Relief eligibility. 49.015(1)(1)
General eligibility requirements.
Except as provided in subs. (1m)
, an individual is eligible for relief if the individual meets all of the following conditions:
Except as provided in sub. (3) (a)
, the individual resides on tax-free land on which the tribal governing body operates a program funded by a relief block grant.
The individual authorizes any program or resource for which he or she is determined to be eligible to reimburse the relief agency for health care services provided to the individual if the program or resource permits reimbursement for the services provided.
The individual qualifies under written criteria of dependency under s. 49.02 (1) (b)
established by the relief agency on that tax-free land.
In this subsection, “close relative" means the person's parent, grandparent, brother, sister, spouse or child.
No individual is eligible for relief unless the individual has resided in this state for at least 60 consecutive days before applying for relief. This requirement does not apply if the individual resides in this state and meets any of the following conditions:
The individual has, in the past, resided in this state for at least 365 consecutive days.
The individual came to this state to join a close relative who has resided in this state for at least 180 days before the arrival of the individual.
The individual came to this state to accept a bona fide offer of employment and the individual was eligible to accept the employment.
(2) Recipients of other aid.
Except as provided in sub. (3)
, an individual is not eligible for relief for a month in which the individual has received aid to families with dependent children under s. 49.19
or supplemental security income under 42 USC 1381
or has participated in a Wisconsin works employment position under s. 49.147 (3)
or in which aid to families with dependent children, supplemental security income benefits or a Wisconsin works employment position is immediately available to the individual.
(2m) Ineligibility due to medical assistance divestment.
Any person found ineligible for medical assistance because of the divestment provisions under s. 49.453
is ineligible for relief funded by a relief block grant for the same period during which ineligibility exists under s. 49.453
(3) Waiver of certain eligibility requirements. 49.015(3)(a)(a)
A relief agency may waive the requirement under sub. (1) (a)
for an individual receiving health care services from a trauma center that meets the criteria established by the American College of Surgeons for classification as a Level I trauma center.
A relief agency may waive the requirement under sub. (2)
in case of unusual misfortune or hardship. Each waiver shall be reported to the department. The department may make a determination as to the appropriateness of the waiver under rules promulgated by the department under s. 49.02 (7m) (d)
States may deny benefits to those who fail to prove they did not quit a job in order to obtain benefits. Lavine v. Milne, 424 U.S. 577
Constitutional law: residency requirements. 53 MLR 439.
Relief block grant administration. 49.02(1)(1)
Eligibility for relief block grants.
A tribal governing body is eligible to receive a relief block grant if all of the following conditions are met:
The tribal governing body adopts a resolution applying for a relief block grant.
The tribal governing body establishes written criteria to be used to determine dependency and reviews these written criteria at least annually.
The tribal governing body submits to the department a plan for the provision of services to be funded by the relief block grant. The plan shall include all of the following:
How the tribal governing body will determine eligibility and how these eligibility determinations may be appealed. The procedures for determining eligibility and for notice, fair hearing, and review shall be consistent with rules promulgated by the department under sub. (7m)
How the tribal governing body will determine which health care services are needed by a dependent person.
The cost containment mechanisms that will be used, including what limitations will be placed on the inappropriate use of emergency room care and what limitations will be placed on payments to providers contracted for under sub. (2)
The department has approved the plan under par. (c)
. The department shall approve or disapprove the plan within a reasonable period of time after the plan is submitted.
(1e) Relief agencies.
If a tribal governing body is eligible to receive a relief block grant, the tribal governing body shall establish or designate a relief agency to administer relief under this section.
(2) Contracting with private health care providers.
A relief agency may use a relief block grant to provide health care services directly or, if the conditions in this subsection are met, by contracting with private health care providers, or by a combination of contracting with private health care providers and providing services directly. A relief agency may contract with a private health care provider to provide health care services under this subsection only if all of the following conditions are met:
The relief agency enters into a contract with the private health care provider to provide specified health care services.
The contract between the relief agency and the private health care provider provides that all records of the health care provider relating to the administration and provision of the health care services shall be open to inspection at all reasonable hours by authorized representatives of the tribal governing body and the department.
The contract limits payment for services under the contract to the amount payable by medical assistance for care for which a medical assistance rate exists.
