SR 03-26 Dated 10/03

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

INTER-DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATION

 

SIGNATURE DATE:

September 17, 2003

FROM:

OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR Mary Anne Broshek

AT (OFFICE):

Division of Family Assistance

TO:

DFA Supervisors

NHES Managers

SUBJECT:

October 2003 Food Stamp Mass Change: Annual Update of the Maximum Food Stamp Allotments, Income Limits, Standard Utility Allowances, and Certain Income Deductions; Revised Form 215, Reporting Requirements Handout; Revised Food Stamp 130% Reporting Requirements Poster; Obsolescence of Form 800HC, Application Information Overview; and Related Policy Clarifications

EFFECTIVE DATE:

October 1, 2003

 

SUMMARY

 

This SR releases the 2003 annual Food Stamp Program October updates to:

 

·   the maximum benefit allotments;

·   the gross and net income limits;

·   the standard utility allowances; and

·   certain income deductions.

 

Form 215, Reporting Requirements Handout, and the Food Stamp 130% Reporting Requirements Poster were revised accordingly.

 

In addition, this SR releases:

 

·   an unrelated technical correction by obsoleting Form 800HC, Application Information Overview; and

·   related policy clarifications in FSM 600 regarding shelter deductions and income limits for households with separate elderly and disabled members.

 

POLICY

 

Benefit Allotments and Gross and Net Income Limits

 

Benefit allotment amounts and gross and net income limits for all group sizes are part of the annual October Food Stamp Program update and will increase as noted below, effective October 1, 2003.

 

Household Size

Gross Income Limits for Households with Separate Elderly and Disabled Members

(165% of FPL)

Non-Target Population Only Gross Income Limits1

(130% of FPL)

Target & Non-Target Population Net Income Limits1

(100% of FPL)

Maximum FS Benefit Allotments

1

$1,235

$973

$749

$141

2

$1,667

$1,313

$1,010

$259

3

$2,099

$1,654

$1,272

$371

4

$2,530

$1,994

$1,534

$471

5

$2,962

$2,334

$1,795

$560

6

$3,394

$2,674

$2,057

$672

7

$3,826

$3,014

$2,319

$743

8*

$4,257

$3,354

$2,580

$849

*For each additional person

Add $432

Add $341

Add $262

Add $106

1Gross and net income limits do not apply to categorically eligible households (all members receive or are eligible for PA and/or SSI).

 

For reference purposes, District Offices were sent an electronic copy of the Basis of Issuance Tables provided by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) via Directors Memo dated September 11, 2003.

 

Standard Utility Allowances

 

Effective October 1, 2003, the Standard Utility Allowances are as follows:

 

 

Utility Standard

2003-2004

Standard Amounts

2002-2003

Standard Amounts

Heat and Utilities

$361

$357

Utilities-Only

$192

$187

Electric-Only

$105

$102

Telephone-Only

$ 32

$ 31

 

Income Deductions

 

Effective October 1, 2003, the Standard Deduction according to household size is as follows:

 

Household Size Standard Deduction

1-4   $134

5   $149

6+   $171

 

In addition:

 

·   the Excess Shelter Expense Deduction increased from $367 to $378;

·   the Homeless Shelter Allowance remained unchanged at $143; and

·   the Dependent Care Deduction remained unchanged at $200 for a child under two and $175 for a child two or older.

 

UNRELATED TECHNICAL CORRECTION

 

Obsolescence of Form 800HC, Application Information Overview, was inadvertently overlooked with the release of SR 03-30, dated August 2003. This SR officially obsoletes Form 800HC, Application Information Overview, SR 98-51/November, 1998, and its associated instructions.

 

RELATED POLICY CLARIFICATION

 

FSM 211.01, Who Must Be Members, has been revised to clarify that when an elderly disabled individual (and spouse) resides in a household as a separate household from other members, the gross monthly income of the other household members (without the elderly person and spouse) needs to be less than 165% of the federal poverty level.

 

In addition, FSM 603.09, Shelter Deductions, has been revised to clarify that shelter deductions are shelter costs that are incurred by the client. When calculating shelter deductions, use the amount that the client incurs for shelter expenses, not the amount the client actually pays.

 

NEW HEIGHTS CHANGES

 

The following will be programmed into New HEIGHTS in September and will be used to calculate food stamp eligibility and benefits beginning October 1, 2003:

 

·   the maximum allotment amounts;

·   the gross and net income limits for all group sizes;

·   the updated standard utility allowances; and

·   certain income deductions.

 

Food stamp closings will be run September 30, 2003, to terminate all cases with a redetermination date of September 25, 2003. The mass change for open cases will be run on September 28, 2003. The major run for October will follow the mass change on September 30, 2003.

