Food Stamps

1145.015.00 DISQUALIFICATION PENALTIES

IM-#140 November 30, 2005

Disqualifications are entered on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen in FAMIS and are based on:

  • determinations reached by criminal or civil courts (type code CDQ),
  • determinations reached by administrative disqualification hearings (type code HDQ), or
  • the individual signing an IM-161 Waiver of the Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing (type code WHC).

    NOTE: These disqualification codes are used on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen unless another more appropriate code is needed, such as those listed below under additional program violations.

The penalty for an IPV is disqualification from receiving food stamp benefits. Only the individual found to have committed the IPV, or the individual signing the Waiver of Administrative Disqualification Hearing (IM-161) is disqualified. Remaining EU members are not disqualified, but the adult EU members are responsible for repaying any overpayments caused by the IPV. Responsibility for the claim continues until the claim is paid even if the disqualified member leaves the EU. The disqualification of the individual continues even if the disqualified member leaves the EU or the food stamp case closes.

The length of the disqualification period depends upon whether the finding of an IPV is the first, second, or third for the individual. The purpose of the first IPV disqualification is to deter any future violations. One hearing, waiver, or consent agreement includes all violations prior to the date of the hearing, waiver, or consent agreement. Even if multiple offenses have occurred prior to a decision of an IPV, do not seek separate penalties for each offense. This is considered to be an enhanced penalty.

Consider all violations established for an individual occurring prior to June 1, 1983, regardless of whether the determination was reached after June 1, 1983, as the first violation.

The disqualification periods associated with the IPV are as follows:

  • For the first finding of violation, three months if the act occurred prior to June 1, 1983; six months if the act occurred on or after June 1, 1983, but before August 22, 1996; twelve months if the act occurred on or after August 22, 1996.
  • For the second finding of violation, twelve months if the act occurred on or after June 1, 1983 but before August 22, 1996; twenty-four months if the act occurred on or after August 22, 1996.NOTE: The first finding of violation does not have to be after August 22, 1996, for the twenty-four month disqualification to be imposed for a second finding.
  • For the third finding of violation, permanently.

If incorrectly given a shorter length of disqualification for an IPV disqualification, allow the length of disqualification (six months instead of twelve, twelve instead of twenty-four, or twenty-four instead of permanently) to stand. Do not establish a claim for the extra months the individual should have been disqualified and do not extend the disqualification to the longer time period. Notify the EU, however, that the disqualification is for a first, second, or third offense and that any future IPVs will result in a longer disqualification period.

NOTE: This is not a system-generated notice. The caseworker must send a typed letter to the EU. Keep a copy of the letter in the paper file, and record a comment at the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen.

Additional program violations and the resulting penalties are shown as follows:

  • For the first occurrence of purchasing a controlled substance with food stamp benefits, the individual is disqualified for twenty-four months. The second occurrence results in permanent disqualification. (type code PCS)
  • An individual convicted of trafficking food stamp benefits of $500 or more is permanently disqualified. (type code TRA)
  • An individual found to have made a fraudulent statement or representation about identity or residence in order to receive multiple benefits simultaneously is disqualified for 10 years. (type code RMB)
  • An individual convicted of transacting benefits for firearms, ammunition or explosives is permanently disqualified from receiving food stamp benefits. (type code TEF)NOTE: These disqualification codes are used on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen for these types of disqualifications, regardless of whether the disqualification is determined by a court, hearing, or waiver. Do not enter types CDQ (court), HDQ (hearing), or WHC (waiver) for the above disqualifications, or the incorrect penalty period will be imposed.