All applications for assistance will be processed according to uniform written standards and without consideration of race, creed, nationality or gender of the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household. Discrimination in any aspect is prohibited by law. To qualify for “Township Assistance” you must comply with the procedures set forth in these “Standards and Guidelines”.
1.00.00 OFFICE HOURS - The office of the St. John Township Trustee is open for business from 9:00 a.m. until Noon and 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. (unless investigating) Monday through Friday. The office is located at 1515 W. Lincoln Highway, Schererville, IN 46375. The office will be closed on special holidays and at other times when it is necessary for the Township staff to participate in educational programs or seminars conducted by the Indiana Township Association or other State Governmental agencies. A notice will be posted at least twenty-four hours prior to closing the office for holidays and other special occasions (IC 12-20-5.5). Applications may be picked up at the office and an appointment MUST be scheduled. No application will be accepted other than at the scheduled appointment time. All applications must be submitted by the applicant at the scheduled appointment time. Only original applications will be accepted.
Note: No appointments will be scheduled after 2:00 p.m. If you are late for an appointment, you will need to reschedule your interview.
1.00.01 AGE – Any individual or family where the head of the household is eighteen (18) years of age or older or where the individual or household head is legally and completely emancipated at an earlier age will be eligible to apply for assistance from the office the Township Trustee.
1.00.02 TELEPHONE LISTINGS – The Trustee’s telephone number is listed in the Business pages under St. John Township Trustee. An answering machine receives all calls when both lines are in use, after regular office hours, on holidays and week-ends (IC 12-20-5.5).
1.00.03 APPLICATIONS – An individual desiring to make an initial application for assistance from the Township should come into the office. Individuals who, for legitimate reasons, are unable to visit the Township office should call in order to make other arrangements. Applicants will be required to complete the application THEMSELVES. However, the Trustee will assist an applicant in completing an application if the applicant has a mental or physical disability, has dyslexia or cannot read or write the English language (IC 12-20-6-1). Any additional paperwork will not be accepted after 2:00 p.m.
1.00.04 COOPERATION - During the interview process, the client will be required to complete an “Affidavit and Application for Township Assistance” (Form TA#1). The client is required to cooperate with an investigation of their personal finances, family responsibilities, and their eligibility to receive other types of Governmental assistance. The investigation may include a home visit and/or contact with their relatives who may be able and willing to assist them. The Township requires, except in cases of emergencies, that an applicant for township assistance make an application for and utilize all other forms of “public assistance” before being granted “Township Assistance”. All adult members of the household will be required to sign all necessary documents, including but not limited to, the “Affidavit and Application for Assistance (Form TA#1)”, the “Disclosure and Release of Information” and the “Consent for Release of all Information from Social Security Administration” form. Individuals pending a determination for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will be required to sign a Social Security Reimbursement Authorization form for the interim assistance reimbursement (IC 12-20-6-9 & 10), (IC 12-20-6-5.5) & (IC12-20-27-1.5).
1.00.05 APPLICATION REVIEW – The client’s application will be reviewed. Then, an investigation and verification will be done by the Township’s staff. Only upon and after the completion of all investigation and verification will a decision be made. Indiana law requires that this effort be completed within 72 hours (holidays and weekends excluded) from the time the “Affidavit and Application for Assistance (Form TA#1)” is completed by the applicant and filed with the Township office. Unusual circumstances concerning the household or failure to supply the Township with needed documentation may necessitate an additional 72 hour period. This is often referred to as “pending” and is permitted by Indiana law (IC 12-20-6-7 & 8).
1.00.06 REFERRALS – All applicants for “Township Assistance” and members of the applicant’s household are required to comply with ALL referrals from the Trustee to other public and private assistance programs within 15 working days of the referral date. Failure to comply may result in a denial for not more than sixty (60) days (IC 12-1-20-6-5 & 3).
1.10.00 INITIAL ELIGIBILITY – All applicants for “Township Assistance” must meet the following minimum criteria in order to be determined eligible for initial “Township Assistance”:
· An applicant must complete an “Affidavit and Application for Township Assistance (Form TA#1)”. This form must be signed by all adult members of the household. All adult members must complete and sign a “Disclosure and Release of Information.”
· An applicant for “Township Assistance” must furnish the Township with an acceptable means of Identification and Social Security Card for each member of the household. (See Attachment #1)
· An applicant must meet the residency requirements as outlined in Paragraph 3.40.00 of these guidelines.
· The household income and/or liquid resources combined, i.e. bonds, stocks, savings or checking accounts, or certificates of deposit, cannot exceed the income standards as outlined on Schedule “A” #1.
· The household or a member of the requesting household must have a verifiable need that is basic and cannot be remedied by means other than “Township Assistance.”
· The applicant and members of the applicant’s household cannot be in violation of any other provision of these “Standards and Guidelines.”
· ALL able-bodied adult members of the household must show evidence of trying to find employment. (See paragraph 1.40.00 EMPLOYMENT)
1.10.01 NOTICE OF ACTION – The applicant will be given a written notice of the Township’s decision. Included in the notice will be:
· The type and amount of assistance granted.
· The type and amount of assistance denied or partially granted.
