Fiscal Year 2004: DHR Documents by Control Number


Control #: 04-01
Subject: Withdrawing Food Stamp Applications
Issue Date: 7/1/2003
Effective Date: 7/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0401.pdf

Food stamp regulations encourage people to apply for the Program. The withdrawal of a FS application must be a voluntary action by the customer. Any recommendation or suggestion by an agency employee that a customer withdraw the application impinges on the customer’s right to file an application and is contradictory to FS regulations.

Case managers may be suggesting a withdrawal because they think the household is ineligible. This is essentially an eligibility decision made outside the scope of monitoring or record keeping. Case managers must not make informal decisions about eligibility.

Customers have the right to have their applications reviewed and eligibility determined based on all policy factors.


Control #: 04-02
Subject: Food Stamp Program Cooperation with Fraud Investigations
Issue Date: 7/30/2003
Effective Date: 7/30/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0402.pdf

This action transmittal replaces AT #02-74.

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has notified State agencies that they have reconsidered the use of the Request for Contact (RFC) to obtain household cooperation during an intentional program violation (IPV) investigation. FNS has determined that “threatening to terminate the individual household for failure to respond” or termination of the individual for failure to cooperate with a fraud investigator violates the customer’s right to remain silent.

Only a case manager can issue the RFC. The RFC should be used only when there is a change in the household situation that could affect the household’s eligibility or benefit level. Do not use the RFC to require customers to meet with or supply information to a fraud investigator.

Even though we cannot require a customer to meet with the case manager or investigator, contact prior to initiating formal IPV procedures gives the individual the opportunity to clarify any unclear information or circumstances. It also provides local departments and investigators an opportunity to obtain additional evidence, if obtained voluntarily.

If the individual fails or refuses to respond to a request for an interview or additional information and there is sufficient evidence to support an IPV finding, the investigator or local department should proceed with an administrative disqualification hearing.

After proper notification to the individual of the ADH no further contact is required. The investigator or case manager may offer the individual the opportunity to sign the waiver of the disqualification hearing.

Even if the customer does not appear at the ADH, the hearing will proceed. Do not remove the customer from the FS household as an IPV for not attending the hearing. The local department representative or the investigator must still successfully present clear and convincing evidence of the violation to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to obtain an IPV decision.


Control #: 04-02
Subject: Food Stamp Program Cooperation with Fraud Investigations
Issue Date: 7/30/2003
Effective Date: 7/30/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0402.pdf

This action transmittal replaces AT #02-74.

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has notified State agencies that they have reconsidered the use of the Request for Contact (RFC) to obtain household cooperation during an intentional program violation (IPV) investigation. FNS has determined that “threatening to terminate the individual household for failure to respond” or termination of the individual for failure to cooperate with a fraud investigator violates the customer’s right to remain silent.

Only a case manager can issue the RFC. The RFC should be used only when there is a change in the household situation that could affect the household’s eligibility or benefit level. Do not use the RFC to require customers to meet with or supply information to a fraud investigator. ...


Control #: 04-03
Subject: Retrieve FIA Forms on the FIPNET and Internet
Issue Date: 8/13/2003
Effective Date: 8/13/2003
Program(s) Affected: All Programs
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0403.pdf

Updated forms are available on the FIPNET and the Internet, many in both English and Spanish. You can retrieve forms on-line through the FIPNET and on the Internet from the DHR Website. The procedure for accessing forms on the FIPNET has not changed. To access FIPNET forms, click on FIPNET on the left side of the DHRNET contents page, and then click on ONLINE FORMS.


Control #: 04-04
Subject: Food Stamp Benefits When the Household Moves to Puerto Rico
Issue Date: 8/20/2003
Effective Date: 8/20/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0404.pdf

Federal food stamp regulations require State EBT systems to be interoperable. Food stamp households in one State or territory can use their EBT cards to redeem food stamp benefits in another State or territory.

