40-100 V. Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System (SFIS)

 

Table of Contents

Topic

Section

Background

40-100.V.1

Policy

40-100.V.2

Participation Requirements

40-100.V.3

Exemptions

40-100.V.4

Refusal or Failure to Complete SFIS Processing

40-100.V.5

Good Cause

40-100.V.6

Domestic Abuse Victim With a New Identity

40-100.V.7

SFIS Equipment Problems

40-100.V.8

Office Procedures

40-100.V.9

System Security

40-100.V.10

Hours of Operation

40-100.V.11

Standard Reports

40-100.V.12

 

 

 

40-100.V.1
Background

The Statewide Fingerprint Imaging System (SFIS) was developed by the Office of Systems Integration (OSI) in conjunction with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The system applies state-of-the-art fingerprint imaging technology to eliminate duplicate aid in the State's public assistance programs.

 

SFIS provides a statewide database of stored fingerprint images and photos of all specified adult and minor parent applicants/recipients of the CalWORKs and GR programs.  As each fingerprint is entered, it is matched against those in the database to determine if the individual fingerprinted has an active case elsewhere in the state.

 

With SFIS in place, applicants/recipients of aid for the participating programs are unable to establish a duplicate case anywhere in California.  In addition, SFIS has been designed for potential interfaces with similar systems in other states or a future nationwide system.

 

Because the images are confidential, they will not be disclosed to law enforcement for any purpose other than prevention or prosecution of welfare fraud.

 

 

40-100.V.2
Policy

All applicants for and recipients of aid under the CalWORKs Program other than dependent children and persons physically unable to provide the necessary images, will be required to provide two fingerprint images and a photo image as a condition of eligibility for CalWORKs. Failure to provide the required images will result in ineligibility for the entire Assistance Unit (AU).

 

All images must be taken by SFIS.  Images taken by any other system are not acceptable for inclusion in the SFIS database.

 

 

40-100.V.3
Participation Requirements

The following persons must provide fingerprint and photo images to fulfill SFIS requirements prior to the issuance of CalWORKs benefits to that Assistance Unit (AU):

 

·         Each parent and/or caretaker relative of an aided or applicant child when living in the home of the child; and

·         Each parent and/or caretaker relative receiving or applying for aid on the basis of an unaided excluded child; and

·         Each aided or applicant adult; and

·         An aided or applicant woman who is pregnant in in an AU consisting of the woman only.

 

If there are no adult members in the CalWORKs Assistance Unit any adult may be a de facto authorized representative and must be SFIS processed.  This authorized representative could be an excluded or ineligible parent.

 

-    Authorized representatives are only required to comply with SFIS requirements when no one in the Assistance Unit that they represent is required or able to comply with SFIS requirements.

 

-    The authorized representative of a certified drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation center must comply with SFIS requirements when the AU member is unable to leave due to physical, mental, or legal reasons and until the AU member is able to comply.

 

 

40-100.V.4
Exemptions

Permanent Exemptions

Persons missing all ten fingers shall be permanently excused from fingerprint imaging; however, a photo image will be taken as part of the normal SFIS process.

 

Temporary Exemptions

The following persons may be temporarily excused from fingerprint imaging for a period of not more than sixty (60) days. These include:

 

-    Persons with both hands bandaged so as to preclude fingerprint imaging.  A photo image will be taken as part of the normal SFIS process.

 

-    Persons with other medically verified physical conditions that preclude them from coming into the office for fingerprint/photo imaging.

 

-    Documentation of a temporary exemption shall include but not be limited to:

 

§ Doctor’s statement verifying inability to travel due to illness and length of disability; or

 

§ Emergency room documents containing verification of hand/finger injury.

 

The worker will narrate the reason for the exemption in case comments, document capture the documentation and give the client an appointment to return for SFIS processing within 60 days from the date of the initial SFIS appointment.

 

Non-Minor Dependents (NMDs)

NMDs receiving extended CalWORKs are exempt from the SFIS requirements.  Effective January 1, 2013 NMDs shall no longer be fingerprinted or photo imaged as a condition of eligibility.

 

Severely Disabled

The SFIS requirement is waived for homebound clients and those who have a medically verified physical condition that renders them unable to comply with SFIS requirements.

 

 

40-100.V.5
Refusal or Failure to Complete SFIS Processing

If the applicant is unable to attend the initial SFIS appointment workers are instructed to generate the automated SFIS Referral Form (CSF 55) in CalWIN to inform the recipient to contact the worker immediately in order to reschedule the fingerprint/photo imaging.  Shelf stock of the manual notice (16-79 HHSA) should only be utilized if CalWIN is unavailable.

