7.4.5     Custodial Parent of an Infant (CMC)

7.4.5.1  Eligibility for CMC
    7.4.5.1.1  Other Adult Living In The Home
    7.4.5.1.2  Paternity Establishment

7.4.5.2  CMC Verification, Placement, and Payment
7.4.5.3  60-Month Time Limit for CMC
7.4.5.4  Ending CMC

The CMC placement is for low-income mothers with newborns so that they may provide care for their children during the first months of the children’s lives as well as to successfully adjust to the challenges of motherhood.  A custodial parent of an infant 8 weeks old or younger who meets W-2 financial and nonfinancial eligibility may receive a monthly CMC payment of $673 and will not be required to participate in W-2 activities unless he/she volunteers to participate in activities.

During the 8-week period, it is expected that in addition to physically recuperating from the birth of their child and nurturing their infants during this critical period, new mothers will also find childcare and take other steps necessary in order to prepare to enter or re-enter the workforce.  W-2 agencies should encourage CMC participants to take advantage of the employment-related services offered within the W-2 program during the 8-week CMC period.

 

7.4.5.1  Eligibility for CMC

The custodial parent  must meet all W-2 nonfinancial and financial eligibility requirements (See Chapters 2 & 3).  In addition, a custodial parent of an infant must meet the following criteria:

1                Have a child 8 weeks old or less; and

2                No other adult member of the custodial parent’s W-2 group is participating or eligible to participate in a W-2 employment position or be working in an unsubsidized job.

 

7.4.5.1.1  Other Adult Living In The Home

The family is not eligible for a CMC payment if another adult is included in the W-2 Group and is working or if he/she is not working but is eligible to participate in a W-2 placement.  This is regardless of the other adult’s income level.  Even if the income of the other adult results in the family’s income being at or below 115% of federal poverty, the family is still ineligible for a CMC payment.  If the family’s income is at or below 115%, the other adult must be considered for placement in a W-2 employment position.  In this situation, this family would be considered a two-parent family and be treated according to two-parent family policy.

Example 1:  Diane gave birth to Marina on July 8, and applied for CMC.  During intake, Diane stated that Marina’s father, her boyfriend, does live in the home with them and they signed the PATH form in the hospital. When asked whether he was employed, Marina said that he hauls lumber part-time for a man in town. Because the boyfriend is the nonmarital co-parent and lives in the home, he is considered the “other adult in the W-2 group” and because he is working in unsubsidized employment, the family is not eligible for CMC.  The FEP must offer the family other employment services if otherwise eligible such as case management services in the CMU placement.

 

Example 2:  Dorothy gave birth to a girl on September 1, and applied for CMC. During intake, Dorothy stated that she is married to John, but John is not the biological father of the baby girl.  They do have a child in common in the home.  She also says that John is employed as a laborer at a local construction site making a little over $6.00 hour.  Because the spouse is included in the W-2 group and because he is working in unsubsidized employment, the family is not eligible for CMC even though John‘s income results in the family being below the 115% level of poverty. The FEP must offer the family other employment services.

 

Example 3:  Mia gave birth to a baby on June14. Prior to giving birth, Mia was employed full-time at a local grocery store.  Mia’s husband Jeff is the biological father of the baby.  Jeff has not had a job in a year and has been staying at home and caring for his 3-year-old son.  Because the baby’s father lives in the home and he is eligible to participate in a W-2 employment position, the family is not eligible for the CMC benefit.  When the FEP conducts an informal assessment, the FEP takes into consideration a difficult birth that will not permit Mia to return to work for a number of weeks and determines that the father would be appropriate for placement in a CSJ.  Jeff, on the other hand, says that he will not participate in W-2 as he would like to stay home and care for the baby.  The FEP determined that Jeff was appropriate for W-2 placement and, because he refused to accept the appropriate placement, the family is not eligible for W-2, including CMC.

 

Example 4:  Sonia gave birth to a baby boy on February 23.  Sonia’s husband Victor is the biological father of the baby.  Victor has been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) since 2000 when he was injured.  Although Victor is included in the W-2 group, he is not working and he would not be eligible to participate in a W-2 employment position.  The family is eligible for CMC.

