Maximizing Participation Project (MPP) is an Extended TANF eligibility track for certain ETANF adults who:
are exempt from RESET due to a verified temporary (more than 90 days) or permanent physical or mental disability as determined by a Medical Assessment Form (MAF) (PA 635); or
previously received ETANF in Deferral Hardship Track 3 and was unable to resolve barriers to participation and have demonstrated a pattern of being terminated from E&T programs with good cause due to these barriers.
Certain ETANF adults must agree to enroll with a DHS contractor who provides MPP services, cooperate with a Work Capacity Assessment (WCA), cooperate with MPP requirements, and cooperate with the MPP Service Plan if they want to receive ETANF for themselves and their family.
Cooperation with MPP requirements is mandatory for the ETANF adult who meets one of the criteria for this track. MPP focuses on the needs and barriers of the entire family. The primary goal of MPP is to help ETANF adults become economically independent and set goals by providing services and encouragement that will help the family remediate or stabilize barriers that may hinder them from achieving self-sufficiency. This is accomplished through appropriate assessments, evaluations, services, and activities.
There is no maximum number of months an ETANF adult may be eligible in MPP.
ETANF adults are required to meet ETANF requirements for their cash assistance to continue beyond the 60-month limit. ETANF adults can meet the ETANF eligibility requirement for Hardship Track2 by participating in MPP if:
1. They are an adult with a verified physical or mental disability as determined by a Medical Assessment Form (PA 635) that temporarily (more than 90 days) or permanently precludes them from any form of employment or work-related activity (ETP Code 53).; or
2. They are an adult who is mandatory RESET with good cause, if the reason for the good cause was not resolved after the deferral period (ETP Code 60 with an appropriate Good Cause Code). This adult may have multiple barriers to participation and have demonstrated a pattern of being terminated, with good cause, from E&T programs due to these barriers.
If a post-60-month TANF client does not comply with MPP requirements, without good cause, the case is closed, and the entire family is ineligible for Extended TANF benefits. Extended TANF benefits may be reinstated as soon as the ETANF adult cooperates with MPP or is eligible in another appropriate Extended TANF track.
MPP is designed to provide individuals with the opportunity, tools and services needed to move toward economic independence through a variety of social and health-related services, intensive case management, education, training, assistance with receiving social services and federal benefits, and potentially employment opportunities.
Work Capacity Assessment (WCA)
The WCA is a series of assessments including a medical evaluation, social indicators of health, job readiness, literacy, and other assessments as deemed necessary based on the adult’s and/or family’s circumstances. These assessments will be available in all counties and standardized statewide. They will be facilitated by a DHS Contractor (Work Ready or EARN in counties that have no Work Ready).
NOTE: For disabled individuals, this assessment takes place regardless of a current or past PA 635 denoting permanent disability.
The goal of the WCA is to fully evaluate the adult’s circumstances evaluating:
Their health condition(s) and/or
Their current family situation
This evaluation will be used to determine:
The degree of existing barrier(s)
The adult’s employment potential
Recommended services or activities that will assist the adult to move toward self-sufficiency
The WCA may include additional testing to acquire a diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendations.
The findings and recommendations of the WCA will be provided to the MPP Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT). The MDT along with the adult will incorporate the information obtained from the WCA into the development of the final MPP Service Plan.
The WCA Summary will be compiled in the adult’s IEP in CWDS.
The WCA Summary Results and narrative will:
Determine the adult’s capacity to work
Verify the barrier(s) that are hindering the adult’s ability to work
Specify services or accommodations that might improve the adult’s capacity to work
Determine if the adult is able to work without limitations
Determine if the adult is a potential candidate for SSI/RSDI
Discuss possible changes in the adult’s diagnosis and prognosis
The WCA Summary Results will be shared with the Extended TANF adult and the MPP Multi-Disciplinary Team and will be incorporated into the Final MPP Service Plan.
If the adult disagrees with the findings or recommendations of the WCA, they may request a second opinion.
The MPP Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT)
MPP has a team-centered approach. A team of professionals, called the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) will help the individual identify and resolve barriers. The MDT will consist of members from the CAO (such as TANF Income Maintenance Caseworker (IMCW), IMCW Supervisor, and DAP worker), DHS Contractor, the ETANF adult, and any other professionals such as members of the Local Management Committee (LMC) who are able to provide professional feedback and assistance in the development of the MPP Service Plan.
The MDT will meet with the adult to develop the MPP Service Plan and determine what activities they should pursue during the time they are awaiting the WCA results. The MPP Service Plan should include activities to support the needs and assist with the removal of barriers to economic independence. This could include, but is not limited to, doctors’ appointments, therapy sessions, life skills coaching, rehabilitation, ESL, ABE, HSE/GED, post-secondary education, and parenting classes.
The MPP MDT will coordinate with local social service agencies such as:
Mental Health (MH) Agencies.
Drug and Alcohol (D&A) Agencies.
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR).
Other social services or medical assistance agencies as appropriate, examples include:
Domestic Violence Agencies.
Crisis Intervention Centers.