If assistance is denied, the reasons for the denial will be stated. The denial notice will be on Form TA#1A. This will inform the applicant of their right to appeal the Trustee’s decision to the Board of Commissioners, and where the appeal is to be filed. The TA1A may be presented to the applicant or sent to them at their last known address, via the U. S. Postal Service (IC 12-20-6-8).
1.20.00 BASIC NECESSITIES – If an applicant for “Township Assistance” has been determined eligible for assistance the Trustee has the authority to provide, in the
most economical and practical manner, assistance for any of the following basic necessities (IC 12-7-2-20.5):
· MEDICAL CARE DESCRIBED IN IC 12-20-16-2
· CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
· TRANSPORTATION (to seek and accept employment on a reasonable basis)
· HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES
· ESSENTIAL UTILITY SERVICE
· OTHER SERVICES OR ITEMS THE TRUSTEE DETERMINES ARE NECESSITIES
1.30.00 DENIALS – The Township will not extend aid to or for the benefit of any member of an applicant’s household if the aid requested would pay for goods or services that were previously requested and denied by the Township (IC 12-6-6.6). Also, denials may be given to individual applicants for one or more of the following reasons:
1.30.01 – Knowingly and willingly falsifying their affidavit or by misrepresenting the facts or withholding vital information. If the Township finds that an individual has obtained “Township Assistance” from any Township by these actions or means of conduct described in IC 35-43-5-7 (Welfare Fraud), the Township will also make a criminal referral to the County Prosecutor’s Office. (IC 12-20-6-6.5)
1.30.02 – Failure to comply with the workfare requirements as outlined by these “Standards” may result in DENIAL for a period not to exceed 180 days. (IC 12-20-11-1)
1.30.03 – Voluntarily terminating gainful employment, or being involuntarily terminated for; just cause, i.e. absenteeism, theft or willful misconduct. A denial from the Indiana Office of Workforce Development may also be used as grounds for being denied assistance benefits. The Township shall not be obligated to provide “Township Assistance” benefits to or for an applicant for a period of sixty (60) days from the date of his/her application. (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.04 – Failure to actively seek or accept gainful employment when offered, whether the compensation for the work will be payable in money or in house rent, or in commodities consisting of the necessities of like may result in DENIAL of up to sixty (60) days. The Township will require ALL applicants to furnish documented evidence that they are actively seeking employment. The Township may periodically provide and require individuals to complete an Employment Search Form in order to comply with this statutory provision. (IC 12-20-10-1 & 2)
1.30.05 – Failure to accept adequate free or low cost shelter arrangements provided by relatives or others, or moving from adequate free or low cost shelter without just cause may result in a DENIAL up to sixty (60) days. (IC 12-20-10-2) & (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.06 – Violence, threats of violence, or abusive language used in or around the Township offices or premises, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, may result in a DENIAL up to sixty (60) days. (IC 12-20-17-2)
1.30.07 – Failure to complete and maintain monthly report forms as required by Governmental programs offering assistance for the basic necessities of living; failure to cooperate with other Governmental agency programs; or failure to comply with the rules and regulations of an assisting governmental agency may result in DENIAL up to sixty (60) days. (IC 12-20-6-5 & 5.5) & (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.08 - Excess income or other financial resources as determined by these “Standards”, or failing to apply other tax supported monetary benefits toward the household’s basic needs. (IC 12-7-2-44.7) & (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.09 – Failure to cooperate with, or to provide the Township with the documentation and/or information which is necessary to determine eligibility, and that which is not readily available or cannot be secured in a timely manner by the Township. (IC 12-20-6-1)
1.30.10 – Failure of an applicant, within 15 working days of a Township referral, to make and complete the application process for other Governmental programs for which they may qualify or failure to participate or comply, after being referred by the Township, in a program offered by any other public or private agency may result in DENIAL up to sixty (60) days. (IC 12-20-6-5), (IC 12-20-6-5.5) & (IC 12-20-12-1)
1.30.11 – Frequently reporting the loss or theft of money or food stamps.
1.30.12 – Making an assignment of or transferring assets, by an applicant or another member of an applicant’s household, during the six (6) month period immediately preceding the filing of an affidavit and application for “Township Assistance”.
1.30.13 – Failure to cooperate with or provide needed information / documentation to other tax supported public assistance programs may result in a DENIAL up to sixty (60) days. (IC 12-20-6-5.5)
1.30.14 – Failure of the applicant or a member of an applicant’s household to apply “one time” monetary awards toward the household’s monthly basic need expenses. “One time” monetary awards may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following: Energy Assistance, Retroactive Social Security Payments, Workmen’s Compensation, Inheritances, Pensions, Insurance Settlements, Income Tax Returns or any other “one time” cash award which is available to the household and can be used for basic necessities. The Township shall consider the amount of the “cash award” when determining the duration of the denial. (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.15 – Failure to file paternity actions when necessary and appropriate, or failing to take the necessary legal action to pursue child support. (IC 12-14-2-24)
1.30.16 – Wasted Resources is defined, for the purpose of Township Assistance, as an amount of money or resources expended for items or services that are not considered “basic necessities” during the thirty (30) day period before the date of application. Or, income, resources, or tax supported services lost or reduced as a result of a voluntary act during the sixty (60) days before the date of application for Township Assistance by an adult member of the applicant household, unless the adult can establish a good reason for the act. The Township cannot be obligated to make payments on behalf of an applicant that knowingly created debt they could not afford. (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.17 – Sufficient Income - The Township shall not be obligated to pay for services or the cost of goods incurred by an applicant or a member of an applicant’s household during the period the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household had “sufficient income” or resources to have paid for either the goods or service.
