Department of Social Services
Family Support Division
PO Box 2320
Jefferson City, Missouri
TO: ALL FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICES
FROM: REGINALD E. MCELHANNON, INTERIM DIRECTOR
SUBJECT: MANDATORY FOOD STAMP UTILITY STANDARD POLICY UPDATE
MANUAL REVISIONS #101
The purpose of this memo is to inform staff of the update to Food Stamp policies, 1115.035.25.15 Mandatory Utility Standards and 1115.035.25.25 Special Situations. This update clarifies that when a portion of rent is used for utilities, even if not billed separately, each Food Stamp Eligibility Unit is entitled to the full appropriate utility standard(s) if otherwise eligible.
If during the interview, the applicant claims rent and no utility or claims that utilities are included in rent, this must be clarified. Staff should ask the clarifying question, “Has the landlord ever said that a specific amount of your rent is paid toward utilities and which utilities?” If so, that amount should be subtracted from the total rent and budgeted toward the appropriate utility. This policy update is due to a Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) clarification.
If the applicant does not know or cannot find out the specific amount that is budgeted to the utilities, do not allow the expense.
EXAMPLE: An individual pays the landlord $600 per month. Applicant states the landlord told them that $400 of this is for rent and $200 is for heating or cooling. The rent is budgeted at $400 and $200 goes toward the appropriate utility. This qualifies the individual for the standard utility allowance.
- Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.