 

Photographing 

SFIS regulations do not provide counties with the authority to prohibit items worn by individuals on their head or face.  Because the photo is not the primary identifier, the SFIS operator must not impose any requirements for a photograph even when facial features are partially blocked. The SFIS operator may request the client to remove caps, glasses, veils, facial jewelry or other items that may be partially covering their face prior to having their photo taken.

 

However, if an individual refuses to comply, the photo image must be taken as the client appears.

 

Fingerprint Imaging

A SFIS operator is required to obtain a readable fingerprint from the client.  If excessive length of an index fingernail prevents a client from being properly finger imaged, the SFIS operator must ask the client to cut the nail and advise the client that a readable fingerprint is a condition of eligibility for CalWORKs.  While the client has the right to refuse to cut their nail, that refusal will render the entire Assistance Unit ineligible for aid until a readable fingerprint can be obtained.

 

Note: A denial or discontinuance for refusal to complete SFIS must be well documented (as with any negative action based on client refusal to comply).  The case comments must explain how the client indicated their refusal to complete SFIS and what steps the County took to address the client’s concerns.

                                                                                                             

 

40-100.V.6
Good Cause

A good cause determination must be made for any other postponement over 30 days but not to exceed 60 days. Good cause exists when circumstances beyond control of the applicant/recipient prevent the applicant/recipient from complying with the SFIS requirement.  Some examples of good cause may include but are not limited to:

 

·         A medical emergency, hospitalization, doctor’s appointment, personal/household illness, or crisis on the day of the absence;

 

·         Incarceration, arrest, jail or required court appointments;

 

·         Prearranged job interview; or

 

·         Employment or paid training.

 

The worker will determine good cause.  Verification of good cause is required unless it is impossible for the applicant/recipient to provide such verification.  Supervisors must approve exceptions to the good cause verification requirement. 

 

Good cause will be documented in the case comments, including the date of noncompliance and the corresponding good cause criteria.

 

Verification must be document captured.

 

 If any non-exempt AU member refuses or fails to provide the required images without good cause, no CalWORKs will be issued for the entire AU and the case will be discontinued or denied.

 

 

40-100.V.7
Domestic Abuse Victim with a New Identity

When a victim of domestic abuse who has changed their name applies for benefits, and submits fingerprints under their new identity, it should generate a SFIS “match” consisting of two records with the same fingerprints and similar photos.  However, different personal information (name, social security number and residence) should be displayed. The SFIS operator must verify the victim’s new identity by examining supplemental documentation provided by the victim such as:

 

·         A letter from the Social Security Administration,

·         Department of Motor Vehicles identification, or

·         A court order

 

When the new identity has been verified, the County SFIS Coordinator must be contacted prior to imaging the client.  The County SFIS Coordinator in turn, would contact the SFIS Help Desk at 1-866-860-7347 to request the old SFIS record be de-activated.  Although the original image will be removed from the database, it will still be accessible to the state SFIS administrators.

 

Case comments must be included in the new SFIS record to provide an audit trail that a prior record for the client exists. These comments will alert any subsequent staff accessing the record to the sensitivity of the case without disclosing information of the client’s prior identity.

 

Note:   A SFIS match would be expected unless the fingerprint images are of poor quality, or the SFIS operator made a mistake and imaged the wrong fingers.

 

 

40-100.V.8
SFIS Equipment Problems

Aid cannot be denied to an otherwise eligible applicant/recipient because of equipment problems with SFIS.  In case of an equipment failure, the Automation Coordinator for the affected Family Resource Center (FRC) must immediately contact the SFIS County Coordinator in the Automation section of Eligibility Operations.

 

If applicants/recipients are unable to complete fingerprint/photo imaging due to a SFIS equipment problem, they must agree to complete the process at a mutually agreed upon time, within 60 days of the initial attempt.

 

When the individual appears for their initial SFIS processing and must be rescheduled due to SFIS equipment problems, the SFIS office assistant must provide a new appointment by:

 

·   Completing the automated CSF 55 form in CalWIN with the new SFIS appointment date and time and noting on the form that the appointment is rescheduled due to equipment problems; and

 

·   Enter case comments regarding the SFIS equipment failure and the rescheduled appointment.

 

Note: Date of reschedule must allow for timely notice of action (NOA) should the client fail to cooperate.

 

 

40-100.V.9
Office Procedures

The SFIS process includes the following steps:

 

Task

Responsibility

Adding or updating an applicant or recipient to the SFIS and initiating a search on the SFIS database

 

SFIS office assistant

   Evaluation of SFIS hits for probable fraud

 

Worker

Resolution of hits on SFIS

 

Supervisor

Investigation of probable fraud hits on SFIS

 

PAFD

 

Priority Levels

There are three system processing priorities for the SFIS.  The priority levels result in different response times.

