Government Assistance Programs Overview

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    Marie Howard

    Government Assistance Programs Overview

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    • The SNAP program improves the health and well-being of low-income individuals, elderly, and people with disabilities and other groups of people by providing them with a means to meet their nutritional needs.  
    • Most SNAP benefits are issued out via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, also known as the Oregon Trail Card.  SNAP benefits have a value equivalent to cash, but can only be spent on food intended for people.  The decision on what can be purchased with SNAP benefits is determined by FNS.
    • SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) activities provide job preparation training, vocational or educational training.  E&T Support Service payments may be authorized by the contractor to reimburse a client’s transportation costs for program participation.  This includes bus tickets, passes for other public transportation, or gas vouchers.  Costs directly related to job acceptance, such as uniforms, tools, or certifications are also allowable.  

    Child Care Assistance

    • Parents can access child care assistance through sub-programs such as:
    • Child Care Assistance Support Services include:
      • $27.00 per month Reduced Copay (RCP) for families who transition off of TANF due to employment
      • Allowing additional student hours to students attending school for a degree.
      • Continuing child care assistance when a parent employment stops, by allowing Authorized Work Search hours, Authorized Medical Leave, or Authorized Military Transition periods.
      • Parents who choose a star rated provider can qualify for a lower copay.

    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

    • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides case management and cash assistance to low-income families with minor children.  It is designed to promote personal responsibility and accountability for parents.  The goal of the program is to reduce the number of families living in poverty through employment services and community resources.
    • To qualify for TANF, families must have very few assets and little or no income. The current maximum monthly benefit for a family of three is $506.
    • TANF benefits are intended to help low-income Oregonians meet basic needs for daily living, such as food, clothing, shelter, and utilities. Most TANF benefits are issued via an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or Oregon Trail card.
    • JOBS Program:
      • JOBS program includes case management, and an individualized progressive case plan to meet the customer’s needs and guide them to exiting from poverty.
      • Individualized case plan may include: client assessments, job preparedness, work experience/JOBS plus, life skills, focus on medical or mental health, support drug and alcohol treatment, Family Support and Connection, and for teens 19 and under to finish schooling for high school or equivalent. 
      • Support services are available to support individual in the JOBS program activities, JOBS Plus subsidized employment, and pre-TANF; for possible help with child care, transportation, clothing support, and some payments as needed to gain employment.
      • Employment Payments are available when a benefit group member obtains unsubsidized employment and transitions off TANF.

    Refugee Program (REF)

    • The Refugee Program funds are used by DHS to provide cash assistance, case services, and employment services to newly arriving refugees who do not qualify for other programs during their first eight months of residence in the US.
    • Support payments are available to REF customers while in assigned case plan activities, including: work search and other employment activities; obtaining SSNs and Oregon IDs; pursuing treatment for mental health or substance abuse; enrolling in English language or pre-employment training classes.

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