Oklahoma Department of Human Services
Sequoyah Memorial Office Building, 2400 N. Lincoln Blvd. • Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-3646 • Fax (405) 521-6684 • Internet: www.okdhs.org
 
340:50-9-5. Changes after application and during the certification period
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Revised 6-1-13

 

(a) Applicant households.  Applicant households must report all changes related to their food benefit eligibility and benefit amount.  Households must report changes that occur after the interview but before the date of the notice of eligibility, within 10 calendar days of the date of the notice.  • 1

(b) Certified households.  Those households assigned a certification period other than 12 or 24 months are required to report within 10 calendar days changes in:

  • (1) sources of income;
  • (2) unearned income of $50 per month or more;
  • (3) earned income of more than $100 per month;
  • (4) household composition, such as an addition or loss of a household member;
  • (5) residence and resulting changes in shelter costs; and
  • (6) the legal obligation to pay child support.

(c) Change affecting food benefit.  If a reported change affects the household's eligibility or food benefit amount, the household is notified of the adjustment to be made and the effective date.  The worker has 10 calendar days from the date the change is reported to take the necessary action.  • 2

  • (1) If the household fails to report a change within the 10-day period and, as a result, receives benefits to which it is not entitled, an overpayment claim is referred to the Adult and Family Services AFS Benefit Integrity and Recovery Section.
  • (2) If the worker fails to take action on a reported change within the prescribed time limits and benefits are lost, they are restored to the household.

(d) Changes that increase benefits.  Changes resulting in a benefit increase must be verified.  The household is allowed 10 calendar days to verify the information.  • 3

(e) Changes that decrease or close benefits.  Food benefits are closed, never suspended, if a change in household circumstances causes a household to be ineligible for food benefits.  When a household's benefit decreases or closes, an advance notice is required unless exempt from such a notice for a reason listed in (1) and (2) of this subsection.  When an advance notice is required, the decrease or termination of the benefit is effective no later than the month following the month in which the advance notice period expired.  • 4  When the change is reported less than 10 calendar days before the advance notice deadline, the action must be taken before advance notice deadline the following month.  Advance notice is not required when the:

  • (1) Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) receives a clear written statement signed by a responsible household member stating he or she no longer wishes food benefits or gives information that requires closure or reduction of food benefits and stating that he or she understands the food benefit will be reduced or closed.  The household retains its right to a fair hearing and continuation of benefits if a fair hearing is requested within 10 calendar days of the change notice; and
  • (2) reduction or closure of food benefits is based on situations listed in (k) of this Section.  • 5

(f) When benefits may be reopened following closure.  The food benefit may be reopened following closure using current eligibility information when:

  • (1) OKDHS did not administer policy and procedures correctly. The food benefit is reopened back to the first day of the month of closure;  • 6
  • (2) the household fails to complete the mid-certification renewal timely, but provides all required verification by the first day of the month of closure.  The food benefit is reopened back to the first day of the month of closure; • 7 or
  • (3) the household fails to complete the mid-certification renewal by the last day of the month of closure, but provides all required verification by the last day of the month of closure.  The food benefit is reopened and prorated from the date the mid-certification renewal is completed.  • 7

(g) Annual reporting households.  Food benefit households with all adult members elderly or disabled with no earned income are known as annual reporters.  • 8  A 24‑month certification period is automatically assigned.  These households are only required to report changes that result in their gross monthly income exceeding 130 percent of the monthly poverty income guidelines for their household size unless it is the mid-certification renewal or certification renewal month.  The worker must act on any changes reported by households that increase or decrease their benefits.  The system determines if the change results in an increase or decrease in benefits.  Between mid-certification renewal or certification renewal months, a decrease in benefits does not occur unless the:

  • (1) household requested benefit closure; or
  • (2) worker has information about the household's circumstances considered verified upon receipt. • 9

(h) Mid-certification renewal for annual reporting households.  Annual reporting households are sent notification in the 11th month of certification that the mid-certification renewal is due.  An interview is not required.  In order to continue to receive benefits, the household must complete the benefit renewal.  This includes providing all required verification by the last day of the 12th month of certification.  The worker reviews information to determine whether changes are needed.  • 10

  • (1) The worker must act on changes reported at mid-certification renewal.
  • (2) When the reported changes result in a decrease or closure of benefits, an advance notice must be sent to the household.
  • (3) If the household fails to provide sufficient information regarding a deductible expense requiring verification, the worker processes the mid-certification renewal without regard to the deduction.

