Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)

Created on: 
May 27 2020

Online Processing

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.

Who is eligible for Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)?

DCA is an emergency cash benefit available to families that meet the eligibility criteria for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or State Family Assistance (SFA) but do not need ongoing monthly cash assistance.

How long is the Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) certification period?

The default DCA certification period is 12 months.

How does ACES determine the begin date for Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA)?

When eligibility for DCA benefits is determined to exist in the month of application, the begin date is the application date.

When eligibility for DCA benefits begins in any month after the date of the original application, the begin date is the first of that month.

NOTE: If the client is financially ineligible in the current month, but appears eligible for the next month, users must wait and process the case after monthly issuance.

Will ACES approve Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) for a client in sanction?

ACES does not prevent the authorization of a DCA payment for food or medical needs to a person sanctioned from food assistance or for not cooperating with TPL.

For more information, see EAZ Manual – WAC 388-432-0005 Can I get help from DSHS for a family emergency without receiving monthly cash assistance?

When will a vendor receive payments issued from ACES?

Vendor payments can take 5 to 7 business days from the time the issuance is approved in ACES.  If you see that a vendor payment is still pending after 10 days, please contact IT Solutions Customer Support at (360)664-4560, Option 2.

Online Processing

How do I screen in a Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

To screen in a DCA AU, take the following steps:

1.    From the Welcome Back page in ACES.online, click the Screen New Application link at the top of the page. The Applicant page displays in a new window.
2.    On the Applicant page enter the head of household’s Name, Residential, and Mailing Addresses.
3.    On the Programs page:

•    Click the checkbox next to Cash, and
•    Click the Next button.

4.    Continue the screening process until you reach the Finalize page.
5.    On the Finalize page:

•    Click Specify Program and select the Diversion Assistance (DA) program from the drop-down menu.  Click the Next button.
•    Enter the application date.

6.    Click the Commit button to commit the screening data.

For more information on how to screen an application, see How do I screen an application for a client?

NOTE: All household members listed on the DCA AU need to be eligible for benefits. If any adult household member is denied, the entire AU will be denied. (i.e. Do not list any household members of 18 years of age on the AU.)

How do I process a pending Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

  1. Go to the Case Actions page:  See How do I access the Case Actions page in ACES 3G?
  2. From the Case Actions page, under Pending Applications, select Start Interview.
  3. From the Pending Applications page, select Begin Intake.
  4. Complete the interview following the instructions in the Interview chapter.
  5. Select the Additional Benefits page from the navigation tree, and select the "Add" icon (alt-A) from the ACES 3G toolbar.
  6. Select Bona Fide Need under the Additional Benefit drop-down menu.  The Assistance Unit drop-down box will then appear.  Select the DCA AU for the household and click Next.
  7. On the Bona Fide Needs page, in the month DCA will be approved, update the following information:
  • Need Type - Select the client's DCA need type from the drop-down list.
  • Need Amount - Enter the [dollar amount] the client is requesting for each need type.
  • Need Date - Enter the [MM/DD/YYYY] the client incurred the need.
  • Authorized Amount - Enter the [amount to be authorized for each need type]. The total of all authorized amounts cannot exceed the Diversion Assistance maximum.
  • Means of Future Support - Select the appropriate value to show the client's expected income source. This is the income that the client expects to use to remain off TANF for the next 12 months.
NOTE:  When money is to be issued to more than one vendor for the same need type code, DO NOT COMBINE THE AMOUNTS ON THE BOND SCREEN.  The amounts must be entered separately so the correct number of VEND screens display when the AU is finalized.
  1. On the Eligibility page, select Commit Changes.

How do I finalize a Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) application?

To finalize an application, take the following steps in each pending month:

  1. Go to the Case Actions page:  See How do I access the Case Actions page in ACES 3G?
  2. From the Case Actions page, in the Pending Applications section, click the Finalize link for the pending DCA AU.
  3. On the Eligibility page click the Details link for each benefit month.  This takes you to the Eligibility Details page.
  4. Select Confirm Benefits on the Eligibility Details page for all subsequent months.
NOTE:  If the DCA payment needs to go to a vendor, you must first update the Vendor Payments section on the Eligibility Details page for the benefit month the DCA is being approved.  Updating the vendor information is only allowed during the initial application process and can only be modified within ACES 3G on the day the AU is finalized.  Historical changes must be vendored through the BEG screens.

How do I issue a Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) payment to a vendor?

For more information on how to issue a DCA payment to a vendor see:  Vendor Payment - How do I make an Emergent Need (EN) or Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) Benefit Error Group (BEG) payment to a vendor?

How do I authorize an additional Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) payment?

