IM-78 November 28, 2016; IM-27 March 19, 2004
It is a requirement to provide the SSN or apply for an SSN for each EU member prior to approving the EU member for Food Stamp benefits. Refusal or failure without good cause to provide or apply for an SSN results in ineligibility of the individual for whom an SSN is not provided.
If the EU does not provide (declines to declare) the SSN of an EU member or does not apply for an SSN for an EU member, the EU has the option to withdraw the food stamp application, or to receive Food Stamp benefits (if the EU is otherwise eligible) without the individual(s) for whom an SSN is not provided.
Staff must inform the EU of the options before asking the applicant to provide any EU member’s SSN. Staff must also advise the EU how the SSN will be used. Inform the EU that SSNs are used and disclosed in the same manner for ineligible EU members as SSNs of EU members who receive food stamp benefits.
NOTE: EUs that are expedited eligible do not have to comply with SSN requirements before receiving benefits for the first month of the certification period (first 2 months if applying after the 15th). The EU must comply before receiving any additional benefits.
SSN verification is recorded on the SSN Information (FMAS) screen. Refer to the user guide Entering and Updating Social Security Number Information for Food Stamp Eligibility Units (EUs) for instructions.