Puerto Rico, however, administers its own food stamp program and does not fall under these regulations. Puerto Rico sets its own eligibility criteria for recipients and retailers. The Food Stamp Act requires that households redeem their food stamp benefits only at FNS authorized retailer locations. Since the Commonwealth authorizes the retailers in Puerto Rico, rather than FNS, states cannot allow FSP households to redeem their food stamp benefits in Puerto Rico.


Control #: 04-05
Subject: Application For The Maryland Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) And The Electric Universal Service Program (EUSP)
Issue Date: 9/2/2003
Effective Date: 9/2/2003
Program(s) Affected: MEAP and EUSP
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0405.pdf

On July 1, 2003 the Maryland Office of Home Energy Programs (MD OHEP) began its new program year. Eligible families across Maryland may now apply for energy related programs and services.

MEAP provides heating assistance grants to fuel suppliers and utility companies on behalf of eligible applicants. EUSP provides assistance with electric bills. The EUSP will also assist a household in paying some past due electric bills. In certain instances both MEAP and EUSP can assist customers in weatherizing their home (e.g., insulation, furnace repair, window replacement, etc.).


Control #: 04-06
Subject: Changes To The Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP and MCHP Premium) Effective September 1, 2003
Issue Date: 9/4/2003
Effective Date: 9/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: MCHP
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0406.pdf

Effective September 1, 2003, the following changes will occur in the MCHP program:

-Children certified prior to September 1, 2003 whose family income is above 185 percent Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but at or below 200 percent FPL (current coverage group P14) will have to pay a premium to continue coverage after that date. Children who applied prior to September 1, 2003, but whose eligibility is determined on or after that date, will have eligibility determined for the months prior to September, 2003, according to the eligibility rules in effect at that time.

-All children applying on or after September 1, 2003 whose family income is above 185 percent FPL but at or below 200 percent FPL will have to pay a premium before coverage will be provided. These children will not be enrolled in MCHP but will be referred to DHMH by CARES for enrollment in MCHP Premium. The required premium amount is $37 per family per month.


Control #: 04-07
Subject: Food Stamp And Temporary Cash Assistance Mass Changes - October 2003
Issue Date: 9/16/2003
Effective Date: 10/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamps And TCA
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0407.pdf

Each August, the United States Department of Agriculture publishes a new Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) on which food stamp program allotments are based as well as net and gross monthly income standards. The maximum food stamp allotments, standard deductions and excess shelter deduction also increase. The homeless shelter allowance is unchanged.

TCA grants will also increase effective October 1, 2003. The Welfare Innovation Act of 1996 requires that the total of Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) and Food Stamps be at least 61 percent of the established Minimum Living Level. This year, as part of cost containment, the General Assembly has required that any resultant increase in the TCA grant be no more than 1%.


Control #: 04-08
Subject: Mandatory Standard Utility Allowance (SUA) And Limited Utility Allowance (LUA)
Issue Date: 9/22/2003
Effective Date: 10/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0408.pdf

One of the 2002 Farm Bill options allows the State to mandate the utility allowances. This policy option:

-Eliminates the use of actual expenses, except for households that have only one utility expense that does not include heating or cooling

-Simplifies the policy for prorating the utility allowances when households share utility expenses

-Entitles households in public housing to get the utility allowance


Control #: 04-09
Subject: Confidentiality Of Customer Information
Issue Date: 9/26/2003
Effective Date: 10/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamps (FS), Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA), Medical Assistance (MA), And Purchase Of Care (POC)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0409.pdf

Information provided by individuals or families when they apply for any Federal, State or local assistance program is protected from disclosure under the Privacy Act of 1974 and under the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (as amended). In addition, the Maryland Annotated Code Art. 88A, §6 provides protection against disclosing information except in specific instances. In the wake of recent events involving identity theft, it is extremely important that everyone be aware of and adhere to confidentiality requirements.


Control #: 04-10
Subject: Food Stamp Eligibility For Qualified Immigrant Children
Issue Date: 10/1/2003
Effective Date: 10/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0410.pdf

The 2002 Farm Bill changed immigrant eligibility in three phases. The first two phases restored food stamp (FS) eligibility to disabled qualified immigrants and to immigrants who have been in a qualified immigrant status for five years or longer. This action transmittal describes the third phase, which restores federal food stamps to immigrant children.

