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 in which the only employed household member(s) with earned income is/are elderly or disabled with a work registration code of 05, 06, 07, 09, or 15.
  • Mr. Z, age 28, receives SSI for himself and Temporary Assistance for his three children.  Mr. Z works part-time and earns $175 per month.  The household IS NOT subject to the three-month certification policy because the only earned income in the household belongs to a disabled member.
  • Ms. K, age 60, is the head of a household composed of herself and four granddaughters age 17, 15, 12 and 10.  Ms. K is employed full-time.  The household IS NOT subject to the three-month certification policy because the only earned income in the household belongs to an elderly household member.
  • Mr. B, age 62, is employed as an usher at movie theater.   Mrs. B, age 57, is not disabled.  Mrs. B is employed full-time as a file clerk at a local law firm.  This household IS subject to the three-month certification policy because Mrs. B has earned income but is not elderly or disabled.
  • Discuss this memorandum with all appropriate staff.

  • Immediately implement policy outlined in this memorandum.
Distribution #3

[ Memorandum Table of Contents ]


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.

IM-#68  June 17, 1998

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.

  Households falling within this category are regularly employed farm workers receiving a regular monthly salary and those households receiving income during the work season and deferred or advance payments against future earnings during the non-work season.  Such deferred or advance payments can be in the form of cash, a line of credit from the employer, or a guaranteed line of credit from another source.

  Income received by such households is considered earned income and subject to the three month certification limit unless the only earned income belongs to the elderly or disabled household member(s).

  For households receiving deferred or advance payments during the non-work season, calculate the basis of coupon issuance in a manner that considers the income variance.

  EXAMPLE:  Mr. J is a farm worker and received $200 per month during the work season.  During the non-work season, he received $50 a month in deferred earnings.  During the work season, calculate the basis of coupon issuance at $200 per month.  During the non-work season, consider the difference in income received, and revise the basis of issuance to reflect receipt of $50 per month.

 2. Households with income derived from farm and non-farm employment or that may work for different employers.

  This category includes households with income during the farm season derived from farm employment but not regularly employed at such work, or that do not receive deferred or


  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.

  If the income of these households during the farm season can be reasonably predicted, establish the certification period not to exceed three months unless the only earned income belongs to the elderly or disabled household member(s).

 3. Other Farm Employment

  This category includes those households that engage in farm employment on an as-needed or itinerant basis.  Determine eligibility, basis of coupon issuance, and the certification period based on anticipated income.

  Anticipation of income from farm employment for a certification period may be difficult.  In interviewing the farm worker, and if necessary, the employer:

  a. review any records showing wages and hours worked for previous employment of this type;

  b. discuss possible changes in wages and hours worked that are likely to occur in the current employment;

  c. arrive at a mutually agreed upon anticipated income figure (ensure the household understands its responsibility to report any change); and

  d. process a change if information is received during the certification period that indicates income received differs from the amount of income anticipated.

1115.050.05      Destitute Migrant/Seasonal Farm Worker Household

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.

 2. With LITTLE LIKELIHOOD OF CHANGES IN INCOME AND/OR HOUSEHOLD STATUS, certify the household for up to six months.  For example, households with a stable unearned income record and no anticipated changes in income, deductions, or household composition.

1130.030.05      Households with Earned Income or Zero Net Income
IM-#68  June 17, 1998

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); and

 2. households, other than those with all elderly or disabled members, whose budget results in zero net income.

When 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.



1130.030.10       All Household Members are Included in an IM Grant (Cash Assistance under Temporary Assistance or GR)
IM-#68  June 17, 1998

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.

1130.030.15      Households with All Members Disabled or Elderly
IM-#68  June 17, 1998

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