Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Overissuances and Claims

Revised: 

39.2

INTENTIONAL PROGRAM VIOLATIONS

Food Stamp Table of Contents

1240-1-20-.02           

 

For the purpose of determining through administrative disqualification hearings whether or not a person has committed an intentional Program violation, intentional Program violations shall consist of having intentionally: made a false or misleading statement; misrepresented, concealed or withheld facts; traded food stamp coupons for guns, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances; or committed any act that constitutes a violation of the Food Stamp Act, the Food Stamp Program Regulations, or any state statute relating to the use, presentation, transfer, acquisition, receipt, or possession of food stamp benefits.

 

(1)   Administrative Responsibility. 

 

The Department shall be responsible for investigating any case of alleged intentional program violation, and ensuring that appropriate cases are acted upon either through administrative disqualification hearings or referral to a court of appropriate jurisdiction.  Individuals accused of intentional program violation may waive their rights to administrative disqualification hearings (Refer to 1240-1-20-.04) or sign disqualification consent agreements for cases of pre-trial diversion.  The requirements and procedures relating to administrative disqualification hearings, waiver of the hearing, and referrals for prosecution are outlined in the rules of the Administrative Procedures Division, (Refer to 1240-5 -14 Intentional Program Violations).

 

(2)   Disqualification Penalties

 

(a)   Individuals who commit Intentional Program Violations

 

If an administrative disqualification hearing official or a court of appropriate jurisdiction determines that a household member has committed an intentional program violation as defined above in the introduction to this section, or if the household member signs a waiver of right to an administrative disqualification hearing or an administrative consent agreement, that individual shall be disqualified from participation in the Food Stamp Program as follows:

 

1.      One year for the first violation,

 

2.      Two years for the second violation, or for the first occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of coupons for a controlled substance as defined in 8 USC 802.

 

3.      Permanently for the third violation.

 

4.      Permanently if convicted of trafficking in food stamp benefits of $500 or more, or for the second occasion of a finding by a Federal, State or local court of the trading of coupons for a controlled substance as defined in 8 USC 802, or for the first occasion, based on a finding by a Federal, State or local court of the trading of firearms, ammunition, or explosives for coupons;

 

5.      Ten years if found to have made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to identity and residence in order to receive multiple benefits simultaneously, or

 

6.      The length of time specified by a court of appropriate jurisdiction.  If the court fails to impose a disqualification period, the state agency shall impose the disqualification penalties in 1.-5. above, unless the penalties are contrary to the court order.

 

(b)   One or more intentional program violations, which occurred prior to April 1983, shall be considered as only one previous violation when determining the appropriate penalty to impose.

 

(c)    The disqualification shall apply only to the individual who is found to have committed the intentional program violation, or who signed a waiver to the administrative disqualification hearing, or who signed a disqualification consent agreement.  It does not apply to the entire household.

 

(d)   Remaining Household Members.  Once a household member is disqualified for an intentional program violation, the Department shall impose allotment reduction as the means of restitution.

 

(e)   Notification to Applicant Households.  The Department shall inform the household in writing of the disqualification penalties for intentional program violation each time it applies for program benefits.

 

(f)     Imposition of Disqualification Penalties.

 

1.      The disqualification penalties outlined in paragraph (2)(a) of this section 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 Department of these penalties.  If the act of intentional program violation, which led to the disqualification, occurred prior to written notification of these disqualification penalties, the household member shall be disqualified in accordance with the disqualification periods in effect at the time of the rendering of such determination.  However, no disqualification penalty may be imposed which is contrary to court order.

 

2.      Appropriate disqualification penalties (as outlined in paragraph (2)(a) of this section) shall be imposed (unless contrary to court order) on household members in the following instances:

 

(i)   An administrative disqualification hearing official rules that the household member has committed an intentional program violation.  The disqualification period shall begin with the first month it is administratively feasible (based on computer cutoff) following the date of the written notification of the hearing decision sent to the household by Hearings and Appeals.

 

(ii)  The household member suspected of intentional program violation signs the waiver of right to an administrative disqualification hearing, and the signed waiver is received within the timeframe specified by the Department.  The disqualification period shall begin with the first month it is administratively feasible (based on computer cutoff) following the date of the written notification of the disqualification from Hearings and Appeals.

 

(iii) A court of appropriate jurisdiction finds the household member guilty of intentional program violation.  In such cases, the Department shall disqualify the individual for the length of time specified by the court.  If the court fails to impose a disqualification period, the Department shall impose a disqualification period in accordance with paragraph (2)(a) of this section.  If the court does not specify a date for initiating the disqualification period, the Department shall initiate the disqualification period as soon as is administratively feasible.

 

(iv) The household member suspected of intentional program violation signs a consent agreement in cases of pre-trial diversion.  The period of disqualification shall begin as soon as it is administratively feasible after the date the household member signed the disqualification consent agreement.

 

3.    Once a disqualification penalty has been imposed against an individual, the period of disqualification shall continue uninterrupted until completed regardless of eligibility of the disqualified member's household.  The disqualified member's household shall continue to be responsible for repayment of the overissuance, which resulted from the disqualified member's intentional program violation, regardless of its eligibility for benefits.

 

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