It is a requirement to provide the SSN or apply for an SSN for each EU member prior to approving the EU member for Food Stamp benefits. Refusal or failure without good cause to provide or apply for an SSN results in ineligibility of the individual for whom an SSN is not provided.
If the EU does not provide (declines to declare) the SSN of an EU member or does not apply for an SSN for an EU member, the EU has the option to withdraw the food stamp application, or to receive Food Stamp benefits (if the EU is otherwise eligible) without the individual(s) for whom an SSN is not provided.
Staff must inform the EU of the options before asking the applicant to provide any EU member's SSN. Staff must also advise the EU how the SSN will be used. Inform the EU that SSNs are used and disclosed in the same manner for ineligible EU members as SSNs of EU members who receive food stamp benefits.
NOTE: EUs that are expedited eligible do not have to comply with SSN requirements before receiving benefits for the first month of the certification period (first 2 months if applying after the 15th). The EU must comply before receiving any additional benefits.
SSN verification is recorded on the SSN Information (FMAS) screen. Refer to the user guide Entering and Updating Social Security Number Information for Food Stamp Eligibility Units (EUs) for instructions.
If an individual has more than one SSN, the applicant must provide all the numbers.
If an EU member does not have a number or cannot provide his/her number, explain the SSN application or replacement procedures to the applicant. The Referral for Social Security Application (SSN-1) is completed for individuals who need to apply for an SSN.
The EU member must provide verification that an application for SSN has been made. Persons must apply for an SSN by the date specified on the referral, unless good cause exists. Allow the applicant at least 15 days to apply for an SSN. If the SSN-1 form is completed by SSA showing an application for SSN was completed, it is verification of the application. The EU can also provide other verification of the application for SSN.
Do not delay the certification process pending SSN verification.
Once the EU provides the SSN, enter the SSN in the common area and enter the verification code on the SSN Information (FMAS) screen. FSD sends a file to SSA to verify all SSNs entered. If the SSN is verified by SSA, the verification code is updated to SY (system) by FAMIS.
See Food Stamp Manual section 1105.015.10.10.05 for budgeting when a person fails to provide or declines to provide a SSN.
In determining whether good cause exists, consider information from the EU member and SSA, and case information. Documentary evidence or collateral information that the EU member has made every effort to provide the necessary information (such as proof of birth) to complete an application for an SSN is good cause. Make every effort to assist the individual in obtaining these documents.
NOTE: Good cause does NOT include delays due to illness, lack of transportation, or temporary absences for persons able to mail the SSN application. Good cause does include illness and lack of transportation if the person must apply in person.
Record the good cause decision on the SSN Information (FMAS) screen.
If the entire EU refuses to provide SSNs or fails to complete SSN applications determine:
If after approval, good cause no longer exists, send a notice of adverse action. If the EU does not request a hearing, close the case after the notice expires.
If an individual EU member refused to provide an SSN or failed to complete the SSN application:
If after approval, good cause no longer exists, remove the individual and send a Notice of Adverse Action.
If good cause does not exist, send a notice to inform the EU who did not apply for or provide an SSN.
When individuals ineligible for failure to provide or apply for SSNs provide or apply for SSNs, they may become eligible for participation in the Food Stamp Program. Enter the verificaton on the SSN Information (FMAS) screen and complete an eligibility determination.