chapter 67 – social services - procedures

 

subchapter 67A – general administration

 

section .0100 - administration

 

10A NCAC 67A .0101       CONTENTS

(a)  Procedure.  The rulemaking rules of the division of social services are contained in 10A NCAC 68.

(b)  Child Support Enforcement.  The purpose of the child support enforcement section is to supervise a program to assure that dependent children are supported by their parents or other persons who are legally responsible for providing such support.  Rules of the child support enforcement section are contained in 10A NCAC 71S.

(c)  Disability Determination.  The purpose of the disability determination section is to process applications for disability benefits under Titles II and XIX of the Social Security Act.

(d)  Public Assistance.  The purpose of the Public Assistance Section is to supervise the administration of the public assistance programs as designated by the Division of Social Services.  Rules for these programs are found in 10A NCAC 71T through 71W.

(e)  Family Services.  The purpose of the family services section is to direct, coordinate, develop, and supervise programs of social services for children and their families and for aged or disabled adults.  Rules governing these services are found in 10A NCAC 70 and 71A through 71R.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑25; 108A‑29; 108A‑29.1; 143B‑10; 143B‑153; 143B‑138; .S.C. 301 et seq.;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1990.

10A NCAC 67A .0102       SEPARATION OF SERVICES FROM INCOME MAINTENANCE

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑153;

Eff. December 24, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Expired Eff. October 1, 2016 pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0103       STANDARDS FOR OFFICE SPACE AND FACILITIES

The purpose of this Rule is to establish standards for office space, equipment and facilities for county departments of social services including agency suboffices and special centers that will adequately and effectively meet program, staff and client needs.   These requirements are supplementary to, and do not replace, Federal Confidentiality of Information requirements and any provisions in State, county or municipal building codes.

(1)           Identification of Office.  All social services offices shall be appropriately marked and identifiable in the community as a social services agency:

(a)           Each office shall be identified by an outside sign clearly visible from the road or street.

(b)           If the office is housed within a public building occupied by other agencies or units of government, the agency shall be listed on a standard building directory in a manner similar and equal to that accorded every other agency.

(2)           Requirements for Physical Plant.

(a)           Buildings housing social services agencies shall be certified by competent authority to be of sound and substantial construction and in compliance with state and local fire and building codes.

(b)           All buildings for which site clearance began before June 3, 1977, shall meet the equal access provisions specified in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended.

(3)           Requirements for Space.  Adequate office space shall be provided for each employee.  The following guidelines show the acceptable minimum range of space which will vary due to position function, special equipment and furniture needs, fixed existing conditions or the availability of separate private interviewing rooms.  The staff category descriptions and recommended minimum square footages of space range are shown below:

(a)           Staff Who Interview Clients In Their Offices                                                                80

(b)           Supervisors                                                                                                                           80

(c)           Management                                                                                                                        96

(d)           Staff Members Not Required to Conduct Interviews In Their Offices                     56

(e)           Separate Private Interviewing Rooms                                                             Adequate for

    Function

(4)           Requirements for Privacy:

(a)           Private offices shall be required for the county director and each supervisor.

(b)           Private offices or interviewing room shall be available to all staff who interview clients.

(5)           Requirements for Waiting Room and Reception Area.  The principal location of each county department of social services shall be arranged to provide a waiting room of sufficient size to accommodate the people availing themselves of its use each day.  A separate area is required for the receptionist.

(6)           Requirement for Conference Room.  A conference or staff training room with seating capacity adequate to accommodate the average number of people usually in attendance shall be provided for use in meetings and training sessions.

(7)           Requirement for Storage Space and Confidentiality of Records.  Sufficient space shall be provided for conveniently locating files and records, supplies, and forms:

(a)           Files and supplies shall be accessible and convenient to staff responsible for their maintenance, use and protection.

(b)           Files and records shall be adequately protected from fire, other damage and theft.

(c)           Access to confidential information shall be limited to authorized personnel only.

(d)           Space shall be available for storing janitorial and maintenance supplies and equipment used in maintaining the building and grounds.