Effective October 1, 2003, there will no longer be a State-funded Food Stamp Program for immigrant children.


Control #: 04-11
Subject: Waivers To The Food Stamp Program Due To Hurricane Isabel
Issue Date: 9/29/2003
Effective Date: 10/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0411.pdf

President George W. Bush issued a disaster declaration on September 19, 2003, for all 24 jurisdictions in the State. We recently received approval from the Food and Nutrition Service to operate a modified Food Stamp Program, to issue an automatic replacement allotment to ongoing households in jurisdictions with significant losses of electricity and to issue supplemental allotments to ongoing households with non-reimbursable disaster-related expenses.

We requested these waivers in order to meet the requirements of individuals and families in the State that were affected by Hurricane Isabel. The modified Food Stamp Program will provide temporary assistance to families who have suffered losses due to household damage or loss of income. The modified FSP will operate from October 1 through October 9. We can request an extension if it appears to be needed.


Control #: 04-11 Addendum
Subject: Modified Food Stamp Program Due to Hurricane Isabel
Issue Date: 9/29/2003
Effective Date: 10/1/2003
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0411add.pdf

Modified Food Stamp Program Due to Hurricane Isabel


Control #: 04-12
Subject: Change In Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Issuance
Issue Date: 10/20/2003
Effective Date: 11/1/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0412.pdf

Currently, the State issues food stamp regular monthly benefits over a five-day period according to alphabetical listing of the head of household’s last name.

The large volume of food stamps issued over the five-day period creates hardships on retailers and on customers waiting in long lines. Because of this, the Maryland Retailer’s Association met with DHR and requested a change in the EBT food stamps issuance schedule.

To be more responsive to the community, effective November 2003, we will issue food stamp benefits over a 10-day period. ...


Control #: 04-13
Subject: Maryland Pharmacy Discount Program And Expedited QMB/SLMB Determinations
Issue Date: 11/30/2003
Effective Date: 11/30/2003
Program(s) Affected: Medical Assistance (MA)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0413.pdf

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has discovered that upon implementation of the Maryland Pharmacy Discount Program (MPDP) some customers were erroneously added to the Medicare Buy-In Program at DHMH. These customers have been identified by DHMH and will be instructed to apply for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)/ Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program. Attached is a copy of the correspondence, which includes the procedures that DHMH has approved to expedite the QMB/SLMB application process. The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Coordinators, of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), will assist with the process to expedite the applications.


Control #: 04-13 Attachment
Subject: Memo to SHIP Coordinators
Issue Date: 11/30/2003
Effective Date: 11/30/2003
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0413attach.pdf

Memo to SHIP Coordinators


Control #: 04-13 Attachment 2
Subject: Letter to Affected Customers
Issue Date: 11/30/2003
Effective Date: 11/30/2003
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0413attach2.pdf

Letter to Affected Customers


Control #: 04-13 Attachment 3
Subject: SHIP LDSS Transmittal Memo for QMB/SLMB Applications
Issue Date: 11/30/2003
Effective Date: 11/30/2003
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0413attach3.pdf

SHIP LDSS Transmittal Memo for QMB/SLMB Applications


Control #: 04-14
Subject: Food Stamp Benefits When The Household Moves From Puerto Rico
Issue Date: 12/17/2003
Effective Date: 12/17/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0414.pdf

Puerto Rico administers its own food stamp program called the Nutrition Assistance Program or NAP. In the past, Puerto Rico issued the benefits as a check that the customer could readily convert to cash. If the household applied for benefits in mainland offices in the month the NAP benefit was issued, we considered the benefit countable income.

