TITLE VIICHAPTER 65FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION[Prior to 7/1/83, Social Services Ch 65][Prior to 2/11/87, Human Services]PreambleThe basis for the food assistance program is as provided in Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of this chapter is to provide for adoption of new and amended federal regulations as they are published, to establish a legal basis for Iowa’s choice of administrative options when administrative options are given to the state in federal regulations, to implement the policy changes that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) directs states to implement that are required by law but are not yet included in federal regulations, and to implement USDA-approved demonstration projects and waivers of federal regulations.DIVISION I44165.1(234) Definitions.
"Department" means the Iowa department of human services.
"Food assistance" means benefits provided by the federal program administered through Title 7, Chapter II of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 270 through 283.
"Notice of expiration" means either a message printed on an application for continued program participation, Review/Recertification Eligibility Document (RRED), Form 470-2881, which is automatically issued to the household, or a hand-issued Form 470-0325, Notice of Expiration.
"Parent" means natural, legal, or stepmother or stepfather.
"Sibling" means biological, legal, step- , half- , or adoptive brother or sister.44165.2(234) Application. 65.2(1) Application filing. Persons in need of food assistance benefits may file an application at any local department office in Iowa or over the Internet. a. An application is filed the day a local department office receives an application for food assistance benefits that contains the applicant’s name and address and is signed by either a responsible member of the household or the household’s authorized representative. The application may be filed on: (1) Form 470-0306 or 470-0307 (Spanish), Application for Food Assistance; (2) Form 470-0462 or Form 470-0466 (Spanish), Health and Financial Support Application; or (3) Form 470-4080 or 470-4080(S), Electronic Food Assistance Application. b. When an application is delivered to a closed office, it will be considered received on the first day that is not a weekend or state holiday following the day that the office was last open. An electronic application is considered received on the first department workday following the date the department office received the application. c. A household shall complete a Health and Financial Support Application when any person in the household is applying for or receiving aid through the family investment program, family medical assistance program (FMAP)-related Medicaid, or the refugee resettlement assistance programs. d. The application is complete when a completed application form is submitted. e. Households receiving food assistance benefits in Iowa may apply for continued participation by submitting Form 470-2881, Review/Recertification Eligibility Document. 65.2(2) Failure to provide verification. When a household files an initial application and the department requests additional verification, the applicant shall have ten days to provide the requested verification. If the applicant fails to provide the verification within ten days, the department may deny the application immediately. If the applicant provides the department with the requested verification prior to the thirtieth day from the date of application, the department shall reopen the case and provide benefits from the date of application. If the household provides the verification in the second 30 days after the date of the application, the department shall reopen the case and provide benefits from the date the verification was provided.44165.3(234) Administration of program. The food assistance program shall be administered in accordance with the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, 7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq., and in accordance with federal regulation, Title 7, Parts 270 through 283 as amended to June 19, 2006. A copy of the federal law and regulations may be obtained at no more than the actual cost of reproduction by contacting the Division of Financial, Health, and Work Supports, Department of Human Services, Hoover State Office Building, 1305 East Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0114, (515)281-3133.44165.4(234) Issuance. The department shall issue food assistance benefits by electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards. 65.4(1) Schedule. Benefits for ongoing certifications shall be made available to households on a staggered basis during the first ten calendar days of each month. 65.4(2) EBT cards. EBT cards shall be mailed to recipients except in the event of a disaster. In the event of a disaster, disaster EBT cards will be distributed through the local office.Related ARC(s): 8500B, 4573C44165.5(234) Simplified reporting. 65.5(1) Identification. All households are subject to simplified reporting requirements. 65.5(2) Determination of eligibility and benefits. Eligibility and benefits for simplified reporting households shall be determined on the basis of the household’s prospective income and circumstances. 65.5(3) Certification periods. Households shall be certified as follows: a. Households that have no earned income and in which all adult members are elderly or disabled shall be assigned certification periods of 12 months. b. All other households shall be assigned certification periods of six months. c. Exceptions: (1) A household that has unstable circumstances or that includes an able-bodied adult without dependents shall be assigned a shorter certification period consistent with the household’s circumstances, but generally no less than three months. (2) A shorter certification period may be assigned at application or recertification to match the food assistance recertification date to the family investment program or medical assistance annual review date. 65.5(4) Reporting responsibilities. Simplified reporting households are required to report changes as follows: a. The household shall report if the household’s total gross income exceeds 130 percent of the federal poverty level for the household size. The household must report this change within ten days of the end of the month in which the income exceeds this level. A categorically eligible household that reports income over 130 percent of the federal poverty level and that remains eligible for benefits shall not be required to make any additional report of changes. b. A household containing an able-bodied adult without dependents shall report any change in work hours that brings that adult below 20 hours of work per week, averaged monthly. The household must report this change within ten days of the end of the month in which the change in work hours occurs. 