Domestic Violence Relocation Assistance Programs
Florida has two programs as described below:
The Florida Attorney General’s Crime Victim Compensation Program
This program provides domestic violence relocation assistance for victims who have an immediate need to escape a domestic violence environment. However, the application must be filed within one year after the crime date or within two years for good cause and the need must be certified by a state certified domestic violence center. Further information about the application process and other services may be found through the local certified domestic violence center and the Attorney General’s Office at http://myfloridalegal.com/victimsor 1-800-226-6667.
Section 960.198, F.S.: Relocation assistance for victims of domestic violence.—
- Notwithstanding the criteria set forth in s. 960.13 for crime victim compensation awards, the department may award a one-time payment of up to $1,500 on any one claim and a lifetime maximum of $3,000 to a victim of domestic violence who needs immediate assistance to escape from a domestic violence environment.
- In order for an award to be granted to a victim for relocation assistance:
(a) There must be proof that a domestic violence offense was committed;
(b) The domestic violence offense must be reported to the proper authorities;
(c) The victim's need for assistance must be certified by a certified domestic violence center in this state; and
(d) The center certification must assert that the victim is cooperating with law enforcement officials, if applicable, and must include documentation that the victim has developed a safety plan.
- Relocation payments for a domestic violence claim shall be denied if the department has previously approved or paid out a human trafficking or sexual battery relocation claim under s. 960.196 or s. 960.199 to the same victim regarding the same incident.
The Department of Children and Families ACCESS Program
This program also has a Relocation Assistance Program for domestic violence victims through the Department’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program under the ACCESS Office’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. This program is referred to as the “Domestic Violence Diversion Program,” or the "Up-Front Diversion," and provides domestic violence victims with up to $1000 relocation assistance.
TCA benefits may be applied for at https://www.myflorida.com/accessflorida or at one of the Department's community partner sites. Also a completed paper application can be mailed, faxed or returned to the applicant’s local Customer Service Center. Once the TCA application has been accepted, approved and the applicant is enrolled, the applicant will then need to contact their local Workforce Office also referred to as Career Source Center for eligibility determination. For a list of CareerSource Centers, please visit their web site at http://www.floridajobs.org/onestop/onestopdir/OneStopDirList.asp. Once the Workforce Board approves the applicant's eligibility, Workforce staff will complete the necessary forms and forward to the Department's Access Office for approval of benefits. Upon approval the applicant will be notified. For further information please call the ACCESS Customer Call Center at 866-762-2237.
Section 414.157, F.S.: Diversion program for victims of domestic violence.—
- The diversion program for victims of domestic violence is intended to provide services and one-time payments to assist victims of domestic violence and their children in making the transition to independence.
- Before finding an applicant family eligible for the diversion program created under this section, a determination must be made that:
(a) The applicant family includes a pregnant woman or a parent with one or more minor children or a caretaker relative with one or more minor children.
(b) The services or one-time payment provided are not considered assistance under federal law or guidelines.
- Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in ss. 414.075, 414.085, and 414.095, a family meeting the criteria of subsection (2) who is determined by the domestic violence program to be in need of services or one-time payment due to domestic violence shall be considered a needy family and is eligible under this section for services through a certified domestic violence shelter.
- One-time payments provided under this section shall not exceed $1,000.
- Receipt of services or a one-time payment under this section does not preclude eligibility for, or receipt of, other assistance or services under this chapter.
Section 445.021, F.S. Relocation assistance program.—
- The Legislature recognizes that the need for public assistance may arise because a family is located in an area with limited employment opportunities, because of geographic isolation, because of formidable transportation barriers, because of isolation from their extended family, or because domestic violence interferes with the ability of a parent to maintain self-sufficiency. Accordingly, there is established a program to assist families in relocating to communities with greater opportunities for self-sufficiency.
- The relocation assistance program shall involve five steps by the regional workforce board, in cooperation with the Department of Children and Families:
(a) A determination that the family is receiving temporary cash assistance or that all requirements of eligibility for diversion services would likely be met.
(b) A determination that there is a basis for believing that relocation will contribute to the ability of the applicant to achieve self-sufficiency. For example, the applicant:
1. Is unlikely to achieve economic self-sufficiency at the current community of residence;
2. Has secured a job that provides an increased salary or improved benefits and that requires relocation to another community;
3. Has a family support network that will contribute to job retention in another community;
4. Is determined, pursuant to criteria or procedures established by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., to be a victim of domestic violence who would experience reduced probability of further incidents through relocation; or
5. Must relocate in order to receive education or training that is directly related to the applicant's employment or career advancement.
(c) Establishment of a relocation plan that includes such requirements as are necessary to prevent abuse of the benefit and provisions to protect the safety of victims of domestic violence and avoid provisions that place them in anticipated danger. The payment to defray relocation expenses shall be determined based on criteria approved by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc. Participants in the relocation program shall be eligible for diversion or transitional benefits.
(d) A determination, pursuant to criteria adopted by the board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., that a community receiving a relocated family has the capacity to provide needed services and employment opportunities.
(e) Monitoring the relocation.
- A family receiving relocation assistance for reasons other than domestic violence must sign an agreement restricting the family from applying for temporary cash assistance for a period of 6 months, unless an emergency is demonstrated to the regional workforce board. If a demonstrated emergency forces the family to reapply for temporary cash assistance within such period, after receiving a relocation assistance payment, repayment must be made on a prorated basis and subtracted from any regular payment of temporary cash assistance for which the applicant may be eligible.
- The board of directors of CareerSource Florida, Inc., may establish criteria for developing and implementing relocation plans and for drafting agreements to restrict a family from applying for temporary cash assistance for a specified period after receiving a relocation assistance payment.