Department of Human Services

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The county representative will verify residence prior to certification, except in unusual cases where verification of residency cannot reasonably be accomplished.  For example, migrant farm worker households, homeless households or households newly arrived in a county may not be able to verify their residency prior to certification.  In these cases, the household’s statement that it resides in the county may be the only verification available.  Do not deny benefits to these individuals if they are unable to provide verification of residence.


Verification of residency should be accomplished, to the extent possible, in conjunction with the verification of other information (such as, but not limited to, rent and mortgage payments, utility expenses, and identity).   If verification cannot be accomplished in conjunction with the verification of other information, the county representative will use a collateral contact or other readily available documentary evidence.  Documents used to verify other factors of eligibility normally should suffice to verify residency as well.  Any documents or collateral contacts which reasonably establish the applicant’s residency must be accepted, and no requirement for a specific type of verification may be imposed.  No durational residency requirement will be established.


When evidence is necessary to establish residence, documents with the household’s address are the primary source of verification, although collateral contacts and/or home visits may be used if documentary evidence cannot be obtained.  The individual may supply the verification in the form of documentation, such as a driver’s license, rent receipt, utility or other recently received bill, voter registration card, or similar means. 


Do not limit verification to a single document and assist the household in obtaining verification if assistance is needed.


(1)   Duplicate Addresses


In addition to valid addresses, the county should be alert to duplicate addresses.  While it is possible for more than one household to occupy a given residence, duplicate addresses may constitute a questionable circumstance and may require verification.


(2)   Home Visits


Home visits may be used as verification of residency only if documentary evidence cannot be obtained and the visit is scheduled in advance with the Food Stamp household.


(3)   Collateral Contacts


A collateral contact is a verbal and/or written confirmation of a household’s circumstances by a person outside of the household who is in a position to know the facts.  The collateral contact may be made either in person, over the telephone, or by correspondence.  The acceptability of a collateral contact will not be restricted to a particular individual, but may be anyone who can be expected to provide an accurate third party verification of the household’s statement.


(4)   Discrepancies


When information from another source contradicts statements made by the household, the household will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to resolve the discrepancy prior to an eligibility determination.  If discrepancies cannot be resolved in a reasonable period of time, benefits will be denied/terminated.


Glossary of Terms

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