Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Verification Procedures

Revised: 

35.1

INTRODUCTION

Food Stamp Table of Contents

1240-1-16.01

(1)   Verification is the process of confirming or substantiating information provided by the applicant/recipient.

 

Any decision made before the end of the standard of promptness period must be based on a clear-cut determination of eligibility or ineligibility.

 

For a finding of ineligibility, the caseworker may render a decision based on the household’s unverified statement.  For example, a household reporting resources over the program’s resource limit would be determined ineligible.  However, to render a decision of eligibility, the worker must be able to make a firm determination of eligibility based on verified points of eligibility.  Therefore, the verification process is central to the caseworker’s ability to certify a household for benefits.  If there is any doubt of eligibility, the caseworker must resolve it using the best available evidence including documentary evidence, collateral contacts, and home visits. 

 

The client’s written declaration of the facts can be accepted as verification when:

 

·        the household has tried, without success, to obtain the needed verification; and

·        the counselor has exhausted all means of securing documentary evidence, without success; and

·        the documents needed are other than those required by another agency, as in enumeration.

 

The record must be documented showing the efforts that have been made and the results.

 

The purpose of verification is to establish as accurately as possible that the household meets defined eligibility criteria, and that the benefit amounts for the programs in which assistance is requested are correct.

 

The three sources of acceptable verification, which will be discussed in greater detail later in this chapter are: documentary evidence (e.g., wage stubs, bills, birth certificates), collateral contacts (e.g., neighbors, landlords, friends, ministers, schools), and home visits.

 

(2)   Documentation

 

Documentation is the recording in the case record of the facts that led to the caseworker’s determination of eligibility or ineligibility in sufficient detail to permit any reviewer of the case record to determine the reasonableness and accuracy of the determination.

 

The following notations must be made in the case file:

 

Documentary Evidence:

 

·        record the title or type of document, document number, date of document, date seen, and contents.

 

Collateral Contacts:

 

·        date of contact type (written, face-to-face, telephone);

·        name of collateral contact;

·        relationship of the collateral contact to the HH/AG (how this person is in a position to know the facts); and

·        information secured from the collateral contact (not Mrs. G. verified A/R’s statement).

 

Home Visits:

 

·        the date the home visit was scheduled and the date it was made;

·        why the home visit was made; and

·        the information obtained during the home visit.

 

The client’s written declaration of the facts can be accepted as verification when:

 

·        the HH/AG has tried, without success, to obtain the needed verification; and

·        the counselor has exhausted all means of securing documentary evidence, without success; and

·        the documents needed are other than those required by another agency, as in enumeration.

 

The record must be documented showing the efforts that have been made and the results.

 

Proper documentation and accurate verification are crucial in determining eligibility.  The Caseworker must obtain adequate verification for all required items at application, reported changes, and at recertifications to assure that eligibility and amount of benefits have been correctly determined.  All factors pertinent to the case must be fully documented on CLRC in ACCENT.  

 

Documentation provides a full explanation of the eligibility decisions reached.  This is especially important if the applicant/recipient, Legal Services, Quality Control or anyone else who may be looking into the case questions a decision.  It also allows caseworker assigned to a case to understand the household’s circumstances and the benefit determinations that have been made.  Good, strong documentation also helps to support the county’s action in an appeal or a Quality Control review.

 

Glossary of Terms

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