1.30.18 – Being evicted or forced to vacate present living quarters because of an act that violates the terms of the lease or landlord/tenant agreement, by the applicant or any adult member of the applicant’s household; or the applicant invites or allows other adults to use or move into their household. (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.30.19 – Moving into or coming to the township for the specific purpose of applying for and/or receiving Township Assistance services. Applicants must have established residency on their own, with the intent to support themselves.
1.30.20 – TANF Sanctions/Denials – The Township is not obligated and will not extend aid to a Township Assistance applicant or any member of an applicant’s household if any member of that household has been denied assistance or has been sanctioned by the local office of the Indiana Division of Family and Children for non-compliance of or violations of Title 12 Article 14 of the Indiana Code. (IC 12-20-6-0.5)
1.30.22 – A person convicted of an offense under IC 35-43-5-7 (Welfare Fraud), the Township will not extend aid to or for the benefit of the individual for the following periods: one (1) year if convicted of a misdemeanor; ten (10) years if convicted of a felony; and, if the Township finds that an individual has obtained Township Assistance from any Township by means of conduct described in IC 35-43-5-7, the Township may refuse to extend aid to or for the benefit of that individual for sixty (60) days. The Township will also notify other governmental agencies which provide “basic necessity” service that a fraud or possible fraud has taken place. (IC 12-20-6-6.5)
1.40.00 EMPLOYMENT - If an applicant for Township Assistance is in good health, or if any member of the household are so, the Trustee shall insist that those able to labor must seek employment, and the Trustee may refuse to furnish any aid until he/she is satisfied that the persons claiming help are endeavoring to find work for themselves. Each able-bodied adult member of the household will, at a minimum, be required to maintain an updated employment file with the Indiana Workforce Development Office, as well as provide other reasonable documentation that they are endeavoring to find employment. The township also requires all adult members of an applicant household to complete a “Township Employment Search” form prior to receiving continued Township Assistance. This form stipulates that every adult member of an applicant’s household apply, in person, for two prospective jobs per
day, Monday through Friday; and will be required on a weekly basis. (IC 12-20-10-1, 2 & 3)
1.40.01 – Medical Examination – If a Township Assistance applicant or a member of the applicant’s household claims an inability to work due to health, the Township Trustee may require and provide for any medical examination necessary for the Township Trustee to determine whether the applicant or household member is able to perform work. (IC 12-20-10-3.5)
1.50.00 - An Affidavit and Application for Township Assistance (Form TA#1) is considered an active file for 180 days from the date of initial application. The Township Trustee, however, may not extend additional or continuing aid to an individual or a household unless the individual or household files an affidavit, known as TA#1 B, with the request for assistance affirming how, if at all, the personal condition of the individual or the household has changed from that set forth in the individual or the household’s most recent application. During the 180 day period, all requests for assistance will be processed on a month by month basis. (IC 12-20-6-1)
1.60.00 – Disclosure and Release of Information – Indiana Law requires all applicants for Township Assistance to sign a “Disclosure and release of Information” authorization which permits the Township to discuss your situation with other social service agencies, both public and private, utility companies, the applicant’s medical service provider, the applicant’s landlord or mortgage holder, relatives and etc…. This instrument will only be used to investigate the applicant’s circumstances in order to accurately determine eligibility and the level of assistance to be given. Each adult member of the applicant household must properly execute a “Disclosure and Release of Information” form, in the presence of a Township employee before Township Assistance can be provided. (IC 12-20-7-1)
1.70.00 – Income is defined as the total monetary amount currently available and/or that which is projected to be available to any and all members of the household from any and all sources. Income Guidelines to be used for determining the eligibility of a given household may be found on Schedule “A” #2, and must include any and all monetary benefits received by any and all members of a household, regardless of age,
during the thirty (30) day period preceding the request for “Township Assistance.” (IC 12-20-5.5) & (IC 12-7-21-44.7)
1.70.01 – Receipts – The applicant must provide the Township with proper receipts for all expended income. Receipts for expenditures not considered basic necessities shall not be recognized. Receipts should closely balance with reported income. Hand written receipts provided by friends or relatives are considered unacceptable. Receipts from expenditures for court related expenses, such as: attorney fees, probationary fees, drug and alcohol program fees, fines, court costs, bail, user fees for an in home detention program, restitution, or any other expenditure directly or indirectly associated with the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, because of their involvement with the courts, will not be recognized as a legitimate expense. It will, however, be counted as unexpended income. (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
1.70.02 – Child support payments may be recognized as a legitimate expense, provided the support payments are processed through a County Clerk’s office, and the figure to be recognized does not exceed the amount ordered by the court in the original decree. Payments made to cover child support delinquency will not be considered.