Currently, Puerto Rico issues 75 percent of the NAP benefit via Point of Sale devises and 25 percent that is redeemable as cash. Households moving to the mainland cannot access their NAP benefits through the mainland EBT system. When determining eligibility and benefit allotment, do not count any portion of the NAP benefit as unearned income


Control #: 04-15
Subject: Increase In The Utility And Telephone Allowances
Issue Date: 12/19/2003
Effective Date: 1/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0415.pdf

Every year we review the utility allowances to determine if they should increase, decrease or stay the same. Based on the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Baltimore/ Washington area, the standard and limited utility allowances and the telephone allowance will increase.


Control #: 04-15 Attachment
Subject: Standards For Income And Deductions
Issue Date: 12/19/2003
Effective Date: 1/1/2004
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0415attach.pdf

Standards For Income And Deductions


Control #: 04-16
Subject: Excluded Income And Resources
Issue Date: 12/23/2003
Effective Date: 1/2/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program, Temporary Cash Assistance, Medical Assistance And The Maryland Children’s Health Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0416.pdf

The 2002 Farm Bill allows states to simplify the treatment of some income and resource types by making food stamp policy match Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) and Medical Assistance policy. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Family Investment Administration staff have met over the past several months to discuss changes that we can make to simplify policy by making the treatment of income and resources the same for all programs wherever possible.

This action transmittal describes new policy for excluding additional income and resource types.


Control #: 04-17
Subject: Tips For Food Stamp Shoppers Fact Sheet
Issue Date: 12/24/2003
Effective Date: 12/24/2003
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0417.pdf

Attached is a fact sheet that may answer the questions new customers may have about using their food stamps. Local departments should give all new customers a fact sheet when they come in to get an Independence Card.


Control #: 04-18
Subject: Social Security (RSDI) And SSI Cost-Of-Living Increase And Related Increases
Issue Date: 12/23/2003
Effective Date: 1/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Cash Assistance, Food Stamps, Medical Assistance
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0418.pdf

Historically, Social Security Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits have increased each year. This is usually true for Railroad Retirement and Veterans Benefits also. The mass change process to take these changes into account for cash assistance, food stamps and medical assistance purposes is described in this transmittal.


Control #: 04-19
Subject: Allowable Medical Expenses
Issue Date: 1/6/2004
Effective Date: 1/6/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0419.pdf

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently advised us that allowable medical deductions for food stamps include the postage that an individual pays for mail order prescriptions. Although the policy and procedure for calculating the medical deduction has not changed, we are taking this opportunity to remind staff about the possible medical deductions. The policy is covered in Food Stamp Manual Sections 212 and 213.


Control #: 04-20
Subject: Purchase Of Child Care Child Support Cooperation
Issue Date: 1/7/2004
Effective Date: 2/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Purchase of Child Care
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0420.pdf

Effective February 1, 2004 the Child Support Enforcement Administration is no longer responsible for determining child support cooperation in a POC case. The final decision will now be the responsibility of the POC case manager.


Control #: 04-21
Subject: Purchase of Care (POC) Changes In Customer Co-Payments
Issue Date: 1/8/2004
Effective Date: 2/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Purchase of Care (POC)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0421.pdf

Effective February 1, 2004, the Child Care Administration is increasing non-TCA customer co-payments for formal and informal child care. The total payment to the provider is not changing. The customer will pay an increased co-payment and the State will pay a reduced portion of the cost of care.


Control #: 04-21 Attachment
Subject: Copay
Issue Date: 1/8/2004
Effective Date: 2/1/2004
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0421attach.pdf

Copay


Control #: 04-21 Attachment 2
Subject: Formal Copay
Issue Date: 1/8/2004
Effective Date: 2/1/2004
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0421attach2.pdf

Formal Copay


Control #: 04-21 Attachment 3
Subject: Informal Copay
Issue Date: 1/8/2004
Effective Date: 2/1/2004
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0421attach3.pdf

Informal Copay


Control #: 04-22 Revised
Subject: TEMHA Payment Freeze For New Applications
Issue Date: 1/9/2004
Effective Date: 1/12/2004
Program(s) Affected: Transitional, Emergency, Medical, And Housing Assistance (TEMHA)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0422rev.pdf

The Secretary has determined that Maryland will have a budget shortfall in the Transitional Emergency, Medical and Housing Assistance (TEMHA) Program. Unless the Department takes action swiftly, our current projections show that there will be a deficit in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2004 and a continuing deficit in SFY 2005.

