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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of November 20, 2014

Title 7Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter C → Part 272


Title 7: Agriculture


PART 272—REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING STATE AGENCIES


Contents
§272.1   General terms and conditions.
§272.2   Plan of operation.
§272.3   Operating guidelines and forms.
§272.4   Program administration and personnel requirements.
§272.5   Program informational activities.
§272.6   Nondiscrimination compliance.
§272.7   Procedures for program administration in Alaska.
§272.8   State income and eligibility verification system.
§272.9   Approval of homeless meal providers.
§272.10   ADP/CIS Model Plan.
§272.11   Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program.
§272.12   Computer matching requirements.
§272.13   Prisoner verification system (PVS).
§272.14   Deceased matching system.

Authority: 7 U.S.C. 2011-2036.

Editorial Note: OMB control numbers relating to this part 272 are contained in §271.8.

§272.1   General terms and conditions.

(a) Coupons do not reduce benefits. The coupon allotment provided any eligible household shall not be considered income or resources for any purpose under any Federal, State, or local laws including, but not limited to, laws on taxation, welfare, and public assistance programs. No participating State or political subdivision shall decrease any assistance otherwise provided an individual or individuals because of the receipt of a coupon allotment.

(b) No sales taxes on food stamp purchases. (1) A State shall not participate in the Food Stamp Program if State or local sales taxes or other taxes or fees, including but not limited to excise taxes, are collected within the State on purchases made with food stamp coupons. “Purchases made with food coupons” for purposes of this provision shall refer to purchases of “eligible foods” as defined in §271.2. Where the total value of groceries being bought by the recipient is larger than the amount of coupons being presented by the recipient, only the portion of the sale made in exchange for food stamps must be exempt from taxation in order for a State to satisfy the requirements of this provision. Although a food stamp recipient may use a combination of cash and food stamps in making a food purchase, only the dollar amount represented by the food coupons needs to be exempt from taxation.

(2) State and/or local law shall not permit the imposition of tax on food paid for with coupons. FNS may terminate the issuance of coupons and disallow administrative funds otherwise payable pursuant to part 277 in any State where such taxes are charged. Action to disallow administrative funds shall be taken in accordance with the procedures set forth in §276.4.

(3) A State or local area which taxes some, but not all, eligible food items shall ensure that retail food stores in that locale sequence purchases of eligible foods paid for with a combination of coupons and cash so as to not directly or indirectly charge or assign a tax to food stamp recipients on eligible food items purchased with coupons. Prohibited methods include, but are not limited to, the allocation of coupons first to non-taxable eligible items, and the application of cash, rather than coupons, to taxable eligible food.

(c) Disclosure. (1) Use or disclosure of information obtained from food stamp applicant or recipient households shall be restricted to:

(i) Persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of the provisions of the Food Stamp Act or regulations, other Federal assistance programs, federally-assisted State programs providing assistance on a means-tested basis to low income individuals, or general assistance programs which are subject to the joint processing requirements in §273.2(j)(2).

(ii) Persons directly connected with the administration or enforcement of the programs which are required to participate in the State income and eligibility verification system (IEVS) as specified in §272.8(a)(2), to the extent the food stamp information is useful in establishing or verifying eligibility or benefit amounts under those programs;

(iii) Persons directly connected with the verification of immigration status of aliens applying for food stamp benefits, through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program, to the extent the information is necessary to identify the individual for verification purposes.

(iv) Persons directly connected with the administration of the Child Support Program under part D, title IV of the Social Security Act in order to assist in the administration of that program, and employees of the Secretary of Health and Human Services as necessary to assist in establishing or verifying eligibility or benefits under titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act;

(v) Employees of the Comptroller General's Office of the United States for audit examination authorized by any other provison of law; and

(vi) Local, State, or Federal law enforcement officials, upon their written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act or regulation. The written request shall include the identity of the individual requesting the information and his authority to do so, violation being investigated, and the identity of the person on whom the information is requested.

(vii) Local, State or Federal law enforcement officers, upon written request, for the purpose of obtaining the address, social security number, and, if available, photograph of any household member, if the member is fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody for a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, that would be classified as a felony (or in the State of New Jersey, a high misdemeanor), or is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under a Federal or State law. The State agency shall not require a household to present photographic identification as a condition of eligibility and must accept any document that reasonably establishes the applicant's identity. The State agency shall also provide information regarding a household member, upon the written request of a law enforcement officer acting in his or her official capacity, where such member has information necessary for the apprehension or investigation of another member who is fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody for a felony, or has violated a condition of probation or parole. If a law enforcement officer provides documentation indicating that a household member is fleeing to avoid prosecution or custody for a felony, or has violated a condition of probation or parole, the State agency shall terminate the participation of the member. A request for information absent documentation would not be sufficient to terminate the member's participation. The State agency shall disclose only such information as is necessary to comply with a specific written request of a law enforcement agency authorized by this paragraph.

(viii) Local educational agencies administering the National School Lunch Program established under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or the School Breakfast Program established under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, for the purpose of directly certifying the eligibility of school-aged children for receipt of free meals under the School Lunch and School Breakfast programs based on their receipt of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

(2) Recipients of information released under paragraph (c)(1) of this section must adequately protect the information against unauthorized disclosure to persons or for purposes not specified in this section. In addition, information received through the IEVS must be protected from unauthorized disclosure as required by regulations established by the information provider. Information released to the State agency pursuant to section 6103(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 shall be subject to the safeguards established by the Secretary of the Treasury in section 6103(l) of the Internal Revenue Code and implemented by the Internal Revenue Service in its publication, Tax Information and Security Guidelines.

(3) If there is a written request by a responsible member of the household, its currently authorized representative, or a person acting on its behalf to review material and information contained in its casefile, the material and information contained in the casefile shall be made available for inspection during normal business hours. However, the State agency may withhold confidential information, such as the names of individuals who have disclosed information about the household without the household's knowledge, or the nature or status of pending criminal prosecutions.

(d) Information available to the public. (1) Federal regulations, Federal procedures embodied in FNS notices and policy memos, State Plans of Operation, and corrective action plans shall be available upon request for examination by members of the public during office hours at the State agency headquarters as well as at FNS regional and national offices. State agency handbooks shall be available for examination upon request at each local certification office within each project area as well as at the State agency headquarters and FNS Regional offices. State agencies, at their option, may require other offices within the State to maintain a copy of Federal regulations.

(2) Copies of regulations, plans of operation, State manuals, State corrective action plans, and Federal procedures may be obtained from FNS in accordance with part 295 of this chapter.

(e) Records and reports. Each State agency shall keep such records and submit such reports and other information as required by FNS.

(f) Retention of records. Each State agency shall retain all Program records in an orderly fashion for audit and review purposes for no less than 3 years from the month of origin of each record. In addition:

(1) The State agency shall retain fiscal records and accountable documents for 3 years from the date of fiscal or administrative closure. Fiscal closure means that obligations for or against the Federal government have been liquidated. Administrative closure means that the State agency has determined and documented that no further action to liquidate the obligation is appropriate. Fiscal records and accountable documents include, but are not limited to, claims and documentation of lost benefits.

(2) Case records relating to intentional Program violation disqualifications and related notices to the household shall be retained indefinitely until the State agency obtains reliable information that the record subject has died or until FNS advises via the disqualified recipient database system edit report that all records associated with a particular individual, including the disqualified recipient database record, may be permanently removed from the database because of the individual's 80th birthday.

(3) Disqualification records submitted to the disqualified recipient database must be purged by the State agency that submitted them when the supporting documents are no longer accurate, relevant, or complete. The State agency shall follow a prescribed records management program to meet this requirement. Information about this program shall be available for FNS review.

(g) Implementation. The implementation schedule for any amendment to the regulations shall be specified in the amendment.

(1) Amendment 132. Program changes required by Amendment 132 to the food stamp regulations shall be implemented as follows:

(i) State agencies shall eliminate the purchase requirement for all households on or before January 1, 1979. The State agency shall designate the month the purchase requirement is to be eliminated. If the month designated is other than January 1979, the State agency shall obtain prior approval of FNS. FNS shall approve the designation of months prior to January 1979, if the State agency demonstrates that an accounting procedure for the new issuance system will be in place. The submission dates for the forms FNS-250 and FNS-256, stipulated in §274.8(a), shall be effective with the reports for the first month of issuance without a purchase requirement. For example, if EPR is implemented in January, the FNS-250 and FNS-256 for January would be due by March 17, 1979. The FNS-259 shall be submitted in accordance with §274.8(a)(3) starting with the quarter beginning January 1979.

(ii) State agencies may implement all eligibility rules contained in part 273 and all issuance rules contained in part 274 at the same time the purchase requirement is eliminated, but in no case shall eligibility and issuance rules be implemented prior to elimination of the purchase requirement. State agencies may also implement portions of part 273 and part 274 separately after the purchase requirement is eliminated, provided that the eligibility rules setting the income standards, the income deductions and the household allotment calculation are implemented at the same time, and all rules are implemented no later than 3 months after the purchase requirement is eliminated. However, if a State agency implements EPR after December 1, 1978, it shall implement the certification and other issuance regulations for all new applications and recertifications no later than March 1, 1979.

(iii) State agencies shall have up to 4 months following the first day that applications are taken under the new rules, to convert the current caseload to the new program. Households coming due for recertification during this time will be converted to the new program at recertification. Remaining households shall be converted by a desk review during that 4-month period. The new income definition, deductions, and allotment calculation shall be completed for all households which are converted through a desk review. To the extent that the case file and other information available to the State agency permit, other eligibility criteria, such as work registration, resources, tax dependency, and alien status, shall be considered during the desk review. Otherwise, nonincome eligibility factors shall be deferred until the household's scheduled recertification. In no event shall a household's certification period be extended as a result of the desk review. Until recertified or converted by a desk review, a household shall continue to receive the bonus portion of the allotment, calculated in accordance with the income, deduction, and basis of issuance provisons of the Food Stamp Act of 1964. During the case file conversion period, some households may be participating on the basis of the old program rules and some on the new rules. Claims against households and restoration of benefits shall not be assessed provided that whichever program rules are in use for a particular case are correctly applied during the conversion period. However, errors caused by miscalculations based on the old or new program rules which result in an entitlement to restoration of lost benefits or an overissuance shall be assessed in accordance with §§273.17 and 273.18 of these regulations. The procedures for calculating lost benefits or overissuances as specified in §§273.17 and 273.18 shall be applied to any case found to be in error after the implementation of these procedures, even though the action which caused the error may have occurred prior to the date of implementation. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the preceding provisions of this paragraph, State agencies shall have up to four months following the first day that applications are taken under the new rules, to convert the current caseload to the new program. Households coming due for recertification during this time shall be converted to the new Program at recertification. However, if the State agency elects to schedule a desk review for these households earlier in the four-month period, conversion shall take place after the desk review. Further, State agencies may elect to do a point-in-time computer conversion in lieu of individual desk reviews. Such a computer conversion must cover entire categories of households, such as public assistance households, all households in a particular project area, all households currently in the computer files, etc., and the State agency may not elect to postpone the conversion of certain cases until recertification.

(iv) State agencies shall implement §273.17 on the restoration of lost benefits on or before March 1, 1979. State agencies are encouraged to implement restoration of lost benefits concurrent with the elimination of the purchase requirement, especially as they relate to households which are entitled to lost benefits but which have been unable to receive them because the households are currently ineligible. State agencies shall notify currently ineligible households of the availability of their lost benefits by using one of the following procedures:

(A) State agencies which can readily identify the ineligible households which are entitled to lost benefits shall notify these households and restore the lost benefits within 4 months of the date restoration of lost benefits is implemented.

(B) Other State agencies shall issue a one-time-only press release notifying ineligible households that benefits can be restored. The press release shall advise households to contact the local food stamp office for more information. In addition, State agencies issuing the press release shall request the assistance of local Community Action Programs, general assistance agencies, legal services programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation, State employment service and unemployment compensation offices and other State and Federal governmental agencies providing services to low-income households, such as the Social Security Administration or the Community Services Administration. FNS shall provide the State agency with copies of the letter to be used to request assistance from outreach organizations and governmental agencies, and the fliers and posters which will be distributed upon request to such organizations and agencies. The language of the request for assistance, the notice to households and the poster is contained in the appendix to this rulemaking. State agencies shall mail the request for assistance and display posters in all local agency food stamp certification and issuance offices and welfare offices within 30 days of receipt from FNS. In project areas subject to the bilingual requirements of §272.4(c), State agencies shall provide translations of the posters and fliers. Upon request, FNS shall provide Spanish posters and fliers. FNS shall reimburse State agencies for all costs of providing translations of the posters and fliers in languages other than Spanish. The State agency shall display the posters in its offices for six months. Households whose entitlement to benefits has been clearly established may apply for restoration of lost benefits under this paragraph for an indefinite period. Households whose entitlement to restoration of lost benefits was established more than three years prior to application for retroactive benefits under this paragraph shall be permitted to document entitlement if entitlement cannot be verified from State agency records. Such households shall sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury explaining their entitlement. In lieu of the requirements of this paragraph, State agencies may elect to provide notice pursuant to paragraph (g)(1)(iv)(A) of this section, in any or all project areas within the State.

(v) State agencies shall assume the authority to settle or adjust recipient claims delegated under §271.4(b) on or before July 1, 1979.

(vi) State agencies without a currently approved utility standard required in §273.9(d)(5) shall develop and implement an FNS approved utility standard on or before October 1, 1979. The State agency shall notify households certified at the time the utility standard is implemented of the availability of the standard and the conditions for its use in lieu of actual expenses. Households qualified to use the standard and which elect to do so shall have the standard applied as any other change in circumstances. Otherwise, actual utility expenses shall continue to be used for households qualified for the standard until their next recertification.

(vii) State agencies shall advise FNS of their determination of the need for bilingual services as required by §272.4(c) on or before December 1, 1978. If the State agency cannot determine, based on available information sources, whether or not bilingual services are required in particular project areas, it shall so advise FNS on or before December 1, 1978. The State agency shall then develop procedures to record the number of non-English-speaking low-income households which make contact with its offices in these project areas as required by §272.4(c)(6). These procedures shall be implemented on or before March 1, 1979, and shall continue for 6 months. The State agency shall submit to FNS its determination(s) of the need for bilingual services not later than 60 days following the end of the 6-month period. Bilingual outreach materials shall be available for distribution within 90 days of the State agency's determination that such materials are required. When the State agency determines that bilingual staff and certification materials are required, it shall also make a determination of whether volunteers or paid staff will be used. When volunteers are to be used, the State agency shall provide the materials and arrange for volunteers within 90 days. Paid staff and materials shall be provided within 180 days.

(viii) Prior to the certification of households under these regulations, State agencies shall implement staff training for the transition as required in §272.4(e)(3), and training for outreach workers, receptionists, and others, as required in §272.4(e)(1) (v) and (vi). Beginning with these training sessions for the transition, State agencies shall implement the requirements for public participation at training sessions, as specified in §272.4(e)(1)(iv). State agencies shall designate a training coordinator and develop and implement the ongoing training program required by §272.4(e) on or before July 1, 1979.

(ix) Elimination of the purchase requirement and the implementation of the basic financial and nonfinancial eligibility criteria and other coupon issuance criteria shall not be extended for any reason. FNS may grant extensions for other provisions contained in these rules, provided that the State agency presents compelling justification for a delay and establishes an acceptable alternative schedule in advance of the implementation deadline. In no event will FNS grant an extension in excess of 120 days from the specified implementation date. In those cases where extensions are granted, the relevant Department regulations under the Food Stamp Act of 1964 shall remain in effect until superseded by implementation of the new rules.

(2) Amendment 137. Program changes required by Amendment 137 to the food stamp regulations shall be implemented for all households initially applying for food stamp benefits no later than 90 days following the publication of this amendment.

(3) Amendment 146. The procedures contained in Amendment 146 shall be implemented by State agencies in time to be able to issue reduced food stamp allotments or to suspend or cancel allotments within 60 days after the date of publication of this amendment in the Federal Register.

(4) Amendment 141. State agencies shall begin planning for and conducting ongoing consultations with the Indian tribal organizations of the reservations within their jurisdiction as soon as possible after the effective date of this amendment. Portions of the State Plan of Operation to be submitted for fiscal year 1980 shall be subject to ITO comment as required by §281.2(a). The funding authority in §281.9 shall apply to budgets beginning with the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1979.

(5) Amendment 211. State agencies shall implement the new Social Security Number (SSN) provisions for new applicants no later than February 1, 1983 and convert the current caseload at recertification or when the case is otherwise reviewed, whichever occurs first. The citizenship provisions must be implemented on or before April 1, 1983. All other provisions shall be implemented at State agency discretion.

(6) Amendment 149. Changes to States' Quality Control systems as required by this amendment shall be implemented as follows:

(i) All State agencies shall continue conducting modified QC reviews [in accordance with regulations published February 9, 1979 (43 FR 8548)] through August 31, 1979 and submit Form FNS-133 to FNS by September 15.

(ii) State agencies shall implement the requirements in subpart C of part 275 for conducting QC reviews no later than October 1, 1979. A quality control sampling plan (as specified in §275.11(a) of these regulations) must be submitted by each State to the appropriate FNS Regional Office no later than September 1, 1979 (30 days prior to implementation). This will allow time necessary for approval of the plans prior to the October 1 implementation date.

(iii) State agencies are encouraged to implement QC September 1, if possible. States opting to implement early would not be required to operate for this month under an approved sampling plan. These States must, however, submit sampling plans in accordance with paragraph (g)(6)(ii) of this section. The month of September (sampling month) would serve as a test phase. Therefore, data collected for the sample month would not be required to be submitted to FNS or used in determining a State's cumulative allotment error rate.

(iv) Regulations published October 17, 1978 (43 FR 47846) which implement major aspects of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 provide for the conversion of cases via a desk review (§272.1(g)(1)(iii)). Desk converted cases would be converted to the new eligibility criteria for income and deductions but may not have been converted to the new criteria for resources, work registration, tax dependency, etc. Therefore, States will have households participating in the program based on some of the eligibility criteria of the 1964 Food Stamp Act. Desk converted cases as provided in §272.1(g)(1)(iii) and cases which should have been converted via desk review (some cases may not undergo the conversion process as required), shall be subject to standard QC review procedures. When the QC reviewer detects a variance in one of these cases which results from an element of eligibility which was not converted and was not required to have been converted, the reviewer shall disregard the variance. When the reviewer detects a variance in a case when an element of eligibility was, or should have been converted, the reviewer shall handle the variance like any other QC variance as identified in §275.12 of these regulations. It is possible that desk converted cases may continue to show up in QC samples through February 1980.

(v) State agencies shall submit reports of QC review activity (one copy to the appropriate FNS Regional Office and one copy to the Deputy Administrator for Family Nutrition Programs, Washington, DC) as follows:

(A) Each State agency shall report the monthly progress of sample selection and completion on a form provided by FNS. This report shall be submitted to FNS so that it is received no later than 10 days after the end of each month, beginning December 10, 1979. Each report shall reflect sampling and review activity for the previous month.

(B) Each State agency shall report the results of QC review activity on a form provided by FNS. This report shall be submitted to FNS so that it is received no later than 90 days from the end of the reporting period.

(C) Corrections to information on the above reports requested by FNS must be submitted within 10 days of the request.

(7) Amendment 151. (i) State agencies shall implement the program changes required by amendment for all new applications and recertifications no later than January 1, 1980. Currently eligible households shall be converted at recertification or when they request conversion to the new deduction system by responding to the notice required in paragraph (g)(7)(iii) of this section or by otherwise requesting recomputation.

(ii) State agencies may but are not required to convert the current caseload to the shelter deduction system provided for in §273.9(d)(5) through desk reviews or by computer search. State agencies are encouraged to convert eligible households to the new shelter deduction as soon as possible to allow these households to benefit during the winter months.

(iii) Notices explaining the changes and their applicability shall be available at all food stamp certification offices and shall also be mailed or otherwise provided individually to all currently certified households at least once prior to implementation. At a minimum, these notices shall be distributed in the month prior to implementation either with the ATP card or separately but no later than the 15th of the month. The notice shall advise the household of the availability of the new deductions and the procedures for reporting medical and shelter expenses. If the State agency can identify those households to which this amendment would apply, only these households need to receive the notice.

(iv) Fliers advising of the changes contained in this amendment shall be made available to public and general assistance offices, local Social Security offices, and any interested organizations, particularly those dealing with the elderly or disabled or those places where the elderly or disabled congregate, such as housing units. Also, posters explaining the changes shall be displayed in food stamp certification offices and shall be made available to public and general assistance offices, local Social Security offices and any other interested groups. State agencies shall notify all organizations on its outreach contact list of the changes and of the availability of posters and fliers. State agencies shall issue press releases to the news media advising of the impending program changes.

(v) For the first two months of implementation, State agencies shall have up to 30 days to process changes in medical and shelter costs reported in conjunction with this amendment. The change shall be effective for the first issuance following that 30-day period with restoration of lost benefits to the point at which the change would normally become effective under §273.12. The State agency may request an extension of processing time of up to 60 days to act on these changes. The State agency shall submit appropriate documentation to FNS for the State or any part of the State for which such an extension is requested. After the first two months the State agency shall act on these changes in accordance with the normal processing standards in §273.12(c). For changes reported during a period of two months following a State agency's implementation of this amendment, verification of shelter and medical expenses required by §273.2(f) must be obtained prior to the issuance of the third normal monthly allotment after the change is reported. If the household does not provide verification, the household's benefits will revert to the original level. State agencies are encouraged to complete such verification and, if needed, conduct an interview prior to processing the change. After this initial period, State agencies will verify these expenses in accordance with the normal timeliness standards.

(vi) Medical expenses shall be subject to the same rounding procedures used for shelter expenses in §273.10(e)(1)(ii). This procedure shall be in effect until implementation of amendments to §273.10(e)(1)(ii).

(vii) No household shall be entitled to restoration of lost benefits under this amendment for any period prior to the time the State agency has implemented its provisions. For the initial months after implementation, during which the longer processing time allowed under this amendment is in effect, a household shall be entitled to restoration of lost benefits back to the month the change would have become effective under the normal processing standards in §273.12(c). After this initial period, no household shall be entitled to restoration of lost benefits unless the State agency does not act on reported changes in accordance with the timeliness standards in §273.12(c) or the household is otherwise entitled under the provisions of §273.17.

(viii) Implementation of these program changes falls in the last three months of the October 1979 to March 1980 reporting period for quality control. For the months of January, February and March 1980, all cases in which a household member is either 60 years of age or over, receives SSI, or disability benefits under title II of the Social Security Act will be subject to standard quality control review procedures, except that any varying information regarding medical deductions and/or shelter deductions in excess of the cap found in the review shall be disregarded in determining errors. Such information shall be noted on the Face Sheet of Form FNS-245 under part VII, Discrepancies and Other Information, and reported to the State agency for appropriate action on an individual case basis. Starting with the April-September 1980 reporting period, when the reviewer detects a variance in the medical deduction and/or the shelter deduction in excess of the cap, and these expenses were reported at application, recertification or during the certification period, the reviewer shall handle the variance like any other QC variance as identified in §275.12 of the Performance Reporting System regulations.

