Last week DHCD sent new documents to providers updating the Flex Funds case review policy. The new changes went into effect on December 1st and resulted from input by advocates and providers.
Although the original case review policy provided space to request accommodation for a disability, the new policy explicitly references the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in several locations, and clients will begin to receive materials specifically referencing the ADA as well. The new policy also extends the time period a family has to appeal a decision from 7 days to 10 days with an additional 3 days to account for mailing time, and when requesting an appeal, the head of household can now choose the location of the case review conference. In addition, the updated case review policy explicitly states that providers will receive notification of case review decisions, and the word “termination” was dropped from the policy’s original title, which now reads “Case Review Policy.”
Several changes and additions regarding major and minor violations were included in the new policy as well. The rejection of safe, permanent housing has been changed from a minor violation of the stabilization plan to a major violation, and while physical violence against shelter or DHS staff has always been considered a major violation of the stabilization plan, threats of violence are now stated to be a minor violation. Furthermore, a family can defend minor violations of the lease or stabilization plan if they have a good cause for the violation as described under the good cause standard in EA regulations. Finally, a statement saying that families must remain categorically and financially eligible as defined by Emergency Assistance (EA) regulations was added to the section discussing compliance with the stabilization plan in order that families understand that Flex Funds are an EA benefit and must remain EA eligible to stay in the program.
To download the case review policy click here.
To download a sheet explaining the changes to the policy click here.
To download additional information about Flex Funds and the case review policy click here.
To download the updated housing and stabilization plan click here.