Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual – Table of Contents

1105.015.10.35.10 Exceptions to Felony Drug Conviction Disqualification

IM-#18 March 18, 2015

Individuals convicted in Federal or State court of a felony, committed after August 22, 1996, related to illegal possession or use of a controlled substance may be eligible for Food Stamp benefits if they meet the criteria to receive an exception from the felony drug conviction disqualification.

Effective August 28, 2014, to receive Food Stamp benefits, individuals currently disqualified and new applicants must meet the following conditions.

All individuals who request an exception must:

  • Demonstrate sobriety through voluntary urinalysis testing. Other forms of drug tests are not accepted. The FSD will not pay for the urinalysis testing.
    • The only acceptable verification is the written or printed urinalysis test result or other official record of the test result.

      NOTE: Once documentation has been provided it must be maintained in the case record and will not need to be provided at subsequent applications.

    • The test date must be after the individual’s last felony or misdemeanor conviction guilty plea, or plea of nolo contendere (no contest) involving possession or use of a controlled substance.
    • The results of the urinalysis must show the individual tested negative for illegal drugs at the time of the test.
    • The urinalysis may not be self-administered. Examples of acceptable tests include but are not limited to those completed by a medical provider, drug treatment provider, or medical testing laboratory.
    • Client statement is not acceptable verification.
  • Certify that they have not pled guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of two subsequent felony offenses involving possession or use of a controlled substance after the date of the first controlled substance felony conviction.
    • If the individual has not been in custody for, or has not been found guilty, or pleaded guilty or no contest to a controlled substance misdemeanor or felony offense in the three years prior to the date of application or date of request to add a person to a Food Stamp case accept client statement.
    • If the individual has been in custody for or has a misdemeanor or felony conviction,  guilty plea, or plea of no contest for a controlled substance offense less than three years prior to the date of application or date of request to add a person to a Food Stamp case:
      • Staff must view Missouri Courts – Case.net to verify the individual has not pled guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of two subsequent felony offenses involving possession or use of a controlled substance after the date of the first controlled substance felony conviction in Missouri.
      • For convictions in other states, staff may request the individual to provide a statement from the appropriate court or the other state’s Probation and Parole, or make telephone contact with an employee of the court or of the other state’s Probation and Parole and document that contact in the case record. Information from Vinelink Victim Information and Notification Everyday, the National Victim Notification Network https://www.vinelink.com/vinelink/initMap.do may help locate the appropriate court in other states. Staff are expected to make reasonable efforts to check convictions in other states.

        REMINDER: Federal regulations for the Food Stamp program state, “The State agency shall not determine the household to be ineligible when a person outside of the household fails to cooperate with a request for verification”.

Individuals Not in Custody with No Conviction or Plea within the Prior Three Years

If the individual has not been in custody for, or has not been found guilty, or pleaded guilty or no contest for, a controlled substance misdemeanor or felony offense in the three years prior to the date of application or date of request to add a person to a Food Stamp case they must:

  • Demonstrate sobriety through voluntary urinalysis testing. Other forms of drug tests are not accepted. The FSD will not pay for the urinalysis testing.
  • Certify that they have not pled guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of two subsequent felony offenses involving possession or use of a controlled substance after the date of the first controlled substance felony conviction.
  • Respond to the questions on the Exception Determination Worksheet during an interview with FSD, or provide a completed Exception Determination Worksheet to the FSD certifying they:
    • Are currently successfully participating in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse,
    • Are currently enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse but on a waiting list;
    • Have successfully completed a substance abuse program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse; OR
    • Have been determined by a certified treatment provider from Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse determined to not need substance abuse treatment.AND
    • Have successfully complied with all obligations imposed by the court, the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the Division of Probation and Parole.AND
    • Have not pled guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of an additional controlled substance misdemeanor or felony  within one year of release from custody, or within one year after the date of conviction if the participant was not committed to custody.