(8) Amendment 152. The rounding procedure set forth in §273.10(e) shall be in effect for new applications and recertifications no later than July 1, 1980. The State agency shall have up to 12 months following the implementation date of final regulations to convert the current caseload to the rounding procedure that is chosen under §273.10(e)(1)(ii). The State agency shall have a choice of the following three options in converting households that are already participating at the time the new rounding procedure goes into effect:

(i) Convert households at recertification; (ii) convert households by conducting a desk review; or (iii) convert all households, or all households in a certain category, at a point-in-time. For example, the State agency may convert all public assistance households or all households in a project area by computer. Point-in-time mass conversions shall be conducted no later than July 1, 1980. In any case, the State agency shall advise FNS regarding which rounding and caseload conversion procedures are chosen and when the conversion will be completed.

(9) Amendment 154. State agencies shall implement the program changes required by Amendment 154 as follows:

(i) State agencies shall begin requiring social security numbers for all new applications and recertifications no later than the first day of the first month which commences 120 days from the date of publication of final rules. Participating households shall be requested to provide or apply for social security numbers (SSN) for appropriate household members at recertification, or at the time of office contact for any other reason. The State agency shall provide advance notification of this requirement and the consequences of noncompliance by sending an individual notice to all participating households and by providing press releases for dissemination through the media. The individual notices may be sent as either a one-time notice prior to implementation and/or with the notices of expiration of a certification period.

(ii) If any affected member(s) of a household does not have his or her SSN readily available at the time of application, recertification, or any office contact, he or she shall follow the procedures for furnishing an SSN in accordance with §273.6 as amended.

(iii) State agencies shall implement the fraud claims procedures contained in §§273.16 and 273.18. Implementation shall be no later than the first of the month following the 120th day from the date of publication of final rules. By implementation the State agency shall also have an approved system for handling claims, including a method for accounting for the fifty percent retention of the value of funds collected from fraud claims. Any collection action on fraud claims after implementation is subject to the fifty percent retention including claims established under the Food Stamp Act of 1964 as amended and under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended. However, only individuals found guilty of fraud through an administrative fraud hearing or through a court of law under regulations promulgating the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, are subject to the recovery provisions in §§273.16 and 273.18 retroactive to implementation of fraud claim provisions under the 1977 Act.

(10) Amendment 207. State agencies shall implement the changes in the rules required by Amendment 207 no later than January 1, 1983. Disabled parents who requested and were denied separate household status on or after September 8, 1982, will be entitled to benefits retroactive to the dates of their applications for separate household status.

(11) Amendment 160. State agencies shall implement the provisions of this amendment as follows:

(i) State agencies shall submit the initial State corrective action plans so they are received by FNS within 90 days of publication of these regulations as required in §275.22(a) of this chapter. This initial plan shall contain all known deficiencies in the State which meet the criteria set forth in §275.16(b) of this chapter and shall identify, for each such deficiency, the items required in §275.17(b) of this chapter. Project areas also shall prepare and submit to the State corrective action plans for all identified deficiencies. These plans shall be submitted within 60 days of identification of a deficiency and shall include any deficiencies known to the project area prior to publication of these regulations for which corrective action has not been completed. Ninety days after publication of these regulations, all provisions of §§275.15, 275.16, 275.17, 275.18, 275.19 and 275.22 of this chapter shall be implemented.

(ii) State agencies shall have submitted management evaluation (ME) review schedules within 90 days of publication of these regulations as required by §275.20 of this chapter. These review schedules shall contain all information required by §275.20 of this chapter and shall be adhered to unless a change is necessary. If a modification to an ME review schedule is necessary at any time in the review period, the State shall notify the appropriate FNS Regional Office of the modification.

(iii) State agencies shall implement ME reviews within 90 days of publication of these regulations, following the provisions of §§275.5, 275.6, 275.7, 275.8, and 275.9 of this chapter. Any waiver from the requirements of §275.7 or §275.9 must be requested 60 days prior to its implementation as identified in §275.5(c). Development or submission of requests for a deviation shall not delay implementation of the ME review sub-system past the required implementation date.

(iv) All provisions of these regulations which are not addressed in paragraphs (g)(11) (i) and (ii) of this section shall be implemented within 90 days of publication of these regulations. While this includes the requirements for a Performance Reporting System Coordinator and designation of an organizational entity for effecting corrective action as identified in §275.2(a) of this chapter, this position and designation may be established on an interim basis; provided that the provisions of §275.2(a) of this chapter are fully implemented by October 1, 1980. During this interim period States shall ensure that all responsibilities of the coordinator or entity are adhered to.

(12) [Reserved]

(13) Amendment 162. Program changes required by Amendment 162 of the Food Stamp Program regulations shall be implemented as follows:

(i) The fee agent system for conducting interviews is currently in use and its continuing use is approved.

(ii) All other rules except paragraph (p) of §272.8 shall be implemented as soon as practical but no later than 90 days following the date of final rulemaking. A fee agent training plan must be submitted within 45 days of the date of final rulemaking. Paragraph (p) of §272.8 concerning points and hours shall be implemented following the time standards contained therein.

(14) Amendment 142. (i) State agencies shall restore lost benefits to households who had their eligibility or benefit levels adversely affected because Federal energy assistance payments were counted as income and/or resources. Entitlement to restoration of lost benefits shall be retroactive to October 1, 1979 for payments received under CSA's ECAP; to November 27, 1979 for payments received under DHEW's EAP; and to January 7, 1980 for the one-time-only energy assistance payments to SSI households in accordance with Pub. L. 96-126.

(ii) State agencies shall use the following procedures for notifying households of entitlement to restoration of benefits under Amendment 142:

(A) State agencies which can readily identify those SSI households who received the one-time payment and those households who received payments under the Energy Crisis Assistance or Energy Allowance Programs which lost benefits because their energy assistance payment was counted as income and/or resources must notify such households of entitlement to restoration of lost benefits.

(B) State agencies which cannot readily identify households entitled to restoration of lost benefits due to the circumstances described in §272.1(g)(14)(i) must issue a one-time-only press release to notify households which have participated since October 1, 1979 of possible entitlement to restoration of lost benefits. State agencies may, at their option, use additional means of notification such as posters.

(15) Amendment 163. State agencies shall implement the provisions in this amendment no later than July 1, 1980.

(16) Amendment 174. State agencies shall implement the program changes required by Amendment 174 as follows:

(i) State agencies shall implement the income/resource disregard provision for Federal, State, and local energy assistance payments (§§273.8 and 273.9 of this subchapter) no later than October 1, 1981.

(ii) State agencies shall implement the new maximum resource limit and the exemption of vehicles for the physically disabled (§273.12 of this subchapter) no later than October 1, 1981 for all new applicants. State agencies shall convert the current caseload to the new resource limit at the time of recertification, or at any other time the casefile is reviewed prior to recertification.

(iii) State agencies shall implement the student participation provisions of this amendment (§§273.1, 273.2, 273.5, 273.7 and 273.11 of this subchapter) no later than October 1, 1981 for all new applicants. Current caseload shall be converted at the time of recertification or any time the casefile is reviewed prior to recertification.

(17) Amendment 158. (i) The procedures contained in part 273 regarding SSI food stamp joint application processing shall become effective on August 1, 1980 for all State agencies except that:

(A) In those areas designated as SSI/Elderly Cash-out Demonstration Project Sites or Demonstration Project Comparison Sites, implementation of these provisions will be delayed. In addition, Social Security office service areas which contain either demonstration projects sites or demonstration comparison sites will be temporarily exempted, in their entirety, from implementation of these provisions whether or not their boundaries are co-terminous with demonstration project sites and/or demonstration comparison site boundaries. This temporary exemption removes the administrative problem of the same SSA office simultaneously operating under both joint processing and cash-out regulations. The procedures contained in this rulemaking shall become effective for these project areas on the first day of the month following the ninetieth day after the termination of the demonstration project.

(B) State agencies in SSI cash-out States as defined in §273.20 shall not implement the provisions of this rulemaking. In the event an SSI cash-out State loses that status, the State agency shall implement the provisions of this rulemaking on the first day of the month following the ninetieth day after the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that the State no longer qualifies for cash-out status.

(ii) State agencies shall distribute fliers advising of the changes contained in this amendment to public and general assistance offices, local Social Security offices, any interested organizations, particularly those dealing with the elderly or disabled, and those places where the elderly or disabled congregate, such as housing units senior citizens centers, and elderly feeding programs. Also, posters explaining the changes shall be displayed in food stamp certification offices and shall be made available to public and general assistance offices, local Social Security offices and any other interested groups. State agencies shall notify all organizations on their outreach contact lists of the changes and of the availability of posters and fliers. State agencies shall issue press releases to the news media advising of the impending program changes. FNS will supply State agencies with model language describing the changes which State agencies may use in their publications.

(18) Amendment 168. The provisions of Amendment 168 shall be effective on the thirtieth day following their publication. Any claims filed against State agencies for incidents that occur after the publication of this amendment shall be filed in accordance with the provisions of this amendment. Any claims filed against State agencies for incidents that occurred prior to the publication of this amendment shall be filed in accordance with the rules in effect at the time they occurred. However, the administrative review procedures contained in this amendment shall be applicable to all claims that are filed after the effective date of this amendment.

(19)-(20) [Reserved]

(21) Amendment 178. State agencies shall implement the provisions of §§273.8 and 273.9 of this amendment for all new applicants no later than February 1, 1981. States shall convert the current caseload to the new rules at recertification or at the time the case is otherwise reviewed, whichever comes first.

(22) Amendment 179. State agencies shall implement those verification procedures mandated in §§273.2 and 273.8 no later than the first of the month 120 days following publication of final regulations. State agencies may implement those provisions allowed at State agency option in §§273.2 and 273.12, once the options have been approved by FNS and the State certification manuals have been revised to incorporate the options.

(23) Amendment 171. (i) All States operating an ATP issuance system shall submit the first Form FNS-46, Food Stamp Reconciliation Report, in accordance with Amendment No. 171, for the month of February 1981. This report shall be submitted to the FNS Regional Office within 90 days from the end of the report month.

(ii) All States shall submit the Form FNS-388, State Coupon Issuance and Particpation Estimates, for February 1981 and each month thereafter. Those States that have not submitted procedures for estimating program participation, shall submit them to the FNS Regional Office on or before February 9, 1981.

(24) Amendment 186. The procedures of part 275 regarding SSA/food stamp joint processing and demonstration cases shall become effective on August 1, 1980 for all applicable State agencies. These procedures must be implemented by October 1, 1980.

(25) Amendment 187. State agencies shall implement the complaint procedures required by §271.6(a) no later than 180 days following publication of final regulations.

(26) Amendment 165. State welfare agencies and State employment agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment 165 no later than the first of the month following 120 days from publication of amendment 165 in the Federal Register as follows:

(i) Both agencies shall begin immediately to develop the work registration plan and agreements discussed in §273.7(c) and (d) of Amendment 165. The plan and agreements must be approved and implemented within the 120 day timeframe established for implementation of all provisions of the final rule.

(ii) The provisions of amendment 165 shall be applied to households at the time of initial application, recertification, or reregistration, beginning no later than the first of the month following 120 days from publication of the amendment.

(27) Amendment 189. State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment No. 189 no later than July 1, 1982.

(28) Amendment 156. State agencies shall implement the program changes required by Amendment 156 within 120 days after publication of these regulations, meeting the submittal deadlines outlined in §§272.2 and 272.3.

(29) Amendment 190. State agencies shall implement these regulations no later than January 1, 1982. The rules are effective November 9, 1981.

(30) Amendment 191. Areas subject to the photo ID card requirement must have issued photo ID cards (or cards annotated to indicate that the card is valid without a photograph, in accordance with §273.10(g)(4)(ii)(C)) to all participating households, and shall require presentation of photo ID cards (or the annotated cards) at issuance points as a precondition of issuing coupons to households, no later than the first of the month that is 12 months after the publication of final regulations. Any areas that become subject to the photo ID card requirement at a later date shall also come into full compliance no later than the first of the month that occurs 12 months after FNS notifies the State agency that the area is subject to the requirement.

(31) Amendment 169. The provisions of Amendment 169 shall be effective March 30, 1981. These provisions shall apply to the period beginning October 1, 1980, except that the provisions of §277.4(b)(2) shall apply to the period October 1, 1978 through October 1, 1980. No State shall be subject to sanctions based upon quality control error rates for any period prior to October 1, 1980. No State shall receive enhanced funding based upon quality control data for a period prior to the date upon which its quality control system was in operation.

(32)-(33) [Reserved]

(34) Amendment 198. State agencies opting to match earnings data provided by applicants and participants with information maintained by the Social Security Administration shall first execute data exchange agreements with the Social Security Administration. After the effective date of this rule and after execution of this agreement, State agencies may implement wage match provisions at their discretion.

(35) Amendment 202. State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment No. 202 as follows:

(i) The rules shall be implemented no later than October 1, 1981, including the provisions for a medical deduction, separate dependent care deduction, and uncapped shelter expense deduction for the elderly and disabled in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. All households who apply October 1 or later and those households who are recertified October 1, 1981 or later shall be processed in accordance with these provisions. The proration of initial month benefits shall begin no later than October 1, 1981.

(ii) Conversion of the current caseload to the new gross income test and earned income deduction amount shall be completed no later than 90 days from October 1, 1981, or 90 days from the date of implementation approved through waiver requests in accordance with paragraph (g)(35)(vi) of this section.

(iii) Conversion of the current caseload to the new household definition; ineligibility of strikers and boarders; and, in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, a medical deduction, separate dependent care deduction, and uncapped excess shelter expense deduction shall be completed at or before recertification. In no event shall the new medical, dependent care, and excess shelter provisions for Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands be implemented prior to October 1, 1981.

(iv) Notification to affected households of these changes shall be done, at a minimum, in the same manner required for mass changes in public assistance grants prescribed in §273.12(e)(2)(ii).

(v) Beginning October 1, 1981, outreach activities engaged in by State agencies shall be ineligible for Federal matching funds.

(vi) FNS will consider requests for waivers to these timeframes, except for the timeframe in paragraph (g)(35)(v) of this section, on a state-by-state basis, if good cause can be established and justified, in writing, for the need for a longer timeframe.

(36) Amendment 259. State agencies may implement this Monthly Reporting and Retrospective Budgeting rule at any time, but shall implement this rule no later than January 1, 1984. Prior to January 1, 1984, this rule may be implemented Statewide, in only part of a State (such as in certain project areas), or for only certain reasonable classifications of households (such as for only households receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) so long as the implementation is completed by January 1, 1984. State agencies shall have begun to send monthly reports to households so that they can report their January 1984 circumstances in accordance with §273.21(h). However, the changes in the interim provisions made by this final rule need not be implemented on January 1, 1984. The changes made by this final rule shall be implemented no later than May 1, 1984. Unless otherwise specified in §273.21 of this chapter, all other food stamp regulations shall apply to State agencies and to applying or participating households.

(37) Amendment 205. The procedures extending eligibility to otherwise eligible residents of shelters for battered women and children contained in Amendment 205 shall be implemented by State agencies no later than April 1, 1982.

(38)-(39) [Reserved]

(40) Amendment 213. All State agencies shall execute the appropriate data exchange agreements and implement the provisions of this amendment not later than January 1, 1983. State agencies may opt to match earnings data with information maintained by the Social Security Administration upon publication of final regulations provided they have executed data exchange agreements with the Social Security Administration. State agencies which are not prohibited by State law from wage matching with agencies administering unemployment compensation may do so upon publication of final regulations, provided they have executed the appropriate data exchange agreements.

(41) State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment 215 upon publication.

(42) Amendment 217. The regulations concerning the optional workfare program contained in Amendment 217 shall be in effect November 8, 1982. Workfare programs may be implemented after this date provided FNS has approved the workfare plan.

(43) Amendment 220. State agencies shall implement Amendment 220 on October 1, 1982.

(44) Amendment 221. State agencies shall implement on a case by case basis the provisions of this rule, excluding the provision which revises the application form, beginning the first of the month 30 days from the date of publication. The provision requiring a notice of verification on the application form shall be implemented on or before the first day of the month beginning at least 90 days from the date of publication. If the State agency has not depleted its existing supply of application forms, the State agency may opt to implement this provision by providing an insert to the application form containing the notice of verification.

(45) Amendment 222. This amendment shall be implemented by the first day of the month following the 30th day after publication. As of that date prior approval of forms, manuals, instructions, or any other type of operating guidelines will no longer be required and waivers will be granted or denied based on the new criteria contained herein. Additionally, as of that date State agencies shall inform FNS of changes, as they occur, in their organizational outline and agreements with other agencies. The submission requirement for the Budget Projection Statement, Form FNS-366A, as set forth in §272.2(e) shall become effective on August 15, 1983, for the 1984 Federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 1983 through September 30, 1984.

(46) Amendment 225. The State agency shall obtain FNS approval for the exclusion of energy assistance provided under any State or local program, in accordance with the criteria set forth in §§273.8(e)(14) and 273.9(c)(11), within six months of the date of publication of the final rule. State or local energy assistance which is not approved during this six month period shall cease to be excluded at the end of the period. The new provisions concerning restoration of lost benefits in §273.17 (a) and (e) shall be implemented no later than 120 days following publication of the final rule.

(47) Amendment 227. (i) In accordance with §276.2(b)(3) (iii), FNS will hold State agencies strictly liable for losses by issuance agents where reconciliation shows noncompliance with photographic identification (photo ID) card requirements beginning with the fiscal quarter that begins January 1, 1983.

(ii) State agencies shall include provisions establishing the liability to the State agency of an issuing agent for the issuance losses covered in §274.1(b)(6) in the next contract or agreement between the State agency and the issuing agent that is entered into or renewed after publication of this rule. Not later than one year following such publication, all contracts or agreements shall contain the required provision establishing the liability. However, failure of State agencies to include this language in contracts will not absolve the State agencies of the liability referred to in paragraph (g)(47)(i) of this section.

(48) Amendment 228. FNS will consider requests for waivers to monthly reporting requirements beginning November 5, 1982.

(49) Amendment 245. The mail issuance loss rates of 0.75 percent and $2,250 are effective January 1, 1983. The mail issuance loss rate of 0.5 percent and $1,500 are effective October 1, 1983. For the second quarter of fiscal year 1983 only, FNS will look at Statewide loss rates and the loss rates of individual reporting units within the State. Where the loss rate for individual reporting units within the State is over the tolerance in that quarter and the Statewide loss rate is also over tolerance, FNS will assess liability for losses exceeding the tolerance reported for the second quarter of 1983. Where the loss rate for individual reporting units within a State are over tolerance for the second quarter, but the Statewide loss rate is under tolerance, State agencies shall have one additional quarter (the third Fiscal Year 1983 quarter) to bring such individual reporting units' loss rates into compliance with the tolerance levels. Thus for these reporting units, FNS will assess liability beginning with the fourth quarter of fiscal year 1983 and each quarter thereafter for losses which exceed the tolerance levels, regardless of Statewide loss rate. FNS will bill State agencies for losses on a semiannual basis.

(50) Amendment 230. State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment 230 no later than January 1, 1983.

(51)-(52) [Reserved]

(53) Amendment 233. State agencies shall implement these regulations no later than February 1, 1983.

(54) Amendment 234. The provisions of Amendment 234 shall apply to those sponsored aliens on behalf of whom the sponsor signed an affidavit of support or similar statement (as a condition of the alien's entry into the United States as a lawful permanent resident) on or after February 1, 1983.

(55) Amendment 235. Except for the provisions which simply extend options to State agencies, State agencies shall implement the changes made by Amendment 235 no later than February 1, 1983. Elderly/disabled persons who requested and were denied separate household status or other considerations granted disabled persons on or after September 8, 1982, will be entitled to benefits retroactive to the dates of their applications for separate household status or other special considerations.

(56) [Reserved]

(57) Amendment 240. The provisions of Amendment 240 shall be effective on January 11, 1983. The enhanced funding, which the amendment implements, is available to political subdivisions retroactive to October 1, 1982. The enhanced funding is available to a political subdivision for a workfare participant who begins working on or after October 1, 1982.

(58) Amendment 242. State agencies shall implement the disqualification penalties for intentional Program violation, and the improved recovery of overpayments provisions contained in Amendment 242 no later than April 1, 1983.

(i) The provision in §273.11(c) for handling the income and resources of an individual disqualified for intentional Program violation shall apply to any individual disqualified for such a violation since the implementation of the fraud disqualification provisions of the Food Stamp Act of 1977. The disqualification procedures for intentional Program violation in §273.16 shall apply to any individual alleged to have committed one or more acts of intentional Program violation since the implementation of the fraud disqualification provisions under the Food Stamp Act of 1977. However, the disqualification penalties in §273.16(b) shall apply only to individuals disqualified for acts of intentional Program violation which occur after implementation of this amendment. In addition, the disqualification penalties in §273.16(b) shall apply only to individuals disqualified for acts of intentional Program violation which occurred either during a certification period based on an application form containing these penalties or after receipt of written notification from the State agency of these penalties. Recurring acts of intentional Program violation which occur over a period of time prior to and after implementation of this final rule shall not be separated. Only one penalty can be imposed for such recurring violations and the household member shall be disqualified in accordance with the disqualification penalties specified in this amendment. The reporting requirements of §273.16(i) shall become effective upon implementation, however, the State agency shall have until October 1, 1983, to submit such reports on individuals disqualified under previous regulations implementing the Food Stamp Act of 1977.

(ii) The recovery provisions for claims against households in §273.18 shall apply to any overissuance caused by an action which occurred after implementation of regulations promulgating the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended. And, the procedures for calculating the amount of overissuances as specified in §273.18(c) shall apply to any month in which an overissuance occurred retroactive to March 1, 1979. However, State agency retention of 50 percent of the value of collected intentional Program violation claims and 25 percent of the value of collected inadvertent household error claims as provided in §273.18(h) shall apply to any collection action retroactive to January 1, 1982. The State agency shall have the option of reinstating any claim previously suspended, but not terminated, under the recovery provisions of regulations implementing the Food Stamp Act of 1977 and, once reinstated, such claims shall be subject to the recovery provisions contained in this amendment. However, the State agency shall not reinstate any amount of a claim compromised or any claim terminated under previous regulations implementing the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended. The submission requirements for the Form FNS-209, Status of Claims Against Households, as set forth in §273.18(h) shall become effective with the quarter ending March 31, 1983.

(59) Amendment 243. (i) State agencies shall implement the provisions contained in §274.1(d) statewide no later than October 1, 1983. FNS will consider requests for waivers to this timeframe on a State-by-State basis if the State agency establishes good cause through submission of written justification of the need for a longer timeframe and submits a plan that shows when the system will be implemented.

