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Program B: Client Services

Program Authorization: R.S. 36:477(B)

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The mission of the Client Services Program is to help people meet basic needs and move toward self-sufficiency through the provision of direct services to applicants and recipients of benefits under the federally funded programs administered by the Office of Family Support.

The goals of the Client Services Program are:

1. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations within the Office of Family Support.

2. Continue the implementation of the provisions of the Family Support Act of 1988.

3. Improve the quality of work life for OFS staff in the Client Services Program.

The program main activities include: Eligibility Determinations for FITAP (former AFDC), FINDWORK Training program (former JOBS), Food Stamps, Child Support Enforcement Services, and Disability Determinations Services.

The Financial Assistance Division was established to administer programs which recognize each individual's need for an income that will provide him with the basic necessities of life consistent with a standard of decency, and in recognition of the fact that some individuals have physical, mental or societal handicaps which effectively deny them the opportunity of achieving a goal of self-support. Programs include Family Independence Temporary Assistance (FITAP), Refugee Assistance, Disaster Relief, and Transitional Services to former FITAP recipients.

The FINDWORK Training Program was established to assure that needy families with children obtain the education, training and employment that will help avoid long-term welfare dependence.

The Food Stamp Program is a cooperative effort of Louisiana's Department of Social Services and the Untied States Department of Agriculture to provide low-income households in Louisiana an opportunity to obtain a more nutritious diet.

The Child Support Enforcement Program provides child support enforcement services on an ongoing basis to FITAP recipients and non-FITAP applicants.

OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

1. In FY 1998-99, the Office of Family Services, through its Entitlement Operations, will provide Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program regular benefits to an estimated caseload of 53,365 and an average monthly caseload of 131 of two-parent households.

2. The Office of Family Support, through its Entitlement Operations, will process 100% of redeterminations and 100% of applications within required time frames and reduce the agency error rate to 5% in the Food Stamp Program by June 30, 1999.

3. The Office of Family Support, through its Entitlement Operations, will maintain an overall participation rate of 35% and a two-parent family participation rate of 90% as defined by federal regulation in the FINDWORK Program by October 1, 1999.

4. In FY 1998-99, the Office of Family Support, through its Disability Determinations activity, will maintain the mean processing time (72 days for Title II and 82 days for Title XVI) and meet or exceed current level of accuracy (95.5%) in making determinations for disability benefits.

5. In FY 1998-99, the Office of Family Support, through its Child Support Enforcement activity, will maintain an overall collection rate of 13% of delinquent child support payments, and provide child support enforcement services on an ongoing basis to Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) recipients and Non-FITAP applicants in the most efficient manner possible.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM

SOURCE OF FUNDING

This program is funded with general fund, interagency transfers, self-generated revenues and federal funds. The interagency transfers are from: (1) agencies within the department for joint and shared costs, and (2) the Department of Health and Hospitals for joint and shared costs for Medicaid services. The self-generated revenues are from: (1) Title IV-D Child Support Enforcement collections, (2) various other collections including the state share of recoveries, recoupments, and refunds, and (3) Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) Child Support Collections or fees from current and/or prior fiscal year(s). The federal funds are from: (1) Social Security Act (SSA), Title IV-D, Support Enforcement, (2) Food Stamp Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-113), (3) Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 (P.L. 212), (4) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Grant, (5) Child Care Block Grant, (6) Social Security Act -Disabilities Determinations, (7) U.S. Citizen Repatriation (P.L. 86-571 and Section 1113 of the Social Security Act), and (8) U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food and Consumer Service.

ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION

GENERAL FUND

TOTAL

T.O.

 

DESCRIPTION

 

 

 

 

 

$60,418,480

$196,921,710

3,447

 

ACT 18 FISCAL YEAR 1997-1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA-7 TRANSACTIONS:

$0

$43,117

0

 

Carryforward of various equipment (file cabinets - $1,651; desk - $935; chairs - $1,994; computers, hardware, software) purchases; all are for purchases that could not be liquidated prior to June 30, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

$60,418,480

$196,964,827

3,447

 

EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET - December 10, 1997

 

 

 

 

 

$0

($43,117)

0

 

Non-Recurring Carryforward for various equipment (file cabinets - $1,651; desk - $935; chairs - $1,994; computers, hardware, software) purchases; all are for purchases that could not be liquidated prior to June 30, 1997

$0

($1,661,549)

0

 

Non-Recurring Adjustment(s) for Issuance to Local Governments that are no longer required due to the implementation to the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program

($20,229)

($59,500)

0

 

Non-Recurring Adjustment(s) for the Voice Response System Development for Child Support Enforcement

