IM-53 03/23/00 SPECIAL APPLICATION PROCEDURES- FS MAN REV #11
| SPECIAL APPLICATION PROCEDURES
FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #11:
|The Food Stamp Manual sections 1135.000.00
through 1135.020.30 regarding Special Application Procedures are revised.
The revision is completed to reflect current EBT language, EBT procedures,
the change of FCS to FNS, and food stamp policy changes. Every page
includes one of the above changes, however, only policy or procedural changes
are noted on the left side of the page.
Counties with drug and alcohol treatment centers may want to review sections 1135.005.15 - 1135.005.15.25 to determine if correct policy is being followed. Send any questions through the appropriate supervisory channels.
|1135.000.00 SPECIAL APPLICATION
IM-#53 March 23, 2000
Additions or exceptions to eligibility
procedures exist for households with special circumstances. Special
circumstances include special meal programs, strikers, disaster assistance,
SSI/food stamp joint applications, students, sponsored immigrants, and
1135.005.00 SPECIAL MEAL PROGRAMS
Special meal programs include delivered
meal service, communal dining, addict and alcoholic rehabilitation centers
(for residents and non-residents), group living arrangements, homeless
meal providers, and shelters for battered women and children.
Households may use food stamp benefits to purchase meals prepared for and delivered to them by a non-profit meal delivery service authorized by FNS.
An individual may be approved to purchase meals from a non-profit meal delivery service if the individual is 60 years of age or older, or the individual is housebound, physically handicapped, or otherwise disabled to the extent that the individual is unable to adequately prepare all meals. The spouse may also purchase meals from a non-profit meal delivery service regardless of age or disability.
In determining eligibility for delivered meal service, complete an investigation as with any other application.
Receipt of disability payments qualifying
the individual for elderly/disabled status verifies a participant's disability.
If the payments are not received and the disability is obvious, record
how the decision was made. If the disability is not obvious, obtain
a doctor's statement to show the claimant cannot adequately prepare meals.
Communal dining facilities include senior citizens' centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by elderly persons, any public non-profit private school (tax exempt) that prepares meals especially for elderly persons during special hours, and certain other public or non-profit private establishments (tax exempt) that prepare and serve meals for the elderly. Also included are private establishments under contract
with a state or local agency to offer, at concessional prices, meals prepared especially for the elderly. Such facilities may accept food stamp benefits only after authorization by FNS.
An individual may be approved to purchase meals prepared at a communal dining facility if that individual is:
1. 60 years of age or older, orThe spouse may also purchase meals from a communal dining facility regardless of age.
In determining eligibility for communal
dining, complete an investigation as with any other application.
AND ALCOHOLIC RESIDENTS IN REHABILITATION
Narcotic addicts or alcoholics regularly participating in a drug addiction and alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program on a resident basis may use food stamp benefits to purchase food prepared for them and their children who reside with them during the course of such a program.
The facility must meet 1 or 2 below for the residents to receive food stamp benefits.
1. The drug or alcohol treatment program must:
An addict or alcoholic participating in a long-term (30 days or more) treatment program may be receiving food stamp benefits when entering the program or may be determined eligible while participating in the program. Determine whether the addict or alcoholic and his/her children reside at the treatment center.
1. If residing at the treatment center, the addict or alcoholic(resident) must:a. meet the same income and resource requirements as other households,2. Complete a full investigation as for any other application. The authorized representative for application purposes must be the administrator of the treatment center or written designate, be present at the interview, and sign the statement of eligibility. Record the authorized representative's name and address on the eligibility statement.
Center Responsibilities When Resident Leaves
1. When the resident leaves the center, the center:
a. returns the Benefit Security Card to the resident if it was held for safekeeping;2. When the resident leaves the center prior to the 16th day of the allotment month, the resident is entitled to the second half of the monthly benefit allotment.
Responsibility for Reporting Changes
1. As for any other household, the resident must report changes in income and household circumstances. In addition, the organization or institution acting as the authorized representative to make application for resident households is responsible for notifying the caseworker of any changes in resident household income or circumstances, including when a resident leaves the center.
2. The center provides the county on a monthly or semi-monthly basis with a certified list of currently participating residents.
3. The center is responsible for any overissuances
caused by misrepresentation or fraud committed in the certification of
center residents and assumes total liability for food stamp benefits/Benefit
Security Cards held by request of resident households.