(ii) State agencies shall implement the correction made to §273.1(a)(1)(iv) retroactive to September 8, 1982.

(iii) The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico shall implement the changes to part 285 on January 1, 1984, as published in the Federal Register for December 21, 1984.

(60) Amendment 244. State agencies shall implement the provisions regarding joint food stamp/public assistance case processing at State agency discretion. The provisions regarding certification periods must be implemented at time of application or at recertification no later than July 1, 1983.

(61) [Reserved]

(62) Amendment 247. State agencies must implement the provisions relative to noncompliance with other programs no later than April 1, 1985. The provisions relative to disclosure of information must be implemented no later than February 1, 1985.

(63) Amendment 251. State agencies shall implement the program changes required by this amendment as follows:

(i) State agencies shall apply the work registration, job search, and voluntary quit provisions of this rule, amending portions of §273.7, to new applicants no later than January 2, 1985. The provisions shall apply to participating households at recertification or at the time of office contact for any other reason.

(64) Amendment 252. (i) The sanction/incentive provisions of §275.25 were effective October 1, 1982. The previous provisions of §275.25 shall continue to apply to the review periods prior to October 1982.

(ii) The funding provisions of §277.4(b)(2) were effective on October 1, 1982, and shall apply to the October 1982, through September 1983, review period and every review period thereafter.

(iii) The revised funding provisions of §277.4(b)(7) shall apply to the 6-month review periods October 1, 1981 through March 1982 and April through September 1982.

(65) Amendment 253. The provisions of §274.8(a)(6) (i), (ii), and (iii) shall be implemented the first month beginning on or after the 90th day following publication of this final rule. In that month, the FNS-388 report shall provide the actual second preceding month data. The initial semiannual coupon issuance and NA/PA household and person participation data shall be provided in September 1985 for the month of July 1985. State agencies will cease submission of the FNS-256 report as of July 1985.

(66) Amendment 254. State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment 254 no later than October 19, 1983.

(67) [Reserved]

(68) Amendment 260. (i) The quality control review provisions contained in Amendment 260 are effective starting with the beginning of Fiscal Year 1984, except as provided in the following sentences. All cases sampled for the six months October 1983 through March 1984 shall be disposed of and reported within 95 days of March 31, 1984. Cases sampled for April 1984 and for months thereafter shall be disposed of and reported according to §275.21. For example, 90 percent of April cases are due within 75 days of April 30, and 100 percent are due within 95 days of that date. The structure of sample frames specified in §275.11(e) must be implemented no later than the sample month of October 1984.

(ii) Starting with the October 1983 sample month, cases must be determined complete, not complete, or not subject to review according to §§275.12(g) and 275.13(e). As of the beginning of Fiscal Year 1984 the sample sizes stated in §275.11(b) and related sampling plan requirements are effective, and State agencies are required to meet the completion standard stated in §275.11(d). State agencies currently sampling at the levels provided in §275.11(b)(1)(iii) must submit to their respective FNS Regional Offices the reliability statement required by §275.11(a)(2) within 30 days of the publication of this rule, or no later than the second month after publication of this rule begin sampling at the levels specified in §275.11(b)(1)(ii).

(69) Amendment 261. State agencies shall implement this amendment establishing the Alaska urban and rural allotment levels and the new cap for Guam no later than August 1, 1984. Households in rural Alaska which request retroactive benefits by February 1, 1985 will be entitled to retroactive benefits for the period after September 8, 1982, during which they lived in rural Alaska and participated in the Food Stamp Program in that area. These retroacive benefits will be provided over a period of time not to exceed one year. The amount provided each month will be the higher of $50 or one-twelfth of the total amount due. Households in Guam which request retroactive benefits by February 1, 1985 will be entitled to retroactive benefits for the period October 1, 1982, through September 30, 1983, during which they lived in Guam, participated in the Food Stamp Program in that area, and were in household sizes two, five, or eight or more.

(70) Amendment 264. These rules are effective on May 29, 1986. No later than that date State agencies are required to submit the attachment to their State Plan of Operation specified in §272.2 and in §272.8(i), documenting either full implementation of these rules or good faith efforts to implement them. The documentation of full implementation or of good faith efforts shall show either that the State agency is routinely requesting and using, or shall show the dates when it will begin routinely to request the use, information from the various data sources specified in §272.8(a) according to the frequencies for requests, timeframes and other requirements of §272.8(e), (f) and (g). Full implementation shall include requests for available information from the Social Security Administration for all recipients for which such information has not been previously requested. The 30-day timeframe specified in §272.8(g) is effective for applicant households which become recipients as discussed in §272.8(e)(1) as soon as a State agency begin receiving information from particular data sources.

(i) A Plan describing good faith efforts shall at a minimum document that the State agency is currently in compliance with wage match criteria as specified in the final rulemaking of November 5, 1982 (47 FR 50180), assure that such compliance will continue at current levels until such time as these provisions are implemented, and provide an implementation schedule that reflects full compliance in the minimum amount of additional time. Requests for delays of implementation beyond May 29, 1986 shall identify the applicable regulation part, the date for implementation, justification for the delay, and the implementation plan.

(ii) The Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and with the Secretary of the Department of Labor prior to the approval of Plans of Operation documenting good faith efforts. In no event shall the Secretary approve a delay of the provisions of individual notification in §273.2(f)(9) beyond the initial implementation date of any of these new provisions.

(iii) Implementation schedules beyond September 30, 1986 are not approvable, with the following exception: If on April 1, 1985 no SWICA exists in a particular State, the provisions of the rule as they relate to SWICAs shall be effective upon the designation of a SWICA. Implementation of a SWICA after April 1, 1985 shall take place as soon thereafter as possible but in no event later than September 30, 1988. All SWICAs with delayed implementation shall be in operation so that wage information is reported to them starting with the month of October 1988.

(71) Amendment No. 266. The provisions contained in Amendment No. 266 shall be implemented by March 6, 1987.

(i) All Fiscal Year 1987 review schedules shall continue in force despite the implementation of these provisions. However, a State agency may, at its option, seek a change in that schedule.

(ii) Waivers shall remain in force until their expiration. If a State agency wishes to cancel a waiver it should contact its Regional Office and negotiate whatever change it needs.

(iii) The first periodic Corrective Action Plan update required by this amendment shall be submitted by May 1, 1987.

(72) Amendment 267. State agencies shall implement the eligibility requirements of this rulemaking as they apply to offsetting farm self-employment losses and publicly operated community mental health centers not later than March 27, 1986. State agencies must begin taking applications from residents of publicly operated community mental health centers (as defined in §271.2) not later than March 27, 1986. FNS field offices may authorize these centers to act as retail food stores on February 25, 1986.

(73) Amendment 269. The correction to §273.7(n)(1)(v) outlined in amendment 269 is effective retroactively to October 3, 1984. State agencies which may have implemented the voluntary quit error prior to receiving FNS notification not to effectuate the change, shall issue lost benefits to affected households, but not prior to November 2, 1984 (the effective date of the October 3, 1984 final rule). State agencies shall implement the revisions to the rules outlined in amendment 269 for all new applicants no later than the first day of the month following June 26, 1986. Any conversion of the current caseload necessitated by this amendment shall be done at recertification or at the time the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first.

(74) Amendment 270. (i) State agencies shall implement the earned income and dependent care deduction amounts and the resource limit provisions of Amendment 270 on May 1, 1986. If, for any reason, a State agency fails to implement these provisions on that date, households shall be provided the lost benefits which they would have received if the State agency had implemented these provisions as required.

(ii) The provisions of §272.1(b) regarding the prohibition of State or local sales taxes on foods purchased with food stamp coupons shall be implemented on October 1 of the calendar year during which the first regular session of each State's Legislature is convened following enactment of Pub. L. 99-198 (enacted December 23, 1985). A “regular session” means a scheduled session of a State's legislature convened to address the usual range of statutory and budgetary issues. A “budgetary” session of a legislature shall be considered a “regular session” if State rules allow for statutory issues to be introduced at these “budgetary” sessions even if rules governing these special procedures are stringent.

(A) FNS may approve a delay in the above implementation date if a State provides FNS a request documenting that such date would either:

(1) Have an adverse and disruptive effect on the administration of the Food Stamp Program in such State; or

(2) would provide inadequate time for retail stores to implement required changes in sales tax policy.

(B) FNS has no authority to approve any State implementation schedule with an effective date later than October 1, 1987.

(75) Amendment 273. The State agency shall implement this amendment establishing Alaska urban, Rural I, and Rural II allotment levels by April 1, 1986.

(76) Amendment 274. (i) The provisions of this amendment at §§271.2, 273.2, 273.5, 273.9, 273.10(d)(6), and 273.21(b) shall be implemented for all new applications and the current caseload no later than August 1, 1986. If, for any reason, a State agency fails to implement these provisions on this date, households shall be provided lost benefits which they would have received if the State agency had implemented these provisions as required.

(ii) The provisions of this amendment at §273.18 and part 285 shall be implemented June 20, 1986.

(iii) The provisions of this amendment at §273.21(a)(4)(i)(A) and the second sentence in §273.10(f)(7) are effective retroactive to August 31, 1981. Section §273.21(a)(4)(ii)(A) and the first two sentences of §273.21(a)(4)(ii)(B) described in this amendment are retroactive to September 8, 1982. The provisions of this amendment at §§272.3, 273.21(a), 273.21(a)(3), 273.21(a)(4)(i)(B), the third sentence at §273.10(f)(7), and the last two sentences of §273.21(a)(4)(ii)(B) are effective retroactive to December 2, 1983. The provision of this amendment at §276.7(j) is effective retroactive to December 23, 1985.

(77) Amendment 275. The program change in §273.2(l) of Amendment 275 shall be effective October 1, 1986.

(78) Amendment 276. (i) This rule is effective retroactively to December 23, 1985. Any household that applied and was denied benefits from that date until implementation of this rule is entitled to restored benefits if it:

(A) Was categorically eligible as defined in this rule;

(B) Is otherwise entitled to benefits; and

(C) Requests a review of its case or if the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review is needed.

Restored benefits for these households shall be made available, if appropriate, in accordance with §273.17 back to the date of the food stamp application or December 23, 1985, whichever is later. The State agency shall implement the changes in this rule immediately upon publication and any eligibility determination or issuance made on or after that date shall be made in accordance with this rule.

(ii) For quality control (QC) purposes only, QC reviewers shall not identify variances resulting solely from either implementation or nonimplementation of this rule in cases with review dates between December 23, 1985 and October 31, 1986, inclusive.

(79) Amendment 277. State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment 277 on August 22, 1986. If, for any reason, a State agency fails to implement the provisions, affected households shall be entitled to restored benefits but not prior to August 22, 1986.

(80) [Reserved]

(81) Amendment 279. (i) For State agencies which elected to implement a $160 dependent care deduction limit for all households prior to October 18, 1986, the dependent care deduction provision of Amendment No. 279 is effective retroactive to May 1, 1986 in accordance with section 638 of Pub. L. 99-500. In such States, for QC purposes only, QC reviewers shall not include in the error determination variances which resulted from early implementation by these States of the deduction limit provided the implementation occurred during the period beginning May 1, 1986 through October 1986.

(ii) For all other State agencies, the $160 dependent care deduction provision of Amendment No. 279 shall be implemented for elderly and disabled applicant and participating households on December 1, 1986. State agencies shall implement the provision as a mass change in accordance with §273.12(e), except that affected households in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam shall be issued an individual notice which, at a minimum, informs the households of the general nature of the mass change, the effect of the deduction limit on the household's allotment, and the month the change will take effect. If for any reason the State agency fails to implement the provision on the required date, affected households shall be provided restored benefits, back to December 1, 1986. For QC purposes only in such States, QC reviewers shall not include in the error determination variances which resulted solely from a State agency's implementation or nonimplementation of the deduction limit between December 1, 1986 and January 1, 1987.

(82) Amendment 281. State agencies shall implement the provisions of this amendment no later than April 1, 1987.

(83) Amendment 282. The changes to §273.2(i)(3)(i) contained in Amendment No. 282 are effective January 12, 1987 and shall be implemented no later than February 11, 1987.

(84) Amendment 285. (i) The provisions of Amendment No. 285 at §§273.9(d)(6)(i), 273.9(d)(6)(ii), 273.9(d)(6)(v)(B), 273.10(d)(1)(i) and 273.10(d)(6) are retroactively effective to October 1, 1986. The State agency shall implement the provisions immediately upon publication and any eligibility determination made on or after that date shall be made in accordance with this rule. The State agency shall review a case to determine if the household was denied benefits under these amendments whenever the household requests a review or the State agency becomes aware that such a denial may have occurred. Any household that was denied benefits as a result of an eligibility or benefit calculation (e.g., processed change report) made on or after October 1, 1986 is entitled to restored benefits. Restored benefits for these households shall be made available, if approporiate, in accordance with §273.17 back to:

(A) October 1, 1986 or the date of application whichever is later for new applications; or

(B) October 1, 1986 or the first month in which the application of these amendments would have affected the household's benefits, whichever is later, for certified households.

(ii) For quality control (QC) purposes only, a variance resulting solely from either the implementation or non-implementation of this rule shall not be identified between October 1, 1986 and April 1, 1987.

(85) Amendment No. 286. (i) The provisions of Amendment No. 286 which permit homeless meal providers to apply for authorization to accept food stamps were effective March 11, 1987.

(ii) All other provisions of this amendment were effective April 1, 1987.

(86) Amendment No. 287. The provisions of this amendment are effective April 7, 1987.

(87) Amendment No. 288. The removal of the word “funded” from the last sentence in §273.11(e)(1), the amendments to the first and fourth sentences in §278.1(e), and the revision of paragraph (a)(2)(iii) in §273.11 are effective February 25, 1986 and shall be implemented not later than March 27, 1986.

(88) Amendment No. 292. (i) The effective date of the provisions of this amendment is retroactive to November 6, 1986.

(ii) The actual dates upon which aliens may become eligible under §273.4(a) (8), (9), (10), and (11) are specified in those paragraphs. State agencies must inform their staff of the respective dates as they pertain to the eligibility or ineligibility of applicant aliens.

(89) Amendment No. 293. The provisions of Amendment No. 293 are effective retroactively to October 17, 1986 and shall be implemented as follows:

(i) State agencies shall implement the provisions of this amendment for new applicant households which apply for program benefits on or after June 1, 1987.

(ii) State agencies shall convert their affected current caseload to the provisions of this amendment at household request, at recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first and provide restored benefits, if appropriate, back to the date of application of October 17, 1986, whichever occurred later.

(iii) Any affected household that applied for Program benefits from October 17, 1986 until implementation of this rule and was denied benefits is entitled to restored benefits back to the date of application or October 17, 1986, whichever occurred later, if the household:

(A) Is otherwise entitled to benefits, and

(B) Requests a review of its case or the State agency otherwise becomes aware that review is needed.

(iv) For quality control (QC) purposes only, QC shall not identify variances resulting solely from either implementation or nonimplementation of the provisions of this amendment for cases with review dates between October 17, 1986 (the date of enactment of Pub. L. 99-498) and August 31, 1987.

(90) Amendment No. 294. State agencies shall implement the Title IV-D child support income exclusion provision of Amendment No. 294 at its own option, provided it has procedures in place, at the time of implementation, for applying the provision to all affected households and for calculating and reimbursing FNS as required under the provision. State agencies shall implement the remaining provisions of Amendment No. 294 retroactively to April 1, 1987. State agencies shall provide restored benefits, if appropriate, back to the date of application or April 1, 1987, whichever occurred later. Any affected household that applied for Program benefits from April 1, 1987 until implementation of this rule and was denied benefits is entitled to restored benefits back to the date of application or April 1, 1987, whichever occurred later, if the household is otherwise entitled to benefits and requests a review of its case or the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review is needed. The provision at 7 CFR 273.17, limiting restored benefits to 12 months, shall not apply to households entitled to resorted benefits under the provisions of Amendment No. 294. For QC purposes, implementation variances shall not be identified unless a case meets all four of the following conditions: the case's review date is after August 31, 1987; the State agency certified or recertified the case (or was required to recertify the case) after August 31, 1987; the certification or recertification was effective for the review date (or the required recertification should have been effective for the review date); and in a retrospective budget system, the household's budget month was September 1987 or later or in a prospective budget system, the household's issuance month was September 1987 or later. For the purpose of this amendment, State agencies shall not establish a claim against any household which received overissued benefits resulting solely from retroactive implementation of the JTPA income provision in §273.9(b)(1)(v).

(91) Amendment No. 295—(i) Automated Federal information exchange systems. States' QC liability exemption for errors resulting from proper use of a Federal automatic information exchange system is effective beginning with the Fiscal Year 1986 reporting period.

(ii) FNS timeframes. The timeframes for notifying States of their payment error rates and payment error rate liabilities, if any, and the timeframe by which FNS must initiate collection action on claims for such liabilities are effective beginning with the Fiscal Year 1986 reporting period.

(92) Amendment No. 284. State agencies shall submit their ADP/CIS plans to FNS for approval no later than October 1, 1987. Portions of ADP/CIS plans may be submitted no later than January 1, 1988. Plans must be approvable within 60 days of State agency receipt of FNS comments but no later than March 1, 1988. State agencies must begin to implement provisions contained in their approved plans by October 1, 1988.

(93) Amendment No. 298. The provisions of Amendment No. 298 are effective, and shall be implemented, as follows:

(i) The provision in §271.2 of this amendment which defines “General assistance” and the provisions contained in §273.9(b)(2)(i), §273.9(c)(1)(ii)(A), (c)(1)(ii)(B), and (c)(1)(ii)(C), regarding exclusion of certain PA/GA vendor payments are effective retroactively to April 1, 1987. The provision in §273.9(c)(1)(iv)(B), exclusion of emergency/special PA/GA vendor payments, is also effective retroactive to April 1, 1987, however, this provision reflects current policy and requires no implementation efforts by State agencies. State agencies shall immediately implement the other provisions listed above. Affected households shall be entitled to restored benefits back to the date of application or April 1, 1987, whichever occured later.

(ii) The technical amendment to part 277 is effective September 29, 1987, and does not require implementation efforts by State agencies. The remaining provisions of Amendment No. 298 are effective, and must be implemented, as follows:

(A) Section 271.2, definition of “Homeless individual,” effective July 22, 1987. State agencies shall immediately inform caseworkers of the new definition. No other implementation efforts are required to the State agencies.

(B) Section 273.9(c)(1)(ii)(D), the income exclusion of certain PA/GA vendor payments, is effective and shall be implemented for new applicant households which apply for benefits during the period beginning October 20, 1987 and ending September 30, 1989. This provision does not apply to allotments issued to any household for any month beginning before the effective period of the provision. State agencies shall convert their affected current caseload to this provision, if otherwise eligible, at recertification, when the household requests a review of its case, or when the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review is needed but not prior to October 20, 1987.

(C) Section 272.5, the financial reimbursement for Program informational activities for the homeless, is effective July 22, 1987.

(D) Section 273.1(a)(2)(i)(C), §273.1(a)(2)(i)(D), §273.10(f)(2), the exception to certain household composition requirements, and the rule regarding recertification of households subject to the exception, are effective and must be implemented on October 1, 1987. Households which apply for benefits on or after October 1, 1987 may be granted separate household status under this provision. Current participants which may be eligible for separate household status under this provision, may be granted separate status, but not prior to October 1, 1987, if the household requests separate status and the State agency determines that the household meets the requirements of this provision.

(E) Section 273.2(i), the expansion of expedited service, is effective, and must be implemented, for affected households applying for Program benefits on or after December 1, 1987.

(F) Section 273.9(a)(3), regarding the date of making the annual adjustment to the income standards, is effective with the 1988 annual adjustment. The July 1, 1987 income limits will remain in effect until October 1, 1988.

(G) The first three sentences of §273.9(d)(8)(i), the raising of the shelter deduction limit for the 48 States and DC., Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Virgin Islands, are effective October 1, 1987. State agencies shall implement the higher deduction limits appearing in the first sentence of §273.9(d)(8)(i) on October 1, 1987 only for households whose certification periods begin on or after October 1, 1987. State agencies shall implement the lower deduction limits appearing in the second sentence of §273.9(d)(8)(i) on October 1, 1987 only for households whose certification periods begin before October 1, 1987. The State agency shall implement the higher deduction limits for households whose certification periods begin before October 1, 1987 beginning with the month in which such household is recertified after October 1, 1987.

(H) Section 273.9(d)(7)(i), the change in the standard deduction methodology, is effective October 1, 1987.

(I) The last sentence of §273.9(d)(8)(i), the change in the excess shelter deduction methodology, is effective, October 1, 1988.

(J) Section 273.18(c)(2)(ii), the earned income deduction penalty, is effective on September 5, 1987. State agencies which issue on a calendar month basis, shall apply this provision to allotments issued for October 1987 and all allotments for subsequent months. State agencies which issue on other than a calendar month basis shall apply the provision to the issuance for the first issuance month beginning after September 5, 1987.

(iii) State agencies must implement the provisions as outlined in paragraph (g)(93)(ii) of this section on the specific dates required for each provision. If, for any reason, the State agency fails to implement the provisions on the required date, affected households, if appropriate, shall be entitled to restored benefits back to the date of application or the effective date of the provision involved, whichever occurred later.

(iv) Quality control variance exclusion.

(A) For QC purposes only, QC reviewers shall not identify variances resulting solely from implementation or nonimplementation of the following provisions in cases with review dates during the periods indicated:

(1) Sections 273.9(b)(2)(i), 273.9(c)(1) (ii)(A), 273.9(c)(1)(ii)(B), 273.9(c)(1)(ii)(C) and 273.9(c)(1)(iv)(B), concerning PA/GA vendor payments, from April 1, 1987 to December 31, 1987;

(2) Section 271.2, concerning the definition of “Homeless individual”, from July 22, 1987 to December 31, 1987;

(3) Section 273.9(c)(1)(ii)(D), concerning PA/GA vendor payments for certain housing assistance provided on behalf of households residing in temporary housing, from October 20, 1987 to December 31, 1987;

(4) Sections 273.1(a)(2)(i) (C) and (D), concerning household composition, from October 1, 1987 to December 31, 1987;

(5) Section 273.2(i), concerning entitlement to expedited service, from December 1, 1987 to December 31, 1987;

(6) Section 273.9(d)(8)(i), the first three sentences only, concerning the shelter deduction limit, from October 1, 1987 to December 31, 1987.

(B) State agencies may choose to exclude these variances in Federal subsample reviews; State agencies are not required to do so. To exclude the variances, they shall provide FNS with the following information by April 1, 1994: The review number of each affected Federal subsample review, the sample month, the reason and justification for excluding the variance, and the revised finding.

(94) Amendment No. 299. The changes to §273.2(i)(3)(ii) are effective January 12, 1987 and shall be implemented no later than February 11, 1987.

