Norman single father’s children cut off DHS childcare for pursuing master’s degree

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NORMAN, Okla. - A Norman single dad is a little dismayed. He said, after years of getting help from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services with daycare for his two girls, he’s been cut off.

Jeremy Davis got three letters from DHS last week with the same date on them, one saying his child care is approved and two saying he’s denied.

“To have these things just pulled out from underneath us is just devastating,” Davis said.

The single father is being punished for pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. And, Davis is just one year away from graduating.

After two years in the master's degree program, Davis got three letters in the mail, saying “Your household is approved for food benefits and child care benefits,” DHS wrote.

And, child care benefits for Davis’s two young daughters are being closed.

“I called, and they said, 'Well, there’s nothing we can really do about it because you’re in a master’s degree program and we don’t cover master's programs at all,'” he said.

Davis said it’s a policy he’s never heard of, but it is in fine print on DHS’s website.

“I’ve never known about it,” he said. “They basically said 'I guess you’ve changed supervisors and they caught it.'”

News 4 reached out to DHS, and they told us there was a computer glitch.

“The letter Mr. Davis received dated April 18, 2019 approving him for child care subsidy was wrong. Mr. Davis was approved for another benefit at the same time his subsidy case was being closed,” DHS said. “Mr. Davis certainly has the option to file an appeal.”

Davis said he just wants to give his daughters the best life possible.

“I’m this close to finally completing one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, and I just feel like my state turned their back on me,” he said.

April 30 is Davis’s last eligible day of child care, but he does plan to file an appeal.

DHS's full statement is as follows:

“The letter Mr. Davis received dated April 18, 2019 approving him for child care subsidy was wrong. Mr. Davis was approved for another benefit at the same time his subsidy case was being closed, and the automated system generating notification did not delete the child care subsidy portion from the approval notice. He received a second letter notifying him of his ineligibility for child care subsidy. Persons attending graduate level college classes are not eligible for child care subsidy. Mr. Davis certainly has the option to file an appeal. Welfare reform was signed into law in 1996 and was intended to help as many people as possible move off public assistance nationwide. It was determined that persons seeking graduate degrees were more likely to find higher-paying jobs and would not need public assistance such as child care subsidy.”

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