Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Destitute Households




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The county office’s application procedures must be designed to identify (pre-screen) all households eligible for expedited service at the time the household requests assistance. To meet this requirement, the receptionist, volunteer, intake worker, or other employee will be responsible for screening applications when they are filed in the county office or when individuals request application information by telephone.


(1)   Pre-Screening Process

The person conducting the pre-screening interview will inform the individual of his/her rights as a food stamp applicant and will provide him/her with an application form.  When the household contacts the wrong office, the receptionist will refer the household and forward the application to the correct office using the forwarding instructions outline in Section 1240-1-14(4).


(2)   Documentation of Pre-Screening

Document each initial contact made (telephone, in person, or by mail) on the application form. Indicate the action taken as a result of each contact (i.e., application mailed or given, appointment date scheduled, or household referred to a worker).


Once the receptionist (or anyone responsible for screening contacts) identifies a household who may be eligible for expedited service, an eligibility counselor will interview the household. If the household identified as being eligible for expedited service is a migrant or seasonal farmworker household, the counselor will determine if the destitute criteria apply. (Refer to Section 1240-1-5-.06-2.) If the household has filed an application, schedule the interview as soon as possible so that eligibility may be determined and the benefits received by the household on or before the seventh calendar day following the application date.


(3)   Incomplete Application Forms


In some instances, the county may receive an incomplete application form by mail, and will be unable to determine eligibility for expedited service. In those instances, the county office should contact the household. If the county office is unable to contact the household to determine that the household is eligible for expedited service, follow normal certification procedures.


(4)   Complete Application Forms


If the application received by mail is complete, prescreen it for expedited service entitlement according to items (1) and (2) above. If there is sufficient information to determine entitlement to expedited service and the household can be contacted by telephone and given an appointment, interview the household as soon as possible so that the benefits will be received by the household on or before the seventh calendar day following the application date. If the household cannot be contacted by telephone, a notice should be sent to the household the same day the application is received to establish an appointment date and to inform the client to contact the office if the household is in immediate need of food.


Glossary of Terms


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