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6.1.3 Timely Action on Reported Changes During the Certification Period

6.1.3.1 Processing Reported Changes

6.1.3.2 Changes “Verified on Receipt”

6.1.3.3 Changes That Cause an Increase in Benefits, Including Person Adds and Loss of Income

6.1.3.4 Sanction Request

6.1.3.5 Person Add Following a Sanction (Re-request)

6.1.3.6 Changes That Cause a Decrease in Benefits

6.1.3.7 Change Impact Matrix

6.1.3.8 Processing ABAWD Changes

 

Changes can be reported timely or untimely. IM workers must act promptly on all reported changes. If verification is requested, a minimum of 10 days must be allowed for the member to provide the verification.

6.1.3.1 Processing Reported Changes

7 CFR 273.12(c)(1) waiver

Request verification from the member as soon as possible, following the report of a change (1.2.1). To prevent “failure to act” agency QC errors, IM workers must act on reported changes within 10 days.  As a best practice a worker should process the change as soon as possible and not wait until the 10th day.  

 

Example 1: Barry reports on June 29 that he started a job on June 19. His IM worker must request verification and allow Barry 10 days to provide it. If verification is requested on June 29, it will be due July 9. His IM worker will have time to process the verification and issue proper notice to Barry by adverse action in July. If the IM worker fails to act on the change by not requesting verification until July 9, Barry would have until July 19 to provide the verification, which is after adverse action.  In this case it is likely that August benefits would be in error due to IM worker failure to act promptly on the reported change.

 

Lack of verification is a common cause of case closure. A new application for FoodShare is not always required under specific circumstances when FoodShare closes due to lack of verification during the certification period. Allow FoodShare to reopen without a new application when closing for lack of verification after a change is reported or discovered, as long as the requested verification is submitted in the calendar month following case closure. Benefits are prorated from the date the required action was taken.

 

Example 2: Julie is certified for FoodShare from March through February. Julie reports on April 5 that she began a job. Julie’s IM agency requests verification of Julie’s job, due April 15. Julie fails to provide verification by the due date and FoodShare closes effective April 30. Julie provides verification of her job on May 8. Julie’s FoodShare case reopens without requiring a new FoodShare application and prorates benefits from May 8 forward. Julie’s certification period remains the same March through February.

 

FoodShare may also close for reasons other than verification. Allow FoodShare to reopen when a change in circumstances causes the FoodShare assistance group to regain eligibility during the month following the month of case closure, as long as the food unit takes the required action.

 

Example 3: Pam’s FoodShare closes effective September 30 due to a pay increase at her job. Pam contacts her IM agency on October 8 to indicate her hours have been cut and she wants to reapply for FoodShare. The IM agency informs Pam that she has the option of reapplying for FoodShare or may provide verification of her new work hours to reopen FoodShare effective the date she provides the verification. Pam chooses to provide verification, which she submits on October 12. Pam’s FoodShare reopens with prorated benefits from October 12 forward.

 

Example 4:  Joan’s FoodShare closes effective October 31 as a result of her new roommate’s earned income. Joan contacts her IM agency on November 19 because her roommate moved out and she wants to reapply for FoodShare. The IM agency provides Joan the option of reapplying for FoodShare or reopening her FoodShare effective November 19. Joan chooses to reopen FoodShare without a new application. The IM agency removes the roommate from the case and re-determines a prospective estimate of Joan’s income and expenses. FoodShare benefits are issued from November 19 forward.

6.1.3.2 Changes “Verified on Receipt”

7 CFR 273.2(f)(9)

Some examples of changes considered to be "verified on receipt" are:

  1. Data exchange (Process Help 44.1) information that does not require further contact with the member (Social Security, Wisconsin Child Support Enforcement (KIDS; only child support income and expenses are verified), and Unemployment),

  2. Changes reported by a member that do not require further verification, and

  3. Changes for which adequate verification has already been submitted.

6.1.3.3 Changes That Cause an Increase in Benefits, Including Person Adds and Loss of Income

7 CFR 273.12(c)(1)

FNS Memo 12/18/14

 

All reported changes that cause an increase in the FoodShare benefit including person additions, increases in expenses, etc., will be effective the first of the month following the report month if required verifications are received within 10 days of the request for verification.

 

If verifications are not received within 10 days, and the FoodShare case is not closed for at least one day, make the change effective the first of the month following the month verifications are received.

 

Issue the appropriate supplement by the 10th day of the month the increase in benefits is effective.

 

Note: A person cannot be a member of more than one food unit and one FoodShare assistance group in the same month except residents of shelters for victims of domestic violence (3.4.1 Dual Membership and Duplicate Benefits). Prior to adding a person from one FoodShare case to another, remove the person from the previous FoodShare case.

 

Example 5 (baby add):

  • If Mike (a baby) is born June 25, and is reported June 27, supplement FoodShare effective July 1.