When the individual has not been in custody for, or has not been found guilty, or pleaded guilty or no contest to a controlled substance misdemeanor or felony offense in the three years prior to the date of application or date of request to add a person to a case, Client Statement (CS) is acceptable verification for:

  • Substance abuse treatment criteria,
  • Successfully complying with all court and probation and parole obligations, and
  • Complying with the requirements of not having two additional felonies since the first conviction or plea, and of not having either a felony or misdemeanor within one year of release or within one year of conviction if not committed to custody

    NOTE: The FSD staff will document responses to Worksheet questions in FAMIS comments, and maintain a copy of the Exception Determination Worksheet in the case record if completed by the individual. Enter a comment from the individual’s Sanction/Disqualification (SANDISQ/FMAM) screen. Add an additional comment to record urinalysis test results received and the final determination on the exception request.

    EXAMPLE: Subject: Exception Determination

    Responses to worksheet questions obtained in telephone interview with applicant on 01/02/2015. A Conviction type: felony Date: 09/02/1996 State: Missouri; B. and C. answered No; D. Completed substance abuse treatment at Arthur Center 1998; E. answered No; F. Yes. Completed Probation 1998; G. answered No; H answered No; I. Answered Yes. FA-325 sent to applicant this date requesting urinalysis tests results.

Individuals in Custody, or with a Conviction or Plea within the Prior Three Years

If the individual has been in custody for ,or has a misdemeanor or felony conviction,  guilty plea, or plea of no contest for, a controlled substance offense less than three years prior to the date of application or date of request to add a person to a Food Stamp case, they must:

  • Demonstrate sobriety through voluntary urinalysis testing. Other forms of drug tests are not accepted. The FSD will not pay for the urinalysis testing.
  • State that they have not pled guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of two subsequent felony offenses involving possession or use of a controlled substance after the date of the first controlled substance felony conviction. (Hard copy (HC) or Telephone contact (TC) verification must be documented in the case record.)
  • Respond to the additional questions on the Exception Determination Worksheet during an interview with FSD, or provide a completed Exception Determination Worksheet to the FSD certifying they:
    • Are currently successfully participating in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse,
    • Are currently enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse but on a waiting list;
    • Have successfully completed a substance abuse program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse; OR
    • Have been determined by a certified treatment provider from Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse determined to not need substance abuse treatment.AND
    • Have successfully complied with all obligations imposed by the court, the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and the Division of Probation and Parole.AND
    • Have not pled guilty or no contest to or been found guilty of an additional controlled substance misdemeanor or felony  within one year of release from custody, or within one year after the date of conviction if the participant was not committed to custody.
  • Provide one of the following as acceptable verification of substance abuse treatment:
    • Certificate of completion from a drug treatment program,
    • Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Drug Conviction Exception Verification form completed and signed by the treatment provider, or
    • Other official document from an approved substance abuse treatment provider to establish compliance with the substance abuse treatment requirements.

      AND provide one of the below:

  • If currently on Probation or Parole with the Missouri Department of Corrections, provide a Current Probation and Parole/Court Compliance Drug Conviction Exception Verification form completed and signed by their Probation or Parole Officer. Telephone or collateral contact between FSD and the Probation or Parole Officer may be accepted if documented in the case record.

    OR

  • If the individual has been discharged from Parole, send the Discharged Parolee Drug Conviction Exception Verification form for completion by email to Custodian of Records of the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole. If the individual was discharged from parole in another state, request the individual to provide documentation of their parole status. Telephone contact with an employee of the court or of the other state’s Probation and Parole may be accepted if documented in the case record.

    OR

  • If the individual states they are discharged from Probation view Missouri Courts – Case.net at https://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/base/welcome.do. Telephone contact with an employee of the court or of the other state’s Probation and Parole may be accepted if documented in the case record.

    NOTE: The FSD staff will document responses to Worksheet questions in FAMIS comments, and maintain a copy of the Exception Determination Worksheet in the case record if completed by the individual. Enter a comment from the individual’s Sanction/Disqualification (SANDISQ/FMAM) screen. Add an additional comment to record verification received or viewed and the final determination on the exception request.

    EXAMPLE: Subject: Exception Determination

    Responses to worksheet questions obtained in telephone interview with applicant on 01/02/2015. A Conviction type: Felony, Date: 09/02/2013, State: Missouri; B. and C. answered No; D. Completed substance abuse treatment at Arthur Center 07/01/2014; E. answered No; F. Yes. Completed Probation 08/31/2014; G. answered No; H answered No; I. Answered Yes. FA-325 sent to applicant this date requesting, proof of substance abuse treatment and urinalysis tests results. Missouri Case.net verified discharged from probation.