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S. 317 (is) To establish grants for drug treatment alternative to prison programs administered by State or local prosecutors. [Introduced in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 316 To amend part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to include efforts to address barriers to employment as a work activity under the temporary assistance to needy families program, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES February 5, 2003 Mr. Corzine (for himself and Mr. Kennedy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to include efforts to address barriers to employment as a work activity under the temporary assistance to needy families program, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Chance to Succeed Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. INCLUSION OF EFFORTS TO ADDRESS BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT AS A WORK ACTIVITY UNDER TANF. Section 407 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 607) is amended-- (1) in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (c), by striking ``or (12)'' each place it appears and inserting ``(12), or (13)''; (2) in subsection (d)-- (A) in paragraph (11), by striking ``and'' at the end; (B) in paragraph (12), by striking the period and inserting ``; and''; and (C) by adding at the end the following: ``(13) subject to subsection (j), 6 months of satisfactory participation (as determined by the State) in services to address barriers that are designed to improve future employment opportunities, including substance abuse treatment, occupational therapy, and physical rehabilitation, mental health, and mental retardation and developmental disabilities services.''; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ``(j) State Option To Extend Period for Participation in Services To Address Barriers.-- ``(1) In general.--With respect to an individual, a State may extend the 6-month period referred to in subsection (d)(13) for an additional period determined by the State so long as the State periodically reassesses the appropriateness of the activities referred to in such subsection for the individual. ``(2) Rule of construction.--Nothing in paragraph (1) or subsection (d)(13) shall be construed to limit the amount of time an individual may require, or a State may provide, services to address barriers that are designed to improve future employment opportunities.''. SEC. 3. CREATION OF A SCREENING, ASSESSMENT, AND SERVICES PROCESS TO ADDRESS BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT. (a) Assessments.--Section 408(b) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(b)) is amended-- (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following: ``(1) Assessment provided for each individual who receives assistance.-- ``(A) In general.--The State agency responsible for administering the State program funded under this part shall make an initial assessment of each adult individual who receives assistance under the program (and, in the case of a State program that requires an individual who is a caretaker for an individual who receives such assistance to engage in work, an initial assessment of the caretaker individual) to determine whether the individual has any barriers to employment or program compliance. ``(B) 2-part process.--The assessment under subparagraph (A) shall consist of the following 2 parts: ``(i) Initial screening.-- ``(I) In general.--An initial screening which shall evaluate an individual's employability, educational capacity, and other related circumstances, such as the child support status, housing needs, and transportation needs of the individual and the individual's family. ``(II) Required factors to be assessed.--A trained caseworker shall screen the individual for conditions such as physical or mental impairments, substance abuse, domestic or sexual violence, learning disabilities, limited English proficiency, limited literacy in a primary language, and need to care for a child with a disability or health condition which may interfere with work or other program requirements. ``(III) Optional assessment of child care needs.--At the option of the individual, the State shall, before assigning the individual to a work activity under the State program funded under this part, perform an assessment of the individual's child care needs, and guarantee safe, appropriate, affordable quality child care to any such individual who needs child care. ``(IV) Optional assessment of job preparation.--At the option of the individual, the State shall, before assigning the individual to a work activity under the State program funded under this part, perform an individual assessment for the preparation that is needed for the individual to obtain and maintain a job at a monthly wage that is at least 200 percent of the poverty line applicable to the family of the individual. ``(ii) Comprehensive assessment.--If an initial screening under clause (i) suggests the existence of potential barriers to work or program compliance, the individual may elect to participate in a comprehensive assessment conducted by a qualified professional to confirm the existence of the barriers, determine the extent of the barriers, and develop recommendations about appropriate services and activities for the individual. ``(C) Family members.--At the discretion of an individual who receives assistance under the State program funded under this part, a member of the individual's family also may be afforded an assessment in accordance with this paragraph. ``(D) Not considered a program requirement.