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HOUSE BILL NO. 602
INTRODUCED BY C. SQUIRES
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CREATING A CUSTOMER SERVICE REVIEW PROGRAM FOR FAIM FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE CASES PRIOR TO CASE CLOSURE; REQUIRING THAT THE DEPARTMENT ISSUE A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS AND ENTER INTO A CONTRACT FOR CASE REVIEW SERVICES; AND PROVIDING EFFECTIVE DATES."
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Customer service review program. (1) There is a customer service review program for all FAIM financial assistance cases scheduled to be closed by the department. The review must occur prior to closure of a case, and closure of a case may not occur if the review determines that the case should not be closed.
(2) The review process must include the following sequential steps:
(a) A review of the case file must be performed to determine whether department personnel followed state policy and if the case worker made an attempt to contact the family. If the case worker has not attempted to contact the family, then the case must be rereferred to the case worker. The case worker shall attempt to contact the family and attempt to bring the family into compliance with FAIM financial assistance program requirements.
(b) The reviewer shall attempt to contact the FAIM financial assistance recipient by telephone to determine if the recipient had good cause for failure to comply with a program requirement or if the recipient has made a good faith effort to comply with program requirements. If the reviewer determines that good cause existed or that a good faith effort was made, then the case must be rereferred to the case worker.
(c) If the review of the case file shows that department personnel followed state policy and that the case worker made an attempt to contact the family, then the reviewer shall make at least three attempts to contact the recipient by telephone. If the reviewer is unable to contact the recipient, the reviewer shall send the recipient a letter explaining that the recipient's case is about to be closed and that the reviewer may be able to assist in keeping the case open.
(d) If the procedures in subsections (2)(a) through (2)(c) do not indicate that a case should be kept open, the reviewer shall attempt to meet with the recipient and attempt to bring the family into compliance with FAIM financial assistance program requirements. The reviewer shall attempt to get the family to enter into a 1-month agreement to comply with program requirements. If the agreement is entered, the case must remain open for the duration of the agreement or as long as program compliance occurs. As a part of this procedure, the reviewer may assist the recipient in renegotiating the financial assistance agreement to remove barriers that have acted as impediments in preventing the recipient from complying with program requirements.
(e) If the case file is closed after any of the procedures provided for in subsection (2)(a) through (2)(d), the reviewer shall refer the former recipient to advocates who can assist the family and review the case closure.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Contract for case review. The department shall, by July 1, 1999, issue a request for proposals and enter into a contract for case review as provided for in [section 1]. The request for proposals must contain a provision that requires that case reviewers have at least a degree in social work or a related field or have at least 5 years of related experience. The department shall use funds from the federal temporary assistance for needy families block grant to implement the contract.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 53, chapter 4, part 2, and the provisions of Title 53, chapter 4, part 2, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective dates. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), [this act] is effective July 1, 1999.
(2) [Section 2] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of HB 602 (HB0602.01)
Processed for the Web on February 12, 1999 (4:03PM)
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