M E M O R A N D U M

IM-125  09/19/03  OCTOBER BENEFIT ADJUSTMENT
FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #34; 1105.015.00; 1105.015.05; 1115.035.05
1115.035.25.05; 1115.035.25.15; 1115.099.00; 1130.099.00 APPENDIX A


SUBJECT:
OCTOBER BENEFIT ADJUSTMENT; FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #34; 1105.015.00; 1105.015.05;1115.035.05; 1115.035.25.05; 1115.035.25.15; 1115.099.00; 1130.099.00 APPENDIX A 
DISCUSSION:
The weekend of September 20, 2003, the October food stamp mass adjustments will occur.  This memorandum addresses the following issues related to the mass adjustments: Increased Allotments, Maximums, and Deductions

 The following changes are made during the mass adjustment:

  •  The food stamp allotments are increased.
  •  The gross (130% of FPL) and net income maximums are increased.
  • The standard deduction is increased to $149 for EUs with five members and $171 for EUs with six or more members.
  • The standard utility allowance is increased to $252 and the non-heating/cooling standard is increased to $100.
  • The excess shelter expense maximum for EUs without an elderly/disabled member is increased to $378.
  • The 165% of FPL maximums are increased.  These maximums are used to determine if EUs whose members are elderly, live with others, and are unable to purchase and prepare food due to a disability, are eligible as a separate EU for food stamp benefits.  The manual is updated with the new chart.  Refer to  1105.015.00 to review the chart. 
Update Process

Mass adjustments are being run in FAMIS only. 

The Food Stamp Budget Summary (FM4A) and the Worker Initiated Budget Calculation Area - WIBCA (FMXN) are updated with the new amounts for October 2003 budgets effective September 22, 2003.  While the updates are being completed, FAMIS will be in inquiry mode only and no actions can be taken until September 22, 2003.

After the eligibility determination is run during the mass adjustments, workers can see the following actions on cases active in FAMIS, depending on the action taken during mass adjustments.

  •  If the benefits are increased, the EU Action Log (FM40) displays the action INCR, action date of September 20, 2003, and the benefit month 102003.
  • If there is no change to the benefits, the EU Action Log (FM40) displays the action NOCH, action date September 20, 2003, and the benefit month 102003. 
  • If there is a decrease in benefits or a closing, the EU Action Log (FM40) displays the action PAAP (pending adverse action period), action date September 20, 2003, and the benefit month 102003.  For more information regarding EUs whose benefits decrease or cases close, refer to the Decreased Benefits or Case Closings section of this memorandum.
The Payment History (FM5F) screen displays the appropriate allotment for each EU.  The reason field on the Action Authorization (FM3H) screen displays TUA - Table Update Adjustments (system) for the mass adjustments.  To inquire why an action is taken, on the EU Action Log (FM40), select the action and press F17=INQAUTH.  The Action Authorization screen appears.  Press F19=REASON.  The reason code and the code description appear.

Decreased Benefits or Case Closings

Some EUs will receive adverse actions to decrease their benefits or close their case after the mass adjustments.  This will happen if the EU is subject to simplified reporting and there are disregarded changes in FAMIS.  As the mass adjustment is considered a change that must be acted on, and all cases are required to be adjusted to accurately reflect deductions and benefit amounts, all information known to FAMIS at the time of the mass adjustment is used to determine eligibility.

If the EU’s benefits are being decreased or the case is closing, a PAAP action is created and displayed on the EU Action Log (FM40) for 102003 during the mass adjustments.  Another process will run Monday, September 22, 2003, during the nightly batch that will run a second eligibility determination for November 2003. 

  • If the case is closing, the action AACL is displayed on the EU Action Log (FM40) for 112003 with an action date of September 22, 2003.  The status is RTA (ready to authorize).
  • If the benefits are decreasing, the action AABR is displayed for 112003 with an action date of September 22, 2003.  The status is RTA (ready to authorize). 
Staff will receive the alert "Action Not Authorized" when a notice of adverse action is created, but not authorized.  The worker must review the proposed action to determine if it is correct. 

If the action is correct, authorize the adverse action AACL or AABR.  If the adverse action is not authorized within 10 days, FAMIS will authorize the adverse action.  A notice of adverse action (FA-510) will be sent to the EU notifying them of the proposed action when the AACL or AABR action is authorized.

If an adverse action is not correct and has not been authorized (action in RTA status), it is not necessary to void the adverse action.  Change the data in FAMIS and complete a new eligibility determination.

EXAMPLE:  Mrs. A and her spouse are subject to simplified reporting.  The worker listed Mrs. A’s prescriptions separately, rather than all together on one line as RX type on the Medical Expense screen (FMXA).  FAMIS read only the most recent line as the prescription expense, and created an adverse action (AACL) for November.  In the 10 days before the adverse action is authorized, the worker reviews the case and realizes the mistake.  With the correct medical expense entered, the participant remains eligible for benefits.  The worker must correct the medical expense. 
If the worker reviews the data and determines the action is not correct, but the action has already been authorized, the worker must void the adverse action.  Refer to user guide Changing an Adverse Action Status for instructions. 

