IM-03 SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) TEMPORARY ALLOTMENT CHANGES

FROM:   KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:   SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) TEMPORARY ALLOTMENT CHANGES 

MANUAL
REVISIONS:   1115.099.00

DISCUSSION:  This memo references the changes to the maximum allotment addressed in IM-01 dated January 6, 2021.

The temporary increase to monthly SNAP allotments occurred over the weekend of January 16, 2021.  A manual revision was made to reflect the temporary changes to the maximum benefit amounts and update the minimum for categorically eligible and two-person eligibility units.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

KE/ja            

IM-179 INTRODUCTION OF THE IM-7A ALTERNATIVE ACCOUNT VERIFICATION FORM

FROM:   KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:  INTRODUCTION OF THE IM-7A ALTERNATIVE ACCOUNT VERIFICATION FORM
FORM REVISION # IM-7A

DISCUSSION:  The purpose of this memo is to introduce the Alternative Account Verification Form, IM-7A. The IM-7A was created in an effort to provide an additional verification option to verify financial accounts. Use this form in the event a participant can display banking, direct benefit, or other account information on his/her device while in a Family Support Division (FSD) office.

EXAMPLE: Mary has completed an interview for her SNAP/MHABD case in her local office and the interviewer requested a bank statement.  Mary has access to her account information on her phone and while in the office, a staff member views the information on the phone and helps her complete the IM-7A form.  Her bank balance is $4000, but she notes on the form that she recently received a tax refund for $3000.  Mary and the staff member sign the form.

EXAMPLE:  FSD requested bank statements from Sue, who is hospitalized.  Her spouse, John, cannot find any statements.  He visits a local office and states he can view her accounts on their tablet.  A staff member completes the IM-7A form for each account with information viewed on the tablet.  The staff member adds a note to the forms to describe the account balances from the prior quarter months.  John views the entries and he and the staff member sign the form.

The following conditions apply when completing this form:

  • The participant must be in an FSD office.

NOTE: Do not request or require a participant come into the office to present account information on an electronic device. Standard verification procedures still apply.

  • If the participant completes the gray areas of the form, a staff member must also view the account information on the participant’s device.
  • If a staff member completes the form for the participant, the participant must agree with the entries made on the form.
  • The participant and the staff member must sign at the bottom of the form.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
  • Begin using the IM-7A immediately

KE/ers/ja/hrp

 

 

 

IM-176 APPLICATION FOR MO HEALTHNET FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED (IM-1MA) REVISION

FROM: KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT: APPLICATION FOR MO HEALTHNET FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED (IM-1MA) REVISION
FORM REVISION # IM-1MA

DISCUSSION:  The purpose of this memorandum is to introduce changes made to the IM-1MA Application for MO HealthNet (Medicaid). 

The IM-1MA has been revised to include the following changes:

  • Addition of the FSD.Documents@dss.mo.gov email address which may be used by participants for submitting the IM-1MA and other documents,
  • A new fax number 573-526-9400 has been added where participants may submit the IM-1MA and other documents,  
  • A space to list preferred first name,
  • An option for language preference,
  • The date of marriage,
  • The question; “Are you or your spouse currently serving or have you ever served in the Military?” has been added to obtain more detailed information on military service,  
  • The question; “Were you in foster care at age 18 or older?” has been added,
  • The word “Cash” was added to the BP/SAB instructions in Section 8 to indicate if applying for BP or SAB Cash, complete this section; and
  • The Rights and Responsibilities section was updated to add this statement: “I/We authorize the Director of the Family Support Division or his/her appointee to investigate and verify these circumstances and statements through any means authorized by law, including accessing public and private databases”.

 

The revised is available in the IM-1MA is available in the IM Forms Manual

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
  • Destroy all previous paper versions of the IM-1MA and immediately begin using the 08/20 version.

KE/vm

 

 

 

OEC20-03 INCREASE IN CHILD CARE INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES AND ADJUSTMENTS TO TRANSITIONAL CHILD CARE

FROM:          REGINALD MCELHANNON, DIRECTOR CHILDREN’S DIVISION
                         KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR, FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION

SUBJECT:   TEMPORARY CHANGES IN ELIGIBILITY FOR CHILD CARE

Effective May 1, 2020, Child Care Subsidy income guidelines increase based on the Federal Poverty guidelines issued by the Federal Government. Maximum income limits have increased for households receiving Child Care Subsidy.

