Food Assistance Training Q & A

Applying/RRR | Expenses | General Requirements | Household Composition | Income | Resources


# Question Answer Date Posted Last Update
1. Can documents that are provided as verification with an FA application be used as the signature on the application? If yes, how old can the signature be and still be considered valid as the FA app signature? No, the application (or RRR) must be signed to be considered valid. July 2015
2. If a HH never received their RRR per their declaration policy says to rescind. Is this accurate? If the county has indication that the household did not receive their RRR packet, the county can allow Good Cause and rescind the case. The good cause must be documented in case comments so that any case reviewer understands why benefits were not pro-rated. A client’s declaration of not receiving the packet can be acceptable Good Cause 4.100 FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM DEFINITIONS August 2015


# Question Answer Date Posted Last Update
1. Do the Utility Standards include telephone? Example: HH pays for water and phone. Do they get the OUA and the Telephone or do they get BUA? This is defined in Vol IV-B 4.407.31 The telephone standard is included in all of the utility tiers but they still wanted more clarification. Telephone cost is considered a non-heating/cooling cost. Therefore, the telephone can be a part of the BUA if the telephone is one of the two non-heating/cooling costs that is incurred.  Households are eligible for only one utility tier.

The Telephone allowance should only be given if the only utility expense the household pays for is a phone.
4.407.31 Four-Tiered Mandatory Standard Utility Allowance

August 2015
2. If someone has a natural disaster at their home and has to temporarily go to a hotel and the Homeowners Insurance sends them money for the hotel, is the hotel expense allowed along with the mortgage and is the insurance claim money income? No, the client would not receive a deduction for both  because the Household is receiving a reimbursement for the hotel costs.

The insurance income would also be considered a non-recurring lump sum payment, which is considered resource in the month received.

Example: If application date was May 4th and the client received the insurance money on May 1st it shall count as a resource in May. Any funds remaining in subsequent months would be considered a resource.


August 2015
3. Questions in regards to shelter deductions for group homes for minor children. It depends upon the group home if the individual can apply or the group home has a representative. Refer to Vol. 4.309.4 Contact FA Policy for more instruction. August 2015
4. Can there be more clarification for dependent care expenses? There is some agency letter that was brought to my attention (Agency Letter FA-00-20-I) that provides different information.

“A deduction is allowed for the care of children when necessary: for work, to comply with EF requirements, training or education preparatory to employment. Allowable costs may include costs of nursery school and day care. They may also include the costs of kindergarten when attendance is “voluntary”. In some States kindergarten is considered the first level of school and attendance is required. In these areas, the costs are not allowable, because the costs of school are not allowed.”

As an FYI, Agency Letters that have current guidance have been incorporated into rule, if the provisions have not been incorporated into rule with the 2014 rule re-write, the guidance is outdated.

Rule 4.407.4 mandates that dependent care expenses “shall be considered when the dependent care expenses are necessary for a household to accept of continue employment, seek employment, or attend training or pursue education which is preparatory to employment.”

If the household seeking the dependent care deduction meets this definition the expense shall be allowed regardless of “voluntary” attendance of the child.

June 2017

General Requirements

# Question Answer Date Posted Last Update
1. If a county does not have Work Programs and a client moves to their county from another county and has a sanction, do they still serve the sanction in our county? Yes, the client must still serve the sanction period.

4.310.6 Disqualification Period for Employment First

August 2015
2. Do we do claims on Exp FA since there is no verification needed? Yes, claims can be established on Expedited benefits. Since client declaration is used in determining the expedite allotment amount, there may be some differences identified when actual verification is received. Therefore, in determining if a claim should be established, one should explore how vast the differences are in the information declared vs. verified, if the client knew of something but omitted it, or if the client was providing the most complete information based on what he/she knew at the time of the interview. August 2015
3. Are you exempt from EF if you have applied for or are appealing your SSI application, but have not received it yet? State rule 4.310.3 lists the EF exemptions. Subsection J (4.310.3, J) address SSI applications. If an SSI application is pending, then the client is exempt. If the client is appealing a denial of SSI, then the client is not exempt. In such instances, one could review if the client would be exempt from EF under 4.310.3, C, “Physically or Mentally Unfit for Employment.” August 2015
4. Are there any mandatory reporting requirements surrounding fleeing felons or probation/parole violators? If an individual who is applying for Food Assistance indicates that they are a fleeing felon or probation/parole violator, the eligibility worker is not allowed to disclose information unless law enforcement requests information and meets the criteria below.,
Information can only be released in the following instances, in accordance with federal regulation 7 CFR 272.1, c. There are other restrictions to releasing information, but the information below is specific to law enforcement personnel.Information can be given to law enforcement if, upon written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act or regulation, the written requests includes the identity of the individual requesting the information and the authority to do so, the violation being investigated, and the identity of the person on whom the information is requested (a request to provide the identity of a person based on an EBT card number is not considered allowable).
If law enforcements wants the address, SSN, and photograph of any household member, the law enforcement officer must provide a written request, and it must be for a person who is fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody for a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime that would be classified as a felony, or is violation a condition of probation or parole imposed under federal or state law.We can also give law enforcement information about a household member, upon the written request of a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity, where such member has information necessary for the apprehension or investigation of another member who is fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody for a felony, or has violated a condition of probation or parole.The agency shall disclose only such information as is necessary to comply with a specific written request of a law enforcement agency authorized by this paragraph. 
4.304.4, B, C, and D;
August 2015
5. What are the rules for clearing sanctions from EF counties if you’re not an EF county? Please contact the Food Assistance policy box and the Employment First policy box August 2015
6. This question is focused on addressing late verifications provided by a customer: The SNAP Procedure for Late Verifications states that if the customer provides late verifications before the 30th day of application, that the denial for missed verifications can be rescinded.