Do not void or disregard adverse actions due to acting on previously disregarded changes or ABAWDs who have received six non-work months.  Adverse actions must be acted upon if the action is taken during the mass adjustment. 

Conflict of Actions

FAMIS adjusts active cases even if the case has a pending adverse action.  However, this results in a conflict of actions. The worker receives the alerts "Adverse Action Needs Resolving" and "Outstanding Eligibility Determination", but no action is required by the worker.  FAMIS allows the first adverse action to expire and takes the required action.  If the EU is not closed after the first adverse action, FAMIS then re-runs an eligibility determination with the mass adjustment figures.  A new adverse action notice is sent to the EU if, applicable. 

County staff may resolve the conflict of actions rather than allowing FAMIS to resolve the actions.  The worker can access the Action Resolution screen (FM50 or ACTRES) to resolve the actions. The worker must void the pending adverse action. Refer to the user guide Changing an Adverse Action Status for instructions. After voiding the adverse action, the worker must access the Eligibility Determination Resolution screen (FM3Y or EDRES) to run a new eligibility determination. If the action is a benefit reduction or closing, authorize the new adverse action. 

Cases Not Adjusted

The cases listed below are not adjusted until the worker completes the appropriate action.

  • Expedited EUs that are active with postponed verification (APV status). 
  • Any EU with an incomplete eligibility determination, such as a change is entered but the eligibility determination resolution is not run or there is insufficient data (ISD).
  • Any EU in the controlled flow.  FAMIS shows actions set to RTA status on the EU Action Log (FM40) for cases in the controlled flow.  However, FAMIS does not authorize these actions.  The worker must complete the controlled flow and authorize actions as normal. 
  • Cases on the manual conversion list are not adjusted until the cases are converted to FAMIS and an eligibility determination is completed.
 Notices

All EUs with an allotment that increases or does not change (except for EUs with a PAAP action) are sent a notice of case action (FA-150).  The notice informs EUs of the following:

  • the issuance amounts, deductions, and excess shelter maximum have increased, and
  • their food stamp allotment for October. 
EUs that are to be closed or with an allotment that decreases will receive an adverse action notice, for changes effective for November 2003, unless the adverse action is voided before it is authorized.  The notice informs EUs of the following: 
  • the issuance amounts, deductions, and excess shelter maximum have increased, and
  • the cumulative effect the mass adjustment changes, changes previously disregarded, or current changes have on the food stamp allotment for November. 
Staff may view the notices on the Document Queue (FMVM) screen.

FBCA

FBCA is not updated with the new information.  If a claim is being calculated for an overpayment that begins prior to 10/2000, use FBCA to determine the correct allotments for the months prior to 10/2000.  Use WIBCA to determine the correct allotments for 10/2000 and later.  If FBCA is used for 10/2003 and later, it will show incorrect allotments.

Policy Clarification for Address Changes

Effective immediately, if an EU reports a change of address, update the address in FAMIS, regardless of whether the EU is subject to simplified reporting or is a change reporting EU.   Updating the address is important in keeping Legacy and FAMIS systems in sync, facilitating interfaces with other agencies such as DWD, and ensuring correspondence such as replacement EBT cards are received by the EU.

If the EU is not subject to simplified reporting, ask if the EU incurs shelter expenses or has a change in shelter expenses.  Update any shelter expenses that are changed.  Record a comment on the Eligibility Unit Member Role (FM3Z) screen regarding the reported address change and that a change in shelter expenses was reported.  Use client statement as verification unless the new shelter expenses are questionable.  If questionable, record a comment on the Shelter Expense (FMXK) screen explaining why the shelter expenses are questionable.

If the EU is subject to simplified reporting and does not report a change in shelter expenses when the change of address is reported, do not ask if the EU incurs any shelter expenses or has a change in shelter expenses.  Continue to budget shelter costs determined at the certification or last action.  Record a comment on the Eligibility Unit Member Role (FM3Z) screen regarding the reported address change and that a change in shelter expenses was not reported.

Manual Revision

The Food Stamp Manual is revised online.  The revisions include:

  • updating the excess shelter maximum for non-elderly/disabled EUs, the standard utility allowance, the non-heating/cooling standard, and the standard deduction;
  • updating the 130% of FPL table and the 165% of FPL table;
  • FAMIS procedures for shelter expenses and actions to take for simplified reporting and non-simplified reporting EUs;
  • the policy clarification regarding address changes described above;
  • clarification of some policy and examples.
NECESSARY ACTION:
  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.
REM

IM-124
[ 2003 Memorandums ]
IM-126