Listed below are definitions of some terms frequently used in the Tennessee Department of Human Services Family Assistance Manual.  These definitions are specific for the Food Stamps/AFDC Programs.  Other terms unique to the two programs may not be defined here, but should be read in the context of the instructions/policies given in the various volumes of the manual.



Absent Wage Earner


An absent wage earner is an employed individual who temporarily resides away from the home because work related travel, or distance from the employment site prevents the individual’s living in the home.

 Adequate Child Care


Adequate child care exists only when another responsible person lives in the home with the student and is able, and available, to care for the child. For this purpose, a responsible person is someone who is mentally and physically capable of providing child care for the household.


If the student must obtain child care outside the home, adequate child care does not exist.

Administrative Law Judge      


Administrative Law Judges are a part of the Office of the Secretary of State in Tennessee and hear appeals and make decisions on Family Assistance Program issues at various locations within the state, including Johnson City, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Nashville, Jackson and Memphis



An appeal is a procedure for bringing grievances, which cannot be resolved in the local office to the State Office for a hearing.



An appellant is an individual who is dissatisfied with an action of the Department in regard to the furnishing or denial of assistance and who, as a result, is requesting a fair hearing before the State Office.

Assistance Unit (AU)


The Assistance Unit is composed of all the people whose needs are included in one AFDC budget. For the purpose of budgeting one person may be an aid group.

Allotment or Coupon Allotment


Allotment or Coupon Allotment is the total value of food coupons a household is authorized to receive during each month or other time period.

Alternate Payee


(a)   An alternate payee is a person who is temporarily designated to receive and expend an AFDC check when the grantee-payee relative is not available to do so.


(b)   The alternate payee is expected to act for the grantee-payee relative in relation to the child. That is, he is expected to see to it that the child has shelter, food, clothing and adequate supervision during the emergency period.


(c)    The alternate payee may be related or unrelated to the child. He may be living in the same home with the child or apart from the child if he is carrying out his responsibilities of acting for the grantee-payee relative.


(d)   Since the alternate payee must act for the grantee-payee relative he must be someone who can fulfill this requirement such as a relative, concerned neighbor or friend. Therefore, employees of the Department and institutions may not be designated alternate payee.



An applicant is a person who has submitted a completed and signed document prescribed by DHS requesting AFDC for children in his care, and/or a form approved by FNS containing at least a legible name, address and a signature to request Food Stamps for the household of which he is a member.


(b)  An authorized representative or designated agent may actually file the application provided they have been authorized to do so by the head of the household, spouse, or other responsible household member.

Applicant Relative


An applicant relative is a specific relative who applies for AFDC for a child or children in his care.

Application or Application Form


An application is a form prescribed by DHS and/or approved by FNS containing prescribed information which is submitted to the County Office of the DHS by a person requesting assistance, or by the person’s legally appointed guardian, designated agent or authorized representative. For food stamp purposes, an initial application is the first month for which the household applies for participation, following any period during which the household was not certified for participation in the Food Stamp Program.

Authorization to Participate Card (ATP)


Authorization to Participate Card (ATP) is a document which is issued by the Tennessee Department of Human Services to a certified household to show the Food Stamp allotment the household is authorized to receive on presentation of such document.

Authorized Representative


An authorized representative is the person designated by the head of the household, spouse, or other responsible household member for making application for Food Stamps including participation in the interview, obtaining coupons, or using the coupons. Also, an authorized representative is an employee of a private treatment and rehabilitation program which must be certified by the designated state agency. This employee shall act in the treatment center patient’s behalf of making application for Food Stamps, receiving and/or spending the coupons. (See Designated Agent -- AFDC).





(a)   Food Stamps. Individuals to whom a household furnishes lodging and meals with the following restrictions:


1.   Boarder status shall not be granted to a spouse, as defined in Number (77) of 1240-1-8-.01, of a member of the household, or to children under 18 years of age under the parental control of a member of the household, or to either parents living with their children or children living with their parents, unless at least one parent is 60 years of age or older.

