1145.015.00 DISQUALIFICATION PENALTIES

IM-#140 November 30, 2005

Disqualifications are entered on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen in FAMIS and are based on:

The penalty for an IPV is disqualification from receiving food stamp benefits. Only the individual found to have committed the IPV, or the individual signing the Waiver of Administrative Disqualification Hearing (IM-161) is disqualified. Remaining EU members are not disqualified, but the adult EU members are responsible for repaying any overpayments caused by the IPV. Responsibility for the claim continues until the claim is paid even if the disqualified member leaves the EU. The disqualification of the individual continues even if the disqualified member leaves the EU or the food stamp case closes.

The length of the disqualification period depends upon whether the finding of an IPV is the first, second, or third for the individual. The purpose of the first IPV disqualification is to deter any future violations. One hearing, waiver, or consent agreement includes all violations prior to the date of the hearing, waiver, or consent agreement. Even if multiple offenses have occurred prior to a decision of an IPV, do not seek separate penalties for each offense. This is considered to be an enhanced penalty.

Consider all violations established for an individual occurring prior to June 1, 1983, regardless of whether the determination was reached after June 1, 1983, as the first violation.

The disqualification periods associated with the IPV are as follows:

If incorrectly given a shorter length of disqualification for an IPV disqualification, allow the length of disqualification (six months instead of twelve, twelve instead of twenty-four, or twenty-four instead of permanently) to stand. Do not establish a claim for the extra months the individual should have been disqualified and do not extend the disqualification to the longer time period. Notify the EU, however, that the disqualification is for a first, second, or third offense and that any future IPVs will result in a longer disqualification period.

NOTE: This is not a system-generated notice. The caseworker must send a typed letter to the EU. Keep a copy of the letter in the paper file, and record a comment at the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen.

Additional program violations and the resulting penalties are shown as follows:

1145.015.05 Timely Disqualifications

IM-#140 November 30, 2005

Disqualifications must be imposed timely, regardless of whether the individual is currently active in a food stamp EU. Timely is defined as follows.

NOTE: If there are less than five business days remaining in the month after the EU member receives notification of the hearing decision or waiver, the disqualification must be imposed the second month following the notification.
Refer to the Entering a Sanction or Disqualification user guide for instructions.

Once a disqualification penalty begins, the period of disqualification continues uninterrupted until completed, regardless of whether the food stamp case is active. The disqualification period expires at the end of the specified time, as if the EU were still participating.

EXAMPLE: The certification period for Mrs. Howell is from January through June. Mr. Howell is disqualified for 12 months beginning in April. Mrs. Howell does not reapply for food stamps until November and is certified for 6 more months. Mr. Howell's disqualification lasts through March and he is reinstated for April.

Disqualification penalties remain with the individual regardless of the county or state.

EXAMPLE: Ms. Grant is disqualified for an IPV in Texas. She moves to Missouri and applies for food stamp benefits. Texas verifies Ms. Grant was disqualified in their state. She is ineligible to participate until her disqualification period has ended.

1145.015.10 Nontimely Disqualifications

IM-#140 November 30, 2005

When a disqualification is not entered timely, enter the correct start date on the Sanction/Disqualification (FMAM) screen to impose the disqualification for the remaining months of the disqualification period. The disqualification penalty is considered imposed the month following the month of the discovery. Establish an agency error claim for any months in which the EU was overpaid because the disqualification was not imposed timely.

EXAMPLE: It is discovered in December that an individual should have been disqualified in June for a period of 12 months. The individual is disqualified for the remaining five (5) months. A claim against the EU must be established to cover June through December, the months the individual participated when s/he should have been disqualified.