Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP)
Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
This section includes information about the Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) that is an employment program for families composed of dependent children and both of their parents.
Policy
The Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) is a time-limited CA employment program. TPEP provides CA benefits to needy children deprived of parental support due to the unemployment or underemployment of the Primary Wage Earner(g). TPEP assists the family with cash payments to help meet their needs until the parents return to work.
NOTE All CA participants who are eligible for at least $1 and identified as TPEP budgetary units are processed as potentially eligible for Grant Diversion (GD). For more information on GD eligibility, see Grant Diversion.
The TPEP application process allows mandatory Jobs Program participants to receive the greatest possible work program activities, services, and benefits from the Jobs Program for the six-month TPEP period.
Participation in these work programs is required to occur before payment of the TPEP benefits can be released by the Jobs Program and issued by FAA.
When potential eligibility for TPEP exists, participants are responsible to call or come into an FAA office to complete an interview within five calendar days from the application date.
FAA provides two copies of the Recent Employment/Training Background form to the participant for them to complete before the interview.
FAA reviews the TPEP cases for CA eligibility when any of the following occur:
The only child in common leaves the home
One of the parents leaves the home
A parent with a disability is in the budgetary unit
One or both of the parents are Nonqualified Noncitizen
TPEP budgetary units have the same reporting requirements as CA budgetary units. When benefits change due to reported changes, the increase or decrease affects the entire month's benefit.
Participants who have already received six months of TPEP benefits in the 12 months before the current application are not TPEP eligible. FAA determines whether the potential TPEP eligible participants have received six months of TPEP benefits within the previous 12-month period in the state of Arizona. The 12-month period begins the first month benefits are received even when the first month is a partial month.
Before any other CA eligibility criteria is determined, all of the following TPEP eligibility factors are considered:
Both parents are in the home, neither parent has a disability, and the parents have a child in common.
NOTE When the parents are not married, FAA is required to establish paternity.
The primary wage earning parent (PWE) is unemployed or underemployed.
Both parents meet the United States Citizen or Qualified Noncitizen requirements.
NOTE Nonqualified noncitizen parents are not considered work eligible and cannot participate in the Jobs Program. The household is therefore not TPEP eligible.
A dependent child may receive TPEP when their parents are disqualified for reasons other than citizenship but are otherwise TPEP eligible.
Quick Access Menu:
TPEP Eligibility Requirements
FAA uses all of the following guidelines when determining TPEP eligibility:
Both parents must be in the home, neither parent has a disability, and the parents have a child in common.
Both parents must meet the United States Citizen or Qualified Noncitizen requirements.
Relationship for the children is established between the children in common to both parents.
The Primary Wage Earner(g) (PWE) must be decided. All of the following apply when determining the PWE:
The PWE is unemployed or underemployed.
The PWE has not refused an actual offer of employment, or training for employment, in the 30 calendar days(g) before the date of application, unless they can show good cause.
The parent designated to be the PWE remains the PWE for each consecutive month the TPEP budgetary unit remains eligible.
Anyone who may be eligible for other potential benefits is referred to apply for those benefits.
The number of months a potentially eligible budgetary unit has received TPEP within the previous 12-month period in the state of Arizona is determined.
NOTE When the allowed six months of TPEP in a 12 month period has been received, the participants may be eligible for a TPEP extension. (For information on becoming eligible for a three month extension, see TPEP Extensions.)
Both parents are required to participate in work program activities before receiving benefits. When both parents fail to participate in the work program activities without good cause, all participants are disqualified from TPEP.
A parent must comply with the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) before TPEP approval when there is a child in the budgetary unit from a previous relationship.
Eligible TPEP participants include all of the following:
The dependent child
Siblings to the dependent child (including half-siblings)
The dependent child's parents
All of the following policies apply to TPEP budgetary units:
Family Benefit Cap Period
NOTE The budgetary unit may be TPEP eligible when the only child in common is benefit capped (BC). The BC participants are not CA eligible. BC participants must still be considered part of the TPEP budgetary unit.
Unwed Minor Parent
A dependent child may receive TPEP when their parents are disqualified but are otherwise TPEP eligible.
Disqualified CA participants are ineligible to receive TPEP benefits.
A budgetary unit is not TPEP eligible when the only child in common is a nonqualified noncitizen.
NOTE When one or both parents do not meet the Citizenship or Qualified Noncitizen requirements, the budgetary unit is not eligible for TPEP. FAA reviews for other CA program eligibility.
A change report is required when any of the following changes occur in the TPEP budgetary unit:
The employment status of either parent in the home with a child in common changes to unemployed, underemployed, or a parent becomes disabled.
The wages of either parent in the home with a child in common are reduced.
A child in common enters the home by birth or as a new budgetary unit participant.