Section 210.045.00 Income Eligibility Guidelines of the Child Care Subsidy manual has been updated to include updated policy for Transitional Child Care. Transitional Child Care has been adjusted to two levels effective May 1, 2020.  Households with income that exceeds traditional child care (CC) may be eligible for Transitional Child Care Level A at 80% of the traditional child care benefit or Transitional Child Care Level B at 60% of the traditional child care benefit, if all other eligibility requirements are met. Households will be eligible for TCCA if the adjusted gross income if between 139% and 175% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and TCCB if the adjusted gross income is between 176% and 215% of the FPL. Household eligible for TCCA or TCCB are required to pay sliding fees of $5.00 for a full day, $3.25 for half day and $2.25 for part day care for each child, unless the child has a designated special need.

TCCA and TCCB is not time limited and does not require any additional reporting to remain eligible. Households are still required to reapply for benefits annually and are subject to the same change reporting requirements as all other child care households.

Active and reapplying households may qualify for traditional CC, TCCA, or TCCB. New applicants and applicants whose child care eligibility lapsed will have eligibility for child care benefits evaluated only at the traditional CC eligibility level.

Active household with TCC2 and TCC3 will be re-evaluated to determine eligibility for TCCA using the TCCA income standard and TCCB using the TCCB income standard.

When an active household reapplies for benefits before the end of the current eligibility period, FAMIS will first evaluate the income using the traditional CC income standard. If the household’s income exceeds the traditional CC standard, FAMIS will evaluate eligibility at the TCCA standard. If the household’s income exceeds the TCCA standard, FAMIS will evaluate eligibility at the TCCB standard. If the household’s income exceeds the TCCB standard, FAMIS will recommend rejecting the application due to excessive income (action REJC, reason MAX). If the household’s income is greater than the traditional CC standard, but less than the TCCA standard, FAMIS will recommend approving the application at the TCCA level (action APPR). If the household’s income is greater than the TCCA standard but less than the TCCB standard, FAMIS will recommend approving the application at the TCCB level (action APPR).

The TCC flag in FAMIS will now appear as N, A, or B, depending on the household’s eligibility. The TCC flag appears on the following screens:

EUSUMM (FM0J)

Action Authorization (FM3H)

CCBUDSUM (FM3T)

CCATTEND (FM5P)

A TCC flag of A or B will also appear on the provider’s paper invoices and online invoices for each child receiving transitional child care benefits.

When a family is eligible for TCCA, benefits are paid at 80% of the state maximum rate (or 80% of the provider’s rate, whichever is lower). When a family is eligible for TCCB, benefits are paid at 60% of the state maximum rate (or 60% of the provider’s rate, whichever is lower).  As rates are based on several factors specific to the provider and child (child’s age, time of day care is provided, provider’s geographic location, provider’s legal status, eligibility for rate differentials, etc.) notices generated to the family and to the provider will reflect each child’s daily rate, as opposed to each child’s sliding fee. Notices will also notify the family and provider whether the family is eligible for TCC level A or B. Rates will take into account a sliding fee of $5.00/$3.25/$2.25 for each child, unless the child is designated as special needs.

Child Care (CC) Worker Initiated Budget Calculation Area (WIBCA – FMXH)

The WIBCA process for TCC has not changed (please refer to memo CD09-06/OEC09-02 (http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/memos/2009/cd0906.pdf). When a WIBCA is needed to determine continuous eligibility for TCC, FAMIS will determine TCCA or TCCB on the WIBCA, based on income and other information entered.

NECESSARY ACTION

  1. Review this memorandum with all Children’s Division and Family Support Division staff.
  2. Review revised Child Care Subsidy sections as indicated below.
  3. All questions should be cleared through normal supervisory channels and directed to:

PDS/MAS II Contact

Sharon Barsby
573-751-2037
Sharon.Barsby@dss.mo.gov

 

Program Manager

Marianne A Dawson
573-751-6793
Marianne.A.Dawson@dss.mo.gov

CHILD CARE SUBSIDY PROGRAM MANUAL REVISIONS

https://dssmanuals.mo.gov/child-care-manual/2010-045-00/ Income Eligibility Guidelines.

