Individuals who have been convicted of a Class H or I controlled substance felony in North Carolina may be eligible for Work First under the following conditions.
1. The individual may be eligible six (6) months after release from custody or if the individual was never committed to custody, six months after the date of conviction, if there has been no additional controlled substance felony conviction, and
2. The individual has successfully completed, or has continuously participated in a required substance abuse treatment program determined appropriate by the area mental health authority.
If the area mental health authority determines treatment is appropriate and funds and programs are available, individuals eligible for Work First because of this rule are required to undergo substance abuse treatment as a condition for receiving Work First.
1. At application (or the next review if not done at application), evaluate whether each individual has been convicted of a controlled substance felony offense on or after August 23, 1996. Use the DSS-5271.
2. Those individuals who have been convicted of a controlled substance felony class other than H or I or who have been convicted outside of North Carolina continue to be ineligible for Work First. See I. and II. above.
3. For those who have been convicted in North Carolina, determine the classification of the controlled substance felony by using information that may be available on the Department of Corrections inquiry screens. If not available there, a contact the individual’s parole or probation officer may be helpful. In some circumstances, the Clerk of Court in the county of conviction can provide a criminal record's check with the full name of the individual; however, there may be a fee charged for this service.
4. Verification must be obtained about whether the individual has been convicted of any other substance abuse felony offense during his six month period of ineligibility. During the individual’s six month period of ineligibility, calculate the payment as outlined in II. above.
5. Those individuals who have been convicted of a Class H or I felony in North Carolina may be eligible if the criteria outlined in A. above have been met.
(a) Refer each of these individuals to the Qualified Substance Abuse Professional (QSAP) assigned to the county DSS or local area mental health authority for assessment. Qualified staff at the mental health authority determines what treatment program is appropriate for the individual or determines treatment is not warranted. Coordination with the QSAP or local area mental health authority to work out a referral and communication process should be developed.
(b) The consent form is completed and signed so that the substance abuse professional can notify the county DSS of the individual’s progress with his treatment plan. The individual is not eligible for six months after release from custody or six months from conviction if he was never confined. This is true even if he is participating in a treatment plan.
The individual is ineligible for assistance if he fails to comply with his required treatment, refuses to sign a consent form, or fails to keep his assessment appointment with the local area mental health authority. (Urine toxicology results obtained as a part of a treatment plan are to be used to measure the effectiveness of treatment.)
If the individual is ineligible because of one of the reasons listed above, calculate his Work First payment as outlined in II. above.
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.