If the county receives the verifications before the 30th day of application, but doesn’t act on the verifications until after day 30. Will the action be considered untimely or timely?

Example: Customer provides late verifications on day 30 of the application, before close of business. Worker addresses the late verifications the following day. Would this be considered an untimely action or timely?

If a case is authorized outside of the 30 day timeframe, it is considered untimely. In the example provided, the verification that is received on day 30 must be triaged and worked to avoid the case exceeding processing guidelines. June 2015
7. When acting on death information received from a source considered VUR: if a deceased individual had income and has other surviving household members, would we effective end-date that deceased person’s income or would the income count until RRR or PRF? We can’t separate a person from the income we are using during the certification process. In this situation, when you enter the date of death for the customer, their information (including income) should no longer be considered in the household circumstances. While a reduction in household size is considered a negative change, due to the income leaving with the deceased individual, you may see a increase in benefits for the now smaller household. However, a thorough review of wrap up would be encouraged to see if the income is still counting against the surviving household members. If it does, you may have to look at effective end-dating the income records in CBMS. While this may be a rare circumstance, reach out to your policy rep for further guidance when dealing with this oddity. June 2015
8. Regarding Sponsored Non-Citizens: A sponsored non citizen may declare that they are not being supported by the sponsor. Other wise it sounds like the non citizen could be indigent on their own without the sponsor. How is the indigence for a non-citizen determined? Do we require the sponsor’s income to determine indigence or are we basing this on the customer’s declaration of indigence? For FA, a sponsored non-citizen may self-declare that they are not being supported by the sponsor. The county does not need to verify non-support from the sponsor because requiring this type of verification would create a barrier to program access, particularly in cases where the sponsor cannot be located. In determining indigency, you must make the household aware during the interview process that the county is required to notify USCIS of each applicant exempted from sponsor deeming due to an indigence determination. If the household wishes to move forward as an indigent they shall remain indigent for 12 months from the date of eligibility. June 2015
9. Are claims pursued on spouses who have legally separated? If so, is verification required. It would depend on the time period of the claim. If the spouses had not dissolved financial responsibility for the time period that the claim was established for, then they would be considered a liable individual. If legal ties had been dissolved then I would guess that they’re no longer considered a liable individual. June 2015
10. Is sponsor’s income required for LPRs under 18 years old? It depends on who the sponsor is. If the sponsor is a parent who resides in the home and is a member fo the FA household, income is already required as they will affect financial eligibility. If it’s someone outside of the home – then yes, sponsor income is required. June 2015
11. Are claims pursued on spouses who have legally separated. If so, is verification required? Rule states claims shall be established for all adult household member 18 or older at the time the over-issuance occurred, even if one or more adult household members are participating in another household at the time the claim is established. So if the separated spouse was a member of the HH at the time the overpayment occurred, they will be liable regardless of their marital status. June 2015
12. Is sponsor’s income required for LPRs under 18 years old? The Guidance on Non-Citizen Eligibility states that sponsored non-citizen children under the age of 18 are exempt from deeming requirements. (Page 34). June 2015

Household Composition

# Question Answer Date Posted Last Update
1. There is an FA household that includes two adults (A and B), and one child. Adult A has parental care and control of the child. Adult A leaves the household and applies for FA in another household. Adult B takes over parental care and control. What verification is required to make this change? FA will accept the verbal statement of any adult in the household for this verification. However, it is recommended to get a written statement or other documentation if available to protect the worker; this additional verification cannot hold up the case. July 2015


# Question Answer Date Posted Last Update
1. Should WIA be entered in the Employment Training Details page in CBMS to trigger the EF exemption and/or is the information entered in the Employment/Income pages sufficient? When updating WIA, update the following pages:
Employment Training Detail page, the record must be current (not End Dated) and the Type = ‘Vocational Rehab’, ‘WIA’, or ‘1974 Trade Act’
AND the Case Individual page must be updated as Employment Training Begin Date is prior to the FS Request Date in the Program Requested tab. Refer to the Employment First WIA Desk Aid.4.405.2 Income Excluded by Other Federal Statutes
August 2015
2. Can you take a client’s verbal statement of the self-employment ledger, or does it need to be written? You can take a verbal for self employment as long as it is carefully and thoroughly documented. August 2015
3. With Report My Changes (RMC) and Real-Time Eligibility (RTE), how will eligibility sites know when information about LLC S-Corp income is entered incorrectly in PEAK by a client? If the case is an MA-only case and RTE occurs, eligibility sites will not be able to determine if data entry is correct before an eligibility determination is made; this will not change with this build. Help and hover text are available in PEAK regarding LLCs/S-Corps to help guide clients down the appropriate path.

RMCs that affect multiple programs should be sent to the PEAK inbox to be worked. For combo cases, this information would need to be pulled from the PEAK inbox and then evaluated for verifications needed or appropriate follow-up with the household at that time. Case changes for Food and Cash programs always require an eligibility worker’s intervention before the change can be authorized, which will ensure the data entry is correct.

November 2015
4. If a client makes changes to LLC S-Corp income in ongoing mode in PEAK RMC, will that information show up on the RMC print-out? Yes, it should. Any case change reported in RMC should display on the PDF for eligibility workers to pull from the PEAK inbox. If a change does not show up, please submit a Service Desk Ticket. November 2015
5. What would the data entry be for a combo MA/FA case when a self-employed customer is considered an LLC or S-Corp?

For example: The customer is earning $5000 monthly but allocates $500 a month as their salary and identifies having $2000 in allowable expenses. FA would use the $500 draw as their wages, while MA would consider the $5000 as gross income and then allow the appropriate self-employment expenses. How would this be entered to allow both HLPGs to make an appropriate determination.

For SNAP, we are looking at potential future enhancements to improve system functionality for these cases. In the meantime, we must use a temporary solution to get income to count correctly in these cases. The steps to do this are as follows:

1. Select the radio button for S-Corp LLC on the Self Employed Income Window
2. Enter the gross amount of income in the Income Received Window
3. Enter applicable MA expenses
4. Enter the difference between the gross amount of income and the amount that the client takes as a draw for their LLC. This amount should be entered as an expense with the value of “Reimbursement of Expenses” in the Income Expenses Window.
Example: If the gross amount of income is $1500, this would be entered on the Income Received Window. Because the draw on the LLC is $250, we would enter an expense under “Reimbursement of Expenses,” in the amount of $1250.

June 2017
6. RRR on 7/5/17 for FA and CW her case was discontinued so we had to enter this as a new application. We entered one paycheck for 7/4/2017 and CBMS is only using one check for July income. CBMS will implement the Earned Income Redesign calculations effective August 2017. August gross monthly total will reflect the averaged income multiplied by the pay frequency.
Also, it’s important to identify the correct date in the Employment Details section of the page. The Effective Begin Date for this section of the page is the date the employment began.
August 2017
7. I have a case that shows the frequency of Daily. Per the Income Training this field is no longer available in CBMS. What do I do? For CBMS cases where the Income records shows an-invalid Frequency (removed) you will need to enter an Effective End Date in the Income Details section of the page since the value can’t be changed/edited.
All fields of that record will be greyed out except for the Earned Income Details EED, Employment End Date, Termination Reason, Verification, Source, Date Reported and Date Verified.
If you are not able to EED the data because of incomplete fields that are greyed out. You can open a HD ticket to request a data fix for the case.
August 2017
8. What do I do on a case where the customer reports their Pay Frequency has changed but it’s at the same job in CBMS.

Step 1.

Highlight the employer record in the Summary section of the Earned Income page.
In the Earned Income Details section, enter the Effective End Date (EED) in the Earned Income section. The EED should be the last of day of the month the customer receives a full month of pay in that Pay Frequency. For example, the Customer was paid Every Two Weeks but is moving to Monthly in September; The EED for Every Two Weeks Pay Frequency Record should be 8/31/2017.

Step 2.

Click Add Earned/Self-Emp Details button to open a new record in the Earned Income Details section of the page. Enter a new Employer record with the new Pay Frequency. Refer to F1 for additional information about this process.

August 2017
9. How do I pend a case for income verification when I’m requesting more paychecks? I used to be able to pend a case at the Employment History page. Per the Income Redesign project requirements, the fields for Verification and Source on the Employment History page were removed, and as such no longer evaluated in the eligibility determination. Since the fields were not evaluated, the case would no longer pend for invalid Source in a field that no longer existed.
This eligibility outcome is the direct result of specific project requirements and further questions, concerns, requests for guidance may be directed to Program Area.
August 2017


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