Food and Nutrition Act of 2008
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Sec.1. [ 7 U.S.C. 2011 note] This Act may be cited as the “Food and Nutrition Act of 2008”.
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Sec. 3. [ 7 U.S.C. 2012] As used in this Act, the term:
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(l) “Supplemental nutrition assistance program” means the program operated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter (7 U.S. C. Chapter 51.
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(t) “State agency” means (1) the agency of State government, including the local offices thereof, which has the responsibility for the administration of the federally aided public assistance programs within such State, and in those States where such assistance programs are operated on a decentralized basis, the term shall include the counterpart local agencies administering such programs, and (2) the tribal organization of an Indian tribe determined by the Secretary to be capable of effectively administering a food distribution program under section 4(b) of this Act or a supplemental nutrition assistance program under section 11(d) of this Act.
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Sec. 5. [7 U.S.C. 2014] (a) Participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program shall be limited to those households whose incomes and other financial resources, held singly or in joint ownership, are determined to be a substantial limiting factor in permitting them to obtain a more nutritious diet. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Act except sections 6(b), 6(d)(2), and 6(g) and section 3(i)(4), and beginning on the date of the enactment of the Food Security Act of 1985, households in which each member receives benefits under a State plan approved under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act, supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act, or aid to the aged, blind, or disabled under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act, shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program. Assistance under this program shall be furnished to all eligible households who make application for such participation.
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(d) Household income for purposes of the supplemental nutrition assistance program shall include all income from whatever source excluding only (1) any gain or benefit which is not in the form of money payable directly to a household (not withstanding its conversion in whole or in part to direct payments to households pursuant to any demonstration project carried out or authorized under Federal law including demonstration projects created by the waiver of provision of Federal law), (2) any income in the certification period which is received too infrequently or irregularly to be reasonably anticipated, but not in excess of $30 in a quarter, subject to modification by the Secretary in light of section 5(f) of this Act, (3) all educational loans on which payment is deferred, grants, scholarships, fellowships, veterans’ educational benefits, and the like to the extent that they are used for tuition and mandatory school fees at an institution of post-secondary education or school for the handicapped, and to the extent loans include any origination fees and insurance premiums, (4) all loans other than educational loans on which repayment is deferred, (5) reimbursements which do not exceed expenses actually incurred and which do not represent a gain or benefit to the household: Provided, That no portion of benefits provided under title IV-A of the Social Security Act, to the extent it is attributable to an adjustment for work-related or child care expenses (except for payments or reimbursements for such expenses made under an employment, education, or training program initiated under such title after the date of enactment of the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988), no portion of any non-Federal educational loan on which payment is deferred, grant, scholarship, fellowship, veterans’ benefits, and the like that are provided for living expenses, and no portion of any Federal educational loan on which payment is deferred, grant, scholarship, fellowship, veterans’ benefits, and the like to the extent it provides income assistance beyond that used for tuition and mandatory school fees, shall be considered such reimbursement, (6) moneys received and used for the care and maintenance of a third-party beneficiary who is not a household member, and child support payments made by a household member to or for an individual who is not a member of the household if the household member is legally obligated to make the payments, and child support payments made by a household member to or for an individual who is not a member of the household if the household member is legally obligated to make the payments, (7) income earned by a child who is a member of the household, who is an elementary or secondary school student, and who is 21 years of age or younger, (8) moneys received in the form of nonrecurring lump-sum payments, including, but not limited to, income tax refunds, rebates, or credits, cash donations based on need that are received from one or more private nonprofit charitable organizations, but not in excess of $300 in the aggregate in a quarter, retroactive lump-sum social security or railroad retirement pension payments and retroactive lump-sum insurance settlements: Provided, That such payments shall be counted as resources, unless specifically excluded by other laws, (9) the cost of producing self-employment income, but household income that otherwise is included under this subsection shall be reduced by the extent that the cost of producing self-employment exceeds the income derived from self-employment as a farmer, and (10) any income that any other Federal law specifically excludes from consideration as income for purposes of determining eligibility for the supplemental nutrition assistance program except as otherwise provided in subsection (k) of this section, (11) any payments or allowances made for the purpose of providing energy assistance (A) any Federal law or (B) under any State or local laws, designated by the State or local legislative body authorizing such payments or allowances as energy assistance, and determined by the Secretary to be calculated as if provided by the State or local government involved on a seasonal basis for an aggregate period not to exceed six months in any year even if such payments or allowances (including tax credits) are not provided on a seasonal basis because it would be administratively infeasible or impracticable to do so, (12) through September 30 of any fiscal year, any increase in income attributable to a cost-of-living adjustment made on or after July 1 of such fiscal year under title II or XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.), section 3(a)(1) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (45 U.S.C. 231b(a)(1), or section 3112 of title 38, United States Code, if the household was certified as eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program or received an allotment in the month immediately preceding the first month in which the adjustment was effective, (13) at the option of a State agency and subject to subsection (m), child support payments that are excluded under section 402(a)(8)(A)(vi) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 602(a)(8)(A)(vi)), (14) any payment made to the household under section 3507 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to advance payment of earned income credit), (15) any payment made to the household under section 6(d)(4)(I) for work related expenses or for dependent care, (16) at the option of the State agency, any educational loans on which payment is deferred, grants, scholarships, fellowships, veterans’ educational benefits, and the like (other than loans, grants, scholarships, fellowships, veterans’ educational benefits, and the like excluded under paragraph (3)), to the extent that they are required to be excluded under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), (17) at the option of the State agency, any State complementary assistance program payments that are excluded for the purpose of determining eligibility for medical assistance under section 1931 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396u-1), and (18) at the option of the State agency, any types of income that the State agency does not consider when determining eligibility for (A) cash assistance under a program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) or the amount of such assistance, or (B) medical assistance under section 1931 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396u-1), except that this paragraph does not authorize a State agency to exclude wages or salaries, benefits under title I, II, IV, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), regular payments from a government source (such as unemployment benefits and general assistance), worker’s compensation, child support payments made to a household member by an individual who is legally obligated to make the payments, or such other types of income the consideration of which the Secretary determines by regulation to be essential to equitable determinations of eligibility and benefit levels.
(e) Deductions From Income.—
(1) Standard deduction.—
(A) In general.—
(i) Deduction.—The Secretary shall allow a standard deduction for each household in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands of the United States in an amount that is—
(I) equal to 8.31 percent of the income standard of eligibility established under subsection (c)(1); but
(II) not more than 8.31 percent of the income standard of eligibility established under subsection (c)(1) for a household of 6 members.
(ii) Minimum amount.—Notwithstanding clause (i), the standard deduction for each household in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands of the United States shall be not less than $134, $229, $189, and $118, respectively.
(i) In general.—The Secretary shall allow a standard deduction for each household in Guam in an amount that is—
(I) equal to 8.31 percent of twice the income standard of eligibility established under subsection (c)(1) for the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia; but
(II) not more than 8.31 percent of twice the income standard of eligibility established under subsection (c)(1) for the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia for a household of 6 members.
(ii) Minimum amount.—Notwithstanding clause (i), the standard deduction for each household in Guam shall be not less than $269.
(2) Earned income deduction.—
(A) “Earned income” defined.—In this paragraph, the term “earned income” does not include—
(i) income excluded by subsection (d) of this section; or
(ii) any portion of income earned under a work supplementation or support program, as defined under section 2025(b) of this title, that is attributable to public assistance.
(B) Deduction.—Except as provided in subparagraph (C), a household with earned income shall be allowed a deduction of 20 percent of all earned income to compensate for taxes, other mandatory deductions from salary, and work expenses.
(C) Exception.—The deduction described in subparagraph (B) shall not be allowed with respect to determining an overissuance due to the failure of a household to report earned income in a timely manner.
(3) Dependent care deduction.—
(A) In general.—A household shall be entitled, with respect to expenses (other than excluded expenses described in subparagraph (B)) for dependent care, to a dependent care deduction, the maximum allowable level of which shall be $200 per month for each dependent child under 2 years of age and $175 per month for each other dependent, for the actual cost of payments necessary for the care of a dependent if the care enables a household member to accept or continue employment, or training or education that is preparatory for employment.
(B) Excluded expenses.—The excluded expenses referred to in subparagraph (A) are—
(i) expenses paid on behalf of the household by a third party;
(ii) amounts made available and excluded, for the expenses referred to in subparagraph (A), under subsection (d)(3) of this section; and
(iii) expenses that are paid under section 2015(d)(4) of this title.