2.   Boarder status shall not be extended to persons paying less than a reasonable monthly payment for meals. An individual furnished both meals and lodging by the household, but paying compensation less than a reasonable amount, will be considered a member of the household which provides the meals and lodging.


(b)  AFDC. A boarder is a person who lives as a member of a family, but who pays a fee for this privilege. His/her board rate covers his/her portion of mutual living expenses and his/her food. Any profit a family or HH/AG realizes from a boarder belongs to the person or the HH/AG including the person to whom he/she pays board.

Boarding House


A boarding house is an establishment which is licensed as a commercial enterprise which offers meals and lodging for compensation. In counties without licensing requirements, a boarding house shall be defined as a commercial establishment which offers meals and lodging for compensation with the intention of making profit. See Section 1240-1-2-.02-(4)-(a).





A caretaker for AFDC purposes is a specific relative of a child who is providing a home for the child, exercising primary responsibility for the care and control of the child, is in need according to Department standards, is not an SSI beneficiary and wishes to be included in the AFDC aid group. A caretaker is counted statistically as an AFDC recipient and an allowance is made for the caretaker in the AFDC grant.

Categorically Resource Eligible


Resources of a household member, in a Mixed Household, who receives or is authorized to receive AFDC and/or SSI. These resources are not used to calculate the household’s total resources.

Certification Period


A certification period is an assigned period of time during which a household is eligible and certified to receive Food Stamp benefits.

Child Caring Institution


A child caring institution is an institution which provides twenty-four hour care to more than 12 children.

Communal Dining Facility


A communal dining facility is a public or non-profit private establishment, approved by FNS, which prepares or serves meals for elderly persons, or for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, and their spouses.



A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by an applicant or recipient with action taken, or    the failure to take action, by the local office or a Service Center of the Department of Human Services.  A complaint as an expression of dissatisfaction is one that is not yet lodged in a request for a fair hearing and that retains the possibility that it can be resolved in a conference.



A complainant is an applicant or recipient, or individual acting in behalf of the applicant or recipient, who initiates expressed dissatisfaction with action taken by DHS staff in relation to assistance for which the client has applied or which he is receiving.



Conciliation is a review of the issue under appeal between the appellant and the Conciliation Unit in the Division of Appeals and Hearings in the State Office.  Conciliation Unit staff will make the initial determination as to whether the appeal was filed timely and whether the issue is subject to appeal.  They will acknowledge the appeal that has been filed and will determine if the case action at issue was appropriate.  If the case requires correction, Conciliation staff will make the correction, whenever possible.  Otherwise, they will notify the appropriate county staff and specify the correction(s) needed.  If Conciliation Unit staff is successful in resolving the issue with the appellant, they will mail the appellant a Resolution Letter, along with a copy of a Withdrawal form.  If Conciliation Unit staff is unable to resolve the issue with the client, the appeal must be forwarded to the Case Preparation Unit to prepare for a hearing.  Staff will authorize continuation/reinstatement of benefits if appropriate, pending an appeal.



A conference is a discussion of the grievance between the complainant and county office staff in an effort to resolve the complaint.


It is mandatory that a conference be offered to a Food Stamp household, which wishes to contest a denial of expedited service.



Dependent Child (AFDC Only)


The term “dependent child” means a needy child (1) who has been deprived of parental support or care by reason of the death, continued absence from the home (other than absence occasioned solely by reason of the performance of active duty in the uniformed services of the United States), or physical or mental incapacity of a parent, and who is living with his father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, or niece, in a place of residence maintained by one or more of such relatives as his or their own home, and (2) who is (A) under the age of eighteen, or (B) at the option of the State, under the age of nineteen and a full-time student in a secondary school (or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training), if, before he attains age nineteen, he may reasonably be expected to complete the program of such secondary school [or such training].