-- Participation by an individual or by a member of the individual's family in an assessment under this paragraph shall not be considered a program requirement for the individual or the individual's family. ``(E) Inclusion of caseworkers.--Nothing in subparagraph (B)(ii) shall be construed as prohibiting a caseworker from being a qualified professional for purposes of that subparagraph if the caseworker satisfies the requirements for being considered a qualified professional.''; and (2) by striking paragraph (4). (b) Review and Conciliation Process.--Section 408(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(12) Review and conciliation process.-- ``(A) In general.--A State to which a grant is made under section 403 shall not impose a sanction against an individual or family under the State program funded under this part on the basis of noncompliance by an individual or family with a program requirement, unless the State satisfies the following requirements: ``(i) Notice.--The State has attempted, at least twice (using at least 2 different communication methods, 1 of which shall be in writing) to notify the individual or family, in the individual's or family's native language, of-- ``(I) the impending imposition of the sanction; ``(II) the reason for the proposed sanction; ``(III) the amount of the sanction; ``(IV) the length of time during which the proposed sanction would be in effect; and ``(V) the steps required to come into compliance or to show good cause for noncompliance. ``(ii) Review.--The State has afforded the individual or family an opportunity to meet with personnel outside the agency that administers the State program funded under this part who the State has contracted with to make a determination regarding why the individual or family did not comply with the program requirement, that is to be the basis on which the sanction is to be imposed, and that includes-- ``(I) consideration of whether certain barriers to compliance exist that contributed to the noncompliance of the individual or family, such as a physical or mental impairment, including a mental health or substance abuse disorder or mental retardation, a learning disability, domestic or sexual violence, limited proficiency in English, limited literacy, or the need to care for a child with a disability or health condition; ``(II) consideration of whether the individual or family has good cause for failing to meet program requirements; ``(III) consideration of whether an additional assessment would assist in identifying reasons for noncompliance; ``(IV) consideration of whether support services or changes to the program requirements or activities to which the individual or family has been assigned are necessary in order for the individual or family to comply with program requirements; and ``(V) ensuring that the State's sanction policies have been applied properly. ``(B) Sanction limitations.-- ``(i) Ban on imposition of sanction if needed screening, assessment, or services were unavailable.--A State may not impose a sanction against an individual or family under the State program funded under this part on the basis of noncompliance by an individual or family with a program requirement if the individual whose conduct is the basis of the sanction is in the process of being screened or assessed for a mental health problem, disability, substance abuse problem, or sexual or domestic violence situation but the screening or assessment has not been completed, or if services outlined in the service plan developed for the individual or family were not offered, available, and accessible to the individual or family at the time of the noncompliance. ``(ii) No ban on sanction if individual or family fails to take advantage of assessment or services and does not comply with work requirements.--Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as prohibiting a State that has complied with the requirements of this paragraph and section 408(b)(1) from imposing a sanction for noncompliance with work requirements against an individual or family who opts to not take full advantage of the opportunity for assessment or the services and supports made available to ensure that the individual or family can comply with program requirements if such an individual or family is not complying with the State's work requirements. ``(C) Sanction follow-up requirements.-- ``(i) In general.--If a State imposes a sanction on an individual or family for failing to comply with program requirements, the State shall-- ``(I) provide, at the time the sanction is imposed and periodically thereafter for at least 6 months, notice (in at least 2 different forms) to the individual or family of the reason for the sanction and the steps the individual or family must take to end the sanction; ``(II) reinstate the individual's or family's full benefits if the individual or family member who failed to meet the program requirements that led to the sanction complies with program requirements for a reasonable period of time and the individual or family is otherwise eligible; and ``(III) if the sanction is time- limited, notify the individual or family at least 10 days before the expiration of the sanction of the date when the individual or family will no longer be in sanction status and inform the individual or family how assistance will be reinstated. ``(ii) Outreach to individuals and families sanctioned who have not resumed receiving cash assistance.--If, during the 5-year period that ended on the date of enactment of the Chance to Succeed Act of 2003, a State imposed a sanction against an individual or family that resulted
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