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LB 430: Change asset limitations for the aid to dependent children program, child care subsidy, and the Welfare Reform Act

As introduced: LB 430 would increase liquid asset limits for several public benefit programs, streamlining the asset limitations to be consistent with limits set for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Income and work requirements for these programs would remain in place. This bill raises the asset limits for eligibility for Aid to Dependent Children maintenance payment and the child care subsidy to $25,000.

Introducing Senator(s): Crawford

Committee: Health and Human Services

Committee Hearing Date: March 5, 2013

Current Status: Not voted out of committee

Estimated Fiscal Impact: In the last six months, an average of 17 families were closed or denied coverage in the ADC Program due to excess assets. Over the course of a year, 204 families would have received assistance or continued on the program. With an average payment of $322 a month, the additional aid costs would be $65,688 a month or $788,256 ($157,651 GF and $630,605 FF) in FY 2014-15. Assuming there is a gradual increase in families qualifying under this bill and an implementation date of September 2013, the costs in FY 2013-14 would be $394,128 ($78,825 GF and $315,303 FF). The Department of Health and Human Services fiscal note assumes there may be an equal number of families who have not applied but would if the asset limits were higher. This would increase the annual cost of the aid to $1,578,077 ($315,615 GF and $1,262,462 FF) in FY 2014-15.

Recipients of ADC automatically qualify for Medicaid. The parents in families qualifying for ADC would be covered under the provisions of this bill until the requirements of the Affordable Care Act are implemented on January 1, 2014. Beginning on January 1, 2014, the resource limits in Medicaid are eliminated. The average monthly cost for ADC adults is $448. The cost for four months of coverage for the parents in qualifying families would be $185,284 ($83,377 GF and $101,907 FF). The HHS fiscal note assumes a higher number of eligible. The costs in their fiscal note are $731,396 ($402,268 GF and $329,128 FF).

In the last six months, the number of child care cases that were closed or denied due to resources was 16 a month or 192 a year. The average cost per case is $414. Costs would be $953,856 GF in FY 2014-15. Assuming a gradual phase-in of those qualifying and an implementation date of September 2013, the FY 2013-14 would be $476,928 GF. The HHS fiscal note assumes there would be an equal number of those who did not apply because of the asset limits. The projected costs by HHS are $1,907,942 GF annually.

Staff time would be saved by not having to check resources for most cases, but the number of cases would increase or open cases would remain qualified longer. Additional eligibility staff may be needed, if the reduction in time spent checking resources is less than the workload created by the larger number of clients.

Voices for Children’s Position: Support (see our testimony)

Research: Fact sheet

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