The county conducts periodic on-site visits to drug and alcohol treatment facilities. During the visits, the county must advise the
facility of its responsibilities to:
1. designate an authorized representative to make application for the resident;
2. submit a monthly or semi-monthly list of participating residents in their facility signed by a facility official attesting to its accuracy;
3. allow DFS to visit periodically to assure the list of participating residents is accurate and the agency's records are consistent and up-to-date;
4. review the household's circumstances with the resident prior to applying on his/her behalf;
5. report all changes in the resident's situation, including when a resident leaves the facility.
The treatment facility must be made aware they are liable for any overpayments made to residents while living at their facility as well as any intentional program violations committed by the authorized representative.
Discuss with the authorized representative
the procedures for Benefit Security Card when the resident leaves before
the card can be given to him/her.
Participation/Disqualification of Treatment Center
The center may be penalized or disqualified if it is determined administratively or judicially that food stamp benefits were misappropriated or used for purchases that did not contribute to a certified household's meals. FNS must approve penalties and/or disqualification. DFS promptly notifies FNS when it has reason to believe center is misusing food stamp benefits.
Approval to participate in the addict or
alcoholic provisions is automatically withdrawn once funding under Part
B of Title XIX is discontinued.
RESIDING OUTSIDE TREATMENT CENTER
When the addict or alcoholic does not reside at the treatment center, but participates in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program, complete a full investigation as for any other application except exempt the addict or alcoholic from work registration.
Group living arrangement is defined as
a public or private non-
1. serves 16 residents or less, this applies to the individual site rather than all locations of a particular organization;Only group homes authorized by FNS as retail food stores may redeem food stamp benefits through a wholesale outlet. Group homes not authorized by FNS may purchase food through retail outlets.
Following are the different methods of preparing and serving meals in the group living arrangement.
1. Meals may be prepared and served at a common eating area for residents. The group living arrangement uses food stamp benefits to purchase food for communal meals.
The group living arrangement determines if any resident may apply for food stamp benefits on his/her own behalf. Determination is based on the resident's physical and mental ability to handle his/her own affairs. Encourage the group living arrangement to consult with other state agencies providing other services to individual residents prior to determination.
1. If residents apply through the facility's authorized representative, the resident must:
a. meet the same income and resource requirements as other households,2. Complete a full investigation as for any other applications. The following requirements must also be met.
a. The authorized representative must be the administrator of the group facility or written designate, be present at the interview, and sign the statement of eligibility.3. Determine household size for eligible residents acting on their own behalf the same as for households living outside a group living arrangement. They may use food stamp benefits to purchase meals prepared especially for them at a group living arrangement if the facility is authorized by FNS for that purpose, or to
purchase food to prepare meals for their own consumption.
a. Complete a full investigation as for any other application except exempt the eligible resident from work registration.
1. When residents applying through the facility's authorized representative leave the facility, the facility:
a. returns the Benefit Security Card to the resident if it was held for safekeeping;2. A resident or a group of residents applying on their own behalf and retaining food stamp benefits are entitled to keep the benefits when they leave the facility.
Responsibility for Reporting Changes
1. As for any other household, the resident of a group living arrangement must report changes in income and household circumstances. In addition, the organization or institution acting as the authorized representative for resident households is responsible for notifying the caseworker of any changes in resident household income or circumstances, including when a resident leaves the facility.
If the resident applied on his/her own behalf, the resident is responsible for reporting changes.
2. The group living arrangement provides the county on a monthly or semi-monthly basis with a certified list of currently participating residents. This list includes a signed statement by a responsible center official attesting to the validity of the list.
3. The organization or institution, if
acting as authorized representative, is responsible for any overissuances
caused by misrepresentation or fraud committed in the certification of
center residents and assumes total liability for food stamp benefits/Benefit
Security Cards held by request of resident households. If the resident
applies on his/her own behalf, the resident is liable for any overissuances.
1135.005.25.20 DFS Review
The county conducts periodic random on-site
visits to group living arrangements to ensure accuracy of certified listings
provided by the facility and that county records are up to date.
Disqualification of Group Living Arrangements
The organization or institution may be penalized or disqualified if it is determined administratively or judicially that food stamp benefits were misappropriated or used for purchases that did not contribute to a certified household's meals. FNS must approve penalties and/or disqualification. DFS promptly notifies FNS when it has reason to believe that an organization or institution is misusing food stamp benefits.
DFS establishes a claim for overissuances of food stamp benefits held on behalf of residents if any overissuances are discovered during an investigation or hearing procedure for redemption violations and the center acted as the authorized representative. If FNS disqualifies an organization or institution as an authorized retail food store, State Office notifies the county office to suspend the authorized representative status of the facility.
If the treatment center loses its authorization from FNS to accept food stamp benefits, or is no longer certified by the State, its residents are no longer eligible to participate. Residents are not entitled to a notice of adverse action but receive a written notice explaining the termination and when it becomes effective.
