JOB Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) Brochure


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JOB Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS)

Work Requirements for Recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF)

What are work requirements?

If you are an adult who receives a TANF benefit, you are required by law to work or to participate in approved work activities. Please read this brochure carefully. It describes your work requirements.
Time is important; you are limited to 60 months of TANF benefits in your lifetime!

Who must work or do work activities?

  1. If you are an eligible caretaker or parent who receives a TANF benefit, you must participate in work activities:
    • Unless you are over age 65, or
    • Unless you are a parent or caretaker of a child under two months of age,
    • Unless you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI),
    • Unless you are a parent providing care for a disabled family member living in the home, as supported by medical documentation.
  2. If you are a dependent child who is age 16 or older and not in school, you must participate in work activities.

What is expected is the work requirements applies to you?

Your TANF eligibility worker will refer you to the JOBS or Tribal NEW program. You must contact the JOBS or Tribal NEW program within 7 days from the date of the referral and schedule an orientation appointment.
Please note: JOBS and Tribal NEW offices are not open on Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.
To set up your JOBS or Tribal New appointment, contact the JOBS or Tribal New Office and:

  • Speak directly with a staff person on or before 5 p.m. on the last working day in your 7 day referral period.
  • Arrange for child care and transportation as needed to attend the orientation and do work activities.
  • Complete the orientation as scheduled.
  • Work with your JOBS Employment Contractor to assess your work skills for the job market and to complete a plan that outlines how you will meet work requirements as soon as possible.
  • Meet all program requirements.

What are my JOBS requirements?

If full-time, paid employment is not available, your JOBS Employment Contractor will work with you to develop a plan to help you find and keep a job. Your plan may contain different work or job readiness activities. You are responsible to participate in the assigned activities for a minimum number of hours each week as instructed by your JOBS Employment Contractor.

What is an allowable JOBS work activity?

Full-time, paid employment is the first priority. If full-time, paid employment is not available, other allowable work activities are required. Allowable JOBS work activities include:

  • Paid employment
  • On-the-job training
  • Unpaid work experience
  • Community service
  • Job search-job readiness activities
  • Job skills training directly related to employment
  • High school/GED or education directly related to employment
  • Child care services for another recipient doing community service
  • Vocational Education training. Limited vocational education training may be available through the JOBS program for individuals who meet the
  • criteria. Contact your JOBS Employment Contractor to find out if you qualify. Participation in more than one JOBS work activity may be required.

Can I get help paying for JOBS WORK ACTIVITIES?

Special financial assistance may be available to help you get a job or do work activities, such as:

  • Money for gas, car repairs, taxi, bus fares, or paying others for rides.
  • Money for interview costs, clothing, or a haircut.
  • Money for relocation assistance to accept a job is available to help with utility hookups or other moving expenses.
  • Child care for approved activities may be reimbursed up to the maximum limits allowed by the Child Care Assistance Program if it is provided by a licensed or registered child care provider. NOTE: If you are working in paid employment, you may choose to have your childcare expenses treated as an earned income disregard.

What is Tribal Native Employment Works (NEW) Program?

If you are enrolled in or eligible for enrollment in a federally recognized tribe, and are attending college, vocational education, or GED classes, you may be eligible to work with one of the Tribal NEW programs to meet your TANF work requirements. There are Tribal NEW programs located on the Three Affiliated Tribes, Spirit Lake Nation, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa reservations.

What happens if I do not cooperate?

Your cooperation is required. You must contact the JOBS or Tribal NEW program within 7 days of your referral and schedule an initial appointment for orientation. You must also complete the orientation as scheduled. If you do not, your TANF application will be denied. If you do not cooperate with the JOBS or Tribal NEW program, you may be sanctioned. This means your TANF benefits will be reduced. If a sanction is not corrected within a short period of time, your entire TANF case will be closed.

You may be sanctioned if you:

  • Miss a scheduled appointment for any program or approved work activity
  • Are absent from a program or approved work activity when scheduled to be there
  • Refuse to participate in any program or approved work activity
  • Refuse to maintain satisfactory progress in any program or approved work activity
  • Fail to follow the requirements of your employment plan
  • Refuse a job, quit a job, or reduce hours at work without a good reason.

Discrimination Prohibited:

State and federal laws require that the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services provide services to all eligible or otherwise qualified persons without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or status with respect to marriage or public assistance.
If you feel, you have been unlawfully discriminated against for any of these reasons; a written complaint may be filed with the county office, the North Dakota Department of Human Services Civil Rights Officer, or the Office for Civil Rights Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Office Building, 1961 Stout Street, Denver, CO 80294