A-1040, Deprivation Based on Absence from the Home

Revision 03-7; Effective October 1, 2003

A—1041 How to Determine Deprivation Based on Absence

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


Deprivation based on absence exists when:

  • a child's legal parents do not live together because of:
    • divorce,
    • legal separation,
    • desertion,
    • incarceration, or
    • deportation;
  • the child's biological father lives in the home with the mother and child but a legal parent-child relationship exists between the child and another man;
  • a parent resides outside the U.S. and there is a legal impediment that prevents the parent from living in this country; or
  • a parent convicted of an offense and sentenced by a court to perform unpaid community service during work hours lives at home while serving the sentence.

If absence is anticipated to last for:

  • 30 days or less, the absence is considered temporary and the child is not deprived.
  • more than 30 days, the absence is considered continuing.

Note: If the absence is currently less than 30 days but is anticipated to last longer than 30 days, the Eligibility Determination Group (EDG) should not be pended for deprivation.

A parent should be included in the certified group if the parent is temporarily absent for a reason listed in A-920, Temporary Absence from the Home.

Deprivation based on absence does not exist when a parent is absent solely because of:

  • employment; or
  • active duty in the uniformed services of the United States, even if the parent is incarcerated or absent without leave (AWOL).

Exception: Deprivation may exist if there is a break in the family relationship unrelated to active duty in the service, and information indicates the family members are not functioning as a family unit. Information can be a statement from the caretaker that she and the second parent consider themselves to be separated so that the parents and children are not functioning as one family unit.

A—1041.1 Joint Custody

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


A child living with parents who have court-ordered joint custody may be deprived based on absence. In joint custody cases, either parent may apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for the child. When the child alternately lives with either parent each month, either parent may apply. See A-910, General Policy.

A—1042 Contact with the Absent Parent

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


Contact the … when the address or phone number is known and … Determine …
legal absent parent,
  • there is reason to believe the absent parent is making cash contributions other than child support; or
  • conflicting information is provided regarding the parent's absence.
  • if the absent parent is making contributions other than child support;
  • the reason for the absence;
  • how long the absent parent has been absent; and
  • if the absent parent has plans to return and the anticipated return date.
alleged parent with no legal parent-child relationship,
  • there is reason to believe the absent parent is making contributions other than child support to the household; or
  • the absent parent lives in the home and is a potential legal father through common-law marital status.
  • if the absent parent is making contributions other than child support; or
  • if a common-law marriage exists.

Advisors must notify the applicant/individual before contacting the absent parent. Advisors should not contact the absent parent if the individual has a pending or valid claim of good cause. See A-1130, Explanation of Good Cause.

>A—1043 Absent Parent Returns to the Home (Extension of the TANF Grant or Addition of the Returning Parent)

Revision 15-4; Effective October 1, 2015


When an absent parent returns to the home, the absent parent should be added to the case following policy in B-641, Additions to the Household, and eligibility and benefits should be determined.

  • If eligible, advisors must document the new reason for deprivation and notify the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).
  • If ineligible, advisors must deny TANF. If the absent parent’s earnings cause the case to be denied, advisors must transfer the case to TP 07 and include the absent parent.

Related Policy Earnings of a New TANF Spouse, A-1249.2