(4) Deduction for child support payments.—
(A) In general.—In lieu of providing an exclusion for legally obligated child support payments made by a household member under subsection (d)(6), a State agency may elect to provide a deduction for the amount of the payments.
(B) Order of determining deductions.—A deduction under this paragraph shall be determined before the computation of the excess shelter expense deduction under paragraph (6).
(5) Excess medical expense deduction.—
(A) In general.—A household containing an elderly or disabled member shall be entitled, with respect to expenses other than expenses paid on behalf of the household by a third party, to an excess medical expense deduction for the portion of the actual costs of allowable medical expenses, incurred by the elderly or disabled member, exclusive of special diets, that exceeds $35 per month.
(B) Method of claiming deduction.—
(i) In general.—A State agency shall offer an eligible household under subparagraph (A) a method of claiming a deduction for recurring medical expenses that are initially verified under the excess medical expense deduction in lieu of submitting information on, or verification of, actual expenses on a monthly basis.
(ii) Method.—The method described in clause (i) shall—
(I) be designed to minimize the burden for the eligible elderly or disabled household member choosing to deduct the recurrent medical expenses of the member pursuant to the method;
(II) rely on reasonable estimates of the expected medical expenses of the member for the certification period (including changes that can be reasonably anticipated based on available information about the medical condition of the member, public or private medical insurance coverage, and the current verified medical expenses incurred by the member); and
(III) not require further reporting or verification of a change in medical expenses if such a change has been anticipated for the certification period.
(6) Excess shelter expense deduction.—
(A) In general.—A household shall be entitled, with respect to expenses other than expenses paid on behalf of the household by a third party, to an excess shelter expense deduction to the extent that the monthly amount expended by a household for shelter exceeds an amount equal to 50 percent of monthly household income after all other applicable deductions have been allowed.
(B) Maximum amount of deduction.—In the case of a household that does not contain an elderly or disabled individual, in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States, the excess shelter expense deduction shall not exceed—
(i) for the period beginning on August 22, 1996, and ending on December 31, 1996, $247, $429, $353, $300, and $182 per month, respectively;
(ii) for the period beginning on January 1, 1997, and ending on September 30, 1998, $250, $434, $357, $304, and $184 per month, respectively;
(iii) for fiscal year 1999, $275, $478, $393, $334, and $203 per month, respectively;
(iv) for fiscal year 2000, $280, $483, $398, $339, and $208 per month, respectively;
(v) for fiscal year 2001, $340, $543, $458, $399, and $268 per month, respectively; and
(vi) for fiscal year 2002 and each subsequent fiscal year, the applicable amount during the preceding fiscal year, as adjusted to reflect changes for the 12-month period ending the preceding November 30 in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.
(C) Standard utility allowance.—
(i) In general.—In computing the excess shelter expense deduction, a State agency may use a standard utility allowance in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Secretary, except that a State agency may use an allowance that does not fluctuate within a year to reflect seasonal variations.
(ii) Restrictions on heating and cooling expenses.—An allowance for a heating or cooling expense may not be used in the case of a household that—
(I) does not incur a heating or cooling expense, as the case may be;
(II) does incur a heating or cooling expense but is located in a public housing unit that has central utility meters and charges households, with regard to the expense, only for excess utility costs; or
(III) shares the expense with, and lives with, another individual not participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, another household participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or both, unless the allowance is prorated between the household and the other individual, household, or both.
(iii) Mandatory allowance.—
(I) In general.—A State agency may make the use of a standard utility allowance mandatory for all households with qualifying utility costs if—
(aa) the State agency has developed 1 or more standards that include the cost of heating and cooling and 1 or more standards that do not include the cost of heating and cooling; and
(bb) the Secretary finds (without regard to subclause (III)) that the standards will not result in an increased cost to the Secretary.
(II) Household election.—A State agency that has not made the use of a standard utility allowance mandatory under subclause (I) shall allow a household to switch, at the end of a certification period, between the standard utility allowance and a deduction based on the actual utility costs of the household.
(III) Inapplicability of certain restrictions.—Clauses (ii)(II) and (ii)(III) shall not apply in the case of a State agency that has made the use of a standard utility allowance mandatory under subclause (I).
