1415 Expedited Service for the Food Assistance Program - Expedited service shall be provided to eligible applicants for food assistance. Specific requirements are delineated in the sections that follow.

 

1415.1 Expedited Services for the Food Assistance Program - Households entitled to expedited service shall be certified and their food assistance benefits made available not later than the 7th calendar day following the date the application was filed.   

 

All local offices shall insure that procedures are designed to identify households eligible for expedited service at the time the household requests assistance. The intake worker, receptionist, or other qualified employee shall be responsible for screening applications to determine need for expedited service. When it is determined that a household is entitled to expedited service, efforts shall be made to conduct the interview on the same day the application is filed. Timely processing for expedited services is determined from the date of application, therefore determining eligibility for expedited services must occur on the date of application.

 

  1. Households Entitled to Expedited Service - The following households which are otherwise eligible for food assistance shall be entitled to receive expedited service:
     

    1. Households which anticipate receipt of less than $150 ($149.99 or less) gross countable income in the month of application, provided their cash on hand and money in checking and savings accounts does not exceed $100; or
       

    2. Households whose combined monthly gross countable income and liquid resources are less than the household's monthly rent or mortgage and utilities. For the purpose of determining entitlement to expedited service under this provision, the worker shall use rent or mortgage and actual utility amounts as reported on the application form (in the Expedited Section on the front page). Once eligibility for expedited service has been determined, the expedited benefit amount shall be determined by using the SUA, LUA or actual expenses(s) per 7226.3. If the household is not entitled to the SUA or LUA, but has an actual expense(s) verification shall be requested, however, verification shall be postponed if necessary to be within the expedited services time frame; or

      NOTE: When calculating rent/mortgage costs, separate fees for payment of other shelter expenses, such as condominium fees or homeowners’ association fees are NOT to be included when determining eligibility for expedited services. If the fees are included in the monthly rent/mortgage payment, then they are allowable.
       

    3. Households comprised of migrant or seasonal farm workers who are destitute as defined by 1416, provided their liquid resources do not exceed $100.

 

NOTE: Gross countable income shall include any cash benefits that have been or can reasonably be anticipated to be authorized for and received in the month of application. When determining if a household is entitled to expedited services, if any information or verifications are pending for cash purposes, it cannot be reasonably anticipated that cash benefits will be authorized for and received in the month of application. Other circumstances in a case may also lead to the conclusion that cash benefits cannot reasonably be anticipated to be authorized for and received in the month of application, in which case the household shall, if otherwise eligible, be entitled to expedited service.
 

  1. Entitlement to Expedited Service - Households shall be provided expedited service under this provision only for the month of application.

    Expedited service does not apply at review when the household reapplies before the end of its current review period. If the household reapplies after the review period has ended, an application is considered to be filed and the household is entitled to expedited service if appropriate.
     

  2. Processing Standards - Households entitled to expedited service (including residents of alcohol or drug treatment centers and residents of group living arrangements) shall be certified and their benefits made available not later than the 7th calendar day following the date the application was filed.

  3. If expedited benefits cannot be provided timely using regular processing, then immediate issuance procedures will be necessary. (See 1513.2 (3)).
     

1415.2 Exceptions to Expedited Timeliness Standards - Exceptions to these expedited timeliness standards are:

 

  1. Out-of-Office Interviews - If a household is entitled to expedited service and a face-to-face interview is not conducted on the date of application, a telephone interview shall be conducted and the application process shall be completed within the expedited service standards.

    If a telephone interview was conducted and the application was not signed and it must be mailed to the household for signature, the mailing time involved will not be calculated in the expedited service standards. The first day of this count is the calendar day following the receipt of a signed, identifiable food assistance application in the appropriate food assistance certification office.
     

  2.    SSI/Food Assistance Joint Processing - Households applying for SSI and food stamps at the SSA office and entitled to expedited service, shall be certified and their benefits authorized, following the processing standards of this section, starting with the date the SSA-transmitted application was received in the appropriate SRS office.
     

  3. SSI/Food Assistance Pre-Release Processing - For a resident of a public institution who applies for benefits prior to their release from the institution in accordance with 1417 and who is entitled to expedited service, the date of filing of the application is the date of release of the applicant from the institution. (SSA will notify the appropriate SRS office of the date an individual is released from an institution. This notification should occur just prior to the date of release.)


1415.3 Special Procedures for Expedited Service - The agency shall use the following procedures when expediting certification and issuance. These procedures allow for postponing some verifications. To insure expedited timeliness, verifications should be postponed as much as practicable, with the exception of the items that follow.