TEMHA is a capped entitlement. Regulations at COMAR 07.06.05.04E allow the Secretary of Human Resources, when the TEMHA caseload will exhaust the appropriation, to have local departments continue to process applications and if they determine them eligible to place them in an “active, no-pay” status. The effect of this action and continuing to implement the program integrity initiatives begun in June 2003 should allow us to stay within budget for SFY 2004.


Control #: 04-23
Subject: Shelter Deduction When Rent Is Paid In Advance
Issue Date: 2/6/2004
Effective Date: 2/6/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0423.pdf

Sometimes households receive large sums of money and use it to pay their rent in advance. Recently, we received a policy clarification from the Food and Nutrition Service about how to treat shelter costs in this situation.

Allowable expenses are taken into consideration when they are due. When a household is billed monthly for rent, the case manager will use the monthly rental amount that is due, regardless of when the household pays it.


Control #: 04-24
Subject: Aligning Certification/Eligibility Periods
Issue Date: 2/24/2004
Effective Date: 4/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0424.pdf

...

The Food and Nutrition Service recently approved a waiver request that allows us to recertify a food stamp case before the end of the assigned certification period during an application for a medical or cash assistance program. This also includes reapplication or redetermination for MA or cash assistance. This waiver will allow us to better align the certification/eligibility periods for all programs.

...


Control #: 04-25
Subject: Expedited Food Stamps
Issue Date: 2/25/2004
Effective Date: 2/25/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0425.pdf

There are no changes in the expedited food stamp policy. This informational memo contains reminders and suggestions to ensure that all food stamp households who are eligible for expedited food stamps receive them as soon as possible. Case managers should make every effort to process expedited food stamps to eligible households the same day the application is filed.


Control #: 04-26
Subject: TEMHA Program Integrity Actions
Issue Date: 3/2/2004
Effective Date: 3/2/2004
Program(s) Affected: Transitional, Emergency, Medical, And Housing Assistance (TEMHA)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0426.pdf

Based on recent system-generated reports there is evidence that indicates some TEMHA customers may be receiving benefits in error. Since TEMHA is a capped entitlement, cases receiving benefits in error use money that should be used to fund benefits for eligible customers. It is important to continue our aggressive efforts to limit TEMHA to eligible customers. Beginning in June 2003, the Bureau of System Development and Management ran queries of active TEMHA cases and sent them to local departments. This was done to assist the local departments to remove ineligible cases from their TEMHA caseload. We will continue to produce updated reports for local department action. These actions should be taken with regard to each set of reports as they are received. The reports identified three categories of potentially ineligible TEMHA recipients. These are: ...


Control #: 04-27
Subject: 2004 Federal Poverty Levels And FIP Schedule Update
Issue Date: 3/9/2004
Effective Date: 4/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Temporary Cash Assistance
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0427.pdf

The Federal Poverty Income guidelines increased on March 1, 2004. The new poverty levels will be on CARES effective April 1, 2004. For your convenience, a chart with the new poverty levels is attached (Attachment 1).

In addition, a copy of the updated FIP Schedule is attached (Attachment 2). This Information Memo updates Column C- 50% Poverty Level - of the FIP Schedule. The amounts in Columns A and B did not change from October 2003. The new amounts are used when determining eligibility for Temporary Cash Assistance applications and recertifications completed on or after April 1, 2004.


Control #: 04-28
Subject: Failure To Comply With Temporary Cash Assistance Or Unemployment Insurance Work Requirements
Issue Date: 3/10/2004
Effective Date: 4/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0428.pdf

Currently, when a Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) customer fails to comply with a work requirement that is comparable to a food stamp work requirement, the customer is considered to have failed to comply with food stamp work requirements. This has been expanded. Under the new policy the TCA work component does not have to be comparable to a food stamp work requirement to cause a disqualification. Additionally, the rule now applies to an individual’s failure to comply with an unemployment insurance work requirement.