https://dssmanuals.mo.gov/child-care-manual/2010-045-05/ Budgeting Process

FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS N/A

REFERENCE DOCUMENTS AND RESOURCES 

2020 Child Care Eligibility Income Guidelines with Transitional A and B.

https://dssintranet.mo.gov/dss-fsd-child-care/income-guidelines/

 

RELATED STATUTE

N/A

 

IM-87 RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS AS AN AVAILABLE RESOURCE FOR MO HEALTHNET FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED (MHABD) AND BLIND PENSION (BP)

FROM:  KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:   RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS AS AN AVAILABLE RESOURCE FOR MO HEALTHNET FOR THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED (MHABD) AND BLIND PENSION (BP)

 

MANUAL REVISION #43 

1025.015.07 

0505.060.00

0505.060.05 

0505.060.10

1025.015.07.05 

DISCUSSION:

Retirement accounts are an available resource to an MHABD or BP participant if the funds can be accessed by the individual.   This includes funds held in an IRA, 401, 403, Keogh, pension, or deferred compensation plan, even if there is a penalty.

The amount held in the account, less any penalty required for early withdrawal, is an available resource. Taxes withheld are not excluded from the value.

EXAMPLE: Mr. Banks has an IRA with a balance of $100,000.00. He reports he can’t access the funds in the account until he retires. Upon review, it is discovered Mr. Banks can access the funds with a 10% penalty for any withdrawals prior to retirement. There will also be a 15% withholding to pay taxes due for the withdrawal. The IRA ($100,000.00) less the early withdrawal penalty ($10,000.00) is an available resource to Mr. Banks ($90,000.00). The $15,000.00 withheld to pay taxes is not excluded.

IRA, 401(k), 403(b), Keogh, pension, or deferred compensation plan accounts belonging to the parent of a disabled child are not considered a resource for the disabled child, even if they are available to the parent. See 1025.015.07.05 Retirement Accounts Belonging to the Parent of a Disabled Child for more details.

The portion of retirement accounts funded by earnings received while an individual was receiving Medical Assistance for Working Disabled (MA-WD) is not an available resource until the individual turns age 65. Any remaining balance is a resource, if the individual has access to the funds. See 1025.015.09 Retirement Accounts Belonging to a Former MA-WD Participant for more details.

See Retirement Accounts User Guide for instructions for entering accounts into FAMIS.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
  • At each reinvestigation, review all IRA, 401, 403, Keogh, and pension plans to determine if they are correctly coded and if accessibility has changed.
  • Enter necessary changes to FAMIS screens to indicate accessibility of the funds.
  • Enter a comment on the Liquid Resource screen to explain accessibility and how access was verified.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • Retirement User guide

KE/vb

IM-86 DECREASE IN AVERAGE PRIVATE PAY NURSING RATE FOR TRANSFER OF PROPERTY PENALTIES

FROM:  KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:  DECREASE IN AVERAGE PRIVATE PAY NURSING RATE FOR TRANSFER OF PROPERTY PENALTIES

MANUAL REVISION #42 

1040.020.40   

APPENDIX J

APPENDIX N

DISCUSSION:

The average private pay nursing care rate will decrease to $6425 per month.  Use $6425 to determine the number of months of ineligibility for vendor level services for applications taken on or after April 1, 2020.

The current average private pay nursing care rate can be found on Appendix J.

The historical values for average private pay nursing care rates have been moved to Appendix N.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
  • Use $6425 as the average private pay rate effective for applications on or after April 1, 2020.

KE/vb

 

OEC20-02 TEMPORARY CHANGES IN ELIGIBILITY FOR CHILD CARE

FROM:  REGINALD MCELHANNON, DIRECTOR CHILDREN’S DIVISION
                 KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR, FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION

SUBJECT:  TEMPORARY CHANGES IN ELIGIBILITY FOR CHILD CARE

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Child Care Plan allows for temporary changes in eligibility for Child Care Subsidy.  Effective May 1, 2020, the following temporary changes will be in effect:

Low-income Missouri families who are unemployed due to COVID-19 are eligible to receive a temporary Child Care Subsidy benefit for 90 days of job search.  The benefit is available for application through August 31, 2020.  Families that apply must indicate they are unemployed due to COVID-19 and must agree that they are searching for work.  These criteria will be verified by client statement and will be documented in FAMIS notes.

In FAMIS, the Child Care Need (FMAC/CCNEED) screen requires each parent in the eligibility unit to have the COVID-19 Job Search (CJS) code entered as the reason for need.  Client statement will be accepted as verification.

