Area conferences were held late last year to present information to staff regarding the integration of the Food Stamp Program into FAMIS.  During these conferences, questions were asked that could not be answered at that time.  The purpose of this memo is to address some of the questions, issues, and concerns that were raised during the area conferences.
Issue: When calling the Help Desk, the line is busy and staff cannot get in contact with anyone to get immediate help.
Response: When the Child Care program was implemented, the Help Desk received many more calls than what was anticipated.  This problem was addressed by adding additional staff to the Help Desk.  As the Food Stamp Program is implemented in FAMIS, the number of staff assigned to the Help Desk will increase as necessary to meet the needs.  The goal is to provide excellent training for the integration of the Food Stamp Program into FAMIS, thereby helping to reduce the number of calls that will need to be made to the Help Desk.
Issue: Why is there no history in Provider Registration on closed providers?
Response: At this point, the ability to provide history on closed providers does not exist.  This is an enhancement that could be explored in the future.
Issue: Why is there no inquiry capability on children who were in provider's care at the end of the provider registration?
Response: The View Authorization screen only displays children who are currently receiving care from the provider.  Modifying the screen to filter on closed authorizations to the specified provider can be explored.
Issue: Staff receives no notification when a Provider Registration closes.
Response: The Provider and the person whose child is receiving care from the Provider receive notice when the Provider Registration is closing.  The Child Care program is being modified to send notices 60 days before the Provider Registration closing date.  Currently, FAMIS does not provide notice to the caseworker/case manager that the Provider Registration is closing.  This is an enhancement that could be explored in the future.
Issue: Why can't the Provider's address be changed without it closing the Provider Registration?
Response: The Provider's registration only closes with an address change that is a physical move.  If the provider has moved to another address, another physical location, it requires that new Health and Safety and Registration forms be completed.  If the address is changed due to an error in the address, it will not close the Provider Registration.
Issue: Can clerical be secondary workers on a caseload?
Response: There is nothing within the system to prevent a clerical from being added as a secondary worker as long as s/he has the appropriate security profile.  Careful consideration should be given prior to assigning a clerical as a secondary worker on a caseload.
Issue: What about vacant loads at conversion?
Response: In the Legacy system, the worker number 99999 identifies the caseload as vacant.  The cases in this caseload will be converted to the TRA (Transfer) caseload in FAMIS.
Issue: Can Touch-typing software be installed on a FAMIS PC?  If so, by whom?
Response: This is something we are exploring.  Staff have identified the need for keyboarding instructions and we are researching the various options.  Any software must be installed by central office staff or other designated individuals.
Issue: Can the DFS Office address be used as a homeless person's address?
Response: The DFS Office should not be used as the residential address of a homeless person; it can be used as the mailing address.
Issue: Is it possible to skip questions in the controlled flow if the information is already known to the system?  E.g. Everyone in the Supercase/Eligibility Unit is a citizen.  There has been no change in household composition.  Do you still have to answer the Citizenship question at each recertification?
Response: All of the driver questions have to be asked at each application/recertification.  FAMIS is designed to ensure that all relevant information is collected for each member of the Eligibility Unit and that the caseworker/case manager reviews this information to ensure the information is correct during the recertification process.  FAMIS provides a series of driver questions during the controlled flow that requires the caseworker/case manager to review this information.
Issue: If the FS household does not have a residential address and only has a PO Box, will that case be automatically converted?
Response: No.
Issue: When staff leaves and his/her User ID is deleted, how long do you have to assign a new primary worker to a caseload?
Response: The User ID should be end dated when a new primary worker is assigned to the caseload. It is extremely important to assign a new primary worker to the caseload as soon as possible after the previous primary worker leaves.
Issue: If a worker is processing a Food Stamp/Child Care combination application and has assigned the DCNs, what will happen at authorization?
Response: Currently, when the Child Care action is ready to authorize, this requires another worker to complete the authorization.  For Food Stamps, the same worker is allowed to assign the DCNs and authorize the action.
Issue: If the system goes down, can you call another county and conduct the interactive interview?
Response: Paper applications will be available to use if the system is down.  In order for a worker in one county to have the ability to work on a case in another county, the person would have to be assigned to the caseload as a secondary worker in the other county.
Issue: MC+ changes an address and it may not be Code-1 compliant.
Response: An address change made on an MC+ case will not transfer to the food stamp case.
Issue: What happens when someone in the Supercase (and not in the Eligibility Unit) does not want a DCN assigned to him/her?  What happens if s/he needs to be in the Eligibility Unit and s/he refuses to have a DCN assigned?
Response: A Supercase member who is not in the Eligibility Unit does NOT have to have a DCN.  Any person who is a part of the Eligibility Unit must have a DCN.
Issue: What happens with multiple IM-80s?
Response: Anytime there is an IM-80 pending and another action is created (positive or negative), only one can be effective at a time.  The Action Authorization screen is used to handle these situations by allowing the pending IM-80 or the current set of actions to be voided.
Issue: What about flex-time/overtime for applications at the end of the day?  Flexibility of days and hours.
Response: Currently, FAMIS is not operational after 6:00 p.m. every night.  Additional analysis and research will be done to see if this can be modified.