(iv) Availability of allowance to recipients of energy assistance.—
(I) In general.—Subject to subclause (II), if a State agency elects to use a standard utility allowance that reflects heating or cooling costs, the standard utility allowance shall be made available to households receiving a payment, or on behalf of which a payment is made, under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.) or other similar energy assistance program, if the household still incurs out-of-pocket heating or cooling expenses in excess of any assistance paid on behalf of the household to an energy provider.
(II) Separate allowance.—A State agency may use a separate standard utility allowance for households on behalf of which a payment described in subclause (I) is made, but may not be required to do so.
(III) States not electing to use separate allowance.—A State agency that does not elect to use a separate allowance but makes a single standard utility allowance available to households incurring heating or cooling expenses (other than a household described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (ii)) may not be required to reduce the allowance due to the provision (directly or indirectly) of assistance under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.).
(IV) Proration of assistance.—For the purpose of the supplemental nutrition assistance program, assistance provided under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.) shall be considered to be prorated over the entire heating or cooling season for which the assistance was provided.
(D) Homeless households.—
(i) Alternative deduction.—In lieu of the deduction provided under subparagraph (A), a State agency may elect to allow a household in which all members are homeless individuals, but that is not receiving free shelter throughout the month, to receive a deduction of $143 per month.
(ii) Ineligibility.—The State agency may make a household with extremely low shelter costs ineligible for the alternative deduction under clause (i).
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Sec.6. [7 U.S.C. 2015]
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(l) Custodial Parent’s Cooperation With Child Support Agencies.—
(1) In general.—At the option of a State agency, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), no natural or adoptive parent or other individual (collectively referred to in this subsection as “the individual”) who is living with and exercising parental control over a child under the age of 18 who has an absent parent shall be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program unless the individual cooperates with the State agency administering the program established under part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et seq.)—
(A) in establishing the paternity of the child (if the child is born out of wedlock); and
(B) in obtaining support for—
(i) the child; or
(ii) the individual and the child.
(2) Good cause for noncooperation.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the individual if good cause is found for refusing to cooperate, as determined by the State agency in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The standards shall take into consideration circumstances under which cooperation may be against the best interests of the child.
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VALUE OF ALLOTMENT
Sec. 8. [7 U.S.C. 2017]
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(b) The value of benefits that may be provided under this Act, whether through coupons, access devices, or otherwise shall not be considered income or resources for any purpose under any Federal, State, or local laws, including, but not limited to, laws relating to taxation, welfare, and public assistance programs, and no participating State or political subdivision thereof shall decrease any assistance otherwise provided an individual or individuals because of the receipt of benefits under this Act.
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Sec. 11. [7 U.S.C. 2020]
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(e) The State plan of operation required under subsection (d) of this section shall provide, among such other provisions as may be required by regulation—
(1) that the State agency shall (A) at the option of the State agency, inform low-income households about the availability, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and benefits of the supplemental nutrition assistance program; and (B) use appropriate bilingual personnel and printed material in the administration of the program in those portions of political subdivisions in the State in which a substantial number of members of low-income households speak a language other than English;
(2)(A) that the State agency shall establish procedures governing the operation of food stamp offices that the State agency determines best serve households in the State, including households with special needs, such as households with elderly or disabled members, households in rural areas with low-income members, homeless individuals, households residing on reservations, and households in areas in which a substantial number of members of low-income households speak a language other than English.
(B) In carrying out subparagraph (A), a State agency—
(i) shall provide timely, accurate, and fair service to applicants for, and participants in, the supplemental nutrition assistance program;
(ii) shall develop an application containing the information necessary to comply with this Act;
(iii) shall permit an applicant household to apply to participate in the program on the same day that the household first contacts a food stamp office in person during office hours;
(iv) shall consider an application that contains the name, address, and signature of the applicant to be filed on the date the applicant submits the application;
(v) shall require that an adult representative of each applicant household certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that —
(I) the information contained in the application is true; and
(II) all members of the household are citizens or are aliens eligible to receive food stamps under section 6(f);
(vi) shall provide a method of certifying and issuing coupons to eligible homeless individuals, to ensure that participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program is limited to eligible households; and
(vii) may establish operating procedures that vary for local food stamp offices to reflect regional and local differences within the State.
(C) Nothing in this Act shall prohibit the use of signatures provided and maintained electronically, storage of records using automated retrieval systems only, or any other feature of a State agency’s application system that does not rely exclusively on the collection and retention of paper applications or other records.
