LD 33
Session - 128th Maine Legislature
LR 550
Item 1
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Adjust the Lifetime Limit for the Receipt of TANF Benefits

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 22 MRSA §3762, sub-§18,  as enacted by PL 2011, c. 380, Pt. PP, §2, is amended to read:

18. Lifetime limit on assistance.   Beginning January 1, 2012, a A family may not receive TANF assistance for longer than 60 36 months except in those cases in which the department has determined that the family qualifies for an exemption or extension under rules adopted by the department. When an adult has received TANF assistance for 60 36 months, unless the adult has been exempted or granted an extension by the department, the family unit in which the adult is a member is ineligible for assistance. The department shall consider conditions or situations beyond the control of the adult recipient, including but not limited to a physical or mental condition that prevents the adult from obtaining or retaining gainful employment, being a victim of domestic violence, participating in good standing in an approved education program or a program that is expected to lead to gainful employment, being the caretaker relative in the household who is not the parent of the child or children in the assistance unit and who is required to remain at home to care for a dependent in the assistance unit and loss of employment by the adult following termination of TANF under this subsection.

The department shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Sec. 2. 22 MRSA §3762, sub-§19,  as enacted by PL 2011, c. 380, Pt. PP, §2, is amended to read:

19. Pretermination notice process.  No later than 120 days prior to the end of a family's 60th 36th month of receiving assistance, the department shall offer the adult recipient an opportunity to hold a meeting to review the family's case and:
A. Explain the exemption and extension criteria established in subsection 18 to the family and determine if those criteria apply to the family; and
B. Explain that any determination made pursuant to this subsection may be appealed in accordance with the hearing process established in subsection 9, paragraph B.

For a family whose assistance is to be terminated, a supervisory review by the department is required. The review must include but is not limited to an evaluation of the need for additional information to determine if cause for an exemption or extension exists. If the conclusion of the evaluation determines additional vocational, health, mental health or other information is necessary, the department shall work in collaboration with the adult recipient in the development of the information prior to the determination of status or termination.

For a family whose assistance is to be terminated pursuant to this subsection, the department shall provide information to the family regarding any other resources that may be available to help meet that family's basic needs.


This bill changes the lifetime limit for receiving benefits through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from 60 months to 36 months.

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