(8)           Requirement to Provide Office Space for Persons Who Periodically Visit the Agency on DSS Related Business.  Office space shall be provided to persons who periodically visit the agency on DSS related business.

(9)           Requirement for Equipment.  Furnishings and equipment shall be provided to enable staff to adequately perform its duties.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑80; 143B‑153; 45 C.F.R. 205.170(a)(b);

Eff. April 1, 1978;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1990; May 1, 1988.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0104       EQUAL PERCENTAGE AND DISTRIBUTION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑153;

Eff. July 1, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Amended Eff. May 1, 1990;

Expired Eff. October 1, 2016 pursuant to G.S. 150B-21.3A.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0105       ADMINISTRATION AND AGENCY COMPLIANCE

(a)  Federal and state participation in the cost of administration may not be claimed when agencies are not in compliance with the standards set forth in 10A NCAC 67A .0103 or when the county fails to submit an acceptable plan for compliance within 90 days of notification of non‑compliance.

(b)  The regional director or his designated representative shall evaluate each county department of social services periodically, but not less than every three years, to determine compliance with the established standards, using form DSS‑1414 for each location.  The evaluation shall be triggered by information known to the Regional Office, such as changes in program regulations or staffing patterns which would affect compliance, or complaints concerning compliance issues.  A county department of social services shall be deemed to be in compliance until the Regional Director determines, after evaluation, that the agency is not in compliance.

(c)  At the conclusion of an evaluation, the principal reviewer shall meet with the director of the county department to discuss the findings.  Following this exit conference, the principal reviewer shall prepare a written report and transmit the report to the Regional Director.  If the findings of the review indicate the county department is in compliance, the Regional Director will, within 30 days of the date of the evaluation, forward a copy of the administrative review report to the agency director, the local social services board chairman, the chairman of the local board of county commissioners and the county manager under a transmittal letter indicating the agency's compliance.  If the county department is not in compliance, the following steps shall be taken within 30 days of the date of the evaluation:

(1)           The regional director shall send a copy of the evaluation report to the county director, the local social services board chairman, the chairman of the local board of county commissioners and the county manager:

(A)          citing the specific findings of non‑compliance and what is required to come into compliance:

(B)          notifying the agency that it has 90 days from the receipt of the report to come into compliance in these areas or to develop and submit to the division a corrective action plan.  The division is responsible for providing consultation and technical assistance regarding the areas of non‑compliance to the local agency upon request; and

(C)          notifying the agency that all federal and state administrative funds will be withheld should the county fail to comply or submit an acceptable plan for compliance within 90 days of notification of non‑compliance.

(2)           By the end of the 90 day notice period, the county department shall achieve compliance or submit a corrective action plan to the division.  If the corrective action plan contains provision for construction of new facilities, construction plans, which will require the approval of the division director, must be submitted prior to construction.

(3)           In the event that the county department submits a corrective action plan to the division within the 90 day notice period, the Regional Director shall review the corrective action plan to ensure that it addresses each specific finding of non‑compliance, and that the implementation of the corrective action plan can be expected to bring the agency into compliance.  If construction plans are submitted as part of corrective action, the Regional Director will obtain the approval of the division director.

(4)           Within 30 days after receipt of the plan, the Regional Director shall either approve the plan as submitted or indicate how the county department can amend the corrective action plan in order to obtain approval.  After a corrective action plan has been approved, the Regional Director shall monitor the agency's progress towards compliance during the corrective action phase, and inform the agency, the local social services board chairman, the chairman of the local board of county commissioners and the county manager of its findings in writing.  If the findings indicate that the agency is not making sufficient progress towards compliance in accordance with its corrective action plan, the Regional Director shall so notify the agency, the local social services board chairman and the chairman of the local board of county commissioners in writing that the agency has an additional 60 days from receipt of the notice to achieve compliance.  If the agency does not achieve compliance or make sufficient progress towards compliance in accordance with its corrective action plan within the additional 60 day period, withholding shall commence in accordance with the procedures set forth in Paragraph (c) (5) of this Rule.

