MEMORANDUM

2013 Memorandums

IM-#80      09/10/13

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT DIVISION
P.O. BOX 2320
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI
TO:
ALL COUNTY OFFICES
FROM:
ALYSON CAMPBELL, DIRECTOR
SUBJECT:
OCTOBER FOOD STAMP MASS ADJUSTMENT
FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #36

1105.015.04.05

1115.035.05

1115.035.25

1115.035.25.15

1115.099.00

DISCUSSION:

The weekend of September 7, 2013, the October Food Stamp mass adjustment and the November Food Stamp allotment decrease mass adjustment will occur. A separate memorandum will be sent regarding the November mass adjustment. This memorandum addresses the following issues related to the October mass adjustment:

Increased Maximums, Utility Standards, and Deductions

The following changes are made during the mass adjustment:

 

Allotments

No Change

 

Standard Deduction

1 – 3 members       $152

4 members              $163

5 members             $191

6+ members          $219

 

Utility Standards

 SUA                       $318

 NHCS                     $239

          LUA                       $ 88         

TELEPHONE          $ 29

Excess Shelter Deduction $478

Gross (130%) Maximum Increased
Net (100%) Maximum Increased
FPL (165%) Maximum* 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 1105.015.04.05 is updated with the new chart.

Update Process

The Food Stamp Budget Summary (FSBUDSUM/FM4A) screen and Worker Initiated Budget Calculation Area – WIBCA (FMXN) are updated with the new amounts for October 2013 budgets effective September 7, 2013. While the updates are being completed, FAMIS is unavailable and no actions can be taken until September 9, 2013.

After the mass adjustment eligibility determination is completed, the following actions may be displayed on active Food Stamp cases in FAMIS on the EU Action Log (EULOG/FM40) screen, to show the action taken during the mass adjustment:

 

Action

 

EU Log (FM40) Displays

 

Date

 

Benefit Month

Increase

INCR

09/07/13

102013

No Change

NOCH

09/07/13

102013

Decrease

REDU

09/07/13

102013

Decrease – previously disregarded action

AABR

09/07/13

102013

Closing – previously disregarded action

AACL

09/07/13

102013

To inquire why an action is taken, from the EU Action Log (FM40) screen, select the action by typing S in the SEL field, and press F17=INQAUTH. The Action Authorization (FM3H) screen appears. Press F19=REASON. The reason code and the code description appear. The reason field on the Action Authorization (FM3H) screen for the October mass adjustment displays:

NOTE: The reason field on the Action Authorization (FM3H) screen for November displays FSA – Food Stamp ARRA Increase Ending (system) for the November adjustment. A separate memorandum is being issued on the November decrease due to the ending of benefit increases provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

After payroll closing the Payment History (PAYHIST/FM5F) screen displays the appropriate allotment for each EU.

Increased Benefits

Food Stamp cases which have an individual as member role included (IC) with reason code duplicate participation (DPA) may get an increase in benefits. This happens during the mass adjustment when the case where the individual is currently active is closing in September or October. The system will automatically add them to the case where they are showing as member role IC with reason code DPA. If the household the where individual was active reapplies for benefits, the system will reject the individual due to DPA. The issue needs to be resolved by verifying with which household the person resides.

If the person is in the reapplying household, they must be removed from the active case by ending them on the Supercase Residential Maintenance (INHOME/FM0L) screen. Once the adverse action expires on the active case, an eligibility determination resolution (EDRES) must be completed on the reapplying household.

If the person is no longer in the reapplying household, the Purchase and Prepare question on the Application Detail screen must be changed to N before the person can be ended on the (INHOME/FM0L) screen. 

These cases can be identified by viewing the EU Action Log (EULOG/FM40) screen; the action prior to the increase (INCR) will show reinstating a person (RNPR).

Decrease Benefits or Case Closings

Any remaining cases in FAMIS with disregarded changes will be acted on during the mass adjustment. EUs with disregarded changes will receive an FA-510 Adverse Action Notice to decrease benefits or close the case after the mass adjustment. 

