SUBCHAPTER 71U – FOOD ASSISTANCE

 

SESCTION .0100 – IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

 

10a NCAC 71U .0101       ADMINISTRATION AND SUPERVISION

The counties shall administer the food stamp program under the supervision of the food assistance branch.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑138(b)(5); 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2026;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977.

SECTION .0200 - MANUAL

 

10a NCAC 71U .0201       INTENTIONAL PROGRAM VIOLATION DISQUALIFICATION

(a)  An administrative disqualification hearing or referral for prosecution shall be initiated by the county department whenever there is documented evidence to substantiate that a currently participating household member has committed an intentional program violation [as defined in 7 CFR 273.16(c)].

(b)  The hearing officer for administrative disqualification hearings shall be the county director.  The director may delegate this function to a specifically designated impartial employee of the county department.

(c)  The household member has the right to appeal to a state level hearing.  The hearing shall be before a state hearing officer who represents the State Director, Division of Social Services.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑153; 7 CFR 273.16; 7 U.S.C. 2011‑2027;

Eff. March 1, 1979;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1986.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0202       COUPON ISSUANCE

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-51; 143B-153; P.L. 104-193; 7 C.F.R. 274.2; 7 C.F.R. 274.3; U.S.C. 2011-2027;

Eff. March 1, 1979;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1986;

Temporary Amendment Eff. January 1, 1998;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1999;

Repealed Eff. July 1, 2012.

 

10a NCAC 71U .0203       FAIR HEARINGS

Each county shall give an opportunity for a fair hearing to any household aggrieved by any action of the county department of social services or coupon issuing agency which affects the participation of the household in the food stamp program.  The hearing shall be before a state hearing officer, who represents the State Director, Division of Social Services.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑153; 7 CFR 273.15; 7 U.S.C. 2011‑2027;

Eff. March 1, 1979.

 

10a NCAC 71U .0204       DENIAL OF ZERO BENEFIT HOUSEHOLDS

Households of three or more persons which do not have a member age 60 or over or disabled, thus subject to the 130 percent of poverty as an eligibility level, will have their applications denied if the household's net food stamp income results in a zero benefit level.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑153; 7 C.F.R. 273.10(e)(2)(iii); 7 U.S.C. 2011‑2027;

Eff. October 1, 1981.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0205       IMMEDIATE TERMINATION OR REDUCTION OF ASSISTANCE

Households subject to immediate termination or reduction of benefits, and exempt from the federal notice of adverse action, as found at 7 C.F.R. 273.13(b), will have their benefits terminated or reduced following notice as specified in federal regulations.  For mass changes, as found in 7 C.F.R. 273.13(b)(1) such notice will be provided a minimum of 10 working days in advance when federal implementing time standards permit.  If a hearing is requested, benefits will be continued at the present level pending the hearing decision only if the termination or reduction is due to a mass change and the issue being contested is that food stamp eligibility or benefits were improperly computed or that federal law is being misapplied or misinterpreted, as found at 7 C.F.R. 273.15(k)(l).

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 108A‑79; 143B‑153; 7 C.F.R. 273.13(b); 7 C.F.R. 273.15(k);

7 U.S.C. 2011‑2027;

Eff. March 1, 1982.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0206       SIMPLIFIED UTILITY ALLOWANCES

(a)  The Division of Social Services shall establish simplified utility allowances for use in calculating shelter costs of those households which incur utility costs separate and apart from their rent or mortgage payments.  The simplified utility allowances shall be developed in conjunction with data gathered through quality control sampling and surveys of utility company rates.  Once the Division gathers the sampling information and the average costs information from utilities companies, the average amounts are calculated to determine a statewide average for each type of utility cost for standard, basic and telephone utility allowances. The standard and basic utility allowances are increased by household size.  The amount of increase or decrease is calculated from the average statewide increase in utility costs per household size from the previous year. 

(b)  Types of utility allowances:

(1)           Standard utility allowance includes the cost of heating and cooling (air conditioning), cooking fuel, electricity, and the basic service fee for one telephone, water, sewerage, and garbage collection.

(2)           Basic utility allowance includes at least two non-heating or non-cooling utility expenses, such as cooking fuel, electricity, and the basic service fee for one telephone, water, sewerage, and garbage collection.

(3)           Telephone utility allowance includes the basic telephone services, fees and applicable taxes.