Effective May 1, 2020, parents who have a valid need for care, meet all other eligibility requirements, and have an income from 139% to 215% of the federal poverty level (FPL) will be eligible for transitional child care until August 31, 2020, without the requirement of having a current active Child Care Subsidy case.

Households who applied and were denied during May due to invalid need or excessive income will be re-evaluated for eligibility.

NECESSARY ACTION

  1. Review this memorandum with all Children’s Division and Family Support Division staff.
  2. Review revised Child Care Subsidy sections as indicated below.
  3. All questions should be cleared through normal supervisory channels and directed to:
PDS/MAS II Contact

Sharon Barsby
573-751-2037
Sharon.Barsby@dss.mo.gov

Program Manager

Marianne A Dawson
573-751-6793
Marianne.A.Dawson@dss.mo.gov

CHILD CARE SUBSIDY PROGRAM MANUAL REVISIONS

N/A

FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS

N/A

REFERENCE DOCUMENTS AND RESOURCES
RELATED STATUTE

N/A

IM-73 COVID-19 EXTENSION OF STATEWIDE FOOD STAMP INTERVIEW WAIVER

FROM: KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:  COVID-19 EXTENSION OF STATEWIDE FOOD STAMP INTERVIEW WAIVER

DISCUSSION:

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved an extension of Missouri’s Statewide Food Stamp Interview Waiver through June 30, 2020.  This waiver allows temporary changes to the Food Stamp Program in order to help keep Missourians safe and healthy during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Continued changes are as follows:

  • Households are not required to complete an interview prior to approval as long as the applicant’s identity has been verified and all other mandatory verifications have been completed.
  • Family Support Division (FSD) is not required to offer or grant a request for a face-to-face interview to any household at application or recertification.

Staff must make every attempt to verify household circumstances through available electronic resources and must contact the household if any information on the application is questionable and cannot be verified.

Note:  It is important to make a comment referencing COVID-19 on each case in which an interview has been waived.

System changes have been made to the FSINTRVW (FM1B) screen as shown in the screenshots below.

Note:  Staff must enter “Y” in the “Do you need to schedule an interview?” field and choose the COVID-19 codes shown below to allow FSD to track waived interview cases for federal reporting requirements.

Screenshot of COVID-19 Codes

Screenshot of COVID-19 Codes

Screenshot of COVID-19 Codes

Screenshot of COVID-19 Codes

NECESSARY ACTION:

Review this memorandum with appropriate staff

KE/rw

IM-46 COVID-19 PANDEMIC SNAP REPLACEMENT BENEFIT POLICY

FROM:  KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:  COVID-19 PANDEMIC SNAP REPLACEMENT BENEFIT POLICY

DISCUSSION:

The purpose of this memo is to inform staff how to replace COVID-19 Pandemic SNAP benefits due ­­­­­to­­­­­ a household misfortune. COVID-19 P-SNAP benefit have been issued statewide. Most households have received additional benefits taking them to the maximum for their household size. FAMIS limits replacements to one month’s normal allotment of benefits

The additional P-SNAP benefits are also eligible for replacement due to household misfortune. To issue replacement benefits in addition to the normal monthly allotment, it will be necessary to issue a separate issuance. FAMIS only allows one replacement issuance per day, the additional P-SNAP replacement­ must be issued the following day.

NOTE: In some cases, it may take more than two issuances due to the normal monthly allotment and amount of replacement request.

For example, client normally receives $90 and received an additional $104 P-SNAP benefit (displaying as DSU) bringing them to the maximum of $194. There was a power outage destroying $194 worth of food purchased with benefits. Client completes a Request for Replacement for $194. Issuing the replacements will require a replacement issuance of the $90, the usual issuance, and the next day issue another $90, then the next day issue the remaining $14 to replace the lost $194.

 

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

KE/cs

IM-30 COVID-19 TEMPORARY UPDATES TO THE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE (TA) PROGRAM

FROM:  KIM EVANS, DIRECTOR

SUBJECT:  COVID-19 TEMPORARY UPDATES TO THE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE (TA) PROGRAM             

DISCUSSION:

On March 13, 2020, a national health emergency was declared in response to COVID-19. Due to this emergency, the Family Support Division (FSD) recognizes that some Temporary Assistance (TA) eligibility factors may be difficult to satisfy due to unavailability or other hardships. Below are three (3) temporary policy updates being implemented to assist TA applicant/participants.

