DHHR to curtail child care benefits in W.Va.

Families currently receiving child care benefits from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will see changes beginning Aug. 1.

[cleeng_content id="773895607" description="Read it now!" price="0.15"]Services will continue with an increase in co-payments.
There will be no reduction in provider rates, and there will be no changes in payment for days of care. Other changes will continue into 2013.
John Law, the public relations director for the state DHHR, said that the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which was enacted in 1998 did away with the old welfare system.
“The whole point was to get people back to work,” Law said. “One of the impediments was that they didn’t have child care. TANF was to help pay for child care.”
West Virginia gets $110 million a year in federal block TANF grant funds, according to Law.
The TANF program was expanded in 2008 because monies weren’t used and there was a $58 million surplus.
“Since we had money left over we expanded the program to where it is now,” Law said, adding now the money has run out because of increased enrollment.
“This means a family of four with an income greater than $2,794 a month would no longer be eligible for a child care supplement,” Law said. “What we are doing now is going back to the federal minimum. Each case will be redetermined beginning January 2013.”
“Those making over 150 percent of the poverty level won’t be eligible for childcare supplement,” Law said.
The percentage rate on the amount provided is increasing from 5 percent to 12 percent.
“That depends on the number of children and the family income as well,” Law said.
Law said the change might sound like a lot but in reality it isn’t.
“Let’s say the care cost is $20 a day. Five percent is $1 a day and 12 percent would be $2 a day,” he said, noting participants will have to fill out forms and it will take about six months for the system to work itself out.
The Bureau for Children and Families is also cutting more than $9.5 million in grants.
These include $2.5 million to the West Virginia Department of Education for expansion of a summer nutrition program and 14 grants totaling approximately $5.5 million to regional workforce investment boards to fund subsidized employment for adults and youth.
These grants were funded through the American Recovery Act Funding.
That money expired Sept. 30, 2010.[/cleeng_content]


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