rights of the child or children or the person having custody of the child or children to collect and receive all support payments. The department has the right to initiate any support action in its own name or in the name of the recipient to recover any payments ordered by the courts of this or any other state or to obtain a court order to initiate these payments including an action to determine the paternity of a child.
(3) cooperate with the department in establishing the paternity of a child born out of wedlock with respect to whom aid is claimed, and in obtaining support payments for such applicant and for a child with respect to whom such aid is claimed, or in obtaining any other payments or property due such applicant of such child and that, if the relative with whom a child is living is found to be ineligible because of failure to comply with the requirements of items (a) and (b), any aid for which such child is eligible will be provided in the form of protective payments. The department shall establish criteria in accordance with federal regulations to determine whether action to establish paternity and secure support is not in the best interest of a child.
(b) Provide for protective payments for any child eligible for assistance when a caretaker relative is ineligible due to the caretaker relative's failure to comply with either subitems (1) or (2) of item (a) of this section.
(c) Provide that in any case in which the child support payments are collected for a child with respect to whom an assignment has been made pursuant to subitem (2) of item (a) of this section the payment is made to the department for distribution pursuant to item (g) of this section except for those payments made for any month in which the amount collected is sufficient to make the family ineligible for assistance. The department shall pay such amounts to the recipient consistent with federal law and regulations. Whenever a family ceases receiving public assistance the assignment pursuant to subitem (2) of item (a) of this section terminates except with respect to the amount of any unpaid support obligation that has accrued under the assignment. From this amount the department shall attempt to collect the unpaid obligation and distribute the amounts consistent with federal laws and regulations. The department shall continue to provide all appropriate IV-D services for a period not to exceed three months from the month following the month in which the family ceased to receive public assistance. The department may not charge fees or recover costs from support collections and must pay all amounts collected which represent monthly support payments to the family. At the end of this period if the department is authorized to do so by the individual on whose behalf the services are rendered, continue to provide all appropriate IV-D services and distribute any amounts collected consistent with federal laws and regulations except that the department may not require any formal application or impose an application fee but may recover costs consistent with federal laws and regulations pursuant to item (f) of this section.
(d) The department shall create a single and separate organizational unit which is responsible for developing and implementing a federally approved state plan for child support. The unit shall maintain a parent locator service to locate absent relatives owing or allegedly owing child support utilizing all sources of information and legally available records and the parent locator service of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, by filing in accordance with Section 453(B) of the Social Security Act. Any state or local agency or private employer of this State upon request of the Department of Social Services shall provide the Department with information regarding the name, address, and social security number of a person owing or allegedly owing an obligation of support for a dependent child. The department, upon receipt of this information, may make it available only to the appropriate officials or agencies of this or any other state operating a program pursuant to Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act.
(e) Undertake either directly or pursuant to cooperative arrangements with appropriate courts or law enforcement officials to:
(i) establish paternity of children born out of wedlock with respect to whom an assignment pursuant to subitem (2) of item (a) of this section has been made or with respect to an individual not otherwise eligible pursuant to item (f) of this section;
(ii) secure support for a child with respect to whom such an assignment has been made from any legally responsible relative.
(f) The department must provide that the support collection or paternity determination services made available to approved applicants for Aid to Families With Dependent Children under this section be made available to any individual not receiving assistance under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program who files an application for the services with the department. In the case of an individual not otherwise eligible for these services under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program, a fee and cost may be imposed by the department. The fee and cost must be an amount not to exceed the amount permitted by federal law. Such fees and cost recoveries as would cause a reduction in the amount of federal matching funds must be retained by the department to offset, dollar for dollar, the federal reductions.
(g) provide for bonus payments to recipients consistent with federal law from amounts collected periodically without any decrease in the amount of assistance;
(h) make incentive payments to political subdivisions consistent with federal law whenever the political subdivision enforces or collects support rights assigned to the department pursuant to subitem (2) of item (a) and item (f) of this section.
(i) construe and implement this section in order to comply with Title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act relating to child support and the establishment of paternity. The department shall take all steps necessary to implement a federally approved state plan for child support.
Section 43-5-600. Monies due from or payable by this State, including any agency, instrumentality, or authority of the State, and due to any individual is subject, in like manner and to the same extent as if the State were a private person, to legal process brought for the enforcement against such individual of his legal obligations to provide support for a child or spouse; provided, however, that Section 41-35-140 shall control in cases concerning the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.
Section 43-5-610. (a) A central registry of records must be maintained in the department showing, as far as it is known, with respect to any parent who has deserted or abandoned any child receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children:
(1) the full and true name of the parent, together with any known aliases;
(2) date and place of birth;
(3) physical description;
(4) social security number;
(5) occupation and any special skills he may have;
(6) military status and Veterans' Administration or military service serial number;
(7) last known address and the date of the address;
(8) the number of the driver's license;
(9) any further information that may be of assistance in locating the person.
(b) To effectuate the purposes of this section, the department may request and shall receive from all departments, bureaus, commissions, boards, or other agencies of South Carolina, or any of its political subdivisions, and the same are authorized to provide, assistance and data as will enable the department and other public agencies to carry out their duties to locate absent parents for the support of their children.
(c) Any records established pursuant to the provisions of this section are available only to public welfare offices, county attorneys, solicitors, probation departments, central registries in other states, and courts having jurisdiction in support or abandonment proceedings or actions and only for the purposes for which the records have been established.
Section 43-5-620. (a) The Commissioner or his designees, in writing, shall have access to all records and the department, in cooperation with all other departments of the executive branch, shall establish a single uniform system of information clearance and retrieval, wherever possible.
(b) The bureau of employment security shall provide the department with a statement of earnings clearance upon the request of the department.
(c) Upon request of the department, the bureau of motor vehicles shall provide information as to all vehicles owned by the applicant or recipient.
(d) With the exception of the access provided by subsections (b) and (c), the provisions of subsection (a) may not be construed to give the department access to information which would otherwise be considered privileged or confidential pursuant to state or federal law.
Section 43-5-630. For purposes of determining eligibility for assistance, the income received by individuals employed on a contractual basis may be prorated over the period of the contract or intermittent income received quarterly, semi-annually, or yearly may be prorated over the period covered by the income.
Section 43-5-640. Two copies of all reports required by the National Center for Social Statistics of the Department of Health and Human Services must be furnished to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee and the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives when they are submitted to the federal government."
SECTION 2. Sufficient funds and staffing allocations to implement the DSS Work Support Services Delivery System in keeping with an established schedule for implementation and unit cost as developed by the department will be appropriated.
System must be implemented statewide by fiscal
SECTION 3. The DSS Work Support Services Delivery System, depending upon the availability of resources, must be implemented statewide by fiscal year 1988-89.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 1986.