  • If Mike (a baby) is born June 2, and is reported June 25, supplement FoodShare effective July 1.

  • If Mike (a baby) is born June 27, and is reported July 1, add Mike effective August 1.

 

Example 6: Jule has an open FoodShare case with a certification period of February through January. Jule reports on March 25 that her sister Eve moved in on March 15. Jule’s IM worker requests verification of Eve’s eligibility information by April 4. Verification is not provided by April 4 and the FoodShare case closes effective April 30. Eve provides verification to the local agency on May 15. FoodShare reopened without a new application with benefits issued from May 15 forward. Jule’s FoodShare certification period remains the same, February through January.

 

Example 7 (person leave): Lisa reports on March 5 that her husband left the home on February 27. The IM worker should re-determine the prospective estimate of Lisa’s income for April and issue benefits for April based on the new estimate.

 

Example 8 (rent increase): Carol reports on March 25 that her rent is increasing for April. She submits verification of the increase to her IM worker on April 2, within 10 days. The IM worker makes the change to increase Carol’s FoodShare benefit effective April 1 and issues a supplement for April.

 

If Carol had reported the rent increase on April 2, the FoodShare benefit increase would have been effective May 1.

6.1.3.4 Sanction Request

An IM worker should act on a sanction request immediately, but has 10 days to process the request. However, the IM worker should try to enter the sanction before the next adverse action (6.3.1 Negative Notices) in CARES.

 

Example 9:  The IM worker receives a sanction request for Jayne on June 12. The IM worker officially has 10 days to process the sanction. Adverse action is on June 18, the worker makes sure to act on the sanction before the 18th. However, if they do not, the case would not be in error unless the worker did not act on the sanction until after adverse action in July.

6.1.3.5 Person Add Following a Sanction (Re-request)

If an individual is requesting to be added to the FoodShare assistance group following:

Eligibility for the previously excluded person will be effective the first of the month following the period of disqualification, or the first of the month following his or her request to be added back to the FoodShare assistance group, whichever is later.

 

Example 10:  Margaret’s husband David is sanctioned from September 1 – August 31 due to an IPV. Margaret calls on August 25 and requests that David be added back to the FoodShare assistance group on September 1. Verification is complete.

 

The IM worker adds David to the group effective September 1.

 

If Margaret’s request for David to be added back to the group was made on or after September 1, he would be added to the group effective the first of the month following the request.

6.1.3.6 Changes That Cause a Decrease in Benefits

7 CFR 273.12(c)(2)(i)

For reported changes that result in a decrease in benefits, process the change to allow for adequate negative notice to be issued to the member. If verifications are not received within 10 days, and the FoodShare case is not closed for at least one day, make the change effective the first of the month following the month verifications are received.

 

Example 11:  Lisa reports on June 3 that her husband moved back into the home on May 29.

 

Lisa’s IM worker adds Roy to CARES and requests verification of his income. Roy’s income will cause a decrease in FoodShare benefits. Lisa provides Roy’s verification on June 10. Notice of a decrease in benefits is issued at adverse action in June and benefits are decreased for July.

 

If verification was not provided within 10 days, FoodShare benefits would close June 30 for failure to verify income.  If Roy’s verification was submitted during the month of July, FoodShare would reopen without requiring a new application. Benefits would be prorated from the date Roy’s verification was received by the agency.

 

6.1.3.7 Change Impact Matrix

Use the Change Impact Matrix to determine how to respond to changes reported by food units.

 

Food Unit Type

Initial Certification Period

Initial SMRF Requirement

Change Reported

Date Change Acted On

Impact on Certification Period

SMRF Requirement after Change

Regular  

12 months

Yes

Homelessness or Migrant in household

Prior to adverse action in the fourth month

Certification period of six months requiring a review in month six to continue eligibility

No

After adverse action in the fourth month

No effect on the original certification period of 12 months

Yes

Homeless or Migrant

6 months

No

Reports securing housing or no longer migrant

Prior to adverse action in the fourth month

Certification period of 12 months

Yes

After adverse action in the fourth month

Certification period remains four months

No

EBD household with earnings

12 months

Yes

Source of earnings ends  

At any time

No effect  

No

EBD without earnings  

12 months

No

New source of earnings  

Prior to adverse action in the fourth month

No effect

Yes

After adverse action in the fourth month

No

TFS  

5 months

No

Change in income, household comp, or other types of change

At any time

No effect

No

Death of PP or when PP moves out of Wisconsin

TFS closes and member must re-apply

N/A

6.1.3.8 Processing ABAWD Changes

When an exemption is reported and verified timely, the exemption is effective the first of the month of report or occurrence, whichever is later. If verification is received after the due date, the exemption is applied the first of the month in which verification is received. See 3.17.1.6 Verification of ABAWD Status from Time-Limited FoodShare.

 

 

This page last updated in Release Number: 20-03

Release Date: 11/23/2020

Effective Date: 11/23/2020