The following alphabetical list includes definitions and explanations of some of the terms used in the Food Stamp Program.
Allotment: the total value of benefits an EU is authorized to receive during each month or other time period.
Application: the application form designed or approved by FNS completed by an EU member or authorized representative.
ATM (Automatic Teller Machine): a cash machine located at banks, stores and many other places that allows an individual to withdraw cash benefits from an EBT account.
Bona fide loan: a loan that is supported by a written agreement to repay within a specified time or that is received from an individual or establishment engaged in the business of making loans. If neither condition applies, a loan can be considered bona fide if the claimant acknowledges (either verbally or by a written statement) the existence of one of the following situations:
- his/her obligation to repay (with or without interest); or
- his/her pledge of real or personal property or anticipated income with the intent to repay when funds become available or future anticipated income is received; or
- his/her written timetable and plan for repayment.
Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS): see U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Categorically eligible EU: an EU in which members receive and/or are authorized to receive Temporary Assistance, SSI, SAB, SP, and/or special support services benefits. Categorically eligible EUs are not tested against resource and gross/net income limits. Categorically eligible one or two person EUs are entitled to an ongoing issuance of $10, regardless of income level. FAMIS rejects or closes categorically eligible EUs of three or more persons whose income exceeds the categorically eligible issuance table maximums.
If all members of an EU receive Temporary Assistance, SSI, SAB, and/or SP, they may be considered eligible for Food Stamps because of their IM/SSI status. EUs with any members receiving special support services may be considered categorically eligible. Temporary Assistance, for categorical eligibility purposes, includes Temporary Assistance cash. SSI includes SSI cash, SSI recouped to zero, or SSI suspended cases. SAB includes SAB cash and SP includes SP cash. Special support services are services/benefits shown in Section 1135.035.00.
Date of Discovery: the date of discovery has two meanings. The date of discovery for expedited Food Stamp benefits is the date, other than the date of application, when the Agency discovers an eligibility unit is entitled to expedited benefits. The date of discovery for claims or restored benefits is the date the Agency discovered there was a potential error in Food Stamp benefits.
Department: the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is the federal agency responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program.
Disabled EU member: a member who:
- receives SSI benefits;
- receives SAB;
- receives SSI-SP or SP only;
- receives disability retirement benefits from a governmental agency because of a disability considered permanent under Section 221(i) of the Social Security Act;
- is a veteran with a service-connected or non-service-connected disability rated as total or paid as total by the VA under Title 38 of the United States Code;
- is a veteran considered by the VA to be in need of regular aid and attendance or permanently housebound under Title 38 of the United States Code
- is a surviving spouse of a veteran and considered by the VA to be in need of regular aid and attendance or permanently housebound or a surviving child of a veteran and considered by the VA to be permanently incapable of self-support under Title 38 of the United States Code;
- is a surviving spouse or a child of a veteran and considered by the VA to be entitled to compensation for a service-connected death or pension benefits for a non-service-connected death under Title 38 of the United States Code and has a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act, Section 221(i);
- receives an annuity payment under Section 2(a)(1)(IV) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and is determined to be eligible to receive Medicare by the Railroad Retirement Board; or Section 2(a)(i)(V) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and is disabled based upon SSI criteria;
- receives Medical Assistance.
Drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program: any drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program conducted by a private, non-profit organization or institution, or a publicly operated community mental health center that is receiving funding under part B of Title XIX, is eligible to receive funding under part B of Title XIX even if no funds are being received, or is operating to further the purposes of part B of Title XIX to provide treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts and/or alcoholics.
EBT: an on-line Electronic Benefit Transfer system in which benefits issued from the State of Missouri are stored in a central computer database and electronically accessed by EUs at the point-of-sale via the EBT card. Refer to 0150.000.00.
Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card: a plastic card with a magnetic stripe utilized by eligible EUs to access benefits issued in the State of Missouri. Security is maintained by assigning a Personal Identification Number (PIN) issued to an eligible EU.
Elderly EU member: a member who is 60 years of age or older.
Eligibility Unit (EU): a group of individuals included in a Food Stamp case according to policy rules. Refer to 1105.015.00.
Eligible foods includes:
- any food or food product intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption;
- seeds and plants to grow foods for the personal consumption of eligible EUs;
- meals prepared and delivered by an authorized meal delivery service to EUs eligible to use benefits to purchase delivered meals — or meals served by an authorized communal dining facility for the elderly, SSI EUs, or both — to EUs eligible to use benefits for communal dining;
- meals prepared and served by a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation center to eligible EUs;
- meals prepared and served by a group living arrangement facility to residents who are blind or disabled recipients of benefits under Title II, Title XVI, Title I, OAA, Title X, AB, Title XIV, or PTD of the Social Security Act;
- meals prepared and served by a shelter for battered women and children to its eligible residents;
- meals prepared for and served by an authorized public or private non-profit establishment (such as a soup kitchen, temporary shelter) that feeds homeless persons and is approved by the appropriate FNS regional office.
FAMIS: Family Assistance Management Information System. This is the computer system in which Food Stamp applications are processed, and Food Stamp cases are maintained. FAMIS is the electronic case file.