1.70.03 – One Time Awards (Settlements) – Applicants are required, when requesting Township Assistance, to report any “one time” monetary benefits, awards or settlements received by the applicant or any member of the applicant’s household within ninety (90) days immediately preceding their application for Township Assistance. (See 1.30.14)
1.70.04 – Countable Income – Except as otherwise provided by law, countable income shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following either paid to the individual members of the household or accrued and legally available for withdrawal by an individual member of the household: (IC 188.8.131.52.7)
· Gross wages before mandatory deductions.
· Social Security benefits, including SSI.
· Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TANF)
· Unemployment Compensation
· Worker’s Compensation (except money that is restricted for the payment of medical expenses.
· Vacation pay.
· Sick benefits.
· Strike benefits.
· Private or public pensions.
· Taxable income from self-employment.
· Bartered goods and services provided by another individual for the payment of nonessential needs on behalf of an applicant or an applicant’s household if monetary compensation or the provision of basic necessities would have been reasonably available from that individual.
· Child support.
· Gifts of cash, goods or services.
· Educational grants and loans to the extent that they are intended to cover basic living needs.
· The monetary value of subsidized housing or utility assistance (provided by another Governmental agency).
· Other sources of revenue or services that the Township Trustee may reasonably determine to be countable income.
1.70.05 – Special Conditions/Temporary Aid – Exceptional financial obligations, emergencies and/or extraordinary expenses or circumstances, as may be determined, documented and approved by the Trustee, may give justification to TEMPORARILY waive certain provisions of these guidelines and grant TEMPORARY aid. (IC 12-20-17-1)
1.80.00 – Emergency is defined as “an unpredictable circumstance or a series of unpredictable circumstances that place the applicant’s household or a member of an applicant’s household in jeopardy for either health or safety reasons or which cannot be remedied in a timely manner by means other than Township Assistance.” (IC 12-7-2-76.5)
EXPECTED DURATION – The length of time that the applicant/household may be reasonably expected to remain on Township Assistance is approximately sixty (60) days.
2.00.00 – Food Order Allotments – The Trustee shall, whenever possible, provide federal commodity and donated food items upon request of the applicant. The Trustee shall refer any individual or household, before or immediately upon their application for food relief, to the Lake County Office of Family and Children where they must apply for “Food Stamps.” (IC 12-20-16-5)
2.00.01 – Food Order Limitations – It shall be unlawful for the Township to purchase, out of the “Direct Assistance” fund, food for an applicant or a household that is eligible to participate in the “Food Stamp” program. The Township may purchase food for an eligible “Food Stamp” applicant or household only under any of the following conditions: (IC 12-20-16-6)
· During the interim when an applicant or a household is awaiting a determination of eligibility from the “Food Stamp” office and ending not later than five (5) days after the day the applicant of household becomes eligible to participate in the “Food Stamp” program.
· Upon loss of the food supply through unavoidable spoilage, fire or other act of nature.
· Upon a written statement from a physician indicating that one or more members of the household needs a special diet, the cost of which is greater than can be purchased with the household’s allotment of food stamps. An expenditure of Township Assistance funds, for compliance with this section, should not occur until later in the monthly “Food Stamp” issuance cycle.
· When the Trustee determines that a household including a one-member household is in need of supplementary food assistance, provided, however, that the household has participated in the “Food Stamp” program to the fullest extent allowable and that such supplementary food assistance is given solely upon the circumstances in each individual case.
· Households reporting the theft of “Food Stamps must first file a “Theft Report” with the local Police Department before any assistance will be given. Habitually reporting the theft or loss of “Food Stamps” and/or tax supported cash awards will result in a denial.
3.00.00 – Shelter – The Township shall provide aid in whatever form necessary to provide shelter or prevent the loss of shelter so long as such aid constitutes the most economical and practical method of relieving the applicant. Applicants will not be denied shelter assistance merely because they are buying their home. However, the amount paid on behalf of an applicant may not exceed the shelter allowance standards, which are contained in Schedule “A” #3, and must still meet the test of being the “most economical and practical” method of relieving the applicant. (IC 12-7-2-20.5) The Township only pays rent for the number of bedrooms actually required for the number of persons in the household.
3.10.00 – Shelter Defined – For the purpose of administering shelter assistance, the definition of a shelter unit is a house, a mobile home, an apartment, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied as a separate living quarters, or if vacant, intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. “Separate Living Quarters” are those in which the occupants do not live and eat with any other person(s) in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. Exception to the definition of “Shelter” may include; temporary group homes and/or shelters. (IC 12-7-2-177)
3.20.00 - Shelter Documentation – Whenever an applicant requests assistance from the township, a written information statement from the applicant’s landlord is required. An “in-house” form for this purpose will be mailed to the landlord for the landlord to complete and return to the Township. This statement will include the full name of the landlord (or the landlord’s agent, if applicable); their mailing address; their telephone number, as well as other data necessary to determine eligibility of the household. Completion of this form will signify that the landlord will accept payment from the Trustee’s office for shelter. The form must be signed by the landlord. If a lease agreement is required, then the lease must be in the name of an adult member of the applicant’s household and a copy of the lease furnished to the Township.