 

POST MASS CHANGE REPORTS

 

The reports described below will be produced as a result of the Mass Change. These reports will be available on CADocView shortly after October 1, 2003.

 

NMC600RA: Status After MC

This report lists all cases that were selected for the Mass Change, including cases that were successfully confirmed as shown on NMC540RA and those that were not confirmed (exceptions shown on NMC550RA). This report is sorted by District Office and contains the following information: D.O., Worker Name, Client Name, Case Number, and household size.

 

NMC600RB: Status Before MC

This report shows the pre-mass mass change status of cases that were selected for the Mass Change. It contains the following information: D.O., Worker Name, Client Name, Case Number, and Household Size.

 

NMC540RA: AGs Affected by MC

 

This report lists all cases upon which the Mass Change ran successfully through confirmation. It contains the following information: D.O., Worker Name, Client Name, and Case Number.

 

NMC550RA: MC Exception

 

This report lists cases that were selected for the Mass Change, but were not confirmed due to some discrepancy in data. These cases require further District Office action. It contains the following information: D.O., Worker Name, Client Name, Case Number, Reason for Exception, and Mass Change Type.

 

POLICY MANUAL REVISIONS

 

Revised Food Stamp Manual Topics

 

Section 211.01   Who Must Be Members

PART 601, TABLE E  FOOD STAMP MAXIMUM MONTHLY INCOME LIMITS

PART 601, TABLE F  MAXIMUM FOOD STAMP ALLOTMENTS

PART 601, TABLE G  DETERMINING FOOD STAMP ALLOTMENTS

PART 601, TABLE I  FOOD STAMP DEDUCTIONS

Section 603.09   Other Allowable Deductions: Shelter Deduction

 

FORMS REVISIONS

 

Form 215, Reporting Requirements Handout, and the Food Stamp 130% Reporting Requirements Poster have been updated to incorporate the current figures provided by FNS and simplified reporting requirements as released by the Directors Memo dated July 22, 2003.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

 

All benefits issued for the months beginning October 2003 will be calculated using the new figures.

 

Tables and Standards sections for benefits prior to October 1, 2003 need not be retained for reference for retroactive benefits because New HEIGHTS will hold them internally and automatically use them for calculating benefits for eligibility periods prior to October 1, 2003.

 

Effective October 1, 2003, old versions of Form 215, Reporting Requirements Handout, and the Food Stamp 130% Reporting Requirements Poster will be destroyed and replaced with current versions released in this SR. State Office will provide all District Offices with the Food Stamp posters and an initial supply of the Form 215 until the order from Graphic Services arrives. At that time, regular ordering procedures will resume for Form 215.

 

CLIENT NOTIFICATION

 

Households experiencing a change in food stamp benefits due to the mass change will receive a standard New HEIGHTS Notice of Decision (NOD). The following message will also appear in the "Explanations" section of the NOD:

 

On October 1, Federal and State changes increased income limits, the maximum amount of Food Stamps you can receive, and the amount of deductions you can claim. Your Food Stamp benefits, as shown in the old and new budget above, were adjusted to reflect these changes.

 

No additional client notification is planned.

 

TRAINING

 

No training is planned or necessary.

 

FORMS POSTING INSTRUCTIONS

 

Remove and Destroy

Insert

 

Forms Manual

 

Form 215

SR 02-32/October, 2002

1 Sheet

 

 

Form 215

SR 03-26/October 2003

1 Sheet

 

Form 800HC

SR 98-51/November, 1998

1 Sheet

 

Obsolete

 

Form 800HC(i)

SR 98-51/November, 1998

1 Sheet

 

Obsolete

 

DISPOSITION

 

This SR may be destroyed or deleted after its contents have been noted and the revised manual topics released by this SR have been posted to the On-line manuals.

 

DISTRIBUTION

 

This SR will be distributed according to the electronic distribution list for Division of Family Assistance policy releases. This SR, and revised On-Line Manuals, will be available for agency staff in the On-Line Manual Library, and for public access on the Internet at http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/DHHS/DFA/LIBRARY, effective October 1, 2003.

 

This SR, and printed pages with posting instructions, will be distributed under separate cover to all hard copy holders of the Food Stamp and Forms Manuals.

 

DFA/DMS:s

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CERTIFICATE OF DESTRUCTION

I certify that all copies of the following forms have been destroyed:

 

Form 215, dated 10/02, SR 02-32; and

Form 800HC, dated 11/98, SR 98-51

 

Office Manager:    District Office     

 

Return this certificate to DHHS Stock Control, 6 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301, after the instructions in the SR have been carried out.