Hotline 8/13: SNAP expedited benefits
From the Hotline
If you have any questions on this column or other policy and procedural material, please have your Hotline designee call the Policy Hotline at 617-348-8478.
Q. 1. A SNAP client is reapplying and is requesting expedited benefits. He has already verified his identity. However, I noticed his name on a DOR Bank Match. The match indicates that he has $1,200 in a savings account. He claims that he recently withdrew $850 from this account to pay his rent. This means the client could be entitled to expedited benefits as a household whose combined monthly gross income and assets are less than his combined monthly rent and utilities. Should I approve this client’s expedited benefits?
A. 1. If a client is reporting information that appears questionable or contradictory, additional information may be requested. See 106 CMR 361.620 and 106 CMR 361.630 for details. However, any additional requests for information or follow-up cannot delay the seven-day processing standard for expedited benefit delivery. The DOR Bank Match outlined in Operations Memo 2013-31 is not a match that is verified upon receipt. To be eligible for expedited benefits, identity is the only verification requirement. Therefore, if an applicant or client contests the amount of his or her account balance reflected on the DOR bank match, expedited benefit verification rules allow you to accept the income and asset information reported by your applicant, as the most up-to-date information. For more details on expedited benefit verification requirements, refer to 106 CMR 365.830. For more information on expedited benefit income requirements, refer to 106 CMR 365.810.
Q. 2. For households determined eligible, expedited SNAP benefits must be issued no later than the seventh day from the application filing date. However, when the case manager attempts to contact the applicant but the applicant is unavailable within the first seven days, should expedited benefits still be delivered, as long as the applicant otherwise qualifies for these benefits?
A. 2. Yes. In all cases of delayed contact, after you’ve spoken to the individual and determined that an applicant or client qualifies for expedited benefits, even if this determination is made beyond the initial seven-day period, the expedited process must still be completed. For more information on expedited processing standards, refer to 106 CMR 365.820.