3.30.00 – Shelter Limitations – Shelter assistance will not be paid to relatives (as landlords) on behalf of an applicant when the applicant is living in the same household; to relatives (landlords) in separate housing if the housing is unencumbered by mortgage, or the property has not been previously rented by the relative to a different tenant at reasonable market rates for at least six (6) months. Nor will the Township recognize expenditures (receipts) paid to relatives when living in the same household. If “Township Assistance” funds are expended for shelter to a Township Assistance applicant’s relative, then the Trustee may file a lien against the real property.
For the purpose of this section the term “relative” includes only the parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, sibling, step-sibling, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild or step-grandchild of an applicant. (IC 12-20-6-10)
3.40.00 – Residency/Shelter Verification - Any person in need may obtain aid from the Township so long as you live in the Township where you apply. Applicants MUST have a valid Indiana driver’s license or state Identification card with current address listed. However, a person in a Township solely for assistance will be ineligible. An applicant must have established their own residency. The definition of residency/household shall not be construed to mean temporary living arrangements made available by friends, relatives, their acquaintances or social service agencies, either public or private. The residency must not be established for the primary purpose of qualifying for Township Assistance. In order to verify an applicant’s residency and their intent to live permanently in the Township, The Township shall consider the conduct of the applicant, both active and passive, as many reveal intent to reside within a given household and within the Township. Such items shall include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:
Mailing Address Driver’s License
Telephone Listing Voter’s Registration
Utility Billings Motor Vehicle Registration
Address given to others Address given to Employers
US Postal Services “Change of Address” notices
Any other item or documentation the Township deems necessary to verify will be requested from the applicant.
Individuals that are in the United States without the permission of the Immigration and Naturalization Service is ineligible to receive Township Assistance. (IC 12-20-8) (IC 12-14-2.5-3)
The Township shall not be obligated to pay, directly or indirectly, the cost of mortgage payments when the property in question is part of a potential property settlement or legal controversy in a pending court proceeding; such as, for example, a divorce or probate.
3.50.00 – First Time Residents – The Township is not required to provide shelter assistance to an otherwise eligible individual if either of the following applies:
· An individual’s most recent residence was provided by the individual’s parent, guardian or foster parent.
· The individual, without just cause, leaves that residence for the shelter for which the individual seeks assistance. If an individual as described in this section becomes a member of another Township Assisted household, then the entire household may be denied assistance. (IC 12-20-16-17)
3.60.00 – Tax Supported Shelter Programs – The Township is not under any obligation to enter into a contract or pay shelter cost on behalf of an otherwise eligible applicant, to a public or private agency which is wholly or partially funded by Federal or State funds. (IC 12-20-17-2)
3.70.00 – HUD Subsidized Shelter – The Township will not be obligated to subsidize or otherwise provide additional shelter assistance from the Direct Relief fund to households living in shelter units already paid for wholly or in part by HUD.
3.80.00 – Shelter Deposits – It is the policy of the Township not to expend any Township Assistance funds for payment of rental deposits. Such obligations shall be the responsibility of the applicant as they are required to establish their own residency within the Township.
3.90.00 – Shelter Moving – Applicants moving, within sixty (60) days immediately preceding their application for Township Assistance from shelter that was provided by a relative, or any form, kind or type of subsidized shelter will be declared ineligible for Township Assistance. The burden of establishing good, just and reasonable cause for having moved shall be upon the applicant. (IC 12-7-2-200.5)
4.00.00 – Utility Service and/or heating Fuels – The Trustee may, in cases of necessity, authorize the payment of water, gas, other fuels used for heating and/or cooking, and electric services; including the payment of delinquent bills for such services, when necessary to prevent disconnections or to restore terminated services. There are, however, some limitations: (IC 12-20-16-3)
· The Township will not pay utility security deposits or for damages caused by an applicant, or member of an applicant’s household, to utility company property.
· The utility service must be in the name of an adult member of the requesting household, an emancipated minor who is the head of the household, or a landlord or former member of the household, so long as the applicant proves their responsibility for payment of the bill.
· The Township will not pay for utility service received as a result of a fraudulent act by any adult member of a household requesting Township Assistance.
· The Township will not consider the payment of delinquent utility bills if the delinquency has lasted longer than 6 months and/or the applicant was ineligible for Township Assistance at the time the utility service was incurred.
· The Township will not consider the payment of “master metered” utility service when more than one household is served by the same meter.
· The Township will not consider the payment of estimated utility bills.
· During the period the state’s energy assistance program is in effect, the Township will not pay or consider the payment of utility bills until after the State’s energy assistance is credited to the applicant’s account.
