WV WORKS provides monthly cash assistance to eligible families. Most people who receive a monthly WV WORKS check also receive SNAP and Medicaid, but these are not guaranteed based just on receipt of a check.
There are 2 steps to the eligibility proces:
Step 1-Gross Income Test
The family's gross income must be below an amount that varies by family size. If this income test is passed, certain other deductions are applied to the income to determine the amount of the benefit. These are: 40% of earned income; child care expenses; and a portion of redirected child support. There is 1 incentive payment paid monthly based on case circumstances, a child support incentive/pass-through payment when child support is redirected to the Bureau for Child Support Enforcement.
Step 2-WV WORKS requirements
In addition to financial eligibility, the client is required to complete an orientation to WV WORKS that may be done in a group or individually. Applicants are required to attend orientation to learn about available activities and services and for an explanation of the 60-month lifetime limit for receipt of benefits.
In addition, each adult or emancipated minor is required to negotiate a personal responsibility contract. This contract is an agreement between the applicant and DHHR which identifies goals, objectives and actions that must be taken in order to become self-sufficient. The personal responsibility contract may be renegotiated at any time; it is an ever-changing document. Within the first 30 days a home visit will be completed by the WV WORKS Case Manager.
Support service payments are available to active participants or those preparing to participate in a work activity. These same payments are available to former recipients for 6 consecutive months after case closure as long as the family income does not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level. This period of eligibility is available for a six-month period following case closure. There are lifetime limits on the amount of support service payments, but payment may be issued based on need, for the following items: clothing, tools, equipment, driver's license, chauffeur's license, commercial driver's license, professional license, relocation expenses, transportation, vehicle repair, vehicle insurance, DUI expenses, and other incidental expenses relating to participation in an approved work activity. The following bonuses are paid based on case circumstances:
• $100 one-time High School Diploma Achievement Bonus is paid when the TASC exam is passed or obtains a High School diploma.
• $250 one-time Self-Sufficiency Achievement Bonus is paid for retaining full-time paid employment and maintaining WV residency during each of the six months following WV WORKS closure.
• $250 one-time Vocational Education and Employment Achievement Bonus is paid when a vocational training graduate obtains employment within 90 days of graduation.
More specific information about eligibility requirements is available from the local office in the county in which you live. Information about acceptable work activities, special programs and employer incentives is available below at this same site.
Eligible participants may receive educational programs including assessment, vocational training, college, job skills related to employment and education related to employment.
Programs are also available to employers of WV WORKS participants such as:
*Joint Opportunities for Independence (JOIN)JOIN is a work experience and skill's activity operated in the private or public sector. Placements with JOIN sponsors try and match the client's interest. For JOIN the amount of SNAP and cash assistance received, divided by the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is highest, will determine the number of hours to be worked not to exceed 40 hours per week. JOIN placements may not exceed 12 consecutive months. JOIN contractors must provide Workers' Compensation or comparable coverage.
*Employer Incentive Program (EIP) *Community Work Experience Program (CWEP)CWEP is a work activity for parents or other care taker relatives age 18 and older who have little or not work history. Any CWEP placement can be used on a participant’s resume when searching for employment. A participant’s assignment will be based on:
• The amount of the SNAP and cash assistance received, divided by the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is highest.
• The number of hours required to work cannot exceed 40 hours per week. CWEP placements must not exceed 12 consecutive months. CWEP sponsors must provide Workers' Compensation or comparable coverage.
Sanctions are applied in the form of termination of benefits. The amount of the sanction is a fixed amount and is determined as follows:
1st sanction = Ineligibility for cash assistance for 1 month
2nd sanction = Ineligibility for cash assistance for 6 months
3rd sanction = Ineligibility for cash assistance for 12 months Subsequent Offensces