Chapter 6

Social Security Numbers


600       Requirements for Participation


A household participating or applying for participation in the Food Stamp Program must do one of the following for each household member:


1.     Provide the memberís Social Security Number (SSN).

To provide the number the household may state the number, present a document with the number on it, or show the social security card.


2.     Apply for an SSN before certification if the member does not have a number or the household is unable to provide the number.


If individuals have more than one number, all numbers are required.Explain to applicants and participants that refusal or failure without good cause to provide an SSN will result in disqualification of the individual for whom an SSN is not obtained.


601       Obtaining SSNíS for Food Stamp Household Members††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

For those individuals who provide SSNís prior to certification, recertification, or any office contact, the county department will record the number; verification of the number is handled as stated in Section 205(A).


Households who provided the SSA-2853, Hospital Enumeration at Birth form, or the certified copy of the birth certificate which indicates a Social Security Number has been applied for by the hospital, assume the responsibility for reporting the SSN to the county departments no later than the next recertification or six months, whichever comes later after the SSA-2853 has been received.


If the client has not received the SSN, the household member would have good cause. If the client received the SSN but lost the card, complete the SS-5 referral for issuance of a duplicate card and send the household to SSA. In this situation the automated system could be utilized to verify the SSN.


For those individuals who do not have a SSN, refer the household to the SSA to apply for a SSN.

In order that households can promptly and with the least confusion possible, complete a SS-5 at the Social Security Administration Office, the county department shall:


1.     Review the Form DHR-PAD-1542, SS-5 Referral, with the applicant or household member(s), emphasizing in particular what items of proof will need to be taken to the SSA office. These include:


a)     Birth certificates.


b)    Proof of citizenship/alien status (as applicable).


c)     Proof of identity such as driverís license, draft card, report card, etc.


2.     Explain to the applicant that individuals 18 years or older must go in person to the SSA office with the above proofs.


3.     Advise the client of the hours of operation of the SSA office, the address of the office and where applicable the hours and dates SSA representatives will be available to provide the SS-5 processing procedures.


4.     Inform the client that the DHR-PAD-1542 must be taken to the SSA office when the household member goes to apply for an SSN.


See Forms Manual for what information the county department is required to complete on the DHR-PAD-1542 prior to giving it to the household.


The county department shall advise the household that proof of application from SSA will be required prior to certification. Proof of application shall consist of either the return of the DHR-PAD-1542, marked complete; the SSA-5028, Receipt of Application for a SSN; the SSA-2853, Hospital Enumeration at birth; or the copy of a birth certificate or other documentary evidence which indicates an application for a Social Security Number for the child has been submitted.




602       Failure to Comply


If the county department determines that a household member has refused or failed without good cause to provide or apply for an SSN, then that individual shall be ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program.


The disqualification applies to the individual for whom the SSN is not provided and not to the entire household.The earned or unearned income and resources of an individual disqualified from the household for failure to comply with this requirement shall be counted as noted in Section 1102.



603       Determining Good Cause


In determining if good cause exists for failure to comply with the requirement to apply for or provide the county department with a SSN, the county department shall consider information from the household member, SSA, and the county department (especially if the county department did not complete the DHR-PAD-1542 correctly prior to providing it to the household).


Documentary evidence or collateral information that the household member has applied for a SSN or made every effort to supply SSA with the necessary information to complete an application for a SSN shall be considered good cause for not complying timely with this requirement.If the household member applying for a SSN has been unable to obtain documents required by SSA, the county department should make every effort to assist the individual in obtaining these documents.


Good cause does not include delays due to illness, lack of transportation or temporary absences, because SSA makes provisions for mail-in applications in lieu of applying in person.


Periodic Determination of Good Cause

If the household member can show good cause why an application for a SSN has not been completed in a timely manner, that person shall be allowed to participate for one month in addition to the month of application.


After the second month, good cause for failure to apply for a SSN must be determined monthly in order for the household member to continue to participate.


Once an application for a SSN has been filed (such applications are not considered by SSA to be filed unless the application is complete), the county department shall permit the member to continue to participate pending notification to the county department of the household memberís SSN.The household shall be requested to provide the SSN when it is received from the SSA. If reported, the number shall be recorded and verification handled in accordance with Section 205(A).When the SSA-2853 is provided as proof of application for a SSN, the case shall be flagged for review six months from the month the SSA-2853 is received if the remaining months in the certification exceed six months as the client is responsible for reporting the assignment of SSN.


The county department shall, at recertification, determine if the SSN has been assigned if the household has not reported its receipt.


1.     If the SSN has been received, and is provided by the household, verification of the number shall be handled in accordance with Section 205(A).


2.     If the SSN has not been received, the county department shall determine through the SSA office or SSA representative the reason for the delay in the assignment of the number. If the SSA is at fault for failing to assign the number, the household member shall continue to participate.



604       Ending Disqualification


The household member(s) disqualified may become eligible upon providing the county department with an SSN.



605       Use of SSNíS


The State Agency, D.H.R., is authorized to use SSNís in the administration of the Food Stamp Program to access information, through IEVS, regarding individual Food Stamp Program applicants and participants who receive benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act to determine such a householdís eligibility to receive assistance and the amount of assistance, or to verify information related to the benefit of these households. State agencies shall use the State Data Exchange (SDX) to the maximum extent possible.


SSNís shall also be used to:


1.     Prevent duplicate participation.


2.     Facilitate mass changes.


3.     Determine the accuracy and/or reliability of information given by households.



606       Entry of SSNíS into Automated Databases


All SSNís obtained for household members shall be entered into the automated system.