$92,286

$46

0

 

Equipment/Major Repairs Adjustment(s) (Nonrecurring: -$479,652; Replacement/New: +$571,938)

$600,368

$1,479,308

0

 

Annualization of 1997 -'98 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

$730,248

$1,799,336

0

 

1998-'99 Merit Pay Adjustment(s)

($314,270)

($1,521,150)

(50)

 

Personnel Reduction(s)

$89,419

$432,814

0

 

Attrition Adjustment(s)

($186,366)

($465,916)

0

 

Retirement Rate Adjustment(s)

$29,693

$87,331

0

 

Annualization of New Hire staff that was funded for 9 months in FY 1997-'98

$0

$1,975,549

0

 

Annualization of Clerk of Court filing fees

$0

$732

0

 

Annualization of Access and Visitation Grant

$315,559

$771,450

0

 

Annualization of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) contract

$0

$3,408,966

0

 

Annualization of Employment and Training BA-7

$0

$263,917

0

 

Annualization of Nutrition BA-7 going to Southern University and Louisiana State University (L.S.U.)

$17,000

$50,000

0

 

Workload - Financial Institution fees for Support Enforcement information on absent parents

$4,000

$8,000

0

 

Maintenance contracts for equipment with expired warranties

$124,334

$124,334

0

 

Reinvestment Error Rate funding increase per Federal Government findings

$0

($1,411,326)

0

 

Reduce Support Enforcement (Title IV-D) District Attorney contract amounts to anticipated need

$110,734

$325,687

0

 

Support Enforcement Automation Clearinghouse contract

$0

$500,000

0

 

TANF evaluation contract with Southern University and L.S.U.

$156,168

$312,336

0

 

Retirees Increase Adjustment(s)

($163,870)

($378,016)

0

 

Transfer Rent and Maintenance from Client Services program to Administration program

$0

$5,944,451

0

 

Transfer Clerk of Court payments from the Client Payments program to Client Services program

$0

$205,000

0

 

State Access and Visitation Grant (Support Enforcement)

$562,700

$1,655,000

0

 

Consolidation of collections for Child Support Enforcement (as authorized by Act 1121 of the 1997 Legislative Session)

 

 

 

 

 

$62,566,254

$210,768,510

3,397

 

TOTAL RECOMMENDED

 

 

 

 

 

$2,147,774

$13,803,683

(50)

 

DIFFERENCE (TOTAL RECOMMENDED AND EXISTING OPERATING BUDGET)

The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 107% of the existing operating budget. It represents 92.8% of the total request ($227,046,197) for this program. The major changes reflected in the analysis of recommendation include: increased funding for the annualized cost of filing fees paid to the Clerk of Court offices totaling $1,975,549; decreased funding for District Attorney contracts for support enforcement services totaling ($1,411,326); increased funding for the annualized cost of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) contract totaling $771,450; increased funding for the annualization of a Food Stamps grant for employment and training totaling $3,408,966; decreased funding to Local Governments for funds that are no longer required due to the implementation of EBT totaling ($1,661,549); personnel reductions reflecting a reduction of fifty (50) positions totaling ($1,521,150); increased funding has been provided for all 3,397 recommended positions totaling $3,278,644; increased funding for the annualized cost of 11 positions that were funded for six (6) months during FY 1997-'98 totaling $87,331; increased funding to reflect an anticipated attrition factor of 3.5% totaling $432,814; increased funding for the consolidation of Child Support Enforcement collections totaling $1,655,000; and a technical adjustment transferring the Clerk of Court payments per Act 201 of 1997 from the Client Payments program to the Client Services program totaling $5,944,451.

Included as a source of funding is the TANF grant. This grant is part of a comprehensive piece of federal legislation (The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) that will provide assistance to needy families with children so they can be cared for in their own home, and to reduce dependency by promoting job preparation, work and marriage. The legislation eliminates the open-ended federal entitlement program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and places a time limitation on cash assistance. The legislation also makes changes to child care, the Food Stamps program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for children, benefits for legal immigrants, and the Child Support Enforcement program. States must meet an 80% Maintenance-Of-Effort (MOE) to receive their full block grant allocation. The MOE level is based upon a state's Fiscal Year 1994 spending on AFDC, now called FITAP (Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program) and JOBS, now called FINDWORK.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

$50,820

 

Legal services for state share to litigate class action and individual suits against Federal agencies; presently engaged in class and individual actions regarding quality control error rate sanctions against the U.S. Department of Agriculture

$325,687

 

Support Enforcement Cleaninghouse evaluation on the computer system

$4,773,587

 

Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) services for FITAP payments and Food Stamp benefits

$3,855,386

 

Medical services for physicians to work with the Disability Determinations program to establish eligibility pursuant to federal medical guidelines established by the Office of Disability Operations

$188,100

 

Professional Travel for physicians who work with the Disability Determinations program to establish eligibility

$1,655,000

 

Centralized Collections services (Child Support Enforcement)

 

 

 

$10,849,580

 

TOTAL PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

OTHER CHARGES

$3,122

 

Copying of legal documents for Field Operations, i.e. - court records, medical records, etc.

