This memorandum introduces changes made to food stamp claims policy/procedures and provides clarification of existing policy and procedures.  A quick reference guide to the Discovery/Tracking screens is attached (see link below).  This sheet lists the screens and a brief description and is available on the intranet. 


Effective immediately, the following changes are made. 

Terminate Reason Code 11

Terminate Reason code 11 is changed to "Hearing Reversal".  This code is used to indicate a hearing was held and the agency was reversed.

Use procedures in Memorandum IM-#117, dated June 26, 2001, to enter the termination in CARS using code 11.  Do not terminate a claim for inability to find the case record.

Terminating a Claim Due to the Death of the Debtor

Claims are no longer "closed" due to the death of the debtor. 

Claims are now "terminated" due to the death of the debtor by entering a "T" in the status field and reason code "08" (Death), on the OVCC - CLAIM CHANGE screen.  The system reduces the claim balance to zero.

Terminating a Claim That Should Not Have Been Established

When it is determined that a claim should not have been established, terminate the claim using reason code 12 (Claim Established in Error). 

Example:  The same claim is established twice in CARS.  The second claim is terminated with reason code "12".
If a claim was established in error, enter a "T" in the status field and "12" in the reason code on the OVCC - CLAIM CHANGE screen.  The system reduces the claim balance to zero. 

Establishing Fleeing Felon, Probation/Parole Violation, Felony Drug Conviction Claims

Use cause code 89 to establish a claim when an individual was ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program because s/he was fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody after conviction for a felony crime (or attempt to commit a crime) or was violating a condition of probation or parole. 

Use cause code 90 to establish a claim when an individual was ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program because s/he was convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance. 

An entry in Demand Letter Name is required when entering a claim in OVTC - ADD CLAIM screen for cause code 89 and cause code 90.  The Demand Letter Name is the person who was ineligible during the claim period for fleeing to avoid custody, was violating parole, or was convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance.  This name will appear on the demand letter. 

Registering of Discovery Claim Referrals by Quality Control Staff

When an overpayment is determined as the result of a quality control review, the Case Analyst Supervisor I enters an IM-210 (Report of Quality Assurance Review) into the system, and the discovery claim referral is registered in CARS.  The IM-210 will include the date of discovery, and the discovery claim referral will be discussed during the conference call. 

The WORKER ID on the discovery claim referral is the USERID of the Case Analyst Supervisor I.  The SUPERVISOR ID, LOAD, and COUNTY are taken from the current FPAR.  The claims unit
supervisor ID is entered for counties with a claims unit.  If the case has been transferred since the review month, the county showing on FPAR will be notified by EMAIL that a discovery claim referral has been registered. 

The claim is assigned following county procedures, and county staff will establish the claim.  Counties with an IM-210 for a case that has been transferred should forward a copy of the IM-210 as soon as possible following the conference.  Quality Control referrals are given priority when processing claims. 

Retrieving Food Stamp Household Members on OVBA - MEMBER ADD Screen.

When the OVBA - MEMBER ADD screen displays during the controlled flow of the discovery/tracking system, CARS retrieves all individuals who appear on FPAR and were age 18 and over during the claim period.  These individuals may not be a part of the current food stamp household.  This is a change from the process described in Memorandum IM-#144, dated August 3, 2001. 

Select the persons who were members of the household and were age 18 and over during the claim period and press enter.  If the head of the household is the only responsible member, press enter without selecting any additional members. 

Status For a Claim That Has Been Established 

When a demand letter is generated, the claim status is changed to A - Active on all CARS screens including the Discovery/Tracking screens.  The Discovery/Tracking screens will continue to show M-Moved on the day the claim has been entered before the letter is generated during the daily batch process.

Using OVNA - ADD NOTE Screen to Record Claim Circumstances.

