February 3, 2012

CalFresh_Color_Eng.jpg Program Guide Letter #570

 

Subject

Transitional CalFresh Recertification Process/ Issuance of the Transitional CalFresh Chapter 63-320

 

Purpose

To notify staff of the:

·      Implementation of the new regulations and processes for recertifying Transitional CalFresh households in accordance with federal regulations; and

·      Issuance of the new Transitional CalFresh Chapter 63-320.

 

Reference

All County Letter (ACL) 11-70

 

Implementation Date

The county shall implement the new Transitional CalFresh recertification process on February 29, 2012.  February 29, 2012 is the last day of the five-month benefit period for transitional cases that began on October 1, 2011.

To comply with the implementation date, Family Resource Center (FRC) staff shall send recertification notices and interview appointments manually to Transitional CalFresh households ending their five-month certification period at the end of February during the week of January 17, 2012.

 

Background

Currently, Transitional CalFresh households who want to receive ongoing CalFresh benefits must submit a new application after the 5-month Transitional CalFresh certification period expires.

Federal transitional benefit regulations require a change from a household-initiated to a county-initiated process in order to streamline the transition from Transitional CalFresh to regular CalFresh and improve access and participation.

Recertification of Transitional CalFresh households is the process of recertifying eligibility to regular CalFresh either before the end of the five-month Transitional CalFresh certification period, or at the end of the five-month certification period.

 

Changes

HOUSEHOLDS ENDING THE FIVE-MONTH TRANSITIONAL CALFRESH PERIOD

To recertify Transitional CalFresh households ending the five-month Transitional CalFresh certification period, FRC staff shall follow recertification regulations as stated in CalFresh Program Guide Section 63-324.  All current recertification regulations and procedures for regular CalFresh as outlined in the Recertification Section 63-304 apply to the recertification of Transitional CalFresh household at the end of the five-month benefit period.

Recertification Prior to the End of the Five-Month Certification Period

Transitional CalFresh households may request to recertify their CalFresh case at any time during the five-month Transitional CalFresh period.  FRC staff shall follow recertification regulations as stated in CalFresh Program Guide Section 63-325.

When the head of household or authorized representative (AR) contacts the County during the first four months of the Transitional CalFresh period to report a change in household circumstances that could increase CalFresh benefits, or to request to recertify the CalFresh case, the worker shall send the recertification packet that includes the DFA 285 A1, A2 and A3 and inform the household they could also apply by calling 2-1-1 San Diego, or online via Benefits CalWIN at https://www.benefitscalwin.org/.

 

Required Action

FRC staff shall:

·      Mail each Transitional CalFresh household a Notice of Expiration of Certification (NEC) in the month prior to the last month of Transitional CalFresh certification period.  The NEC (QR 377.2) will be generated in CalWIN on the 15th of the month prior to the last month of the certification period.

However, until CalWIN is updated, FRC staff shall send notice QR 377.2-TCF manually to all households ending the five-month certification period the months of February, March and April;

·      Schedule an in-office or a telephone interview sending the FS 29 or CSC 35 with an appointment date and time from an available slot in the CalFresh RRR appointment log (refer to reminder below); and

·      Send a recertification packet that includes forms DFA 285 A1, A2 and A3 (the Change Reporting packet as described in Section 63-304.2); and

·      Send the Notice of Missing Interview (NOMI) if the household misses the interview appointment.

The NEC (QR 377.2-TCF), the interview appointment letter (FS 29 TCF) and the application packet shall be mailed manually during the weeks that begin January 17, 2012, February 13, 2012 and probably March 12, 2012.

REMINDER: The appointment notice shall include the FRC telephone number (RRR re-schedule number) for the recipient to call directly to re-schedule the interview appointment at his/her convenience and/or to request either a telephone or face-to-face interview.

 

Summary of Program Guide Changes/ Updates

The CalFresh Program Guide has been updated as follows:

1.    A new Chapter 63-320 is being added to the Program Guide to incorporate Transitional CalFresh regulations posted in the previous Transitional CalFresh sections 63-302.6, and 63-302.7, and regulations issued as Questions and Answer (Q&A) via various Special Notices since 2004.

The new Transitional CalFresh chapter includes the following sections:

Chapter/Section

Title

63-320

Transitional CalFresh Table of Contents

63-321

Transitional CalFresh Eligibility

63-322

Transitional CalFresh Benefits Calculation

63-323

Changes in Household Composition During the Transitional CalFresh period

63-324

Recertification at the End of the Transitional CalFresh Period

63-325

Recertification during the Transitional CalFresh Period

2.    Answers to specific case questions that were not incorporated into Chapter 63-320 have been added to the Transitional CalFresh Q&A Section 63-608.

