IM-057 POLICY UPDATE FOR MAGI HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION WHEN ADDING A PERSON

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#057, 10/02/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  POLICY UPDATE FOR MAGI HOUSEHOLD COMPOSITION WHEN ADDING A PERSON

DISCUSSION:

This memorandum provides updates to the examples in memo IM-#148 dated 11/28/2017. All examples provided in memo IM-#148 should be disregarded. Memo IM-#148 provided clarification to MAGI Policy Manual section, 1885.010.00 Adding a Person.

Examples in this section have been updated to correct MAGI household composition when an individual is included in multiple MAGI households.

  • When someone who physically resides in their home, that individual’s MAGI household composition will include all of the tax filer’s dependents even if the other dependents live outside of the home claims an individual under age 19 as a tax dependent.

    EXAMPLE: Joe lives with his mother who is his custodial parent. His father, Frank, and stepmother, Jane, claim Joe as a tax dependent along with their other three children. Frank and Jane’s other three children all receive MHK. Since Joe is Frank and Jane’s tax dependent, he is included in the other three children’s MAGI households when determining their eligibility for MHK benefits. Joe receives MHN coverage in his mother’s household under non-filer rules.

  • When someone who physically resides outside of their home claims an individual under age 19 as a tax dependent, the individual’s MAGI household composition will be determined by non-tax filer rules.

    EXAMPLE: (continued from above) Joe resides with his mother, Stephanie and his half-sibling, Jon. Stephanie is a tax filer and intends to only claim Jon as a tax dependent. Joe will be claimed by his father, Frank, who resides outside of the home. Joe’s MAGI household composition is determined by non-tax filer rules since an individual living outside of the home claims him. Joe’s household consists of himself, Stephanie, and Jon. Jon’s MAGI household consists of two, himself and Stephanie.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/ks

IM-056 – UPDATED PRESUMPTIVE ELIGIBILITY INCOME GUIDELINES

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#056, 10/02/2018

TO:   ALL FAMILY SUPPORT OFFICES
FROM:   PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:   UPDATED PRESUMPTIVE ELIGIBILITY INCOME GUIDELINES
MANUAL REVISION #44
APPENDIX A (1900.000.00)

DISCUSSION:

The purpose of this memorandum is to update the income guidelines for Presumptive Eligibility due to the increase in the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Appendix A, found in the Presumptive Eligibility Manual has been updated to reflect the new FPL.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/df

IM-060 DYNAMIC INTERVIEWS

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#060, 10/01/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  DYNAMIC INTERVIEWS

DISCUSSION:

This memorandum is follow-up to the recent interview techniques discussed in the Dynamic Interview and Income & Expenses Training.  The change to the interview process is as a result of the Business Process Review (BPR) with collaboration of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).

The goal of the Dynamic Interview process is to:

  • simplify the interview process for staff and customers,
  • obtain better clarifying information from customers
  • not ask the same questions of customers repetitively, and
  • make the interview process efficient.

Use the Dynamic Interview process at initial application and recertification for all programs. 

NOTE:  For Food Stamp recertification, the criteria for waiving interviews remains the same. Refer to Food Stamp Manual section, 1130.015.15 Processing Recertifications and to the Food Stamp Recertification Interview Decision User Guide.

The Dynamic Interview should follow the one-touch thought process to prevent the same application/case from being touched multiple times. This means the Eligibility Specialist (ES) will complete every action they can based on the information available at that time, before sending it on for further tasking.

In a Dynamic Interview, the interviewer does not ask the customer questions s/he has already answered on a web or paper application, when the answers do not require further clarification.  

NOTE:  Always re-ask and get better clarification about income, expenses and questionable information, even when an answer is on the application.

The Dynamic Interview is an open-ended conversation between the interviewer and the customer.  The interview should clarify answers provided on the application and to ask questions which are not on the forms, but are in the controlled flow in FAMIS or in the MEDES system.