(c)  Simplified utility allowances are binding upon the household for a period of 12 months following certification (initial or recertification).  If the household moves before the expiration of the 12 month period and becomes ineligible for the standard, basic, or telephone allowance, the agency shall make the appropriate change.

(d)  The Division shall review the simplified utility allowances annually and adjust the allowance as necessary to reflect changes in the cost of the utilities.  The annual update shall be effected on October 1 of each calendar year to coincide with annual, federal adjustments of the combined dependent care and shelter deduction.  The annual update shall be based on information published by the North Carolina Department of Administration, Office of State Energy.  The amount of the utility allowances shall not vary seasonally.

(e)  The Division shall vary its standard and basic utility allowances by household size, e.g., a different standard amount for each household size or range of household sizes.

(f)  The basic utility allowance shall be used by a household living in a public housing unit which charges the household only for excess utility costs provided the household is responsible for at least two non-heating or non-cooling utility expenses.

(g)  The standard utility allowance shall be used when a household is billed for a heating or cooling component not totally paid by a vendor payment.

(h)  Multiple households living in the same residence and sharing utility costs are allowed the standard or basic utility allowance for their household size. 

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑153; 7 C.F.R. 273.9(d)(6); 7 U.S.C. 2011‑2027; P.L. 107-171;

Eff. April 1, 1982;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1990; July 1, 1984;

Temporary Amendment Eff. February 1, 2003;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0207       SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

As a condition of eligibility, a household participating or applying for participation in the Food Stamp Program shall provide or apply for a social security number for each household member.  The individual without a number may participate as long as the case record is documented that an application for a social security number has been completed, or that good cause exists for not completing an application.  Failure to provide or apply without good cause for a social security number for each household member will result in the disqualification of the individual until such time that the individual complies with this requirement.  Local county departments of social services shall keep social security number applications and shall help food stamp applicants and recipients complete the forms and obtain their social security numbers.  Applicants and recipients may, at their option, apply for social security numbers at Social Security Administration offices.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑153; 7 U.S.C. 2025F; P.L. 94‑455;

Eff. July 1, 1982;

Amended Eff. April 1, 1984; October 1, 1983.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0208       ADDITIONAL MANDATORY VERIFICATIONS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B-153; 7 C.F.R 273.2(f) (3) (iii), (v), (vi); 7 U.S.C. 2011-2029;

Eff. July 1, 1982;

Amended Eff. January 1, 1989; December 1, 1986;

Repealed Eff. September 1, 2005.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0209       SECOND PARTY REVIEW

A second party desk review will be conducted to review actions taken on all households with five or more members applying for initial certification or recertification for the Food Stamp Program.  Actions taken on households with four or fewer members will be subject to second party review as determined by the division director, based on future error prone profiles.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑153; 7 C.F.R. 273.2(f)(3)(vi); 7 U.S.C. 2011‑2027;

Eff. July 1, 1982.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0210       Income Exclusions

Income exclusions are found in 7 CFR 273.9(c) and this provision is hereby adopted by reference under G.S. 150B-21.6 and does not apply to subsequent amendments and editions.  In addition, the following income shall be excluded in determining eligibility and benefit level: Earned income for census employment or educational assistance, except scholarships offered by civic groups or institutions, or athletic scholarships.  A copy of the CFR may be obtained by contacting the Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, P. O. Box 37194, Pittsburgh, PA  15250-7954 or accessing the CFR online at www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑25; 108A‑53; 143B‑153; 7 C.F.R. 273.9(c); 7 U.S.C. 2026(b)(1); P.L. 107-171;

Temporary Rule Eff. March 28, 1990, for a Period of 180 Days to Expire on August 31, 1990;

Eff. September 1, 1990;

Temporary Amendment Eff. March 1, 2003;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0211       VEHICLE DETERMINATIONS

The county department of social services shall adhere to the policy that provides greater benefit to the recipient when determining vehicle value to be considered in a household's resources:

(1)           the Food Stamp Act, Section 5(g)(2)(C), or

(2)           the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) State Plan.