(95) Amendment No. 268. The QC arbitration provisions shall be implemented by State agencies on February 22, 1988, for all cases for which the regional case findings or the regional arbitrator's decision are received on or after February 22, 1988.

(96) Amendment 301. This rule pertains to the Income and Eligibility Verification System (IEVS). It is effective March 18, 1988, except for paragraphs 272.8(i) (3) and (4) and 272.8(j)(1) which will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register of the approval of the information collection burden by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

(97) Amendment No. 278. State agencies shall implement the provisions of this amendment no later than October 18, 1988.

(98) Amendment No. 303. The income exclusion provision §273.9(c) of Amendment No. 303 shall be implemented immediately upon publication of the Amendment as follows:

(i) State agencies must apply the provision of this amendment for any eligibility or benefit calculation made on or after February 1, 1988.

(ii) Affected households which were denied benefits because the household's eligibility or benefit calculation during the second Federal fiscal year quarter of 1988 (but not prior to February 1, 1988) did not include the income exclusion provision of this amendment shall be entitled to restored benefits at the time of recertification, whenever the household requests a review of its case, or when the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review of a particular case is needed.

(iii) Benefits shall be restored back to February 1, 1988 or the date of the food stamp application, whichever occured later. Restoration shall be made in accordance with §273.17 except that the twelve-month limit for restoring benefits shall not apply.

(iv) For Quality Control (QC) purposes only, QC reviewers shall not identify variances resulting solely from implementation or nonimplementation of Amendment No. 303 for cases with review dates between February 1, 1988 and August 31, 1988. For retrospectively budgeted cases, QC reviewers shall begin identifying variances when September becomes the budget month. Variances shall not be identified in cases where Amendment No. 303 was not implemented prior to the QC review when the State agency correctly followed the implementation provisions of this section.

(99) [Reserved]

(100) Amendment 289.

(i) This rule is effective August 11, 1988.

(ii) State agency Work Plans setting forth proposals for conducting Simplified Application/Standardized Benefit Projects must be postmarked no later than November 9, 1988. Local agency Work Plans must be postmarked no later than December 9, 1988.

(101) Amendment No. 291. The provisions of Amendment No. 291 are effective September 19, 1988.

(102) Amendment No. 307. The provisions of this amendment are effective immediately and shall be implemented as follows:

(i) No later than October 1, 1988, for all new applicants, and no later than the first recertification on or after October 1, 1988, for the participating caseload, State agencies shall implement the provisions of §272.2(b) relating to the alien/citizenship statement and notification of verification with INS; the provisions of §273.1(b) relating to nonhousehold members; the provisions of §273.2(f)(1)(ii) relating to the mandatory verification of alien status; the provisions of §273.2(h)(3) relating to delays in application processing; and the provisions of §272.11(c) relating to the treatment of income and resources of nonhousehold members; and

(ii) Unless a waiver has been approved by FNS by October 1, 1988, State agencies shall implement all other provisions of this rule no later than October 1, 1988. Implementation by October 1, 1988 shall be accomplished either by obtaining FNS approval to a Plan of Operation as required in the rule at §272.11(e) or by submitting to FNS a substantially approvable Plan of Operation as described in material which FNS Regional Offices provided State agencies on or about September 2, 1988. That material provided points for State agencies to consider relative to requesting waivers. State agencies should contact FNS Regional Offices if they need further guidance on waivers.

(103) Amendment No. 308. The quality control changes to §275.12(d)(2) shall be implemented for the quality control review period beginning October 1, 1988.

(104) Amendment No. 300. State agencies shall implement the requirements of this rulemaking no later than May 1, 1989.

(105) Amendment No. 271. This rule becomes effective April 1, 1989, and the State agencies shall implement all provisions on that date, with the exception of the following provisions: the new provisions on replacement issuances shall be implemented by October 1, 1989; the new liabilities for State agencies using authorization document issuance systems shall be implemented on October 1, 1989; the new mail issuance reporting and liability assessments shall be implemented on October 1, 1989; State agencies wanting to change their current unit-level of mail issuance loss reporting must submit their initial plans by May 15, 1989; the new provision on quality control case reviews shall be implemented for federal Fiscal Year 1990; State agencies shall begin to use the revised Form FNS-46, Issuance Reconciliation Report, to report figures for the month of October 1989; and, provisions pertaining to staggered issuance contained in any currently-approved waivers will automatically be cancelled April 1, 1989.

(106) Amendment No. 310. (i) The provisions of this amendment which adopt, as final, interim provisions published July 17, 1987 and those which redesignate or otherwise slightly modify the July 17 interim provisions for clarity only are effective retroactively to April 1, 1987. The conforming amendment at §273.11(e)(7) is effective retroactively to February 25, 1986. The remaining technical amendments contained in this amendment at §§273.2(e)(2), 273.7(b)(1)(vii), 273.9(b)(1)(iii), 276.2(d) and 278.1(e) are effective April 24, 1989. These provisions do not alter or change current policy or procedures under which State agency are operating or do not require special implementation efforts by State agencies.

(ii) The provision in §273.9(b)(1)(v) which limits application of the provision to on-the-job training programs under section 204(5), Title II, of the Job Training Partnership Act is effective retroactively to April 1, 1987 and shall be implemented as follows:

(A) State agencies shall implement the provision for all new applicant households no later than June 1, 1989. Affected applicant households which applied for Program benefits during the period April 1, 1987 and the date the State agency implemented this change and were denied benefits shall be provided restored benefits, if applicable, back to April 1, 1987 or the date of the food stamp application, whichever occurs later, if the household is otherwise entitled to benefits and requests a review of its case or the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review is needed.

(B) All other households shall be converted to the provision at household request, at recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. Restored benefits shall be provided, if applicable, for such households back to April 1, 1987 or the date of the food stamp application, whichever occurs later.

(C) The provision at 7 CFR 273.17, limiting restored benefits to 12 months, does not apply for households entitled to restored benefits under Amendment No. 310.

(107) Amendment No. 313. The performance-based funding provisions for Employment and Training programs shall be effective October 1, 1989.

(108) Amendment No. 314. (i) The provision of Amendment No. 314 which adds five sentences to §273.2(j)(1)(iv) and the provisions which add a new paragraph §273.2(j)(2)(iii)(B) and amend §§273.17 and 273.18 are effective July 7, 1989 and shall be implemented no later than September 1, 1989.

(ii) All remaining provisions of Amendment No. 314, which adopt the interim provisions of August 5, 1986 as final without change or modify the interim provisions for clarity only, are effective retroactively to December 23, 1985 (the effective date of the interim rulemaking). These provision do not reflect a change in intended policy and, therefore, do not require special implementation efforts by State agencies.

(109) Amendment No. 315. Program changes required by Amendment No. 315 to the food stamp regulations shall be implemented as follows:

(i) The provisions relating to migrant and seasonal farmworkers (7 CFR 273.9(c)(1)(ii)(E) and 273.10(a)(1)(ii)) are effective September 1, 1988 for all households applying or certified subsequent to August 31, 1988. Changes affecting currently participating households are to be implemented at recertification or when it is necessary to implement other changes affecting the household.

(ii) State agencies were required to implement the provision of this rule regarding a technical correction concerning energy assistance payments (7 CFR 273.9(c)(11)) on September 19, 1988.

(iii) State agencies were required to implement revised food stamp allotments on October 1, 1988 (7 CFR 271.2, 271.7, 273.10(e)(2), 273.10(e)(4)(ii), and 273.12(e)). Revised allotments were implemented as mass changes in accordance with 7 CFR 273.12(e).

(iv) State agencies were required to implement the provision relating to the dependent care deduction, 7 CFR 273.9(d)(4), 273.10(d)(1)(i), and 273.10(e)(1)(i)(E), and monthly reporting and retrospective budgeting, 7 CFR 273.21(a) and (b), on October 1, 1988. These provisions were immediately effective for all households certified subsequent to September 30, 1988. Changes affecting currently participating households were to be implemented upon recertification, at the household's request, or when it was necessary to implement other changes affecting the household. (For example, a change reported by a nonmonthly reporting retrospectively budgeted household was to be implemented in accordance with 7 CFR 273.12.) The Department was not requiring State agencies to conduct a casefile review to implement monthly reporting and retrospective budgeting changes for currently participating households. Monthly reports submitted by households which became exempt from MRRB as a result of the Hunger Prevention Act, such as non-migrant seasonal farmworkers or the homeless, were to be treated as change reports and processed prospectively in accordance with 7 CFR 273.12(c).

(v) State agencies were required to implement the provisions of this rule concerning the exclusion of advance payment of earned income tax credits, 7 CFR 273.8(c)(1) and 273.9(c)(14), on January 1, 1989. Households applying subsequent to December 31, 1988 should have had this provision applied to them as of their date of application. Changes affecting households participating as of December 31, 1988 were to be implemented upon recertification, at the household's request, or when it was necessary to implement other changes affecting the household.

(vi) All other provisions of this rule, relating to technical corrections concerning the urban Alaska TFP (7 CFR 272.7(c)), Alaska proration (7 CFR 272.7(f)(3)(iii)), and the dependent care deduction (7 CFR 273.11(c)(2)(iii) and 273.12(e)(1)(i)(C)), are to be implemented August 1, 1989.

(vii) Quality control errors made as a result of this rule's changes to §§273.9, 273.10, and 273.21 during the required implementation time frame established by this rulemaking shall be handled in accordance with interim regulations published at 53 FR 44171, dated November 2, 1988. Food stamp allotment changes are not covered by the interim regulation because this is a mass change.

(viii) State agencies which failed to implement any of these provisions by the required dates shall provide affected households with the lost benefits they would have received if the State agency had implemented these provisions as required.

(110) Amendment No. 316. State welfare agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment No. 316 as follows:

(i) The provisions contained in §274.2(b) of Amendment No. 316 are effective retroactively to January 1, 1989 and shall be implemented by State welfare agencies no later than January 1, 1990 for all households which newly apply for Program benefits or apply for recertification on or after that date.

(ii) The remaining provisions are effective July 1, 1989 and must be implemented on that date for all households which newly apply for Program benefits or apply for recertification on or after that date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first and restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to July 1, 1989 or the date of the application, whichever is later. Additionally, households which applied for Program benefits between July 1, 1989 and the date the State agency implemented these provisions, and were denied benefits, shall be entitled to restored benefits back to July 1, 1989 or the date of the application, whichever occurred later, if the household:

(A) Is otherwise entitled to benefits, and

(B) Requests a review of its case or the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review is needed.

(111) Amendment No. 296. The provisions of Amendment 296 are effective July 5, 1989.

(112) Amendment No. 309. (i) The State agency shall have until June 18, 1990, to request regional arbitration of regional office case findings which the State received before February 22, 1988.

(ii) The State agency shall have until June 18, 1990, to request national office arbitration of regional arbitration decisions which the State agency received before February 22, 1988.

(113) Amendment (320). (i) The provisions of this rule are effective April 2, 1990.

(ii) The provisions relating to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (§272.5(b)(1)(iv)), the collection of fraud claims §273.18, the monitoring of claims against households (§273.18(k)(5)), adverse action notice on claim demand letters (§273.18(d)(3)), notices of fair hearings (§273.18(d)(3)), and the results of geographic error prone profiles (§275.15(g)) shall be implemented no later than July 2, 1990. The provision relating to fraud detection units (§272.4(h)) shall be implemented no later than September 4, 1990. State agencies shall complete the first review of food stamp office hours (§272.4(g)) during Federal Fiscal Year 1990.

(iii) State agencies may submit attachments to their Plans of Operation pertaining to the intercept of unemployment compensation benefits to repay intentional Program violations claims as specified in §§272.2 (a) and (d) and 272.12(a) of this amendment as of February 22, 1990.

(114) Amendment No. 322. The changes contained in this amendment are effective October 15, 1990 and shall be implemented no later than that date. The changes to 7 CFR 273.11 contained in this amendment will apply only to disqualifications imposed after the effective date of this rulemaking.

(115) Amendment No. 324. The quality control changes to §275.12 that are made by Amendment No. 324 shall be implemented for the quality control review period beginning January 1, 1991.

(116) Amendment No. 330. The provisions of Amendment No. 330 are effective and must be implemented on August 1, 1991. Any variance resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 90 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii). The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first, and the State agency must provide restored benefits back to the required implemention date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application, whichever is later.

(117) Amendment No. 332. The provision of Amendment No. 332 regarding the resource exemption for PA and SSI recipients is effective and must be implemented no later than February 1, 1992. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 90 days from this required implementation date, in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii). The provision must be implemented for all households that newly applied for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first, and the State agency must provide restored benefits back to the required implementation date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application whichever is later.

(118) Amendment No. 321. (i) The provisions contained in §§273.7(d)(1)(ii)(A) and 273.9(c)(5)(i) (A) and (F) of Amendment No. 321, which implement section 404(c) of the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988, are effective and must be implemented retroactively to July 1, 1989.

(ii) The remaining provisions of Amendment No. 321 are effective October 1, 1988 and must be implemented no later than March 1, 1992. State agencies may implement the conciliation procedure provisions contained in §273.7(g)(1)(ii) immediately upon publication of Amendment No. 321. However, in no case shall the conciliation procedures be implemented any later than March 1, 1992. By implemented, the Department means that the State agency shall begin to use conciliation procedures in all cases where the State agency has determined on or after the above implementation date that an individual has refused or failed to comply with an E&T requirement under §273.7(f).

(119) Amendment No. 328. (i) The requirements for State agencies to begin implementation or corrective action for deficiencies which are the cause for non-entitlement to enhanced funding for the Fiscal Year 1986 review period, and review periods thereafter were effective as of October 1, 1985, pursuant to section 604 of Public Law 100-435.

(ii) The requirements for State agencies to begin the implementation of corrective action for deficiencies which result in underissuances, improper denials or improper terminations of benefits to eligible households where such errors are caused by State agency rules, practices or procedures were effective July 1, 1989, pursuant to section 320 of Public Law 100-435. The corrective action must address all such deficiencies which occurred on or after July 1, 1989.

(iii) The State agency shall have until December 27, 1991, to implement changes in the development of quality control sampling plans, such that only those State agencies proposing non-proportional integrated, or other alternative sampling plan designs must:

(A) Demonstrate that the alternative design provides payment error rate estimates with equal-or-better predicted precision than would be obtained had the State agency reviewed simple random samples of the sizes specified in §275.11(b)(1) of the regulations,

(B) Describe all weighting, and estimation procedures if the sample design is non-self-weighted, or uses a sampling technique other than systematic sampling,

(C) Demonstrate that self-weighting is actually achieved in sample designs claimed to be self-weighting.

(iv) The State agency shall have until January 27, 1992, to request regional arbitration of any federally subsampled underissuance cases for which the State agency received FNS regional office QC findings on or after February 22, 1988.

(v) The State agency shall have until January 27, 1992, to request national arbitration of any regional arbitration decisions involving underissuance cases for which the State agency received FNS regional arbitration findings on or after February 22, 1988.

(120) Amendment No. 335. The provisions contained in Amendment No. 335 are effective and shall be implemented as follows:

(i) The provisions contained in §§271.2, 271.7, 273.1(e)(1)(iii), 273.2(k)(1)(i)(H), 273.2(m), 273.10, 273.18 and 278.1 of Amendment No. 335 are effective on February 1, 1992 and shall be implemented on that date as follows:

(A) The Guam and Virgin Islands State agencies shall communicate the two new group home provisions (§§271.2, 273.1(e)(1)(iii) and 278.1) to group homes in their areas by this date so that they can apply for the appropriate certification and residents can apply for food stamps without delay. All State agencies shall implement the expanded group home provisions for applicants newly applying for program benefits on or after February 1, 1992 for approved group homes.

(B) No special implementation efforts are required with regard to the provisions in §§273.2(k)(1)(i)(H) and 273.2(m) about informing SSI applicants about the Food Stamp Program and the availability of an application at the social security office.

(C) State agencies are not required to adjust their computers or train their caseworkers immediately in order to implement the provisions in §§271.2, 271.7, 273.10 and 273.18 relative to the minimum benefit for one- and two-person households because the methodology for annually adjusting the minimum benefit will not result in an increase in the minimum benefit for some time. However, State agencies are expected to have the capability of implementing a change in the minimum benefit in a timely manner when such a change in announced and, therefore, shall not wait until an actual change in the minimum benefit to adjust computers and train caseworkers.

(ii) The remaining provisions of Amendment No. 335 are effective February 1, 1992. The provisions which reflect that a joint application is no longer required for SSI applicants §§273.2 (c)(1), 273.2(i)(3)(i), and 273.2(k)(1)(i)(D) do not require implementation efforts by State agencies. The remaining provisions (§§273.4, 273.9(b) and 273.9(c)) also do not require special implementation efforts by State agencies as the provisions reflect current policy.

(iii) Any variance resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from quality control error analysis for 90 days from the required implementation date which shall be handled in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii).

(121) Amendment No. 336. The provisions of Amendment No. 336 are effective and must be implemented as follows:

(i) The provision that gives State agencies the option of using retrospective budgeting for nonmonthly reporting households other than those exempt from monthly reports (7 CFR 273.21(b) introductory text) was effective as of November 28, 1990, the date of enactment of the Leland Act.

(ii) The delegation of the responsibility for design of the monthly report form (§273.21(h)(3) and §273.21(j)(1)(ii) of this chapter) must be implemented by February 1, 1992.

(iii) The remaining provisions are effective January 3, 1992 and must be implemented by July 1, 1992.

(iv) Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 90 days from the required implementation dates in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii).

(122) Amendment No. 337. The provisions of Amendment No. 337 are effective and must be implemented as follows:

(i) State agencies shall implement the provisions of Amendment No. 337 on February 1, 1992, except as provided in paragraph (g)(122)(ii) of this section.

(ii) The amendments to revise the introductory text of §273.2(j) and §273.2(j)(3) as they relate to categorical eligibility and the amendment adding §273.2(j)(4) are effective and must be implemented February 1, 1992 for recipients of GA from a State program. They are effective and must be implemented August 1, 1992 for recipients of GA from a local program.

(iii) Any variance resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii) for 90 days from the required implementation date. The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date, the date of the food stamp application or the date the household was determined categorically eligible in accordance with §273.2(j)(4), whichever is later.

(iv) The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. The State agency must provide restored benefits back to the required implementation date.

(123) Amendment No. 338. The provisions of Amendment No. 338 are effective and must be implemented on February 1, 1992. The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date of February 1, 1992. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. If, for any reason, a State agency fails to implement by the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of the food stamp application, whichever is later. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 90 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii).

(124) Amendment No. 325. The quality control changes to §275.23 that are made by Amendment No. 325 shall be implemented effective January 24, 1992.

(125) Amendment No. 345. The provisions of Amendment No. 345 are effective on April 1, 1992, and shall be implemented as follows:

(i) Currently operating demonstration projects shall submit to FNS for approval a plan no later than June 30, 1992, to satisfy the requirements of this regulation. The plan shall address the areas in which the State EBT demonstration project does not comply with the provisions of this rule and how the State agency plans to bring its system into compliance. The State agency shall submit a schedule of any actions it proposes to take and when they are to be completed. Compliance with the provisions of this final regulation shall occur within two years from the effective date unless approved by FNS to continue operations under the authority of section 17 of the Act (7 U.S.C. 2026) as a demonstration project. In seeking FNS approval to continue under Section 17 authority, the State agency shall state what research value would be obtained in continuing the demonstration.

(ii) For State agencies that have proposals or planning documents currently under review by the Department, the State agencies and the Department shall establish at what point the State agency is in the planning process and how the State agency will fit into the approval process of these rules. All such State agencies will be expected to comply with the standards of these rules.

(iii) A State agency that wishes to obtain approval for an EBT system shall submit a Planning Advanced Planning Document for FNS approval as prescribed herein.

(126) Amendment No. 327. (i) The statutory provision reflected in §275.23(e)(6)(v) of Amendment No. 327 was effective October 1, 1985 pursuant to Public Law 100-435.

(ii) The remaining provisions are effective October 28, 1992.

(127) Amendment No. 340. (i) The provisions at §273.7(d)(1)(i)(A) and §273.7(d)(1)(i)(B) are effective retroactive to October 1, 1991.

(ii) The provision at §273.7(c)(4)(viii) is effective and must be implemented by August 15, 1993, the date E&T plans must be submitted to FNS.

(iii) The provision at §273.10(d)(1)(i) is effective January 19, 1993 and must be implemented by March 1, 1993.

(iv) The remaining provisions of Amendment No. 340 are effective and must be implemented retroactively to February 1, 1992.

(v) Any variances resulting from implementation of the provision at §273.10(d)(1)(i) shall be excluded from error analysis for 90 days from the required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 273.12(d)(2)(vii).

(128)   Amendment No. 326. The provisions of this amendment are effective and must be implemented no later than December 1, 1993. Any variance resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from quality control error analysis for 60 days from the required implementation date which shall be handled in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii).

(129) Amendment No. 349. The provisions of Amendment No. 349 are effective, and shall be implemented, as follows:

(i) §273.1(a)(2)(i)(C), §273.1(a)(2)(i)(D) and §273.10(f)(2) are effective as of October 1, 1987; §273.2(i)(1) (iii) and (iv) are effective as of December 1, 1987; the new §273.9(c)(1)(ii)(G) is effective as of April 1, 1987. However, application of §273.9(c)(1)(ii)G) in conjunction with the provisions at §273.9 (c)(1)(ii) (A) through (F) and (c)(5)(i)(F) is effective as of the date the individual provisions at 7 CFR 273.9 (c)(1)(ii) (A) through (F) and (c)(5)(i)(F) became effective. Those dates are: §273.9(c)(1)(ii) (A), (B), and (C), April 1, 1987; §273.9(c)(1)(ii)(D), October 20, 1987; §273.9(c)(1)(ii)(E), September 1, 1988, and §273.9(c)(1)(ii)(F), August 1, 1991. The amendment to the first sentence of §273.9(c)(1)(iv)(B) to include a regulatory reference to 7 CFR 273.9(c)(5)(i)(F) is effective as of August 1, 1991 (the date the individual provision at 7 CFR 273.9(c)(5)(i)(F) became effective), and §273.18(c)(2)(ii) is effective as of September 5, 1987. To the extent that these provisions represent new or different policy from that under which the State agency is currently operating, the State agency shall implement the provisions not later than April 1, 1994 for households newly applying for Program benefits on or after such implementation date. State agencies shall convert their affected current caseload to these provisions (except for §273.18(c)(2)(ii)) at recertification, when the household requests a review of its case, or when the State agency otherwise becomes aware that a review is needed, whichever occurs first. To the extent that the provisions will result in restored benefits for affected households, such benefits shall be provided back to the effective date of the provision or the date of the household's first initial application, whichever occurs later;

(ii) The remaining provisions of Amendment No. 349 adopt as final, without change, interim provisions published September 29, 1987 and are effective as of the date the corresponding interim provision became effective as established at 7 CFR 272.1(g)(93). These provisions and the effective dates are: §271.2, definition of “Homeless individual,” July 22, 1987; §272.5, July 22, 1987; §273.9(a)(3), October 1, 1988; §271.2, definition of “General assistance,” April 1, 1987; §273.9(b)(2)(i), April 1, 1987; §273.9(c)(1) (ii)(A), (ii)(B) and (ii)(C), April 1, 1987; §273.9(d)(7)(i), October 1, 1987; §273.9(d)(8)(i), October 1, 1987 (except for the last sentence, which is effective October 1, 1988). The provisions do not change policy or procedures under which State agencies are currently operating and, therefore, do not require specific implementation efforts by State agencies.

