September 28, 2011

  Program Guide Letter #563

 

Subject

CALFRESH ELIGIBILITY OF SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME/STATE SUPPLEMENTARY PROGRAM (SSI/SSP) RECIPIENTS IN SUSPENDED STATUS

 

Reference

All County Letter (ACL) 11-46

 

Purpose

The purpose of this letter is to inform staff of a recent change to eligibility restrictions on SSI/SSP recipients due to a waiver approved by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services.

 

Background

SSI payments in the State of California have been specifically increased to include the value of the CalFresh allotment with the SSP portion of the grant.  As a result of California’s cash-out policy, individuals receiving SSI supplemental payments (SSI/SSP) in California are not eligible to CalFresh including people whose SSI/SSP benefits have been suspended.  Refer to CalFresh Guide Section 63-101.6).

Beginning June 13, 2011, SSI/SSP recipients currently in payment suspense status because of:

·        State budget cuts, or

·        Humanitarian refugees/asylees due to the expired federal time limits;

Are eligible to CalFresh, if otherwise eligible under regular CalFresh eligibility rules, during the 12-month suspension period.

 

Summary of Changes

The following section of the CalFresh Program Guide has been updated:

Chapter/ Section

Section Title

Update

63-101.6

Excluded Household Members

Added link to new section 63-101.13, Suspended SSI/SSP Waiver.

63-101.13

New section:

Suspended SSI/SSP Waiver

Added instructions to allow certain SSI/SSP recipients in suspended status eligibility to CalFresh.

 

CalFresh Program Reminders

The Human Services Specialist (HSS) is reminded of the following regulations:

Statewide Fingerprinting Imaging System (SFIS)

Suspended SSI/SSP determined to be eligible to CalFresh shall comply with SFIS requirements as stated in Section 63-710.2 unless temporarily or permanently exempted from SFIS requirements as explained in Section 63-710.4. 

Other Verifications

Besides verifying SSI/SSP suspension status, the HSS shall verify other items to determine eligibility and/or benefit level including income, noncitizen status, sponsorship information, and expenses such as medical expenses to allow the excess medical deduction.

Quarterly Reporting

The HSS shall add suspended SSI/SSP individuals to an ongoing CalFresh case according to Quarterly Reporting regulations as stated in Section 63-284.  If the addition of the suspended SSI/SSP:

·        Increases the household’s benefits mid-quarter, the HSS will add the suspended SSI/SSP applicant the first of the month following the month of the request.

·        Decreases the household’s benefits mid-quarter, the HSS will add the suspended SSI/SSP applicant the following quarter. 

To determine benefits, the HSS will include the suspended SSI/SSP’s income and adjusted shared living expense deductions (Section 63-238.6, 7).

 

Automation (CalWIN) Impact

Please, follow BENDS# 5752 workaround until the change is implemented in CalWIN to add a suspended SSI/SSP household member to a Non-Assistance CalFresh (NACF) case.

To add a suspended SSI/SSP to a Public Assistance CalFresh (PACF) case a CalFresh case with a Medi-Cal companion program, contact the Help Desk to open a Service Request (SR).

SPECIAL INDICATORS

Enter special indicators:

·        “Suspended SSI/SSP – Budgets” or

·        “Suspended SSI/SSP – Refugee/ Asylees

On the Collect Case Special Indicators window to flag the case.

 

Forms/Imaging Impact

Documents associated with the determination for CalFresh eligibility of suspended SSI/SSP individuals, including the SSA suspension letter and MC 194, shall be imaged into DoReS following current business processes as outlined in the Eligibility Operations Guide (EOG).

 

Management Reporting

The County is required to report to CDSS the amount of CalFresh benefits issued to each suspended SSI/SSP individual, and for mixed SSI/SSP households, the amount of increase or decrease in the CalFresh household allotment.

Therefore, is very important that the HSS correctly identifies SSI/SSP recipients is suspense status that have been approved for CalFresh by entering Special Indicators “Suspended SSI/SSP – Budget Cuts” or Suspended SSI/SSP – Refugee/Asylees” in CalWIN.

 

CalWORKs Impact

SSI/SSP recipients in “suspense” status shall be treated as current SSI/SSP recipients for purposes of CalWORKs eligibility, therefore shall be excluded from the CalWORKs Assistance Unit (AU) as described in CalWORKs Program Guide (CPG)  41-500 E.

Recipients who meet the criteria listed in this program guide letter shall continue being ineligible for CalWORKs.  The treatment of the individual’s income and resources shall be the same as for any other SSI/SSP recipient as described in CPG 42-200 F. and 44-100 M.

 

Medi-Cal Impact

Suspended SSI recipients will still receive their Medi-Cal benefits through SSI.  Thus, there is no impact to Medi-Cal.

 

Operational Impact

No impact.

 

ACCESS Impact

ACCESS agents will be informed of the new Suspended SSI/SSP Waiver and will send a message to the appropriate Family Resource Center shall a client report that an SSI/SSP household member is no longer receiving SSI/SSP benefits due to a suspension for budget cuts, or humanitarian refugees/asylees due to expired federal time limits.

 

Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) Impact

No special QC or QA procedures are required for cases subject to the provisions of this waiver.  QC and QA will review using standard review procedures and will cite the appropriate error when CalFresh regulations are not applied or are applied incorrectly.

FNS did not approve CDSS’s request for a QC hold harmless period for recipients who were in suspended status that may have been approved for CalFresh benefits prior to the end of the suspension.

 

Manager Approval

 

 

 

SYLVIA MELENA, Assistant Deputy Director

Self-Sufficiency Programs

Strategic Planning & Operational Support

OA