65.5(5) Verification submitted with report form. Rescinded IAB 9/10/08, effective 10/1/08. 65.5(6) Additional information and verification. Rescinded IAB 9/10/08, effective 10/1/08. 65.5(7) Action on reported changes. The department shall act on all reported changes for households regardless of the household’s reporting requirements. 65.5(8) Entering or leaving simplified reporting. Rescinded IAB 9/10/08, effective 10/1/08. 65.5(9) Reinstatement. Rescinded IAB 9/10/08, effective 10/1/08.44165.6(234) Delays in certification. 65.6(1) When by the thirtieth day after the date of application the agency cannot take any further action on the application due to the fault of the household, the agency shall give the household an additional 30 days to take the required action. The agency shall send the household a notice of pending status on the thirtieth day. 65.6(2) When there is a delay beyond 60 days from the date of application and the agency is at fault and the application is complete enough to determine eligibility, the application shall be processed. For subsequent months of certification, the agency may require a new application form to be completed when household circumstance indicates changes have occurred or will occur. 65.6(3) When there is a delay beyond 60 days from the date of application and the agency is at fault and the application is not complete enough to determine eligibility, the application shall be denied. The household shall be notified to file a new application and that it may be entitled to retroactive benefits.44165.7(234) Expedited service. Rescinded IAB 5/2/01, effective 6/1/01.44165.8(234) Deductions. 65.8(1) Standard allowance for households with heating or air-conditioning expenses. When a household is receiving heating or air-conditioning service for which it is required to pay all or part of the expense or receives assistance under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act (LIHEAA) of 1981, the heating or air-conditioning standard shall be allowed. a. The standard allowance for utilities which include heating or air-conditioning costs shall change annually effective each October 1 using a methodology approved by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. b. Effective October 1, 2013, five dollars will be subtracted from this amount to allow for cost neutrality necessary for the standard medical expense deduction. 65.8(2) Heating expense. Heating expense is the cost of fuel for the primary heating service normally used by the household. 65.8(3) Telephone standard. When a household is receiving a standard utility allowance under subrule 65.8(1) or 65.8(5) or is solely responsible for telephone expenses, a standard allowance shall be allowed. This allowance shall change annually effective each October 1 using a methodology approved by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. 65.8(4) Energy assistance payments. For purposes of prorating the low income energy assistance payments to determine if households have incurred out-of-pocket expenses for utilities, the heating period shall consist of the months from October through March. 65.8(5) Standard allowance for households without heating or air-conditioning expenses. When a household is receiving some utility service other than heating or air-conditioning for which it is responsible to pay all or part of the expense, the nonheating or air-conditioning standard shall be allowed. These utility expenses cannot be solely for telephone. a. This allowance shall change annually effective each October 1 using a methodology approved by the Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. b. Effective October 1, 2013, five dollars will be subtracted from this amount to allow for cost neutrality necessary for the standard medical expense deduction. 65.8(6) Excluded payments. A utility expense which is reimbursed or paid by an excluded payment, including HUD or FmHA utility reimbursements, shall not be deductible. 65.8(7) Excess medical expense deduction. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these rules or regulations, at certification, households having a member eligible for the excess medical expense deduction shall be allowed to provide verification of expenses so that a reasonable projection of the member’s medical expenses anticipated to occur during the household’s certification period can be made. The household may choose to claim actual expenses or to use the standard medical expense deduction. a. Actual medical expense. (1) The projection may be based on available information about the member’s medical condition, public or private medical insurance coverage, and current verified medical expenses. (2) Households that choose to claim actual medical expenses shall not be required to report changes in medical expenses that were anticipated to occur during the certification period. b. Standard medical expense. (1) A household may choose a standard medical expense deduction of $105 if the household incurs more than $35 per month in medical expenses. (2) A household that chooses the standard deduction shall not be required to report changes in medical expenses during the certification period. c. Rescinded IAB 8/1/07, effective 10/1/07. 65.8(8) Child support payment deduction. Rescinded IAB 5/2/01, effective 6/1/01. 