Citations Affected: IC 12-20; IC 16-41.
Synopsis: Poor relief. Requires a township trustee to process only
completed applications for poor relief. Provides circumstances under
which a township trustee may authorize the payment of delinquent bills
for certain utility services. Allows a township trustee to require
individuals needing insulin to make a regular application for poor relief
assistance before receiving free insulin a second time. Provides that in
an appeal for an individual's eligibility for poor relief, the board of
commissioners and the hearing officer may not consider any evidence
that was not presented to the trustee.
Effective: July 1, 2001.
January 11, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Governmental and
February 1, 2001, amended, reported favorably _ Do Pass.
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
SECTION 1. IC 12-20-6-6.6 IS AMENDED TO READ AS
FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 6.6. Notwithstanding
any other provision of this article:
(1) a township trustee may not extend aid to or for the benefit of an individual if that aid would pay for goods or services provided to or for the benefit of the individual; and
(2) a township is not obligated to pay the cost of basic necessities incurred on behalf of the household in which the individual resides;
during a period that the individual has previously applied for and been denied township poor relief.
SECTION 2. IC 12-20-6-7 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 7. (a) In a case of emergency, a trustee shall accept and promptly act upon
completed application from an individual requesting assistance. In a
nonemergency request for poor relief assistance, the trustee shall act on
the completed application not later than seventy-two (72) hours after
receiving the application, excluding weekends and legal holidays listed
in IC 1-1-9. The trustee's office shall retain a copy of each application
and affidavit whether or not relief is granted.
(b) The actions that a trustee may take on
an a completed
application for poor relief, except in a case of emergency, are the
(1) Grant assistance.
(2) Deny assistance, including a partial denial of assistance requested.
(3) Leave the decision pending.
(c) A decision pending determination under subsection (b)(3):
(1) may not remain pending for more than seventy-two (72) hours after the expiration of the period described in subsection (a); and
(2) must include a statement listing the specific reasons that assistance is not granted or denied within the period required under subsection (a).
SECTION 3. IC 12-20-6-8 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 8. (a) A township trustee shall promptly notify in writing each applicant for poor relief of action taken upon
an a completed application for poor relief. The
trustee shall do the following:
(1) Mail notice or provide personal notice not later than seventy-two (72) hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays listed in IC 1-1-9, after the completed application is received, advising the applicant of the right to appeal an adverse decision of the trustee to the board of commissioners.
(2) Include in the notice required under subdivision (1) the following:
(A) The type and amount of assistance granted.
(B) The type and amount of assistance denied or partially granted.
(C) Specific reasons for denying all or part of the assistance requested.
(D) Information advising the applicant of the procedures for appeal to the board of commissioners.
(b) A copy of the notice described in subsection (a) shall be filed with the recipient's application and affidavit in the trustee's office.
(c) An application for poor relief is not considered complete until all adult members of the requesting household have signed:
(1) the poor relief application; and
(2) any other form, instrument, or document:
(A) required by law; or
(B) determined necessary for investigative purposes by the trustee, as contained in the township's poor relief guidelines.
SECTION 4. IC 12-20-12-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 1. As a condition of continuing eligibility, a township trustee may require a recipient of poor relief or any member of a recipient's household to participate in an appropriate work training program that is offered to the recipient or a member of the recipient's household
(1) within the county or an adjoining township in another county
under the Job Training Partnership Act established by 29 U.S.C.
1501 et seq.; or
(2) by a:
(1) federal, state, or local governmental entity; or
(2) nonprofit agency.
SECTION 5. IC 12-20-15-4 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 4. In hearing an appeal, the board of commissioners and a hearing officer shall be governed by the township's poor relief standards for determining eligibility to the extent that the standards comply with existing law for the granting of poor relief. If no legally sufficient standards have been established, the board of commissioners and the hearing officer shall be guided by the circumstances in each case. The board of commissioners and the hearing officer may not consider any documents or evidence that were not presented to the township trustee to make the determination under appeal.
SECTION 6. IC 12-20-16-3 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 3. (a) The township trustee may, in cases of necessity, authorize the payment from township poor relief money for essential utility services, including the following:
(1) Water services.
(2) Gas services.
(3) Electric services.
(4) Fuel oil services for fuel oil used for heating or cooking.
(5) Coal, wood, or liquid propane used for heating or cooking.
In addition, The township trustee may authorize the payment of
delinquent bills for the services listed in subdivisions (1) through (5)
subsection (a)(1) through (a)(5) when necessary to prevent the
termination of the services or to restore terminated service if both of
the following conditions are met:
(1) The delinquency has lasted not longer than twenty-four (24) months.