45 Month Lifetime Limit Extension

FSD is extending TA benefits to Forty Eight (48) months through Hardship Extensions. Any participant that is due to close for meeting the Forty Five (45) month Lifetime Limit and do not qualify for any exemptions during the months of March, April and May 2020 will receive the Hardship Extension.

Hardship Extensions will be completed through system updates for all currently active participants that have reached or will reach their 45-month lifetime limit in the months of March, April, and May 2020. The COMPACT screen will be updated to show these participants as J-“Hardship extension referred to MWA” in the “Work Req Ind” field and 25-“Family Crisis” in the “Extension Rsn” field. These will have a re-evaluation date of 05/15/20.

FSD staff processing TA applications received March 1 – May 31, 2020 will follow normal procedures when a client may be eligible for this hardship extension with the exception of the temporary changes below due to the COVID019 crisis:

  • FSD staff will enter a re-evaluation date of 3 days following the date the case is taken through CONFLOWS. (Refer to the CRG under Lifetime Limit for current process).
  • When completing the IM-2EH for this hardship extension you will mark Family Crisis and enter in the explanation: COVID19, client has reached their 45-month lifetime limit.
  • All requests for an extension will continue to be sent to the TA/CC processing center at GROUP E, FSD.  Only those who are currently responsible for determining extension eligibility will enter the information on the COMPACT screen regarding the COVID 19 extension and will enter a comment about the action using COVID19 in the title for the comment.
  • The codes being used are J-“Hardship extension referred to MWA” in the “Work Req Ind” field and 25-“Family Crisis” in the “extension rsn” field on the COMPACT screen. These hardship extensions are for the months of March, April and May 2020.

This update will be re-evaluated at the end of May.

Drug Testing and Drug Treatment Referrals

FSD is suspending all mandatory drug testing and treatment referrals. FSD staff will not change any process in entering an application in the Family Assistance Management Information System (FAMIS) based on the clients’ answers to the drug test screening question and the waiver for drug treatment in lieu of a drug test question.

FSD staff will continue to follow TA Policy, 0240.000.00 Temporary Assistance Drug Test Requirements. Participants that are mandatory for drug testing or treatment will still be referred after the COVID-19 Health Emergency is over.

Participants that received the following disqualifications with a violation date of 03/01/20 were end dated with code of SNI – “Sanction Not Imposed”.

DNS – DID NOT SHOW UP FOR DRUG TEST

6NS – DID NOT SHOW-UP FOR DRUG TEST-6 MOS

TRP – FAILURE TO PARTICIPATE IN MANDATORY TREATMENT

These participants will be re-referred to start the process over once the COVID-19 crisis is over.

This update will be re-evaluated at the end of May.

MWA Work Requirements

FSD is suspending MWA work requirements for TA participants for 90 days. In addition, the completion of the TA Orientation and Personal Responsibility Plan (PRP) is waived for the length of time in which the work requirement is suspended.

  • Any actions to reduce benefits or close for WR5 or WRF sanctions will be put on hold during the suspension.
  • FSD referrals will continue to be sent and MWA contractors will still attempt to engage the participants.
  • There will be a temporary change in the initial contact appointment letter sent by the MWA contractors to offer services during the COVID-19 crisis but not require their immediate participation. The goal in taking this action is that we will be able to continue to provide supportive services to those participants who are able to engage in work activities while ensuring that those participants who are not able to actively engage encounter no negative effects during this time.
  • FSD staff should continue their usual coding for recipients on the COMPACT screen with the exception of the Orientation/PRP field. A new code CD- “Waived Due to COVID-19” has been added to this field in order to waive the TA Orientation and PRP at this time.

Those cases that are for WRF sanctioned applicants should continue to be referred. There are no changes for FSD Staff in FAMIS. The MWA contractors will implement a process that will ensure sanctioned applicant cases are not rejected due to not completing the needed hours.

ITSD will be prohibiting any work requirement case sanctions (codes WR5 or WRF) from being activated in FAMIS during the specified time period. FSD staff are instructed to not act to end or delete any of these sanctions in FAMIS at this time.

The work requirement will be re-evaluated at the end of May.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
  • Follow above instructions starting immediately.

KE/hrp/ph/ejf/jp