5101.54 Administering food stamp program.

(A) The director of job and family services shall administer the supplemental nutrition assistance program in accordance with the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 ( 7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.). The department of job and family services may:

(1) Prepare and submit to the secretary of the United States department of agriculture a plan for the administration of the supplemental nutrition assistance program;

(2) Prescribe forms for applications, certificates, reports, records, and accounts of county departments of job and family services, and other matters;

(3) Require such reports and information from each county department of job and family services as may be necessary and advisable;

(4) Administer and expend any sums appropriated by the general assembly for the purposes of the supplemental nutrition assistance program and all sums paid to the state by the United States as authorized by the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008;

(5) Conduct such investigations as are necessary;

(6) Enter into interagency agreements and cooperate with investigations conducted by the department of public safety, including providing information for investigative purposes, exchanging property and records, passing through federal financial participation, modifying any agreements with the United States department of agriculture, providing for the supply, security, and accounting of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits for investigative purposes, and meeting any other requirements necessary for the detection and deterrence of illegal activities in the supplemental nutrition assistance program;

(7) Adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code governing employment and training requirements of recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, including rules specifying which recipients are subject to the requirements and establishing sanctions for failure to satisfy the requirements. The rules shall be consistent with 7 U.S.C. 2015, including its work and employment and training requirements, and, to the extent practicable, shall provide for the recipients to participate in work activities, developmental activities, and alternative work activities described in sections 5107.40 to 5107.69 of the Revised Code that are comparable to programs authorized by 7 U.S.C. 2015 (d)(4). The rules may reference rules adopted under section 5107.05 of the Revised Code governing work activities, developmental activities, and alternative work activities described in sections 5107.40 to 5107.69 of the Revised Code.

(8) Adopt rules in accordance with section 111.15 of the Revised Code that are consistent with the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, the regulations adopted thereunder, and this section governing the following:

(a) Eligibility requirements for the supplemental nutrition assistance program;

(b) Sanctions for failure to comply with eligibility requirements;

(c) Allotment of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits;

(d) To the extent permitted under federal statutes and regulations, a system under which some or all recipients of supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits subject to employment and training requirements established by rules adopted under division (A)(7) of this section receive the benefits after satisfying the requirements;

(e) Administration of the program by county departments of job and family services;

(f) Other requirements necessary for the efficient administration of the program.

(9) Submit a plan to the United States secretary of agriculture for the department of job and family services to operate a simplified supplemental nutrition assistance program pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 2035 under which requirements governing the Ohio works first program established under Chapter 5107. of the Revised Code also govern the supplemental nutrition assistance program in the case of households receiving supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits and participating in Ohio works first.

(B) A household that is entitled to receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits and that is determined to be in immediate need of nutrition assistance shall receive certification of eligibility for program benefits, pending verification, within twenty-four hours, or, if mitigating circumstances occur, within seventy-two hours, after application, if:

(1) The results of the application interview indicate that the household will be eligible upon full verification;

(2) Information sufficient to confirm the statements in the application has been obtained from at least one additional source, not a member of the applicant's household. Such information shall be recorded in the case file and shall include:

(a) The name of the person who provided the name of the information source;

(b) The name and address of the information source;

(c) A summary of the information obtained.

The period of temporary eligibility shall not exceed one month from the date of certification of temporary eligibility. If eligibility is established by full verification, benefits shall continue without interruption as long as eligibility continues.

There is no limit on the number of times a household may receive expedited certification of eligibility under this division as long as before each expedited certification all of the information identified in division (F)(1) of this section was verified for the household at the last expedited certification or the household's eligibility was certified under normal processing standards since the last expedited certification.

At the time of application, the county department of job and family services shall provide to a household described in this division a list of community assistance programs that provide emergency food.

(C) Before certifying supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits, the department shall verify the eligibility of each household in accordance with division (F) of this section. All applications shall be approved or denied through full verification within thirty days from receipt of the application by the county department of job and family services.

(D) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the certification of households that qualify under federal regulations to receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits without charge under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.

(E) Any person who applies for the supplemental nutrition assistance program shall receive a voter registration application under section 3503.10 of the Revised Code.

(F)

(1) In order to verify household eligibility as required by federal regulations and this section, the department shall, except as provided in division (F)(2) of this section, verify at least the following information before certifying supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits:

(a) Household composition;

(b) Identity;

(c) Citizenship and alien eligibility status;

(d) Social security numbers;

(e) State residency status;

(f) Disability status;

(g) Gross nonexempt income;

(h) Utility expenses;

(i) Medical expenses;

(j) Enrollment status in other state-administered public assistance programs within and outside this state;

(k) Any available information related to potential identity fraud or identity theft.

(2) A household's eligibility for supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits may be certified before all of the information identified in division (F)(1) of this section is verified if the household's certification is being expedited under division (B) of this section.

(3) On at least a quarterly basis and consistent with federal regulations, as information is received by a county department of job and family services, the county department shall review and act on information identified in division (F)(1) of this section that indicates a change in circumstances that may affect eligibility, to the extent such information is available to the department.

(4) Consistent with federal regulations, as part of the application for public assistance and before certifying benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program, the department shall require an applicant, or a person acting on the applicant's behalf, to verify the identity of the members of the applicant household.

(5)

(a) The department shall sign a memorandum of understanding with any department, agency, or division as needed to obtain the information identified in division (F)(1) of this section.

(b) The department may contract with one or more independent vendors to provide the information identified in division (F)(1) of this section.

(c) Nothing in this section prevents the department or a county department of job and family services from receiving or reviewing additional information related to eligibility not identified in this section or from contracting with one or more independent vendors to provide additional information not identified in this section.

(6) The department shall explore joining a multistate cooperative, such as the national accuracy clearinghouse, to identify individuals enrolled in public assistance programs outside of this state.

(G) If the department receives information concerning a household certified to receive supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits that indicates a change in circumstances that may affect eligibility, the department shall take action in accordance with federal regulations, including verifying unclear information, providing prior written notice of a change or adverse action, and notifying the household of the right to a fair hearing.

(H) In the case of suspected fraud, the department shall refer the case for an administrative disqualification hearing or to the county prosecutor of the county in which the applicant or recipient resides for investigation, or both.

(I) The department shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to implement divisions (F) to (H) of this section.

(J) Except as prohibited by federal law, the department may assign any of the duties described in this section to any county department of job and family services.


Amended by 132nd General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 119, §1, eff. 7/1/2019.

Amended by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 64, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2015.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 09-05-2001 .