Department of Human Services
Food Stamp Online Policy Manual
NOTICE OF ADVERSE ACTION
Prior to any action to reduce or terminate a household’s benefits within a certification period, the worker shall, except as provided in 1240-1-19-.07-(6) below, provide the household advance notice before such action is taken. When sufficient evidence has been provided or obtained to justify a change in benefit level or termination of food stamps, the worker shall authorize the action on ACCENT, using the appropriate reason code(s) to ensure adequate notice is given.
(1) An adverse action is defined as:
(a) A reduction in food stamp allotment;
(b) The termination of the household’s program benefits within the certification period;
(c) The reduction in length of a certification period;
(d) Removal of a household member from the assistance group.
(2) When a certification period expires, eligibility ceases. These situations are not terminations, therefore, provisions concerning adverse action do not apply, nor is the household eligible for continuation of benefits, as described in paragraph (3).
(3) If the adverse action notice period ends on a weekend or holiday; and a request for a fair hearing and continuation of benefits within a certification period is received the next working day after the weekend or holiday, the county office must consider the request to have been received timely.
If the household requests a hearing, the worker must explain that continuation of benefits is strictly at the household’s option and should the household elect to have its benefits continued, demand will be made for the value of any food stamp benefits over issued prior to or during the period such benefits are continued, if the hearing official’s decision is adverse to the household .
(4) Households may have changes in circumstances during the 10-day advance notice period. However, unless a request for a hearing is made, the benefits will be reduced or terminated according to the notice. Therefore, if a household which receives a notice of adverse action wishes to continue to participate in the program, it may: (1) file an appeal and request continued benefits; or (2) file a new application.
(5) Timing of Notice
To be considered timely, the notice of adverse action must be mailed at least 10 days plus mail time prior to the adverse action’s effective date. Also, if the adverse action notice period ends on a weekend or holiday; and a request for a fair hearing or continuation of benefits is received the day after the weekend or holiday, the county office must consider the request to have been received timely.
(6) Changes Not Requiring Advance Notice
A notice of adverse action is not required in the following instances:
(a) when implementing mass changes
(b) when the household moves from the State or when all household members have died
When the household reports the death of the head of the household, only, the worker will:
1. name an Authorized Representative for the AG on ACCENT and shorten the certification to end the first month it is administratively feasible;
2. schedule an interview appointment;
3. at the interview, have the household complete the application, designate a new head of household, and provide any additional information necessary to determine the household’s eligibility;
4. After establishing eligibility for the new household, ACCENT will form a new group.
5. Authorize the new group.
(c) when restoration of lost benefits has been completed
Restoration is complete when the household has finished receiving increased allotments to restore lost benefits, and the household was previously notified in writing of when the increased allotments would terminate;
(d) when monthly allotment varies based on anticipated changes during the certification period
(e) when a household member is disqualified (IPV)
A household member is disqualified for Intentional Program violation in accordance with Section 1240-1-20 or the benefits of the remaining household members are reduced or terminated to reflect the disqualification of that household member. The notice requirements for individuals or households affected by IPV disqualification are explained in Section 1240-1-20;
(f) when approving the household’s Families First grant application causes a reduction in the food stamp benefits
No adverse action notice is required when the household jointly applied for Families First and food stamp benefits, was receiving food stamp benefits, pending approval of the Families First grant, and was notified at certification that food stamp benefits would be reduced upon approval of the Families First grant;
(g) when the household is certified on an expedited service basis, contingent on verification
When verification is postponed for expedited service purposes, the household receives a notice of disposition stating that no further benefits will be issued until the postponed verification is provided. If the household fails to provide the verification or provides verification which changes its benefits, the notice of adverse action is not required;
(h) when a household is converted from cash repayment of over issuance to allotment reduction because it failed to comply with its repayment agreement (See 1240-1-20-.07); and
(i) when residents of drug alcoholic treatment centers or group living arrangements lose their eligibility because of a change in the facility's status.
Residents of drug or alcoholic treatment centers or group living arrangements lose their eligibility when the facility either loses its certification or has its status as an authorized representative suspended, due to FNS disqualifying it as a retailer. However, when a resident of a group living arrangement applies for food stamps on his or her own behalf, that resident is still eligible to participate in the program and a notice of adverse action would not be appropriate.
(j) when a household voluntarily requests that the case be terminated
Such a request must be in writing or made in the presence of the eligibility counselor. A notice must be sent to the household to confirm the request.
(k) when sufficient evidence exists to determine that the household will not be living in the county and will be unable to obtain the next allotment