(i) Semi-annual reporting households.  All food benefit households, except those considered annual reporters or certain households containing one or more able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD), are assigned a 12-month certification period.      • 11

  • (1) Between the mid-certification renewal or certification renewal months, households are only required to report changes that result in their gross monthly income exceeding 130 percent of the monthly poverty income guidelines for their household size unless their household contains an ABAWD meeting the work rule per OAC 340:50-5-64(a).  Households with an ABAWD meeting the work rule at certification must report if the hours decrease below an average of 20 per week or 80 per month.  • 12
  • (2) The worker must act on any changes reported by households that increase or decrease their benefits.  The system determines if the change results in increase or decrease in benefits.
  • (3) Between mid-certification renewal or certification renewal months, a decrease in benefits does not occur unless the:
    • (A) household requested benefit closure; or
    • (B) worker has information about the household's circumstances considered verified upon receipt.  • 9

(j) Mid-certification renewal for semi-annual reporting households.  Semi-annual reporting households are sent notification in the fifth month of certification that the mid-certification renewal is due.  • 10  An interview is not required.  In order to continue receiving benefits, the household must complete the mid-certification renewal that includes providing all required verification, by the last day of the sixth month of certification.  The worker reviews information provided to determine whether changes are needed.

  • (1) The worker must act on changes reported at mid-certification renewal.
  • (2) If the reported changes result in a decrease or closure of benefits, an advance notice must be sent to the household.
  • (3) If the household fails to provide sufficient information regarding a deductible expense, the worker processes the mid-certification renewal without regard to the deduction.

(k) Advance notice of adverse action not required.  Advance notice of adverse action is not required when:

  • (1) mass changes are initiated because of changes or requirements in federal or state law.  • 13  In these situations, the individual notification requirement is waived and AFS mails generic notices to the households informing them of the changes that are about to be made;  • 14
  • (2) the worker determines, based on reliable information, that all members of the household are deceased;
  • (3) the worker determines, based on reliable information, the household has moved out of state;
  • (4) the household is previously notified in writing when restoration of lost benefits is completed and the household's food benefit is reduced due to completion of restoration of lost benefits;
  • (5) the household benefit amount varies from month to month within the certification period to take into account changes that were anticipated at the time of certification and the household was so notified at the time of certification;
  • (6) a person in the household is disqualified for willful misrepresentation.  If there is more than one person in the household, the benefits of the remaining household members are reduced or terminated to reflect the disqualification of that household member;
  • (7) the household fails to make agreed upon cash or food benefit repayment of an overpayment;
  • (8) a household's eligibility is being terminated because the drug or alcohol treatment center or group home facility where they reside is no longer approved;
  • (9) circumstances occur per OAC 340:50-11-27;
  • (10) the client provides a written statement:
    • (A) stating the household no longer wishes to receive food benefits; or
    • (B) requesting closure or reduction in food benefits to avoid or repay an overpayment; or
  • (11) food benefits are closed in one case in order to transfer the food benefits to another case without a decrease or disruption in benefits.

(l) Action on changes when fair hearings are requested.  When a household requests a fair hearing within 10 calendar days of the date shown on the adverse action notice, the household may continue to receive food benefits.

