WIOAPL 15-07.2 (Source Documentation for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I Program Eligibility)
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-07.2
February 20, 2019
TO: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Local Workforce Development Boards, Fiscal Agents, CCMEP Lead Agencies, OhioMeansJobs Center Operators, and Providers of Career and Youth Services
FROM: Kimberly Hall, Director
SUBJECT: Source Documentation for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I Program Eligibility

I.Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to communicate the documentation requirements necessary to support eligibility determinations in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs.

II.Effective Date

Immediately

III.Rescission

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-07.1, Source Documentation for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I Program Eligibility, (June 25, 2018).

IV.Background

WIOA establishes general and specific program eligibility criteria. As recipients of WIOA Title I, Subtitle B funds, the ODJFS Office of Workforce Development (OWD), the local workforce development areas (local areas), and Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP) lead agencies are required to maintain and report accurate program and financial information.

V.Definitions

Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program (CCMEP): An integrated intervention program that combines Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the WIOA youth program to provide employment and training services to individuals ages 14 through 24 years.

Lead agency: The local participating agency designated by the board of county commissioners to administer CCMEP.

Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS): A system used by workforce professionals to gather and report WIOA and CCMEP participant and program data and information.

Personal information and personally identifiable information (PII): Any information describing anything about a person, indicating actions done by or to a person, or indicating a person’s personal characteristics, which can be retrieved from a system by a name, identifying number, symbol, or other identifier assigned to a person. This information can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual.

Registration: The process of collecting information to support a determination of eligibility for the WIOA adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs. This information may be collected through methods, including electronic data transfer, personal interview, or an individual's application.

Workforce service providers (WSPs): Local areas, career services providers, youth program providers, and CCMEP lead agencies that carry out a workforce development activity or program.

VI.Workforce Service Provider Requirements

Workforce service providers (WSPs) Local areas, career services providers, youth program providers, and CCMEP lead agencies must verify or confirm eligibility requirements through an examination of documents or by using one or more of the additional methods of source documentation described below.

Documentation requirements to support WIOA adult and dislocated worker eligibility are tied to the level of services provided to the participant. For adults and dislocated workers receiving only basic career services which do not trigger participation in the WIOA program, the local area may accept information provided by these reportable individuals at face value to complete the basic intake process without requiring source documentation.

Documentation requirements increase for participants who receive basic career services triggering participation, individualized career services, or training services. Definitions and examples of basic career services and individualized career services are contained in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter (WIOAPL) No. 15-08.1, Career Services for Adults and Dislocated Workers.

CCMEP WIOA youth program eligibility documentation does not vary between types of services or program elements received.

Attachment A provides guidance for the specific types of source documents that may be used to verify participant eligibility at each level of service.

A.Electronic Files

Eligibility documentation may be stored electronically. However, the documentation requirements remain unchanged. If WSPs use electronic files, the documents must be available to the program and fiscal monitors and auditors for monitoring purposes.

The Ohio Workforce Case Management System (OWCMS) is the system of record for all WIOA workforce activities. Per rule 5101:9-30-04 of the Administrative Code, local areas must use OWCMS to accurately report the following:

1.WIOA participant information, including eligibility criteria and barriers to employment;

2.Services provided to the participant;

3.Case management activities, including case notes; and

4.Performance information.

Information must be placed into OWCMS within 30 days of obtaining the information. No other system of case management shall be maintained.

B.Electronic Signatures

WSPs may have an electronic WIOA adult and dislocated worker programs eligibility form. In these instances, the electronic form must capture the electronic signatures of the applicants.

For the CCMEP WIOA youth program, WSPs must use the JFS 03002, WIOA Youth Program Eligibility Application. This form must be used to determine eligibility for all WIOA youth program participants per rule 5101:14-1-02 of the Administrative Code. WSPs making this form electronic must capture all required electronic signatures.

C.Additional methods of Source Documentation

For documentation of eligibility for WIOA adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs, there are multiple forms of acceptable source documentation. In most instances, one of the source documents listed in Attachment A, Allowable Source Documentation for WIOA Program Eligibility, should be used to verify the eligibility of a participant. Below are additional methods that WSPs may use if, per Attachment A of this policy letter, the method is permissible for the eligibility criteria or data element being verified.

1.Telephone or Electronic Communication

In instances where telephone or electronic communication is acceptable and used, the case file must contain the name of the agency representative, the date of the conversation, and the result of the eligibility verification.

WSPs must use the JFS 13188, WIOA Telephone Eligibility Verification, to document telephone communication. If a telephone communication is used to verify dislocation, the case file must contain the date and reason for termination, and a possible recall date if applicable.