(130) Amendment No. 342. The provision relating to household election of repayment method for IPV claims at §273.18(d)(4)(ii) is effective retroactive to November 28, 1990. The provision relating to household election of repayment method for IHE claims at §273.18(d)(4)(i) is effective December 13, 1991. The provisions for State agency retention rates on claim collections at §273.18(h)(2) and (i) are effective retroactive to October 1, 1990. The provisions at §277.18 which reduce the enhanced funding level for ADP is effective October 1, 1991, for costs incurred on that date and thereafter and does not apply to ADP funding approved prior to November 28, 1990.

(131) Amendment No. 347. The provisions of this amendment are effective as specified in paragraphs (g)(131)(ii) (A), (B), and (C) of this section. State agencies are not required to do file searches for cases relating to PASS households unless the question on an income exclusion for PASS had been raised with the State agency prior to December 13, 1991.

(i) The provisions at §§271.2, 273.1, and 273.11 were effective and had to be implemented no later than February 1, 1992.

(ii) The provision at §273.9(c)(17) is effective the earlier of:

(A) December 13, 1991, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 102-237;

(B) October 1, 1990, for food stamp households for which the State agency knew, or had notice, that a household member had a PASS; or

(C) Beginning on the date that a fair hearing was requested contesting the denial of an income exclusion for amounts provided for a PASS.

(132) Amendment No. 316. The provisions of this final rule that amend 7 CFR 273.2(b)(3), 273.2(c)(5), 273.2(f)(8)(i)(A) and (ii), and paragraph (11) of the “Elderly or disabled member” definition in 7 CFR 271.2 are effective as of May 6, 1994. The State agency shall implement the provisions not later than September 5, 1994 for all households newly applying for Program benefits on or after such implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first, and the State agency must provide restored benefits back to the required implementation date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application whichever is later. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 90 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii).

(133) Amendment No. 352. The provisions of this amendment are effective April 11, 1994.

(134) Amendment No. 355. The provisions of Amendment No. 355 are effective and must be implemented on August 1, 1994. Any variance resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii) as modified by section 13951(c)(2) of Pub. L. 103-66. The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first, and the State agency must provide restored benefits back to the required implementation date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application, whichever is later.

(135) Amendment No. 348. The provisions of Amendment No. 348 are effective August 5, 1994 and must be implemented for all QC billing actions beginning with Fiscal Year 1986.

(136) Amendment No. 346. The provision of Amendment No. 346 regarding an income exclusion for homeless households living in transitional housing is effective and must be implemented no later than September 1, 1994. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii). The provision must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at the household's request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. The State agency must provide restored benefits to such households back to the required implementation date or the date of application whichever is later. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application, whichever is later.

(137) Amendment No. 350. The provisions of Amendment No. 350 are effective and must be implemented as follows:

(i) The provision at §273.8(e)(12)(i) of this chapter is effective and must be implemented according to statute retroactive to January 1, 1991.

(ii) The provision at §273.8(e)(12)(ii) of this chapter will be effective and must be implemented on September 1, 1994.

(iii) The provision at §273.21(b) of this chapter against establishing new monthly reporting requirements for households residing on Indian reservations if no monthly reporting system was in place on March 25, 1994 is effective and must be implemented according to statute retroactive to March 25, 1994.

(iv) The provision in §273.2(j) of this chapter concerning categorical eligibility for GA recipients is effective and must be implemented according to statute retroactive to February 1, 1992.

(v) The remaining provisions are effective and must be implemented October 28, 1994.

(138) Amendment No. 359. The provision of Amendment No. 359 regarding the medical expense deduction is effective and must be implemented no later than October 1, 1994. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 275.12(d)(2)(vii) of this chapter. The provision must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. State agencies must notify households eligible for the deduction of the change in medical deduction reporting requirements and the right of the household to be converted to those new procedures immediately. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at the household's request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first.

(139) Amendment No. 351. The provisions of Amendment No. 351 to amend 7 CFR 273.7(d) are effective October 1, 1993. State agencies are not required to take any action to implement these provisions.

(140) Amendment No. 333. The provisions of Amendment No. 333 are effective and must be implemented as follows:

(i) The provisions relating to aggregated (combined) allotments to households applying after the 15th of the month and mail issuance in rural areas where households experience transportation difficulties in obtaining benefits are effective and must be implemented by statute retroactive to February 1, 1992.

(ii) The provision relating to staggered issuance on Indian reservations was in place on March 25, 1994, is effective and must be implemented according to statute retroactive to March 25, 1994.

(iii) The remaining provisions are effective and must be implemented September 1, 1995.

(141) Amendment No. 360. This provision is effective September 20, 1995, and must be implemented no later than the first day of the first month beginning December 19, 1995.

(142) Amendment No. 357. The provisions of Amendment No. 357 are effective and must be implemented as follows:

(i) The provision relating to the increased penalties at 7 CFR 273.16(b) is effective and must be implemented retroactive to September 1, 1994. This includes providing notification of the increased penalties on the application form.

(ii) The remaining provisions are effective and must be implemented October 23, 1995.

(143) Amendment 367. The provisions of Amendment 367 must be implemented no later than October 2, 1995 except that State agencies currently participating in the Federal Income Tax Refund Offset Program (FTROP) must implement section 272.2(d)(1)(xii), which relates to the submission of the Plan of Operations, within November 30, 1995.

(144) Amendment No. (370). The provisions of Amendment No. (370) are effective and must be implemented as follows:

(i) Sections 273.5(b)(1), (b)(4), and (b)(9) are effective February 1, 1992. The introductory paragraph of 273.5(b)(6) is effective February 1, 1992. The introductory paragraph of 273.5(b)(10) is effective February 1, 1992. Sections 273.5(b)(11)(ii), (b)(11)(iii), and (b)(11)(iv) are effective February 1, 1992.

(ii) Sections 273.5(b)(6)(i) and (b)(6)(ii) and sections 273.5(b)(10)(i) and (b)(10)(ii) and the remaining provisions of this regulation are effective November 1, 1995 and shall be implemented no later than February 1, 1996.

(iii) The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at the household's request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. The State agency shall provide restored benefits back to the effective date.

(iv) Any variance resulting from implementation of a provision in this rule shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from the required implementation date of that provision.

(145) Amendment No. 369. The provisions of Amendment No. 369 are effective May 31, 1996. State agencies must implement no later than November 27, 1996. The provisions of this amendment are applicable for determinations of intentional failure to comply made on or after the effective date of the amendment.

(146) Amendment No. 368. The provisions of Amendment No. 368 are effective on July 29, 1996.

(147) Amendment No. 364. Except for the provisions of §273.14(b)(2), the provisions of Amendment No. 364 are effective November 18, 1996 and must be implemented no later than May 1, 1997. The effective date and implementation date of the provisions of §273.14(b)(2) will be announced in a document in the Federal Register. The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after either the required implementation date or the date the State agency implements the provision prior to the required implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions following implementation at the household's request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. The State agency must provide restored benefits to required implementation date or the date the State agency implemented the provision prior to the required implementation date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement by the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application whichever is later, but for no more than 12 months in accordance with §273.17(a) of this chapter. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with §275.12(d)(2)(vii) of this chapter and 7 U.S.C. 2025(c)(3)(A).

(148) Amendment No. 362. The provision of section 13921 of Public Law 103-66 establishing a child support deduction was effective September 1, 1994, and was required to be implemented no later than October 1, 1995. The provisions of Amendment No. 362 are effective December 16, 1996 and must be implemented no later than May 1, 1997. State agencies shall implement the provisions no later than the required implementation date. The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after either the required implementation date or the date the State agency implemented the provision prior to the required implementation date, whichever is earlier. State agencies are required to adjust the cases of participating households at the next recertification, at household request, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever comes first. State agencies which fail to implement or adjust cases by the required implementation date shall provide restored benefits as appropriate. For quality control purposes, any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions are excluded from error analysis for 120 days from the required implementation date, in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii) and 7 U.S.C. 2025(c)(3)(A). State agencies which implement prior to the required implementation date must notify the appropriate regional office prior to implementation that they wish the variance exclusion period to begin with actual implementation, as provided in 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii)(A). Absent such notification, the exclusionary period will begin with the required implementation date.

(149) Amendment No. 374. The Higher Education Act Amendments of 1986, as amended in 1987, were effective and required to be implemented for the 1988-89 school year; the Perkins Act was effective and required to be implemented on July 1, 1991; the Mickey Leland Act (as amended by the 1991 Technical Amendments to the Food Stamp Act) was effective and required to be implemented on February 1, 1992, and the exclusions contained in the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1992 for the Tribal Development Student Assistance Revolving Loan Program were effective and required to be implemented on October 1, 1992, and for Title IV and BIA student assistance on July 1, 1993. The provisions of Amendment No. 374 are effective December 16, 1996 and must be implemented by March 1, 1997. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at the household's request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. If implementation of the acts referenced in this paragraph or this amendment is delayed, benefits shall be restored, as appropriate, in accordance with the Food Stamp Act. Any variance resulting from implementation of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from March 1, 1997.

(150) Amendment No. 365. This provision is effective December 16, 1996 and must be implemented no later than March 1, 1997. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with §275.12(d)(2)(vii) of this chapter.

(151) Amendment No. 375. Public Law 103-66, the Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act, was effective and required to be implemented on September 1, 1994. The provisions of Amendment No. 375 are effective December 16, 1996, and must be implemented by March 1, 1997. The State agency shall implement the provisions of this amendment no later than the appropriate required implementation date for all households newly applying for Program benefits on or after such implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at household request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first, and the State agency must provide restored benefits, as may be appropriate under the Food Stamp Act, back to the appropriate required implementation date. If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the appropriate implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the appropriate required implementation date or the date of application, whichever is later. Any variances resulting from implementation of this amendment shall be excluded from quality control error analysis for 120 days from March 1, 1997.

(152) Amendment No. 361   The provisions of Amendment No. 361 are effective December 26, 1996, and must be implemented May 27, 1997. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii). The provision must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after the required implementation date. The current caseload shall be converted to these provisions at the household's request, at the time of recertification, or when the case is next reviewed, whichever occurs first. The State agency must provide restored benefits to such households back to the required implementation date or the date of application whichever is later.

If for any reason a State agency fails to implement on the required implementation date, restored benefits shall be provided, if appropriate, back to the required implementation date or the date of application whichever is later, but for no more than 12 months in accordance with §273.17(a) of this chapter.

(153) Amendment No. 366. (i) With the exception of the changes to §275.3(c)(4) [Arbitration], §275.23(e)(5) [State agencies' liabilities for payment error-Fiscal Year 1992 and beyond], §275.23(e)(7) [Good Cause], and §275.23(e)(9) [timeframes], all quality control changes that are made by Amendment No. 366 shall be implemented July 2, 1997.

(ii) The quality control changes to §275.3(c)(4) [Arbitration], §275.23(e)(5) [State agencies' liabilities for payment error-Fiscal Year 1992 and beyond], §275.23(e)(7) [Good Cause], and §275.23(e)(9) [Timeframes], shall be implemented after approval of the provisions at §275.3(c)(4) [Arbitration], and §275.23(e)(7) [Good Cause] by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. FNS will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the implementation date. It shall be a date occurring after the publication date of the notice.

(154) Amendment No. 386. The provisions of Amendment No.386 are effective August 4, 2000. State agencies may begin implementing the rule August 4, 2000 but not later than January 2, 2001. State agencies that have already implemented EBT shall have one year in which to grandfather adjustment disclosure into their training materials according to 7 CFR 274.12(f)(10)(viii).

(155) Amendment No. 373. The provision at §275.23(e)(5)(iii) is effective and is to be implemented on July 16, 1999. The following provisions are effective on October 1, 1999 and are to be implemented on October 1, 2000, with the start of the Fiscal Year 2001 quality control review period: §271.2; §275.3(c)(3)(ii); §275.10(a); §275.11(c)(1); §275.11(e)(2); §275.11(f)(2); §275.13(a); §275.13(b); §275.13(c)(1); §275.13(c)(2); §275.13(f)(2) and §275.23(c)(4). The remaining provisions of this rule are effective and are to be implemented October 1, 1999, with the start of the Fiscal Year 2000 quality control review period, which begins with the October 1999 sample month.

(156) Amendment No. 379. The provision of Amendment No. 379 regarding the 15-percent exemption and additional funding for E&T is effective and must be implemented no later than November 2, 1999. Any variances resulting from implementation of the provisions of this amendment shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from this required implementation date in accordance with §275.12(d)(2)(vii) of this chapter.

(157) Amendment No. 381. The provisions of Amendment 381 are implemented as follows:

(i) The definition of “Homeless individual” in §271.2, and the amendments to §273.1(b)(1)(ii), §273.2(i)(3)(i) and (i)(3)(ii) were to be implemented August 22, 1996;

(ii) The amendments to §273.8(f)(1) and §273.10(e)(4)(ii) were to be implemented October 1, 1996;

(iii) The amendment to §273.9(d)(8) was to be implemented January 1, 1997;

(iv) The amendments to §273.1(b)(1)(iii) and §273.8(e)(3)(i)(A) must be implemented no later than March 1, 2001; and

(v) All remaining amendments must be implemented no later than January 1, 2001.

(158) Amendment No. 382. The provisions of Amendment No.379 are effective and must be implemented March 30, 2000.

(159) Amendment (385). The provisions in §277.11(d) regarding time limits for State agencies to file claims to amend a prior expenditure report to request retroactive funding for costs previously incurred are effective October 1, 2000. The conforming amendment to Food Stamp Program regulations in §§272.1(g), 272.2(c)(3), 272.11(d) and (e), 274.12(k), 277.4(b) and (g), 277.9(b), 277.18(b), (d), and (f), and OMB Circular A-87 (2 CFR Part 225) are effective June 23, 2000.

(160) Amendment 389. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, Pub. L. 104-193, (PRWORA) set the date of enactment, August 1, 2000, as the effective date for the provisions of the law relating to recipient claims. These non-discretionary provisions of this rule are at §273.18(c)(1)(ii)(B), §273.18(f) and §273.18(g) and are effective retroactive to August 1, 2000. The remaining amendments of this rule are effective and must be implemented no later than August 1, 2000.

(161) Amendment No. 388 The provisions of Amendment No. 388 are implemented as follows:

(i) State agencies may implement the following amendments at their discretion at any time on or after the effective date: §272.8; §272.11(a); §273.2(f)(9)(i); §273.2(f)(10); §273.2(j)(2)(ii); §273.9(d)(6)(i); §273.9(d)(6)(iii)(E); §273.11(a)(3)(v); §273.12(a)(1)(vii); §273.25; and §277.4(b).

(ii) State agencies may implement the following amendment at their discretion at any time after the effective date established by OMB approval of the associated information collection burden: §273.12(f)(4).

(iii) State agencies must implement the following amendments no later than 180 days after the effective date established by OMB approval of the associated information collection burden for all households newly applying for Program benefits: §273.2(c)(2)(i), §273.2(e)(1), §273.2(e)(2)(i), §273.2(e)(2)(ii), §273.2(e)(3), §273.4(c)(3)(iv); and §273.12(c)(3). State agencies must convert current caseloads no later than the next recertification following the implementation date.

(iv) State agencies must implement the amendment to §273.2(b)(4)(iv) no later than August 1, 2001, for all households newly applying for Program benefits.

(v) State agencies must implement all remaining amendments no later than June 1, 2001, for all households newly applying for Program benefits. State agencies must convert current caseloads no later than the next recertification following the implementation date.

(vi) Acting under policy guidance the Department issued previous to the publication of this final rule, several State agencies that have identified programs to confer categorical eligibility for food stamps that do not meet the criteria established at §§273.2(j)(2)(i)(B), 273.2(j)(2)(i)(C), 273.2(j)(2)(ii)(A), or 273.2(j)(2)(ii)(B) of this chapter. Any such State agency may continue to use these programs to confer categorical eligibility for food stamp purposes until September 30, 2001.

(vii) A State agency which first implements option 1 under 7 CFR 273.11(c)(3)(ii), and then decides at a later date to implement option 2 under that same paragraph is entitled to a second variance exclusion period under 7 CFR 275.12(d)(2)(vii).

(162) Amendment No. 384. The provisions of Amendment No. 384 are effective September 14, 2000, and must be implemented as follows:

(i) Any new contract executed after October 16, 2000, must have provisions for interoperability and portability which include an implementation date for this functionality no later than October 1, 2002, except under the following circumstances:

(A) State agencies with contracts entered into before October 16, 2000, are not required to re-negotiate their EBT services contract to include interoperability and portability, even if the contract expires after the October 1, 2002 deadline; such State agencies are exempt from the interoperability requirement until they re-negotiate or re-procure their EBT contract.

(B) Smart Card systems are not required to be interoperable with other State EBT systems until such time that the Department determines a practicable technological method is available for interoperability with on-line EBT systems.

(ii) Enhanced funding is available for interoperability costs incurred after February 11, 2000, and before October 1, 2002, for State agencies which have implemented standards of interoperability and portability adopted by a majority of State agencies, and for such costs incurred after September 1, 2002, for State agencies that have adopted standards for interoperability and portability in accordance with this regulation at 7 CFR 274.12.

(163) [Reserved]

(164) Amendment No. 390. The provisions of Amendment No. 390 are effective November 3, 2000. State agencies may implement the provisions anytime after the effective date. However, Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) systems must be in place statewide no later than October 1, 2002, as required by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.

(165) Amendment No. 387—This rule is effective no later than {insert the first day of the month 60 days after publication of the final rule, except for the amendment to 7 CFR 272.2(d)(1)(xiii) which is effective August 1, 2001. State agencies must implement the provisions in this final rule no later than August 1, 2001.

(166) Amendment No. 393. The provisions of Amendment No. 393, regarding the Work Provisions of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 are effective August 19, 2002.

(167) Amendment No. 376. The provisions of Amendment No. 376 are effective May 29, 2003 and must be implemented no later than November 1, 2003. The provisions must be implemented for all households that newly apply for Program benefits on or after either the required implementation date or the date the State agency implements the provision prior to the required implementation date. The current change reporting caseload shall be converted to these provisions no later than the required implementation date in accordance with procedures established by the State agency. However, for households subject to the reporting requirements at §273.12(a)(1)(i)(C)(1) or (2) of this chapter, the State agency has until January 1, 2004 to convert households to 6 month certification periods. Monthly reporting households shall be converted in accordance with §273.21(r) of this chapter. For quality control purposes, any variances resulting from the implementation of this rule shall be excluded from error analysis for 120 days from the required implementation date, in accordance with §275.12(d)(2)(vii) of this chapter.

(168) Amendment No. 394. The interim and final provisions of Amendment No. 394 are effective May 11, 2005. State agencies may implement the provisions anytime after May 11, 2005 but no later than October 11, 2005.

(169) Amendment No. 395. The provisions of Amendment 395 are effective December 15, 2003.

(170) Amendment No. 396. The provisions of amendment number 396 are effective April 8, 2005.

(171) Amendment No. 397. The provisions of Amendment No. 397 are effective January 4, 2006. State agencies may implement the provisions anytime after the rule is published but no later than June 5, 2006.

(172) Amendment No. 400. The provisions of Amendment No. 400, regarding the Employment and Training Program Provisions of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 are effective August 8, 2006.

(173) Amendment No. 401. The provisions of Amendment No. 401 are implemented as follows:

(i) The following amendments were to be implemented October 1, 2002: 7 CFR 273.4(a)(6)(ii)(H), 7 CFR 273.8(b), and 7 CFR 273.9(d)(1).

(ii) The following amendments were to be implemented April 1, 2003: 7 CFR 273.4(a)(6)(ii)(B) through 7 CFR 273.4(a)(6)(ii)(F) and 273.4(a)(6)(iii).

(iii) The following amendments were to be implemented October 1, 2003: 7 CFR 273.4 (a)(6)(ii)(J); 7 CFR 273.4(c)(3)(vi).

(iv) State agencies must implement the following amendments no later than August 1, 2010: 7 CFR 273.4(c)(2)(v), 7 CFR 273.4(c)(3)(iv), 7 CFR 273.4(c)(3)(vii), 7 CFR 273.9(b)(1)(vi), and 7 CFR 273.9(c)(3)(ii)(A).

(v) State agencies may implement all other amendments on or after the effective date.

(vi) State agencies that implemented discretionary provisions, either under existing regulations or policy guidance issued by the Department, prior to the publication of this final rule have until August 1, 2010 to amend their policies to conform to the final rule requirements.

[Amdt. 132, 43 FR 47884, Oct. 17, 1978]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §272.1, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

§272.2   Plan of operation.

(a) General purpose and content—(1) Purpose. State agencies shall periodically plan and budget program operations and establish objectives. When planning and budgeting for program operations for the next year, State agencies shall consider major corrective action objectives, existing program strengths and deficiencies, and other factors anticipated to impact on the operation of the State's Food Stamp Program and on projected expenditures.

(2) Content. The basic components of the State Plan of Operation are the Federal/State Agreement, the Budget Projection Statement, and the Program Activity Statement. In addition, certain attachments to the Plan are specified in this section and in §272.3. The requirements for the basic components and attachments are specified in §272.2(c) and §272.2(d) respectively. The Federal/State Agreement is the legal agreement between the State and the Department of Agriculture. This Agreement is the means by which the State elects to operate the Food Stamp Program and to administer the program in accordance with the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, regulations issued pursuant to the Act and the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation. The Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement provide information on the number of actions and amounts budgeted for various functional areas such as certification and issuance. The Plan's attachments include the Quality Control Sample Plan, the Disaster Plan (currently reserved), the Employment and Training Plan, the optional Nutrition Education Plan, the optional plan for Program informational activities directed to low-income households, the optional plan for intercepting Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits for collecting claims for intentional Program violations, the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Plan, and the plan for the State Income and Eligibility Verification System. The State agency shall either include the Workfare Plan in its State Plan of Operation or append the Workfare Plan to the State Plan of Operation, as appropriate, in accordance with §273.22(b)(3) of this chapter. The Workfare Plan shall be submitted separately, in accordance with §273.22(b)(1) of this chapter. The ADP/CIS Plan is considered part of the State Plan of Operation but is submitted separately as prescribed under §272.2(e)(8). State agencies and/or political subdivisions selected to operate a Simplified Application/Standardized Benefit Project shall include that Project's Work Plan in the State Plan of Operation. The Plan's attachments shall also include the Mail Issuance Loss Reporting Level Plan.