The contract does not provide for payment for hospitalization or care provided as uncompensated services required under 42 USC 291c
The contract prohibits the health care provider from holding an individual recipient of health care services funded under this section liable for the difference between the costs of the health care services and the amount paid to the health care provider by the tribal governing body for the services.
(5) Liability for health care services. 49.02(5)(b)(b)
A relief agency is not liable for health care services provided to a dependent person if the hospital provides the health care services to the person as uncompensated services required under 42 USC 291c
A relief agency shall limit its liability for health care services funded by a relief block grant to the amount payable by medical assistance under subch. IV
for care for which a medical assistance rate exists.
(6g) Liability of recipients.
No individual who receives health care services funded by a relief block grant may be liable for the difference between the costs of the services charged by the health care provider and the amount paid by the relief agency.
(7) Notification requirement.
Whenever the department or a relief agency has reason to believe that a person receiving relief is engaging in conduct or behavior prohibited in ch. 944
or ss. 940.225
the department or relief agency shall promptly notify the law enforcement officials of the county thereof, including facts relating to such person's alleged misconduct or illegal behavior.
The department shall promulgate rules regarding use of relief block grants. The rules shall include all of the following:
Procedures that relief agencies shall follow in making eligibility determinations.
Procedures for appealing eligibility determinations under s. 49.015
. These procedures shall provide for notice, fair hearing and review.
Procedures that relief agencies shall follow to obtain relief block grants under sub. (1)
(11) Department of transportation records.
A relief agency may use vehicle registration information from the department of transportation in determining eligibility for relief.
See also chs. DHS 250
, Wis. adm. code.
Block grants to tribal governing bodies; medical relief. 49.029(1)(1)
This section applies only to tribal governing bodies.
(2) Amount and distribution of relief block grant.
From the appropriation under s. 20.435 (4) (kb)
, the department shall distribute a relief block grant to each eligible tribal governing body in an amount and in a manner determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the department. The department shall promulgate the rules after consulting with all tribal governing bodies eligible for a relief block grant. In promulgating rules under this section, the department shall consider each tribe's economic circumstances and need for health care services.
(3) Use of relief block grant funds.
A tribal governing body may use moneys received as a relief block grant only for the purpose of providing health care services to dependent persons. Notwithstanding s. 49.01 (2g)
, health care services may include treatment services for alcohol and other drug abuse and mental health services.
See also ch. DHS 250
, Wis. adm. code.
Recovery of relief and other assistance.
If any person is the owner of property at the time of receiving general relief under ch. 49
, 1993 stats., relief funded by a relief block grant or other assistance as an inmate of any county or municipal institution in which the state is not chargeable with all or a part of the inmate's maintenance or as a tuberculosis patient provided for in ss. 252.07
, or at any time thereafter, or if the person becomes self-supporting, the authorities charged with the care of the dependent, or the board in charge of the institution, may sue for the value of the relief or other assistance from the person or the person's estate. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the 10-year statute of limitations may be pleaded in defense in an action to recover relief or other assistance. Where the recipient of relief or other assistance is deceased, a claim may be filed against the decedent's estate and the statute of limitations specified in s. 859.02
shall be exclusively applicable. The court may refuse to render judgment or allow the claim in any case where a parent, spouse, surviving spouse or child is dependent on the property for support. The court in rendering judgment shall take into account the current family budget requirement as fixed by the U.S. department of labor for the community or as fixed by the authorities of the community in charge of public assistance. The records kept by the municipality, county or institution are prima facie evidence of the value of the relief or other assistance furnished.
A dependent of a relief applicant incurs no liability to repay any portion of relief granted under the application. Claims against the recipient's estate are not limited to recovery of relief granted less than 10 years prior to death. In re Estate of Bundy, 81 Wis. 2d 32
, 259 N.W.2d 701
CHILDREN AND FAMILY SUPPORT SERVICES
In this subchapter:
“Community-based juvenile delinquency-related services" means juvenile delinquency-related services provided under ch. 938
other than services provided for a juvenile who is under the supervision of the department of corrections under s. 938.183
, 938.34 (4h)
, or 938.357 (3)
“Department" means the department of children and families.
“Secretary" means the secretary of children and families.
Contract powers of the department. 49.114(1)(1)
Religious organizations; legislative purpose.