The only child in common leaves the residence.
TPEP eligible participants have the right to due process. A TPEP participant has the right to request an appeal regarding actions taken or not taken by FAA. These are the same rights available to all CA participants.
Primary Wage Earner (PWE)
When determining which parent is the Primary Wage Earner(g) (PWE), FAA requires each parent to complete and sign any of the following even when no recent employment is reported:
Recent Employment/Training Background form
Recent Employment/Training Background notice
OnBase Unity form (when available)
FAA reviews the information and determines the PWE based on statements from the form, notice, or the best evidence that is available.
The parent designated to be the PWE remains the PWE for each consecutive month the TPEP budgetary unit remains eligible.
When CA is stopped due solely to the six-month TPEP limit, the PWE remains the PWE as long as the family remains TPEP eligible.
When CA is stopped for any other reason and the TPEP eligible participants reapply, the PWE is redetermined.
FAA determines whether the dependent child is deprived due to an unemployed or underemployed parent by using both of the following criteria:
The PWE is unemployed or underemployed to the extent that after budgeting the budgetary unit's income they are eligible to receive a CA benefit.
The PWE cannot be unemployed or underemployed because of participating in a strike.
TPEP Payments
The Jobs Program releases the Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) benefit when the participant completes all Jobs Program required activities. The Jobs Program notifies the participant benefits are available.
TPEP payments are issued semi-monthly. The first month's payments may be paid closer together than semi-monthly. Each semi-monthly payment is one half of the total monthly benefit amount. TPEP payments are available on the 1st and the 15th calendar day(g) of each month.
Each semi-monthly payment is paid in a separate benefit through AZTECS. FAA authorizes the benefits for the entire month. The amount authorized is divided into two equal payments.
Tribal CA Pregnancy Native Employment Works
Tribal Native Employment Works (NEW) offices provide employment services to the CA Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) budgetary units when at least one parent is an enrolled member of any federally recognized Native American Indian Tribe.
Some Tribes provide CA for pregnant women. These Tribal pregnant women may receive Tribal CA-PG benefits in the three months before and including the month of their expected delivery date. The months of Tribal CA-PG benefits do not count toward the six month TPEP limit. When the child is born, the participants are required to report the change to FAA so FAA can convert the case to TPEP.
TPEP Work Program Requirements
Participation in work program activities is required before receiving a Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) benefit. Participation is waived when both parents are exempt or are referred to Tribal Native Employment Works (NEW).
When one or both parents are required to participate, all of the following apply:
One parent, either the primary wage earner (PWE) or the other parent, is required to participate 40 hours per week.
Unless the other parent is exempt, the other parent is required to participate approximately 20 hours per week. (See TPEP Work Program Exemptions for more information.)
One or both parents, unless exempt, are referred to the work program provider when they are determined otherwise eligible for TPEP.
TPEP Jobs and Tribal Native Employment Works (NEW) are responsible for all of the following:
Determining Good Cause for noncompliance.
Completing reconciliation efforts when disputes occur, or when failure to comply occurs.
For refusal of employment or training good cause reasons, see Work Disqualification Good Cause Reasons.
When good cause is not proven, FAA disqualifies the participant. When the disqualified participant is the PWE, the budgetary unit is not eligible. For disqualifications see Work Requirement Disqualifications.
TPEP Work Program Exempt Status
FAA determines the exempt status for each parent for the Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) for all of the following:
New applications
Renewal applications
Reported changes
All of the following participants are exempt from the TPEP work program:
A parent aged 18, who is a student, who expects to complete school before reaching age 19.
Grant Diversion budgetary unit participants.
Parents who work an average of 30 hours or more per week in unsubsidized employment(g). The employment is required to pay at least minimum wage and last at least 30 calendar(g) days.
The Jobs Program determines when benefits are withheld for noncompliance with the Jobs Program requirements. When the third benefit is withheld due to failure to comply with a Jobs Program requirement, Jobs Program staff notifies FAA to close the case for the first month possible.
For refusal of employment or training good cause reasons, see Work Disqualification Good Cause Reasons.
Failure to Comply with TPEP PRA Requirements
All Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) participants who are or would be required to be in the budgetary unit, must comply with the TPEP Personal Responsibility Agreement (PRA) requirements. This includes participants who are disqualified for any of the following:
Noncompliance with SSN Enumeration
Nonqualified Noncitizen Status
Voluntary Quit or Reduction in Work Effort
Fraud or Intentional Program Violation
FAA withholds the benefit when any participant in the TPEP budgetary unit does not comply with one or more of the following requirements without good cause:
DCSS
Immunization
School Attendance
FAA continues to withhold benefits until the participant recompiles.