NOTE: If FNS suspends the group living arrangement's status as an authorized representative, residents applying on their own behalf remain able to participate if otherwise eligible.
Public or private non-profit organizations serving meals to the homeless residents or non-residents may be authorized through FNS to accept food stamp benefits from homeless participants. The benefits can be used to purchase food from authorized retailers and wholesalers.
Refer any homeless meal provider requesting FNS authorization to the FNS field office serving the appropriate county.
In order to be approved, the meal provider must:
1. apply with the appropriate FNS field office;Certain restrictions apply to homeless meal providers. They must:
1. not serve as authorized representatives for those participants for whom they provide meals,
1135.005.35 Shelters for BATTERED WOMEN AND CHILDREN
Shelters for battered women and children
include public or private non-profit residential facilities serving battered
women and their children. If such a facility serves other individuals,
a portion of the facility must be set aside on a long-term basis to serve
only battered women and children.
Prior to certifying residents in these shelters, determine the shelter for battered women and children meets the definition above. Consider shelters having FNS authorization to use food stamp benefits at wholesalers as meeting the definition; no further determination is required.
Many shelter residents recently left a household containing the person who abused them. Their former household may be receiving food stamp benefits, and its certification may be based on a household size that includes the woman and children who left.
1. Shelter residents included in such households may apply for, and if otherwise eligible, be certified for, food stamp benefits as separate households if the previously certified household that includes them is the household containing the person who subjected them to abuse.1135.005.35.10 Eligibility Determination
IM-#53 March 23, 2000
Residents of shelters for battered women and children must meet the eligibility requirements with the necessary verification and recording for citizenship, residency, household determination, resources, income and expenses, work registration, and expedited service. Consider resources inaccessible to persons residing in shelters for battered women and children if:
Certify shelter residents applying as separate households solely on the basis of income and expenses for which they are responsible. Certify without regard to income, resources, and expenses of their former household. Consider room payments to the shelter as shelter expenses.
For residents of shelters for battered
women and children entitled to expedited service, ensure benefits are available
to the participant no later than the seventh calendar day following the
date the application was filed.
Changes in Circumstances
Take prompt action to ensure that the former household's eligibility or allotment reflects the change in the household's composition, including:
1135.005.35.20 Benefit Issuance and Use
IM-#53 March 23, 2000
Residents of shelters for battered women and children may use their food stamp benefits to purchase meals prepared especially for them at a shelter which is authorized by FNS to redeem at wholesalers.
For a shelter not authorized by FNS as
a retailer to use the benefits on behalf of the household, an employee
of the shelter must be shown as the authorized representative for the household.
A striker is defined as anyone involved in a strike or concerted stoppage of work by employees (including a stoppage due to expiration of a collective bargaining agreement) and any concerted slowdown or other concerted interruption of operations by employees. Any employee engaged in a lockout, however, is not deemed a striker. Further, an individual exempt from work registration the day before the strike, other than those exempt solely on the grounds that they are employed, who may go on strike are not deemed a striker.
Examples of non-strikers eligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program include, but are not limited to, employees:
1. whose work place is closed by an employer in order to resist demands of employees (e.g., a lockout);
1. Households with striking members are ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program unless the household was eligible the day prior to the strike and is otherwise eligible at the time of application.
a. Determine pre-strike eligibility by considering the day prior to the strike as the day of application and assuming the strike did not occur.2. Striker households must meet eligibility requirements with necessary verification and recording for citizenship, residency, household determination and resources at the time of application and income. The striker is subject to the work registration requirement unless he/she is exempt on the day prior to the strike for a reason other than they are employed.
3. Consider income a striker receives from the union or other strike-related source as unearned income. Do not allow the 20 percent earned income deduction even though the striker may be working on a picket line or conducting other union business
during the strike.
4. Do not consider a company pension plan a resource, even if the company indicates it will make it available.
NOTE: These provisions do not apply to households containing a person fired or permanently replaced while on strike.
If other changes occur (for example, a change in household size, or income from strike benefits or from other non-strike related employment), adjust household benefits using normal procedures.
However, the household does not receive
an increased allotment as a result of a decrease in income of the striking
1135.015.00 FOOD STAMP
ASSISTANCE IN DISASTERS
Do not use these instructions unless first authorized by FNS and implemented by State Office. Emergency food stamp assistance is authorized by FNS as a result of a major disaster. FNS may determine the following to be disasters: any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, drought, fire, or other catastrophe determined to be a major disaster by the President. Emergency food stamp assistance may also be authorized by FNS as a result of a lesser disaster, i.e., a temporary emergency, even if the affected area has not been declared a major disaster. Regulations require that the emergency resulted from either natural or human occurrences, disrupting commercial channels of food distribution. FNS determines the nature and extent of the disaster. It authorizes the State Office to use certification and issuance procedures described.