To electronically store and track specific claim information, and reduce paper files, information previously entered on the back of the IM-86 form is recorded in OVNA - ADD NOTE.  Record the reason for a specific overpayment in OVNA by the Discovery ID.  Describe the documentation used to establish the claim by:

  • typing OVNA followed by the Discovery ID,
  • pressing Enter,
  • typing the reason for the overpayment and describe the documentation, and
  • pressing Enter. 
Example of recording on a specific claim:  Mary Jones applied for food stamps on 09-03-00.  Social Security income of $387 per month was not declared and was not budgeted.  This income was verified by a Bendex dated 11-23-00.  Overpayment established for 09-00 through 11-00. 
File the documentation used to establish the claim in the claims section of the case record (i.e.: budgets, verification).  Information stored by the system is not required to be filed in the claims record (i.e.: notes and overpayment calculation).

View a note filed by a specific Discovery ID by:

  • typing OVND followed by the Discovery ID,
  • pressing Enter,
  • selecting the note you wish to view, and pressing PF9.
General information notes regarding multiple claims may be created and viewed using the DCN instead of the Discovery ID.  These notes may be entered by caseworker, administrative, or Claims and Restitution staff.  Enter a general information note by:
  • typing OVNA followed by the DCN,
  • pressing Enter,
  • typing note, and 
  • pressing Enter.
Example of recording general information on a debtor:  Mary Jones called her caseworker on 11-05-01 to say she received a letter for an appointment regarding her 3 claims.  She cannot keep her appointment on 11-12-01.  The caseworker advised her to contact the number on her letter to reschedule the appointment. 
View general information notes by:
  • typing OVND followed by the DCN,
  • pressing Enter,
  • selecting the note you wish to view, and 
  • pressing PF9.
The notes displayed will only be the general notes filed by DCN.


The following paragraphs provide clarification of food stamp claims policy and procedures.

Registering a Trafficking Claim

Memorandum IM-#122, dated July 2, 2001, describes procedures for discovery, referral to the Welfare Investigation Unit (WIU), and establishing a claim for trafficking food stamp benefits.  Trafficking food stamp claims are not entered into CARS until a determination of trafficking has occurred.

Register a trafficking claim in the Discovery/Tracking system when WIU provides county staff with the amount of the trafficking food stamp claim.  The date of discovery is the date the claim information is provided by WIU.

Example: On August 5, 2001, the caseworker receives a report that a food stamp participant is selling food stamp benefits for cash.  On August 6, 2001, the caseworker completes a DOI-1 and refers the report to WIU for investigation.  There is no determination as yet of a Food Stamp Program violation.  On November 15, 2001, WIU notifies the caseworker trafficking has occurred for the period 06/01 through 08/01 in the amount of $1,056. 
The date of discovery is November 15, 2001.  The caseworker registers the discovery claim referral and enters the claim on November 15, 2001.  The claim is established and demand letter is generated on November 15, 2001. 

Adding the Address For a Debtor

If the address of the debtor is in CARS, it is displayed on any screen showing the address.  The address of the debtor can be added on the OVAD - ADD DISCOVERY INFORMATION screen, or the OVDA - DEBTOR ADD screen.  Information entered on the OVDA screen is transferred to all CARS screens when Enter is pressed.  Information entered on the OVAD screen is transferred to all CARS screens in the overnight batch process.

If multiple claims are to be entered for a specific debtor on the same day, time will be saved by adding the debtor in OVDA before entering the claim referrals. 

Example: The worker has two claim referrals to enter for food stamps and one claim for Temporary Assistance.  Add the debtor on OVDA - DEBTOR ADD screen.  When enter is pressed, the address appears for entry of the food stamp claims on OVAD, and for entry of the Temporary Assistance claim on OVCA.

Example: The worker has one food stamp claim to enter.  Add the address when the claim is registered on OVAD -ADD DISCOVERY INFORMATION screen.

Deleting a Moved Claim Before It Is Established 

A claim can be deleted the day it is entered as long as the Status is M-Moved. To delete a claim:

  • type OVTU followed by the Discovery ID,
  • press enter,
  • type Y following "DELETE CLAIM?", and
  • press PF5.
The message "WORKSHEETS, CLAIM, AND MEMBERS ARE ERASED" is displayed.  The discovery claim referral status is changed to P-PENDING.
  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
Distribution #6

[ Memorandum Table of Contents ]