The EU has primary responsibility for providing documentary evidence to support statements made at application and to resolve any questionable information. Workers must assist the EU in obtaining this verification provided the EU is cooperating. EUs may supply documentary evidence in person, through the mail, by fax or electronic device, or through an authorized representative. The EU must not be required to present verification in person.
One or more of the following methods of verification are used to determine an individual�s eligibility for benefits.
Maintain case records containing all information to support eligibility, ineligibility, and benefit level determinations. Documentation shall be in sufficient detail to permit a reviewer to determine the reasonableness and accuracy of the determination. Documentation includes what action is taken, by whom, and when. Document all verbal contacts with the EU and with reference or other source, indicating the date of contact. Documentation should be recorded in the Comments screens. Refer to the Comments Chart for specific instructions on recording comments.
Documentary verification consists of anything written or printed that confirms the EU�s circumstances. Examples of hard copy (HC) documentary verification include:
When documentary evidence is used as verification, record the:
NOTE: Documentary evidence must be date stamped to indicate the date it was received by the Family Support Division.
Although documentary evidence is the primary source of verification, acceptable verification is not limited to a single document and may be obtained through the EU or other source.
When information from another source contradicts statements made by the EU, immediately offer the EU the opportunity to resolve the discrepancy. Whenever documentary evidence cannot be obtained, the agency shall use alternate sources of verification such as reference/collateral contacts (CC or TC) and home visits.
A reference/collateral contact (CC) is an oral or written confirmation of an EU�s circumstances by a person outside the EU who has knowledge of the EU�s circumstances. The reference contact may be either in person or over the phone (TC). The acceptability of a reference contact shall not be restricted to a particular individual but may be anyone who can be expected to provide an accurate third party verification of the EU�s statements. Examples of acceptable reference contacts are:
The worker must evaluate the information given by the reference by considering the reason for knowing the information and its validity. Agency employees involved in food stamp certification and/or issuance processes may not act as a reference.
When reference contact (CC or TC) is used as verification, record the:
In certain circumstances, but only for those eligibility factors for which instructions specifically permit doing so, it is possible to make a determination on the basis of the EU�s statement (CS) when the circumstances appear reasonable based on the judgment of the caseworker. The EU�s statement (CS) may be a method of determining eligibility for certain factors based on the caseworker's judgment and consistency of the statement with information already available.
NOTE: The word judgment used here means a conclusion reached on the basis of what the worker sees, and hears, and which appears reasonable and logical in view of the worker's experience with other cases.
EXAMPLE: An individual making application claims a temporary disability and states they are currently unable to work. The individual has a broken arm in a cast. The individual works at a poultry processing plant and must use the arm to perform the job. The EU's statement they are unable to work due to the injury seems to be reasonable. In this type of situation, worker's judgment is an acceptable form of verification.
The EU�s/client�s statement is acceptable in the following situations, if the information given is not questionable:
When worker�s judgment is used, along with the EU�s/client�s statement, use CS as the verification code. Comment on the following information:
Use home visits as verification ONLY if documentary evidence (HC) or reference/collateral verification (CC or TC) cannot be obtained and then only by appointment. Schedule the visit in advance, notifying the EU of the date and approximate time of the home visit.
When a home visit is used, record the following:
When further verification is required to resolve inconsistent information, record the following: