604-2          RECERTIFICATION

 

Food stamps shall not be issued beyond the end of the certification period until a recertification application is approved.  To recertify for food stamps, households must:  

 

  1. File a recertification application (GEN 72) before the end of the certification period according to the requirements at MS 604-2B;

 

  1. Submit all requested verification within the period provided on the pend notice; and,

 

  1. Participate in an interview with a caseworker or fee agent, when one is required or requested by the caseworker.  An interview is required once every 12 months, except as provided at MS 604-1A(3) for households assigned to 24-month certification periods.  

 

604-2 A.      RECERTIFICATION APPLICATION FORM

 

The Eligibility Review Form (GEN 72) form is used for recertifications.  Register the recertification application on the EIS Register Recertification (RERE) screen.

 

For reapplications filed in the month following the end of the certification period, the recertification application (GEN 72) can serve as the application form.  Register this application on the EIS Received Application (REAP) screen.

  

604-2 B.      RECERTIFICATION: APPLICATION FILING DEADLINES

 

A recertification application is considered filed by the household when the signed application is received in the DPA office.  For households consisting of applicants or recipients of SSI that apply for food stamp recertification at the SSA office, the application is considered filed when the signed application is received by the SSA office.

 

  1. Application Filed On or Before the 15th

 

Households must submit a recertification application by the 15th of the last month of the certification period in order to receive uninterrupted benefits.  Caseworkers must process these applications before the end of the certification period to ensure eligible households receive their next issuance in a timely manner.

 

Households certified for one month or certified for two months in the second month of certification, must submit the application within 15 days from the date the notice of expiration is received.

 

Register these recertification applications on the Register Recertification (RERE) EIS screen.

 

  1. Application Filed After the 15th but Before the End of the Certification Period

 

Caseworkers have 30 days to process recertification applications filed after the 15th but before the end of the certification period.  The allotment is not prorated since there has not been a break in participation.  Expedited service is not available for these applications.

 

Register these recertification applications on the Register Recertification (RERE) EIS screen.

  

  1. Application Filed During the Month Following the Expiration of the Certification Period

 

Applications filed after the expiration of the certification period are considered initial applications.  Initial application processing time standards apply, 30 days for regular applications and 4 days for expedited service applications.  See MS 601-5F and MS 605-3B.

 

Since there has been a break in participation, the allotment is prorated from the date the application is received by the district office or fee agent. See MS 601-5B.  The household must participate in an interview. See MS 601-3.

 

If the case is closed, register these initial applications on the REAP screen.  If the case is open because of other attached programs, the Food Stamp application must be added on the APMA screen.

 

604-2 C.      RECERTIFICATION:  CASEWORKER ACTIONS

 

The caseworker conducts an interview if one is necessary, obtains required verification, determines the household’s eligibility, approves or denies the recertification application, and sends the appropriate notice to the household.   

 

An interview must be conducted once every 12 months, but can be conducted at each recertification.

 

Exception:

Households assigned to 24-month certification periods are required to participate in an interview every 24 months.  See MS 604-1A(3) for information on the required 12-month contact.

 

If an interview is necessary, the caseworker must schedule the interview.  The interview must be scheduled so the household has at least 10 days after the interview in which to provide verification before the certification period ends. If the household misses the scheduled interview, the caseworker will deny the recertification and send a notice of denial.  Notice F210, FS Recertification Denied, combines the required notice of missed interview with the notice of denial.

  

Note:  

Only adequate notice, not timely adverse action notice, is required before denying the recertification application or reducing the benefit effective the first month of the new certification period.  

 

604-2 D.      RECERTIFICATION: HOUSEHOLD FAILS TO ACT

 

  1. Household Fails to Participate in an Interview with a Caseworker or Fee Agent

 

The recertification application is denied when the household fails to participate in a scheduled interview.

 

If the household contacts the office before the end of the certification period, the office will reschedule the interview.  If the household participates in the scheduled interview and is found eligible, the case is reopened without a new application and a full month’s benefit (not prorated) is issued.

 

If the household contacts the office after the end of the certification period but within 30 days from the end of the certification period, the office will reschedule the interview.  If the household participates in the scheduled interview and is found eligible, the case is reopened without a new application.  A prorated benefit is issued back to the date the household contacted the DPA office to reschedule the interview.

 

  1. Household Fails to Submit Requested Verification

 

The recertification application is denied when the household fails to provide requested verification.
 

If the household provides the requested verification before the end of the certification period and is found eligible, the case is reopened without a new application and a full month’s benefit (not prorated) is issued.

 

If the household provides the requested verification after the end of the certification period but within 30 days from the end of the certification period and is found eligible, the case is reopened without a new application.  A prorated benefit is issued back to the date the requested verification is received in the DPA office.