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:50-9-5

 

Revised 11-1-13

 

1.   At the interview, the worker must give each household Form 08FB038E, Changes in Household Circumstances.  A change is considered reported the date the worker receives Form 08FB038E or is notified of the change by telephone or personal contact.  In order to provide easier access, each county office must have a telephone number where collect calls are accepted.  The phone number is:

(1) provided on all notices, such as those for certification, denial, and adverse action; and

(2) shown on Form 08FB038E.

2.   When the household reports a change, the worker determines if the change affects the household's eligibility or the food benefit amount.  The worker must document all reported changes in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) Case Notes.  When the household reports the change on Form 08FB038E, the worker must provide the household with another Form 08FB038E.

3.   When a change is reported:

(1) the worker makes the change effective no later than the first issuance to be delivered 10 calendar days after the date the household reports or verifies the change, whichever is later;

(2) the worker issues a supplement when appropriate;

(3) that increases the food benefit and the household:

(A) provides the required verification within 10 calendar days of reporting the change, the worker issues the supplement by the tenth calendar day following the date the change was reported, or the date the regular roll benefit is to be received, whichever is later; and

(B) provides the required verification within 10 calendar days prior to the regular roll issuance, but is provided at a later date after the tenth calendar day, the worker issues the supplement within 10 calendar days of the date the household provides the verification; or

(C) does not provide the required verification prior to the regular roll issuance date, the worker does not issue a supplement.

4.   When the household reports a change 10 calendar days or more before the advance notice deadline on Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Appendix B-2, Deadlines for Case Actions, the worker takes action in the same month the change is reported.

5.   A notice of adverse action is computer-generated except when the reason for the change is death, code 01, or other, code 69.  When code 69 is used, the worker hand issues Form 08MP038E, Client Notice of Action Taken.

6.   When the food benefit closes because of administrative error, the worker reopens the SNAP tab of the FACS system using "R" in the Action Taken field and "18A" in the Reason field and enters any required changes in the same action.  The worker must also update the benefit and status fields in the Household tab for persons included in the benefit household.

7.   (a) When the food benefit closes because the household did not complete the mid-certification renewal timely, the worker reopens the SNAP tab using "R" in the Action Taken field, "18O" in the Reason field, the date the mid-certification renewal was completed in the Effective Date field, and enters any required changes in the same action.  The worker must also update the benefit and status fields in the Household tab for persons included in the benefit household.

(b) When the household waits until after the last day of the month of closure to provide needed information, the household must reapply.

8.   The worker is responsible for determining which households are identified as annual reporting households.  The worker uses normal certification procedures.  The computer recognizes the annual report status, automatically assigns a 24-month certification period, and identifies the household as an annual reporting household by entering "A" in the reporter status field.

9.   (a) Verified upon receipt means, the information is not questionable and the provider is the primary source of the information.  The worker must take action by the next effective date using normal adverse action processes.  Types of information considered verified upon receipt include, but are not limited to:

(1) Beneficiary and Earnings Data Exchange System (BENDEX), from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  For example, a BENDEX data exchange message is received during a non-report month indicating a household member is approved for Social Security benefits.  This income results in a food benefit decrease and the information is considered verified upon receipt;

(2) Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/State Data Exchange System (SDX), from the SSA;

(3) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);

(4) Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB), from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC);

(5) workers' compensation documents from Workers' Compensation Court;

(6) information from the household when reporting changes in household composition, such as when the household reports a person left the household and the change results in a food benefit decrease.  This information is considered verified upon receipt; and

(7) actions processed for food benefits or other DHS programs affecting food benefit expenses, such as:

(A) a decrease in the child care family share co-payment, resulting in a smaller dependent care deduction; or

(B) the determination of an intentional program violation.

(b) Examples of information that are NOT verified upon receipt are:

(1) Oklahoma Wage Link (OWC and OWL), quarterly wage match data;

(2) wage data obtained from BENDEX;

(3) New Hire List (NHL) matches.  For example, an NHL data exchange message is received during a non-report month indicating a household member started to work.  This income would decrease the food benefit; however, the information is NOT considered verified upon receipt.  The action to decrease food benefits is not taken as it is a non-report month; and

(4) changes in shelter and utility costs.  For example, when the client reports the rent decreased from $1000 to $600 per month in a non-report month it does not cause a decrease in benefits, as this information is NOT considered verified upon receipt.