(D) The signature of any adult under this paragraph shall be considered sufficient to comply with any provision of Federal law requiring a household member to sign an application or statement;
(3) that the State agency shall thereafter promptly determine the eligibility of each applicant household by way of verification of income other than that determined to be excluded by section 5(d) of this Act (in part through the use of the information, if any, obtained under section 16(e) of this Act), household size (in any case such size is questionable), and such other eligibility factors as the Secretary determines to be necessary to implement sections 5 and 6 of this Act, although the State agency may verify prior to certification, whether questionable or not, the size of any applicant household and such other eligibility factors as the State agency determines are necessary, so as to complete certification of and provide an allotment retroactive to the period of application to any eligible household not later than thirty days following its filing of an application, and that the State agency shall provide each applicant household, at the time of application, a clear written statement explaining what acts the household must perform to cooperate in obtaining verification and otherwise completing the application process;
(4) that the State agency shall insure that each participating household receive a notice of expiration of its certification prior to the start of the last month of its certification period advising the household that it must submit a new application in order to renew its eligibility for a new certification period and, further, that each such household which seeks to be certified another time or more times thereafter by filing an application for such recertification no later than fifteen days prior to the day upon which its existing certification period expires shall, if found to be still eligible, receive its allotment no later than one month after the receipt of the last allotment issued to it pursuant to its prior certification, but if such household is found to be ineligible or to be eligible for a smaller allotment during the new certification period it shall not continue to participate and receive benefits on the basis authorized for the preceding certification period even if it makes a timely request for a fair hearing pursuant to paragraph (10) of this subsection: Provided, That the timeliness standards for submitting the notice of expiration and filing an application for recertification may be modified by the Secretary in light of sections 5(f)(2) and 6(c) of this Act if administratively necessary;
(5) the specific standards to be used in determining the eligibility of applicant households which shall be in accordance with sections 5 and 6 of this Act and shall include no additional requirements imposed by the State agency;
(A) the State agency shall undertake the certification of applicant households in accordance with the general procedures prescribed by the Secretary in the regulations issued pursuant to this Act; and
(B) the State agency personnel utilized in undertaking such certification shall be employed in accordance with the current standards for a Merit System of Personnel Administration or any standards later prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management pursuant to section 208 of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 modifying or superseding such standards relating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit basis;
(7) that an applicant household may be represented in the certification process and that an eligible household may be represented in coupon issuance or food purchase by a person other than a member of the household so long as that person has been clearly designated as the representative of that household for that purpose by the head of the household or the spouse of the head, and, where the certification process is concerned, the representative is an adult who is sufficiently aware of relevant household circumstances, except that the Secretary may restrict the number of households which may be represented by an individual and otherwise establish criteria and verification standards for representation under this paragraph;
(8) safeguards which limit the use or disclosure of information obtained from applicant households to persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of the provisions of this Act, regulations issued pursuant to this Act, Federal assistance programs, or federally assisted State programs, except that—
(A) the safeguards shall not prevent the use or disclosure of such information to the Comptroller General of the United States for audit and examination authorized by any other provision of law;
(B) notwithstanding any other provision of law, all information obtained under this Act from an applicant household shall be made available, upon request, to local, State or Federal law enforcement officials for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of this Act or any regulation issued under this Act;
(C) the safeguards shall not prevent the use by, or disclosure of such information, to agencies of the Federal Government (including the United States Postal Service) for purposes of collecting the amount of an overissuance of coupons, as determined under section 13(b) of this Act, from Federal pay (including salaries and pensions) as authorized pursuant to section 5514 of title 5 of the United States Code or a Federal income tax refund as authorized by section 3720A of title 31, United States Code;
(D) notwithstanding any other provision of law, the address, social security number, and, if available, photograph of any member of a household shall be made available, on request, to any Federal, State, or local law enforcement officer if the officer furnishes the State agency with the name of the member and notifies the agency that—
(i) the member—
(I) is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime (or attempt to commit a crime) that, under the law of the place the member is fleeing, is a felony (or, in the case of New Jersey, a high misdemeanor), or is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under Federal or State law; or
(II) has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct an official duty related to subclause (I);
(ii) locating or apprehending the member is an official duty; and
(iii) the request is being made in the proper exercise of an official duty; and
(E) the safeguards shall not prevent compliance with paragraph (16) or (20)(B);
(9) that the State agency shall—