4.10.00 – Energy Programs – Applicants seeking Township Assistance with the payment of an energy bill must first utilize all available Federal and State programs designed to assist indigent households with the cost of energy, and must furnish the Township with written proof that an application for such assistance has been requested from other Governmental sources. During that part of the year, however, when applications are being accepted by the State’s Energy Assistance Program (EAP), the Township shall inform an applicant for assistance with heating fuel or electric services that assistance may be available from the State of Indiana. The Township will either refer the applicant to the States EAP, or the Township may certify the Township Assistance applicant as eligible using criteria established for this purpose by the state. The certification shall be on an application form prescribed by the Indiana State Board of Accounts. The Township will neither certify nor process Energy Assistance applications for non-Township applicants. (IC 12-20-16-3)
5.00.00 - Burial and Funerals or Cremations – The Trustee shall provide a person to superintend and authorize whether the funeral and burial or cremation of the deceased individual. If it is determined that the deceased individual is a resident of another Township in Indiana, the Township shall notify the Trustee of that Township, who shall then provide a person to superintend and authorize either the funeral and burial or cremation of the deceased individual not leaving sufficient resources (i.e. cash, automobile, and/or real property) to defray expenses. Contributions or payment of benefits from any other source will be deducted from the Township’s allowable maximum. The total cost of a burial and funeral for any deceased indigent person, including burial plot, may not exceed Seven Hundred Dollars ($700). The Township will also require a “Death Certificate” and an itemized (invoice) statement from the funeral home before payment can be authorized. Under normal circumstances, the Township will not authorize burial and funerals for weekends, holidays, or at other times which increase the cost. (IC 12-20-16-12)
5.00.01 - Superintend - The legal definition of “Superintend” means “to take charge, to supervise, to manage, or to direct.” Therefore, the person the Township provides to superintend shall be responsible for taking charge and supervising among other things, both the selection of the funeral home and, if necessary, the cemetery for the deceased individual.
5.00.02 - Request Burial and Funeral or cremation Assistance - The Township requires that a surviving member of the deceased person’s family make a formal request for “Burial and Funeral or Cremation Assistance” before providing a person to superintend. If there are no surviving family members, the funeral home having possession of the deceased shall formally request the assistance on behalf of the deceased person. The formal request will involve the completion of a special “Request for Burial Assistance” form.
The cost breakdown for burial and funeral or cremation expenses for an ADULT person is as follows if the Mortuary and Cemetery charges are not combined:
· Cemetery – Not to exceed $250
· Mortuary charges – Not to exceed $450
· Cremations – Not to exceed $600
5.00.03 - Transportation Burial/Expenses - The Township will not pay for the cost of transporting the remains of an indigent person back to St. John Township unless it can be determined that the deceased was, in fact, a resident of St. John Township at the time of death. Such cost must be itemized and are in addition to any mortuary payments.
5.00.04 - Sufficient Funds for Burial - The Township will neither provide a person to “Superintend” or become a participant in the burial and funeral or cremation of a deceased individual, if it is determined that the deceased person has sufficient funds, real or personal property, or other assets (with a value of $700 or more) to defray funeral expenses. (IC 12-14-6) (IC 12-14-17)
5.00.05 - Family Members Contribution - Every effort will be made to encourage family members to financially contribute to the cost of the burial and funeral or cremation of the deceased. Contributions from family members will be deducted from the Township’s maximum. (IC 31-16-17-1)
6.00.00 - Transportation and Deportation - St. John Township may provide transportation to individual applicants to seek and accept employment within or outside St. John Township when there is reasonable evidence that employment is available.
6.00.01 - Automobiles - An automobile is not, by statute, recognized as a basic necessity. Therefore, automobile payments and other related expenses are not considered acceptable expenses.
6.10.00 - Transportation / Deportation Re-Application - Any indigent person who has been sent to a place of settlement, by court order, or is transported there at public expense (Township Assistance), and who again willfully makes an application for assistance in any Township or County other than that of his/her legal settlement may be denied Township Assistance for a period not to exceed 180 days. The denial period begins the day Township Assistance is again requested. (IC 12-20-9-6)
7.00.00 - Medical Services - The Township will, in cases of necessity, promptly provide medical assistance for qualifying assistance applicants who are NOT provided for in public institutions, a private insurance policy, or receiving Government Subsidized medical benefits, such as Medicare and/or Medicaid.
The Township MAY NOT provide medical assistance to an individual if the individual could qualify for medical assistance for the same service under Hospital Care for the Indigent (IC 12-16). The Township shall only pay the cost of the following medical services for the eligible and qualifying applicants of the Township as listed in IC 12-20-16-2:
7.10.00 - Prescription Drugs - The Township will furnish prescription drugs, when prescribed by a physician, for eligible Township Assistance applicants, provided the applicant obtains prior authorization from the Township office and has filed a proper “Affidavit and Application for Township Assistance”. The Township will not fill any request defined as narcotic based and/or controlled substance medication. (IC 12-20-16-2)
7.20.00 - Insulin - The Township shall furnish insulin without charge to Township residents who are in need of such treatment for diabetes, and who are financially unable to purchase the insulin, upon the application of a duly licensed physician. The application from the physician shall affirm, in the physician’s belief, that the person is financially unable to pay for the insulin themselves. Upon receipt of an official blank properly filled out and signed, in ink, by a physician, any dealer may file this as a legal claim with the Township in order to receive the market price of the insulin being furnished. Physicians may obtain these blank forms from the local Department of Public Health. (IC 12-20-16-2.13) (IC 12-20-16-14) However, a Township is not responsible for paying for insulin if, after a second time request, the Trustee has evidence that the individual has the financial ability to pay for the insulin. The Township shall consider adult individual needing insulin as an individual and not as a member of a household requesting Township Assistance.