 

Example:

A household's certification period ends June 30.  The recertification application is submitted June 5 and registered on the RERE screen.  The interview is held on June 25.  The application is pended for verification of income, and the household is given until July 5 to provide the information. Verification is not received, so the application is denied July 6.  If the household provides the verification on July 10, the case is reopened.  The household does not need to file a new application.

 

604-2 E.      VERIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: RECERTIFICATION

 

The purpose of the recertification application is to review the household’s current circumstances to determine continued eligibility for food stamps.  

 

  1. At recertification, households must provide verification of:

 

  1. Income from a new source.

 

  1. Previously verified income that has changed by more than $50.

 

  1. Previously verified income when the information is questionable.  See MS 601-4C for definition of questionable information.

 

  1. New or previously unreported and/or unverified shelter costs (if questionable), dependent care, and medical expenses.

 

  1. Previously verified shelter, dependent care, and medical expenses that have changed by more than $25.  The new shelter expense only needs to be verified if the amount of the change is questionable.

 

  1. Previously verified shelter, dependent care and medical expenses when the information is questionable.  See MS 601-4C for definition of questionable information.

 

  1. Changes in the legal obligation to pay child support, the obligated amount and the amount of the legally obligated child support paid by a household member.

 

  1.  If a new member joins the household:

 

        • The new member's income must be verified.

        • The value and ownership of the new member’s resources need to be verified, if questionable.  

        • Residency and U.S. citizenship can be verified by client statement, unless questionable.  Alien status must be verified.  See MS 602-1D(6).

        • If the SSN for the new member is not provided, send a notice requesting the SSN or verification of the application for an SSN .  Exception for adding newborns:  Children born in Alaska can be added to the household without verification of SSN enumeration until the next recertification. See MS 602-1E.  Verification of the newborn’s income and resources should be requested only if there is indication that the newborn has income or resources.  

 

  1. Information from Data Systems and EIS Interfaces

 

Several data systems and computer interfaces are available through the Internet and on-line EIS access.  Except for Social Security interfaces, caseworkers must check these systems for each household member at each application and recertification as part of the verification process.  Document the findings in the case file.  Caseworkers need to check Social Security interfaces (i.e., BENDEX, SDX, SVES, SOLQ ) only when it appears the applicant or recipient could be eligible for Social Security benefits.

 

  1. Interfaces That Must Be Checked

 

Interface

Information Verified

When to Check

State of Alaska

Department of Labor (DOL)

  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • Unreported employment
At each application and recertification
Interface Inquiry (ININ) (#9 on INME)   At each application and recertification

SDX

Social Security Administration

SSI payments  

PFA

State of Alaska

Permanent Fund Dividend Division

PFD payments  

WAG

State of Alaska

Department of Labor (DOL)

 

NSTAR or NFIN

State of Alaska

Child Support Services Division

  • Child Support collections
  • Child support disbursements
  • Legal obligation to pay child support
At each application and recertification

 

 

b. Interfaces That Are Checked If Questionable or Under Certain Conditions

 

 

Interface

Information Verified

When to Check

BENDEX Inquiry

Social Security Administration

(#15 on INME)

SSA payments

At each application and recertification only if it appears the applicant or recipient could be eligible for Social Security benefits.
INGENS

Public Information Database

  • Ownership of resources including vehicles, real estate, fishing permits, mining claims, boats
  • Drug felony charges
When the caseworker receives questionable information about resources or felony charges.

Verification Information System (VIS)  through the SAVE Program

Qualified alien status of household members who are not U.S. citizens It is not necessary to re-verify alien status through the SAVE program at every review or recertification.  This verification is only required for each alien at initial application and whenever an alien is added to a household

 State Online Query

(SOLQ) (#14 on INME)

 

SSA and SSII payments At each application and recertification only if it appears the applicant or recipient could be eligible for Social Security benefits.

State Verification Exchange System (SVES) (#13 on INME)

At each application and recertification only if it appears the applicant or recipient could be eligible for Social Security benefits.

 

 

Note:

The SOLQ interface may be used only to determine eligibility for the Alaska Temporary Assistance, Food Stamp, Medicaid, and Adult Public Assistance programs.

 

In some situations, the information will be from the source and can be used as verification.  In other situations, the caseworker will need to follow-up on the information.

         

Example:

When processing a recertification application, the caseworker checks the interfaces and data systems for the two household members.  The Department of Labor system shows one is currently receiving unemployment benefits of $120 weekly.  This information is used as income verification since the information is directly from the source of the income.  The caseworker also finds that the other applicant had earnings listed for the prior quarter.  The caseworker contacts the household to determine if the person is still working and, if so, requests verification of wages.  If the person is not working, the caseworker asks why the job ended to find out if there was a recent job quit.

 

 

 

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2011-04 (8/11)