Deferred Student Loan


A loan for educational expenses for which repayment is deferred until education is completed.

Designated Agent


A person named by an individual requesting AFDC to act for him in filing an application, gathering required information, representing him at a fair hearing, etc. The designated agent acts for the applicant/recipient in such matters but cannot receive/expend the person’s AFDC unless he is also the person’s legally appointed guardian or has been named alternate/protective payee.



(a)   FS (Work Registration) An individual having mental or physical impairment which renders him or her incapable of gainful employment either permanently or temporarily will be exempt from work registration requirements for the Food Stamp Program.


(b)   FS (Disability for Entitlement to Special Consideration Regarding Medical Deductions, Excess Shelter Deductions, Use of Net Income Standards, and Separate Household Status for Parent/Child and Siblings) An individual is considered disabled if he or she meets any of the following and will be eligible for special income and deduction considerations when determining food stamp eligibility and allotment amounts:


(1)   receives payments for disability or blindness under Titles I, II, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act;

(2)   receives federally, or state administered supplemental benefits under section 212(a) of Public Law 93-66;

(3)   receives disability retirement benefits from a governmental agency because of a disability considered permanent under section 221(i) of the Social Security Act;

(4)   is a veteran receiving VA benefits for a service or non-service connected disability rated or paid as total, or is considered by VA standards to be in need of regular aid and attendance, or considered permanently housebound;

(5)   is a disabled surviving spouse of a veteran and is considered by VA standards to be in need of regular aid and attendance or is permanently housebound;

(6)   is a disabled surviving child of a veteran and is considered by VA standards to be permanently incapable of self-support;

(7)   is a surviving spouse or child of a veteran and entitled to VA compensation for a service connected death or VA pension benefits for a non-service connected death and has a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act;


Note:  “Entitled” as used in this definition refers to surviving spouses and children of veterans who are receiving the compensation or benefits stated above, or have been approved for such payments but are not receiving them.


(8)   receives an annuity payment under section 2(a)(1)(iv) of Railroad Retirement Act of 1984 and is determined to be eligible to receive Medicare by the Railroad Retirement Board;

(9)   receives an annuity payment under section 2(a)(i)(v) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1984 and is determined to be disabled based on the criteria used under Title XVI of the Social Security Act (SSI);

(10)  receives interim or presumptive payments pending receipt of SSI; or

(11)  receives medical assistance based on disability under title XIX (Medicid).


(c)    FS (Disability for Determining Eligibility of Separate Household Status of Elderly Individuals Living With Others and Not Purchasing Food and Preparing Meals Separately from Others) Disability for this purpose is defined as a disability considered permanent under the Social Security Act or any other non-disease related, severe permanent disability which would prevent the individuals from purchasing and preparing their own food.


(d)   AFDC (Incapacity) A mental and/or physical condition, total or partial, permanent or temporary, which is of such a debilitating nature as to reduce substantially, or eliminate the parents ability to support or care for the otherwise/eligible child and can be expected to last for a period of at least 30 days.



Documents in substantiation of a client’s statements about factors of eligibility – documentary evidence.

Drug Addiction and Alcoholic Treatment and Rehabilitation Center


A treatment program certified by the appropriate State Agency of the State of Tennessee as a bona fide treatment program and conducted by a private, non-profit organization or institution or a publicly operated community health center. Residents of such programs may apply for Food Stamp Program benefits with an authorized representative employed by the treatment program acting as the authorized representative for all applicant households.



Earned Income


That total income which an A/R earns by his own efforts; either salary, wages or commissions paid to him as an employee, or profits from self-employment in an enterprise (including farming) which he may carry on independently or jointly with another person or persons. It includes earnings over a period of time for which settlement is made at one given time. It does not include any income such as pensions or benefits accruing as compensation or reward for service or compensation for lack of employment; for example, RSDI benefits, VA benefits, UMW benefits, strike benefits, Unemployment Compensation, etc., nor Military Allotments, allotments from Job Corps participants, or return from capital investments, or income provided by another agency.