 

7.4.5.1.2  Paternity Establishment

In situations where the CMC participant is not married the FEP must inform the mother that she and the baby’s biological father will have the ability to sign the PATH form to acknowledge paternity in the hospital and encourage the mother to sign the form. The FEP must explain they need to have their signatures on the form notarized (witnessed).  Typically, a Notary is on staff at the local hospital.  The FEP must inform the participant that there is a $10 fee for the form and, if the mother cannot afford the $10 fee, the hospital may be able to help with the fee.  If the mother has any doubts about who the father may be, the FEP should discuss the option of genetic testing.

FEPs must stress the importance of legally establishing paternity at the time of the child’s birth.

Reasons for establishing paternity:

A         the father’s social security and veterans’ benefits

B          know the family’s medical history

C         tribal affiliation and/or enrollment (For Native Americans)

If the FEP does not have the opportunity to discuss paternity acknowledgement until after the birth of the baby, the FEP must still review the benefits of establishing paternity with the participant and inform the participant that the PATH form is available at the local child support agency (CSA) or county Register of Deeds office.

The FEP must explain the difference in eligibility for W-2 if the father lives in the household. If the alleged father lives in the child’s home and the child’s paternity is established while the mother is receiving the CMC payment, the mother’s eligibility for CMC ends if the father is working or if he is not working but eligible to participate in a W-2 employment position. The FEP must be clear that although it may mean the household is not eligible for the CMC placement, the father may be placed in a W-2 employment position, education and training or other case management services in order to prepare for work.

In certain situations the FEP must contact the local CSA and request that the paternity establishment for that CMC case be prioritized.  The CSA will assist in expediting genetic testing and judicial paternity establishment for CMC cases.   These situations include:

 

7.4.5.2  CMC Verification, Placement, and Payment

If an individual meets the eligibility criteria, the FEP must place the participant in the CMC placement.  Once the parent has been determined eligible for the CMC payment, the FEP can encourage the participant to volunteer for appropriate services such as parenting classes, budgeting classes, family planning services and, once appropriate, job search.  These services are not mandatory activities and can not be used as a basis for eligibility determination while the participant is in the CMC placement. 

The CMC placement begin date is either the birth date of the child or the date of application, whichever is later.  An applicant has seven days to provide appropriate verification.  If the applicant provides verification within that timeframe, the placement must begin as of the date of application but no earlier than the date of birth.  The agency has the option of extending the verification period up to 30 days and may still backdate the placement back to the date of the application.  (See 4.1.0)

The W-2 agency must have verification from a participant of a child’s birth prior to placing him or her into the CMC placement.  Medical verification requiring the individual to be in the home for 8 weeks is not necessary.

 

Example 1:  Mary gives birth on April 14th.  On April 21st, she applies for the CMC payment.  Mary did not bring in verification of the birth at application, Mary’s FEP instructs her to bring in verification no later than April 28th.  Mary brings in her verification on April 25th.  Mary is placed in CMC effective April 21st, the date of application.

 

Example 2:  Joan applies for the CMC placement on May 5th because her baby is due on May 8th.  The FEP processes the application and informs Joan to bring in verification of the baby’s birth as soon as possible.  Joan’s baby is born on the 8th and she brings verification of birth to the FEP on May 12th.  Joan is placed in CMC effective May 8th, the date of the baby’s birth.

 

For ongoing applications, a participant has 10 days to report a change in circumstances.  If the change (the birth of the baby) is reported within this timeframe, the payment should begin as of the date of the child’s birth.  If it is reported outside of 10 days, the FEP determines whether the payment begins as of the date of the child’s birth or when the parent verified the birth.  The FEP should consider whether or not circumstances prevented the parent from reporting the child’s birth within 10 days. 

Individuals placed in CMC will receive a monthly payment of $673. 

 

7.4.5.3  60-Month Time Limit for CMC

Under specific circumstances, the CMC placement will count toward the state 60-month time limit.  If the FEP determines that placement in CMC will count toward the individual’s 60-month time limit, the FEP must explain the impact this will have on the family’s eligibility for future W-2 benefits. If CMC participants reach the 60 month time limit while in the CMC placement they are automatically eligible for 60 month extensions.

See 2.10.8 for more guidelines on CMC participants and the 60 month time limit.

 

7.4.5.4  Ending CMC

The CMC placement must end 8 calendar weeks (7 days x 8 weeks = 56 days) after the child is born. CMC cannot extend beyond the date the child turns 8 weeks of age regardless of the date the CMC placement begins. A CARES alert is generated to remind the FEP to change the CMC placement on the appropriate day.