2.Self-Attestation

Self-Attestation occurs when a participant states his or her status for an eligibility criterion or set of eligibility criteria, and then signs and dates a form acknowledging this status. The key elements for self-attestation are:

a.The participant identifying his or her status for permitted eligibility criteria; and

b.Signing and dating the form attesting to this self-identification.

WSPs must use the JFS 13186, Self-Attestation, or the JFS 13187, Citizenship Status/Authorization to Work Self-Attestation.

Local areas may add the JFS 13186 to a local area WIOA Adult and Dislocated Worker eligibility determination form if all the components of the form, including language, remain intact. The self-attestation is not a blanket verification for all eligibility components as noted in Attachment A. Within this self-attestation, the individual must document which specific elements of eligibility he or she is attesting (e.g., authorization to work, proof of termination or layoff, etc.) and how he or she meets the eligibility criteria.

WSPs must be cognizant that not all eligibility source documentation may be verified with self-attestation. Therefore, self-attestation does not alleviate or replace the need to collect documentation of some eligibility elements from the individual.

3.Case Notes

Case notes refer to statements placed in OWCMS by the case manager and identify, at a minimum, the following:

a.A participant's status for a specific eligibility criterion or set of eligibility criteria;

b.The date on which the information was obtained; and

c.The case manager who obtained the information.

4.Cross-Match

A cross-match requires the WSP staff to acquire detailed supporting evidence for the eligibility criteria in another database (e.g., public assistance records). An indicator or presence of a social security number in a database alone is not sufficient evidence to document WIOA eligibility; additional details such as the date of the eligibility determination, date of participation, and services rendered should be obtained from the cross-match to confirm the accuracy and currency of the information.

5.State Management Information System (MIS)

State MIS refers to specific, detailed information that is stored in OWCMS and supports eligibility criteria. An indicator such as a checkmark or date on a computer screen is not acceptable source documentation.

D.Handling and Protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII)

1.Identifying information collected about adult, dislocated worker, and youth workforce program participants is not considered a public record, should only be used for workforce program administrative purposes, and should not be disclosed to the general public or to unauthorized individuals. Identifying information includes, but is not limited to, names, home and email addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, dates of birth, and other identifying information collected or maintained about individual job-seekers, those seeking education or training, and those seeking assistance in overcoming their barriers to employment.

2.Moreover, certain types of personally identifiable information (PII) about workforce participants are more sensitive and confidential than others, because the disclosure of such information could result in financial or other harm to the individual whose name or identity is linked to that information. Such information requires a higher level of security — including staff training — to prevent unauthorized access, use and disclosure. Examples of the types of PII that are more sensitive, and therefore subject to a higher level of security, include, but are not limited to, social security numbers (SSN), state and federal tax identification numbers, driver’s license numbers, state identification numbers, credit and debit card numbers, bank and financial account numbers, student educational records (including transcripts, and information about current or prior enrollment, course progress, or graduation), medical history and information about an individual’s current or prior physical or mental status, financial information, and information identifying the individual as an applicant for or recipient of unemployment compensation benefits, or food or cash assistance.

3.Any WSP staff who work directly with job-seekers and other workforce program participants, or who handle or process PII about workforce participants, must take steps to ensure that PII is processed in a manner that will protect the confidentiality of the records/documents, and that PII is not accessed, viewed, or used by either the general public, or unauthorized staff at OMJ Center partner organizations.

4.Federal law, OMB Guidance, and United States Department of Labor (USDOL) policies require that PII and other sensitive information be protected. To ensure that PII and sensitive information is handled appropriately, WSPs must:

a.Ensure PII is not transmitted to unauthorized users and all PII transmitted through e-mail or stored electronically (e.g., DVD or thumb drive) is encrypted.

b.Take necessary steps to ensure the privacy of all PII obtained from participants and/or other individuals and to protect such information from unauthorized disclosure.

c.Ensure that any PII used as part of the WIOA grant has been obtained in conformity with applicable Federal and state laws governing confidentiality of information. PII shall not be stored on personally owned equipment, at off-site locations (e.g., employee’s home), and on personal e-mail accounts.

d.Ensure that all PII obtained through the WIOA grant is stored in an area that is physically safe from access by unauthorized persons at all times.

e.Store PII only on secure work servers and equipment that are approved by ODJFS or the local board. Storing PII on personally owned equipment, at off-site locations (e.g., employee’s home), and on personal e-mail accounts is prohibited.

f.Advise all local area and/or provider staff who have access to sensitive/confidential/proprietary/private data of the confidential nature of the information, the safeguards required to protect the information, and the civil and criminal sanctions for noncompliance with such safeguards.

g.Implement policies and procedures regarding the handling of PII, including staff acknowledgement of their understanding of the confidential nature of the data and the safeguards with which they must comply in their handling of such data.