 

Level

Response

Designated Use

Priority

Searches will be returned to the workstation transmitting the search data for display and print within an average of fifteen (15) minutes.

Applicants scheduled for same day intake appointments.

 

Note:  Excessive use of the Priority level when processing new applicants may result in unnecessary system delays and degraded SFIS performance.

 

Normal

Searches will be returned to the workstation transmitting the search data for display or print no later than 7:00 a.m. the following day.

 

Applicants with other than same day intake appointments.

Conversion

Searches will be returned to the workstation transmitting the search data for display or print within seven (7) calendar days.

 

Recipients.

 

The worker will designate the level to be used by the SFIS Office Assistant for processing the client.  The SFIS Office Assistant will enter the processing level on the SFIS Add/Update screen during the input process.

 

Fingerprint Imaging Order

For standard SFIS processing, the applicant’s two index fingers will be imaged.  If an applicant’s index finger can never be imaged (i.e. the index finger is missing), an alternate finger will be imaged.

 

It is very important that the use of an alternate finger for imaging purposes ONLY be used when the index finger is missing.  The use of alternate fingers for imaging purposes is listed below in order:

 

If

Then

The index finger is missing

The thumb is the first alternate

finger for imaging purposes

 

The thumb is missing

The middle finger is the second alternate finger for imaging purposes

The middle finger is missing

The ring finger is the third alternate finger for imaging purposes

The ring finger is missing

The little finger is the last alternate finger for imaging purposes

 

If an applicant is missing all fingers on one hand, only a single finger from the other hand will be imaged.  A Senior Office Assistant, Supervising Office Assistant, or Supervisor must enter on a special SFIS screen approval for all permanent exemptions.  The Senior Office Assistant, Supervising Office Assistant, or Supervisor must ensure that the correct fingers are determined for exemption and fingerprinting by viewing the client’s hand at the time of SFIS processing.

 

Search Functions

Each time fingerprint/photo images are entered into SFIS, the SFIS Office Assistant will initiate one of two types of searches, CLOSED or OPEN.

 

Type of Search

Description

Closed

A closed search matches the fingerprints

being entered to fingerprints already entered

into SFIS for the same Client Index Number

(CIN).

 

Open

An open search matches the fingerprints being entered to all fingerprints in SFIS regardless of CIN.

 

 

The type of search is not an option for the Office Assistant.  It is determined by SFIS based on the CIN entered for the applicant/recipient.

 

If

Then

The applicant/recipient is known to welfare, has a CIN, and has already been processed through SFIS

The SFIS will perform a

CLOSED search

 

The applicant/recipient does not have a CIN

A CIN must be obtained before conducting a search

 

The CIN, generated and controlled by the California Department of Health Services’ Statewide Client Index (SCI), is the primary identifier for individuals who have applied for public benefits

 

New Applicants

The following tables provide step-by-step instructions for processing a client through the SFIS and identify staff responsible for each task:

 

SFIS APPOINTMENT

 

Task

Responsibility

Instruct the applicant/recipient to wait in the lobby until paged for fingerprint/photo imaging. Notify reception that client is waiting.

 

Reception/Clerical

Ask for the applicant/recipient’s identification and compare photo identification with the individual to verify that the correct person is being processed. If the identification is not available, note on SFIS Add/Update screen in comments section “NO ID”.

 

If the applicant/recipient does not have their SFIS informing notice/appointment letter, check CalWIN/ MEDS clearance in APP/REG for CIN.

 

Complete fingerprint/photo imaging on SFIS. If other persons indicated on the CSF 55 were not present for fingerprint/photo imaging, return the form to the applicant instructing them to have the others indicated bring the form with them when attending SFIS processing.  When the match report prints, file it with the intake packet.

 

SFIS Office Assistant

 

 

DATA RETRIEVAL

 

Task

Responsibility

Match reports will automatically print within 15 minutes for “Priority” matches; next morning for “Normal” matches, and within seven (7) workdays for “Conversion” matches.

 

 “OPEN SEARCH – MATCH” and “CLOSED SEARCH – NO MATCH” reports will be distributed immediately to the appropriate Supervisor.

 

 “OPEN SEARCH – NO MATCH” and “CLOSED SEARCH – MATCH” reports will be distributed to the worker or filed with the pre-application paperwork.