The purpose of this section is to allow the department to contract with, or award grants to, religious organizations, under any program administered by the department, on the same basis as any other nongovernmental provider without impairing the religious character of such organizations, and without diminishing the religious freedom of beneficiaries of assistance funded under such program.
(2) Nondiscrimination against religious organizations.
If the department is authorized under ch. 16
to contract with a nongovernmental entity, or is authorized to award grants to a nongovernmental entity, religious organizations are eligible, on the same basis as any other private organization, as contractors under any program administered by the department so long as the programs are implemented consistent with the First Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution and article I, section 18
, of the Wisconsin Constitution. Except as provided in sub. (10)
, the department may not discriminate against an organization that is or applies to be a contractor on the basis that the organization has a religious character.
(3) Religious character and freedom. 49.114(3)(a)(a)
The department shall allow a religious organization with which the department contracts or to which the department awards a grant to retain its independence from state and local governments, including the organization's control over the definition, development, practice and expression of its religious beliefs.
The department may not require a religious organization to alter its form of internal governance or to remove religious art, icons, scripture or other symbols in order to be eligible for a contract or grant.
(4) Rights of beneficiaries of assistance.
If an individual has an objection to the religious character of the organization or institution from which the individual receives, or would receive, assistance funded under any program administered by the department, the department shall provide such individual, if otherwise eligible for such assistance, within a reasonable period of time after the date of the objection with assistance from an alternative provider that is accessible to the individual. The value of the assistance offered by the alternative provider may not be less than the value of the assistance which the individual would have received from the religious organization.
(5) Employment practices.
To the extent permitted under federal law, a religious organization's exemption provided under 42 USC 2000e-la
regarding employment practices is not affected by its participation in, or receipt of funds from, programs administered by the department.
(6) Nondiscrimination against beneficiaries.
A religious organization may not discriminate against an individual in regard to rendering assistance funded under any program administered by the department on the basis of religion, a religious belief or refusal to actively participate in a religious practice.
Except as provided in par. (b)
, any religious organization that contracts with, or receives a grant from, the department is subject to the same laws and rules as other contractors to account in accord with generally accepted auditing principles for the use of such funds provided under such programs.
If the religious organization segregates funds provided under programs administered by the department into separate accounts, then only the financial assistance provided with those funds shall be subject to audit.
Any party that seeks to enforce its rights under this section may assert a civil action for injunctive relief against the entity or agency that allegedly commits the violation.
(9) Limitations on use of funds for certain purposes.
No funds provided directly to religious organizations by the department may be expended for sectarian worship, instruction or proselytization.
Nothing in this section may be construed to preempt any provision of federal law, the U.S. Constitution, the Wisconsin Constitution or any other statute that prohibits or restricts the expenditure of federal or state funds in or by religious organizations.
History: 1997 a. 27
Grants to a faith-based counseling organization that integrated religion into its counseling program were unconstitutional when there were insufficient safeguards in place to insure that public funding did not contribute to a religious end. Freedom From Religion Foundation v. McCallum, 179 F. Supp. 2d 950
Electronic transfer of benefits. 49.131(1)(1)
The department shall request any necessary authorization from the appropriate federal agency to deliver benefits that are administered by the department to recipients of benefits by an electronic benefit transfer system.
Subject to receiving any necessary approval from the appropriate federal agency under sub. (1)
, and subject to sub. (3m)
, the department may implement a program to deliver by an electronic benefit transfer system any benefit that is administered by the department.
Prior to implementing, and receiving funding for implementing, any program to deliver by electronic means Wisconsin Works benefits or child care subsidies under s. 49.155
, the department shall submit a plan for implementation to the joint committee on finance. Any plan submitted by the department shall include specific information on the vendor selected, the total start-up and ongoing costs, and how issues of fraud and program integrity will be addressed. If the department submits a plan and the cochairpersons of the committee do not notify the department within 14 working days after the date that the department submits the plan that the committee has scheduled a meeting for the purpose of reviewing the plan, the plan may be implemented and the department shall receive the necessary funding. If, within 14 working days after the date that the department submits a plan, the cochairpersons notify the department that the committee has scheduled a meeting for the purpose of reviewing the plan, the plan may be implemented, and funding received, only upon approval of the committee.