Work First - Benefit Diversion
Welfare cash assistance programs have traditionally treated all families alike. As a result, they have not always responded to the individual needs and circumstances of some families. The Work First Program recognizes that family situations vary and that the approach to meeting their needs should be different. One alternate approach to the Work First Program is Benefit Diversion. While Benefit Diversion may seem as though it is a separate program it is not. The application process is the same as that of the Work First Program. Benefit Diversion is a program within the Work First Program.
Benefit Diversion is an alternative to traditional cash assistance for families and is designed to help families with a temporary crisis associated with employment. The situation must:
- Be related to maintaining or accepting employment
- Have occurred during a short break between jobs, or
- Be related to receipt
of financial resources that will meet the family's needs (such as SSI)
Benefit Diversion is an optional package of services within the Work First Program that includes:
- A one-time lump-sum payment (the payment is not income based, but needs based) equal to a maximum of three months of Work First Family Assistance benefits
- Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Services if eligible for the months in the Benefit Diversion period
- Referrals to child care, child support, and other community and agency resources
- Employment services
Benefit Diversion provides an opportunity for families to receive immediate help and preserve their independence from welfare. The following families may be likely candidates for Benefit Diversion:
- Families with a caretaker on maternity leave receiving little or no pay. The caretaker is expected to return to the same job within a few weeks and needs help with routine household expenses
- A family with a caretaker who has a solid job offer following graduation. The caretaker needs assistance between graduation and beginning employment two months later
- A family with a caretaker who is recently employed. The caretaker will not get his first check in time to cover rent, utilities, and child care costs
- A family with caretaker who will begin working in two months. The caretaker needs help with rent and car insurance during this period
- A family who previously received public assistance for a short period of time. Since then, the family has been employed and self-supporting. The caretaker, now unemployed, has a strong prospect to return to work quickly. He needs help with household expenses between jobs
- A family who is anticipating the receipt of financial assistance, whether or not related to employment, that meets their needs. This assistance may include child support, inheritance, or insurance settlement.
We strive to keep this information as accurate as possible. If information on this page needs to be updated, please Email us.
Page Modified 10/15/2012