EUs that have an allotment decrease without previously disregarded actions will receive an FA-150 Claimant Action Notice.

Conflict of Actions

FAMIS adjusts active Food Stamp cases during the mass adjustment even if the case has a pending adverse action. A conflict of action is created if there is a pending adverse action when the mass adjustment is completed. The alert "Adverse Action Needs Resolving" is sent to the eligibility specialist. Void the adverse action and process the mass adjustment adverse action following these steps:

Refer to FAMIS user guide Changing An Adverse Action Status for instructions.

Cases Not Adjusted

Pending applications and cases with pending changes cannot be adjusted during the mass adjustment and require the eligibility specialist to take the action. When the eligibility specialist completes the appropriate action, the case will be automatically adjusted. The following are examples of cases not adjusted:

If an application for Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance, or Child Care is pending in the controlled flow, FAMIS sets the Food Stamps to RTA (Ready To Authorize) status on the EU Action Log (FM40). FAMIS does not authorize these actions during the mass adjustment. The eligibility specialist must complete the controlled flow and authorize actions following the normal process. If the MO HealthNet application is in the controlled flow, the active Food Stamp case is adjusted.

EXAMPLE: The Income Amount (FMX3) screen does not show a verification code for income (VER field is blank).

During the mass adjustment, FAMIS sets the status to PEN (Pending) and produces an FA-325 Request for Verification form giving the Food Stamp eligibility unit (EU) 10 days to provide the needed verification. The FA-325 can be printed and given to the individual the same day. If not printed it will be mail to the Food Stamp EU in the overnight batch process. The eligibility specialist receives the alert "Action Not Authorized".

If no action is taken, FAMIS sends a FA-510, Adverse Action Notice to reduce benefits or close the case, as appropriate, because the unacceptable or blank verification code has not been resolved. Take the following actions to correct these cases:

Notices

All EUs with an allotment that increases are sent an FA-150 Action Notice. EUs with cases that have an allotment decrease without previously disregarded action will receive an FA-150 Claimant Notice. The notices are dated September 26, 2013 to allow for mail processing. The notice informs EU of the following:

NOTE: The notices will also contain a paragraph regarding changes to participants' November issuance. A separate memorandum is being issued regarding the November decrease due to the ending of benefit increases provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). 

EUs with cases that are closing or with an allotment decrease as a result of previously disregarded action will receive an FA-510 Adverse Action Notice dated September 9, 2013, for changes effective for October 2013. The notice informs EUs of the following:

Staff may view the notices on the Document Queue (DOCQUE/FMVM) screen in FAMIS.

Fair Hearing Request

If the EU requests a fair hearing for the Food Stamp Program, see Income Maintenance Memorandum IM-65 dated October 26, 2011 for procedures for processing the hearing request. It is important to send all Agency evidence to the Hearings Unit as soon as possible. Do not wait until a few days before the hearing to send the evidence.

For a request for fair hearing due to the mass adjustment, evidence may include, but is not limited to, these items:

NOTE: When a fair hearing is requested while an FA-510 adverse action is pending, the EU has the option to continue to receive the current level of benefits pending the hearing results.  If the EU chooses to continue receiving benefits at the current level, the pending adverse action is placed on hold (HOL).  To place an adverse action on hold due to a hearing request follow instructions found in User Guide Changing An Adverse Action Status.

NOTE: If taking actions on cumulative changes, it is necessary to include notices and budgets from the previous actions.

Provide a copy of the evidence to the EU asking for the hearing, and their legal representative, and schedule a pre-hearing conference. If the EU designates an attorney or authorized representative for the hearing, send a copy of all notices and evidence for the hearing to the EU and the designated individual.

NOTE: See MANUALLY CALCULATING A FOOD STAMP BUDGET to be prepared to testify on how the benefit amount was determined.

Manual Revisions

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

The following information is revised on the Intranet:

NECESSARY ACTION:

JM


2013 Memorandums