Children and Youth Agencies
The MDT should determine if participants are ready or able to increase activity hours because they have resolved or stabilized their barriers sufficiently, or have minimal barriers, and do not require extensive interventions MPP participants who need the support of a ramp-up to employment can be referred to the appropriate DHS contractor for Employment and Training activities.
CAO IMCW will complete an ETANF eligibility interview with the ETANF adult as well as provide the standard MPP forms including:
Completed Agreement of Mutual Responsibility (AMR)
For a disabled ETANF adult, there is NO hourly requirement on the AMR,
the individual should be marked as exempt from RESET requirements.
Draft MPP Service Plan (PA 1726) attached to the AMR
Job Readiness Assessment (see Section 135.1, The Road to Economic Self-Sufficiency Through Employment and Training)
Authorization for Release of Information (PA 1723)
Report of Physical/Mental Examination (PA 586)
If the ETANF adult is permanently disabled, the CAO will review the case to ensure they have completed a PA 731 and the DAP referral is in place when referring the individual to the DHS contractor to participate in MPP.
The CAO will refer the ETANF adult to the appropriate DHS Contractor (Work Ready or EARN in Counties where there is no Work Ready) by entering the Project Code on the ETP Project enrollment screen.
To complete the MPP referral, the IMCW will send the AMR with any necessary forms and case details/documents via priority mail, fax, or secure email.
DHS Contractor has a required process that must be completed as defined in their contract. This includes enrolling the individual into intensive case management services, completing all necessary assessments, facilitating completion of assessments by medical professionals, seeking local human service supports and services the adult family may need, and to assist the individual with seeking any federal benefits for which they may be eligible. This could also include referrals to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and other state programs not under DHS purview.
NOTE: This does not preclude the CAO from continuing to utilize DAP for the permanently disabled individual. The DAP worker should be a part of the MPP MDT.
Final MPP Service Plan
Upon development of the Final MPP Service Plan, the Extended TANF adult will continue in MPP until:
All barriers are stabilized, and they are terminated from MPP and cooperating with another Extended TANF Hardship Track
SSI/RSDI is approved
They are terminated from MPP for failure to comply
They are working and referred to the appropriate Extended TANF Hardship track.
If the MPP participant has been connected with all necessary services, barriers are resolved, or appropriately stabilized, does not need continued program supports and services, and is only awaiting a decision from Social Security, the MDT may decide to terminate the participant from the contracted MPP provider using termination code J (Pending SSI Approval). They must be enrolled in Project A with a Sub-project code 24 on the ETP Project Enrollment screen. These individuals must continue to be served by a Disability Advocacy Program (DAP) caseworker. Individuals who are eligible in the MPP Hardship Track and only awaiting a decision from Social Security must not be moved to a different ETANF Hardship Track unless they meet eligibility criteria in a different ETANF Hardship Track.
1.If not already completed, the contractor or the CAO will provide the individual with a Report of Physical/Mental Examination (PA 586) to be completed by a physical/mental health provider.
NOTE:The contractor continues to serve the individual until the MPP referral is completed.
2. The individual and the CAO IMCW complete the Job Readiness Assessment and submit it with the Agreement of Mutual Responsibility and the draft MPP Service Plan to the contracted program (Work Ready or EARN in counties where there is no WR)
3. The individual returns the PA 586, and it indicates the individual has a verified disability that prevents them from participating in work or work-related activities.
4. When the individual meets with the CAO IMCW :
The AMR is created or updated.
The appropriate Releases of Information are completed.
The MPP enrollment is completed via eCIS.
A draft MPP Service Plan (PA 1726) is completed.
NOTE: The MPP individual is exempt from RESET, therefore there is no minimum number of hours the individual must participate, however they are responsible to follow the responsibilities outlined in their MPP Service Plan.
Complete the ETP Project Enrollment screen with the appropriate contracted program Project.
NOTE: The IMCW and individual can agree to complete this information during one meeting or during several meetings.
5. The individual and the IMCW meet with the MDT as necessary.
6. Once the MDT reaches a consensus based on all conducted assessments (including the PA 586) the finalized MPP Service Plan and attached to the AMR.
7. The contracted program ensures the individual is referred to appropriate social and health-related services while monitoring the individual's progress.
NOTE: Steps 5 through 7 can be repeated as necessary
Release of Information Forms (PA 1723)
MPP Service Plan (PA 1726)
Completed Job Readiness Assessment
Report of Physical/Mental Examination (PA 586)
The DAP Referral Form (PA 731)
Data entry will be considered timely if entered within five days of the start date of the activity.
Individual Attributes screen
Enter ETP code 53 if the individual is disabled.
Enter ETP code 60 with the appropriate good cause code if the individual is being referred due to not being able to remediate barriers in the Deferral period.
ETP Project Enrollment screen
Open Project WR or D based on program availability in the county .
Enter the appointment date.
Update as necessary or required.
Individual Attributes screen - ETP 53 or ETP 60 with the appropriate good cause code
ETP Project Enrollment screen—Project WR or D based on program availability in the county..
Updated September 21, 2021, replacing April 11, 2013