44:10-60. Requirements for benefits for individuals under 18 with a dependent child
6. a. If an applicant or recipient is less than 18 years of age, has never married, and is pregnant or is caring for a dependent child, the applicant or recipient shall be required, as a condition of eligibility for benefits for the applicant or recipient and the applicant’s or recipient’s dependent child to:
(1) reside in a home maintained by, and have the benefits paid to, the applicant’s or recipient’s parent, legal guardian, or other adult relative; and
(2) regularly attend a high school or equivalency program of study; or
(3) engage in a work activity if the applicant or recipient has completed secondary education.
b. The commissioner shall exempt from the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section an applicant or recipient who, as determined by the commissioner during the application or eligibility redetermination process, as appropriate, presents evidence that the parent, legal guardian or other adult relative with whom the applicant or recipient would otherwise be required to reside in order to be eligible for benefits:
(1) refuses or is unable to allow the applicant or recipient, or that person’s dependent child, to reside in that adult’s home;
(2) poses a threat to the emotional health or physical safety of the applicant or recipient;
(3) has physically or sexually abused the applicant or recipient, or the applicant’s or recipient’s dependent child, or poses a risk of doing so; or
(4) has exhibited neglect with respect to the needs of the applicant or recipient and the applicant’s or recipient’s dependent child.
In making the determination to exempt an applicant or recipient who is under 18 years of age pursuant to this subsection, the commissioner shall obtain information directly from that applicant or recipient when there has been any known circumstance or incident of physical or sexual abuse, or upon the request of that applicant or recipient.
C. In the case of an applicant or recipient and the applicant’s or recipient’s dependent child who are exempted from the requirements of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of this section, in accordance with subsection b. of this section, the county agency , pursuant to guidelines established by the commissioner, shall make a determination as to the most appropriate living arrangement that would be in the best interest of the applicant or recipient and the applicant’s or recipient’s dependent child.
d. The commissioner shall exempt from the provisions of paragraph (2) of subsection a. of this section an applicant or recipient whom the commissioner determines, based upon an assessment of the person’s ability and aptitude, lacks a reasonable prospect of being able to successfully complete the academic requirements of a high school or equivalency program of study.
e. The commissioner may also exempt an applicant or recipient from the provisions of subsection a. of this section, if the commissioner otherwise determines that the exemption would be in the best interest of that applicant or recipient and the applicant’s or recipient’s dependent child.
f. The commissioner shall provide an appropriate appeal mechanism for an applicant or recipient to present evidence that would provide the basis for an exemption pursuant to this section.
Original Text maintained by the State of New Jersey:
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