(b) Federal/State Agreement. (1) The wording of the pre-printed Federal/State Agreement is as follows:

The State of ___ and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereby agree to act in accordance with the provisions of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, implementing regulations and the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation. The State and FNS (USDA) further agree to fully comply with any changes in Federal law and regulations. This agreement may be modified with the mutual written consent of both parties.

Provisions

The State agrees to: 1. Administer the program in accordance with the provisions contained in the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, and in the manner prescribed by regulations issued pursuant to the Act; and to implement the FNS-approved State Plan of Operation.

2. Comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub. L. 88-352), section 11(c) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Pub. L. 94-135) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, sec. 504) and all requirements imposed by the regulations issued pursuant to these Acts by the Department of Agriculture to the effect that, no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of sex, race, color, age, political belief, religion, handicap, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subject to discrimination under the Food Stamp Program.

3. (For States with Indian Reservations only). Implement the Program in a manner that is responsive to the special needs of American Indians on reservations and consult in good faith with tribal organizations about that portion of the State's Plan of Operation pertaining to the implementation of the Program for members of the tribe on reservations.

FNS agrees to: 1. Pay administrative costs in accordance with the Food Stamp Act, implementing regulations, and an approved Cost Allocation Plan.

2. Carry-out any other responsibilities delegated by the Secretary in the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended.

Date
Signature

(Governor or Authorized Designee)

Date
Signature

(Regional Administrator, FNS)

(2) The State agency may propose alternative language to any or all the provisions listed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The alternative language is subject to approval by both parties before signature.

(c) Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement. (1) The State agency shall submit to FNS for approval a Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement in accordance with the submittal dates in §272.2(e).

(i) The Budget Projection Statement solicits projections of the total costs for major areas of program operations. The Budget Projection Statement shall be submitted annually and updated as necessary through the year. The Budget Projection Statement shall contain projections for each quarter of the next Federal fiscal year. The State agency shall submit with the Budget Projection Statement a narrative justification documenting and explaining the assumptions used to arrive at the projections. The narrative shall cover such subjects as: The number and salary level of employees; other factors affecting personnel costs including anticipated increases in pay rates or benefits, and reallocations of staff among units or functions, insofar as these might result in cost increases or decreases; costs for purchasing, leasing, and maintaining equipment and space, especially as concerns any upcoming, one-time-only purchases of new capital assets such as ADP equipment, renegotiation of leases, changes in depreciation rates or procedures, relocation of offices, maintenance and renovation work, and inflation; issuance system costs, including renegotiation of issuing agent fees and plans to change issuance systems; changes in caseload and factors contributing to increases or decreases in the number of participants; recertifications, including the anticipated impact of economic conditions (and in particular unemployment) and seasonality; cost implications of corrective action plans; anticipated changes in program regulations and operating guidelines and instructions; training needs; travel costs; and adjustments in insurance premiums. The narrative should cover as many of the items listed above, and any other items deemed relevant by the State agency, that will have a significant impact on costs. The State agency is not required to discuss every item in the list in every submission of a Budget Projection Statement. The narrative should concentrate on items that account for increases or decreases in costs from the preceding submissions.

(ii) The Program Activity Statement, to be submitted annually, solicits a summary of program activity for the State agency's operations during the preceding fiscal year.

(2) The organizational outline submitted in 1982 as an attachment to the Program Activity Statement shall be considered the basic outline. Henceforth, changes to this outline shall be provided to FNS as they occur. The outline contains the following information:

(i) The position of the head of the State agency responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program in relation to the overall State organizational structure, i.e., the Program Director in relation to the Commissioner of Welfare;

(ii) A description of the organizational structure through which the State agency will administer and operate the Food Stamp Program, including whether the Program is State, county, locally, or regionally-administered; whether the workers have single Food Stamp Program or multi-program functions; and the title and position of the individual or panel designated as the hearing authority and whether officials conduct both fair and fraud hearings.

(iii) A description of the funding arrangement by which State, county, and local jurisdictions will contribute to the State agency portion of administrative costs;

(iv) The position within the State organizational structure of the Performance Reporting System (PRS) coordinator, including whether the PRS coordinator is full or part-time, and is responsible for direct supervision over Quality Control or Management Evaluation or if these functions are handled separately, and whether quality control reviewers have single Food Stamp Program or multi-program review responsibilities;

(v) The position of the training coordinator and whether this is a full or part-time position; and

(vi) The organizational entity responsible for corrective action.

(3) Additional attachments. Attached for informational purposes (not subject to approval as part of the plan submission procedures) to the Program Activity Statement and submitted as required in paragraph (e)(3) of this section shall be the agreements between the State agency and the United States Postal Service for coupon issuance, and between the State agency and the Social Security Administration for supplemental income/food stamp joint application processing and for routine user status.

(d) Planning documents. (1) The following planning documents shall be submitted:

(i) Quality Control Sampling Plan as required by §275.11(a)(4);

(ii) Disaster Plan as required by §280.6 (currently reserved), or certification that a previously submitted Disaster Plan has been reviewed and remains current;

(iii) Nutrition Education Plan if the State agency elects to request Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) grant funds to conduct nutrition education and obesity prevention services as discussed in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(iv) A plan for the State Income and Eligibility Verification System required by §272.8.

(v) Employment and Training Plan as required in §273.7 (c)(6).

(vi) ADP/CIS Plan as required by §272.10.

(vii) A plan for the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program as required by §272.11(e).

(viii) Mail Issuance Loss Reporting Level Plan required by §276.2(b)(4), for the State agency using mail issuance, shall contain the unit level of reporting mail issuance losses for the upcoming fiscal year as elected by the State agency. If a State agency does not revise its Plan by August 15 in any given year, FNS shall continue to require reporting and to assess liabilities for the next fiscal year at the level last indicated by the State agency. If the agency has selected the unit provided for in §276.2(b)(4)(ii), a listing of the issuance sites or counties comprising each administrative unit within the State agency shall also be included in the Plan.

(ix) A plan for Program informational activities as specified in §272.5(c).

(x) Claims Management Plan as required by §273.18(a)(3) to be submitted for informational purposes only; not subject to approval as part of the plan submission procedures under paragraph (e) of this section.

(xi)-(xii) [Reserved]

(xiii) If the State agency chooses to implement the optional provisions specified in (273.11(k), (l), (o), (p), and (q) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment the options it selected, the guidelines it will use, and any good cause criteria under paragraph (o). For §273.11(k) of this chapter, the State agency must identify which sanctions in the other programs this provision applies to. The State agency must also include in the plan a description of the safeguards it will use to restrict the use of information it collects in implementing the optional provision contained in §273.11(p) of this chapter.

(xiv) The State agency's disqualification plan, in accordance with §273.7(f)(3) of this chapter.

(xv) If the State agency chooses to implement the provisions for a work supplementation or support program, the work supplementation or support program plan, in accordance with §273.7(l)(1) of this chapter.

(xvi) If the State agency chooses to implement the optional provisions specified in:

(A) Sections 273.2(f)(1)(xii), 273.2(f)(8)(i)(A), 273.9(d)(5), 273.9(d)(6)(i), and 273.12(a)(4) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment the options it has selected;

(B) Section 273.8(e)(19) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the resources being excluded under the provision;

(C) Section 273.9(c)(3) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of educational assistance being excluded under the provision;

(D) Section 273.9(c)(18) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of payments being excluded under the provision;

(E) Section 273.9(c)(19) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of income being excluded under the provision;

(F) Section 273.12(a)(5) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the types of households to whom the option applies;

(G) Section 273.12(c) of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and a description of the deductions affected; and

(H) Section 273.26 of this chapter, it must include in the Plan's attachment a statement that the option has been selected and specify the categories of households eligible for transitional benefits and the maximum number of months for which such benefits will be provided.

(2) Nutrition Education Plan. If submitted, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) Plan shall:

(i) Conform to standards established in this regulation, SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance, and other FNS policy. A State agency may propose to implement an annual or multiyear Plan of up to three years;

(ii) Identify the methods the State will use to notify applicants, participants, and eligible individuals to the maximum extent possible of the availability of SNAP-Ed activities in local communities;

(iii) Describe the nutrition education and obesity prevention services that the State will provide in SNAP-Ed and how the State will deliver those services, either directly or through agreements with other State or local agencies or community organizations;

(iv) Ensure interventions are appropriate for the low-income population defined as SNAP participants and low-income individuals eligible to receive SNAP benefits or other means-tested Federal assistance programs. The interventions must recognize the population's constrained resources and potential eligibility for Federal food assistance;

(v) Describe methods the State agency will use to identify its target audience. FNS will consider for approval targeting strategies and supporting data sources included in SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance and alternate targeting strategies and supporting data sources proposed by State agencies;

(vi) Use of Funds. (A) A State agency must use the SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention grant to fund the administrative costs of planning, implementing, and operating its SNAP-Ed program in accordance with its approved SNAP-Ed Plan;

(B) Definitions. SNAP nutrition education and obesity prevention services are defined as any combination of educational strategies, accompanied by environmental supports, designed to facilitate voluntary adoption of food and physical activity choices and other nutrition-related behaviors conducive to the health and well-being of SNAP participants and low-income individuals eligible to participate in SNAP and other means-tested Federal assistance programs. Nutrition education and obesity prevention services are delivered through multiple venues and involve activities at the individual, community, and appropriate policy levels. Acceptable policy level interventions are activities that encourage healthier choices based on the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans; SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention activities must be evidence-based. An evidence-based approach for nutrition education and obesity prevention is defined as the integration of the best research evidence with best available practice-based evidence. The best research evidence refers to relevant rigorous nutrition and public health nutrition research including systematically reviewed scientific evidence. Practice-based evidence refers to case studies, pilot studies, and evidence from the field on nutrition education interventions that demonstrate obesity prevention potential. Evidence may be related to obesity prevention target areas, intervention strategies, and/or specific interventions. The target areas are identified in the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Intervention strategies are broad approaches to intervening on specific target areas. Interventions are a specific set of evidence-based, behaviorally-focused activities and/or actions to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles. Evidence-based allowable uses of funds for SNAP-Ed include conducting and evaluating intervention programs, and implementing and measuring policy, systems, and environmental changes in accordance with SNAP-Ed Guidance;

(C) SNAP-Ed activities must promote healthy food and physical activity choices based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

(D) SNAP-Ed activities must include evidence-based activities using one or more of these approaches: individual or group-based nutrition education, health promotion, and intervention strategies; comprehensive, multi-level interventions at multiple complementary organizational and institutional levels; community and public health approaches to improve nutrition;

(vii) Include a description of the State's efforts to coordinate activities with national, State, and local nutrition education and health promotion initiatives and interventions, whether public or privately funded. The relationship between the State agency and other organizations it plans to coordinate with for the provision of services, including statewide organizations must be described. Copies of contracts and Memoranda of Agreement must be available for inspection upon request;

(viii) Include an operating budget for the Federal fiscal year with an estimate of the cost of operation for one or more years, according to the State's approved SNAP-Ed Plan;

(ix) Federal financial participation and allocation of grants. (A) Each State agency that submitted an approved fiscal year 2009 SNAP-Ed Plan will receive a 100 percent Federal grant each fiscal year to operate SNAP-Ed based on the State's share of national SNAP-Ed expenditures for fiscal year 2009 as reported in February 2010. The grant requires no State contribution or match. The grant period of performance is two years and these funds are the only source of Federal funds available under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, for SNAP nutrition education and obesity prevention services to States. Funds in excess of the grants are not eligible for SNAP Federal reimbursement;

(B) A State agency's receipt of its 100 percent Federal SNAP-Ed grant is contingent on FNS' approval of the State agency's SNAP-Ed Plan. If an adequate Plan is not submitted, FNS may reallocate a State agency's grant among other State agencies with approved Plans;

(C) States shall identify the uses of funding for local projects and show that the funding received shall remain under the administrative control of the State agency;

(D) Annually, FNS will determine each State's share of the funding provided for each fiscal year. The amount of funding provided in fiscal year 2011 was $375,000,000, and the amount of funding provided in each subsequent year is determined by adjusting the previous fiscal year's amount to reflect any increases for the 12-month period ending the preceding June 30th in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor;

(E) FNS will allocate the funding available each fiscal year for SNAP-Ed grants using the formula proscribed by law that factors in State shares of the base 2009 Federal expenditures, building progressively to a 50/50 weighting of expenditures to participation from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2018 and beyond. The allocations to a State for SNAP-Ed grants will be:

(1) For fiscal year 2013, in direct proportion to State expenditures for FFY 2009, as reported in February 2010;

(2) For fiscal year 2014, 90 percent based on expenditures, plus 10 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2012 to January 31, 2013;

(3) For fiscal year 2015, 80 percent based on expenditures, plus 20 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2013 to January 31, 2014;

(4) For fiscal year 2016, 70 percent based on expenditures, plus 30 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015;

(5) For fiscal year 2017, 60 percent based on expenditures, plus 40 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the 12-month period February 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016; and,

(6) For fiscal year 2018 and thereafter, 50 percent based on expenditures, plus 50 percent based on the State's share of national SNAP participants for the previous 12-month period ending January 31;

(F) If a participating State agency notifies FNS that it will not obligate or expend all of the funds allocated to it for a fiscal year under this section, FNS may reallocate the unobligated, unexpended funds to other participating State agencies that have approved SNAP-Ed Plans during the period for which the funding is available for new obligations at the Federal level. Reallocated funds received by a State will be considered part of its base 2009 allocation for the next fiscal year for the purpose of determining allocation; funds surrendered by a State shall not be considered part of it base 2009 allocation for the next fiscal year for the purpose of determining allocation.

(x) Fiscal recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Each participating State agency must meet FNS fiscal recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Total SNAP-Ed expenditures are reported on the Financial Status Report (SF-425). States are expected to continue to collect and report State and private contributions to their SNAP-Ed activities through the Education Administration and Reporting System FNS-759;

(xi) Additional information may be required of the State agency, on an as needed basis, regarding the type of nutrition education and obesity prevention activities offered and the characteristics of the target population served, depending on the contents of the State's SNAP-Ed Plan, to determine whether nutrition education goals are being met;

(xii) The State agency must submit a SNAP-Ed Annual Report to FNS by November 30th of each year. The report shall describe SNAP-Ed Plan project activities and budget for the prior year.

(e) Submittal requirements. States shall submit to the appropriate FNS Regional Office for approval each of the components of the Plan of Operation for approval within the timeframes established by this paragraph. Approval or denial of the document may be withheld pending review by FNS. However, if FNS fails to either approve, deny, or request additional information within 30 days, the document is approved. If additional information is requested, the State agency shall provide this as soon as possible, and FNS shall approve or deny the Plan within 30 days after receiving the information.

(1) The Federal/State agreement shall be signed by the Governor of the State or authorized designee and shall be submitted to FNS within 120 days after publication of these regulations in final form and shall remain in effect until terminated.

(2) The Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement shall be signed by the head of the State agency or its chief financial officer and submitted as follows:

(i) The Budget Projection Statement shall be submitted annually, no later than August 15 of each year.

(ii) The Program Activity Statement shall be submitted annually, not later than 45 days after the end of the State agency's fiscal year. The first report is due 45 days after the end of the State's 1981 fiscal year. The first report is not required to contain information that is not currently captured by the State agency's information system. State agencies shall amend their data gathering systems so that all items can be completed on the second report, due for the 1982 fiscal year.

(3) Changes to the organizational outline required by §272.2(c)(2) and the agreements with other agencies outlined in §272.2(c)(3)(ii) shall be provided to FNS as changes occur. The attachments outlined in §272.2(c)(3)(i) shall be submitted annually with the Program Activity Statement.

(4) The Quality Control Sampling Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted to FNS prior to implementation as follows:

(i) According to the timeframes specified in paragraph (e)(4)(ii) of this section, prior to each annual review period each State agency shall submit any changes in their sampling plan for FNS approval or submit a statement that there are no such changes. These submittals shall include the statement required by §275.11(a)(2), if appropriate. The Quality Control Sampling Plan in effect for each State agency as of the beginning of Fiscal Year 1984 shall be considered submitted and approved for purposes of this section, provided that the State agency has obtained prior FNS approval of its sampling plan.

(ii) Initial submissions of and major changes to sampling plans and changes in sampling plans resulting from general changes in procedure shall be submitted to FNS for approval at least 60 days prior to implementation. Minor changes to approved sampling plans shall be submitted at least 30 days prior to implementation.

(5) Disaster Plan. [Reserved]

(6) The Nutrition Education Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted prior to funding of nutrition education activities when the State agency elects to request Federal administrative matching funds to conduct Nutrition Education Programs. The plan shall then be submitted annually no later than August 15. The initial submission may be for a period of less than or more than a year in order to meet the August 15 deadline.

(7) Where applicable, State agencies shall consult (on an ongoing basis) with the tribal organization of an Indian reservation about those portions of the State Plan of Operation pertaining to the special needs of the members of the tribe.

(8) ADP/CIS Plan. The ADP/CIS Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted to FNS by October 1, 1987. State agencies which require additional time to complete their ADP/CIS plan may submit their plan in two phases as described in §272.10(a)(2), with the first part of the plan being submitted October 1, 1987. State agencies requiring additional time shall submit the second part of their plans by January 1, 1988. If FNS requests additional information to be provided in the State agency ADP/CIS Plan or if FNS requests that changes be made in the State agency ADP/CIS Plan, State agencies must comply with FNS comments and submit an approvable ADP/CIS Plan within 60 days of their receipt of the FNS comments but in no event later than March 1, 1988. Requirements for the ADP/CIS plan are specified in §272.10.

(9) The Employment and Training Plan shall be submitted as specified under §273.7(c)(8).

(f) Revisions. Revisions to any of the planning documents or the Program and Budget Summary Statement shall be prepared and submitted for approval to the appropriate FNS Regional Office in the same manner as the original document. However, revisions to the budget portion of the Budget Projection Statement and Program Activity Statement shall be submitted as follows:

(1) Program funds. (i) For program funds, State agencies shall request prior approvals promptly from FNS for budget revisions whenever:

(A) The revision indicates the need for additional Federal funding;

(B) The program budget exceeds $100,000, and the cumulative amount of transfers among program functions exceeds or is expected to exceed five percent of the program budget. The same criteria apply to the cumulative amount of transfers among functions and activities when budgeted separately for program funds provided to a subagency, except that FNS shall permit no transfer which would cause any Federal appropriation, or part thereof, to be used for purposes other than those intended;

(C) The revisions involve the transfer of amounts budgeted for indirect costs to absorb increases in direct costs; or

(D) The revisions pertain to the addition of items requiring prior approval by FNS in accordance with the provisions of the applicable cost principles specified in OMB Circular A-87 (available on OMB's Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_default/).

(ii) No other changes to the Program fund budget require approval from FNS. Examples of changes which do not require Federal approval are: The use of State agency funds to accomplish program objectives over and above the State agency minimum share included in the approved Program budget; and the transfer of amounts budgeted for direct costs to absorb authorized increases in indirect costs.

(iii) The requirements of paragraph (f)(1)(i)(B) of this section may be waived by FNS provided that:

(A) No different limitation or approval requirement may be imposed; and,

(B) FNS shall not permit a transfer which would cause any Federal appropriation, or part, thereof, to be used for purpose other than those intended.

(2) Authorized funds exceeding State agency needs. When it becomes apparent that the funds authorized by the Letter of Credit will exceed the needs of the State agency, FNS will make appropriate adjustments in the Letter of Credit in accordance with part 277.

(3) Method of requesting approvals. When requesting approval for budget revisions, State agencies shall use the same format as the Budget Projection Statement used in the previous submission. However, State agencies may request by letter the approvals required by paragraph (f)(1)(i)(D) of this section.

(4) Notification of approval or disapproval. Within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request for budget revisions, FNS shall review the request and notify the State agency whether or not the budget revisions have been approved. If the revision is still under consideration at the end of 30 days, FNS shall inform the State agency in writing as to when the decision will be made.

[Amdt. 156, 46 FR 6315, Jan. 21, 1981]

Editorial Notes: 1. For Federal Register citations affecting §272.2, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

2. At 78 FR 20421, Apr. 5, 2013, paragraph (d)(6) was revised, however, paragraph (d)(6) does not exist, and therefore this amendment could not be incorporated. For the convenience of the user, the revised text is set forth as follows:

§272.2   Plan of operation.

*   *   *   *   *

(d) *  *  *

(6) The SNAP-Ed Plan shall be signed by the head of the State agency and submitted prior to funding of nutrition education and obesity prevention activities when the State agency elects to request Federal grant funds to conduct these SNAP-Ed activities. The Plan shall be submitted for approval no later than August 15th. Approved plans become effective the following FFY October 1st to September 30th.

*   *   *   *   *

§272.3   Operating guidelines and forms.

(a) Coverage of operating guidelines. State agencies shall prepare and provide to staff responsible for administering the Program written operating procedures. In those States which have State regulations that outline these Operating Procedures, these are equivalent to Operating Guidelines. Other examples of Operating Guidelines are manuals, instructions, directives or transmittal memos. The following categories shall be included in the Operating Guidelines:

(1) Certification of households, including but not limited to:

(i) Application processing;

(ii) Nonfinancial eligibility standards;

(iii) Financial criteria and the eligibility determination;

(iv) Actions resulting from eligibility determinations;

(v) Determining eligibility of special situation households as specified in §273.11;

(vi) Additional certification functions such as processing changes during certification periods and reporting requirements for households;

(vii) Lost benefits/claims against households;

(viii) Fair/fraud hearings;

(ix) A list of Federal and State energy assistance programs that qualify for the resource and income exclusions discussed in §§273.8(e)(14) and 273.9(c)(11) and how these payments are identified as being eligible for the exemption;

(x) Work registration and employment and training requirements.

(2) Issuance, accountability, and reconciliation;

(3) The Performance Reporting System, including instructions or directives for conducting quality control and management evaluation reviews and the quality control sample plan;

(4) A description of the training program, including a listing of the organizational component which conducts training, to whom and how often training is provided;

(5) The fair/fraud hearing procedures if not included in the Certification Handbook.

(6) The consultation process (where applicable) with the tribal organization of an Indian reservation about the State Plan of Operation and Operating Guidelines in terms of the special needs of members of the tribe and the method to be used for incorporating the comments from the tribal organization into the State Plan of Operations and Operating Guidelines.

(b) Submittal of operating guidelines and forms. (1) State agencies shall develop the necessary forms, except the Application for Food Stamps, and other operating guidelines to implement the provisions of the Food Stamp Act and regulations. In accordance with §§273.2(b) and 273.12(b)(1) State agencies shall use the FNS-designed Application for Food Stamps or an FNS-approved deviation.

(2) State agencies shall submit their operating guidelines and forms and amendments to these materials to FNS for review and audit purposes simultaneous with distribution within the States.

