Chapter 14

Recertification

 

1400    Action on Applications for Recertification

 

The county department shall complete the application process if the household meets all requirements and finishes the necessary processing steps, and approve or deny timely applications for recertification prior to the end of the household’s current certification period.

 

In addition, any eligible household shall be provided an opportunity to participate by its normal issuance cycle in the month following the end of its current certification period.

 

However, the household shall lose its right to uninterrupted benefits when it fails to:

 

1.     Attend any interview scheduled on or after the deadline for timely filing of the application for recertification as given in Section 1403.

 

2.     Submit all necessary verification within the time frame established in Section 1402 C as long as the time frame elapses after the deadline for filing a timely application.

 

Although a household loses its right to uninterrupted benefits for such failures, the household shall not be denied at that time, unless it refused to cooperate.

 

If the household loses its right to uninterrupted benefits due to such failures but is otherwise eligible after correcting such failures, the county department shall, at a minimum, provide benefits within 30 days after the date the application was filed.

 

Denials, including those for failure to complete the interview or provide missing verification timely, shall be completed either by the end of the current certification period or within 30 days after the date the application was filed as long as the household had adequate time for providing the missing verification.

 

The county department shall not continue benefits beyond the end of the certification period unless the household has been recertified.  The joint processing requirements in Section 209 A for PA households shall continue to apply to applications for re-certifications.

 

 

 

1401    Notice of Expiration

 

Each certified household shall be provided with a Notice of Expiration prior to the start of the last month of the household’s certification period. (The notices are automated.)  Any household certified for one month or when the certification action is not completed until the second month of a two-month certification shall have a Notice of Expiration provided at the time of certification. The notice shall contain the date by which the household must timely reapply in order to ensure uninterrupted benefits.

 

 

1402    Timely Application for Recertification

 

A.   Timely Applications

 

All households that are certified for one month, or certified for two months in the second month of certification, shall have 15 days from the date the Notice of Expiration is received to file a timely application for recertification.

 

All other households who submit identifiable applications between the first day and by the 15th day of the last month of the certification period shall be considered to have a timely application for recertification

B.   Scheduling Interviews

 

Any household receiving a Notice of Expiration shall attend any interview scheduled by the county department after the date the application is timely filed in order to retain its right to uninterrupted benefits.  The county department may schedule the interview prior to the date the application is timely filed, provided the household is not denied at that time for failing to appear for the interview.

 

The county department shall schedule the interview on or after the date the application was timely filed if the interview has not been previously scheduled, or the household has failed to appear for any interviews scheduled prior to this time and has requested another interview. 

 

If the household does not appear for any interview scheduled in accordance with this section, the county department need not initiate any further action with the household.

C.   Time Frame for Providing Verification

 

The household shall be provided at least 10 calendar days from the date of the county department’s initial request for verification to provide the verification.

 

The county department shall ensure that any household which timely reapplies does not lose its rights to uninterrupted benefits for failure to submit any requested verification prior to the date the household submits a timely application for recertification, and that the household is adequately informed of this procedure.

 

 

 

1403    County Department Action on Timely Applications for Recertification

 

The county department shall act to provide uninterrupted benefits to any household determined eligible when the household timely filed an application, attended an interview in accordance with Section 1402 B, and submitted all necessary verification within 10 days from the county department’s request for the verification.

 

The county department shall take action to provide uninterrupted benefits within the following time standards even if, to meet these standards, the county department must provide an opportunity to participate outside of the normal issuance cycle:

 

1.     Households that were certified for one month or certified for two months in the second month of the certification period and have met all required application procedures shall be notified of their eligibility or ineligibility and, if eligible, be provided an opportunity to participate no later than 30 calendar days after the date the household had an opportunity to obtain its last allotment.

 

2.     For all other households that have met all required application procedures, the State agency shall approve or deny the application and notify the household of its determination by the end of the current certification period.

 

a)     If the last day of the certification period falls on a weekend or holiday, the application shall be denied on the first workday following the end of the certification period, provided the client was given at least ten days to provide any requested information.

 

b)    For households determined eligible, the county department shall provide an opportunity to participate by the household’s normal issuance cycle in the month following the end of its current certification period.

 

3.     Any household not determined eligible in sufficient time to provide for issuance by their normal issuance date, due to the time period allowed for submitting any missing verification, shall receive an opportunity to participate, if eligible, within 5 working days after the household supplies the missing verification.

 

4.     Households which have timely submitted an application for recertification but, due to county department error, as noted in Section 1404, are not determined eligible in sufficient time to provide for issuance by the household’s next normal issuance cycle shall receive an immediate opportunity to participate upon being determined eligible.

 

5.     Timely applications may be reopened if the requested verification is received by the end of the calendar month following the end of the certification period, provided the household was interviewed during the last month of the current certification period. If the household was interviewed, but fails to provide needed verification, the application shall be processed to denial at the end of the current certification period.

 

A manual notice of denial pending will be sent to the household informing them of the verification that is needed to reopen their case, and the timeframe for providing the needed information. If the household provides the requested verification within the calendar month following the end of their current certification period, the application shall be reopened and prorated benefits provided to the household, if eligible. If the household does not provide the requested verification, no further action shall be taken. The application will not be reopened if the household failed to keep an interview appointment scheduled before the end of the current certification period.  Benefits shall be prorated from the date the requested verification is received.

 

 

 

1404    County Department Failure to Act

 

County department failure to provide an opportunity to participate, within the time frames in Section 1403 above, to an eligible household which has filed a timely application for recertification and met all processing steps in a timely manner shall be considered an administrative error.

 

These households shall be entitled to restoration of lost benefits if, as a result of such error, the household was unable to participate for the month following the expiration of the certification period.

 

 

 

1405    When the Household Fails to Act

 

A household which fails to appear for an interview in accordance with the requirements in this section or to submit any missing verification within the State agency’s time frames shall lose its right to uninterrupted benefits as long as such failures occur after the deadline for filing a timely application.

 

Households which refuse to cooperate in providing required information shall be denied.

 

Non-timely Applications

Any application not submitted in a timely manner shall be treated as an application for initial certification except: 

 

1.     For applications received within 30 days after the certification period expires, use Section 205 H for required verification.

 

2.     If the application for recertification is filed prior to or on the 15th day in the month prior to the last month of the certification period, the application shall be denied for already being certified for food assistance.

 

3.     If the application is filed by a certified household between the 16th day and the last day of the month prior to the last month of the certification period, the application shall be handled in accordance with this section.

 

The county department shall ensure that any eligible household which did not submit a timely application for recertification is provided an opportunity to participate within 30 calendar days after the application is filed.  The following applications for recertification shall not be prorated. 

 

Households which receive a Notice of Expiration at the time of certification see Section 1401, and are otherwise eligible shall not have benefits for the first month of the new certification period prorated if they file their applications for recertification by the filing deadline in the Notice of Expiration.

 

Households in which the 10 day time frame for providing verification elapses in the first month of the new certification period shall not have benefits for the first month of the new certification period prorated.  .

 

Timely Applications with Untimely Interview/Verification

A household which submits a timely application for recertification but is either interviewed and/or submits all verification in an untimely manner, but before the end of its current certification period need not be provided uninterrupted benefits. For eligible households under these circumstances, the county department shall, at a minimum, provide the household an opportunity to participate within 30 calendar days after the date the application was filed.

 

If the county department is unable to provide an eligible household with an opportunity to participate within 30 calendar days after the date the application was filed due to the time period allowed for submitting any missing verification, the county department shall provide the household an opportunity to participate within 5 working days after the date the household supplies the missing verification.