IM-76 04/18/01 NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR EARNED INCOME FOOD STAMP HOUSEHOLDS
|NEW REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR EARNED INCOME FOOD STAMP HOUSEHOLDS|
|Food stamp households with earned income
certified on or after May 1, 2001, are only required to report when the
household's total gross income exceeds 130% of poverty. This new
change reporting requirement applies only to households who meet the definition
of earned income and are certified for six months. The change reporting
requirement also applies to households who become earned income households
on or after May 1. This is the only change required to be reported
by earned income households.
Food Stamp Program regulations finalized in November offered states this change reporting option. This change reporting option for earned income households is intended to support households who are working to become self-sufficient by making the program more accessible and eliminating the need for frequent office visits as required by shorter certification periods.
Households Subject to the New Change Reporting Requirement
Households considered earned-income households and who are subject to this change reporting requirement when certified for six months include:
All households not identified as earned income households and earned income households not certified for six months have the following change reporting requirements:
At initial application or recertification, determine if the household is an earned income household or other type of household.
During the application interview, explain the change-reporting requirement that appears to be applicable to the household.
If the change reported while the application is pending changes the household's change-reporting requirement from earned-income reporting to the reporting requirement for all other households, send the household an IM-3.
Certify earned income households for six months unless they are only eligible for the month of application and/or the following month. Upon approval, notify earned income households of the need to report when their gross income exceeds 130% of poverty.
Households with zero net income other than those meeting the earned income household definition continue to be certified for three months.
Assign households not subject to three month or six month certification procedures a certification period of 1 to 24 months depending on the household's circumstances. This policy is not changed.
Necessary Action on Changes
Earned income households with a six-month certification are only required to report when the household's gross monthly income exceeds 130% of poverty. A household may report changes which are not required to be reported or information may be received from other sources. Process the different types of changes as follows:
Do not take action on changes
that decrease benefits to the household except for those that fall into
the category of verified upon receipt. Information is considered
verified upon receipt if:
If a household member reports another household member moves in or out, act on the change. This is a change that is considered verified upon receipt.
If a non-household member reports a household
member has moved in or out and is not requesting the individual be added
to another food stamp household, do not act on the change. For example
a non-custodial parent reports a child has left the custodial parent's
household and is now residing in the non-custodial parent's home.
The non-custodial parent is not a food stamp recipient and is not applying
for food stamps. Do not take action to remove the child from the
custodial parent's assistance group
Changes in Type of Household During Certification
When an earned income household or a combination earned and unearned income household reports a change in income during their certification period that changes their income status to an unearned income household, they remain subject to the earned income reporting requirements until their next certification.
When an unearned income household reports a change in income changing their status to an earned or a combination earned and unearned income household during their certification:
The Notice of Eligibility, Denial or Pending Status (IM-112) is being revised to notify earned income households of the new change-reporting requirement at certification and recertification. Until the revised IM-112 is available, when approving an earned income household subject to the new change-reporting requirement, enter the following statement in Section A of the IM-112, "Your household must report when your total income prior to deductions becomes more than $ _____." Enter the 130% income maximum for the household being certified. Mark through the change reporting section below the net food stamp income section. Do not enter the above statement when approving all other households and do not mark out the change reporting section.
The Benefit Adjustment Notice (IM-149) is also being revised. Until the revised form is available, insert the following statement on the form when the household reports a change and they become subject to the new earned income reporting requirements: "Your household must report when your total income prior to deductions becomes more than $ _____." Enter the 130% income maximum for the household in the blank. Mark through the change reporting section below the net food stamp income. Do not enter the above statement and do not mark through the change reporting section when sending the form to all other households.
An "Earned Income Households Change Reporting Requirements" table is attached. It provides the 130% of poverty standard for each size household. Use this table to determine the 130% of poverty standard to insert on the IM-112 and the IM-149. The chart is being printed on cardstock and will be sent to the county offices as soon as it is available.
FSU5 has been changed to allow a six-month certification period for earned income households. If an earned income household is only eligible for the month of application or the following month, the system will allow one or two months as the appropriate certification period. FSU5 will also automatically update the last ATP date for those households whose certification period is extended or shortened due to adding earned income to an unearned income household.
An indicator is being added to FCAS to indicate households subject to the earned income reporting requirements. This field is being added so workers can check FCAS to determine the income reporting requirements for households prior to acting on reported changes. It is designed to assist workers when a household no longer has earned income but, remains subject to the earned income reporting requirement. Until the field is available in FCAS, workers must flag those cases. FCAS will also show the new last ATP date for households whose certification period is extended or shortened when earned income is added to an unearned income case.
The manual is being revised to reflect the policy changes due to the new change reporting requirement and new certification procedures. You will be advised when the update is complete.