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1620 A Change in the Circumstances of a Recipient of Permanency Care Assistance

CPS September 2010

Reporting Changes

Families that have entered into an agreement with DFPS to receive permanency care assistance are responsible for immediately reporting to the appropriate eligibility specialist changes in their circumstances that may affect their assistance, including:

  •  any name or address changes;

  •  a change in marital status;

  •  the death of a child or permanent managing conservator;

  •  the incapacitation of the permanent managing conservator;

  •  the relocation of the child (the child no longer lives with the permanent managing conservator);

  •  a change in the child’s legal status; or

  •  a change in any circumstance that would warrant termination of the agreement for permanency care assistance.

Making a Request

When a change in a family’s circumstances affects the child’s current needs, or affects the family’s ability to meet those needs, the family may request a change in the monthly payment, as long as the family is not already receiving the maximum monthly payment.

The request for a change:

  •  must be made in writing; and

  •  is subject to the requirements and limitations explained in:

1618.2 Determining the Payment Ceiling When Negotiating for Permanency Care Assistance

1618.3 Other Considerations When Negotiating for Permanency Care Assistance

Processing a Request

Upon receiving a request for a change in the monthly payment, the negotiator permanency care assistance contacts the prospective permanent managing conservator within 10 working days to negotiate a new payment amount.

Negotiated increases are effective no earlier than the first of the month following the month in which the new agreement is signed.

The adoption assistance eligibility specialist updates the information reported as a change within five days of receiving the change.

DFPS Rule, 40 TAC §700.1049

1621 Benefits: Recertification and Termination for Permanency Care Assistance

1621.1 Recertification of Eligibility for Permanency Care Assistance

CPS June 2014

Certification of continued eligibility is required at least every five years for children under the age of 18 years old.

No fewer than 90 days before the five-year date for certification of continued eligibility, the eligibility specialist mails to the permanent managing conservator:

  •  Form 2122 Notice of Certification Renewal;

  •  Form 2123 Certification of Continuing Eligibility

The eligibility specialist makes three attempts to secure the required documentation from the conservator, with the last attempt being a certified letter.

If the eligibility specialist becomes aware that the family has been overpaid, the specialist must work to initiate the recoupment process.

1621.2 Terminating Permanency Care Assistance

CPS September 2010

The agreement for permanency care assistance is effective through the month in which the child turns 18, unless any of the following occurs:

  •  The prospective permanent managing conservator is not granted permanent managing conservatorship;

  •  DFPS determines that the permanent managing conservator was mistakenly determined to be eligible of permanency care assistance;

  •  The permanent managing conservator is no longer legally responsible for the child’s care due to a change in legal status that occurred before the child turned 18 years old;

  •  The child dies; or

  •  The permanent managing conservator requests that the agreement be terminated or agrees to its being terminated.

When the child moves out of or leaves the permanent managing conservator’s home, the permanent managing conservator:

  •  reports the change; and

  •  provides evidence of his or her continued, routine, and ongoing financial support of the child.

If the child returns to substitute care and DFPS becomes the child’s managing conservator, the child’s permanency care assistance is suspended in order to allow DFPS to provide foster care payments.

Permanency care assistance cannot be transferred to a subsequent permanent managing conservator.

DFPS Rule, 40 TAC §700.1047

1621.21 Recertification of Eligibility for Extended Permanency Care Assistance

CPS June 2014

For youth who are eligible for extended permanency care assistance, as described in 1613 Requesting an Extension of Permanency Care Assistance, the eligibility specialist obtains certification of the youth’s continued eligibility. The first certification is completed the month in which the youth turns 18. Afterwards, eligibility is determined annually until the youth turns 20, which covers the youth until his or her 21st birthday.

Each year, around the time of the youth or young adult’s 18th, 19th, and 20th birthdays, as applicable, the eligibility specialist makes three attempts to obtain from the youth, young adult, or caregiver the following required documentation for certification of continued eligibility:

  •  Form 2122 Notice of Certification Renewal

  •  Form 2123 Certification of Continuing Eligibility

The attempts at contact are made as follows:

  •  The first attempt is made 60 days before the youth or young adult’s birthday.

  •  The second attempt is made 30 days before the youth or young adult’s birthday, if the first attempt is unsuccessful.

  •  The third attempt is made on the youth or young adult’s birthday, by certified letter, if the second attempt is unsuccessful.

If the necessary documentation is not received within 30 days of the youth or young adult’s 18th birthday, the eligibility for extended benefits is terminated. If the required documentation is received at a later date the eligibility can be restarted. The start date will be the 1st of the month in which the documentation is received that shows the youth is eligible.

The permanent managing conservator must provide sufficient documentation to meet the education- or work-related requirements each time eligibility is recertified for young adults 18 and over. The permanent managing conservator submits documents directly to the adoption assistance eligibility specialist.