In case of a disaster declared by FNS in
a food stamp project area (county), the State Office assumes direct supervision
of the certification of affected households according to pertinent FNS
The application for emergency food stamp assistance includes:
1. name of the head of the household and household members,
3. number of household members already certified for the ongoing Food Stamp Program, and
Certify an applicant household for assistance if:
Security Card and Benefit Issuance
Issue a Benefit Security Card to each household certified as eligible to receive emergency food stamp assistance.
Determine basis of benefit issuance as follows.
1. If the emergency authorization period is extended, certified households already receiving emergency benefits may be issued additional benefits during this period if they remain eligible.Report emergency food stamp allotments and account for benefits in the same manner as other authorized issuances.
Stamp JOINT APPLICATION PROCESSING
An individual may apply for food stamp benefits in an SSA office if a member of a food stamp household consisting only of SSI applicants or recipients. This applies to individuals not participating in the Food Stamp Program, who have not applied for food stamp benefits in the 30 preceding days, and who do not have applications pending. (If a household consists only of SSI applicants or recipients, apply categorical eligibility verification guidelines and benefit levels.)
SSA takes applications for SSI prior to release of persons from institutions and takes a food stamp application for these persons. SSA forwards the application to the county office to be processed. The application contains information based on the situation anticipated upon release from the institution.
The application is registered upon receipt using the date the application was taken. Determine eligibility for the month the applicant is released from the institution. Verify expenses as soon as SSA notifies the county office the applicant is released from the institution. Usually resource verification is not needed, as the applicant is categorically eligible. Obtain any further information needed to process the case from the applicant.
If the case is approved for FS, change the application date to the date the applicant is released from the institution. Screen for expedited benefits from the date of release. If the application is rejected because they are denied release or do not meet other eligibility criteria, adjust the application date to the date of ineligibility.
NOTE: If three months have
elapsed since the application was registered and SSA staff have not contacted
the county office, contact SSA to verify the applicant's circumstances.
If, for some reason SSA
1. Whenever a member of a household consisting only of SSI applicants and recipients transacts business at an SSA office, SSA informs the household of its right to apply for food stamp benefits at the SSA office without going to the DFS office and its right to apply at a DFS office if it chooses.
2. SSA completes the application at the SSA Office.
a. SSA forwards the completed forms to the appropriate DFS County with a transmittal form, the SSA-4233. SSA also
forwards the verification information the applicant presented at the initial interview that may be relevant to processing the food stamp application.
NOTE: Since SSA pre-screening does not constitute a determination that a household is eligible for expedited processing, screen all applications for expedited service, not just those that SSA indicates as probably eligible.
f. For SSI recipients redetermined for SSI by mail, SSA informs them of the right to file a food stamp application at the SSA office (if members of a pure SSI household) or at the local county office. SSA also informs them of the right to an out-of-office or telephone interview by the county office if the household is unable to appoint an authorized representative.3. SSA refers non-SSI households and those in which not all members have applied for or receive SSI to the correct DFS office.
a. Consider applications from such households filed on the date the signed application is taken at the correct county office.
As part of each SSI redetermination and initial application interview, SSA representatives perform the following.
1. Conduct a pre-application interview.a. Determine whether the individual is currently receiving food stamp benefits or applied for them in the previous 30 days and does not have an application pending.2. Complete the application.
4. Explain applicant's filing options.
The work registration requirement is waived for household members applying for SSI and food stamp benefits under joint application processing until:
1. they are determined eligible for SSI and thereby become exempt from work registration, or
work registration status is determined through recertification procedures.
Assign the initial certification period up to 12 months or 24 months.
In cases jointly processed in which SSI determination results in denial, and the caseworker believes that food stamp eligibility or benefit levels may be affected, notify the household of expiration of food stamp benefits and include:
1. the date the certification period ends (the end of the month
1. Households are required to report changes in income and household circumstances.
Jointly processed households receiving a food stamp notice of expiration, and going to an SSA office for an SSI redetermination, may timely apply for food stamp recertification at the SSA office. Follow the same procedures as initial applications.
1135.025.00 STUDENTS IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION
Eligible student: A household member enrolled in an institution of higher education (requiring a high school diploma or equivalent) must meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria in order to be included in the FS household:
1. employed and paid for a minimum of 20 hours per week, or self-employed for a minimum of 20 hours per week and receive weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours (in-kind income does not qualify as wages);