Example :  Joan applies for the CMC payment on December 28th because her baby is due on January 1st.  The FEP processes the application and informs Joan she must bring in verification of the baby’s birth as soon as possible.  Joan’s baby is born on the 1st and she brings verification of the birth to the FEP on January 7th.  Joan is placed in CMC effective January 1st, the date of the baby’s birth.  Joan will no longer be eligible for CMC on February 26, which is 8 calendar weeks from the date the child was born.

As a CMC participant approaches her CMC end date, the FEP must contact her to discuss her employment and supportive service needs once the CMC placement ends.  If the participant is going to continue in a different W-2 placement, the FEP can end date the CMC placement up to 14 days in the future.  This will help prevent cases from exceeding the 56 day timeframe.  If the CMC participant is not going to continue in a different W-2 placement, the placement must be end dated by the 56th day.  The CMC Placement Detail Report – Length of Stay of 42 to 56 Days identifies cases that are approaching the end of their 56 days.

The CMC Placement Detail Report – Length of Stay > 56 Days report identifies cases that have been in CMC for longer than 8 weeks.  If participants do appear on this report, agencies must act on these cases immediately by contacting the participant to discuss the participant’s current and future employment and supportive service needs as well as ending the placement in CARES Worker Web (CWW) on the W-2 Information page. 

On both detail reports, theYoungest Child Part. Status Code should contain the EC (eligible child) code.  If this column is blank or has an XC (excluded child), action should be taken to determine why the child is not coded properly as EC.  Quite often, the problem may be associated with:

These reports are located in the “Monitoring Reports W-2 & FSET” folder in WebI.  Each report has multiple tabs that provide additional detailed information.  The tabs are identified in italics beneath the report name.

Once a participant's child reaches 8 weeks of age, the parent is expected to join the workforce, like other parents of young children or can be placed in a W-2 employment position. 

There may be situations in which a CMC participant chooses to return to work prior to his or her child reaching 8 weeks of age.  If the mother chooses to return to part-time work (or can only find part-time work) before her child turns 8 weeks of age, she will remain eligible for CMC until the 8th week unless the FEP and the participant agree to the prorated CSJ placement or case management follow-up (CMF), or the mother declines W-2.  Part-time work is defined as 29 hours or less per week. 

Ongoing placement in CMC or prorated CSJ will allow the mother time outside of her part-time work hours to continue to take steps necessary to prepare for full-time work.

If the participant and W-2 agency agree to place the individual in a prorated CSJ, all prorated CSJ policies apply.  The W-2 agency must inform the participant that the prorated CSJ placement will tick the CSJ clock and that the parent will be required to participate in activities during those hours she is not working.

Example 1:  Five weeks after the birth of her child, Genevieve returned to work 15 hours per week washing dishes at a local restaurant. Genevieve lives at home with her mother, but informs the FEP that she must move out when the baby is three months old.  The W-2 agency reassesses Genevieve’s employability and determines that she would benefit from obtaining her high school diploma in order to make her competitive for full-time employment.  The FEP discusses the option of a prorated CSJ with her and points out that her diploma would help her obtain full-time employment in a higher paying job.  Genevieve agrees to the optional one-half prorated CSJ placement.  This one-half prorated CSJ requires Genevieve to participate 11 to 15 hours in work training and up to 10 hours of education and training per week.  The GED courses require Genevieve to participate in classroom activities 5 hours per week.  In addition to the education and training activities, the FEP assigns Genevieve to 5 hours per week of clerical work experience, 3 hours per week in a mother/baby course at the local hospital which Genevieve and her child can participate in together and 3 hours to devote to looking for new housing. Genevieve could have opted to remain in the CMC placement, volunteered for GED or other appropriate training activities and obtained child care for the volunteer activities.

 

Example 2:  Ruth begins her CMC placement on August 16. After three weeks, Ruth and her FEP discuss the possibility of working on her GED and attending job skills refresher training in order to update her data entry skills.  Because Ruth volunteers for these activities, her FEP places her in both GE (GED) for her GED activities and EC (Child Care for Employment Skills Training – 2 yr) for the job skills refresher training and shows these placements in WPCH. With placements in these components, Ruth will be eligible for child care.

 

 

 

This page last updated in Release # 12-03
Release Date:  04/04/12
Effective Date:  04/04/12