M E M O R A N D U M
IM-49 04/19/99 COLA ADJUSTMENT
REPORT AND PAYMENT ACCURACY
|COLA ADJUSTMENT REPORT AND PAYMENT ACCURACY
|During a recent Quality Control case conference,
participants suggested a memorandum be sent statewide reminding staff to
review the 12-98 reports from the SSA and SSI mass cost of living adjustment
(COLA). Several food stamp payment errors have occurred in 1998 and
1999 because of the SSA and SSI mass adjustment. These errors may
have been discovered and corrected if staff had reviewed the adjustment
reports. Mass adjustments are not 100% accurate for several reasons
including limitations on data received from SSA, incorrect income information
in FSU5 and multiple SSNs. The adjustment memorandum instructs staff
to review the reports.
The FOOD STAMP SSA/SSI ADJUSTMENT AND CLOSING
report, FFSSP207-02 lists adjusted cases. A comparison of old and
new benefits given on the report will identify adjustments that need investigation.
Cases that must be reviewed are:
Examples of two situations that may result
in a wrong SSA/SSI income adjustment are:
The SSA/SSI increase causes net income to
go up. The allotment should go DOWN. Any case with an increase
in benefits should be reviewed.
The allotment decrease is usually $3 or less.
A change in the allotment of more than $5 should be investigated.
All adjustments that result in a closing.
Closings may occur because the increase puts a household over the gross
income test or because we learn through the BENDEX match that an individual
has SSA/SSI that was not budgeted. However, for most cases, the increase
in SSA/SSI is not enough to close the case.
All SSI adjustments.
To avoid future errors, please set a priority
to review, after the COLA adjustment, any case meeting either of the above
criteria. A priority date of January will ensure the case is listed
on the December Case Management Worksheet. This procedure helps identify
cases at risk for an adjustment error and alerts staff of the need to review
SSI couple cases where one spouse's claim
number has a suffix other than A or B. The adjustment program cannot
determine the correct SSI amount because it cannot tell this is a couple.
The individual receives SSA under multiple
SSNs. FSU5 has only one SSN in the record. This SSN will be
used to match against BENDEX. The adjustment will be completed using
one SSA amount. This results in a large increase in benefits.
Share this memorandum with staff.
Review SSA/SSI mass adjustments according
to the above guidelines.
Take appropriate action on any case that was