Issue: Suggest sending stuffers in mail-out Food Stamp applications explaining FAMIS and that an interview will take longer.
Response: Client education is an important part of the successful integration of the Food Stamp Program into FAMIS.  The initial interview process may take longer than the current process, but in the long run will save staff and participants substantial amounts of time and energy.  We will take every opportunity to educate our participants about how the way we do business is changing.
Issue: What about out-based staff?  They are not able to access the Intranet.
Response: This problem has been identified.  Resolutions to this problem are being explored.
Issue: Is it possible to have FAMIS Help Desk open after 5:00 p.m.?
Response: In order to have the FAMIS Help Desk open after 5:00 p.m., the DP Help Desk must also be open.  This is something that will be discussed due to some offices extending office hours past 5:00 p.m.
Issue: There are numerous equipment issues:  monitors broken, etc.  When the Food Stamp Program is integrated into FAMIS, it is important that equipment be fixed as quickly as possible.
Response: It is important to make sure that the problems with equipment are reported timely.  Follow local office procedures for reporting equipment problems.
Issue: Can Alerts be forwarded by the system from one user (such as the primary worker, to another user (such as the secondary worker)?  Or, can the supervisor forward Alerts (once the alert has been elevated to the supervisor) to other users?
Response: Alerts are associated to the primary worker, but any secondary worker assigned to the caseload can view them.  Alerts cannot be forwarded to another user.  A secondary worker can resolve alerts for the primary worker.
Issue: What documents need to be retained in the client's case file/record/folder?
Response: The FA-100 (application) and the Interview Summary are retained in the paper case record.  As other forms/documents are identified, they will be included in policy.
Issue: What happens when you enter a Supercase and it is determined that someone else already has a Supercase at that address?  What happens if the Supercase moves and does not inform the caseworker?
Response: This is not a question that can be easily answered.  There are several different possible ways to handle this situation.  Each specific situation should be evaluated to determine the correct resolution.  The FAMIS Times, Vol. 4, Issue 2, addresses these types of situations.
Issue: Are there plans to put the NADA data into the system and have it automatically calculate the value of cars?
Response: No.
Issue: Once the application is authorized, can it be changed?  Once it is authorized, can it be rejected?  (The answer given during the meeting was that an action could be changed as long as it is done in the same day before the overnight batch process is run.)
Response: The answer given at the meeting is correct.  The only time an authorization can be changed is if it is done on the same day it was authorized.
Issue: What are we going to do if the system goes down in the middle of an interview?  What is our backup plan for days when the system is not up and running?
Response: If the system goes down in the middle of an interview, the information committed to the database up to that point is retained.  An interrupted controlled flow is created which allows the caseworker/case manager to resume the interview process as soon as the system is available.  If the system is not available, paper applications are used. This issue will be addressed and clarified when policy is issued.
Issue: How much time will it take to conduct an interactive interview?
Response: The length of time will depend on the familiarity the caseworker/case manager has with FAMIS and the complexity of the case being entered.
Issue: What are we going to do with people who do not have a residential address and only have a PO Box number?  A number of small towns only have PO Box numbers?
Response: The residential address in FAMIS will be a descriptive address.  E.g. third house on County Road V.  The PO Box is the mailing address.
Issue: There are not enough computers in offices.  Will central office buy more computers?  What about headsets for the computers for staff conducting an interactive interview over the telephone?
Response: The need for additional equipment should be submitted to the FAMIS project.  Headsets have been ordered for caseworkers and case managers.
Issue: There are job interrupts on our printers.  Can we get this stopped before the Food Stamp Program is integrated into FAMIS?  The printer prints one page from one person's job and then inserts the first page of another job before it prints the next page of the first person's job.
Response: This issue is currently being researched to determine the exact problem so a solution can be proposed to management.
Issue: Is there anyone to help us with office layout and office design?  We are not sure how best to arrange the office.
Response: Each office should work through established channels for the restructuring of the office.
Issue: What are the plans for handicapped staff?  Can they use the FAMIS system?  Can the screens be enlarged so that they are large enough to be seen by visually impaired workers?  Can the driver questions be enlarged so that visually impaired staff can see them?
Response: As specific staff needs are identified, accommodations will be made as necessary.
Issue: Can the security individual in the county change/assign a secondary worker real time?
Response: Yes.
Issue: Can someone prepare a step-by-step guide for Caseload Management and Security?
Response: A guide for Caseload Management and Security will be developed and staff will be notified as soon as it is available.
Issue: Once the interactive interview is started, how far do you have to proceed before you can stop?
Response: This issue will be addressed in training.
Issue: Can 3270 Emulation terminals be used to take action on food stamp cases in FAMIS?
Response: No.
Issue: Can guides, similar to Child Care guides, be provided for the Food Stamp Program when that program is first implemented?
Response: Yes.
Issue: What do we do when the Division of Child Support Enforcement staff change a supercase address?
Response: An address change made on a DCSE case will not transfer to the food stamp case.
  • Review this memorandum with all appropriate staff.
Distribution #6

[ Memorandum Table of Contents ]