Control #: 04-28 Revised
Subject: Failure To Comply With Temporary Cash Assistance Or Unemployment Insurance Work Requirements
Issue Date: 5/15/2004
Effective Date: 4/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0428rev.pdf

Revised Action Transmittal 04-28 includes corrected CARES procedures. It does not change policy. Please destroy copies of the original action transmittal.

Currently, when a Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) customer fails to comply with a work requirement that is comparable to a food stamp work requirement, the customer is considered to have failed to comply with food stamp work requirements. This has been expanded. Under the new policy the TCA work component does not have to be comparable to a food stamp work requirement to cause a disqualification. Additionally, the rule now applies to an individual’s failure to comply with an unemployment insurance work requirement.


Control #: 04-29
Subject: The Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign And Financial Literacy
Issue Date: 3/17/2004
Effective Date: 3/17/2004
Program(s) Affected: All
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0429.pdf

As we enter tax season, it is again our goal to help low-income working families understand the advantages of filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and other tax credits. EITC helps reduce the tax burden and increase income for working families. It can also be used as an incentive to encourage unemployed customers to find and keep a job. Helping our customers understand the benefits of EITC is a step toward their achieving self-sufficiency.

...This memo provides information about the EITC and other tax reduction programs for 2003 to help local department staff encourage customers to file for EITC to be included in their pay. In addition, it contains information about financial literacy and provides contact information for local departments wanting to receive additional information and training in these areas. ...


Control #: 04-30
Subject: Loss Of Cecil County Waiver To The Work Requirement For Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD)
Issue Date: 3/26/2004
Effective Date: 7/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0430.pdf

Each year the State submits a new ABAWD waiver to the Food and Nutrition Service for approval. We base the waiver request on data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Based on current data for 2004, the exempt jurisdictions are Allegany County, Dorchester County, Garrett County, Somerset County, Worcester County and Baltimore City.

Cecil County is no longer exempt from the special work requirements for ABAWDS.


Control #: 04-31 Revised
Subject: TEMHA Payment Freeze For New Applications Lifted
Issue Date: 3/26/2004
Effective Date: 4/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Transitional, Emergency, Medical, And Housing Assistance (TEMHA)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0431rev.pdf

The Secretary has determined that the TEMHA program will resume cash payments to new applicants beginning in April, ending a three-month suspension. Applicants approved during the suspension will begin receiving $185 a month, beginning April 1, 2004.


Control #: 04-32
Subject: Welfare Avoidance Grants (WAGS)
Issue Date: 4/19/2004
Effective Date: 4/19/2004
Program(s) Affected: Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0432.pdf

Recently we received several questions about Welfare Avoidance Grants. As a result, we have updated WAG policy and strengthened accountability.

...

This action transmittal reviews the policy and strengthens accountability for issuing WAGs to eligible families and provides guidance to case managers in assessing the use of a WAG. To strengthen accountability the local department director or the director’s designee must approve each WAG before issuance. Used appropriately, a WAG should help the family become self-sufficient and stay off TCA.


Control #: 04-33
Subject: Medicare Pharmacy Discount Program
Issue Date: 4/12/2004
Effective Date: 4/12/2004
Program(s) Affected: Medical Assistance
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0433.pdf

The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 authorizes the implementation of the Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program. The drug discount card program is effective June 1, 2004 through December 31, 2005. The program is designed to help Medicare recipients with the cost of prescription drugs.


Control #: 04-34
Subject: The New Save Verification System
Issue Date: 4/30/2004
Effective Date: 4/30/2004
Program(s) Affected: All
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0434.pdf

The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) Program is an intergovernmental information sharing partnership developed to help case managers determine an applicant/recipient’s immigration status. Beginning in March 2004 SAVE, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now administers, provides authorized users with on-line access to immigrant status verification information rather than the telephone access previously available.

