Supportive Services Policy

Issuance No: P2
Issuance Date: July 8, 2004; Revised 4/4/07, 3/29/11, 6/5/12, 6/11/13, 6/10/14, 5/7/15, 12/2/15, 9/29/16, 7/3/17, 3/6/18, 6/4/19, 12/03/19
Subject: Supportive Services Policy

Northwest Region Supportive Service Policy
For WIOA Adult / Dislocated Worker and Youth Programs
(In compliance with OWD Issuance 13-2017)

The definition of supportive services is generally any type of payment that is necessary to enable a participant to engage in an authorized activity under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).  In all cases, an Individual Employment Plan for WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth programs must contain the need for, and extent of, supportive services, as well as service note documentation of the linkage of payment for the supportive services to an authorized activity.  WIOA funded supportive services should only be provided when the services are not available from other community resources as defined by OWD Issuance 13-2017. The NW Partner Resource Inventory Directory can be located on the NW WDB website at: WIOA is considered funding of last resort, and only under the guidelines and limits that follow:

Supportive Services are designed to assist WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth program participants in securing and sustaining employment and credential attainment.  In addition, supportive services are available to enrolled WIOA Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth participants who are actively participating in WIOA approved activities.  Temporary suspension of supportive services can be approved at the program director and coordinator discretion based on individual’s lack of participation.   

Supportive services are not entitlements and all supportive services requests must be supported by demonstration of need.  To be eligible for supportive services the participant must request the payment for specific needs.  The participant must also show they made every attempt to find other resources that could provide the supportive service funding including resources outside of the local area if applicable.

All supportive services must link back to employment or education goals identified in the “Employment Plan”; youth must also include those goals on the “Individual Services Strategies Goal Planning Worksheet”.  Supportive service payments must be submitted on the Participant Voucher.  In all cases, staff must review “service notes” prior to making any supportive service payments to avoid duplicate payments.

All documentation must support the service dates being paid for.  All appropriate supportive documentation and vouchers (including appropriate signatures) must be provided in the customer’s file.  For all participants, the appropriate activity code in the statewide electronic case management system must be opened on the date the cost was incurred.  Costs incurred prior to program enrollment are not allowable.  At the time supportive service activities are opened in the statewide electronic case management system, a service note must be entered stating what has been obligated to the participant including type of service, justification of participant’s need for the service, lack of other community resources as defined by OWD Issuance 13-2017, total amount offered, date(s) or date range, and if it is a one-time payment or a reoccurring obligation.  Once the expense is incurred, a detailed service note must indicate type of supportive service, dates and amount paid.

Supportive Services may be paid for participants enrolled in WIOA Youth follow-up services. Supportive Service payments for participants in follow-up must be submitted to WDB staff for approval, the maximum amount paid in Supportive Services to WIOA Youth follow-up participants is $250.00.

Supportive services will not exceed $2,000 per person per program year.  If an individual is enrolled in more than one WIOA program, the maximum of $2,000 total supportive service payment per person per program year may not be exceeded.

Supportive Services may include the following:

  • Child Care;
  • Transportation; and/or
  • “Other” – reasonable expenses required to keep an eligible WIOA participant in an activity.

Child Care

Childcare will be paid based on contracted days and will be supported by a class schedule or timesheet and daycare provider contract or attendance sheet. Each participant must apply for state childcare assistance prior to receiving WIOA childcare supportive services. Childcare costs will be paid directly to the participant and the participant is responsible for paying their childcare provider.  Childcare may be paid during school breaks to ensure continued availability only if it is documented in the childcare provider’s policy.

The maximum childcare rate is $16 per day based on funding availability:


Mileage Reimbursement will be paid based on scheduled days and will be supported by a training schedule or attendance log. It will be calculated based on the round trip mileage from the participant’s home directly to the training facility and back; a minimum of 20 miles round trip. Verification documents must be obtained prior to payment. Mileage can be calculated using MapQuest or Yahoo Maps and the lesser will be used for calculations of mileage.  WIOA funds will be funds of last resort. 

Round trip mileage reimbursement rate is $0.32 per mile up to 50 miles.

Travel over 50 miles round-trip will receive $16.00 per day.

Emergency Travel may be provided if it is determined that there is an immediate need and the participant must have assistance before they can travel to work, training, or an approved workshop or activity; a voucher system can be used to assist the participant. The subcontractor will set up an account with a local vendor and a voucher system will be used to charge gas for the participant. The vendor will bill the subcontractor; the sub-contractor will bill the appropriate WIOA program.

The participant must complete a voucher for the dates that will be traveled and sign the “ticket” when they receive the gas for travel. The amount of emergency travel will not exceed the regular transportation rate of $.32 per round-trip mile up to 50 miles or $16.00 per day for over 50 miles round trip.

Bus Passes will be provided based on scheduled days and will be supported by a class schedule, work schedule or attendance log. Passes may be obligated for the duration of the training, not to exceed a semester. Passes may be distributed no more than 30 days at a time. Daily bus passes may be issued for job search; a job search log will be needed to support the voucher.