(A) provide coupons no later than 7 days after the date of application to any household which—
(i)(I) has gross income that is less than $150 per month; or
(II) is a destitute migrant or a seasonal farmworker household in accordance with the regulations governing such households in effect July 1, 1982; and
(ii) has liquid resources that do not exceed $100;
(B) provide coupons no later than 7 days after the date of application to any household that has a combined gross income and liquid resources that is less than the monthly rent, or mortgage, and utilities of the household; and
(C) to the extent practicable, verify the income and liquid resources of a household referred to in subparagraph (A) or (B), prior to issuance of coupons to the household;
(10) for the granting of a fair hearing and a prompt determination thereafter to any household aggrieved by the action of the State agency under any provision of its plan of operation as it affects the participation of such household in the supplemental nutrition assistance program or by a claim against the household for an overissuance: Provided, That any household which timely requests such a fair hearing after receiving individual notice of agency action reducing or terminating its benefits within the household’s certification period shall continue to participate and receive benefits on the basis authorized immediately prior to the notice of adverse action until such time as the fair hearing is completed and an adverse decision rendered or until such time as the household’s certification period terminates, whichever occurs earlier, except that in any case in which the State agency receives from the household a written statement containing information that clearly requires a reduction or termination of the household’s benefits, the State agency may act immediately to reduce or terminate the household’s benefits and may provide notice of its action to the household as late as the date on which the action becomes effective. At the option of a State, at any time prior to a fair hearing determination under this paragraph, a household may withdraw, orally or in writing, a request by the household for the fair hearing. If the withdrawal request is an oral request, the State agency shall provide a written notice to the household confirming the withdrawal request and providing the household with an opportunity to request a hearing.
(11) upon receipt of a request from a household, for the prompt restoration in the form of coupons to a household of any allotment or portion thereof which has been wrongfully denied or terminated, except that allotments shall not be restored for any period of time more than one year prior to the date the State agency receives a request for such restoration from a household or the State agency is notified or otherwise discovers that a loss to a household has occurred;
(12) for the submission of such reports and other information as from time to time may be required by the Secretary;
(13) for indicators of expected performance in the administration of the program;
(14) that the State agency shall specify a plan of operation for providing food stamps for households that are victims of a disaster; that such plan shall include, but not be limited to, procedures for informing the public about the disaster program and how to apply for its benefits, coordination with Federal and private disaster relief agencies and local government officials, application procedures to reduce hardship and inconvenience and deter fraud, and instruction of caseworkers in procedures for implementing and operating the disaster program;
(15) that the State agency shall require each household certified as eligible to participate by methods other than the out-of-office methods specified in the fourth sentence of paragraph (2) of this subsection in those project areas or parts of project areas in which the Secretary, in consultation with the Department’s Inspector General, finds that it would be useful to protect the program’s integrity and would be cost effective, to present a photographic identification card when using its authorization card in order to receive its coupons. The State agency may permit a member of a household to comply with this paragraph by presenting a photographic identification card used to receive assistance under a welfare or public assistance program;
(16) notwithstanding paragraph (8) of this subsection, for the immediate reporting to the Immigration and Naturalization Service by the State agency of a determination by personnel responsible for the certification or recertification of households that any member of a household is ineligible to receive food stamps because that member is present in the United States in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
(17) at the option of the State agency, for the establishment and operation of an automatic data processing and information retrieval system that meets such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe and that is designed to provide efficient and effective administration of the supplemental nutrition assistance program;
(18) at the option of the State agency, that information may be requested and exchanged for purposes of income and eligibility verification in accordance with a State system which meets the requirements of section 1137 of the Social Security Act and that any additional information available from agencies administering State unemployment compensation laws under the provisions of section 303(d) of the Social Security Act may be requested and utilized by the State agency (described in section 3(n)(1) of this Act) to the extent permitted under the provisions of section 303(d) of the Social Security Act;
(19) that, in project areas or parts thereof where authorization cards are used, and eligible households are required to present photographic identification cards in order to receive their coupons, the State agency shall include, in any agreement or contract with a coupon issuer, a provision that (A) the issuer shall (i) require the presenter to furnish a photographic identification card at the time the authorization card is presented, and (ii) record on the authorization card the identification number shown on the photographic identification card; and (B) if the State agency determines that the authorization card has been stolen or otherwise was not received by a household certified as eligible, the issuer shall be liable to the State agency for the face value of any coupons issued in the transaction in which such card is used and the issuer fails to comply with the requirements of clause (A) of this paragraph;