Elderly Person


For Food Stamp Program purposes, a person 60 years of age or older or is 59 years old on the date of application and will be sixty before the end of the month of application.

Eligible Foods -- Food Stamp Program


(a)   Any food or food product intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and hot foods and hot food products prepared for immediate consumption;


(b)   Seeds and plants to grow for the personal consumption of eligible food stamp households;


(c)    Meals prepared and delivered by an authorized meal delivery service to households eligible to use coupons to purchase meals or to households eligible to use coupons for communal dining at communal dining facilities for the elderly, for SSI households or both;


(d)   Meals prepared and served by an authorized drug addict or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation center to households eligible to use coupons to purchase those meals;


(e)   Meals prepared and served by an authorized group living arrangement facility to residents who are blind or disabled recipients of benefits under Title II (RSDI) or Title XVI (SSI) of the Social Security Act;


(f)     Meals prepared by and served by a shelter for battered women and children to its eligible residents.

English as a Second Language (ESL)


A course normally offered to refugees, and designed to train them in the use of the English Language. Although these courses usually are held at institutions of higher education, high school diplomas or GED certificates are not prerequisites for participation.



A student is deemed to be enrolled in an institution of learning when he/she has been admitted as a student and is listed as such by the school registrar.

Excluded Household Members


Excluded members are defined as individuals who do not meet the citizenship or eligible alien status; individuals who are disqualified for failure to provide or apply for an SSN; and individuals disqualified for intentional program violations.



Fair Hearing


A procedure whereby an appeal may be made by persons whose applications are denied, not acted upon with reasonable promptness, or who are otherwise aggrieved by the agency’s interpretation of any provision of the FS/AFDC laws and regulations as it affects their situations.

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)


The division of the United States Department of Agriculture which supervises the Food Stamp Program at the federal level.

Food Stamp Act


The Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95-133) including any subsequent amendments thereto.

Foster Boarding Home


A licensed or approved home in which twenty-four hour care is provided to a person who lives as a member of the family.

Foster Care


Care provided to a person in a licensed or approved foster boarding home when the person’s own home is not available to him.

Full-Time Employee


A person who works 30 hours per week or more or has weekly earnings equal to the federal minimum wage times 30 hours.



General Assistance Agency


Any agency using local funds to provide financial assistance to individuals and families.

Grantee Relative


A specified relative who receives an AFDC grant for a child or children in his care. This person may or may not be included in the aid group.

Group Living Arrangement


A public or private non-profit residential setting that serves no more than sixteen (16) residents and that is certified by the Department of Mental Health. To be eligible for food stamp benefits, a resident of such a group living arrangement must be blind or disabled and receiving benefits under Title II or Title XVI of the Social Security Act.



An individual named by a court of competent jurisdiction (usually the County Court) to manage the affairs of an adult who has been adjudicated mentally incompetent; or one who has been named to manage the affairs and /or person of a minor.



Head of Household


The head of household is the person whose name has been designated to appear on the food stamp application by the household or the State agency.

Hearing Officer


A Hearing Officer is an impartial official of the Department of Human Services designated by the Commissioner to conduct a fair hearing.  The staff member so designated shall have had no personal stake or involvement in the case.  A Hearing Officer must not have been directly involved in the initial determination of the action that is being contested, and was not have been the immediate supervisor of the caseworker who took the action.

Homeless Individual


A homeless individual is defined as an individual who lacks a fixed and regular nighttime residence or an individual who has a primary nighttime residence that is:


-          a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations;


-          an institution that provides a temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized;


-          a temporary accommodation in the residence of another individual; or


-          a public or private place not designated for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.



The home and surrounding property which is not separated from the home by intervening property owned by others. Public rights of way, such as roads which run through the surrounding property and separate it from the home, will not affect its classification as a homestead.