(3) State agencies may request that FNS review and provide comments on their operating guidelines, forms and any amendments to these materials prior to distribution of the materials within the State.

(4) If deficiencies are discovered in a State agency's materials, FNS shall provide the State agency with written notification.

(c) Waivers. (1) The Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service or Deputy Administrator for Family Nutrition Programs may authorize waivers to deviate from specific regulatory provisions. Requests for waivers may be approved only in the following situations:

(i) The specific regulatory provision cannot be implemented due to extraordinary temporary situations such as a sudden increase in the caseload due to the loss of SSI cash-out status;

(ii) FNS determines that the waiver would result in a more effective and efficient administration of the program; or

(iii) Unique geographic or climatic conditions within a State preclude effective implementation of the specific regulatory provision and require an alternate procedure; for example, the use of fee agents in Alaska to perform many of the duties involved in the certification of households including conducting the interviews.

(2) FNS shall not approve requests for waivers when:

(i) The waiver would be inconsistent with the provisions of the Act; or

(ii) The waiver would result in material impairment of any statutory or regulatory rights of participants or potential participants.

(3) FNS shall approve waivers for a period not to exceed one year unless the waiver is for an on-going situation. If the waiver is requested for longer than a year, appropriate justification shall be required and FNS will determine if a longer period is warranted and if so, the duration of the waiver. Extensions may be granted provided that States submit appropriate justification as part of the State Plan of Operation.

(4) When submitting requests for waivers, State agencies shall provide compelling justification for the waiver in terms of how the waiver will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the administration of the Program. At a minimum, requests for waivers shall include but not necessarily be limited to:

(i) Reasons why the waiver is needed;

(ii) The portion of caseload or potential caseload which would be affected and the characteristics of the affected caseload such as geographic, urban, or rural concentration;

(iii) Anticipated impact on service to participants or potential participants who would be affected;

(iv) Anticipated time period for which the waiver is needed; and

(v) Thorough explanation of the proposed alternative provision to be used in lieu of the waived regulatory provision.

(5) Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs, waivers of the certification period timeframes as described in §273.10(f) may be granted by the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service or the Deputy Administrator for Family Nutrition Programs as provided in section 3(c) of the Act. Waivers authorized by this paragraph are not subject to the public comment provisions of §272.3(d).

(6) Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs, waivers may be granted by the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service or the Deputy Administrator for Family Nutrition Programs as provided in section 5(f) of the Act. Waivers authorized by this paragraph are not subject to the public comment provisions of §272.3(d).

(7) Notwithstanding the preceding paragraphs, waivers may be granted by the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service or the Deputy Administrator for Family Nutrition Programs as provided in section 6(c) of the Act. Waivers authorized by this paragraph are not subject to the public comment provisions of §272.3(d).

(d) Public comment. State agencies shall solicit public input and comment on overall Program operations as State laws require or as the individual State agency believes would be useful.

[Amdt. 156, 46 FR 6315, Jan. 21, 1981]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §272.3, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

§272.4   Program administration and personnel requirements.

(a) Merit personnel. (1) State agency personnel used in the certification process shall be employed in accordance with the current standards for a merit system of personnel administration or any standards later prescribed by the U.S. Civil Service Commission under section 208 of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970.

(2) State agency employees meeting the standards outlined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall perform the interviews required in §273.2(e). Volunteers and other non-State agency employees shall not conduct certification interviews or certify food stamp applicants. Exceptions to the use of State merit system personnel in the interview and certification process are specified in §273.2(k) for SSI households, §272.7(d) for households residing in rural Alaska, and part 280 for disaster victims. State agencies are encouraged to use volunteers in activities such as outreach, prescreening, assisting applicants in the application and certification process, and in securing needed verification. Individuals and organizations who are parties to a strike or lockout, and their facilities, may not be used in the certification process except as a source of verification for information supplied by the applicant. Only authorized employees of the State agency, coupon issuers, coupon bulk storage points, and Federal employees involved in administration of the program shall be permitted access to food coupons, ATP's, or other issuance documents.

(b) Bilingual requirements. (1) Based on the estimated total number of low-income households in a project area which speak the same non-English language (a single-language minority), the State agency shall provide bilingual program information and certification materials, and staff or interpreters as specified in paragraphs (b) (2) and (3) of this section. Single-language minority refers to households which speak the same non-English language and which do not contain adult(s) fluent in English as a second language;

(2) The State agency shall provide materials used in Program informational activities in the appropriate language(s) as follows:

(i) In project areas with less than 2,000 low-income households, if approximately 100 or more of those households are of a single-language minority;

(ii) In project areas with 2,000 or more low-income households, if approximately 5 percent or more of those households are of a single-language minority; and

(iii) In project areas with a certification office that provides bilingual service as required in paragraph (b)(3) of this section.

(3) The State agency shall provide both certification materials in the appropriate language(s) and bilingual staff or interpreters as follows:

(i) In each individual certification office that provides service to an area containing approximately 100 single-language minority low-income households; and

(ii) In each project area with a total of less than 100 low-income households if a majority of those households are of a single-language minority.

(A) Certification materials shall include the food stamp application form, change report form and notices to households.

(B) If notices are required in only one language other than English, notices may be printed in English on one side and in the other language on the reverse side. If the certification office is required to use several languages, the notice may be printed in English and may contain statements in other languages summarizing the purpose of the notice and the telephone number (toll-free number or a number where collect calls will be accepted for households outside the local calling area) which the household may call to receive additional information. For example, a notice of eligibility could in the appropriate language(s) state:

Your application for food stamps has been approved in the amount stated above. If you need more information telephone _____.

(4) In project areas with a seasonal influx of non-English-speaking households, the State agency shall provide bilingual materials and staff or interpreters, if during the seasonal influx the number of single-language minority low-income households which move into the area meets or exceeds the requirements in paragraphs (b) (2) and (3) of this section.

(5) The State agency shall insure that certification offices subject to the requirements of paragraph (b) (3) or (4) of this section provide sufficient bilingual staff or interpreters for the timely processing of non-English-speaking applicants.

(6) The State agency shall develop estimates of the number of low-income single-language minority households, both participating and not participating in the program, for each project area and certification office by using census data (including the Census Bureau's Current Population Report: Population Estimates and Projections, Series P-25, No. 627) and knowledge of project areas and areas serviced by certification offices. Local Bureau of Census offices, Community Services Administration offices, community action agencies, planning agencies, migrant service organizations, and school officials may be important sources of information in determining the need for bilingual service. If these information sources do not provide sufficient information for the State agency to determine if there is a need for bilingual staff or interpreters, each certification office shall, for a 6-month period, record the total number of single-language minority households that visit the office to make inquiries about the program, file a new application for benefits, or be recertified. Those certification offices that are contacted by a total of over 100 single-language minority households in the 6-month period shall be required to provide bilingual staff or interpreters. State agencies shall also combine the figures collected in each certification office to determine the need for bilingual outreach materials in each project area.

(c) Internal controls—(1) Requirements. In order to safeguard certification and issuance records from unauthorized creation or tampering, the State agency shall establish an organizational structure which divides the responsibility for eligibility determinations and coupon issuance among certification, data management, and issuance units. The certification unit shall be responsible for the determination of household eligibility and the creation of records and documents to authorize the issuance of coupons to eligible households. The data management unit, in response to input from the certification unit, shall create and maintain the household issuance record (HIR) master file on cards, computer discs, tapes, or similar memory devices. The issuance unit shall provide certified households with the authorized allotments. In cases where personnel are periodically, or on a part-time basis, shifted from one unit to another, supervisory controls should be sufficient to assure that the unauthorized creation or modification of case records is not possible.

(2) Exceptions. With prior written FNS approval, a project area may combine unit responsibilities if the controls specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section have been found to be administratively infeasible.

(i) To receive approval of combined operations, the State agency shall establish special review requirements which at a minimum include:

(A) Biweekly reconciliation and verification of transactions; and

(B) Semiannual comparison of HIR cards and case records as required by §274.6(d) and, at least once every other month, second-party review of certification actions.

(ii) The State agency shall annually determine whether each combined operation continues to be justified and shall so advise FNS in writing.

(d) Court suit reporting. (1) State agency responsibility. (i) In the event that a State agency is sued by any person(s) in a State or Federal Court in any matter which involves the State agency's administration of the Food Stamp Program, the State agency shall immediately notify FNS that suit has been brought and shall furnish FNS with copies of the original pleadings. State agencies involved in suits shall, upon request of FNS, take such action as is necessary to join the United States and/or appropriate officials of the Federal Government, such as the Secretary of USDA or the Administrator of FNS, as parties to the suit. FNS may request to join the following types of suits:

(A) Class action suits;

(B) A suit in which an adverse decision could have a national impact;

(C) A suit challenging Federal policy such as a provision of the Act or regulations or an interpretation of the regulations; or,

(D) A suit based on an empirical situation that is likely to recur.

(ii) FNS may advise a State agency to seek a settlement agreement of a court suit if the State agency is being sued because it misapplied Federal policy in administering the Program.

(iii) State agencies shall notify FNS when court cases have been dismissed or otherwise settled. State agencies shall also provide FNS with information that is requested regarding the State agency's compliance with the requirements of court orders or settlement agreements.

(2) FNS shall notify all State agencies of any suits brought in Federal court that involve FNS' administration of the Program and which have the potential of affecting many State agencies' Program operations. (State agencies need not be notified of suits brought in Federal Court involving FNS' administration of the Program which may only affect Program operations in one or two States.) The notification provided to State agencies shall contain a description of the Federal policy that is involved in the litigation.

(e) State monitoring of duplicate participation. (1) Each State agency shall establish a system to assure that no individual participates more than once in a month, in more than one jurisdiction, or in more than one household within the State in the Food Stamp Program. To identify such individuals, the system shall use names and social security numbers at a minimum, and other identifiers such as birth dates or addresses as appropriate.

(i) If the State agency detects a large number of duplicates, it shall implement other measures, such as more frequent checks or increased emphasis on prevention.

(ii) If the State agency provides cash assistance in lieu of coupons for SSI recipients or for households participating in cash-out demonstration projects, the State agency shall check to assure that no individual receives both coupons and other benefits provided in lieu of coupons. Checks to detect individuals receiving both food coupons and cash-out benefits, or any other form of duplicate benefits, shall be made at the time of certification, recertification, and whenever a new member is added to an existing household. However, if the State agency can show that these time frames are incompatible with its system, the State agency shall check for duplicate benefits when necessary, but no less often than annually.

(2) Processing standards for duplicate participation checks at certification and recertification shall not delay the issuance of benefits.

(i) If the State agency chooses to check at the time of certification and recertification, the check for duplicates shall not delay processing of the application and provision of benefits beyond the normal processing standards in §273.2(g).

(ii) If a duplicate is found in making such a check, the duplication needs to be resolved in accordance with §273.2(f)(4)(iv) before the application can be processed and benefits provided. Delays in processing caused by this resolution shall be handled in accordance with §273.2(h).

(3) State agencies shall develop follow-up procedures and corrective action requirements, including time frames within which action must be taken, to be applied to data obtained from matching for duplicate participation. Follow-up actions shall include, but not be limited to, the adjustment of benefits and eligibility, filing of claims, disqualification hearings, and referrals for prosecution, as appropriate.

(4) FNS reserves the right to review State agencies' use of data obtained from matching for duplicate participation and may require State agencies to take additional specific action to ensure that such data is being used to protect Program integrity.

(f) Hours of operation. State agencies are responsible for setting the hours of operation for their food stamp offices. In doing so, State agencies must take into account the special needs of the populations they serve including households containing a working person.

(g) Fraud detection units. State agencies shall establish and operate fraud detection units in all project areas in which 5,000 or more households participate in the Program. The fraud detection unit shall be responsible for detecting, investigating and assisting in the prosecution of Program fraud and need not be physically located in each 5,000 household “catchment area”. The workers fulfilling this function need not work full-time in fraud detection nor work exclusively on the Program. A written State agency procedure which systematically identifies and refers potential fraud cases to Investigators shall be considered a “detection” activity meeting the requirements of this section. The fraud detection function may be performed by persons not employed by the State agency.

[Amdt. 132, 43 FR 47884, Oct. 17, 1978, as amended by Amdt. 221, 47 FR 35168, Aug. 13, 1982; Amdt. 211, 47 FR 53315, Nov. 26, 1982; Amdt. 237, 47 FR 57668, 57669, Dec. 28, 1982; Amdt. 262, 49 FR 50597, Dec. 31, 1984; 54 FR 7003, Feb. 15, 1989; 54 FR 24527, June 7, 1989; Amdt. 320, 55 FR 6238, Feb. 22, 1990; Amdt. 371, 61 FR 60010, Nov. 26, 1996; Amdt. 388, 65 FR 70192, Nov. 21, 2000]

§272.5   Program informational activities.

(a) Definition. “Program informational activities” are those activities that convey information about the Program, including household rights and responsibilities, through means such as publications, telephone hotlines, and face-to-face contacts.

(b) Minimum requirements. State agencies shall comply with the following minimum information requirements for applicants and recipients.

(1) Rights and responsibilities. State agencies shall inform participant and applicant households of their Program rights and responsibilities. This information may be provided through whatever means the State agencies deem appropriate.

(2) All Program informational material shall be available in languages other than English as required in §272.4(b) and shall include a statement that the Program is available to all without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, religious creed, national origin or political belief.

(c) Program informational activities for low-income households. At their option State agencies may carry out and claim associated costs for Program informational activities designed to inform low-income households about the availablity, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and benefits of the Food Stamp Program. Program informational materials used in such activities shall be subject to §272.4(b), which pertains to bilingual requirements. Before FNS considers costs for such activities eligible for reimbursement at the fifty percent rate under part 277, State agencies shall obtain FNS approval for the attachment to their Plans of Operation as specified in §272.2(d)(1)(ix). In such attachments, State agencies shall describe the subject activities with respect to the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the target population, types of media used, geographic areas warranting attention, and outside organizations which would be involved. State agencies shall update this attachment to their Plans of Operation when significant changes occur and report projected costs for this Program activity in accordance with §272.2 (c), (e), and (f).

[Amdt. 207, 47 FR 52334, Nov. 19, 1982. Redesignated by Amdt. 211, 47 FR 53316, Nov. 26, 1982; Amdt. 262, 49 FR 50597, Dec. 31, 1984; 52 FR 36398, Sept. 29, 1987; 54 FR 24527, June 7, 1989; Amdt. 320, 55 FR 6239, Feb. 22, 1990; 78 FR 20422, Apr. 5, 2013]

§272.6   Nondiscrimination compliance.

(a) Requirement. State agencies shall not discriminate against any applicant or participant in any aspect of program administration, including, but not limited to, the certification of households, the issuance of coupons, the conduct of fair hearings, or the conduct of any other program service for reasons of age, race, color, sex, disability, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs. Discrimination in any aspect of program administration is prohibited by these regulations, the Food Stamp Act, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Pub. L. 94-135), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, section 504), Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101) and title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d). Enforcement action may be brought under any applicable Federal law. Title VI complaints shall be processed in accord with 7 CFR part 15.

(b) Right to file a complaint. Individuals who believe that they have been subject to discrimination as specified in paragraph (a) of this section may file a written complaint with the Secretary or the Administrator, FNS, Washington, DC 20250, and/or with the State agency, if the State agency has a system for processing discrimination complaints. The State agency shall explain both the FNS and, if applicable, the State agency complaint system to each individual who expresses an interest in filing a discrimination complaint and shall advise the individual of the right to file a complaint in either or both systems.

(c) FNS complaint requirements. (1) Complaints shall contain the following information to facilitate investigations:

(i) The name, address, and telephone number or other means of contacting the person alleging discrimination.

(ii) The location and name of the organization or office which is accused of discriminatory practices.

(iii) The nature of the incident or action or the aspect of program administration that led the person to allege discrimination.

(iv) The reason for the alleged discrimination (age, race, color, sex, handicap, religious creed, national origin, or political belief).

(v) The names, titles (if appropriate), and addresses of persons who may have knowledge of the alleged discriminatory acts.

(vi) The date or dates on which the alleged discriminatory actions occurred.

(2) If a complainant makes allegations verbally and is unable or is reluctant to put the allegations in writing, the FNS employee to whom the allegations are made shall document the complaint in writing. Every effort shall be made by the individual accepting the complaint to have the complainant provide the information specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(3) Complaints will be accepted by the Secretary or the Administrator, FNS, even if the information specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section is not complete. However, investigations will be conducted only if information concerning paragraphs (c)(1) (ii), (iii) or (iv) of this section is provided.

(4) A complaint must be filed no later than 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination. However, the time for filing may be extended by the Secretary.

(d) State agency complaint requirements. (1) The State agency may develop and use a State agency complaint system.

(2) The State agency shall submit to FNS a report on each discrimination complaint processed at the State level. The report shall contain as much information in paragraph (c)(1) of this section as is available to the State agency, the findings of the investigation, and, if appropriate, the corrective action planned or taken.

(e) Reviews. [Reserved]

(f) Public notification. The State agency shall: (1) Publicize the procedures described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, and, if applicable, the State agency's complaint procedures; (2) insure that all offices involved in administering the program and that also serve the public display the nondiscrimination poster provided by FNS; and (3) insure that participants and other low-income households have access to information regarding nondiscrimination statutes and policies, complaint procedures, and the rights of participants, within 10 days of the date of a request.

(g) Data collection. The State agency must obtain racial and ethnic data on participating households in the manner specified by FNS. The application form must clearly indicate that the information is voluntary, that it will not affect the eligibility or the level of benefits, and that the reason for the information is to assure that program benefits are distributed without regard to race, color, or national origin. The State agency must develop alternative means of collecting the ethnic and racial data on households, such as by observation during the interview, when the information is not provided voluntarily by the household on the application form.

(h) Reports. As required by FNS, the State agency must report the racial and ethnic data on participating household contacts on forms or formats provided by FNS.

[Amdt. 132, 43 FR 47884, Oct. 17, 1979. Redesignated by Amdt. 211, 47 FR 53315, Nov. 26, 1982, as amended by Amdt. 356, 59 FR 29713, June 9, 1994; 71 FR 28763, May 18, 2006; 76 FR 27606, May 12, 2011]

§272.7   Procedures for program administration in Alaska.

(a) Purpose. To achieve the efficient and effective administration of the Food Stamp Program in rural areas of Alaska, FNS has determined that it is necessary to develop additional regulations which are specifically designed to accommodate the unique demographic and climatic characteristics which exist in these rural areas. The regulations established in this section, except for paragraph (f) of this section, shall apply only in those areas of Alaska designated as “rural” in paragraph (b) of this section. All regulations not specifically modified by this section shall remain in effect.

(b) Area Designations. (1) Rural I Alaska TFP refers to a Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) that is the higher of the TFP that was in effect in each area on October 1, 1985, or 28.52 percent higher than the Anchorage TFP, as calculated by FNS, with rounding and other reductions that are appropriate. It is to be used in the following areas: In all places in Kodiak Island Borough with the exception of Kodiak; in all places in the Kenai Peninsula Borough that are west of Cook Inlet (including Tyonek, Kustatan, Kalgin Island, Iliamna, Chenik, and Augustine Island) and Chugach Island, English Bay, Port Graham, Portlock, Pt. Gore, Pye Island, and Seldovia. In the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area, the city of Nenana; and Skwentna in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. In the Valdez-Cordova Census Area, all places except Dayville and Valdez; and in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area all places except Big Delta, Delta Junction, and Fort Greely. In the Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area, all places except Skagway; in Sitka Borough all places except Sitka; in the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, all places except Wrangell and Petersburg; in the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, all places except Ketchikan, Saxman, and Ward Cove; in the Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area, all places except Craig, Hyder, and Metlakatla.

(2) Rural II Alaska TFP refers to a TFP that is 56.42 percent higher than the Anchorage TFP, as calculated by FNS, with rounding and other reductions that are appropriate. It is to be used in the following areas: North Slope Borough; Kobuk Census Area; Nome Census Area; Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area except for the city of Nenana; Wade Hampton Census Area; Bethel Census Area; Denali in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough; Dillingham-Bristol Bay Borough; and in all places in the Aleutian Islands except for Cold Bay and Adak.

(3) Urban Alaska TFP refers to a TFP that is the higher of the TFP that was in effect in each area on October 1, 1985, or .79 percent higher than the Anchorage TFP, as calculated by FNS, with rounding and other reductions that are appropriate. It is to be used in the following areas: Cold Bay and Adak in the Aleutian Islands; Kodiak in Kodiak Island Borough; Valdez and Dayville in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area; all places in Kenai Peninsula Borough that are on the Kenai Peninsula except for those specifically designated as Rural I; the entire Anchorage Borough; the entire Matanuska-Susitna Borough except for Denali and Skwentna; the entire Fairbanks-North Star Borough; the entire Juneau Borough; the entire Haines Borough; Sitka in the Sitka Borough; Skagway in the Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area; Wrangell and Petersburg in the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area; Ketchikan, Saxman, and Ward Cove in the Ketchikan-Gateway Borough; Craig, Hyder, and Metlakatla in the Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area; and Big Delta, Delta Junction, and Fort Greely in the Southeast-Fairbanks Census Area.

(4) The State agency may, in consultation with FNS, change the designation of any Alaska subdivision contained in the Plan of Operation to reflect changes in demographics or the cost of food within the subdivision.

(c) Fee agents. “Fee agent” means a paid agent who, on behalf of the State, is authorized to make applications available to low-income households, assist in the completion of applications, conduct required interviews, secure required verification, forward completed applications and supporting documentation to the State agency, and provide other services as required by the State agency. Such services shall not include making final decisions on household eligibility or benefit levels.

(d) Application processing. The State agency may modify the application processing requirements in §273.2 of this chapter as necessary to insure prompt delivery of services to eligible households. The following restrictions apply:

(1) Fee agent processing. If the signed application is first submitted by a household to a fee agent, the fee agent shall mail the application to the State agency within 5 days of receipt. The fee agent shall give the household the maximum amount of time to provide needed verification as long as the five-day processing period is met.

(2) Application filing date. An application is considered filed for purposes of timely processing when it is received by an office of the State agency.

(3) Application processing timeframes. Eligible households must be provided an opportunity to participate as soon as possible but no later than 30 days after the application is received by an office of the State agency.

(4) Expedited service. (i) If the signed application is first submitted by a household to a fee agent, the fee agent shall mail the application to the State agency within 5 days of receipt. If the household is eligible for expedited service, the State agency will mail the coupons no later than the close of business of the second working day following the date the application was received by the State agency.

(ii) If the signed application is submitted directly to the State agency in person by a rural resident or its authorized representative or by mail, the State agency shall process the application and issue coupons to households eligible for expedited service in accordance with the time standards contained in §273.2(i)(3) of this chapter.