(20) that the State agency shall establish a system and take action on a periodic basis—
(A) to verify and otherwise ensure that an individual does not receive coupons in more than 1 jurisdiction within the State; and
(B) to verify and otherwise ensure that an individual who is placed under detention in a Federal, State, or local penal, correctional, or other detention facility for more than 30 days shall not be eligible to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of any household, except that—
(i) the Secretary may determine that extraordinary circumstances make it impracticable for the State agency to obtain information necessary to discontinue inclusion of the individual; and
(ii) a State agency that obtains information collected under section 1611(e)(1)(I)(i)(I) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1382(e)(1)(I)(i)(I)) pursuant to section 1611(e)(1)(I)(ii)(II) of that Act (42 U.S.C. 1382(e)(1)(I)(ii)(II)), or under another program determined by the Secretary to be comparable to the program carried out under that section, shall be considered in compliance with this subparagraph
(21) the plans of the State agency for carrying out employment and training programs under section 6(d)(4), including the nature and extent of such programs, the geographic areas and households to be covered under such program, and the basis, including any cost information, for exemptions of categories and individuals and for the choice of employment and training program components reflected in the plans;
(22) in a project area in which 5,000 or more households participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, for the establishment and operation of a unit for the detection of fraud in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, including the investigation, and assistance in the prosecution, of such fraud;
(23) at the option of the State, for procedures necessary to obtain payment of uncollected overissuance of coupons from unemployment compensation pursuant to section 13(c);
(24) the guidelines the State agency uses in carrying out section 6(i); and
(25) if a State elects to carry out a Simplified Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program under section 26, the plans of the State agency for operating the program, including—
(A) the rules and procedures to be followed by the State agency to determine food stamp benefits;
(B) how the State agency will address the needs of households that experience high shelter costs in relation to the incomes of the households; and
(C) a description of the method by which the State agency will carry out a quality control system under section 16(c).
(26) the guidelines the State agency uses in carrying out section 6(i); and
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(i) Application and Denial Procedures.—
(1) Application procedures.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, households in which all members are applicants for or recipients of supplemental security income shall be informed of the availability of benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program and be assisted in making a simple application to participate in such program at the social security office and be certified for eligibility utilizing information contained in files of the Social Security Administration;
(2) Denial and termination.—Except in a case of disqualification as a penalty for failure to comply with a public assistance program rule or regulation, no household shall have it application to participate in the supplemental nutrition assistance program denied nor its benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program terminated solely on the basis that its application to participate has been denied or its benefits have been terminated under any of the programs carried out under the statutes specified in the second sentence of section 5(a) and without a separate determination by the State agency that the household fails to satisfy the eligibility requirements for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program.
(j)(1) Any individual who is an applicant for or recipient of supplemental security income or social security benefits (under regulations prescribed by the Secretary in conjunction with the Commissioner of Social Security) shall be informed of the availability of benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program and informed of the availability of a simple application to participate in such program at the social security office.
(2) The Secretary and the Commissioner of Social Security shall revise the memorandum of understanding in effect on the date of enactment of the Food Security Act of 1985, regarding services to be provided in social security offices under this subsection and subsection (i), in a manner to ensure that—
(A) applicants for and recipients of social security benefits are adequately notified in social security offices that assistance may be available to them under this Act;
(B) applications for assistance under this Act from households in which all members are applicants for or recipients of supplemental security income will be forwarded immediately to the State agency in an efficient and timely manner; and
(C) the Commissioner of Social Security receives from the Secretary reimbursement for costs incurred to provide such services.
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(p) State Verification Option.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in carrying out the supplemental nutrition assistance program, a State agency shall not be required to use an income and eligibility or an immigration status verification system established under section 1137 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1320b-7).
(q) Denial of Food Stamps for Prisoners.—The Secretary shall assist States, to the maximum extent practicable, in implementing a system to conduct computer matches or other systems to prevent prisoners described in section 11(e)(20)(B) from participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program as a member of any household.
(r) Denial of Food Stamps for Deceased Individuals.—Each State agency shall—
(1) enter into a cooperative arrangement with the Commissioner of Social Security, pursuant to the authority of the Commissioner under section 205(r)(3) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 405(r)(3)), to obtain information on individuals who are deceased; and
(2) use the information to verify and otherwise ensure that benefits are not issued to individuals who are deceased.