Vehicle repair costs may be provided but must be directly linked to an allowable activity.  Required documentation includes:  1) copy of title or registration showing that the client or their spouse, parent/guardian legally owns the vehicle; 2) proof of car insurance.  Only one vehicle repair will be allowed per program year, no cosmetic repairs will be paid from WIOA funding.  

The participant cannot receive mileage reimbursement and vehicle repairs during the same week.  If vehicle repairs are paid, no transportation will be paid concurrently. 

Other Supportive Services

All other supportive services must be necessary to enable an individual to participate in services authorized under and consistent with Title I of WIOA.  The support must be necessary for the participant to continue their education, obtain employment or retain employment.

To qualify for background check/finger printing, it must be directly work or education related in order for the participant to obtain employment or for admission in post-secondary education; documentation must include a statement from the employer or educational institution indicating the requirement.

To qualify for application or exam fees, the post-secondary educational facility must require a fee for the application or exam; documentation must be provided from the educational institution stating exam or application fee is required.    

To qualify for medical testing fee, the post-secondary educational facility must require the medical testing; documentation must be provided from the education institute stating the testing is required.

To qualify for clothing assistance, the clothing items, including footwear, must be determined necessary for the participant to participate in a qualified WIOA Title I activity.  A detailed case note must be entered outlining the necessity of the items purchased. The required case note must link the purchase back to the activity the participant is engaged in as well as the participant’s Employment Plan or Individual Service Strategies.  Clothing assistance is limited to $500 per program year.

No makeup, hair accessories, or personal hygiene items are allowed.

To qualify for tools or equipment, the participant must submit proof that the employer or training provider requires the participant to have specific tools or equipment to perform job duties or complete training.

To qualify for rent assistance or house payment, the participant must indicate a need requesting the assistance.  Rent assistance or house payment is limited to one time per household, per program year, not to exceed one month.  Deposits are not allowable since the amount may be reimbursed to a participant at a later date.  Payment of late fees or interest charges are not allowable.  Required documentation for payment includes: copy of a signed lease with participant’s signature or proof from the lending institution documenting monthly amount due and participant’s name.

If the lease or house loan payment is not in the participant’s name, an applicant statement must be made explaining the relationship between the participant and the person named in the lease or loan.

To qualify for gas or electric utilities assistance, the participant must indicate a need requesting the assistance.  Gas or electric utilities assistance is limited to one time per household, per program year, not to exceed one month.  Deposits or start-up costs are not acceptable.  Required documentation includes: shut off notice and a service note documenting that the participant attempted to receive this assistance elsewhere, but was determined ineligible (by local Community Action Agency or FSD energy assistance program).

To qualify for car insurance assistance, documentation of linkage to authorized activity must be in service note; the participant must indicate a need.  Car insurance assistance is limited to one time per program year and only for start-up costs and one month premium.  No pre-payment of premiums is allowable.  Required documentation includes: copy of title or registration showing that client or their parent/guardian legally owns the vehicle and invoice from insurance provider.   

To qualify for laptop purchase assistance, documentation is required from the training site that the participant must provide their own personal laptop at the training facility for in-person classes. Laptop assistance may not exceed $400.00 and will only be provided one time per participant. Online programs of study are currently excluded from this service.

Payments of luxury items are not allowed.  These items include: telephone services, internet, cable service or air conditioning for home or vehicle.  

Needs-Related Payments

The NW WDB has elected not to provide Needs Related Payments (NRPs) to any recipient of WIOA Title I funded services, including Adults, Dislocated Workers, and Youth.

Trade Act Funding

If a customer is enrolled in Trade Act, this funding source must be utilized prior to WIOA funding. If the customer needs resources not covered by Trade Act, local policy should be followed to provide these wrap-around services.

For example:

• The customer is enrolled in Trade Act and WIOA. The customer is attending Trade Act approved training. If the customer travels more than 50 miles one-way between their residence and a training facility, Trade Act allows for transportation reimbursement of $0.50 a mile with a maximum payment of $57 a day. The customer travels 100 miles and is in Trade Act approved training; therefore, the transportation reimbursement is $50 (100 miles @ $0.50). Local WIOA funding is not used since Trade Act already reimbursed the full mileage.

• The customer is enrolled in Trade Act, WIOA, and a NEG. The customer travels 35 miles one-way; therefore, Trade Act will not pay this expense. Local WIOA policy allows for reimbursement of $0.25 a mile up to 100 miles. If all of the stipulations of the Policy are met, WIOA would then pay $17.50 (70 miles @ $0.25).

Pell Grant

OWD Issuance 18-2016 addresses the “Coordination of all Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I-B programs with programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act including the Pell Grant Program.” This Issuance should be adhered to when determining funding including Supportive Services.

  • Duplicate payments must be avoided when the customer is eligible for both WIOA and other assistance.
  • The mix of funds should meet the needs of the customer and be determined based on the availability of funding for either training costs or Supportive Services so that the training can be completed successfully.
  • Simply reducing the amount of WIOA funds by the amount of Pell Grant funds is not permitted. The NW Region will obligate funding based on budgets and customer’s unmet need.