Note that postponing verification does not apply to the interview. All persons who apply for food assistance, including persons entitled to expedited services, must be interviewed (face-to-face or telephone) prior to processing of the application. Also, as noted below, the identity of the person making application must always be verified.
 

  1. Verification - All verification rules for processing an initial application apply to expedited service (refer to 1322); however, the worker shall, if necessary, postpone any required verification except:
     

    1. The identity of the person making the application must always be verified; and
       

    2. All reasonable efforts shall be made to verify, within the expedited processing standards, the household's residency, income statement (including a statement that the household has no income), and all other factors required by 1322, through collateral contacts or readily available documentary evidence. In addition, the determination of a potential employment penalty shall be postponed if a determination cannot be made within the expedited processing standard

      If the household is able to provide all needed verification within the time frame required for processing and delivery of expedited service, verification shall be completed.

      Verifications postponed to comply with the expedited service time frames must be completed before a second month's benefits can be issued; except, migrant households in the migratory stream shall be allowed to postpone verification from out-of-state sources an additional month if necessary one time during the migratory season.

      Once the household has supplied the name of a collateral contact or has asked the agency for assistance in locating a collateral contact, the collateral contact shall be contacted immediately or the household otherwise assisted in obtaining the necessary verification. The worker is not required to use the collateral contact designated by the household if that person cannot be expected to provide an accurate third-party verification. If the person designated by the household is unacceptable, the household shall be asked to designate a second person; however, the worker is responsible for obtaining the required verification from the collateral contact. In situations where the initial collateral contact is rejected, or if a collateral contact is used in lieu of documentary verification, the worker shall document in the case record the reason for this decision.

       

  2. Social Security Numbers - The requirement to provide a Social Security number for each household member may be postponed for households entitled to expedited service. The household will, however, be required to furnish a Social Security number for each person, or apply for one for each person who does not have one before the second month's benefits can be issued unless they meet the good cause criteria. If good cause is established, the second month's benefits can be issued. Refer to 2130.
     

  3. Work-Related Requirements - The worker shall attempt to verify questionable work exemptions but shall postpone those which cannot be accomplished within the expedited service time frames.
     

  4. Review Period - Special procedures for assigning review periods for expedited service households are as follows:
     

    1. Households that are certified on an expedited basis and have provided all necessary verification required in 1322 prior to certification shall be assigned a normal review period, provided they would otherwise warrant a longer review period. Refer to 9372.
       

    2. If verification was postponed, the review period may be for the month of application and the subsequent month; or a normal review period may be planned if the household circumstances would otherwise warrant a longer review period.
       

      To insure that the second month's benefits are not issued until the postponed verifications have been provided, the worker shall only authorize the expedited month.The notice, F121 - Expedited Food Assistance- Postponed Verification, must be sent to the household specifying the postponed verifications which must be provided before the second month's benefits can be issued. Household's shall be given 10 days to provide postponed verification.
       

      If the verifications are received, the case can be authorized for the remaining months of the review period. If the verifications are not received within 10 days of the date of request, the case shall be closed. When the case is closed, only an adequate notice of action is needed.
       

    3. For migrant households, when all in-state verifications have been received but out-of-state verifications have been postponed for an additional month, the household shall be required to reapply and provide all out-of-state verifications before a third month's benefits can be issued.
       

  5. Notice of Approval - The local worker shall send the household a Notice of Approval as soon as expedited service is approved.

    When verification is postponed, the worker shall notify the household in writing with the Notice of Approval for expedited service that no further benefits will be issued until the postponed verification is completed (Notice F-121). Migrant households entitled to the additional month's postponement for verifications from out-of-state sources shall be notified that they shall provide postponed verifications from within the State before a second month's benefits are issued and shall reapply and provide all verifications from out-of-state sources before being issued benefits for a third month. In addition, the household shall be advised that any changes in the benefit level that result from the verification received will be made without an advance Notice of Adverse Action.
     

  6. Ineligibility for Expedited Service - Households requesting but not eligible for expedited service shall have their applications processed according to normal processing standards.
     

  7. Reapplication After Expedited Service - If expedited benefits are only received for the month of application because postponed verifications were not provided, the household must reapply and complete the verification requirements which were postponed. The household does not need to complete a new application if postponed verifications are provided in the month following the month of application per KEESM 1423. Benefits are not prorated if postponed verification is provided in the month following the month of application. There is no limit to the number of times a household can be certified under expedited procedures as long as, prior to each expedited certification, the household either completes the verification requirements that were postponed at the last expedited certification or has been certified under normal processing standards since the last expedited certification