IM-108 07/14/00 EXPEDITED SERVICE SCREENING ERRORS
|EXPEDITED SERVICE SCREENING ERRORS|
|Central office staff conduct conferences
with county staff when expedited identification errors are found during
the quarterly review of non-expedited food stamp cases. The purpose
of the conferences is to determine why the error occurred and if the Food
Stamp Program and Policy Unit can assist county staff with a better
understanding of expedited policy.
Due to a suggestion from county staff during one of these conferences, a summary of each error from the December 1999 and March 2000 reviews is provided. Share this summary with all staff who handle food stamp applications. Discuss the issues contained in these summaries at the next staff meeting opportunity. Clear any policy questions through normal supervisory channels.
SUMMARY 1: Ms. S. made a timely reapplication for benefits on 7/28/99. At the time of application, she stated she was employed at Pizza Hut, 26 to 30 hours per week and earned $3.30 per hour and $63.00 per pay period. The IM-12A received 7/29/99 states Ms. S. would receive her first check 7/30/99. Income from a new source is not budgeted when determining expedited eligibility if the participant has not been paid at the time of application. Ms. S. applied on 7/28/99 and did not receive her first check until 7/30/99. Since Ms. S's. income was less than $150.00 and her resources were less than $100.00, her application should have been expedited when the pay date information was received.
SUMMARY 2: On September 13, 1999, Ms. L. made a timely reapplication for benefits. Ms. L. stated on the FS-1 that she was working at Pizza Hut, earning $3.00 per hour, working 26 hours plus tips. The FS-1 screening showed income of $796.65 per month. Later, Ms. L. provided wage stubs verifying her gross monthly income as $390.85. Her shelter costs are $375.00 per month rent and $195.00 utility standard, totalling $570.00. Since Ms. L's shelter expenses exceeded her income, she should have been expedited at the time the worker received verification of earnings which resulted in eligibility for expedited service.
SUMMARY 3: On 9/3/99, the household
filed a timely reapplication for food stamp benefits. The household
claimed the unemployment compensation benefits had stopped. The household
crossed out the income shown on the FS-1 and claimed zero income and $200.00
in resources. A copy of the IMES dated 9/3/99 shows that no check
had been issued since 8/24/99. The household also claimed $48.00
in rent plus utilities. The household should have been screened as
eligible for expedited service as the income/resources are less than the
SUMMARY 5: This is an initial food stamp application made on 7/21/99. On the date of application, Ms. S. stated Mr. S. had changed jobs. He received his last check from his former employer in the amount of $46.47 on 7/15/99. Mr. S. had not received his first check from Missouri Hardwood Charcoal at the time of application. He did not receive his first check until 7/22/99. Income from a new source cannot be considered in determining expedited eligibility if it has not been received at the time of application. His earnings from his former employer totaled $161.00 in the month of July. Since the household's total income was less than the shelter expenses, the household should have been identified as expedited eligible on the date of application. Benefits were issued on 8/11/99; therefore the household did not receive benefits in a timely manner.
SUMMARY 6: On 9/27/99, Ms. R. applied for food stamps. The household consisted of Ms. R, her spouse, and two children. Although this was an initial application, there was a previous application dated 11/14/97 with verification of the children's birthdates and Mr. R's income that was postponed and never provided. On 9/28/99, Ms. R. reported that Mr. R. was no longer in the home. Although Mr. R's income was the only income in the household, the application was not processed as expedited because previously postponed verification from the application dated 11/14/97 was not provided.
The household should have been screened as expedited eligible using date of discovery as 9/28/99 when Ms. R. reported that Mr. R. was no longer in the home. Although previously postponed verification for the children's birth dates and Mr. R's income was not provided, the information is not needed for this application. The children s birth dates are contained in the case record and the spouse is no longer in the home.
Although benefits were available timely on 9/30/99, they were not identified or processed as expedited.
SUMMARY 7: On 7/8/99, Ms. K. applied for food stamps. The household declared income of $142.00 and a checking account with a balance of $600.00 for total income and resources of $742.00. The household declared rent of $500.00 per month and the responsibility for primary heating/cooling expense qualifying the household for the standard utility allowance (SUA) of $195.00. Shelter expenses totaled $695.00.
Recording on the IM-102 shows $456.92 balance in the checking account and monthly income of $187.50 for total income and resources of $644.42. Because income and resources of $644.42 are less than shelter expenses, the household is expedited eligible. The date of discovery is not known because it is not indicated when the balance of the checking account was established. Therefore, the household should have been processed as expedited eligible at the time of approval.
SUMMARY 8: On 7/26/99, Mr. D. filed an initial food stamp application. Mr. D. claimed $560.00 in SSA income, plus Medicare. He also claimed a checking account. The worker used $605.50 for income and $5.00 for resources. Mr. D. is responsible for $400.00 per month in rent expenses plus utilities. According to the information provided, the application was not screened as expedited.
On 7/29/99, the Social Security Administration
faxed a letter to the caseworker that verified Mr. D's SSA is $567.00 and
that no Medicare premium is deducted. Recording on the IM-102 form
shows $9.00 in the savings account. The effect of the change on expedited
eligibility should have been determined with 07/29/99 as the date of discovery.
