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Q & A: Noncustodial Parent Reporting

Final

Issued by: Administration for Children and Families (ACF)

Noncustodial Parent Reporting:

Q1: We understand that the State may include or exclude noncustodial parents from disaggregated reporting on an individual case basis. Is this true? Can States choose to include participating noncustodial parents as part of a TANF case and exclude non-participating noncustodial parents?

A: No. Your understanding is incorrect. States must report information on noncustodial parents if the noncustodial parent (1) is receiving assistance as defined in §260.31; (2) is participating in work activities as defined in section 407(d) of the Act; or (3) has been designated by the State as a member of a family receiving assistance. If the noncustodial parent is the only member of the family receiving assistance, the State must report the disaggregated and aggregated information on the entire family. If the noncustodial parent is only participating in work activities that do not constitute assistance (as defined in §260.31of the CFR) and the other members of the family are not receiving assistance, the State must report only the aggregated information on the noncustodial parent.

Q2: If a noncustodial parent of a TANF family is a custodial parent of another TANF case, do we report the parent only in the case in which (s)he is a custodial parent or do we also report him/her in the case for which he/she is a noncustodial parent? How is this reporting going to impact Section III?

A: If a noncustodial parent for a given TANF case is also custodial parent of another TANF case, the State must report the individual with one of the two cases (but not with both cases.) The preferred approach is to report the individual with the case for which (s)he is the custodial parent. If the State reports the NCP in this way, the State would not include this individual in data element #15 (Total Number of Noncustodial Parents Participating in Work Activities) in section three of the TDR.

Q3:When a State reports on a noncustodial parent, some data elements may be absent because there are no legal requirements for the noncustodial parents to provide such data. Is there a penalty for missing data related to the noncustodial parent?

A: Yes. There is a reporting penalty associated with failing to report data specified in the section 411 (a) data reporting requirements for noncustodial parents.

Q4: How is a noncustodial parent, who participates in work activities under the State’s TANF program and receives only non-assistance, reported, when his/her related TANF eligible family is not receiving assistance?

A: In this situation, the noncustodial parent is reported only in section three of the TANF Data Report.

Q5: Can we be more specific about which of the following should be included in the TANF Data Report – Section Three:

a) Any noncustodial parent participating in work activities, regardless of whether or not their children are receiving TANF benefits. (Under this most expansive scenario, New York State could have well over a million noncustodial parents)

b) Noncustodial parents who are participating in work activities - the second most expansive interpretation of this definition would include employed noncustodial parents of all TANF cases (regardless of whether they are no-parent, one-parent or two-parent cases). (For New York State, this could be over 250,000);OR

c) Noncustodial parents who are participating in work activities, can be identified as being associated in a noncustodial status with a TANF case, but are not included as a member of the case in question;

d) Noncustodial parents, who are participating in work activities, can be identified as being associated in a noncustodial status with a TANF case and are included as a member of the case in question.

A: The statute indicates that the State must report on the number of noncustodial parents participating in work activities as defined in section 407(d). This includes all noncustodial parents served by the State’s TANF program.

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this database lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law (including Medicare Advantage Rate Announcements and Advance Notices) or as specifically incorporated into a contract. The Department may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on the guidance repository, except to establish historical facts.