 

SFIS Office Assistant

Distribute match reports to appropriate workers to investigate.  All open search matches and closed search no matches must be resolved within 10 days from the date of the report or the date of the intake, whichever is later. 

 

Once resolved, enter results on the SFIS “Resolution” screen.  Enter an explanation of the resolution in the “Comments” field.  The SFIS Client Input Operator User Guide, Section F., provides detailed instructions for completion of the “Resolution” screen.

 

Supervisor

 

 

RESPONSE-OPEN SEARCH-NO MATCH OR CLOSED SEARCH-MATCH

 

Task

Responsibility

This report will print with demographic data, fingerprint or photo images. Image Permanent Verifications in the case folder.

 

Process application per current procedures.

 

Worker

 

 

RESPONSE-OPEN SEARCH-MATCH OR CLOSED SEARCH-NO MATCH

 

Task

Responsibility

This report will print with demographic data and the photo image only. Note report results on the CSF 55.  Review response to determine if the report is an indicator of probable fraud, the result of a MEDS error, or some other non-probable fraud issue (i.e. Inter-County Transfer, etc.).

 

All open search matches and closed search no matches must be resolved within 10 days from the date of the report or the date of the intake, whichever is later.

 

Indicate on the CSF 55 if the resolution screen needs to be completed on SFIS and what action was taken to resolve (i.e. MEDS error corrected, FRTS referral completed, fingerprinted on incorrect CIN, etc.).

 

If probable fraud, call other counties indicated to compare case information. If duplicate aid is confirmed:

 

·    Determine if the applicant/recipient received duplicate aid from a previous application. If so, complete a FRTS FULL FIELD referral and forward the match report to PAFD as an attachment to the FRTS referral.  Do not image a copy in the case.

 

·   If the applicant/recipient did not receive duplicate aid from a previous application but was already granted IN or CFES on the current application, complete a claim determination.

 

·   Deny or discontinue case for duplicate aid.

 

Note:  Duplicate aid sanction for General Relief will not be imposed unless other case circumstances warrant the sanction.

 

If the open search match or closed search no match occurred due to a MEDS error, note nature of MEDS error on report, complete MEDS error correction, and return a copy of the report to the Supervisor for completion of “Resolution” screen.

 

If the open search match or closed search no match occurred due to some other non-fraud issue, note the reason on the report and return it to the Supervisor for completion of the “Resolution” screen.

 

After a discrepancy is cleared on the resolution screen, a “Resolution Report” will print without any fingerprint or photo images.  Discard the previously received report that included the photo image in a confidential shredding bin located in the FRC and image the new “Resolution Report”.

 

Worker

Monitor using the daily “SFIS Match” reports for responses to SFIS open search matches/closed search no matches and make entries on “Resolution” screen as necessary.

 

Reminder: If a FRTS referral has been made, the Supervisor must enter “PF” on the resolution screen.

 

Supervisor

If a FRTS referral is made, complete an investigation per PAFD procedure.

 

PAFD

Review FRTS response and take appropriate action.

 

Worker

 

Changes Requiring SFIS Processing

When a change occurs to the AU, the worker must evaluate if the change requires someone new to be fingerprint/photo imaged.  If so, the new person must be given the SFIS informing/appointment notice at least ten (10) days prior to the SFIS appointment.  For example, when an aided child turns 18, he or she must be fingerprint/photo imaged.

 

 

40-100.V.10
System Security

Access

Only users with designated security levels may access SFIS.  The Family Resource Center must submit a System Security User Request Form (05-7) to the System Security Section for each staff designated for access.

 

Passwords

Each user must establish a password of seven (7) to eight (8) characters in length with at least two characters being numeric. Passwords must be changed every 90 days.  The last five passwords used are stored by the system and cannot be reused. The system allows three unsuccessful logon attempts before locking out a user. In the event of a lockout, the user must notify his/her supervisor who will contact the Help Desk to reset the password logon.

 

 

40-100.V.11
Hours of Operation

Normal Operational Hours

SFIS and the SFIS Help Desk are available from 7:00 a.m. thru 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday except on State holidays. Any fingerprint/photo imaging done on State holidays will be processed using stored transactions mode and processed online the following State workday. 

 

The contact number for the SFIS Help Desk is:

 

1-866-860-7347

 

 

40-100.V.12
Standard Reports

SFIS system generated reports can be manually triggered at FRC management option on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis by the Family Resource Center Automation Coordinator. 

 

·         Daily reports may be printed after the close of the business day. The reports are available and can be printed at each workstation any time after 7:00 a.m. when the online files are opened,  

 

·         Weekly reports may be printed on the last working day of the week, and

 

·         Monthly reports may be printed on the last business day of the month.