DFPS Rule, 40 TAC §700.1053

1622 Recouping an Overpayment of Permanency Care Assistance Payments

CPS June 2014

When a permanent managing conservator receives an overpayment for permanency care assistance (PCA), the overpaid funds must be recouped.

Overpayment may be required because:

  •  The child is under the age of 18 and the permanent managing conservator is no longer legally responsible for the child;

  •  The permanent managing conservator is no longer providing support to the child;

  •  The child dies; or

  •  The child was mistakenly determined to be eligible for benefits.

1622.1 Standard Cases – Recouping PCA Overpayments in 30 Days

CPS June 2014

When PCA payments have been overpaid, the permanency care assistance eligibility specialist for the region discusses the case with his or her supervisor.

If the eligibility specialist and supervisor are not sure whether recoupment is needed, the specialist consults by email with Federal/State support permanency care assistance program specialist.

In the email to the program specialist, the eligibility specialist includes the:

  •  child’s name; and

  •  child’s personal identification number.

Required Consultation

The eligibility specialist and supervisor must consult with the program specialist before processing a recoupment when:

  •  the overpayment exceeds six months;

  •  the overpayment exceeds $50,000; or

  •  fraud is suspected.

Standard Recoupment Process

1.  The permanency care assistance program specialist for the DFPS state office sends Form 8102-PCA Request for Payment to DFPS to the regional eligibility specialist.

      The form provides the permanent managing conservator with details about the recoupment, such as the invoice number, date of service, original warrant date, original warrant amount, and total amount of the overpayment.

2.  The regional eligibility specialist sends the form to the regional operation support administrator (ROSA), who then completes and signs Form 8103a-PCA Overpayment Letter.

      The letter explains to the permanent managing conservator when and how the overpayment occurred, when the payment is due to DFPS (30 days from the date on the letter), and where to send the payment.

3.  The ROSA mails to the permanent managing conservator:

  •  Form 8103a-PCA Overpayment Letter, explaining that the overpayments must be repaid; and

  •  Form 8102-PCA Request for Payment to DFPS, providing the details of the overpayment and recoupment.

4.   The permanent managing conservator:

  •  completes Form 8102-PCA; and

  •  sends a copy of the form with each payment to the DFPS address provided in the letter.

5.   The ROSA sends a copy of Form 8103a-PCA Overpayment Letter and Form 8102-PCA Request for Payment to DFPS to:

  •  the DFPS ACCOUNTING FORM 8102 email box; and

  •  the permanency care assistance program specialist.

Handling Late Payments

On the 30th day after the date listed on Form 8103a-PCA Overpayment Letter, the DFPS Accounting office:

  •  sends a second letter to the permanent managing conservator, this time by certified mail; and

  •  notifies the ROSA by email.

If the permanent managing conservator contacts the ROSA on or after the 30th day from the date on Form 8103a-PCA Overpayment Letter, the ROSA:

  •  refers the permanent managing conservator to the DFPS Accounting Office to discuss a repayment plan; or

  •  notifies the DFPS Accounting Office, if a repayment plan has been proposed by the permanent managing conservator.

If the permanent managing conservator fails to respond to the second letter within 30 days, the DFPS Accounting Office refers the case to the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.

1622.2 Hardship Cases – Recouping PCA Payments in Any Dollar Amount

CPS June 2014

If a permanent managing conservator contacts the regional operation support administrator (ROSA) within 30 days from the date on Form 8103a-PCA Overpayment Letter to explain that he or she cannot repay the overpayment in full by the due date, the ROSA offers the parent a repayment plan, as follows.

The amount of the overpayment determines which DFPS personnel must approve the repayment plan.

To begin the process, the ROSA asks the permanent managing conservator to:

  •  explain in writing (by mail or email) why the parent cannot repay the entire dollar amount by the due date; and

  •  send the letter or email to the ROSA by the tenth business day from the date that the parent first contacted the specialist about repayment.

When the ROSA receives the letter explaining the permanent managing conservator’s inability to pay by the due date, the ROSA:

  •  discusses a payment plan with the parent; and

  •  completes and signs Form 8103g-PCA Overpayment Approval Letter, which explains the details of the payment plan as discussed with the permanent managing conservator.

The ROSA then sends the following to the permanent managing conservator by certified mail:

  •  The original Form 8103g-PCA Overpayment Approval Letter;

  •  Form 8103h-PCA Provider Repayment Plan; and

  •  A copy of Form 8102-PCA Request for Payment to DFPS.

The permanent managing conservator:

  •  signs Form 8103h-PCA Provider Repayment Plan; and

  •  returns it to the ROSA.

When the ROSA receives the Form 8103h-PCA Provider Repayment Plan signed by the permanent managing conservator, the ROSA:

  •  mails the original and a copy of Form 8102-PCA Request for Payment to DFPS to the DFPS Accounting Office; and

  •  sends a copy of Form 8102-PCA by email to the Federal/State support permanency care assistance program specialist.

