Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Timeliness Standards

Revised: 

36.9

FAILURE TO MEET TIMELINESS STANDARD

Food Stamp Table of Contents

1240-1-17-.09

There are instances in which the caseworker will not have sufficient information to approve or deny a HH.  In such cases, action must be taken by the caseworker to determine the cause of the delay.  The following sections describe what must be done if timeliness standards are not met:

 

(1)   Criteria for Denial and Initial Action 

 

If the worker cannot make an eligibility determination within the 30 days and cannot deny the household as provided in Sections 1240-1-17-.07 and 1240-1-17-.08, the cause of the delay is determined and certain actions are taken to determine whether the delay was caused by the fault of the household or the county office.  The term “fault” is used only to determine the date from which pro-ration of the household’s benefits shall begin.

 

(2)   Determine Cause of the Delay 

 

Determine the cause of the delay using the following criteria:

 

(a)   Household Caused Delay 

 

The delay shall be considered the fault of the household if the household has failed to complete the application process when the caseworker has taken all the action he or she is required to take to assist the household.  The worker must have taken the action in 1240-1-17-.09 before a delay can be considered the fault of the household.

 

(b)   County Caused Delay 

 

A delay shall be considered the fault of the county office if the caseworker failed to take actions cited in Section 1240-1-17-.09.  Further, the fault is the county office’s if the household met its obligations in a timely manner but the county office failed to complete the application process by the 30th day.

 

(3)   Actions by the County Office

 

The caseworker must take the following actions, while the household fails to take the corresponding action for a delay to be caused by the household:

 

(a)   The caseworker must have offered, or attempted to offer, assistance in completion of the application for those households that have failed to complete the application form.

 

(b)   The caseworker must have informed the household of the need to register for work, and given the household at least 10 days from the date of notification to register a household member for work, if one or more members of the household have failed to register as required in 1240-1-3.

 

(c)    The caseworker must have assisted the household when necessary for the household to provide documentary evidence to support its income statement and questionable information.  The worker also must have allowed the household sufficient time prior to the 30th day of the application to provide the missing verification.  Sufficient time is at least 10 days from the date of the county office’s initial request for the particular verification that was missing.

 

(d)   The caseworker will give the household a written list of the information needed and the due date to provide the missing information, both verbally and in writing.  If the application has failed to provide the verification within 10 days of the caseworker’s request, the caseworker may deny the application after the 10th day.  The caseworker will:

 

·  document in the running record the discussion regarding the outstanding verification and

·  offer assistance in obtaining verification and provide help if requested.

 

When an application is denied after the tenth day for “failure to provide verification” (reason code 305), and the household provides the missing verification within the initial 30-day application processing period, the application must be reopened and benefits prorated from the date of application.

 

If the household provides the missing verification in the second 30-day period, the application must be reinstated and benefits will be provided from the date that the household furnished the verification, if eligible.

 

If the verification is provided within 60 days from the application date, the caseworker must act on the verification without requesting a new application.

 

(e)   The county office must have attempted to reschedule the initial interview within 30 days of the date the application was filed for all households that have failed to appear for an interview.  However, if the household has failed to appear for the first interview and a subsequent interview is postponed at the household’s request or cannot otherwise be rescheduled until the 20th day but before the 30th day following the date the application was filed, the household must appear for the interview, bring verification, and register members for work by the 30th day.  If the household has missed both scheduled interviews and requests another interview, any delay is then the fault of the household.

 

(f)     If the county office fails to assist the household, as required, in completing the application form or in obtaining documentary evidence to support its income or questionable information, fails to give the household sufficient time, or fails to timely schedule the required interviews, the fault is then the county’s.  If the county office fails to assist the household as required in obtaining verification of questionable expenses, do not delay processing the application. Certify the household without the expense and restore any lost benefits to the household upon receipt of the required information, if appropriate.

 

(g)   When the delay is the fault of the county, the household’s benefit level for the initial month of certification is based on the day of the month it filed its application for benefits.

 

(4)   Delays Caused by the Household

 

(a)   Benefit Entitlement

 

The household loses its entitlement to benefits if, by the 30th day following the date of application, the caseworker cannot take further action on the application due to the fault of the household.

 

(b)   Notifying the Household at End of 30 Days for Household Caused Delays

 

The caseworker will authorize denial and a denial notice will be generated through ACCENT to the household denying the application on the 30th day following the date it was filed.  The notice will advise the household of the verification needed to complete the application process and that the household should report any changes in circumstances. 

 

(c)    Reopening the Case After a Notice of Denial Is Sent

 

If a notice of denial is sent and the household takes the required action within 60 days of the date the application was filed, the worker will reopen the case without requiring a new application.

 

(d)   Further Action by County After Notice of Denial Is Sent

 

No further action by the caseworker is required after the notice of denial is sent.         

 

(e)   Providing Benefits

 

The household is not entitled to benefits for the month of application when the delay was the fault of the household.  The caseworker will provide benefits prorated from the day of the month that the applicant/recipient took the action or provided the information required to complete the application process if, during the second 30-day period, the household is found to be eligible.

 

(f)     Delays Caused by the County in Initial 30 Days

 

Whenever a delay in the initial 30-day period is the fault of the county, the caseworker will take immediate corrective action.  A notice of denial cannot be sent for county-caused delays.

 

(g)   Pending Application

 

The caseworker will not deny the application if the delay was caused by the county, but instead will notify the household by the 30th day after the application was filed that its application is being held pending.  The worker also will notify the household of any action it must take or outstanding verification that must be provided to complete the application process. 

 

(h)   Action Taken During Second 30 Days

 

If the county caused the delay during the first 30 days, and the household is found to be eligible during the second 30-day period, the household shall be entitled to benefits retroactive to the day it filed its application for benefits.  If, however, the household is found to be ineligible, the caseworker shall deny the application.

 

(5)   Delays Beyond 60 Days

 

(a)   County Caused Delay - All Information Received

 

If the county is at fault for not completing the application process by the end of the second thirty-day period, and all the information necessary to complete the application has been received, the caseworker must continue to process the original application until an eligibility determination is made.  If the household is determined eligible and the county was at fault for the delay in the initial 30 days, the household must receive its initial benefits retroactive to the day of the month it applied for benefits.

 

(b)   County Caused Delay - Information Incomplete

 

If the county is at fault for not completing the application process by the end of the second 30-day period (60 days) but the case is not complete enough to reach an eligibility determination, the caseworker should deny the case and notify the household to file a new application unless the original application can be processed immediately and the household notified of the action that will be taken.

 

(c)    Household Caused Delay in Second Thirty Days

 

If the household is at fault for not completing the application process by the end of the second 30-day period, the caseworker shall deny the application and require the household to file a new application if it wishes to participate.

 

Glossary of Terms

http://vipsandbox.nash.tenn/vip/html/help/navlink-previous.gif

Food Stamp Table of Contents

http://vipsandbox.nash.tenn/vip/html/help/navlink-next.gif