EXAMPLE: The customer answered, ‘NO’ to “Are you a migrant seasonal farmer worker,” on the application. Since the customer already answered the question, it does not need to be asked again during the interview. 

EXAMPLE: The customer answered, ‘YES’ to paying shelter expenses on the application; however, no income was listed.  Interviewer should ask clarifying questions to determine how the customer is paying his/her expenses with no income. Since this is an income/expense question, it should automatically be re-asked.

EXAMPLE:  The Food Stamp Application does not ask about dependent care expenses, but they are an allowable expense. When the driver question appears in the controlled flow, ask if the EU has dependent care expenses and enter a comment that supports the client’s statement of expense.  Since this is an income/expense question, it should automatically be re-asked.

EXAMPLE:  The declaration questions have all been answered ‘NO’ on the application and nothing is questionable.  There is no need to re-ask these during the interview.

It is imperative that staff use worker judgement when completing interviews to identify information that needs clarification.

EXAMPLE:  A Food Stamp recertification application shows rent of $750 and a roommate who is not in the EU. Supercase Member Clearance (SCMBR) shows the roommate and Shelter Expense (SHELEXP) of $350 rent. It would be good worker judgement to ask clarifying questions about sharing expenses, record the answers in the proper fields and make comments.  Since this is an income/expense question, it should automatically be re-asked.

When an answer to a question listed on the application is left blank, it will be necessary to use worker judgement to determine whether or not clarification is required or if a blank answer on the application can be assumed as ‘no’ or ‘none’.

EXAMPLE: A new Food Stamp application is received for a homeless customer that only listed themselves in the household. They did not answer if they purchase and prepare with anyone else. No can be assumed in this scenario.

Links to the Dynamic Interview and Income & Expense Training and the Dynamic Interview Question Reference Sheet can be found on the BPR page of the Social Services intranet.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

IM-059 OCTOBER FOOD STAMP MASS ADJUSTMENT

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#059, 10/01/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  OCTOBER FOOD STAMP MASS ADJUSTMENT

MANUAL REVISION #43
1105.015.04.05
1115.035.05
1115.035.15.05
1115.035.25
1115.035.25.15
1115.099.00
1130.099.00
1135.010.07.05
0815.030.10.10.10
Appendix B
Appendix J

DISCUSSION:

The October Food Stamp Mass Adjustment will occur over the weekend of September 8, 2018. All policies and updated information will go into effect for all applicants and customers as of October 1, 2018.

This memorandum addresses the following issues related to the mass adjustment:

  • Updates to the Maximums and Deductions
  • Update Process
  • Decreased Benefits or Case Closings
  • Conflict of Actions
  • Cases Not Adjusted
  • Notices
  • Fair Hearing Requests
  • Manual Revisions

Updates to the Maximums, Utility Standards and Deductions:

The Following updates were made during the mass adjustment:

Allotment Types Allotment Amounts
Standard Deductions
1-3 Household Members $164
4 Household Members $174
5 Household Members $204
6+ Household Members $234
Utility Standards
SUA $380
NHCS $303
LUA $125
Telephone $61
Excess Shelter Deductions  $552
Standard Medical Deduction  $170
Gross (130%) Maximum  Increased
Net (100%) Maximum  Increased
FPL (165%) Maximum*  Increased

*These maximums are used to determine if an EU whose members are elderly, live with others and are unable to purchase and prepare food due to a disability, are eligible as a separate EU for Food Stamp Benefits. The Food Stamp Manual Section 1105.015.04.05 has been updated with the new chart.

Update Process

The Food Stamp Budget Summary (FM4A) screen and the Worker Initiated Budget Calculation Area – WIBCA (FMXN) are updated with the new amounts.