10.  (a) Methods the household may use to complete the mid-certification renewal include:

(1) submitting the benefit renewal electronically by:

(A) accessing www.okdhslive.org; or

(B) getting help from DHS or a community partner to access www.okdhslive.org;

(2) downloading Form 08MP004E, Renew My Benefits, from DHS - Forms and Applications for Service and completing, signing, and bringing, mailing, or faxing it to DHS; or

(3) going into the local county office to complete the benefit renewal with a worker using the FACS system.

(b) Once the household submits the mid-certification renewal, the information is analyzed to determine:

(1) what changes occurred;

(2) whether the household signed the mid-certification renewal electronically or on the paper benefit renewal form;

(3) whether the household provided all required verification; and

(4) what changes must be made on the system.

(c) After the worker analyzes the mid-certification renewal, he or she updates the benefit report action field to indicate the benefit renewal status and the date of the action using instructions found on the Adult and Family Services (AFS) Application Development and Operations (ADO) InfoNet web page under Systems Help for FACS and OKDHSLive!.  The mid-certification renewal is:

(1) coded incomplete when the household failed to sign the mid-certification renewal or did not provide all required verification;

(2) coded ready to work when the household signed the mid-certification renewal and provided all required verification, but the worker has not completed the mid-certification renewal; or

(3) complete after:

(A) information contained on the mid-certification renewal, in the verification provided, and on data exchange screens have been evaluated for changes;

(B) all mid-certification renewal information, including changes, have been entered in the Interview and Eligibility Notebooks of FACS;

(C) any additional information has been entered in FACS Case Notes to explain any changes made and how continued eligibility was determined; and

(D) the system is updated.

(d) At negative action deadline, mid-certification renewals not coded as complete are automatically closed the next effective date with reason code 36S.  Prior to deadline, the worker must record in FACS Case Notes the status of submitted mid-certification renewals and when incomplete, what information is lacking.  When the worker tries to obtain needed information, he or she must document the attempts in FACS Case Notes.

(e) Case Worker Activity (CWA) reports are available to help workers track the status of pending mid-certification renewals.  Information regarding each CWA report is available on the AFS Business Knowledge and User Support InfoNet web page under CWA and ACES Reports.

11.  The worker follows normal certification procedures.  The computer recognizes the semi-annual status, automatically assigns a 12-month certification period, and identifies the household as a semi-annual reporting household by entering "S" in the reporter status field.

12.  The worker informs the able-bodied adult without dependents (ABAWD) who meets the work rule at the time of certification to report if his or her work hours decrease below 20 hours per week, averaged to 80 hours per month.  ABAWDs are required to report this change within 10 calendar days of the date of the change.  Refer to OAC 340:50-5-64 for ABAWD work requirements.

(1) When the household reports changes timely or untimely, the worker must review prior ABAWD status to accurately determine if all food benefits for which the ABAWD is eligible were received, including the initial three 'free' months.  When the worker determines the ABAWD is eligible for the initial three 'free' months, food benefits continue.  The worker completes a desk review during the third month prior to advance notice deadline to review the person's ABAWD status.

(2) When the worker determines the ABAWD received all food benefits for which he or she is eligible, the ABAWD is removed from the food benefit the next effective date.  If the ABAWD is the only person in the food benefit household, the worker closes the benefits the next effective date.

13.  Examples of mass changes include changes in:

(1) the maximum income limitation or basis of issuance tables;

(2) cost-of-living increases in Social Security, Veteran, Railroad Retirement, or SSI benefits; and

(3) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance or Sate Supplemental Payments.

14.  AFS staff may also announce SNAP changes through the media so the general public and food benefit recipients are notified.

Last Updated:  12/2/2013