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(s) Transitional Benefits Option.—
(1) In general.—A State agency may provide transitional food stamp benefits to a household that ceases to receive cash assistance under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
(2) Transitional benefits period.—Under paragraph (1), a household may receive transitional food stamp benefits for a period of not more than 5 months after the date on which cash assistance is terminated.
(3) Amount of benefits.—During the transitional benefits period under paragraph (2), a household shall receive an amount of food stamp benefits equal to the allotment received in the month immediately preceding the date on which cash assistance was terminated, adjusted for the change in household income as a result of—
(A) the termination of cash assistance; and
(B) at the option of the State agency, information from another program in which the household participates.
(4) Determination of future eligibility.—In the final month of the transitional benefits period under paragraph (2), the State agency may—
(A) require the household to cooperate in a recertification of eligibility; and
(B) initiate a new certification period for the household without regard to whether the preceding certification period has expired.
(5) Limitation.—A household shall not be eligible for transitional benefits under this subsection if the household—
(A) loses eligibility under section 6;
(B) is sanctioned for a failure to perform an action required by Federal, State, or local law relating to a cash assistance program described in paragraph (1); or
(C) is a member of any other category of households designated by the State agency as ineligible for transitional benefits.
(6) Applications for recertification.—
(A) In general.—A household receiving transitional benefits under this subsection may apply for recertification at any time during the transitional benefits period under paragraph (2).
(B) Determination of allotment.—If a household applies for recertification under subparagraph (A), the allotment of the household for all subsequent months shall be determined without regard to this subsection.
COLLECTION AND DISPOSITION OF CLAIMS
Sec. 13. [7 U.S.C. 2022]
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(c)(1) As used in this subsection, the term “uncollected overissuance” means the amount of an overissuance of coupons, as determined under subsection (b)(1), that has not been recovered pursuant to subsection (b)(1).
(2) A State agency may determine on a periodic basis, from information supplied pursuant to section 3(b) of the Wagner-Peyser Act (29 U.S.C. 49b(b)), whether an individual receiving compensation under the State’s unemployment compensation law (including amounts payable pursuant to an agreement under a Federal unemployment compensation law) owes an uncollected overissuance.
(3) A State agency may recover an uncollected overissuance—
(i) entering into an agreement with an individual described in paragraph (2) under which specified amounts will be withheld from unemployment compensation otherwise payable to the individual; and
(ii) furnishing a copy of the agreement to the State agency administering the unemployment compensation law; or
(B) in the absence of an agreement, by obtaining a writ, order, summons, or other similar process in the nature of garnishment from a court of competent jurisdiction to require the withholding of amounts from the unemployment compensation.
(d) The amount of an overissuance of coupons as determined under subsection (b) and except for claims arising from an error of the State agency, that has not been recovered pursuant to such subsection may be recovered from Federal pay (including salaries and pensions) as authorized by section 5514 of title 5 of the United States Code.
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ADMINISTRATIVE COST-SHARING AND QUALITY CONTROL
Sec. 16. [7 U.S.C. 2025]
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(e) The Secretary and State agencies shall (1) require, as a condition of eligibility for participation in the supplemental nutrition assistance program, that each household member furnish to the State agency their social security account number (or numbers, if they have more than one number), and (2) use such account numbers in the administration of the supplemental nutrition assistance program. The Secretary and State agencies shall have access to the information regarding individual supplemental nutrition assistance program applicants and participants who receive benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act that has been provided to the Commissioner of Social Security, but only to the extent that the Secretary and the Commissioner of Social Security determine necessary for purposes of determining or auditing a household’s eligibility to receive assistance or the amount thereof under the supplemental nutrition assistance program, or verifying information related thereto.
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[Internal References.—SSAct §§303(d), 433(c), 454(4), (6) and (29), 1137(b) and 1924(d) cite the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008. SSAct Title XVI (SSI), §232 headings, §§2(a), 205(c), and 303(d), have footnotes referring to P.L. 88-525. SSAct §§2(a), 1002(a), 1402(a), 1602(a)(State) 1612(b) and 1613(a) have footnotes referring to Appendix K (this Volume) which provides a list of Federal law provisions, including P.L. 88-525, §8(b), relating to income and resources.]