Group living arrangement is defined as a public or private non-profit setting that:
A for-profit group living arrangement is not an eligible living arrangement.
To be eligible for Food Stamp benefits, a resident of a group living arrangement must be blind or disabled per the Food Stamp definition of disabled.
NOTE: The elderly participant must also meet the disabled criteria to qualify for Food Stamp benefits in the group home.
If the group living arrangement does not meet the above criteria, reject the application using WIRJ with reason ineligible living arrangement (ILA). Refer to the Worker Initiated Rejection user guide for instructions.
Only group homes authorized by FNS as retail food stores may redeem Food Stamp benefits through a wholesale outlet. Group homes not authorized by FNS may purchase food through retail outlets.
Following are the different methods of preparing and serving meals in the group living arrangement.
When clearing the address of the group living arrangement, use living arrangement code GH. This living arrangement code allows multiple supercases at the same address. Enter the group living arrangement address as the supercase/residential address. If the individual has a mailing address other than the group living arrangement address, enter the mailing address on Person Detail (FM0I) for that individual.
The group living arrangement determines if any resident may apply for food stamp benefits on his/her own behalf. Determination is based on the resident's physical and mental ability to handle his/her own affairs. Encourage the group living arrangement to consult with other state agencies providing other services to individual residents prior to determination.
When residents applying through the facility's authorized representative leave the facility, the facility:
A resident or a group of residents applying on their own behalf and retaining food stamp benefits are entitled to keep the benefits when they leave the facility.
As for any other EU, the resident of a group living arrangement must report changes in income and EU circumstances. In addition, the organization or institution acting as the authorized representative for resident EUs is responsible for notifying the caseworker of any changes in resident EU income or circumstances, including when a resident leaves the facility.
If the resident applied on his/her own behalf, the resident is responsible for reporting changes.
The group living arrangement provides the county on a monthly or semi-monthly basis with a certified list of currently participating residents. This list includes a signed statement by a responsible center official attesting to the validity of the list.
The organization or institution, if acting as authorized representative, is responsible for any overissuances caused by misrepresentation or fraud committed in the certification of center residents and assumes total liability for food stamp benefits/EBT cards held by request of resident EUs. If the resident applies on s/her own behalf, the resident is liable for any overissuances.
Group homes are required to submit a monthly list to the FSD of currently participating residents that includes a signature of a responsible official of the group living facility.
The FSD conducts yearly on-site visits to group homes to ensure accuracy of certified listings provided by the facility and that participant records are up to date. Copies of the monthly listings and annual reviews must be maintained in the FSD office for three years.
The organization or institution may be penalized or disqualified if it is determined administratively or judicially that food stamp benefits were misappropriated or used for purchases that did not contribute to a certified EU's meals. FNS must approve penalties and/or disqualification. FSD promptly notifies FNS when it has reason to believe that an organization or institution is misusing food stamp benefits.
FSD establishes a claim for overissuances of food stamp benefits held on behalf of residents if any overissuances are discovered during an investigation or hearing procedure for redemption violations and the center acted as the authorized representative. If FNS disqualifies an organization or institution as an authorized retail food store, State Office notifies the county office to suspend the authorized representative status of the facility.
If the treatment center loses its authorization from FNS to accept food stamp benefits, or is no longer certified by the State, its residents are no longer eligible to participate. Residents are not entitled to a notice of adverse action but receive a written notice explaining the termination and when it becomes effective.
NOTE: If FNS suspends the group living arrangement's status as an authorized representative, residents applying on their own behalf remain able to participate if otherwise eligible.