$7,292

 

Copying of medical records obtained from L.S.U. Medical Center

$8,290

 

Deaf Interpreters services that are federally mandated to be provided to applicants and recipients in the eligibility process

$15,000

 

Department of Revenue fees for cost of intercepting/returning tax refunds to liquidate delinquent Child Support, FITAP and Food Stamp debts

$14,660,000

 

Disability Determinations Services (DDS): Consultant Exams, Medical Evidence of Records, and applicant travel

$150,000

 

Fees charged by the Federal Parent Locate Service (FPLS) used in the Child Support Enforcement program

$665,184

 

Food Stamp fiscal sanctions per a settlement between the state and the federal government for prior year error rates (year 4 of 5 year settlement totaling $2.2 million); these funds are reinvested into the state's Food Stamps program to enhance services

 

 

$379,023

 

FINDWORK and FINDWORK Child Care program clients and staff training resources and other materials which are purchased from outside vendors

$3,712,458

 

Louisiana Job Employment and Training Program (LAJET) for Food Stamp work registrants

$677,525

 

LAJET participants expenses reimbursement (a federal requirement)

$54,584

 

Moving expenses for Disability Determinations staff and several parish offices

$36,000

 

Non-Routine Maintenance to state-owned buildings; Jackson Parish Office, East Carroll Parish Office, Monroe Regional Office, Caddo Parish Office, and the Tangipahoa Parish Office

$2,850,000

 

Paternity testing for blood tests in paternity suits where Child Support Enforcement services are being provided

$34,141

 

Printing expenses for FITAP and Child Care related forms, pamphlets, envelopes and other printing expenses

$206,400

 

Printing expenses for Child Support Enforcement related forms, envelopes, computer paper and other printing expenses

$159,317

 

Printing expenses for DDS related forms, pamphlets, envelopes, computer paper and other printing expenses

$181,182

 

Printing expenses for Food Stamps related forms, pamphlets, envelopes and other printing expenses

$86,805

 

Printing expenses for FINDWORK related forms, pamphlets, envelopes and other printing expenses

$312,896

 

Printing expenses for local office forms, envelopes, computer paper that cannot be directly charged to a particular program

$20,000

 

State Income Eligibility Verification System (SIEVS) program to match public assistance recipient files against those of the Internal Revenue Service

$100,000

 

Child Support Enforcement Data Exchange

$14,098,264

 

Support Enforcement contracts with District Attorneys and Judicial Districts for assistance in the administration of the Child Support Enforcement program as authorized by the Social Security Act

$179,497

 

Registration fees for computer training of DDS staff and Field Operations staff

$63,299

 

Seasonal ground maintenance in buildings where there is no maintenance staff, nor is the service provided by the lessor

$7,000,000

 

Data processing services for FITAP, FINWORK, and Support Enforcement

$7,920,000

 

Clerk of Court filing fees for Child Support Enforcement

$205,732

 

Access and Visitation Grant

$50,000

 

Financial Institution fees for information on absent parents

$250,000

 

Nutrition Services for Food Stamp recipients

$89,896

 

Child care services from the DSS - Office of the Secretary

 

 

 

$54,175,957

 

TOTAL OTHER CHARGES

 

 

 

 

 

Interagency Transfers:

$2,044,345

 

Department of Labor for Employment and Training

$24,405

 

Division of Administration for maintenance of state-owned buildings

$1,185,447

 

Division of Administration for rent of state-owned buildings

$584,120

 

DSS - Office of the Secretary for office supplies that allows all DSS agencies to combine their purchasing power by buying in bulk

$1,073,476

 

Louisiana State University and Southern University for the Food Stamp Family Nutrition Program

 

 

 

$4,911,793

 

TOTAL INTERAGENCY TRANSFERS

ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS

$2,311,216

 

Replacement of obsolete, damaged, or inoperative equipment

$10,000

 

Major Repairs in the Jackson Parish office for the replacement of gutters and for other minor building repairs

 

 

 

$2,321,216

 

TOTAL ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS


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