1. Applicant Households
An applicant household must report all changes related to its food assistance eligibility and benefit level at the certification interview.
2. Certified Households
Certified households are subject to the reporting requirements found in Chapter 17.
Certain changes are initiated by the State or Federal government which may affect the entire caseload or significant portions of the caseload.
These changes include, but are not limited to:
1. Adjustments to the gross and net income eligibility standards.
2. The shelter and dependent care deduction.
3. The Thrifty Food Plan (the allotment based on household size and income) and standard deduction.
4. Annual adjustment to the Standard Utility Allowance, Basic Utility Allowance, and telephone standard.
5. Periodic cost-of-living adjustments to Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI), Supplementary Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefits.
6. Periodic adjustments to Family Assistance (FA).
7. Other changes in the eligibility and benefit criteria based on legislative or regulatory changes.
Adjustments to eligibility standards, allotments and deductions, and State adjustments to utility standards shall go into effect for all households at the same point in time, by automation.
October 1 of each year is the date these changes are effective, unless otherwise specified by changes in federal regulations. A Notice of Adverse Action is not needed for these changes as households shall be informed of these changes through publicity issued by the State office.
When the State agency makes an overall adjustment to public assistance (PA) payments, corresponding adjustments in household’s food assistance benefits shall be handled as a mass change by automation.
Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAS) in Social Security and SSI Benefits shall be handled by automation to be effective January 1 of each year for all NA households.
When a mass change for other than Item A above is made, individual computer generated notices will be sent to all affected households.
A household shall be entitled to request a fair hearing when it is aggrieved by a mass change.
A household which requests a fair hearing due to a mass change shall be entitled to continued benefits at its previous level only if the household meets three criteria:
1. The household does not specifically waive its right to a continuation of benefits.
2. The household requests a fair hearing in accordance with Chapter 15.
3. The household’s fair hearing is based upon improper computation of food assistance eligibility or benefits, or upon misapplication or misinterpretation of Federal law or regulation.