A copy of these documents may be obtained by contacting the State Division of Social Services, Economic Independence Section, 2420 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-2420.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-51; 143B-153; H.R.4461; CFR 273.8;

Temporary Adoption Eff. July 1, 2001;

Eff. July 18, 2002.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0212       TRANSITIONAL FOOD STAMP BENEFITS

Households shall receive transitional food stamp benefits for a period of five months when they lose their Work First Family Assistance benefits. Food Stamp benefits shall be no less than the amount received by the household prior to the termination of Work First Family Assistance benefits. The only adjustments to income shall be the deletion of the Work First Family Assistance benefits.  Other sources of income shall not be re-calculated.  A household is not eligible for transitional food stamp benefits if it loses Work First Family Assistance benefits for any of the following reasons:

(1)           Work First Family Assistance case closes due to a sanction;

(2)           Household member is disqualified from the Food Stamp Program;

(3)           Household moves out of North Carolina;

(4)           Household moves to another county in North Carolina; or

(5)           Household received more than one Work First Family Assistance payment and a Work First Family Assistance payment is still being received.

A household may reapply for food stamp benefits during the transitional period with benefits determined according to current circumstances. 

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-51: 143B-153; P.L. 107-171;

Temporary Adoption Eff. February 1, 2003;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0213       SEMI-ANNUAL REPORTING

(a) The county department shall require households with earned or unearned income that are assigned six-month certification periods to report only changes in the amount of gross monthly income that result in their gross monthly income exceeding 130 percent of the monthly poverty income guideline for their household size.  The agency shall assign a certification period of six months to all households subject to semi-annual reporting requirements.  The following households are excluded from semi-annual reporting requirements:

(1)           Households that contain a homeless individual;

(2)           Households that contain a migrant;

(3)           Households that contain an Able-Bodied Adult Without a Dependent, as defined in 7 CFR 273.24;

(4)           Households whose only member(s) is/are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants or recipients who do not receive any other types of fluctuating income;

(5)           Households whose only income is stable Social Security Income and/or SSI;

(6)           Households with no income;

(7)           Households receiving transitional Food Stamp benefits; or

(8)           Any other household not subject to semi-annual reporting requirements as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services.

(b) Households with income and not excluded in Paragraph (a) of this Rule must not be required to report changes in household circumstances during the certification period for the following:

(1)           Changes in sources or amounts of gross monthly income unless the change results in the gross monthly income exceeding 130 percent of the monthly poverty income guideline for the household size;

(2)           Changes in household composition;

(3)           Changes in residence and the resulting change in shelter costs;

(4)           The acquisition of a licensed vehicle;

(5)           When cash on hand, stocks, bonds, and money in a bank account or savings institution reach or exceed a total of two thousand dollars ($2,000); and

(6)           Changes in the legal obligation to pay child support.

(c) The county agency must act on any change reported by such households that would increase benefits.  The county agency must not act on changes that would result in a decrease in benefits unless:

(1)           The household has voluntarily requested that its case be closed; or

(2)           The agency has received information about the household's circumstances from a provider who is the primary source of the information such as:

(A)          Beneficiary Data Exchange (BENDEX), from the Social Security Administration;

(B)          State Data Exchange (SDX), from the Social Security Administration;

(C)          Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE), from the Immigration and Naturalization Service;

(D)          Employment and Training (E&T) information, received from the Employment Security Commission; or

(E)           Intentional Program Disqualifications (IPV's), received from county Program Integrity staff.

(d) A copy of the CFR may be obtained by contacting the State Division of Social Services, Economic Independence Section, 2420 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC  27699-2420.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-51: 143B-153; P.L. 107-171;

Temporary Adoption Eff. February 1, 2003;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0214       DEDUCTIONS

For the following food stamp households, the county department shall disregard, until recertification, reported changes in deductions during the current certification period except for changes associated with a new residence or changes in earned income:

(1)           Households that contain a homeless individual;

(2)           Households that contain a migrant;

(3)           Households that contain an Able-Bodied Adult Without a Dependent, as defined in 7 CFR 273.24;

(4)           Households whose only member(s) is/are Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applicants or recipients who do not receive any other types of fluctuating income;

(5)           Households whose only income is stable Social Security Income or SSI;

(6)           Households with no income; or

(7)           Any other household not subject to semi-annual reporting requirements as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services.

