Is a TANF agency legally obligated to provide a program modification or accommodation even if it results in the state not being able to count a person with a disability in its Federal work participation rate?
Yes. Section 504 and the ADA require nondiscriminatory treatment of people with disabilities by TANF agencies. By focusing on what applicants and beneficiaries with disabilities need in order to move from government dependency to self-sufficiency, TANF agencies can ensure compliance with civil rights laws. If a TANF client with a disability needs a program modification or accommodation and providing the modification means that the State will not be able to count the person in its Federal work participation rate, the State is still obligated to provide the program modification.
~ The TANF statute only allows a State to count people in its Federal work participation rate that participate in work activities for at least a minimum average of 30 hours per week. A TANF client has a disability that limits his/her ability to participate in work activities for more than 15 hours per week. Even though the State may not be able to count this client in its Federal work participation rate, Section 504 and the ADA may require the State to continue serving the client.