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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Aligning Policies and Procedures in Benefit Programs: An Analysis of the Opportunities and Challenges Under Current Federal Laws and Regulations
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This paper discusses the flexibility, opportunities and barriers that exist under current federal law with respect to cross-program integration both within human services programs, and across the welfare and workforce systems. The authors developed three models of cross-system integration, and analyzed the components of each to determine whether current federal laws or regulations permitted, prohibited or hindered the implementation of the models. This report focuses on the findings of the analysis of the benefit simplification model, and seeks to facilitate states' efforts to streamline and coordinate program rules and requirements for each of the five core assistance programs: food stamps; Medicaid; SCHIP; child care; and TANF. The authors identify those areas where federal law and rules allow program alignment, as well as those areas in which federal rules preclude it. This report focuses on the application process, procedural requirements related to program retention, and financial and non-financial eligibility criteria across these five core benefit programs. (Authors)