TPEP budgetary units are not subject to progressive sanction policy. (For information on progressive sanction policy, see Progressive Sanctions.) When a participant fails to comply with PRA program requirements, all of the following apply:
The noncompliant participant in a TPEP budgetary unit may later join a CA budgetary unit. The participant's noncompliance while receiving TPEP is not counted when applying progressive sanction policy to the CA budgetary unit.
The noncompliant participant in a CA budgetary unit may later join a TPEP budgetary unit. The participant’s noncompliance follows the noncompliant CA participant when they apply for TPEP.
The participant is required to comply before TPEP approval.
TPEP Extensions
Budgetary units may be granted a one-time three-month extension for the Two Parent Employment Program (TPEP) at the expiration of the TPEP six month limit. The three-month extension period is required to be paid in three consecutive months. The eligibility for an extension is determined by the Jobs Program contractor.
The budgetary unit is eligible for the TPEP three-month extension when all of the following apply:
The Jobs Program notifies FAA that the household meets the conditions for the extension.
The budgetary unit meets all other TPEP eligibility requirements.
The three-month period immediately follows the end of the six-month TPEP period.
Verification includes, and is not limited to, any of the following:
DCSS notification of cooperation via the Noncompliance/ Compliance Request email. This is required to end a withholding resulting from noncooperation or noncompliance with DCSS.
Immunization. The participant's written statement of compliance is sufficient.
School Attendance. Written proof from the school administration is required to end a withholding for noncompliance with School Attendance requirements. Written proof from the county Department of Education is required for home schooling.
The participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
Examples of verification that can be used for Earned Income include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
System interface(g) when the participant agrees that the information is accurate.
A copy of a paycheck stub.
Copy of checks when the gross earnings are listed.
A printout from a third-party payroll verification source provided by the participant.
Third-party payroll verification sources when the employer uses the verification source as its legal agent to provide payroll services or respond to inquiries about employee records. (See Third-Party Payroll Verification Sources(g) for FAA approved sources, additional information, and instructions for requesting additional sources.)
A New Employment Verification (C005) notice that is completed, dated, and signed by the employer or their payroll authority. To be considered complete, the statement must include all of the following:
Name, address, and telephone number of the employer
Gross pay for the periods needed
Frequency of pay (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)
Day of the week or day of the month pay is received (e.g., Fridays, 5th and 20th of the month, first of the month, etc.)
Any expected change in pay
For new or current employment verification, a completed Verification of New/Current Employment (FAA0053A) form that includes a date and the signature of the employer or their payroll authority.
For terminated employment verification, any of the following completed items that include a date and the signature of the employer or their payroll authority:
Verification of Terminated Employment (FAA-1701A) form
Verification of Terminated Employment (C019) notice
Letter from the agency providing government-sponsored training.
Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) from the military.
A collateral contact with the employer or their payroll authority.
NOTE Collateral contact is not used when contacting the employer would jeopardize the participant's employment or when the employer does not accept telephone verification.
Participant statement verification when any of the following occur:
Other attempts to obtain verification have failed
Obtaining documented or collateral contact verification may cause harm or undue hardship(g) for the participant.
NOTE A participant’s statement is not allowed to verify income when it is considered questionable.
Self-Employment Verification Sources:
Self-employed participants may be eligible for a 40% expense deduction from income. To be eligible for the 40% Self-Employment Expense Deduction, only one allowable expense must be verified. When self-employment expenses are not verified using the verification process, eligibility is determined without those expenses.
Examples of verification that can be used for self-employment income and expenses include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Bookkeeping records
Business ledgers listing income amounts received and expenses incurred
Actual receipts
Contracts for work
Statements from patrons and companies
Most recent Internal Revenue Service (IRS) U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (1040) form. Below are common IRS Schedule forms that the participant may provide in addition to the 1040:
Schedule C, Profit or Loss From Business
Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss
Schedule F, Profit or Loss from Farming
Schedules B-1, C, D, K, K-1, K-2, K-3, and M-3 of IRS U.S. Return of Partnership Income (1065) form (See Limited Liability Company (LLC) Definition for more information about LLCs.)
NOTE The most recent IRS 1040 and Schedule forms are acceptable as verification of self-employment income and expenses when the participant indicates it accurately reflects the participant's current income.
Rent or mortgage receipt for business property
Property tax statements for business property
Utility costs for business property
Cleaning cost bills for business property
Business location and equipment maintenance
Personal records indicating personnel salaries or costs of outside labor, such as canceled checks and payroll checks
Participant’s statement for self-employment income, when one of the following apply:
Other attempts to obtain verification have failed.
Obtaining documented or collateral contact verification may cause harm or undue hardship(g) for the participant.
NOTE Participant statement verification may be used to verify self-employment expenses unless questionable(g).
Legal Authorities
Prior Policy
last revised 03/18/2024