IM-68 06/17/98 MODIFICATION TO THREE-MONTH CERTIFICATION POLICY
|MODIFICATION TO HOUSEHOLDS SUBJECT TO
THE THREE-MONTH CERTIFICATION POLICY
FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #3:
Section 1115.050.00, page 1115-51 & 52;
Section 1130.030.05, page 1130-10;
and Section 1130.030.15, page 1130-11.
|Improvement of the Food Stamp payment
accuracy rate is a high priority in Missouri. Over the last several
months the state's overall payment accuracy rate has improved. In
an ongoing effort to reduce and focus the workload for staff, we are eliminating
mandatory three-month certifications for some households with earned income.
The three-month certification policy as outlined in memorandum IM-#104 dated November 18, 1996 is revised. The following households are now exempt from the three-month certification policy:
Households whose members own investment property may have income and expenses that need to be computed for FS purposes from IRS' rental income form.
Allowable expense items from IRS' rental
income form include: advertising, automobile travel, cleaning, commissions,
gardening, insurance, interest, janitor and heating, legal and accounting,
management fees, office supplies, repairs (list), salaries, supplies, taxes
and licenses, telephone, and utilities.
1115.050.00 FARM WORKER
In order to provide a guideline for treating income received from farm employment and the methods used to determine eligibility and basis of coupon issuance, farm workers may be classified for FS purposes in three broad categories.
1. Households whose primary source of income is from farm employment from the same employer.
advance payments during the non-work season. Such households may work for a variety of employers and may also engage in non-farm work during the off season.
Only migrant or seasonal farm workers are
designated as destitute. Evaluate each migrant and seasonal farm
worker household to determine if the household can be considered destitute
to qualify for expedited services or special budgeting for the first month
of the certification period. (see Expedited Service)
1115.050.05.05 Definition of Destitute
Consider the migrant or seasonal farm worker who changes jobs but continues to work for the same employer as still receiving income from the same source. Consider the migrant's source of income the grower for whom he/she is working and not the crew chief. Therefore, consider a migrant who travels with the same crew chief but moves from one grower to another to move from a terminated source to a new source.
timely reapplication approvals, the new certification period begins with the first month of recertification. Food Stamp eligibility ends with the expiration of the certification period.
To receive benefits after the certification period has expired, the household must reapply and be determined eligible.
The following households have special rules for certification periods: those with earned income; those whose budget results in zero net income; households in which all members receive cash assistance; households with all members elderly/disabled; homeless households; and seasonal farm worker or migrant households. Refer to the appropriate section for their policy.
For other households, predictability of income and/or stability of the household's circumstances dictate the length of the certification period. Evaluate household stability in deciding the length of the certification period. The normal certification period is three months, but households may be certified from one to 12 months. Use the guidelines below in assigning certification periods.
1. With a possibility of FREQUENT CHANGES IN INCOME AND/OR HOUSEHOLD STATUS, certify the household for less than three months. For example, household composition frequently changes because a member goes in and out of substance abuse treatment.
Certify the following households for three months unless the first month's benefit prorates to zero:
1. households, except those in which the only earned income belongs to elderly or disabled individual(s), with earned income (including self-employment); andWhen the first month's benefit prorates to zero, certify the household for four months. The month in which benefits prorate to zero is the first month of the certification period, but the month in which the household receives its first benefits is the first issuance month.
For households ineligible in the month of application, begin the three-month certification with the first month of eligibility.
All Household Members are Included in an IM Grant (Cash Assistance under
Temporary Assistance or GR)
Households in which all members receive cash assistance under Temporary Assistance or GR may have certification periods of up to 12 months, if no one in the household has earned income or the budget does not result in zero net income. If any member, not elderly or disabled, has earned income or the budget results in zero net income, give the household a three-month certification.
For other households, whenever possible, set the certification period to expire in the month the cash assistance face-to-face reinvestigation is due. If the certification period assigned matches the IM reinvestigation date, complete the Food Stamp recertification timely even if the IM reinvestigation is not done timely.
Cash assistance reviews are completed every
six months. When a cash assistance review falls within the certification
period, assess whether changes discovered during the Temporary Assistance
review affect Food Stamp issuance.
Households with All Members Disabled or Elderly
The length of certification for households
in which the only earned income belongs to elderly or disabled household
member(s) depends on the stability and predictability of the household's
circumstances. Certify households with unstable unearned income and
unpredictable circumstances from one to 12 months. Certify elderly/disabled
HOUSEHOLDS WITH VERY STABLE (EARNED OR UNEARNED) INCOME FOR 24 MONTHS,
provided other household circumstances are expected to remain stable.
Households certified for 24 months must have a mid-certification review.
1130.030.20 Homeless, Seasonal Farm Worker, and Migrant Households
Certify homeless, seasonal farm worker,
and migrant households for one to three months.
1130.030.25 Time Frames for Sending/Dating Expiration Notice
Provide each household with a Notice of Expiration. Include the date the household must reapply to avoid interruption of benefits. Notify the household according to the length of the certification period.
1. If the household is certified for one month, or certified in the second month of a two-month certification period, use 17