(a) The agency must promptly evaluate information received or obtained by it in accordance with regulations under § 435.940 through § 435.960 of this subpart to determine whether such information may affect the eligibility of an individual or the benefits to which he or she is entitled.
(b) If information provided by or on behalf of an individual (on the application or renewal form or otherwise) is reasonably compatible with information obtained by the agency in accordance with § 435.948, § 435.949 or § 435.956 of this subpart, the agency must determine or renew eligibility based on such information.
(c) An individual must not be required to provide additional information or documentation unless information needed by the agency in accordance with § 435.948, § 435.949 or § 435.956 of this subpart cannot be obtained electronically or the information obtained electronically is not reasonably compatible, as provided in the verification plan described in § 435.945(j) with information provided by or on behalf of the individual.
(1) Income information obtained through an electronic data match shall be considered reasonably compatible with income information provided by or on behalf of an individual if both are either above or at or below the applicable income standard or other relevant income threshold.
(2) If information provided by or on behalf of an individual is not reasonably compatible with information obtained through an electronic data match, the agency must seek additional information from the individual, including -
(i) A statement which reasonably explains the discrepancy; or
(ii) Other information (which may include documentation), provided that documentation from the individual is permitted only to the extent electronic data are not available and establishing a data match would not be effective, considering such factors as the administrative costs associated with establishing and using the data match compared with the administrative costs associated with relying on paper documentation, and the impact on program integrity in terms of the potential for ineligible individuals to be approved as well as for eligible individuals to be denied coverage;
(iii) The agency must provide the individual a reasonable period to furnish any additional information required under paragraph (c) of this section.
(3) Exception for special circumstances. The agency must establish an exception to permit, on a case-by-case basis, self-attestation of individuals for all eligibility criteria when documentation does not exist at the time of application or renewal, or is not reasonably available, such as in the case of individuals who are homeless or have experienced domestic violence or a natural disaster. This exception does not apply if documentation is specifically required under title XI or XIX, such as requirements for verifying citizenship and immigration status, as implemented at § 435.956(a).
(d) The agency may not deny or terminate eligibility or reduce benefits for any individual on the basis of information received in accordance with regulations under § 435.940 through § 435.960 of this subpart unless the agency has sought additional information from the individual in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section, and provided proper notice and hearing rights to the individual in accordance with this subpart and subpart E of part 431.