The federal government has told States they can be “flexible” in recognizing that the coronavirus emergency may interfere with the ability of a WV Works participant to meet their Personal Responsibility Contract (PRC).
We at Legal Aid believe that a perfect example for flexibility is a person who lost their job because of COVID-19. DHHR should recognize situations like that as “Good Cause” for not meeting the requirements of the Personal Responsibility Contract. That’s just one example.
If you can’t meet your work requirements because of COVID-19, contact your worker at DHHR. Let her know exactly what your situation is. Perhaps you have to stay home to take care of kids because their school or day care is closed. Perhaps your employer’s business was shut down due to an outbreak. Whatever the reason, tell your DHHR worker up front. Don’t wait for some review somewhere down the line, when the worker might say “but you should have told me about this.” We recommend that give your worker the full facts up front.
We do know that DHHR has told workers to be flexible, but we don’t know what instructions DHHR may have given to help workers understand what it means tp “be flexible” in their cases. We don’t know if front-line workers will assess cases the way we do. We will have to wait and see what happens.
If you get sanctioned for not fulfilling your work requirement, and you feel the reason was due to some aspect of the COVID-19, you should apply for our services and we may be able to assist you.