1135.020.00 SSI/Food Stamp JOINT APPLICATION PROCESSING

IM-#53 March 23, 2000

An individual may apply for food stamp benefits in an SSA office if a member of a food stamp household consisting only of SSI applicants or recipients. This applies to individuals not participating in the Food Stamp Program, who have not applied for food stamp benefits in the 30 preceding days, and who do not have applications pending. (If a household consists only of SSI applicants or recipients, apply categorical eligibility verification guidelines and benefit levels.)

SSA takes applications for SSI prior to release of persons from institutions and takes a food stamp application for these persons. SSA forwards the application to the county office to be processed. The application contains information based on the situation anticipated upon release from the institution.

The application is registered upon receipt using the date the application was taken. Determine eligibility for the month the applicant is released from the institution. Verify expenses as soon as SSA notifies the county office the applicant is released from the institution. Usually resource verification is not needed, as the applicant is categorically eligible. Obtain any further information needed to process the case from the applicant.

If the case is approved for FS, change the application date to the date the applicant is released from the institution. Screen for expedited benefits from the date of release. If the application is rejected because they are denied release or do not meet other eligibility criteria, adjust the application date to the date of ineligibility.

NOTE: If three months have elapsed since the application was registered and SSA staff have not contacted the county office, contact SSA to verify the applicant's circumstances. If, for some reason SSA failed to timely notify the State of an individual's release from an institution, restore benefits back to the date of release.

1135.020.05 Filing an Application

IM-#53 March 23, 2000
  1. Whenever a member of a household consisting only of SSI applicants and recipients transacts business at an SSA office, SSA informs the household of its right to apply for food stamp benefits at the SSA office without going to the FSD office and its right to apply at a FSD office if it chooses.
  2. SSA completes the application at the SSA Office.
    1. SSA forwards the completed forms to the appropriate FSD County with a transmittal form, the SSA-4233. SSA also forwards the verification information the applicant presented at the initial interview that may be relevant to processing the food stamp application.
    2. If SSA takes an SSI application or redetermination on the telephone from a member of a pure SSI household, the Tele-Claim and the application are also completed during the telephone interview. In these cases, the food stamp application is mailed to the applicant for signature for return to the county FSD office.
    3. FSD may not require the household to be interviewed again in a FSD office. The household is not contacted further in order to obtain information for certification for food stamp benefits except if:
      1. the application is improperly completed,
      2. mandatory verification required is missing, or
      3. FSD determines that certain information on the application is questionable.
      In no event is the applicant required to appear at the FSD office to finalize the eligibility determination. Contact relating to items described above does not constitute a second food stamp interview.
    4. Consider applications filed for normal processing purposes when the signed application is received by SSA. Food stamp applications and supporting documents sent to an incorrect county office are sent by the receiving county office to the correct county office within one working day.
    5. SSA pre-screens all applications for entitlement to expedited services on the day the application is received at the SSA office. Expedited processing is indicated on the first page of the application for a household that appears entitled to expedited processing.
      1. SSA informs households that appear to meet the criteria for expedited service that benefits may be issued a few days sooner if the household applies directly to the county office.
      2. The household may take the application, with a transmittal from SSA, to the county office for screening, an interview, and processing.
      3. Expedited processing standards begin on the date the county office receives a food stamp application.

        NOTE: Since SSA pre-screening does not constitute a determination that a household is eligible for expedited processing, screen all applications for expedited service, not just those that SSA indicates as probably eligible.

    6. For SSI recipients redetermined for SSI by mail, SSA informs them of the right to file a food stamp application at the SSA office (if members of a pure SSI household) or at the local county office. SSA also informs them of the right to an out-of-office or telephone interview by the county office if the household is unable to appoint an authorized representative.
    7. The county office determines if households are already participating in the Food Stamp Program.
  3. SSA refers non-SSI households and those in which not all members have applied for or receive SSI to the correct FSD office.
    1. Consider applications from such households filed on the date the signed application is taken at the correct county office.
    2. Expedited processing time standards begin on the date the application is received in the county office.
    3. Normal processing time standards begin on the date the application is signed.

1135.020.10 SSA Food Stamp Application Process

IM-#53 March 23, 2000

As part of each SSI redetermination and initial application interview, SSA representatives perform the following.

  1. Conduct a pre-application interview.
    1. Determine whether the individual is currently receiving food stamp benefits or applied for them in the previous 30 days and does not have an application pending.
    2. Determine if the individual wishes to apply for food stamp benefits.
    3. Determine if the individual lives in a pure SSI household.
  2. Complete the application.
  3. Screen for expedited services.
  4. Explain applicant's filing options.
  5. Obtain available evidence (including identity and residence if potential expedited service exists).
    1. Obtain available information housed on SSA records.
    2. Request evidence available at the time of the interview for income, liquid resources, amount of non-reimbursable medical expenses for the month of application for household members age 60 or over or receiving SSI or OASDI.
  6. Prepare transmittal form (SSA-4233).
    1. Summarize on the transmittal sheet which food stamp eligibility factors were verified and which remain to be verified.
    2. Include photocopies of information verified for the Food Stamp Program not retained in SSI files or SSA systems.
    3. Describe any contradictions or discrepancies that remain to be resolved for continued development by the county office.
  7. Complete fraud forms and provide copies to the applicant.
  8. Assemble the food stamp application package (containing the application, relevant evidence, and completed transmittal form) and mail before the close of business the next federal working day after the date the food stamp application was taken by SSA.

SSA staff advise the applicant that SSA does not retain records of the food stamp application and all further contacts relevant to the food stamp application are to be directed to the local FSD office.

1135.020.15 Work Registration Requirements

IM-#53 March 23, 2000

The work registration requirement is waived for household members applying for SSI and food stamp benefits under joint application processing until:

  1. they are determined eligible for SSI and thereby become exempt from work registration, or
  2. they are determined ineligible for SSI and where applicable, work registration status is determined through recertification procedures.

1135.020.20 Certification Periods

IM-#53 March 23, 2000

Assign the initial certification period up to 12 months or 24 months.

In cases jointly processed in which SSI determination results in denial, and the caseworker believes that food stamp eligibility or benefit levels may be affected, notify the household of expiration of food stamp benefits and include: the date the certification period ends (the end of the month following the month the notice is sent),

  1. reapplication must be made if the household wishes to continue to participate,
  2. the household's certification is expiring because of changes in circumstances that may affect food stamp eligibility or benefit levels,
  3. the household's right to file an application by mail,
  4. the household's right to file an application through an authorized representative, and
  5. the household's right to an out-of-office or telephone interview.

1135.020.25 Changes in Circumstances

  1. Households are required to report changes in income and household circumstances.
  2. Monitor the results of SSI determination.

1135.020.30 Recertification

IM-#53 March 23, 2000

Jointly processed households receiving a food stamp notice of expiration, and going to an SSA office for an SSI redetermination, may timely apply for food stamp recertification at the SSA office. Follow the same procedures as initial applications.