(1) State agencies shall 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 SNAP 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 SNAP 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 SNAP households' circumstances which may be of use in establishing or verifying eligibility or benefit amounts under SNAP 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;
(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.
(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.