A disqualification is a penalty imposed on an EU member when that member commits an act that is in violation of the Food Stamp Program or commits another act as defined in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. Disqualification reasons include, but are not limited to, intentionally providing false information, trafficking food stamp benefits, or being convicted of a drug related felony after 8/22/1996.
Disqualification penalties are from 12 months to permanent, depending on the type of disqualification and if the member has previously been disqualified. While the disqualification is imposed, the EU member is ineligible to receive food stamp benefits. Disqualifications are tracked, imposed, and removed in FAMIS. The FAMIS Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen is used to add and update disqualification information. Four user guides are available, detailing procedures for entering, deleting, inquiring, and updating disqualifications:
- Entering a Sanction or Disqualification
- Deleting a Sanction or Disqualification
- Inquiring About a Sanction or Disqualification
- Updating/Ending a Sanction or Disqualification
Use the following disqualification type codes on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen to impose a disqualification:
- CDQ (Court Disqualification – IPV) – Determined by criminal or civil courts.
- DUC (Drug Conviction) – Individuals convicted of a drug-related felony after August 22, 1996 related to illegal possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance.
- FFP (Fleeing Felon\Probation or Parole Violators) – When an EU is fleeing to avoid prosecution, custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime, (or attempt to commit a crime) that is a felony under the law of the place from which the individual is fleeing.
- HDQ (Hearing Disqualification – IPV) – Determined by an administrative disqualification hearing.
- PCS (Purchased a Controlled Substance) – When an individual is found guilty purchasing a controlled substance with food stamp benefits.
- RMB (Received Multiple Benefits) – When an individual is found to have made a fraudulent statement or representation about identity or residence in order to receive multiple benefits.
- TEF (Trafficking FS for Explosives or Firearms) – When an individual is convicted of transacting benefits for firearms, ammunition, or explosives.
- TRA (Trafficking Involving $500 or More) – When an individual is convicted of trafficking food stamp benefits of $500 or more.
- WHC (Waiver of Hearing/Consent -IPV) – When an individual signs an IM-161, Wavier of the Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing.
An entry is required in the CAT (category) field for disqualification types of CDQ (court disqualification), HDQ (hearing disqualification), and WHC (waiver of hearing). Entries are not allowed in this field for any other type of disqualification or sanctions.
Use the following codes on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen in the CAT (category) field:
- ANF (Application/Non-report Fraud) – When an individual signs a waiver or is determined to have provided false information at application or purposely did not report information.
- OPV (Other Intentional Program Violation) – When an individual signs a waiver or is determined to have committed an intentional program violation other than trafficking, application fraud, or non-report fraud.
- TAF (Trafficking Administrative Finding) – When an individual signs a waiver or is determined to have used benefits in a manner for which food stamp benefits were not intended.
Record a comment to support the reason a disqualification is being imposed. When a disqualification is added to the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen, FAMIS takes the following actions:
- Eligibility and benefit level of remaining EU members are recomputed. The disqualified member’s income and resources are included in determining the remaining EU members’ eligibility, but the benefit is determined without the disqualified member. The disqualified member’s role is changed to IC (included) in FAMIS.
NOTE: An EU with a member disqualified for an IPV cannot be considered categorically eligible.
- New EU actions are created and can be seen on the EU Action Log (FM40) screen. The individual is disqualified, the number of eligible persons is changed, and the correct benefits are issued. If the disqualified member was the head of the EU, the case continues with the disqualified member as the head of the EU. The EU may choose to have the case closed and have another adult member apply as the head of the EU. However, the disqualified individual is still considered to be an EU member whose income and resources affect the remainder of the EU.
NOTE: Disqualifications are changes that must be acted upon for all EUs. Any actions created as a result of the disqualification must be acted on.
- The disqualified member is sent an FA-601 Claimant Information Notice, notifying the individual of the disqualification and the date the disqualification is effective.
- Remaining EU members are sent an FA-150 Claimant Action Notice, notifying them of the allotment they will receive.