A copy of the CFR may be obtained by contacting the State Division of Social Services, Economic Independence Section, 2420 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-2420.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-51; 143B-153; P.L. 107-171;

Temporary Adoption Eff. February 1, 2003;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0215       Resource Exclusions

Resource exclusions are found in 7 CFR 273.8(e) and this provision is hereby incorporated by reference under G.S. 150B-21.6 and does not apply to subsequent amendments and editions.  In addition to the exclusions found in federal regulations, the following resources shall be excluded in determining eligibility and benefit level: 

(1)           funds from property conveyed to an individual at death of the property owner, also referred to as heir property;

(2)           burial plots/space;

(3)           lifetime interest in real or personal property limited to an individual's lifetime but the individual does not actually own the property;

(4)           remainder interest in property when one individual owns property and another individual has the lifetime right; and

(5)           land or buildings not excluded as a homesite, income producing property, or for the sale by good faith effort. 

A copy of the CFR may be obtained by contacting the Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, P. O. Box 37194, Pittsburgh, PA  15250-7954 or accessing the CFR online at www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B-153; P.L 107-171;

Temporary Adoption Eff. March 1, 2003;

Eff. August 1, 2004.

 

10A NCAC 71U .0216       MEDICAL DEDUCTIONS FOR MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG CARD BENEFITS

The county department shall allow a monthly medical deduction of twenty-three dollars ($23.00) as a standard medical expense for all individuals who own a Medicare-approved Prescription Drug Card.  For individuals whose income does not exceed 135% of the federal poverty level, the county department shall also allow a medical deduction for the Medicare-approved Prescription Drug Card subsidy.  The total subsidies received in 2004 and in 2005 shall be prorated to a monthly amount and used in calculating the individual's monthly benefits for applications and recertifications processed through the end of calendar year 2005.

 

History Note:        Authority 143B‑153; P.L 108-173;

Eff. April 1, 2005.

 

SECTION .0300 - FORMS

 

10A NCAC 71u .0301       FARMER OR DAY LABORER INCOME VERIFICATION

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B-138(b)(5); 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2026;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Repealed Eff. July 1, 2012.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0302       HOUSEHOLD APPLICATION

An application form shall be completed for each household. This form, available from the food stamp operations and improvement section and the county departments of social services, shall contain all information necessary to determine a household's eligibility, such as number and status of persons in the household and their education and financial status.  This form shall also include the applicant's commitment to provide information necessary to verify statements given on the form, to cooperate in state and federal quality control checks, and to notify the food stamp office of changes of status. Until this form is completed and submitted, the applicant shall not participate in the food stamp program.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A‑51; 143B‑138(b)(5); 143B‑153; 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2026;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Amended Eff. February 1, 1986.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0303       AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE FORM

All counties shall require a form to be completed and signed by an authorized representative when it is impossible for the head of a household or his spouse to make application for participation in the food stamp program.  Until this form, available from the food assistance branch and the county departments of social services, is completed and submitted, the representative shall be ineligible to represent the household.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B‑138(b)(5); 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2026;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977.

 

10A NCAC 71u .0304       TRANSMITTAL OF ATP CARDS

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B-138, -153; 7 U.S.C. 2011 to 2026;

Eff. February 18, 1977;

Readopted Eff. October 31, 1977;

Repealed Eff. July 1, 2012.

 

SECTION .0400 – ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER (EBT) CARD

 

10A ncac 71u .0401       ELECTRONIC BENEFIT TRANSFER (EBT) CARD REPLACEMENT FEE

(a)  Food Stamp households shall receive the first EBT card at no cost.

(b)  Food Stamp households that request a replacement EBT card shall be assessed a two dollars fifty cent ($2.50) fee.

(c)  The fee shall be deducted from the account of the Food Stamp household.

(d)  The fee shall be refunded if the EBT card:

(1)           was lost in the mail or damaged by the vendor prior to receipt by the Food Stamp household; or

(2)           is being replaced due to a name change on card; or

(3)           was lost due to a natural disaster such as a fire, flood, tornado or hurricane; or

(4)           was damaged by a retailer or vendor.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-25; 143B-153; 7 U.S.C. 2016 (i)(8); 7 C.F.R. 274.12 (f)(5)(v);

Temporary Adoption Eff. August 1, 2000;

Eff. April 1, 2001.

 

10A ncac 71U .0402       FAIR HEARINGS

The rules of 10A NCAC 71T .0203 will govern for hearings.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 108A-25; 143B-153; 7 U.S.C. 2016 (i)(8); 7 C.F.R. 274.12 (f)(5)(v);

Temporary Adoption Eff. August 1, 2000;

Eff. April 1, 2001.