7.30.00 - Office Calls (Medical Service Providers) - It is the responsibility of applicants to make their own appointments for visits to medical providers. Clients requesting authorization for a visit to a medical service provider, except in cases of emergencies, must first obtain authorization from the Township. The cost of visits to a medical specialist cannot be paid by the Township, unless the applicant was first referred to a specialist by their attending physician. (IC 12-16-2.9)
7.40.00 - Emergency Room Treatment - The Township may pay for necessary emergency room treatment that is of an emergency nature. However, a medical emergency does not exist in situations where the illness/injury could and would have been treated during a routine office call by a family doctor, and the applicant could have made contact with the Township office before such visit. (IC 12-20-16-2)
7.40.01 - Time Limits - Emergency office calls, duly prescribed drugs and necessary emergency room medical treatment received in a hospital emergency room may be paid by the Township, provided a proper request for the service is made to the Township office by the applicant or a member of the applicant’s household, within fifteen (15) working days of the time the services are rendered.
The medical service provider(s) must indicate the services they rendered on a signed affidavit executed by the service provider and the applicant, and submitted to the Township within the same fifteen (15) working day cycle. Failure to notify the Township, by either party, within the prescribed time limits shall result in a denial.
7.50.00 - Dental Care Treatment - The payment of dental care and/or treatment shall be limited to those cost which are medically necessary to eliminate pain and/or infection in the most economical and practical way. The Township may pay the cost of denture replacements and/or repairs not covered by other tax supported programs. However, the Township will not pay for the initial cost of dentures. (IC 12-20-16-2)
7.60.00 - Eyeglasses - The Township may pay the cost of eye exams, eyeglasses, eyeglass repair or eyeglass replacement for eligible Township Assistance applicants provided the applicant has exhausted all other tax supported programs providing a similar service. (IC 12-20-16-2)
7.70.00 - Reimbursement for Medical Services - Unless prohibited by law, the Township will seek reimbursement for the payment of medical services from Township Assistance funds and provided the individual for which the services were rendered is eligible for medical servers under a state medical plan. (IC 12-20-16-2e)
8.00.00 - Workfare (Recipient Defined) - The term “recipient” means a single person receiving Township Assistance or when Township Assistance is received by a household with two (2) or more persons, the member of the household most suited to perform available work. Suitability to perform available work shall be determined by the Trustee, and may provide for medical examinations necessary to make such determination. (IC 12-20-10-3.5)
8.10.00 - Workfare Requirements - The Township shall require a recipient(s) to do any work needed to be done within the Township or an adjoining Township or for any Governmental Unit (including the State) having jurisdiction in those Townships, or for a not for profit social services agency. (IC 12-20-11-1)
8.20.00 - Workfare Criteria - Minimum criteria for satisfactory participation in the workfare program shall be one shift per day or five shifts per week, unless otherwise scheduled or excused by the Township. Unexcused absences for scheduled workfare assignments may result in the reduction or discontinuance of Township Assistance. Scheduling consideration will be given to recipients obligated to the Township for workfare and also obligated to perform work under the Indiana Manpower and Comprehensive Training program. Any workfare obligations incurred in another Township will be carried forward to the gaining Township, unless the applicant failed to comply with the former Township’s guidelines for workfare participation. If an applicant failed to comply, they shall be denied. (IC 12-20-11-1)
8.30.00 - Workfare Participation - The recipient(s) is required to maintain the minimum criteria that is necessary for the fulfillment of his/her obligation with the Township is satisfied. Recipients will not be permitted to voluntarily work in advance of receiving Township Assistance in order to accrue workfare credit. It is the sole responsibility of the recipient(s) to meet the criteria of workfare participation. In satisfying this obligation, only the recipient or members of the recipient household will be allowed to perform the required work.
8.40.00 - Workfare (Compensation) - Work performed is considered “as satisfaction of a condition for Township Assistance and is not considered as services performed for remuneration.” The recipient shall be required to do an amount of work which equals that value of assistance already received by him or his household. The value of the work performed is calculated at not less that the Federal Minimum Wage rate. (IC 12-20-11-1)
8.50.00 - Workfare (Exceptions) - Recipients may be excused from workfare only for the following reasons: (IC 12-20-11-1)
· The individual(s) obligated is not physically able to perform the work and provides medical evidence that they are unable to perform the work.
· The individual(s) obligated is a minor or is over sixty-five (65) years of age.
· All obligated members of the household have full-time employment at the time they received Township Assistance.
· The individual(s) obligated is needed to care for a person as a result of that person’s age or physical condition; the recipient MUST provide current medical evidence of the person’s physical condition.
· There is no work available as determined by the Trustee.
· The individual(s) obligated is, at the direction of the Trustee, attending education or self-help courses.
8.60.00 - Workfare (Restrictions) - A recipient(s) shall not be assigned to work which would result in the indirect or direct displacement of governmental employees or in the reduction of hours worked by those employees, nor will an obligated individual(s) be assigned to work at a location where a labor dispute is in effect. (IC 12-20-11-1g)
8.70.00 - Workfare / Employment Search - If the recipient(s) is unemployed, he/she will need to furnish on at least a weekly basis, properly dated, non-repetitive and signed verification of applications for employment for at least two (2) jobs per day, with a minimum of ten (10) per week, per eligible person for which each is qualified, unless other arrangements are made with the Trustee’s office. The recipient is required to dress and conduct himself/herself appropriately to increase every opportunity for employment.