E.Outlined below are requirements to protect PII:

1.Before obtaining a participant’s SSN, the WSP should have the participant sign a release acknowledging the use of social security numbers for eligibility determination and federal grant purposes only.

2.WSPs should use unique identifiers for participant tracking instead of the SSN. If SSNs are to be used for tracking purposes, they must be stored or displayed in a way that is not attributable to an individual, such as using a truncated or masked SSN (e.g., last 4 digits only).

3.WSPs using an electronic system in addition to OWCMS for basic career services tracking or other registration processes must truncate or mask an individual's SSN in such systems.

4.WSPs using paper applications containing SSNs must, at a minimum, enter the basic intake information and the SSN in OWCMS the day the information is received and destroy the paper application if feasible. If all eligibility information is not placed in OWCMS that day, staff must mask the SSN on the paper application and store in a secure manner.

5.Documentation of SSNs (e.g., physical copy of social security card) shall not be obtained until such time WIOA eligibility is determined, the individual receives a WIOA adult, dislocated worker, or WIOA CCMEP youth program service which triggers participation in the program, and the individual becomes a participant.

6.When an individual becomes a participant, the WSP must attempt to obtain and verify the SSN for performance reporting purposes but shall not deny access to the American Job Center’s (in Ohio, called OhioMeansJobs center) resource room or to WIOA program services if the individual does not disclose his or her SSN. If the individual refuses to provide an SSN, the local area will assign a temporary alternative identifying number. The individual will use this number for identification during subsequent visits to the OhioMeansJobs center or for program-funded activity tracking.

7.WSPs should keep SSNs electronically in OWCMS minimizing the use of paper files. If paper files are used or if the participant’s SSN is listed on other forms of source documentation listed in Attachment A, the WSP must ensure that the SSN on the paper document has been masked.

8.WSPs must use appropriate methods for destroying sensitive PII in paper files and securely deleting sensitive electronic PII.

9.WSP staff at the OhioMeansJobs center or other service delivery location shall not leave records containing PII open and unattended.

10.WSPs shall store documents containing PII in locked cabinets when not in use.

11.Local workforce development board directors shall report within 24 hours any breach or suspected breach of PII by the area or its subrecipient to the Deputy Director at OWD, ODJFS and to Ohio’s assigned Federal Project Officer at the Department of Labor (DOL), Region 5, and follow any instructions provided by ODJFS or DOL.

F.Retention of Records

Per rule 5101:9-9-21 of the Administrative Code, ODJFS and local areas are to retain records for a period of at least three (3) years after submittal of the final closeout expenditure report for that funding period.

VII.Monitoring

At the local level, the local area must conduct oversight of the implementation of the WIOA adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs to ensure that participants are eligible for enrolled programs and documentation supporting the eligibility are contained in the case files. The procedures for protecting PII must also be monitored by the local area.

Through the state’s monitoring system, program monitors will review the local area’s implementation of the WIOA adult, dislocated worker, and youth programs, including a participant file review during the annual onsite monitoring review for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. Any issues will be handled through the state’s monitoring resolution process.

VIII. Technical Assistance

For technical assistance, you may send your request to the Office of Workforce Development: WIOAQNA@jfs.ohio.gov.

IX.References

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act § 116, Pub. L. 113-128.

29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.

O.R.C. Chapters 6301 and 5116, and O.R.C. § 5101.241.

O.A.C. rules 5101:9-31, 5101:14-1, 5101:9-9-21 and 5101:9-30-04.

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 7-18, Guidance for Validating Jointly Required Performance Data Submitted under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), (December 19, 2018).

USDOL, Training and Employment Guidance Letter No. 39-11, Guidance on Handling and Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII), (June 28, 2012).

ODJFS, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Policy Letter No. 15-08.1, Career Services for Adults and Dislocated Workers, (June 6, 2017).

Attachment A, Allowable Source Documentation for WIOA Program Eligibility

Attachment B, Allowable Source Documentation for WIOA Performance Measures

JFS 13188, WIOA Telephone Eligibility Verification

JFS 13186, Self-Attestation

JFS 13187, Citizenship Status/Authorization to Work Self-Attestation