5101:4-6-09 Food assistance: expedited service.

This rule provides the income calculation, certification and verification procedures, the processing standards, and other special procedures applicable to assistance groups eligible for expedited service.

(A) What is expedited service?

Expedited service means that assistance groups are determined eligible for benefits within twenty-four hours or seven days because of the assistance group's circumstances. The county agency's application procedures shall be designed to identify assistance groups eligible for expedited service at the time an assistance group applies for assistance. A receptionist, volunteer, or other employee shall be responsible for screening all requests for assistance as they are received or screening individuals when they come into the office to apply.

(B) Who is entitled to twenty-four hour expedited service processing?

All assistance groups whose net income is zero as calculated in rule 5101:4-4-31 of the Administrative Code, and who have liquid resources of one hundred dollars or less shall be certified for program benefits within twenty-four hours, or if mitigating circumstances occur, within seventy-two hours. The county agency shall also provide the assistance group a list of community assistance programs that provide emergency food.

(C) Who is entitled to receive benefits within seven days?

(1) Assistance groups with less than one hundred fifty dollars in gross monthly income, as calculated in rule 5101:4-4-31 of the Administrative Code and who have liquid resources of one hundred dollars or less.

(2) Migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance groups defined as destitute as set forth in paragraph (F) of this rule who have liquid resources of one hundred dollars or less.

(3) Assistance groups whose combined monthly gross income and liquid resources are less than the assistance group's monthly rent or mortgage and utilities including entitlement to a standard utility allowance, as appropriate.

(D) What happens when the prescreening fails to identify an assistance group for expedited benefits?

If the prescreening fails to identify an assistance group as being entitled to expedited service and the county agency later discovers that the assistance group is entitled to expedited service, the county agency shall provide expedited service to assistance groups from the date the county agency discovers the assistance group is entitled to expedited service.

(E) When eligible for seven day expedited service, what happens when the seventh calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday?

When the seventh calendar day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, the county agency shall authorize the food assistance benefits so the assistance group will receive it no later than the last working day prior to the expiration of the seven day processing period.

(F) What is a destitute migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance group?

Migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance groups may have little or no income at the time of application and may be in need of immediate food assistance, even though they receive income at some other time during the month of application. Migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance groups are considered destitute if their circumstances are as defined in paragraphs (G)(1) to (G)(3) of this rule. Assistance groups other than migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance groups shall not be classified as destitute.

(1) Migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance groups whose only income for the month of application was from a terminated source are considered destitute and therefore entitled to expedited service. A migrant or seasonal farm worker's source of income shall be considered to be the grower for whom the migrant is working at a particular point in time, and not the crew chief. A migrant or seasonal farm worker who travels with the same crew chief but moves from one grower to another is considered to have moved from a terminated source to a new source. These assistance groups shall be provided expedited service because they may be without income for some time, and may not be able to wait as long as thirty days for food assistance. Income is considered from a terminated source if:

(a) It was received prior to the date of application; and

(b) It is received monthly or more frequently and will not be received again from that same source in the month following application; or

(c) It is normally received less often than monthly and will not be received in the month the next payment from that source is normally received.

(2) Migrant or seasonal farm worker assistance groups whose only income for the month of application is from a new source are considered destitute. These assistance groups may expect to start receiving income from a new job or may have applied for, but have not yet begun to receive benefits from public assistance, unemployment compensation, supplemental security income (SSI), social security, or a similar program. These assistance groups may be totally without income for a number of weeks before the new income begins and therefore unable to meet their current food needs. Income is considered from a new source when:

(a) Income of more than twenty-five dollars will not be received from the new source by the tenth calendar day following the date of application;

(b) Income of twenty-five dollars or less that is normally received monthly or more frequently has not been received from that source within thirty days prior to the date the application was filed; or

(c) Income of twenty-five dollars or less that is normally received less often than monthly was not received within the last normal interval between payments.

(3) Migrant and seasonal farm worker assistance groups may receive both income from a terminated source prior to the date of application and income from a new source after the date of application. These assistance groups are considered destitute if they receive no other income in the month of application from the terminated source and do not receive income of more than twenty-five dollars from the new source by the tenth calendar day after the date of application.

(G) How is eligibility and level of benefits for destitute migrant and seasonal farm worker assistance groups determined?

(1) Destitute migrant and seasonal farm worker assistance groups have their eligibility and level of benefits calculated for the month of application by considering only income from a terminated source that is received between the first of the month and the date of application. Any income from a new source that is anticipated after the day of application is disregarded.