After the eligibility determination is run during the mass adjustment, the following actions on active Food Stamp cases may be displayed in FAMIS, depending on the action taken during the mass adjustment:

Action EU Log (FM40) Displays Date Benefit Month
Increase INCR 09/08/2018 102018
No Change NOCH 09/08/2018 102018
Reduction REDU 09/08/2018 102018

The reason field on the Action Authorization (FM3H) screen displays TUA – Table Update Adjustment (system) for the mass adjustment.

To inquire why an action is taken, on EU Action Log (FM40), select the action, and press F17=INQAUTH. The Action Authorization (FM3H) screen appears. Press F19=REASON. The reason code and the code description appear. After payroll closing, the Payment History (FM5F) screen displays the appropriate allotment for each EU.

Decrease Benefits or Case Closings

EUs with cases that have an allotment decrease or their case is closing will receive an FA-150 Action Notice.

Conflict of Actions

FAMIS will adjust active Food Stamp cases during the mass adjustment, even if the case has a pending adverse action. A conflict of action is created, if there is a pending adverse action, when the mass adjustment is completed. The Eligibility Specialist voids the adverse action and process the mass adjustment adverse action following these steps:

  1. Void the first (pending) adverse action on the Action Resolution (FM50 or ACTRES) screen.
  2. Complete the eligibility determination on the Eligibility Determination Resolution screen (FM3Y or EDRES).
  3. Authorize the new action, even if the action is a benefit reduction or closing.

Refer to FAMIS user guide Changing An Adverse Action Status for instructions.

Cases Not Adjusted

Pending applications and cases with pending changes cannot be adjusted during the mass adjustment and require the Eligibility Specialist to take action. When the Eligibility Specialist completes the appropriate action, the case will be automatically adjusted.

The following are examples of cases not adjusted:

  • Expedited EUs that are active with postponed verification (APV status).
  • Any EU with an incomplete eligibility determination, such as when there is insufficient data (ISD).
  • Any EU in the controlled flow.
  • If an unacceptable or blank verification code is entered for a program element.

Notices

All EUs with an allotment increase will be sent an FA-150 Action Notice. These notices are dated September 26, 2018. The notice informs the EU of the following:

  • The Standard Deduction and Excess Shelter Maximums have changed
  • The Utility Standard Allowances have changed.
  • The household Food Stamp allotment for October has changed.

Fair Hearing Request

If the EU requests a fair hearing for the Food Stamp Program, the Agency needs to:

  • Follow your current hearings office process in your local office.

Manual Revisions

The Food Stamp Manual Revisions are as follows:

  • Section 1105.015.04.05 – Update 165% FPL
  • Section 1115.035.05 – Update the Standard Deduction
  • Section 1115.035.15.05 – Update the amount of the Medical Deduction.
  • Section 1115.035.25 – Update the Excess Shelter Maximum
  • Section 1115.035.25.15 – Update the Utility Standards
  • Section 1115.099.00 – Update Maximum Allowable Monthly Income Limits and Allotment Table
  • Section 1130.099.00 – Update Appendix A Simplified Reporting Requirements
  • Section 1135.010.07.05 – Update standard for pre-strike calculations

The following information has been revised on the intranet:

The SUA or the telephone standard is used in calculating the community spouse (CS) allotment, for vendor cases. This calculation is completed by FAMIS based on the shelter expenses and utility standards entered by the Eligibility Specialist. The MHABD manual has been updated to reflect the new standards, in examples and appendices.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/ph/ks

IM-058 HOUSE BILL 2171 CHANGES TO BLIND PENSION

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#058, 09/28/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  HOUSE BILL 2171 CHANGES TO BLIND PENSION

DISCUSSION:

House Bill 2171 made several changes to the Blind Pension (BP) program. Below is a list of changes with explanation of how this will impact current and future Blind Pension participants. These changes are effective August 28, 2018.