(2) The household was financially eligible for poor relief benefits at the time the cost of the delinquent essential utility service was incurred.
The township trustee has no obligation to pay a delinquent bill for the services or materials listed in subsection (a)(1) through (a)(5) if the delinquency has lasted longer than twenty-four (24) months.
(b) (c) The township trustee is not required to pay for any utility
(1) that is not properly charged to:
(A) an adult member of a household;
(B) an emancipated minor who is head of the household; or
(C) a landlord or former member of the household if the applicant proves that the applicant:
(i) received the services as a tenant residing at the service address at the time the cost was incurred; and
(ii) is responsible for payment of the bill;
(2) received as a result of a fraudulent act by any adult member of a household requesting poor relief assistance; or
(3) that includes the use of township poor relief funds for the payment of:
(A) a security deposit; or
(B) damages caused by a poor relief applicant to utility company property.
(c) (d) The amount paid by the township trustee, as administrator of
poor relief, and the amount charged for water services may not exceed
the minimum rate charged for the service as fixed by the Indiana utility
(d) (e) This subsection applies only during the part of each year
when applications for assistance are accepted by the division under
IC 12-14-11. A township trustee may not provide assistance to make
any part of a payment for heating fuel or electric services for more than
thirty (30) days unless the individual files an application with the
township trustee that includes the following:
(1) Evidence of application for assistance for heating fuel or electric services from the division under IC 12-14-11.
(2) The amount of assistance received or the reason for denial of assistance.
The township trustee shall inform an applicant for assistance for heating fuel or electric services that assistance for heating fuel and electric services may be available from the division under IC 12-14-11 and that the township trustee may not provide assistance to make any part of a payment for those services for more than thirty (30) days
unless the individual files an application for assistance for heating fuel
or electric services under IC 12-14-11. However, if the applicant
household is eligible under criteria established by the division of
disability, aging, and rehabilitative services for energy assistance under
IC 12-14-11, the trustee may certify the applicant as eligible for that
assistance by completing an application form prescribed by the state
board of accounts and forwarding the eligibility certificate to the
division of disability, aging, and rehabilitative services within the
period established for the acceptance of applications. If the trustee
follows this certification procedure, no other application is required for
assistance under IC 12-14-11.
(e) (f) If an individual or a member of an individual's household has
received assistance under subsection (a) (b), the individual must,
before the individual or the member of the individual's household may
receive further assistance under subsection (a) (b), certify whether the
individual's or household's income, resources, or household size has
changed since the individual filed the most recent application for poor
relief assistance. If the individual or a member of the individual's
household certifies that the income, resources, or household size has
changed, the township trustee shall review the individual's or
household's eligibility and may make any necessary adjustments in the
level of assistance provided to the individual or to a member of the
SECTION 7. IC 12-20-21-4, AS AMENDED BY P.L.101-2000, SECTION 4, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 4. If the board of commissioners determines from the quarterly reports filed by the township trustee under IC 12-20-21-5 with the county auditor and the levies made by the respective townships for poor relief purposes that there will be insufficient money in the township poor relief fund to provide free and available money during the following year
for estimated advancements to townships for
poor relief purposes on the basis of the total costs of poor relief granted
by the township trustees, as administrators of poor relief, for the
previous twelve (12) months:
(1) the board of commissioners may include estimates for the advancements in the county general fund budget;
(2) the county fiscal body may appropriate for the advancement in the budget and levy as adopted by the county fiscal body; and
(3) the state board of tax commissioners shall include that amount in the final county general fund levy.
SECTION 8. IC 16-41-19-7 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 7. (a) Except as
provided in subsection (b), all costs that are incurred in furnishing
biologicals under this chapter, IC 12-20-16-2(c)(13), or
IC 12-20-16-14 shall be paid by:
(1) the appropriate county, city, or town against which the application form is issued from general funds; and
(2) the appropriate township against which the application form is issued from funds in the township poor relief fund;
not otherwise appropriated without appropriations.
(b) A township is not responsible for paying for biologicals as provided in subsection (a)(2) if the township trustee has evidence that the individual has the financial ability to pay for the biologicals.
(c) After being presented with a legal claim for insulin being furnished to the same individual a second time, a township trustee may require the individual to complete and file a standard application for poor relief in order to investigate the financial condition of the individual claiming to be indigent. The trustee shall immediately notify the individual's physician that:
(1) the financial ability of the individual claiming to be indigent is in question; and
(2) a standard application for poor relief must be filed with the township.
The township shall continue to furnish insulin under this section until the township trustee completes an investigation and makes a determination as to the individual's financial ability to pay for insulin.
(d) For purposes of this section, the township shall consider an adult individual needing insulin as an individual and not as a member of a household requesting poor relief.