M E M O R A N D U M

IM-87  06/29/99  FOOD STAMP BENEFIT ISSUANCE UPDATE


SUBJECT:
FOOD STAMP BENEFIT ISSUANCE UPDATE

   FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #16:

   Section 1150.000.00, page 1150-1
   Section 1150.010.00, pages 1150-1-2
   Section 1150.010.05, page 1150-2
   Section 1150.010.10, page 1150-3
   Section 1150.015.00, page 1150-3-4
   Section 1150.015.05, page 1150-4

 
DISCUSSION:
The Food Stamp Manual Section discussing benefit issuance has been updated.  The revision removes references to coupons, Authorization to Participate (ATP) cards, Direct Mail Issuance (DMI), and Direct Delivery Issuance (DDI) for delivery purposes.

The remainder of the section is revised to reflect EBT language.  The revision also includes a discussion of the correct policy and forms to use when replacing or requesting replacement of food stamp benefits.

Upon receipt of this memorandum, file the manual revision in the hard copy of the IMNL Food Stamp Manual.

 
NECESSARY ACTION:
  • Review this memorandum with all appropriate staff.

  •  
  • File the manual revision in the hard copy of the IMNL Food Stamp Manual.
REM
Distribution #3

[ Memorandum Table of Contents ]


 
1150.000.00  BENEFIT ISSUANCE
IM-#87  June 29, 1999

Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) is the method by which certified households receive/use food stamp benefits.  Refer to Section 0150.000.00 of the General Chapter in IMNL.
 

1150.005.00    USING FOOD STAMP BENEFITS

The household may use its food stamp benefits in any grocery store, anywhere in the United States, authorized by FNS to accept them.  The benefits may be used the same as cash to purchase any food or food product prepared for human consumption.  Benefits cannot be used to purchase alcoholic beverages, tobacco, soap and paper products, and hot foods or hot foods prepared for immediate consumption.  Benefits may also be used to buy seeds and plants for use in gardens to produce food for personal consumption by the eligible household.  Under certain conditions, members of an eligible household who are 60 years of age or over and their spouses may use food stamp benefits to pay for home-delivered meals and other meals prepared especially for elderly persons.

Food stamp benefits cannot be used for any eligible food purchased prior to the time at which benefits are presented to authorized food stores or meal service.  Neither are benefits used to pay for any eligible food in advance of the receipt of food, except when prior payment is for food purchased from a non-profit cooperative food purchasing venture.

When transacting food stamp benefits by EBT, the household CANNOT receive change.
 

1150.010.00    REPLACEMENT ISSUANCES
IM-#87  June 29, 1999

Replace food stamp benefits when:

 1. the food stamp benefits are used by an individual without the household’s permission after the EBT card is reported as lost or stolen; or

 2. the benefit security card (EBT) and personal identification number (PIN) are stolen prior to receipt and benefits are lost; or

 3. food purchased with food stamp benefits is destroyed in a household misfortune (fire, flood, tornado, or other devastating event beyond the household’s control); or

 4. the food stamp benefits are accessed by an individual

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  without the household’s permission using a manual voucher transaction.
Do not provide replacements when:
 
 1. food stamp benefits on the EBT card are used by anyone residing with or visiting the household;

 2. benefits are lost prior to the report of a lost or stolen EBT card after receipt of the EBT card;

 3. the household or its authorized representative did not sign and return the required forms within ten days of reporting the loss; or

 4. available documentation indicates the household’s request appears to be fraudulent.


Inform the household that it can appeal a denial or delay of a replacement issuance.  However, no replacement can be made while the denial or delay is being appealed.

If a hearing reverses a replacement denial, the Food Assistance Program Unit is responsible for issuing the replacement when it receives a copy of the hearing decision.
 

1150.010.05      Forms Used for Replacement of Food Stamp Benefits
IM-#87  June 29, 1999

The IM-110 form, titled "Statement of Loss/Replacement Request (Household Misfortune)", is used to provide a statement of loss of food purchased with food stamp benefits destroyed in a household misfortune.  The county office makes the determination regarding the amount of food stamp benefits to replace and enters the FISU replacement request using the reason code "L".  The original form is filed in the case record.  A copy is sent to the Food Assistance Program Office in Central Office.

The IM-113 form, titled "Replacement Request/Affidavit for Food Stamp Benefits Lost from an EBT Account", is used when:

  • a report of a lost or stolen EBT card is made, and

  •  
  • benefits are subsequently lost from the EBT account due to failure of the agency to take prompt action, or

  •  
  • the food stamp benefits are accessed by an individual without the household’s permission using a manual voucher transaction.
The Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit in Central Office makes the determination regarding replacement for benefits lost from an EBT

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account.  The original and one copy is sent to the Food Stamp Program and Policy Unit.  The other copy is filed in the case record.  Upon notification from Food Stamp Program and Policy that a benefit is to be replaced, the Food Assistance Program Unit enters a FISU replacement using a code "W".
 

1150.010.10      Benefit Replacement Restrictions
IM-#87  June 29, 1999

1. The form to report a loss must be received by the county office within ten days of the date the loss is reported.  Consider a form timely if the tenth day falls on a weekend or holiday and the form is received the day after the weekend or holiday.

2. Limit the amount of a replacement issuance to the amount of benefits lost from EBT card.

3. Limit the amount of a replacement issuance to one month’s allotment for loss due to a household misfortune.  If the issuance to be replaced includes restored benefits, replace the entire benefit amount, if appropriate.

 NOTE:  For any loss requiring a loss report form, the claimant must provide the completed form within ten days of the initial report of loss or the replacement must be denied.
 

1150.010.15      Time Limits for Replacements

Process replacement issuances within ten days after the report of loss or within two working days of receiving the signed loss report form, whichever date is later.
 

1150.015.00    RETURNED COUPONS/EXCHANGED COUPONS
IM-#87  June 29, 1999

Unused coupons may be returned when coupons are found and the owner is unknown.  Some participants may have unused coupons and wish to return/exchange them for reasons shown below.

1. Ensure the person who returns the coupons signs the FNS-135 and provide him/her with a copy.

2. Void all partial coupon books and loose coupons.  Do not void full coupon books. 

3. Send the original FNS-135 and the coupons designated on the FNS-135 to:  Food Assistance Program Unit, P.O. Box 310, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0310.

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 Do not return coupons in an envelope with the regular state office mail.

 If coupons mailed total $999 or less, send by certified mail.  If coupons mailed total $1,000 or more, send by registered mail.

4. For returned coupons, the Food Assistance Program Unit either destroys the returned coupons or returns them to the Food and Nutrition Service.
 

1150.015.05      Reasons for Exchanging Coupons
IM-#87  June 29, 1999

A participating household may return unused coupons in exchange for benefits added to an EBT account:

 1. when the book cover is lost;

 2. when coupons received by a household are subsequently mutilated (shredded by a pet, washed through the laundry, etc.).

  NOTE:  Replace mutilated coupons when at least 3/5 of the coupon is submitted.  Do not replace until a determination of the value of the coupons is made.

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