3.    The following Special Notices have been incorporated into the CalFresh Program Guide and have been removed from the list of documents available online:

Special Notice

Title

04-03

TFS Questions and Answers

04-17

TFS Questions and Answers VOL II

06-01

TFS Questions and Answers VOL III

08-06

TFS Policy Change HH Member Leaving

4.    The following Program Inquires have been incorporated into the CalFresh Program Guide and have been removed from the list of documents available online:

Program Inquiry

Title

2004-25

TFS-CW Application

2004-33

Active on Mom’s TFS Case

2005-17

TFS/PAFS Conversion

2008-03

SSI/SSP Recipient and Transitional Food Stamp Eligibility

5.    The following program guide sections have been deleted and incorporated into Chapter 63-320:

Chapter/Section

Title

63-302.6

Transitional CalFresh Program

63-302.7

Procedures for Changes Reported During Transitional CalFresh Period

The Transitional CalFresh Chapter 63-320 has been uploaded in the online CalFresh Program Guide at http://hhsa-pg.sdcounty.ca.gov/.

 

 

Operational Impact

Regional Support is currently reviewing the most recent Eligibility Operations Guide (EOG) regarding Transitional CalFresh and will revise according to the new process in the near future.

 

Automation Impact

Until CalWIN is updated (target date March 2012) staff shall follow BENDS CR5608 instructions and utilize the “Transitional CalFresh Cases Ending the Five-Month Certification Period” list.

The “Transitional CalFresh Cases Ending the Five-Month Certification Period” list identifies Transitional CalFresh cases with a certification period ending February through March 2012.  FRC staff shall utilize the list to manually initiate the recertification process for Transitional CalFresh cases until CalWIN is updated.

According to current recertification regulations (63-304.2), the Notice of End of Certification (NEC) must be issued 45 days before the end of the five-month Transitional CalFresh period and the FS 29 Recertification Appointment Letter must be issued immediately after the NEC.  As CalWIN is not currently programmed to auto-generate the NEC (QR 377.2) or the FS 29 for Transitional CalFresh cases, FRC staff shall follow BENDS CR5608 to manually issue the following temporary client correspondence:

·         NEC (QR 377.2-TCF)

·         FS 29 TCF 

NOTE:  The temporary NEC (QR 377.2-TCF) and FS 29 TCF will be used while BENDS CR5608 is being applied. CalWIN will be programmed to issue the regular QR 377.2 and FS 29 once CalWIN is updated (target date March 2012).

 

Forms (Client Correspondence) Impact

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) revised and changed the title and number of the Temp NA 1239 to DFA 1239, “CalFresh Notice of Approval/Denial/Termination Transitional Benefits.”

The DFA 1239 shall be used to notify the household of the amount of transitional benefits, the new CalFresh certification period and to:

·      Deny CalFresh application and inform the household of the continuation of Transitional CalFresh; or

·      Discontinue the Transitional CalFresh case.

The DFA 1239 also informs the household that:

·      The County will send a notice when it is time to recertify at the end of the five-month Transitional CalFresh certification period;

·      The household may ask to reapply (or recertify) for CalFresh at any time during the Transitional CalFresh (five-month)  certification period; and

·      If the household applies and is approved for CalWORKs or regular CalFresh, It will be assigned a new certification period.

Until CalWIN is updated, the DFA 1239 can be accessed by clicking the link.

Staff will be notified when the state translates the DFA 1239, as required per MPP Section 21-115.2 (Section 63-022), into additional languages.

Refer to Automation Impact section above for information related to the NEC and appointment notice FS 29.

 

Other Program s Impact

No impact to CalWORKs or Medi-Cal programs.

 

ACCESS Impact

ACCESS agents must be fully aware of changes to the Transitional CalFresh regulations. If the head of household or authorized representative (AR) contacts the County during the first four months of the Transitional CalFresh period to report a change in household circumstances that could increase CalFresh benefits, or to request to recertify the CalFresh case, the ACCESS agent shall send the recertification packet that includes the DFA 285 A1, A2 and A3 and inform the household they could also apply by calling 2-1-1 San Diego, or online via Benefits CalWIN at https://www.benefitscalwin.org/.

 

Quality Control and Quality Assurance Impact

There is no Quality Control (QC) Hold Harmless Period.

Quality Assurance (QA) will cite the appropriate error when instructions in Chapter 63-320 are not followed or are followed incorrectly.

 

Manager Approval

 

 

SYLVIA MELENA, Assistant Deputy Director

Self-Sufficiency Programs

Strategic Planning & Operational Support

 

OA