8.80.00 - Other Workfare Credit - In the event the Trustee deems that an applicant/recipient would benefit in his/her search for employment by participation in employment counseling, job training and or educational programs referred by the Trustee, the applicant/recipient’s refusal to participate in the same is deemed as being a refusal to actively seek employment which will be grounds for denial or termination of Township Assistance.
9.00.00 - Supplemental Security Income - Individuals awaiting a determination from the Social Security Administration for SSI benefits will not be required to perform workfare during the initial stages of the application process. Once the initial application SSI applicant’s household able to perform workfare will be required to participate and work his/her proportionate share of the workfare obligation. Example: A member of multi-member household (three (3) member) awaiting an SSI determination shall be excused from performing workfare while the SSI determination is pending. Other adult members of the household will, however, be required to comply with the workfare obligation, but will only be required to work the remaining proportionate share. The Township will obligate this particular household to two thirds (2/3) of the assistance rendered as a workfare obligation. This holds true only if the entire household shared in the assistance. If, however, Township Assistance was rendered specifically for the SSI applicant, workfare will not be required, but the amount of this assistance may be recovered through the Interim Assistance Reimbursement program. Individuals currently receiving SSI monthly benefits are not automatically excused from workfare. In order to be excused, the individual SSI recipient must still meet one of the exempting reasons contained in 8.50.00 of these standards. (IC 12-20-11-5)
10.00.00 - Repayment - The repayment of assistance, or a promise to repay assistance, will not constitute a condition of eligibility for Township Assistance, except as provided in section 9.00.00 of these standards.
10.10.00 - Third Party Benefits - If it is anticipated that a Township Assistance applicant has the potential of receiving a judgment, compensation or monetary benefits from a third party, the Trustee may require the applicant to enter into a subrogation agreement or sign an authorization for the repayment of any Township Assistance benefits provided by the Township during this interim period. Failure of an applicant to sign the necessary authorizations for reimbursement to the Township shall result in a denial of Township Assistance benefits. (IC 12-20-27-1.5)
11.00.00 - Conclusion - All decisions regarding eligibility will be based on the standards mentioned above. These standards and guidelines will be available at the St. John Township Trustee’s office. Additional copies will be furnished to the County Commissioners and County Auditors offices. Any member of the public will be permitted to inspect and copy these standards at their own expense. These Standards will be periodically revised to reflect changes in both statutory and case law.
11.10.00 - Courtesy - We expect everyone who comes into this office to be treated in a courteous and dignified manner. We, likewise, expect the staff of the Township to be treated in a similar manner. This office is intent on assisting applicants of this Township and will endeavor to provide necessary assistance within the limits of the law and these “Standards and Guidelines”.
11.20.00 - Reporting (Payee) - The Township may from time to time report and recommend to other Governmental agencies (Lake County Office of Family and Children and/or the Social Security Administration) the misuse of funds by a recipient. The Township may officially recommend, when reporting misuses, that the recipient’s “cash award” be placed in the hands of a “protective or designated payee.” The Township may refuse to extend aid to an individual or household member until such time as the applicant initiates and executes the proper instruments for obligating a payee to handle their finances. The Township may agree to serve as the payee.
11.20.01 - Reporting (Abuse and/or Neglect - The Township shall report all suspected cases of abuse or neglect to the proper authorities. Unemancipated youth requesting Township Assistance will automatically be reported to the Lake County office of Family and Children’s Services.
ST. JOHN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE OF LAKE COUNTY
A driver’s license or an identification card issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is the most acceptable and important form of identification. However, St. John Township cannot process an individual’s application for “Township Assistance” unless an acceptable and valid form of identification is provided the Township.
Listed below are the only types of documents the Township will accept for proof of identity to obtain “Township Assistance”…………
· YOU MUST PRESENT A CURRENT & VALID INDIANA DRIVER’S LICENSE WITH CURRENT ADDRESS LISTED, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD AND A BANK STATEMENT
· ONE DOCUMENT MUST HAVE YOUR SIGNATURE
· THE TOWNSHIP CAN ONLY ACCEPT ORIGINAL DOCUMENT OR COPIES CERTIFIED BY THE ISSUING AGENCY
· PHOTOCOPIES AND DOCUMENTS WITH ANY ALTERATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
· MULTIPLE DOCUMENTS OF THE SAME TYPE WILL NOT BE COUNTED TOWARD THE SIX POINT REQUIREMENT
SCHEDULE “A” #1
INCOME GUIDELINES FOR
ST. JOHN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE OF LAKE COUNTY
ADULT HOUSEHOLD SIZE MAXIMUM MONTHLY INC
1 $ 625
2 $ 705
3 $ 840
4 $ 975
5 $ 1110
6 $ 1245
7 $ 1380
For each additional adult add $145
SCHEDULE “A” #2
SHELTER ALLOWANCES FOR
ST. JOHN TOWNSHIP TRUSTEE OF LAKE COUNTY
1 BEDROOM $ 525
2 BEDROOM $ 625
3 BEDROOM $ 650
4 BEDROOM $ 700
Questions or comments email to St. John Township Trustee