Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
Wisconsin Works (W-2) Manual
220.127.116.11 Eligibility for CMC
18.104.22.168.1 Other Adult Living In The Home
22.214.171.124.2 Paternity Establishment
126.96.36.199 CMC Verification, Placement, and Payment
188.8.131.52 State 48-Month Lifetime Limit for CMC
184.108.40.206 Ending CMC
The CMCCustodial Parent of an Infant placement is for eligible parents 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 being a parent. A custodial parent of an infant 8 weeks old or younger who meets W-2Wisconsin Works 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 or 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 parents 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.
The custodial parentWith respect to a dependent child, a parent (see definition of parent) who resides with that child and, if there has been a determination of legal custody with respect to the dependent child, has legal custody of that child must meet all W-2 nonfinancial and financial eligibility requirements. (See Chapters 2 and 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 An adult custodial parent, all dependent children with respect to whom the individual is a legal custodial parent and all minor children with respect to whom the adult individual’s dependent child is a custodial parent. W-2 Group includes any non-marital co-parent or any spouse of the individual who resides in the same household as the individual and any minor children with respect to whom the spouse or non-marital co-parent is a custodial parent. W-2 Group does not include any person who is receiving cash benefits under a county relief block grant program. This is also referred to as the W-2 Assistance Group (W-2 AG) is participating or eligible to participate in a W-2 employment position or be working in an unsubsidized job.
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 or 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.
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:
· The importance of a child knowing his or her mother and father;
· Both parents are responsible for supporting their child;
· The child may be covered under the father's medical insurance; or
· It gives the child the rights to:
o the father’s social security and veterans’ benefits;
o know the family’s medical history; and
o 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:
· When a mother and father refuse to sign the PATH form;
· When the mother and father sign the PATH form and then later rescind it when they become aware of the potential loss of CMC payment; or
· When a mother and potential father are living together and paternity acknowledgement is not appropriate (for instance, there is more than one potential father).
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 cannot 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 4.1.3)
The W-2 agency must have verification of a baby’s birth and application for a SSN prior to placing a participant into the CMC placement. Medical verification requiring the individual to be in the home for 8 weeks is not necessary. (See 4.1.2 and 2.2.1. #14)
Ongoing participants have 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 and SSN application date. 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.
Under specific circumstances, the CMC placement will count toward the 48-month state lifetime limit. If the FEP determines that placement in CMC will count toward the individual’s 48-month state lifetime 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 48-month state lifetime limit while in the CMC placement they are automatically eligible for a time limit extension.
See 2.10.8 for more guidelines on CMC participants and the policies relating to W-2 time limit.
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 CARESClient Assistance for Reemployment and Economic Support alert is generated to remind the FEP to change the CMC placement on the appropriate day.
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 must enter the new placement on the 57th day which will end CMC placement on the 56th day. If the CMC participant is not going to continue in a different W-2 placement, the W-2 episode must be end dated on the 56th day which will also end the placement on 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 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 CWW on the W-2 Information page.
On both detail reports, the Youngest 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:
· Living arrangement (CWW Current Demographics page);
· Household relationship (CWW Household Relationships page); or
· Placement (CWW W-2 Information page) remained open after eligibility has ended.
These reports are located in the “W-2 Monitoring Reports” folder in WebI. Each report has multiple tabs that provide additional detailed information. The tabs are identified in italics beneath the report name
History: Release 21-09; Release 20-01; Release 14-01; Release 12-04.