FNS: the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is the agency within USDA responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program. It was formerly known as the Food and Consumer Services (FCS).
Federal fiscal year: a period of 12 calendar months beginning with each October 1 and ending with September 30 of the following calendar year.
Food Stamp Act: the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-113), including any subsequent amendments thereto: Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 97-253), the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193), and the Farm Bill of 2002.
General Assistance: cash or another form of assistance, excluding in-kind assistance, financed by State or local public funds as part of a program that provides assistance to cover living expenses or other basic needs intended to promote the health or well-being of recipients. In Missouri, this type of assistance was primarily provided under the former General Relief (GR) program, but can include local programs as well.
Homeless individual: an individual who lacks a fixed and regular nighttime residence or an individual whose primary nighttime residence is:
- a supervised shelter designed to provide temporary accommodations (such as a congregate shelter);
- a halfway house or similar institution that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized;
- a temporary accommodation in the residence of another individual lasting no longer than 90 days. After 90 days in the same residence, the living arrangement becomes permanent and the individual is not considered homeless. If the person is in another Food Stamp EU, base the determination of separate EU on how food is purchased and prepared and not on whether the person is considered homeless; or
- a place not designed for, or ordinarily used, as a regular sleeping accommodation for people (a hallway, a bus station, a lobby, or similar places).
An individual who stays in a shelter for the homeless which serves meals is not considered a resident of an institution. If the shelter is a non-profit agency, the homeless individual may be eligible to receive Food Stamp benefits, if otherwise eligible. The eligibility of a homeless resident is not based on whether the shelter has been authorized by FNS, but the individual cannot use benefits to purchase meals at the shelter if the shelter has not been approved by FNS.
Homeless meal provider: a public or private non-profit establishment (such as a soup kitchen, temporary shelter) that feeds homeless persons and is approved by the appropriate FNS regional office.
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS): see U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Institution of higher education: any institution that normally requires a high school diploma or equivalency certificate for enrollment.
Initial application: an application received when there has been a break in certification, or the EU has never received Food Stamp benefits before. EXAMPLE – The EU’s last month of certification is April. The EU makes an initial application on May 2.
Low-income EU: an EU with an annual income not exceeding 130 percent of the Office of Management and Budget poverty guidelines.
Medicaid: medical assistance under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, as amended.
Migrant farm worker: a person who moves on a regular basis to find work harvesting crops or other agricultural activities.
Nontimely reapplication: an application received after the 15th day but prior to the end of the last month of the EU’s certification period. The month of application is the first month following the end of the certification period. EXAMPLE: The EU’s last month of certification is April. The EU makes a nontimely reapplication on April 24.
Overissuance: the amount by which benefits issued to an EU exceeds the amount it was eligible to receive. Overissuances are generally corrected by writing a claim. Refer to 1142.000.00 for claim policy.
PIN (Personal Identification Number): a four digit secret code known only to the cardholder. It is used with the EBT card to access benefits in the cardholder’s EBT account.
POS (Point of Sale terminal): equipped in checkout lanes of authorized food retailers, the POS terminal reads the EBT card. It validates the PIN, the card number, and the amount of available benefits in the EBT account. After validation, the cardholder purchases food items that are automatically deducted from the amount of the available benefits in the EBT account.
Program: the Food Stamp Program conducted under the Food Stamp Act and regulations.
Project area: the county or similar political subdivision designated by the State as the administrative unit for program operations. In Missouri, each county has been designated as a project area.
Seasonal farm worker: a person who works on a farm or ranch on a seasonal basis when the work is generally within commuting distance of his or her home. (A person who works on his or her own or leased or rented farmland on a year-round or seasonal basis is not a seasonal farm worker.)
Secretary: the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Spouse: refers to two individuals defined as married to each other under applicable state law. Missouri does not recognize common law marriages. In Missouri, two individuals are considered spouses if they are legally married.
State: any one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Virgin Islands of the United States.
State agency: the agency of the state government, including the local offices thereof, responsible for administering federally-aided income maintenance programs within the State.
Supercase: all individuals residing at a particular address, unless the individuals reside in a group arrangement, such as a drug and alcohol treatment center, homeless shelters, etc.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): monthly cash payments made under the authority of Title XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended, to the aged, blind, and disabled.
Thrifty Food Plan: the diet required to feed a family of four persons consisting of a man and a woman aged 20 through 50, a child six through eight years of age, and a child nine through 11 years of age, determined in accordance with the Secretary’s calculations. The cost of such diet is the basis for uniform allotments for all EUs regardless of actual composition, except when the Secretary adjusts EU size in the Thrifty Food Plan taking into account economies of scale.
Timely Reapplication: an application received before the 15th day of the last month of the EU’s certification period. The month of application is the first month following the end of the certification period. EXAMPLE: The EU’s last month of certification is April. The EU makes a timely reapplication on April 12.
Underissuance: the amount by which benefits issued to an EU is less than the amount it was eligible to receive. Underissuances are corrected by issuing restored benefits to the EU, not to exceed 12 months in the past from the date the underissuance is discovered.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): this agency works with immigrants who come to the United States, assist in citizenship matters, and is part of the Department of Homeland Security. It was formerly known as Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) and Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).