A household is a social unit comprised of varying numbers of individuals who live together in the same dwelling. It is also the concept used to determine the food purchasing and preparation patterns of all individuals with common living quarters.


For food stamp purposes, a group of people who customarily purchase and prepare food together for home consumption. For program purposes, an individual living alone may be a household.



Identification Card (ID)


A card which identifies the bearer as eligible to receive and use food coupons.


A recurring gain or benefit measured in money amounts.

Inmate of Public Institution


A person living in a public institution unless (1) he has definite plans to leave the institution within the current or succeeding month; or (2) he is free to leave on his own volition at any time. See Section 1240-1-31 for food stamp policies regarding persons residing in facilities for the treatment of drug addiction/alcoholism.



A request for information about the Family Assistance programs. Inquiries are not applications for assistance and no permanent records of inquiries are kept.

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)


The Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States Department of Justice which has jurisdiction over determining the alien status of all residents.

Institution of Higher Education


Any institution which normally requires a high school diploma or equivalency certificate (GED) for enrollment including, but not limited to, colleges, universities, and vocational or technical schools at the post-high school level.

Institution of Post Secondary Education


Any public or private educational institution which normally:


-          requires a high school diploma or equivalency certificate for enrollment; or


-          admits persons who are beyond the 17 year old compulsory school attendance age, provided the institution is legally authorized or recognized by the state to provide an educational program beyond secondary education; or


-          provides a program of training to prepare students for gainful employment.



Local Office

The Departmental office having jurisdiction over the case, primarily the county office.

Low Income Household


For food stamp purposes, a household whose annual income does not exceed 130% of the Office of Management and Budget guidelines.



Mail Issuance


The method by which eligible households receive their food stamps by mail each month.

Mandatory Fees


Those fees may include the rental or purchase of any equipment, materials and supplies related to the pursuit of the course of study involved. The exclusion of mandatory fees is no longer restricted to fees charged to all students or charged to all students within a certain curriculum.

Mass Changes


Certain changes initiated by the State or Federal Government which affect the entire Family Assistance caseload or significant portions of the caseload.

Meal Delivery Service


A non-profit meal delivery service authorized by FNS which provides prepared meals to eligible food stamp household members over 60 years of age and their spouses, or members (and spouses) who are housebound, physically handicapped, or otherwise disabled to the extent that they are unable to adequately prepare all their meals.



A Federal and State funded medical insurance program administered in this state by the Tennessee Department of Public Health – Medicaid Division. Benefits are available only for certain groups of people. The Federal base for the program is Title XIX of the Social Security Act as amended.



A hospital insurance benefit and supplemental medical insurance benefit program administered by the Social Security Administration for certain individuals who receive Social Security benefits. Administered under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act as amended.



A minor is a person under 18 years of age unless his minority has been removed at an earlier age by court action.

Mixed Households


Households with one or more member(s) receiving or authorized to receive AFDC and/or SSI but not all household members receive these benefits.



Net Income

Gross income less appropriate exclusions and work allowances.



Office Of Family Assistance (OFA)


The division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services which supervises the administration of the AFDC Program.



Parent-Child Relationships

Parent child relationships are kinship connections between mothers and/or fathers and their children resulting from the child(ren’s) birth or adoption or from the marriage of the child(ren’s) mother or father.

Parental Control


Parental control is the authority exercised by a mother or father (or any adult household member acting as a parent) to guide, manage, supervise, and provide care to a minor dependent child who lives in the same home.


The person to whom an AFDC grant check is made payable.

Physical or Mental Fitness


Physical or mental fitness means that an individual is fit for employment and does not suffer from any disability which would prevent his/her being gainfully employed.

Prevailing Rate of Return


The current usual monetary yield on real/personal property of similar type and usage in the area in which the property is located.

Private Institution


A facility which provides under private management shelter, custodial care, personal services, and in some instances, nursing care to two or more persons unrelated to the owner or manager. It is usually entirely supported by private funds. It may, however, receive contributions from public funds and still be considered a private institution, if the governmental unit does not exercise any administrative control.