(iii) If an incomplete application is submitted directly to the State agency by mail, the State agency shall conduct the interview by the first working day following the date the application was received if the fee agent can contact the household or the household can be reached by telephone or radio-phone and does not object to this method of interviewing on grounds of privacy. Based on information obtained during the interview, the State agency shall complete the application and process the case. Because of the mailing time in rural areas, the State agency shall not return the completed application to the household for signature. The processing standard shall be calculated from the date the application was filed.

(5) SSI Joint Processing. SSA workers shall mail all jointly processed applications to the appropriate State agency office within 5 days of receipt of the application. A jointly processed application shall be considered filed for purposes of timely processing when it is received by an office of the State agency. The household, if determined eligible, shall receive benefits retroactive to the first day of the month in which the jointly processed application was received by the SSA worker.

(6) Interviews. The State agency shall interview applicant households in the most efficient manner possible, either by face-to-face contact, telephone, radiophone, or other means of correspondence including written correspondence. In instances in which an interview cannot be conducted, the State agency may postpone the interview until after the household is certified.

(e) Determining household eligibility and benefit level. If a household submits its application to a fee agent, it shall, if eligible, receive benefits retroactive to the date the application is received by the fee agent. If a household submits its application directly to a State agency office, it shall, if determined eligible, receive benefits retroactive to the date the application is received by the State agency.

(f) Vehicles. In areas of the State where there are no licensing requirements, snowmobiles and boats used by the household for basic transportation shall be evaluated in accordance with §273.8(h) of this chapter even though they are unlicensed. Vehicles necessary for subsistence hunting and fishing shall not be counted as a household resource.

(g) Reporting changes. The State agency shall allow the household to choose to report changes either directly to the State agency or to the fee agent. If the household reports the change to the fee agent, the fee agent will mail the change report to the State agency office within two working days of the date of receipt. The household's obligation to report the change will have been met if it submits the change to the fee agent within 10 days of the date the change becomes known to the household. However, for purposes of State agency action for increasing or decreasing benefits, the change will be considered to have been reported when it is received by a State agency office.

(h) Fair hearings, fraud hearings, and agency conferences. The State agency shall conduct fair hearings, administrative fraud hearings, and agency conferences with households that wish to contest denial of expedited service in the most efficient manner possible, either by face-to-face contact, telephone, radiophone, or other means of correspondence including written correspondence, in order to meet the respective time standards contained in §§273.15 and 273.16 of this chapter.

(i) Issuance services. With the approval of FNS, coupons may be mailed on a quarterly or semiannual basis to certain rural areas of Alaska when provisions are not available on a monthly basis. The decision to allow the distribution of coupons in this manner will be made on an annual basis. These areas shall be listed in the State's Plan of Operation. The State agency shall advise households that live in rural areas where quarterly or semiannual allotments are authorized. If, as the result of the issuance of quarterly or semiannual allotments, food coupons are overissued or underissued, the State agency shall process claim determinations and restore lost benefits.

[Amdt. 162, 45 FR 73003, Nov. 4, 1980, as amended by Amdt. 202, 46 FR 44722, Sept. 4, 1981; Amdt. 215, 47 FR 20741, May 14, 1982. Redesignated and amended by Amdt. 211, 47 FR 53315, 53316, Nov. 26, 1982]

Editorial Note: For other Federal Register citations affecting §272.7, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

§272.8   State income and eligibility verification system.

(a) General. (1) State agencies may maintain and use an income and eligibility verification system (IEVS), as specified in this section. By means of the IEVS, State agencies may request wage and benefit information from the agencies identified in this paragraph (a)(1) and use that information in verifying eligibility for and the amount of food stamp benefits due to eligible households. Such information may be requested and used with respect to all household members, including any considered excluded household members as specified in §273.11(c) of this chapter whenever the SSNs of such excluded household members are available to the State agency. If not otherwise documented, State agencies must obtain written agreements from these information provider agencies affirming that they must not record any information about individual food stamp households and that staff in those agencies are subject to the disclosure restrictions of the information provider agencies and §272.1(c). The information provider agencies, at a minimum, are:

(i) The State Wage Information Collection Agency (SWICA) which maintains wage information;

(ii) The Social Security Administration (SSA) which maintains information about net earnings from self-employment, wages, and payments of retirement income, which is available pursuant to section 6103(1)(7)(A) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Code; and information which is available from SSA regarding Federal retirement, and survivors, disability, SSI and related benefits;

(iii) The IRS from which unearned income information is available pursuant to section 6103(1)(7)(B) of the IRS Code; and

(iv) The agency administering Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIB) which maintains claim information and any information in addition to information about wages and UIB available from the agency which is useful for verifying eligibility and benefits, subject to the provisions and limitations of section 303(d) of the Social Security Act.

(2) State agencies may exchange with State agencies administering certain other programs in the IEVS information about food stamp households' circumstances which may be of use in establishing or verifying eligibility or benefit amounts under the Food Stamp Program and those programs. State agencies may exchange such information with these agencies in other States when they determine that the same objectives are likely to be met. These programs are:

(i) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families;

(ii) Medicaid;

(iii) Unemployment Compensation (UC);

(iv) Food Stamps; and

(v) Any State program administered under a plan approved under title I, X, or XIV (the adult categories), or title XVI of the Social Security Act.

(3) State agencies must provide information to those administering the Child Support Program (title IV-D of the Social Security Act) and titles II (Federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Benefits) and XVI (Supplemental Security Income for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled) of the Social Security Act.

(4) Prior to requesting or exchanging information with other agencies, State agencies must execute data exchange agreements with those agencies. The agreements must specify the information to be exchanged and the procedures which will be used in the exchange of information. These agreements are not part of the State agency's Plan of Operation.

(5) State agencies must provide information to FNS and to the State agencies administering the National School Lunch Program for the purpose of direct certification of children for school meals as described in §245.12(c)(2) of this chapter. In addition, State agencies must execute a data exchange and privacy agreement in accordance with paragraph (a)(4) of this section and §272.1(c).

(b) Alternate data sources. A State agency may continue to use income information from an alternate source or sources to meet any requirement under paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Actions on recipient households. (1) State agency action on information items about recipient households shall include:

(i) Review of the information and comparison of it to case record information;

(ii) For all new or previously unverified information received, contact with the households and/or collateral contacts to resolve discrepancies as specified in §§273.2(f)(4)(iv) and 273.2 (f)(9)(iii) and (f)(9)(iv); and

(iii) If discrepancies warrant reducing benefits or terminating eligibility, notices of adverse action.

(2) State agencies must initiate and pursue the actions on recipient households specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section so that the actions are completed within 45 days of receipt of the information items. Actions may be completed later than 45 days from the receipt of information if:

(i) The only reason that the actions cannot be completed is the nonreceipt of verification requested from collateral contacts; and

(ii) The actions are completed as specified in §273.12 of this chapter when verification from a collateral contact is received or in conjunction with the next case action when such verification is not received, whichever is earlier.

(3) When the actions specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section substantiate an overissuance, State agencies must establish and take actions on claims as specified in §273.18 of this chapter.

(4) State agencies must use appropriate procedures to monitor the timeliness requirements in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(5) Except for the claims actions specified in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, State agencies may exclude from the actions required in paragraph (c) of this section information items pertaining to household members who are participating in one of the other programs listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(d) IEVS information and quality control. The requirements of this section do not relieve the State agency of its responsibility for determining erroneous payments and/or its liability for such payments as specified in part 275 of this chapter (which pertains to quality control) and in guidelines on quality control established under that part.

(e) Documentation. The State agency must document, as required by §273.2(f)(6) of this chapter, information obtained through the IEVS both when an adverse action is and is not instituted.

[65 FR 70192, Nov. 21, 2000, as amended at 78 FR 12231, Feb. 22, 2013]

§272.9   Approval of homeless meal providers.

The State food stamp agency, or another appropriate State or local governmental agency identified by the State food stamp agency, shall approve establishments serving the homeless upon sufficient evidence, as determined by the agency, that the establishment does in fact serve meals to homeless persons. Where the State food stamp agency identifies another appropriate State or local agency for the purpose of approving establishments serving the homeless, the State food stamp agency will remain responsible for insuring that the provisions of the preceding sentence are effectively carried out. The State food stamp agency, or another appropriate State or local governmental agency identified by the State food stamp agency or private nonprofit organization under contract with the State food stamp agency shall execute contracts with restaurants wishing to sell meals in exchange for food stamp benefits to homeless food stamp households. Such contracts shall specify that such meals are to be sold at “concessional” (low or reduced) prices and shall also specify the approximate prices which will be charged, or the amount and type of price reduction.

[56 FR 54777, Oct. 23, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 53600, Oct. 15, 1996]

§272.10   ADP/CIS Model Plan.

(a) General purpose and content—(1) Purpose. All State agencies are required to sufficiently automate their food stamp program operations and computerize their systems for obtaining, maintaining, utilizing and transmitting information concerning the food stamp program. Sufficient automation levels are those which result in effective programs or in cost effective reductions in errors and improvements in management efficiency, such as decreases in program administrative costs. Thus, for those State agencies which operate exceptionally efficient and effective programs, a lesser degree of automation may be considered sufficient than in other State agencies. In order to determine a sufficient level of automation in each State, each State agency shall develop an ADP/CIS plan. FNS may withhold State agency funds under §276.4(a) for failure to submit an ADP/CIS plan in accordance with the deadlines for submission, for failure to make appropriate changes in their ADP/CIS plan within 60 days of their receipt of FNS comments, or for failure to implement the approved ADP/CIS plan in accordance with the dates specified therein, unless extensions of time or deviations from the plan or schedules have been approved by FNS.

(2) Content. In developing their ADP/CIS plans, State agencies shall use one of the following three formats:

(i) State agencies which are sufficiently automated in each area specified in §272.10(b) may provide a single certification statement that they are sufficiently automated in each area.

(ii) State agencies which are sufficiently automated in some, but not all, areas specified in §272.10(b) shall submit an ADP/CIS plan which consists of two parts. The first part would be the State agency's certification as to the areas in which they are sufficiently automated. The second part would describe the areas of §272.10(b) which the State agency has not automated or, in its opinion, has not automated sufficiently and include the State agency's plans for sufficiently automating these areas. State agencies shall include a description of how they intend to automate each area and a timetable for each planned activity, including a consideration of transfers as discussed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. State agencies which are not planning to automate each of the areas specified §272.10(b) or which are not already automated in these areas shall provide justification. Any such justification shall include a cost-effectiveness analysis.

(iii) State agencies which are not sufficiently automated in any of the areas specified in §272.10(b) shall submit an ADP/CIS plan which describes their plans for sufficiently automating each area, including a timetable for each planned activity, and including a consideration of transfers as discussed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. State agencies which are not planning to automate each of the areas specified in §272.10(b) or which are not, in their opinion, sufficiently automated in these areas shall provide justification. Any such justification shall include a cost-effectiveness analysis.

(3) Transfers. (i) State agencies planning additional automation shall consult with other State agencies and with the appropriate Regional Office to determine whether a transfer or modification of an existing system from another jurisdiction would be more efficient and cost effective than the development of a new system. In assessing the practicability of a transfer, State agencies should consult with other State agencies that have similar characteristics such as whether they are urban or rural, whether they are county or State administered, the geographic size of the States and the size of the caseload.

(ii) State agencies that plan to automate operations using any method other than transfers will need to be able to justify why they are not using transfers. The justification will need to include the results of the consultations with other State agencies, the relative costs of transfer and the system the State agency plans to develop, and the reasons for not using a transfer. Common reasons for not using transfers include: The State agency is required to use a central data processing facility and the (otherwise) transferable system is incompatible with it; the State agency's data base management software is incompatible with the transferable system; the State agency's ADP experts are not familiar with the software/hardware used by the transferable system and acquiring new expertise would be expensive; the transferable system is interactive or uses “generic” caseworkers, the receiving State agency does not and it would be expensive to modify the existing system and/or procedures; and transfer would provoke disputes with the State agency's personnel union. State agencies that cite any of these reasons shall not automatically receive approval to develop non-transferred systems. State agencies shall show what efforts were considered to overcome the problems and that those efforts are cost ineffective. This justification will need to be included as part of the Advance Planning Document that the State agency must submit for approval of its proposed system.

(iii) FNS will assist State agencies that request assistance in determining what other States have systems that should be considered as possible transfers.

(b) Model Plan. In order to meet the requirements of the Act and ensure the efficient and effective administration of the program, a food stamp system, at a minimum, shall be automated in each of the following program areas in paragraphs (b)(1), Certification, and (b)(2), Issuance Reconciliation and Reporting of this section. The food stamp system must further meet all the requirements in paragraph (b)(3), General, of this section.

(1) Certification. (i) Determine eligibility and calculate benefits or validate the eligibility worker's calculations by processing and storing all casefile information necessary for the eligibility determination and benefit computation (including but not limited to all household members' names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, individual household members' earned and unearned income by source, deductions, resources and household size). Redetermine or revalidate eligibility and benefits based on notices of change in households' circumstances;

(ii) Identify other elements that affect the eligibility of household members such as alien status, presence of an elderly person in the household, status of periodic work registration, disqualification actions, categorical eligibility, and employment and training status;

(iii) Provide for an automatic cutoff of participation for households which have not been recertified at the end of their certification period;

(iv) Notify the certification unit (or generate notices to households) of cases requiring Notices of:

(A) Case Disposition,

(B) Adverse Action and Mass Change, and

(C) Expiration;

(v) Prior to certification, crosscheck for duplicate cases for all household members by means of a comparison with food stamp records within the relevant jurisdiction;

(vi) Meet the requirements of the IEVS system of §272.8. Generate information, as appropriate, to other programs.

(vii) Provide the capability to effect mass changes: Those initiated at the State level, as well as those resulting from changes at the Federal level (eligibility standards, allotments, deductions, utility standards, SSI, TANF, SAA benefits);

(viii) Identify cases where action is pending or follow-up must be pursued, for example, households and verification pending or households containing disqualified individuals or a striker;

(ix) Calculate or validate benefits based on restored benefits or claims collection, and maintain a record of the changes made;

(x) Store information concerning characteristics of all household members;

(xi) Provide for appropriate Social Security enumeration for all required household members; and

(xii) Provide for monthly reporting and retrospective budgeting as required.

(2) Issuance, reconciliation and reporting. (i) Generate authorizations for benefits in issuance systems employing ATP's, direct mail, or online issuance and store all Household Issuance Record (HIR) information including: name and address of household, household size, period of certification, amount of allotment, case type (PA or NA), name and address of authorized representative, and racial/ethnic data;

(ii) Prevent a duplicate HIR from being established for presently participating or disqualified households;

(iii) Allow for authorized under- or over-issuance due to claims collection or restored benefits;

(iv) Provide for reconciliation of all transacted authorization documents to the HIR masterfile. This process must incorporate any manually-issued authorization documents, account for any replacement or supplemental authorization documents issued to a household, and identify cases of unauthorized and duplicate participation;

(v) Provide a mechanism allowing for a household's redemption of more than one valid authorization document in a given month;

(vi) Generate data necessary to meet Federal issuance and reconciliation reporting requirements, and provide for the eventual capability of directly transmitting data to FNS including:

(A) Issuance:

(1) FNS-259—Summary of mail issuance and replacement;

(2) FNS-250—Reconciliation of redeemed ATPs with reported authorized coupon issuance.

(B) Reconciliation: FNS-46—ATP Reconciliation Report.

(vii) Generate data necessary to meet other reporting requirements and provide for the eventual capability of directly transmitting data to FNS, including:

(A) FNS-101—Program participation by race;

(B) FNS-209—Status of claims against households; and

(C) FNS-388—Coupon issuance and participation estimates.

(viii) Allow for sample selection for quality control reviews of casefiles, and for management evaluation reviews;

(ix) Provide for program-wide reduction or suspension of benefits and restoration of benefits if funds later become available and store information concerning the benefit amounts actually issued;

(x) Provide for expedited issuance of benefits within prescribed timeframes;

(xi) Produce and store a participation history covering three (3) year(s) for each household receiving benefits.

(xii) Provide for cutoff of benefits for households which have not been recertified timely; and

(xiii) Provide for the tracking, aging, and collection of recipient claims and preparation of the FNS-209, Status of Claims Against Households report.

(3) General. The following functions shall be part of an overall State agency system but need not necessarily be automated:

(i) All activities necessary to meet the various timeliness and data quality requirements established by FNS;

(ii) All activities necessary to coordinate with other appropriate Federal and State programs, such as TANF or SSI;

(iii) All activities necessary to maintain the appropriate level of confidentiality of information obtained from applicant and recipient households;

(iv) All activities necessary to maintain the security of automated systems to operate the Food Stamp Program;

(v) Implement regulatory and other changes including a testing phase to meet implementation deadlines, generally within 90 days;

(vi) Generate whatever data is necessary to provide management information for the State agency's own use, such as caseload, participation and actions data;

(vii) Provide support as necessary for the State agency's management of Federal funds relative to Food Stamp Program administration, generate information necessary to meet Federal financial reporting requirements;

(viii) Routine purging of case files and file maintenance, and

(ix) Provide for the eventual direct transmission of data necessary to meet Federal financial reporting requirements.

[Amdt. 284, 52 FR 35226, Sept. 18, 1987, as amended by Amdt. 356, 59 FR 29713, June 9, 1994]

§272.11   Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program.

(a) General. A State agency may participate in the SAVE Program established by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), in order to verify the validity of documents provided by aliens applying for food stamp benefits with the central data files maintained by INS.

(b) Agreements. (1) Prior to implementing the SAVE Program, the State agency shall execute an agreement with INS. The agreement shall specify the information to be exchanged and the procedures which will be used in the exchange of information.

(2) The agreement shall cover at least the following areas:

(i) Identification of positions of all agency officials with authority to request immigration status information;

(ii) Identification and location of all SAVE access points covered by the agreement;

(iii) For automated SAVE verification through access to the Alien Status Verification Index (ASVI), a description of the access method and procedures;

(iv) For secondary verification as described in paragraph (d) of this section, the locations of INS District Offices to which verification requests will be directed;

(v) The safeguards limiting release or redisclosure as required by State or Federal law or regulation as discussed in §272.1(c) and as may be required by other guidelines published by the Secretary; and

(vi) Reimbursement or billing agreements for ongoing SAVE operational costs, as well as any developmental costs associated with establishing access to the ASVI database.

(c) Use of data. The State agency shall use information obtained through the SAVE Program only for the purposes of:

(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 households 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 in or conducting administrative disqualification hearings, or criminal or civil prosecutions based on receipt of food stamp benefits to which participating households were not entitled.

(d) Method of verification. The State agency may verify the documentation presented by an alien applicant by completing INS Form G-845 and submitting photocopies of such documentation to the INS for verification as described in §273.2(f)(10) of this chapter. In States that participate in SAVE, the State agency must use this secondary verification procedure whenever the applicant-individual's documented alien status has not been verified through automated access to the ASVI or significant discrepancies exist between the data on the ASVI and the information provided by the alien applicant.

(e) Plan of operation. The requirements for participation in the SAVE Program shall be included in an attachment to the State agency's Plan of Operation as required in §272.2(d). This document shall include a description of procedures used, method of access and the agreement specified in paragraph (b) of this section, including steps taken to meet requirements of limiting disclosure and safeguarding of information obtained from food stamp households as specified in §272.1.

[53 FR 39440, Oct. 7, 1988, as amended at 65 FR 33439, May 24, 2000; Amdt. 388, 65 FR 70193, Nov. 21, 2000]

§272.12   Computer matching requirements.

(a) General purpose. The Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act (CMA) of 1988, as amended, addresses the use of information from computer matching programs that involve a Federal System of Records. Each State agency participating in a computer matching program shall adhere to the provisions of the CMA if it uses an FNS system of records for the following purposes:

(1) Establishing or verifying initial or continuing eligibility for Federal Benefit Programs;

(2) Verifying compliance with either statutory or regulatory requirements of the Federal Benefit Programs; or

(3) Recouping payments or delinquent debts under such Federal Benefit Programs.

(b) Matching agreements. State agencies must enter into written agreements with USDA/FNS, consistent with 5 U.S.C. 552a(o) of the CMA, in order to participate in a matching program involving a USDA/FNS Federal system of records.

(c) Use of computer matching information. (1) A State agency shall not take any adverse action to terminate, deny, suspend, or reduce benefits to an applicant or recipient based on information produced by a Federal computer matching program that is subject to the requirements of the CMA, unless:

(i) The information has been independently verified by the State agency (in accordance with the independent verification requirements set out in the State agency's written agreement as required by paragraph (b) of this section) and a Notice of Adverse Action or Notice of Denial has been sent to the household, in accordance with §273.2(f); or

(ii) The Federal agency's Data Integrity Board has waived the two-step independent verification and notice requirement and notice of adverse action has been sent to the household, in accordance with §273.2(f) of this chapter.

(2) A State agency which receives a request for verification from another State agency, or from FNS pursuant to the provisions of §273.16(i) of this chapter shall, within 20 working days of receipt, respond to the request by providing necessary verification (including copies of appropriate documentation and any statement that an individual has asked to be included in their file).

[77 FR 48055, Aug. 13, 2012]

§272.13   Prisoner verification system (PVS).

(a) General. Each State agency shall establish a system to monitor and prevent individuals who are being held in any Federal, State, and/or local detention or correctional institutions for more than 30 days from being included in a SNAP household.

(b) Use of match data. State prisoner verification systems shall provide for:

(1) The comparison of identifying information about each household member, excluding minors, as that term is defined by each State, and one-person households in States where a face-to-face interview is conducted, against identifying information about inmates of institutions at Federal, State and local levels;

(2) The reporting of instances where there is a match;

(3) The independent verification of match hits to determine their accuracy;

(4) Notice to the household of match results;

(5) An opportunity for the household to respond to the match prior to an adverse action to deny, reduce, or terminate benefits; and

(6) The establishment and collections of claims as appropriate.

(c) Match frequency. State agencies shall make a comparison of match data for adult household members at the time of application and at recertification. States that opt to obtain and use prisoner 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)) shall be considered in compliance with this section. States shall enter into a computer matching agreement with the SSA under authority contained in 42 U.S.C. 405(r)(3).

[77 FR 48055, Aug. 13, 2012]

§272.14   Deceased matching system.

(a) General. Each State agency shall establish a system to verify and ensure that benefits are not issued to individuals who are deceased.

(b) Data source. States shall use the SSA's Death Master File, obtained through the State Verification and Exchange System (SVES) and enter into a computer matching agreement with SSA pursuant to authority to share data contained in 42 U.S.C. 405(r)(3).

(c) Use of match data. States shall provide a system for:

(1) Comparing identifiable information about each household member against information from databases on deceased individuals. States shall make the comparison of matched data at the time of application and no less frequently than once a year.

(2) The reporting of instances where there is a match;

(3) The independent verification of match hits to determine their accuracy;

(4) Notice to the household of match results;

(5) An opportunity for the household to respond to the match prior to an adverse action to deny, reduce, or terminate benefits; and

(6) The establishment and collection of claims as appropriate.

[77 FR 48055, Aug. 13, 2012]



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