5101:4-7-14 Food assistance: systematic alien verification for entitlements program.

A county agency shall use the systematic alien verification for entitlements (SAVE) program established by the department of homeland security United States citizenship and immigration service (USCIS). The county agency can access this system through the web-enabled SAVE system to verify the validity of documents provided by aliens applying for food assistance benefits. When accessing the SAVE system the county agency shall ensure that the individual's privacy is protected to the maximum degree possible.

(A) How does the county agency verify the authenticity of documents using SAVE?

There are two web-based verification methods for SAVE: initial verification and additional verification:

(1) Initial or primary verification uses the alien's alien registration number, or "A-number". This verification is used for most applicants.

(2) Additional or secondary verification provides a more extensive validation if problems appear in the verification of alien status. Secondary verification is required in any of the following situations:

(a) The document appears to be counterfeit or altered.

(b) An individual presents unfamiliar USCIS documentation or a document indicates immigration status, but does not contain an "A-number."

(c) The document contains an "A-number" in the A60 000 000 series.

(d) The document contains an "A-number" in the A80 000 000 series.

(e) An alien has no immigration documentation and is hospitalized, medically disabled, or can otherwise show good cause for the alien's inability to present documentation, and for whom securing such documentation would constitute an undue hardship.

(f) An alien presents a foreign passport and/or a I-94 "Arrival-Departure Record" form and the "Admission for Permanent Residence" endorsement is more than one year old.

(g) When an individual claims lawful permanent (or conditional) resident status because they are a battered alien, a parent of a battered child(ren) or a victim of domestic violence.

(h) A "Certificate of Naturalization" or a "Certificate of Citizenship" is presented, and verification of U.S. citizenship status is required.

(i) When an automated check through the SAVE system returns with a response "institute additional verification" or when there is a material discrepancy between an individual's documentation and the record contained in the SAVE system.

(B) What is the SAVE system?

(1) The SAVE system is an information-sharing initiative allowing authorized staff to validate a noncitizen's immigration status by accessing USCIS data. The USCIS protects the individual's privacy in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1952 and other applicable statutes. No consent for release of information is required to use SAVE.

(2) The county agency shall compare the information provided through the SAVE system with the documents provided by the individual. If the documentation matches in SAVE, the process is complete.

(3) SAVE does not determine eligibility; SAVE only provides information regarding alien status. Eligible alien status shall be determined in accordance with rule 5101:4-3-07 of the Administrative Code.

(C) How does SAVE verification affect eligibility?

(1) No eligibility determination is delayed, denied, reduced or terminated solely because of pending SAVE verification.

(2) If an individual appears eligible with available USCIS documentation and all other program eligibility criteria are met, the county agency shall issue benefits to the assistance group while awaiting a response from USCIS.

(3) If the county determines an alien is ineligible after using the SAVE system, the county agency shall send prior notice of adverse action to the assistance group in accordance with the provisions set forth in rule 5101:6-2-04 of the Administrative Code.

(D) What is the process to request verification manually?

(1) The manual verification process is required when the automated check or initial inspection of an individual's documentation, or information provided from such documentation, reveals discrepancies.

(2) To conduct a manual verification the county agency shall mail the following documents to USCIS:

(a) The G-845 "Document Verification Request" (07/08).

(b) A copy of the individual's original immigration documentation.

(c) If necessary, the G-845 supplement "Document Verification Request Supplement" (07/08) should be used to request additional information regarding the alien's immigration status in order to make an eligibility determination. The G-845 supplement shall be submitted with the G-845 and cannot be used alone.

(E) How is the use of SAVE documented?

(1) When the initial verification response from SAVE is received, the county agency shall print a copy of the "Initial Verification Result" for the case file.

(2) If an additional verification request was submitted to SAVE, the county agency shall print a copy of the "Additional Verification Result" for the case file.

(3) Whenever the county agency initiates a manual third step verification, the case file shall contain a copy of the G-845, photocopies of documentation, and a copy of the G-845 supplement, if necessary.

(4) Once the SAVE response is received, the case file shall contain a copy of the annotated G-845.

(F) What are allowable uses of information received through SAVE?

The county agency shall use information obtained through the SAVE program only for:

(1) Verifying the validity of documentation of alien status presented by an applicant;

(2) Verifying an individual's eligibility for benefits;

(3) Investigating whether participating assistance groups received benefits to which they were not entitled, if an individual was previously certified to receive benefits on the basis of eligible alien status; and

(4) Assisting with or conducting administrative disqualification hearings, or criminal or civil prosecutions based on receipt of food assistance benefits to which participating assistance groups were not entitled.

Replaces: 5101:4-7-14

Effective: 03/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 12/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/1/93, 5/1/99, 3/1/02 (Emer.), 4/11/02, 4/1/04, 12/8/05, 10/6/08