The household income and resources are less than the shelter expenses so
it became eligible for expedited service.
SUMMARY 10: This is a timely reapplication. The date of application was 10/7/99. The household declared income from Labor Specialists, Incorporated for a household member. Initially, the worker screened the household as ineligible for expedited services. On the same day, the worker determined the household was eligible for expedited benefits.
There is no recording as to why the expedited screening decision was changed. Also, there is no recording to show what happened to the income from Labor Specialists, Incorporated. Based on information on the new FS-1B dated 10/7/99 and the FSU5 completed on 10/25/99, it appears this source of income terminated.
A FISU was processed for the household on 11/3/99. When it is determined there is a change of circumstances that results in expedited eligibility, the FISU should be completed on the day of discovery and identified as expedited. Correctly processed, expedited benefits for timely recertifications should be available to the household on the first day of the screening month.
SUMMARY 11: Mr. K. claimed
SSA benefits of $478.00 on his application for initial benefits.
He declared rent of $260.00 and responsibility for major heating/cooling
expense, for total shelter costs of $455.00. The case was correctly
screened as non-expedited. However, the IIVE printout received 8/5/99
showed that Mr. K. received SSA of $433.00 in August and would not receive
the additional SSI until September. Since the 8/2/99 application
was still pending, the worker should have determined the effect of the
changed SSA amount on expedited eligibility. The $6,000.00 SSI lump
sum payment received on the date of application cannot be counted as a
resource as the applicant is categorically eligible.
SUMMARY 12: Ms. T. claimed Temporary Assistance income of $136.00 and rent of $100.00. She declared no resources or utility expense. IPAY verifies income of $136.00. IMES shows no Unemployment Compensation benefits.
The household was eligible for expedited benefits at the time of application. The income for the month of screening was less than $150.00 and the resources were $100.00 or less. Benefits were available to the household within seven days; however, the benefits were not identified as expedited.
SUMMARY 13: Mr. J. made timely reapplication for food stamps on 11/10/99. Mr. J. is a legal alien who is ineligible for food stamps because he does not meet other alien eligibility criteria. His income and resources are not considered when determining the eligibility of the children. Since the children had no income or resources, the case should have been expedited on 11/10/99 and the December benefits should have been available on 12/1/99. Benefits issued 12/20/99 were not issued timely and were not identified as expedited.
SUMMARY 14: This is a non-timely recertification. Applicant applied on 12/21/99. On the FS-1, applicant declared zero income and a rent expense of $300.00, paid by a friend. The FEXP screening in the record shows the household is ineligible for expedited benefits using the reason "other". There is no recording in the record to explain this decision.
On 1/24/00, a FISU was entered for restored benefits for 01/00. There is no recording to explain why the household received restored benefits. If this FISU was for 01/00 expedited benefits, the case should have been identified as expedited eligible and the date of discovery entered. The reason issued should not have been for restored benefits. Correctly screened, the applicant was eligible to receive expedited benefits.
SUMMARY 15: This is a timely recertification. The applicant declared zero income and no shelter expenses. The worker identified the case as expedited eligible for January on the FS-1 and the FS-1B. There is no FEXP in the case record.
Restored benefits were issued and available to the household on 12/2/99. There is no recording to explain why the household received restored benefits. If this FISU was for 12/99 expedited benefits, the case should have been identified as expedited eligible and the date of discovery entered. The reason issued should not have been for restored benefits. Correctly screened, the applicant was eligible to receive expedited benefits.
SUMMARY 16: This is an initial
application dated 11/04/99. The application was identified as expedited
eligible due to a change in circumstances. On the FS-1, the applicant
listed earned income. The information was crossed off which would
indicate the client had no income for November. Client declared shelter
expenses of $450.00.
It appears expedited eligibility may have been known at the time the application was received on 11/4/99 and was known at the time wage verification was received on 11/22/99. The IM-106B form completed by the worker on 11/29/99 correctly identified the issuance request as expedited eligible. However, when the FISU data entry was completed, the expedited identification was entered as "no". Therefore, the case must be shown as not correctly identified as expedited eligible.
SUMMARY 17: Mrs. S. declared on the FS-1 that her husband was paid $230.00 every two weeks, which converts to $498.18 per month. She declared rent of $460.00, and was entitled to the standard utility allowance of $195.00 as she claimed a primary heating/cooling expense. The total allowable shelter expense was $655.00.
The household was entitled to expedited benefits at the time of application because shelter expenses of $655.00 exceeded income of $498.18.
SUMMARY 18: On 1/14/2000, the household completed a timely recertification for food stamp benefits. Mr. D. claimed monthly income of $2,599.79 and resources of $30.00. He also claimed $429.59 in rent plus utilities. None of the household members are United States citizens. The children are all under the age of 18 and qualify for food stamp benefits. Mr. and Mrs. D. are ineligible immigrants, and their income and resources are not counted. The application should have been screened as expedited eligible because the children's monthly income is less than $150.00 and the resources are less than $100.00.