1622.3 Extreme Hardship Cases – Recouping PCA Payments in More Than 12 Months (Requires State Office Approval)

CPS June 2014

If a permanent managing conservator explains to the regional operation support administrator (ROSA) in writing why he or she cannot repay the overpayment(s) within 12 months, the ROSA informs the managing conservator that:

  •  the maximum repayment plan is 24 months;

  •  a plan that exceeds 12 months must be approved by the DFPS state office;

  •  and there is no guarantee that approval will be obtained.

If the permanent managing conservator agrees to a repayment plan that exceeds 12 months but does not exceed 24 months, the ROSA:

  •  forwards the details of the repayment plan (the total amount to be recouped and the timeframe for payment) to the division administrator of the DFPS Federal and State Support Unit; and

  •  notifies the permanent managing conservator that the plan has been forwarded for approval.

The division administrator:

  •  processes the request for a payment plan; and

  •  obtains the required approval.

Plan Is Approved

If the repayment plan is approved, staff at the DFPS state office:

  •  obtain Form 8103d-PCA Repayment Plan Approval Letter from the division administrator (the sole source for the form); and

  •  sends it to the managing conservator to obtain their signature of approval.

Plan Is Not Approved

If the repayment plan is not approved, the division administrator notifies the permanent managing conservator.

 

1623 Fair Hearings Regarding Decisions About Permanency Care Assistance

1623.1 Duties of the Adoption Assistance Eligibility Specialist

CPS September 2010

The adoption assistance eligibility specialist:

  •  informs permanent managing conservators about their right to a fair hearing whenever permanency care assistance is denied, delayed, suspended, reduced, or terminated;

  •  explains what supporting documentation the permanent managing conservator will need to provide at the hearing, as proof of a child’s eligibility;

  •  prepares a fair hearing packet and submits it to the DFPS Office of General Counsel in the state office in Austin and includes:

  •  the client’s entire case file for permanency care assistance, and

  •  a recommendation to be added to an agreed order, when applicable (an agreed order shows what the family will be eligible for after a fair hearing).

If the permanent managing conservator requests a fair hearing during the negotiation of benefits, the negotiator for permanency care assistance:

  •  prepares a written report summarizing the dispute over the amount of assistance and the efforts taken to resolve it; and

  •  provides documentation of the process and results of the discussion and negotiation with the permanent managing conservator, including any pertinent notes or recordings.

In such circumstances, the negotiator must be prepared to participate and testify in the fair hearing.

1623.2 Appealing Decisions Made Regarding Permanency Care Assistance

CPS September 2010

A prospective permanent managing conservator has a right to request a fair hearing whenever permanency care assistance is denied, delayed, suspended, reduced, or terminated. The request must be filed in writing within 90 days following the decision being appealed. A fair hearing request is also available when the processing of a request for permanency care assistance (PCA) is unreasonably delayed.

Circumstances Under Which a Fair Hearing Is Not Available

Fair hearings are not available if:

  •  the person who is denied benefits was not a licensed or verified foster parent when he or she applied or when he or she was denied;

  •  The child for whom the application was made did not live with the prospective managing conservator for at least six consecutive months while in DFPS conservatorship;

  •  The person denied benefits became the child’s permanent managing conservator before September 1, 2010; or

  •  The child for whom extended PCA benefits are denied turns 18 years of age before October 1, 2010.

There is no possibility of granting PCA benefits if permanent managing conservatorship is obtained before a PCA agreement is signed,even if a fair hearing is held.

DFPS Rule, 40 TAC §700.1057

1624 Permanency Care Assistance Successor

CPS October 2015

Permanency care assistance (PCA) payments may continue to a permanency care assistance successor if the PCA successor:

  •  was named by the kinship caregiver in the original PCA agreement or in an amendment to that agreement;

  •  submits the required background check information to DFPS and that information meets DFPS standards;

  •  signs a Permanency Care Assistance Agreement with DFPS; and

  •  submits to DFPS proof demonstrating that he or she has been given legal custody of the child by the court.

The PCA successor cannot begin receiving PCA payments from DFPS until he or she has signed a permanency care assistance agreement and has assumed legal custody of the child.

If the PCA successor signs the permanency care assistance agreement after being given legal custody of the child by the court, DFPS may grant retroactive benefits back to the date legal custody was granted, for a period not to exceed 12 months.

The terms and conditions of the PCA agreement originally signed by the kinship caregiver will also apply to the PCA successor. This means that the PCA successor:

  •  is entitled to a one-time reimbursement of non-recurring expenses and reasonable and necessary fees expended toward obtaining legal custody of the child, such as the cost of obtaining a home study, health exams, court costs, and others (up to $1,200);

  •  is entitled to receive the child’s benefits for the same duration determined in the original PCA agreement;

  •  may exercise his or her right to a fair hearing if benefits are denied, delayed, suspended, or reduced; and

  •  must abide by the same conditions for continuation of PCA payments, including, but not limited to, annual notification, certification, and documentation requirements.

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