Private institutions include such facilities as hospitals, nursing homes, child caring institutions and homes for the aged. The institutions may be operated by an individual or it may be under the auspices of a church, a fraternal organization, or a private board.



May refer to either the Food Stamp Program conducted under the Food Stamp Act and regulations or the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program conducted under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act and regulations. If not specifically designated, “program” must be read as pertaining to either program depending on the context of the material.

Program Violations


(1)  Food Stamps


(a)  Intentional Program Violation can be determined through an administrative disqualification hearing or a court appropriate jurisdiction. Intentional program violation shall consist of any action by an individual who knowingly, willfully and with deceitful intent:


1.   Made a false or misleading statement or misrepresented, concealed or withheld facts; or

2.   Committed any act that constitutes a violation of the Food Stamp Act, the Food Stamp Program Regulations; or

3.   Any State statute relating to the use, presentation, transfer, acquisition, receipt, or possession of food stamp coupons or ATP’s.


(b)  Inadvertent Household Error

An inadvertent household error is an error caused by a misunderstanding or unintended error on the part of the household.


(c)  Administrative Error

      An administrative error is an error caused by the worker or Department.


(2)  AFDC


Whoever knowingly obtains or attempts to obtain or aids or abets any person to obtain, by means of a willfully false statement or representation or by impersonation, or other device, assistance for a dependent child to which such child is not entitled, or assistance greater than that to which such child is entitled shall be guilty of a felony and punishable accordingly.

Project Area


(a)  A county within the State of Tennessee which has been designated as an administrative unit for Food Stamp Program operations; or

(b)  A geographic area, usually a county, served by one WIN-ES Office.

Protective Payee


An individual (selected by the A/R when possible or by the staff of the Department and when necessary) named by the Department of Human Services to receive and expend an AFDC grant for the benefit of a recipient who:


(a)  refuses to participate in WIN;

(b)  refuses to assign support rights/cooperate with the IV-D agency;

(c)  because of physical/mental/emotional disorder, youth or immaturity or demonstrated to manage money is in need of the assistance of a payee. See Section 1240-1-18.

Public Institution


A facility which provides shelter, custody, or care and is the responsibility of a government unit or over which a governmental unit exercises administrative control.

Pure AFDC Household


A pure AFDC-Food Stamp case is one in which each member of the Food Stamp household is included in an AFDC grant.





A person who receives an AFDC payment, is included in the aid group and is counted statistically as a caretaker, second parent, or dependent child including a child receiving AFDC-FC.

Recertification/Redetermination of Eligibility


(a)  Recertification


The processing of an application for recertification for food stamps prior to the end of a predefined certification period of a household.


(b)  Redetermination of Eligibility


The periodic investigation of each AFDC case which is required in order to establish that the family continues to be eligible for assistance. The terms redetermination of eligibility, review, and periodic review are used interchangeably.



(a)  A specific request for assistance or service to a specific individual which is received from or sent to an agency, individual, or other program within the Department of Human Services.

(b)  Family Assistance staff will usually receive referrals in written form in relation to an application or active case. Such referrals are to be made a part of the care record.

(c)  Referrals by Family Assistance staff may be made on applications and active cases to Social Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Services to the Blind, or an agency which provides financial aid such as the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, and so on. Referrals may be in written form and if so a copy of the referral is to be made a part of the case folder.

Relative or Specified Relative


(a)  For AFDC purposes, any blood relative, including those of half-blood; first cousins, nephews and nieces. This includes relationships to persons of preceding generations as denoted by prefixes of grand, great or great great.

(b)  Stepfather, stepmother, stepbrother and stepsister.

(c)  Legally adoptive parents of the child or of the child’s parents, the natural and other legally adopted children of such persons, and the blood relatives of such persons, including first cousins, nephews and nieces.