(5)           In the event that the county department of social services fails to submit a corrective action plan within the 90‑day notice period, the division director shall, within 30 days of the above referenced notification of county authorities, recommend to the secretary the withholding of all federal and state administrative funds.  If the secretary concurs with the division director's recommendation, the secretary will, within 30 days of the division director's recommendation, notify the agency director, the local social services board chairman, the chairman of the local board of county commissioners and the county manager of the decision to withhold funds.  The withholding of these funds shall be retroactive to the date of the original transmittal letter signed by the Regional Director notifying the agency of non‑compliance and shall continue until the requirement for a compliance plan is met.  If the county department appeals the decision under the procedures outlined in Paragraph (d) of this Rule, the action to withhold funds will be deferred until the conclusion of the hearing and any subsequent appeals.

(d)  A county department of social services which is not in compliance and has been notified by the secretary of the decision to withhold funds, may appeal.  If an appeal is desired, the county is required under G.S. 150B‑23(a), as amended by Chapter 878 of the 1987 North Carolina Session Laws, to file hearing requests for Department of Human Resources matters with the Office of Administrative Hearings.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑153; 150B‑23(a); 45 C.F.R. 205‑170(b);

Eff. April 1, 1978;

ARRC Objection March 17, 1988;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1990; August 1, 1988.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0106       CIVIL RIGHTS

For reviewing compliance of county departments of social services with civil rights requirements, a form will be supplied to county departments of social services to be completed annually by the county director or his designee.  Compliance will be reviewed by the appropriate regional representative.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑10;

Eff. April 1, 1979.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0107       FORMS

(a)  In order to comply with the budgeting, planning and reimbursement requirements of G.S. Chapter 108A and 45 CFR 228.17, each county department of social services shall complete all forms specified by the Department of Health and Human Services.

(b)  The forms, initial service client information record, and service client information change notice, shall be completed by the case manager for each client requesting social services.  All required fields must be completed and required fields not properly completed shall be considered an error and returned to the worker.  Clients may refuse to provide their social security numbers and shall not be denied benefits, but the worker identification numbers of case managers are required in order to allocate costs for federal financial participation.

(c)  The form, worker daily report of services to clients, shall be completed by the county services workers and division of services for the blind services workers.  This form provides information to meet reporting requirements at the federal, state and local levels and will provide the basis for county reimbursement.  All required fields must be completed and required fields not properly completed shall be considered an error and returned to the worker.  The worker identification numbers of service workers are required in order to allocate costs for federal financial participation.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 75-62; 143B-153; 45 CFR 228.17; 5 USC 552a;

Eff. August 15, 1980;

Amended Eff. September 1, 2008; December 1, 2007; March 1, 1990; January 1, 1983.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0108       ADVISORY TO COUNTIES REGARDING PETITION OF GARNISHMENT

The Division of Social Services shall advise county departments of social services and consolidated human services boards of any State and federal laws and regulations that restrict the garnishment of wages to recoup a fraudulent public assistance program payment as provided in G.S. 108A-25.1.

 

History Note:        Authority S.L. 1997-497; G.S. 108A-25.1; 143B-153;

Temporary Adoption Eff. December 8, 1997;

Eff. April 1, 1999.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0109       STATE PUBLIC ASSISTANCE EQUALIZING FUND

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-92; 143B-153;

Eff. March 16, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Amended Eff. July 1, 1991; March 1, 1990; July 1, 1980; February 15, 1979;

Repealed Eff. July 1, 2012.

 

SECTION .0200 ‑ HEARING POLICY

 

10A NCAC 67A .0201       GENERAL

For more information concerning the notice of proposed action and appeals process, see G.S. 108A‑79.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑153;

Eff. October 1, 1981;

Amended Eff. January 1, 1983.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0202       EXCEPTIONS FOR NOTIFICATION

Except as otherwise provided by applicable program specific federal regulations, the county department of social services does not need to provide notification of action to the client when:

(1)           the agency is terminating services based on factual information confirming the death of the client;

(2)           the provision of protective services to children or protective services-evaluation to adults is initiated or terminated;

(3)           the county department of social services has applied for services in behalf of an individual for whom they have custody or guardianship for adults;

(4)           the county department of social services has applied for services in behalf of an individual who is incompetent incapacitated; or

(5)           the service is terminated at the end of a period of eligibility and the recipient has not requested that the services be continued.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑25; 143B‑153; 45 C.F.R. 205.10;

Eff. October 1, 1981;

Amended Eff. November 1, 2007.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0203       GOOD CAUSE FOR DELAYED HEARINGS

(a)  A state appeal hearing may be delayed for as much as 10 calendar days when there is good cause.

