What is a Limited Benefit Plan?
If you are receiving cash benefits from the Family Investment Program (FIP), there are certain conditions you must meet. If you do not, you may be at risk of having your benefits stopped, which is called a "Limited Benefit Plan" or LBP.
When might I be at risk for being placed on a Limited Benefit Plan?
You could be placed on a Limited Benefit Plan (LBP) for the following reasons:
- Not attending orientation
- Not signing a Family Investment Agreement (FIA)
- Not meeting the requirements of your FIA
The FIA is an agreement created by you and your Promise Jobs worker. It is designed to help you move toward self-sufficiency. Your FIA may require that you participate in activities like working, looking for a job or attending school. If you do not meet the requirements in your FIA, your Promise Jobs worker could place you on an LBP.
How will I know I'm on a Limited Benefit Plan?
You will receive a notice from your Promise Jobs worker telling you that you may be placed on an LBP.
What happens after I'm placed on a Limited Benefit Plan?
The first time you are placed on an LBP, you probably won't lose your benefits if you contact your Promise Jobs worker. It is important that you appeal this LBP so that it doesn't count against you. Your Promise Jobs worker will require you to participate in Promise Jobs activities, sign a new FIA, and comply with its provisions.
The notice may not clearly state that you are on an LBP and the issue is usually resolved quickly. However, this will still count against you as your first LBP, unless you successfully appeal.
Any future LBPs will result in your benefits stopping for at least 6 months.
After the 6 months are over, you must contact your Promise Jobs worker, sign a new FIA, and complete 20 hours of employment or another similar activity.
Your FIP won't start again until you do these things and until you've gone without benefits for a minimum of 6 months.
What if I can't meet the requirements of my Family Investment Agreement?
If for some reason you can't meet the FIA requirements, you should tell your Promise Jobs worker why you are not able to do so. This is known as a "barrier to participation." Barriers may include lack of child care, lack of transportation, substance abuse, domestic or sexual abuse, overwhelming family stress, and physical or mental disability. Your worker should amend your FIA to address any barriers that you might face in meeting the requirements of your FIA.
How do I resolve a problem about my FIA or LBP?
- First, talk to your Promise Jobs worker.
- If you are not able to reach a resolution with your worker, you can request a meeting with that person's supervisor. The supervisor must set a face-to-face meeting with you within 7 days and make a decision within 14 days of your request. This process is not an appeal. Appeal rights are not extended while engaging in this process.
- An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision. If you do not appeal your first LBP, it will count against you for future LBPs.
- If you were placed on an LBP and want to appeal that decision or have questions about what it means, please contact Iowa Legal Aid at 1-800-532-1275.
Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans.
To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:
- Call 800-532-1275.
- Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161.
- Apply online at iowalegalaid.org
If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website iowabar.org. A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.
As you read this information, remember this article is not a substitute for legal advice.