(2) Some employers provide travel advances to cover the travel costs of new employees who must journey to the location of their new employment. If these payments are reimbursements, and therefore excluded, travel advances will not affect the determination of when an assistance group is destitute. However, if the travel advance is not a reimbursement but is really an advance on future wages and will be subtracted from wages later earned by the employee, the wage advance counts as income. Wage advances, whether excluded as reimbursements or included as income, are not considered when determining if the assistance group has a new source of income or if the assistance group meets the definition of destitute. If an assistance group receives a travel advance prior to filing, income from a travel advance is not considered when determining if a new source of income was received in the thirty days prior to filing.

(3) The procedures for destitute migrant and seasonal farm worker assistance groups apply at initial application and at reapplication, but only for the first month of each certification period. At reapplication, income from a new source is disregarded in the first month of the new certification period if income of more than twenty-five dollars will not be received from this new source by the tenth calendar day after the date of the assistance group's normal issuance cycle.

(H) What are the requirements for verification under expedited service?

(1) Identity:

The applicant's identity must be verified through a collateral contact or readily available documentary evidence at initial application. Examples of acceptable documentary evidence which the assistance group may provide include, but are not limited to: a driver's license, work or school identification or voter registration card. If an authorized representative applies for the assistance group, the identity of both the authorized representative and the assistance group name shall be verified.

(2) Social security number (SSN):

Assistance groups entitled to expedited service will be asked to furnish a SSN for each person applying for benefits or apply for one for each person applying for benefits before the second full month of participation. An assistance group member unable to provide the required SSN or who does not have one prior to the second full month of participation shall be allowed to continue to participate only if he or she satisfies the good cause requirement specified in rule 5101:4-3-24 of the Administrative Code. All other information is not verified prior to expedited certification unless the processing standards can be met.

(3) Other verification requirements:

All reasonable efforts shall be made to verify within the expedited processing standards the assistance group's residency, income statements, liquid resources and all other factors required in rule 5101:4-2-09 of the Administrative Code, through collateral contacts or readily available documentary evidence. However, benefits shall not be delayed beyond the expedited service processing standards solely because these factors have not been verified.

(I) What are the work registration requirements for expedited service processing?

The county agency shall register all assistance group members for work (unless exempt).

(J) What happens when verification requirements are postponed?

(1) For an assistance group applying on or before the fifteenth of the month, the county agency may postpone verification requirements until the second month of the certification period. Any postponed verifications must be provided to the county agency before benefits are issued for the second month, or any subsequent months, of the certification period. When the verification requirements are postponed the assistance group will be sent a notice of eligibility advising that no benefits for the second month will be issued until the postponed verification requirements are satisfied. If the assistance group does not satisfy the postponed verification requirements the county agency does not need to contact the assistance group again.

(2) For an assistance group applying after the fifteenth of the month, the county agency may postpone verification until the third month of participation, if necessary, to meet the expedited time frame. Upon determination of eligibility for the initial month and subsequent months the assistance group shall receive a combined allotment consisting of prorated benefits for the initial month of application and benefits for the first full month of participation within the expedited service time frame. When the verification requirements are postponed the assistance group must be sent a notice of eligibility advising that no benefits for the third month will be issued until the postponed verification requirements are satisfied. If the assistance group does not satisfy the postponed verification requirements the county agency does not need to contact the assistance group again.

(K) Is there a limit on the number of times an assistance group can be certified under the expedited process?

There is no limit to the number of times an assistance group can be certified under the expedited procedures, so long as prior to each expedited certification, the assistance group either completes the verification requirements that were postponed at the last expedited certification or was certified under normal processing standards since the last expedited certification. Expedited service provisions do not apply at reapplication (i.e., when the assistance group reapplies before the end of its current certification period).

Effective: 09/01/2012
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 12/1/80, 4/1/81, 6/18/81, 10/1/8l, 1/22/82, 7/1/82, 10/1/82, 6/1/83, 12/1/85 (Emer), 2/23/86, 8/20/86 (Emer), 11/15/86, 5/1/87 (Emer), 7/10/87, 3/24/88 (Emer), 6/18/88, 5/1/89 (Emer), 7/17/89, 10/1/90, 5/1/91 (Emer), 6/1/91, 7/1/92, 8/1/92 (Emer), 10/30/92, 9/1/94, 8/1/95 (Emer), 10/13/95, 9/22/96 (Emer), 12/21/96, 4/1/97 (Emer), 6/6/97, 10/1/97 (Emer), 10/18/97, 2/1/99, 6/1/01 (Emer), 8/27/01, 8/1/05, 10/2/08, 9/1/10