  • The resource limit has increased from $20,000 to $30,000. BP participants may now own resources up to $29,999.99 and remain eligible.
  • $100,000 contributed to an ABLE account belonging to a blind individual is excluded from the BP resource calculation. All contributions made to an ABLE account belonging to a sighted spouse are excluded from the BP resource calculations. Depositing funds into an ABLE account is not a transfer without fair and valuable consideration, and is not subject to transfer penalties.
  • A person who obtains, maintains, or renews a driver license in any state or territory is not eligible for BP.
    • A BP participant whose case is active August 28, 2018 will be given 60 days to surrender their license, if they possess one. If s/he fails to surrender their driver license, on the 45th day, action will be started to close the BP.
    • Applicants must surrender their driver license within 60 days of approval for BP to continue to be eligible.
      • If s/he fails to surrender the driver license, on the 45th day, action will be started by FAMIS to close the BP.
      • An applicant who refuses to surrender his/her license will be rejected and not eligible to receive BP.
    • See the attached FAMIS User Guide for instructions for the DRIVINFO/FMNE screen.

    NOTE: A BP applicant is given 60 days to surrender his/her license after approval. This is a one-time allowance and once used, it cannot be given again.

  • A BP recipient who operates a motor vehicle, with or without a valid driver license is not eligible for BP. Action will be started immediately upon entry on the DRIVINFO screen indication the recipient has operated a motor vehicle. Detailed instructions for how and when to enter this will be provided in a future memorandum. OMV (operating a motor vehicle) must not be entered until further clarification is issued.
  • Sighted spouse income of 500% of the federal poverty level or greater will cause ineligibility. FAMIS has been updated to use income information entered to determine if the sighted spouse has income in excess of the newly established limit of 500%. The current limit is $6858.
    • See the attached FAMIS User Guide for instructions to access the Adult MO HealthNet BP Spousal Budget Summary.

    NOTE: Continue to answer the questions on the Sighted Spouse/Parent Support Information (SIGHTSUP/FMJA) screen. When both spouses apply for BP, enter that neither has a sighted spouse on the SIGHTSUP/FMJA screen. If either is determined to not be blind, update the response for the blind spouse to indicate s/he has a sighted spouse.

  • Participants must report changes in circumstances within 10 days of the change.
  • Family Support Division (FSD) notices sent to BP applicants and recipients will be sent by certified mail. All notices sent by FAMIS concerning the BP program will be certified, when all FAMIS updates are completed. Effective August 28, 2018 the following forms will be certified to the participant and the Authorized Representative.
    • AR100 Authorized Representative Cover Letter
    • FA420 Adult MO HealthNet Adverse Action Notice
    • FA460 Adult MO HealthNet Benefit Notice

      Remaining FAMIS notices will be updated to be automatically sent by certified mail in the near future. Until that update is completed in FAMIS, staff must manually send all BP notices by certified mail. Processes have been set up in the SAB/BP Processing Center, the Hearings Unit, and MRT to allow for certified mail.

      The Document Queue (DOCQUE/FMVM) and the Document History (DOCHST/FMVR) screens have been updated to include a field for the certified mail tracking number.

      • Notices sent certified mail by FAMIS will display the tracking number assigned to each document.
      • Notices printed from DOCQUE/FMVM or DOCHST/FMVR and mailed manually will have an open line available for the entry of the tracking number. Only specified staff will be able to enter a tracking number, and once entered, it may not be updated
      • See the attached FAMIS User Guide for instructions.
  • Visual eligibility must be established in both eyes, the better eye must meet current eligibility requirements of 5/200 or visual field of 5 degrees tested on 5 millimeter target on perimeter, and must have lasted 12 months or be expected to last at least 12 months.
  • The examining ophthalmologist, physician, or optometrist may indicate that a reexamination should be performed in less than 5 years, if the individual’s vision may reasonably be expected to improve within 5 years.
  • FSD may require a visual reexamination before the date indicated by the examining ophthalmologist, physician, or optometrist, if there is reason to believe the BP participant is not eligible.