65.8(9) Standard deduction. Each household will receive a standard deduction from income equal to 8.31 percent of the net income limit for food assistance eligibility. No household will receive an amount less than $144 or more than 8.31 percent of the net income limit for a household of six members. The amount of the standard deduction is adjusted for inflation annually as directed by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 65.8(10) Sharing utility standards. Rescinded IAB 9/4/02, effective 10/1/02. 65.8(11) Excess shelter cap. Rescinded IAB 5/2/01, effective 6/1/01.This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 234.12.Related ARC(s): 8992B, 1148C44165.9(234) Treatment centers and group living arrangements. Alcohol or drug treatment or rehabilitation centers and group living arrangements shall complete Form 470-2724, Monthly Facility Report, on a monthly basis and return the form to the local department office where the center is assigned.44165.10(234) Reporting changes. Rescinded IAB 9/10/08, effective 10/1/08.44165.11(234) Discrimination complaint. Individuals who feel that they have been subject to discrimination may file a written complaint with the Diversity Programs Unit, Department of Human Services, Hoover State Office Building, 1305 E. Walnut Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0114.44165.12(234) Appeals. Fair hearings and appeals are provided according to the department’s rules, 441—Chapter 7.44165.13(234) Joint processing. 65.13(1) Joint processing with SSI. The department will handle joint processing of supplemental security income and food assistance applications by having the social security administration complete and forward food assistance applications. 65.13(2) Joint processing with public assistance. The department shall jointly process public assistance and food assistance applications. 65.13(3) Single interview for assistance. In joint processing of public assistance and food assistance applications, the department shall conduct a single interview at initial application for both purposes.44165.14(234) Rescinded, effective 10/1/83.44165.15(234) Proration of benefits. Benefits shall be prorated using a 30-day month.This rule is intended to implement Iowa Code section 234.12.44165.16(234) Complaint system. Clients wishing to file a formal written complaint concerning the food assistance program may submit Form 470-0323, or 470–0323(S), Food Assistance Complaint, to the office of field support. Department staff shall encourage clients to use the form.Related ARC(s): 8500B44165.17(234) Involvement in a strike. An individual is not involved in a strike at the individual’s place of employment when the individual is not picketing and does not intend to picket during the course of the dispute, does not draw strike pay, and provides a signed statement that the individual is willing and ready to return to work but does not want to cross the picket line solely because of the risk of personal injury or death or trauma from harassment. The service area manager shall determine whether such a risk to the individual’s physical or emotional well-being exists.44165.18(234) Rescinded, effective 8/1/86.44165.19(234) Monthly reporting/retrospective budgeting. Rescinded IAB 9/10/08, effective 10/1/08.44165.20(234) Notice of expiration issuance. 65.20(1) Issuance of the automated Notice of Expiration will occur with the mailing of Form 470-2881, 470-2881(M), 470-2881(S), or 470-2881(MS), Review/Recertification Eligibility Document (RRED), or a hand-issued Form 470-0325, Notice of Expiration. 65.20(2) Issuance of the Notice of Expiration, Form 470-0325, will occur at the time of certification if the household is certified for one month, or for two months, and will not receive the automated Notice of Expiration.Related ARC(s): 8500B44165.21(234) Claims. 65.21(1) Time period. Inadvertent household error claims shall be calculated back to the month the error originally occurred to a maximum of three years before the month of discovery of the overissuance. Agency error claims shall be calculated back to the month the error originally occurred to a maximum of one year before the month of discovery of the overissuance. 65.21(2) Suspension status. Rescinded IAB 7/1/98, effective 8/5/98. 65.21(3) Application of restoration of lost benefits. Rescinded IAB 3/6/02, effective 5/1/02. 65.21(4) Demand letters. Households that have food assistance claims shall return the repayment agreement no later than 20 days after the date the demand letter is mailed. a. For agency error and inadvertent household error, when households do not return the repayment agreement by the due date or do not timely request an appeal, allotment reduction shall occur with the first allotment issued after the expiration of the Notice of Adverse Action time period. b. For intentional program violation, when households do not return the repayment agreement by the due date, allotment reduction shall occur with the next month’s allotment. 65.21(5) Adjustments for claim repayment. A household or authorized representative may initiate a claim repayment by using benefits in an EBT account. The client or authorized representative shall complete Form 470-2574, EBT Adjustment Request, to authorize adjustments to a household’s EBT account. 65.21(6) Collection of claims. Rescinded IAB 5/30/01, effective 8/1/01.Related ARC(s): 7928B44165.22(234) Verification. 65.22(1) Required verification. a. Income. Households shall be required to verify income at time of application, recertification and when income is reported or when income changes with the following exceptions:
- Households are not required to verify the public assistance grant.
- Households are not required to verify job insurance benefits when the information is available to the department from the department of employment services.
- Households are only required to verify interest income at the time of application and recertification.
- Is employed for an average of 20 hours per week and is paid for this employment; or
- Is self-employed for an average of 20 hours per week and receives average weekly earnings at least equal to the federal minimum wage multiplied by 20 hours.