(b)  Good cause exists when:

(1)           There is a death in the appellant's family;

(2)           The appellant or someone in his family is ill;

(3)           The appellant is unable to obtain representation;

(4)           The appellant's representative has a conflict with the scheduled date;

(5)           The appellant receives a notice of action proposing a reduction or termination of assistance after the 10 work day notice expires;

(6)           The appellant is unable to obtain transportation;

(7)           The hearing officer determines that the hearing should be delayed for some other reason.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑79; 143B‑153;

Eff. October 1, 1981;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1986.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0204       ATTENDANCE AT THE HEARING

Attendance at the hearing is limited to the appellant, his representative, representatives of the county department and any witnesses which the appellant or the county department wish to call upon for testimony.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑79; 143B‑153;

Eff. October 1, 1981.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0205       APPEAL DECISION

(a)  The hearing officer shall make a tentative decision which shall be served upon the county department and the appellant by mail.  Decisions proposing to reverse the county department's action shall be sent by certified mail to the county department while decisions affirming the county department's actions will be sent by certified mail to the appellant.

(b)  The county and the appellant may present oral and written argument, for and against the decision.  Written argument may be submitted to or contact made with the Chief Hearing Officer to request a hearing for oral argument.

(c)  If the Chief Hearing Officer is not contacted within 10 calendar days of the date of the notice of the tentative decision, the tentative decision shall become final.

(d)  If the party that requested oral argument fails to appear at the hearing for oral argument, the tentative decision becomes final.

(e)  A decision upholding the appellant shall be put into effect within two weeks after receipt of the final decision.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑79; 143B‑153;

Eff. October 1, 1981;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1992; February 1, 1986.

 

10A NCAC 67A .0206       GOOD CAUSE FOR NOT REQUESTING HEARING AND REQUIRED TIME FRAMES

(a)  Except in the food stamp program, an appellant shall request a local hearing within 60 days from the date of action unless he shows good cause.  If the appellant shows good cause, the local hearing request must be made no later than the 90th day from the date of action.

(b)  Except in the food stamp program, an appellant shall request a state hearing within 15 days from the date the local hearing decision is mailed unless he shows good cause.  If the appellant shows good cause, the state hearing request must be made no later than the 90th day from the date of action.

(c)  Good cause for not requesting a local hearing within 60 days from the date of action and for not requesting a state hearing within 15 days from the date the local decision is mailed is defined as:

(1)           Failure of the appellant to receive the notification of action to be taken on the notification of the local hearing decision;

(2)           Extended hospitalization of the appellant or spouse, child or parent of the appellant;

(3)           Failure of a representative, acting on the appellant's behalf, to meet the time frames;

(4)           Illness which results in the appellant being incompetent or unconscious and no representative has been appointed;

(5)           Illness which results in the incapacity of the appellant;

(6)           Death of the appellant or his representative;

(7)           Delay caused by the county such as failing to assist the applicant/recipient in filing an appeal, inadequately or incorrectly providing information on appeal rights or discouraging a request for appeal.

(d)  The appellant shall provide evidence to substantiate good cause. Evidence may include but is not limited to:

(1)           Doctor's statement;

(2)           Hospital bill;

(3)           Written statement from the appellant's representative;

(4)           Written statement of the appellant or other individual knowledgeable about the situation.

 

History Note:        Filed as a Temporary Adoption Eff. January 1, 1988 For a Period of 180 Days to Expire on

June 28, 1988;

Authority G.S. 108A‑79; 143B‑153; c. 599, 1987 Session Laws; 7 C.F.R. 273.15(g);

45 C.F.R. 205.10(a)(5)(iii); 42 C.F.R. 431.221(d);

Eff. May 1, 1988;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1990.