MANUAL NOTICE REQUIRED

There are situations that will require a manual notice to BP applicants and recipients. The FA420 and/or FA460 will not provide the reason for the closing/rejection of the BP case. Staff must manually create the notice with the correct reason and send it by certified mail.

  • BP participant is losing BP eligibility, but remains eligible for another type of MHABD coverage.
  • BP applicant is determined ineligible for BP, but is eligible for another type of MHABD coverage.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appriopriate staff.

ATTACHMENTS:

  • FAMIS User Guides
  • Certified Mail Guide
  • Driver Information Guide
  • Spousal Support Guide

PL/vb/jk

IM-055 MAGI MO HEALTHNET FOR FAMILIES (MHF) STUDENT EXTENSION CLARIFICATION

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#055, 08/10/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  MAGI MO HEALTHNET FOR FAMILIES (MHF) STUDENT EXTENSION CLARIFICATION
MANUAL REVISION #42
1885.005.00
1810.020.20.20

DISCUSSION:

This memorandum provided clarification to the MAGI MO HealthNet Policy manual sections, 1885.005.00 Age Out and 1810.020.20.20 Eligibility for 18 year-olds.

Section 208.040 RSMo states to be eligible for MO HealthNet for Families (MHF), a child must be under the age of 19 years. However, the child must be a high school student and expected to graduate high school, to receive MHF between the ages of 18 and 19. This is also known as the MHF Student Extension.

Additional clarification has also been included to clarify:

  • additional information regarding the parent/caretaker coverage during the MHF Student Extension period, and
  • student status is verified by self-attestation. If the student status is questionable, additional information should be requested.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/ks 

IM-054 MANDATORY ELIGIBILITY UNIT GROUPS POLICY UPDATE FOR THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#054, 08/10/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  MANDATORY ELIGIBILITY UNIT GROUPS POLICY UPDATE FOR THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM
MANUAL REVISION #41
1105.015.04.15

DISCUSSION:

The purpose of this memo is to inform staff of an update to the 1105.015.04.15 Mandatory Eligibility Unit Groups policy. Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has clarified that adoption severs the natural parent’s parental rights. A NOTE was added to explain mandatory members in a case where the natural and adoptive parent are in the same household. Also, the update clarifies that legal guardianship does not sever the natural parent’s relationship to the child or change mandatory status.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/cs

IM-053 ABLE BODIED ADULTS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS POLICY CLARIFICATION FOR THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#053, 08/09/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  ABLE BODIED ADULTS WITHOUT DEPENDENTS POLICY CLARIFICATION FOR THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM
MANUAL REVISION #40
1105.035.15
1105.035.20
1105.035.25
1105.035.30
1140.005.45

DISCUSSION:

The purpose of this memo is to introduce policy clarifications that have been added to Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWD). The updates include:

  • Volunteer/In Kind work has been defined,
  • Updates to the list of exemptions,
  • An explanation to distinguish the difference between an ABAWD disability and the permanently and totally disabled test, and
  • Good Cause clarification.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/ph/ks

IM-052 NEW MWA REGIONS

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#052, 08/09/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  NEW MWA REGIONS
MANUAL REVISION #39
0250.000.10

DISCUSSION:

Effective November 1, 2017, the Family Support Division (FSD) awarded new MWA contracts. MWA regions can be found at Appendix O inside the manual section 0250.000.10 Family Support Division (FSD) and Missouri Work Assistance Program Contracts.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

PL/jr

IM-051 EXPEDITED POSTPONED VERIFICATION DATES CLARIFICATION

2018 Memorandums

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
PO BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI

IM-#051, 08/08/2018

TO:  ALL FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION OFFICES
FROM:  PATRICK LUEBBERING, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:  EXPEDITED POSTPONED VERIFICATION DATES CLARIFICATION
MANUAL REVISION #38
1125.030.00

DISCUSSION:

The purpose of this memo is to clarify when expedited postponed verification is due on a Food Stamp application.

NECESSARY ACTION:

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.

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