Remember: SAVE does not determine immigrant eligibility; it just verifies immigration status.


Control #: 04-34 Attachment
Subject: The New Save Verification System
Issue Date: 4/30/2004
Effective Date: 4/30/2004
Program(s) Affected:
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0434attach.pdf

WEB-1 Access Method Reference


Control #: 04-35
Subject: Residents Of Certain Institutions
Issue Date: 5/3/2004
Effective Date: 5/3/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0435.pdf

Recently we became aware of a change in federal regulations that we have not implemented. Section 100.7 of the Food Stamp Manual lists residents of housing for the elderly built under Section 202 of the housing Act of 1959 or Section 236 of the National Housing Act as eligible even when the institution provides a majority of the meals. The policy was changed to include federally subsidized housing for the elderly as an exception to the rule about institutions.

We are also providing information as reminders about the special eligibility rules for residents of some institutions and where to locate detailed information about the policy in the Food Stamp Manual.


Control #: 04-36
Subject: Medicare Prescription Drug Card Program
Issue Date: 5/15/2004
Effective Date: 6/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0436.pdf

The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 authorizes the Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program. This program will help people who receive Medicare with the cost of prescription drugs. This action transmittal provides information about the program and how it will affect food stamps.


Control #: 04-37
Subject: Work Requirements – Reduction In Work Effort
Issue Date: 6/8/2004
Effective Date: 7/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Food Stamp Program
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0437.pdf

In 1996, welfare reform legislation added a work requirement that makes individuals who voluntarily and without good cause reduce their work effort to less than 30 hours per week ineligible for food stamps. Current policy states that the minimum wage equivalency does not apply when determining reduction of work effort. A recent clarification changes this policy.


Control #: 04-38
Subject: Exclusion Of Income Tax Refunds As Income Or A Resource
Issue Date: 7/1/2004
Effective Date: 7/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: Temporary Cash Assistance
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0438.pdf

Recently, we have received several questions from local departments regarding income tax refunds. TCA policy does not specifically address income tax refunds. It does however exclude the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as income. This includes EITC payments calculated with an individual’s wages and the EITC portion of an income tax refund.

Current policy gives instructions to apply lump sum policy to the income tax refund, excluding any EITC. In an effort to match programs, simplify policy and avoid the possible double counting of income, we are revising the income tax refund policy to match Medical Assistance policy.


Control #: 04-39
Subject: Waiver Case Redeterminations
Issue Date: 7/6/2004
Effective Date: 7/6/2004
Program(s) Affected: MA Waiver
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0439.pdf

Recently DHR became aware of an issue with regard to associated H-track waiver redeterminations. The redetermination information packet (9702) for these waiver cases are not being forwarded to the Division of Eligibility Waiver Services in a timely manner. The Waiver Division is responsible for all eligibility, interim change and maintenance decisions with regard to all H-track Waiver AUs. If a waiver recipient in the H-track is included on an active associated AU at the LDSS (i.e. Food Stamps, TCA, FAC MA etc) or LHD (i.e. MCHP) the following instructions will ensure that H-track AU’s are redetermined timely. This process is necessary to ensure that the MA waiver case is properly evaluated using manual processing, as all eligibility for waiver recipients is completed off-line. CARES is the mechanism used once eligibility has been determined to deliver the Waiver Medical Assistance benefits.


Control #: 04-40
Subject: Changes To The Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP and MCHP Premium) Effective July 1, 2004
Issue Date: 7/13/2004
Effective Date: 7/1/2004
Program(s) Affected: MCHP
Link to Document: http://www.law.umaryland.edu/marshall/dhr/0440.pdf

Effective July 1, 2004, the following changes will occur for children whose family income is above 185 percent Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but at or below 200 percent FPL (coverage group P14):

...[five bullet points]...

These changes are the result of the sunset of changes in State law enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in the Budget Bill of 2003. The sunset of these 2003 provisions also affects the MCHP Premium Program effective July 1, 2004. Those changes are listed at the end of the Transmittal, for informational purposes only.


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