(d)  Legal spouses of any of the persons named in the above three groups. This applies even though the marriage may have been terminated by death or divorce.

Relocation Payment


A payment to a person who is displaced from his home as a result of HUD assisted and other federally assisted program or project subject to the provisions of the Federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Act of 1970.


The relocation payment is the amount paid to cover moving costs and


·         for Homeowners, the amount of payment made as a grant over and above the amount paid to him for his equity in property to purchase replacement housing.

·         for renters, the amount paid to assist in obtaining replacement housing (rented or to be purchased).



A household living in the county in which it files an application for participation.


In AFDC, a person who is living in the state voluntarily and not for a temporary purpose, that is, with no intentions of presently removing there from; or one living in the state who has come into the state if he is to seek or take employment. A child is residing in the state if he is making his home in the state. Temporary absence from the state with subsequent returns to the state, or intent to return when the purposes of the absences have been accomplished, shall not interrupt the continuity of residence.

Residents of Institutions


For food stamp purposes, individuals who reside in an institution and the institution provides them with the majority of their meals as part of the institution’s normal services and the institution has not been authorized to accept food stamp coupons. Residents of institutions are not eligible for participation in the Food Stamp Program, with the following exception:


(a)  Residents of federally subsidized housing for the elderly, built under Section 202 of the housing act of 1959 or Section 236 of the National Housing Act.

(b)  Narcotic addicts or alcoholics who for the purpose of regular participation in a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program, reside at a facility or treatment center.

(c)  Disabled or blind individuals who are residents of group living arrangements (as defined in the Definitions Section, 1240-1-8-.11-(34) and who receive benefits under Title II (RSDI) or Title XVI (SSI) of the Social Security Act.

(d)  Residents of shelters for battered women and children as defined in (74) of this section. Such persons shall be considered individual household units for the purpose of applying for and participating in the Program.


In AFDC, individuals who reside in an institution. A resident of a public institution is not eligible for assistance unless he is a patient in a public medical institution. A resident in a private institution may be eligible if he is temporarily absent from home or meets requirements for AFDC-FC.

Retail Food Store


a)   An establishment or recognized department of an establishment or a house-to-house trade route, whose eligible food sales volume is more than 50 percent staple food items for home preparation and consumption;

(b)  Public or private communal dining facilities and meal delivery services and drug addict or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation programs; public or private non-profit group living arrangements; or public or private non-profit shelters for battered women and children;

(c)  Any private non-profit cooperative food purchasing venture, including those members pay for food prior to receipt of the food; and

(d)  A farmers market.



Individual to whom a household furnishes lodging, but not meals, for compensation.



Second Parent


A parent who meets the following conditions:


(a)  Both parents are in the home with the eligible child and are married to each other.            This applies only in AFDC cases in which a disabled natural or adoptive parent is living in the home with the eligible child. If the disabled parent is designated caretaker, the other parent may be designated second parent. A stepparent can qualify as second parent but only if the child’s natural or adoptive parent is disabled and in the home.


(b)  The second parent is not receiving SSI.


(c)  The second parent is included in the aid group.

Set of Children


A “set” of children is defined as one child, or two or more children who are full brothers and/or sisters, i.e., having (1) the same father and mother, (2) the same mother but different fathers, or (3) the same father but different mothers.

Shelter for Battered Women and Children

Public or private non-profit residential facility that serves battered women and their children. If such a facility serves other individuals, a portion of the facility must be set aside on a long-term basis to serve only battered women and children. The shelter must also be a residence which serves meals or provides food to its residents.



A sibling is an individual who shares a common parent with another individual. Sibling relationship may be either natural, legal, or by marriage (i.e. natural, adopted, half, or step brothers and sisters).

Special Action

A purposeful contact between a Family Assistance staff member and a family which is made between recertification/redeterminations of eligibility in order to explore a particular event which was anticipated or reported to the worker and which would have some effect on an individual’s (or family’s) continued eligibility for benefits.

