2006 Memorandums
IM-43      04/17/06




The Strategies of Success (SOS) is our state Food Stamp Program corrective action plan to address deficiencies identified with the administration of the Program. The SOS identifies payment accuracy and other problem areas, as well as planned activities to address these problem areas. The SOS for FY 2006 will be posted to the Intranet at a later date. A summary of the issues and activities to address each issue is provided below.

Payment Accuracy

Missouri's Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2005 error rate is not yet final, but it appears that it will fall below the national average. Family Support Division (FSD) staff have made great strides in improving payment accuracy for the Food Stamp Program. Your efforts are truly appreciated. To maintain, and even improve upon, FFY 2005 error rates, staff at all levels must continue to address problem areas within payment accuracy.

The Staff Training and Development Unit is developing or updating existing training packages, to include budgeting and calculating income. Most of the training will be distance learning. All county staff are expected to participate in these trainings.

Local county office management should conduct monthly meetings that train eligibility specialists and supervisory staff on policy changes and local error elements.

The Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit is continually reviewing manual sections and user guides to determine if any revisions or clarifications are needed. Manual sections currently being revised include:


Interviews are the most important aspect of food stamp eligibility determinations. A thorough interview enables the eligibility specialist to accurately determine EU circumstances and is an extremely important factor in reducing errors.

Supervisory staff are to continue to observe interactive interviews between eligibility specialists and EUs. Quality Assurance staff will be collecting information in county office reviews to determine whether the interview observations are being conducted and how the information obtained is being used.

The Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit is revising the Food Stamp Manual section on Interviews to clarify policy, as requested by county staff.

Expedited Food Stamp Benefits

Correct identification and timely delivery of expedited food stamp benefits for eligible food stamp EUs has been an ongoing priority for Missouri. To ensure correct and timely delivery of benefits, the Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit monitors the timeliness of expedited delivery.

A Take 10 training package was developed by the Staff Training and Development Unit and was available February 8, 2006. This Take 10 helps staff identify the correct date of discovery for expedited food stamp benefits.

The Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit is working on clarifying policy and developing a procedural guide to assist staff in correctly identifying and timely issuing expedited benefits.

Quality Control Claims and Restorations

When Quality Control (QC) reviews cases, the IM-210 is sent back to the county office electronically. If an error is identified, it is important to review the case for the following reasons:

The Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit is monitoring QC errors to ensure that claims are established and restored benefits are issued.

Case Review System

Case reading is an important tool, not only for evaluating individual eligibility specialist job performance, but also for monitoring the agency's overall performance and training needs. The Case Review System was developed to make case reading a more effective management tool that will provide consistent, accurate data to identify problem areas and to evaluate effectiveness of corrective actions for the Food Stamp, Temporary Assistance, and Medicaid programs. The tool can assist local managers and Policy Unit staff in determining why specific errors occur, because it captures the causal factor that could potentially cause a payment error, even if the final outcome of the case is no payment error.

Supervisors must complete 4 case reviews per worker for all non-probationary workers, which consists of a combination of Food Stamp, Temporary Assistance, and Medicaid cases by using the Case Review System.

Management staff are responsible for ensuring that the supervisory unit is completing mandatory case reviews by reviewing the Supervisor Compliance Report available on the Case Review System.



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