|TO:||ALL COUNTY OFFICES|
|FROM:||JANEL R. LUCK, DIRECTOR|
The weekend of September 1, 2007, the October food stamp mass adjustments will occur. This memorandum addresses the following issues related to the mass adjustment:
- Increased Allotments, Maximums, and Deductions;
- Update Process;
- Decreased Benefits or Case Closings;
- Conflict of Actions;
- Cases not Adjusted;
- Manual Revisions;
- IM-4 Eat for Health.
The following changes will be 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 $143 for EUs with four members, $167 for EUs with five members, and $191 for EUs with six or more members;
the non-heating/cooling standard (NHCS) is increased to $147;
the excess shelter expense maximum for EUs without an elderly/disabled member is increased to $431; and
- the 165% of FPL maximums are increased. These maximums are used to determine if an EU whose members are elderly, live with others, and are unable to purchase and prepare food due to a disability, are eligible as separate EUs for food stamp benefits. The Food Stamp Manual section 1105.015.00 is updated with the new chart.
The Food Stamp Budget Summary (FM4A) screen and the Worker Initiated Budget Calculation Area - WIBCA (FMXN) are updated with the new amounts for October 2007 budgets effective September 1, 2007. While the updates are being completed, FAMIS will be in inquiry mode only and no actions can be taken until September 4, 2007.
After the eligibility determination is run during the mass adjustment, the following actions on active food stamp cases may be displayed in FAMIS, depending on the action taken during the mass adjustment:
if the benefits are increased, the EU Action Log (FM40) displays the action INCR, action date of September 1, 2007, and benefit month 102007;
if there is no change to the benefits, the EU Action Log (FM40) displays the action NOCH, action date September 1, 2007, and the benefit month 102007; and
- if there is a decrease in benefits or closing, the EU Action Log (FM40) displays the action AABR for a reduction and AACL for a closing, action date September 1, 2007, and the benefit month 102007. For more information regarding EUs whose benefits decrease or cases close, refer to the Decreased Benefits or Case Closings section of this memorandum.
The reason field on the Action Authorization (FM3H) screen displays TUA - Table Update Adjustments (system) for the mass adjustment. To inquire why an action is taken, on the EU Action Log (FM40), select the action, and press F17=INQAUTH. The Action Authorization (FM3H) screen appears. Press F19=REASON. The reason code and the code description appear. After payroll closing on September 21, 2007, the Payment History (FM5F) screen displays the appropriate allotment for each EU.
Some EUs receive adverse actions to decrease benefits or close the EU after the mass adjustment. This happens 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. There will be no 10 day waiting period prior to authorization of the adverse action, as this is a change that must not be disregarded.
An FA-510 Adverse Action notice will be sent to the EU notifying them of the proposed reduction or closing action.
FAMIS adjusts active food stamp cases during the mass adjustment even if the case has a pending adverse action. If there is a pending adverse action when the mass adjustment is completed, there is a conflict of actions. The eligibility specialist receives the alert “Adverse Action Needs Resolving”. Void the adverse action and process the mass adjustment adverse action following these steps:
void the first (pending) adverse action on the Action Resolution (FM50 or ACTRES) screen,
complete the eligibility determination on the Eligibility Determination Resolution screen (FM3Y or EDRES), and
- authorize the new action, even if the action is a benefit reduction or closing.
Refer to FAMIS user guide Changing an Adverse Action Status for instructions.
Some cases cannot be adjusted during the mass adjustment. The cases are either pending applications or pending changes that require the eligibility specialist to take an action. When the eligibility specialist completes the appropriate action, the case will be automatically adjusted.
Expedited EUs that are active with postponed verification (APV status).
Any EU with an incomplete eligibility determination, such as a change entered but the eligibility determination resolution is not run, or there is insufficient data (ISD).
- Any EU in the controlled flow.
FAMIS sets food-stamp-only EUs in recertification application controlled flow to RTA status on the EU Action Log (FM40). However, FAMIS does not authorize these actions. The eligibility specialist must complete the controlled flow and authorize actions during the normal process.
If an application is pending in the controlled flow for Temporary Assistance or Child Care, FAMIS sets the food stamp action to RTA status on the EU Action Log (FM40). FAMIS does not authorize these actions during the mass adjustment. When the eligibility specialist completes the controlled flow, the correct determination is made for food stamp benefits.
If the MA case is in the controlled flow including the conversion controlled flow, the active food stamp case is adjusted.
An unacceptable or blank verification code is entered for a program element.
EXAMPLE: The Income Amount (FMX3) screen has a blank verification code for income.
During the mass adjustment, FAMIS sets the status to PEN (Pending) for the case until the eligibility specialist enters an acceptable form of verification. The eligibility specialist receives the alert “Action Not Authorized”.
If no action is taken by the eligibility specialist, FAMIS will send an FA-510 Adverse Action notice to reduce or close as appropriate, as the unacceptable or blank verification code has not been resolved. Take the following actions to correct these cases.
Review the case file. If the verification is provided, update the verification code, run an Eligibility Determination Resolution (FM3Y or EDRES) and authorize the action. If the verification is not provided or requested, complete the steps below to request verification.
Type OUTVERF on the command line and press enter. The Outstanding Verification (FM3M) screen is displayed.
Select the outstanding verification, press F23=PRINT.
Press F17=DOCQUE. The FA-325 Request for Information appears with RDPRT (ready to print).
Tab to the FA-325, type “P” on the Com line and press F23=PRNT. The FA-325 Request for Information is printed locally.
Mail the FA-325 to the EU to request the verification.
- Once verification is received, update FAMIS with the verification and complete an eligibility determination.
All EUs with an allotment that increases or does not change are sent an FA-150 Action Notice. The notices are dated 09/14/07 to allow for mail processing. The notice informs EUs of the following:
the issuance amounts, deductions, excess shelter maximum, and utility standard have increased, and
- their food stamp allotment for October.
EUs with cases that are closing or with an allotment decrease will receive an FA-510 Adverse Action notice, for changes effective for October 2007. The notice informs EUs of the following:
the issuance amounts, deductions, and excess shelter maximum have increased; and
- the cumulative effect of the mass adjustment changes, changes previously disregarded, or effect of current changes have on the food stamp allotment for October.
Staff may view the notices on the Document Queue (FMVM) screen.
The Food Stamp Manual is revised online. The revisions include:
updating the excess shelter maximum for non-elderly/disabled EUs (Section 1115.035.25);
updating the standard deduction (Section 1115.035.05);
- updating the non-heating/cooling standard (Section 1115.035.25.15).
The following charts are revised on the Intranet:
- Food Stamp Program Changes Flyer;
- Simplified Reporting Requirements ;
- Standards History Chart;
- Food Stamp Basis of Issuance Tables; and
- Manually Calculating a Food Stamp Budget .
The IM-4FS Eat for Health pamphlet is being revised to reflect the October 2007 changes. An initial distribution will be sent to the county offices. Upon receipt, destroy/recycle all versions of the pamphlet with a revision date prior to 09/07. The pamphlet will be available in the Forms Manual on the Intranet. The revised pamphlet will also be available on the Internet for individuals who access the site to read about the Food Stamp Program.
- Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.