Special Care

Nursing care, personal care, and/or households services which are medically required by and being purchased by a person receiving FS/AFDC.

Special Review


A limited review of selected factors of eligibility in a selected sample of FS/AFDC cases when this is required based on Quality Control findings.



A spouse is one’s husband or wife.


A spousal relationship is a kinship connection between a man and woman resulting from their being married to each other.


A spousal relationship may be either of the following:


  1. a relationship between a man and a woman who are defined as being married to each other under applicable state law; or


  1. a relationship involving a man and a woman who are living together and holding themselves out to the community as husband and wife by representing themselves as such to relatives, friends, neighbors, or trades people.

Spouse - Spousal Relationship


A spouse is one’s husband or wife.


A spousal relationship is a kinship connection between a man and woman resulting from their being married to each other.


A spousal relationship may be either of the following:


1.       a relationship between a man and a woman who are defined as being married to each other under applicable state law; or


2.       a relationship involving a man and a woman who are living together and holding themselves out to the community as husband and wife by representing themselves as such to relatives, friends, neighbors, or tradespeople.

State Agency

The agency of State Government which has the responsibility for the administration of the Food Stamp and Public Assistance Programs within the state. In Tennessee, this is the Tennessee Department of Human Services.


A striker is any employee who is a member of the bargaining unit.  The bargaining unit member is an employee who will benefit from the contract at issue in the strike whether or not the individual is a union member.


If a work stoppage is considered to be a strike by both the union and the company, the county will consider it a strike for food stamp purposes.

Student (FS)

A student is a person who meets all of the following criteria:


  • is at least age 18, but under age 50;
  • is physically and mentally fit; and
  • is enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education.


Although other individuals may be enrolled in school, they are not considered students if they do not meet all of the above criteria.

Student (AFDC)

An individual attending at least half time, as defined by the institution, any kindergarten, pre-school, grade school, vocational or technical school, training program, college, or university. Enrollment in a mail, self-study, or correspondence course does not qualify such person as a student. Participation in the Job Corps qualifies a person as a student for AFDC purposes only. A student remains a student during official school vacation periods if he has definite plans to enroll at the beginning of the next school term.


Student, Full-Time -- A child must have a schedule equal to a full-time curriculum for the school he is attending.


Student, Part-Time --A child must have a schedule equal to a one-half of a full-time curriculum in the school he is attending.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)


Monthly cash payments made under the authority of Title XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended, to eligible aged, blind, and disabled persons.



Thrifty Food Plan


The diet required to feed a family of four persons consisting of a man and a woman 20 through 54, a child 6 through 8 and a child 9 through 11 years of age, determined in accordance with the Secretary’s calculations. The costs of such a diet shall be based on uniform allotments for all households regardless of their actual composition, except that the Secretary shall make household size adjustments in the thrifty food plan taking into account economies of scale.

Trade or Vocational Technical Schools


Schools that offer courses which teach practical skills that enable a person to obtain a better job. Examples of courses are typing, stenography, beauty techniques, auto mechanics, etc. Most of these courses do not require a high school diploma or the equivalent.


If individuals are enrolled in courses at trade or vocational schools that do not require a diploma or the equivalent, they are not considered as enrolled in an institution of higher education.



Unearned Income

Any payments received without the current work efforts of the person, such as but not limited to: unemployment benefits, SSA and SSI benefits, workmen’s compensation payments, gifts, and contributions, etc.

United States Department of Agriculture

The agency of the Federal Government authorized by the United States Congress to administer the Food Stamp Program.

United States Department of Health and Human Services

The agency of the Federal Government authorized to administer the federally aided public assistance programs.





A person or organization which provides goods and/or services to an individual or family.

Vendor Payment


(a) A payment made in money on behalf of a HH/AG to a third party or

(b) A payment made by the agency directly to a provider of goods/services as in AFDC-FC, Medicaid payments to a hospital or nursing home, etc.