TANF/FSP/Medicaid. Sedalia’s application process involves many steps, but they can all be completed within the welfare office, and often in a single day. Clerical staff at the reception desk conduct preliminary screenings to determine which benefit programs they appear eligible for and give applicants the appropriate program application. After completing the application, applicants typically are seen for an eligibility determination interview that same day, although final determination is delayed pending completion of the TANF work program orientation and job search.
TANF/FSP/Medicaid applicants must attend a one-on-one orientation, held once a week at the welfare office that covers program benefits, services, and requirements. Applicants must then meet with a representative from the Employment Security Commission who is co-located at the welfare office. The Employment Security representative registers applicants for work and helps them start a mandatory up-front job search requirement consisting of ten contacts per week for four weeks. If the application for assistance is processed prior to the completion of four weeks of job search, the eligibility worker certifies the applicant for TANF and starts issuing benefits. If an applicant fails to fulfill the up-front job search requirement, the case is still approved, but the adult caretaker’s portion of the cash grant is sanctioned (i.e., removed from the grant).
Food Stamps and Medicaid/SCHIP. The application process is much simpler for food stamps and Medicaid/SCHIP. Individuals may submit an application at the welfare office but do not have to go through any of the steps described above. They may also apply for Medicaid/SCHIP by fax or mail — face-to-face interviews are not required. Medicaid/SCHIP applications are available through a local health center, hospital, and a community-based organization.