To authorize an additional DCA payment, take the following steps:

  1. Go to the Case Actions page:  See How do I access the Case Actions page in ACES 3G?
  2. From the Case Actions page, under Change of Circumstances, select the benefit month the DCA began from the drop-down list.  Then click Start Changes.
  3. Select the Additional Benefits page from the navigation tree, and select the Add icon (alt-A) from the ACES 3G toolbar.  Do not delete existing DCA entries.
  4. Select Bona Fide Need under the Additional Benefit drop-down menu.  The Assistance Unit drop-down box will then appear.  Select the DCA AU for the household and click Next.
  5. On the Bona Fide Needs page, update the following information:
  • Need Type - Select the client's DCA need type from the drop-down list.  
  • Need Amount - Enter the [dollar amount] the client is requesting for each need type.  Then select the appropriate verification coding that supports the DCA amount the client is requesting.  Need Types coded with CS - Client StatementRE - Refused, or FA - Failed are excluded from the DCA payment.
  • Need Date - Enter the [MM/DD/YYYY] the client incurred the need.  The date entered in the Need Date field can be prior to the original DCA date of application but cannot be a future date.
  • Authorized Amount - Enter the [amount of the Diversion Assistance to be authorized for each need type].  If the amount entered exceeds the DCA maximum, the following message will display: Total Authorized Amount cannot exceed the maximum for Diversion Assistance
  • Means of Future Support - Select the appropriate value to show the client's expected income source.  This is the income that the client expects to use to remain off TANF for the next 12 months.
NOTE:  When money is to be issued to more than one vendor for the same need type code, DO NOT COMBINE THE AMOUNTS ON THE BOND SCREEN.  The amounts must be entered separately so the correct number of VEND screens display when the AU is finalized.
  1. On the Eligibility page, click the Details link for each benefit month.  This takes you to the Eligibility Details page.
  2. From the Eligibility page, under Benefits - Underpayment, select CH - Underpayment due to change in situation.  
  3. Confirm eligibility on the Eligibility Details page by clicking Confirm Benefits for all subsequent months.
  4. To assign the additional DCA payment to a vendor and/or confirm the underissuance Benefit Error Group (BEG) on an additional DCA payment, follow the procedures in How do I make an Emergent Need (EN) or Diversion Cash Assistance (CH) BEG payment to a vendor?  This step must be completed in Mainframe Processing.
NOTE:  A Need Type entered on the Bona Fide Needs page with a date later than the 30th day following the DCA begin date will not be included in the DCA payment.

How do I reissue a lost/stolen Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) warrant?

For more information on how to reissue a lost or stolen DCA warrant, see How do I process a warrant replacement?

How do I close Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) when Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is pending?

Before closing the DCA AU, make sure the client is eligible to receive TANF.

Close the DCA AU for all months in which the client is eligible for TANF.  Process the most recent months first and work backwards to ensure the DCA overpayment proration is accurate.

To close a DCA AU when a TANF AU is pending, take the following steps:

  1. Go to the Case Actions page:  See How do I access the Case Actions page in ACES 3G?
  2. From the Case Actions page, under Change of Circumstances, select the ongoing benefit month from the drop-down list.  Then click Start Changes.
  3. From the Assistance Units page, select the active DCA AU  
  4. From the Assistance Units page, under Clients, use the drop-down box to select Reason - DCA Adult Eligible for TANF, Establish Loan Repayment - Reason Code 585 - for all household members.
  5. On the Eligibility page, click the Details link.  This takes you to the Eligibility Details page.
  6. From Eligibility page, under Benefits - Overpayment, select reason type: DA - Diversion Assistance Loan.  Then select Confirm Benefits.
  7. Select Confirm Changes
  8. Repeat steps 1 through 6 for each historical month.
NOTE:  If Error message - (NAME) CANNOT RECEIVE BENEFITS FROM TWO AUS, REVIEW CLIENT STATUS appears when finalizing the TANF AU, from the Clients pageunder Concurrent Receipt, select from the drop-down list under Cash - Previous Benefit was an Overpayment [O] for each person in the DCA AU who is now being opened on TANF.

How do I establish a Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA) overpayment?

To establish an overpayment for a DCA AU:

1.    Close the DCA AU for all months in which the client was not entitled to DCA using either:

•    Reason code 585 - DCA Adult Eligible for TANF, Establish Loan Repayment - For Administrative Use Only

or

•    Reason Code 586 - DCA Ineligible – which is used to close DCA for not meeting other eligibility factors.

o    When the ongoing month is closed, the overpayment is 1/12th of the total DCA payment issued multiplied by the number of months remaining in the DCA certification period.
o    For all historical months, the overpayment is 1/12th of the total DCA issued.

2.    Complete the overpayment process by following the steps in How do I confirm an overpayment?

EXAMPLE:  Client applies and is determined eligible for $960 DCA with a begin date of 11/10/14. He loses his job on 3/30/15. He is determined eligible for TANF with a begin date 5/3/15. · The DCA 12 month period of eligibility is 11/14 through 10/15 . · The client is approved for TANF in 5/15 so he is eligible for the DCA benefits he received 11/14 through 4/15. · A loan repayment exists for months 5/15 through 10/15 . Once established, this amount does not change. Even if the client’s TANF closes in 7/15, the loan amount stands as originally established. The loan calculation is: $960 ÷ 12 months = $80 per month. O/P for 5/15 is $80 and O/P for 6/15 is $400 ($80 /month x 5 months left in 12 month period). Total DCA loan amount due for repayment = $480.

 

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.