340:50-15-25. Cases referred for intentional program violation determination
(a) IPV definition. Per Section 273.16(c) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 C.F.R. § 273.16(c)), an IPV is defined as intentionally:
(1) making a false or misleading statement, or misrepresenting, concealing, or withholding facts; or
(2) committing any act that constitutes a violation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), SNAP regulations, or of any Oklahoma State statue for the purpose of using, presenting, transferring, acquiring, receiving, possessing or trafficking of SNAP benefits or electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.
(b) Cases referred for an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH). Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) staff refers cases to the OKDHS Legal Services Appeals Unit to conduct an ADH to determine when the client committed an IPV. The referred cases contain documentary evidence of an IPV, but do not warrant civil or criminal prosecution.
(c) Waiving ADH. OIG staff gives a client suspected of an IPV the option to waive his or her rights to an ADH. The client must complete and sign Form 08OP016E, Administrative Disqualification Hearing Waiver, to request a waiver. A hearing waiver subjects the client to the same penalties as if the hearing process determined the client committed an IPV.
(d) Penalties for an IPV. Persons found to have committed an IPV through an ADH, a federal, state, or local court, an ADH waiver, or, when referred for prosecution, a disqualification agreement, are ineligible to participate in SNAP, per 7 C.F.R. § 273.16(b).
(1) Cases determined by ADH or ADH waiver. When the ADH results in an IPV determination or the client waives his or her right to the hearing process, Adult and Family Services (AFS) Benefit Integrity and Recovery (BIR) Unit staff imposes a disqualification penalty.
(A) AFS BIR Unit staff sends Form 08AD019E, Program Penalty/Disqualification Notice, to the disqualified member. Form 08AD019E includes information regarding the remaining household members' eligibility.
(B) Unless (ii) of this subparagraph applies, the disqualification period for a person is one year for the first violation, two years for the second violation, and permanently for the third violation.
(i) Any person disqualified for an IPV prior to April 1, 1983, is considered to have one previous disqualification, regardless of the number of previous disqualifications.
(ii) A person found to have made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to the person's identity or place of residence in order to receive multiple SNAP benefits simultaneously is disqualified for a period of 10 years or permanently for a third violation.
(iii) The disqualification period begins the first possible effective month following the date AFS BIR Unit staff mails Form 08AD019E. Once the disqualification period begins, it runs continuously until the end of the period imposed, regardless of whether the household remains eligible for food benefits during the person's disqualification period.
(iv) AFS BIR Unit staff removes the disqualified person from the household size or, for a one-person household, closes the SNAP food benefit based on an IPV. When determining the remaining household members' SNAP eligibility, the worker counts the disqualified person's total gross income and allows all applicable deductions, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-7-29(d)(1). • 1
(v) A household must repay the SNAP overpayment claim regardless of any disqualification penalty imposed. AFS BIR Unit staff sends Form 08OP118E, Food Benefit Repayment Agreement, to notify the household of the need to make a repayment plan and the repayment options available to the client, per OAC 340:50-15-6.
(2) Cases determined by a court. AFS BIR Unit staff refers all cases suspected of an IPV to OIG to determine if court action is feasible.
(A) When OIG staff refers the person for court action, AFS BIR Unit staff must not discuss the overpayment claim with the household until court action is complete or AFS BIR Unit staff notifies the worker of needed action. County staff forwards further information or directs client inquiries regarding the overpayment to AFS BIR Unit staff.
(B) A court of appropriate jurisdiction may find one or more persons in the household guilty of obtaining food benefits by fraudulent means. The court may charge the person with either a misdemeanor or a felony.
(C) Disqualification penalty procedures for court and ADH determined cases are the same, except for (i) through (iii) of this subparagraph.
(i) The court may specify the length of the disqualification. Court-specified periods of disqualification may supersede (c)(2) of this Section.
(ii) A person is subject to disqualification when a federal, state, or local court determines the person committed an IPV of trading SNAP food benefits for firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances:
(I) for two years for the first offense and permanently for the second offense involving the sale of a controlled substance for SNAP food benefits; and
(II) permanently for the first offense involving the sale of firearms, ammunition, or explosives for SNAP food benefits.
(iii) A person is permanently disqualified from SNAP participation when a federal, state, or local court convicts the person of trafficking SNAP food benefits for an aggregate amount of $500 or more. Per 7 C.F.R. § 271.2 and Section 243 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (56 O.S. § 243), the definition of trafficking means:
(I) the buying, selling, stealing, or otherwise exchanging SNAP benefits issued and accessed via EBT cards, card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), or by manual voucher and signature, for cash or consideration other than eligible food, either directly, indirectly, in complicity or collusion with others, or acting alone;
(II) the exchange of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances, per Section 802 of Title 21 of the United States Code, for SNAP benefits;
(III) purchasing a product with SNAP benefits that has a container requiring a return deposit with the intent of obtaining cash by discarding the product and returning the container for the deposit amount, intentionally discarding the product, and intentionally returning the container for the deposit amount;
(IV) purchasing a product with SNAP benefits with the intent of obtaining cash or consideration other than eligible food by reselling the product, and subsequently intentionally reselling the product purchased with SNAP benefits, in exchange for cash or consideration other than eligible food;
(V) intentionally purchasing products originally purchased with SNAP benefits in exchange for cash or consideration other than eligible food;
(VI) attempting to buy, sell, steal, or otherwise exchanging SNAP benefits issued and accessed via EBT cards, card numbers, PINs, or by manual voucher and signatures, for cash or consideration other than eligible food, either directly, indirectly, in complicity or collusion with others, or acting alone; or
(VII) the possession of stolen SNAP EBT cards.
(D) The court may also stipulate a repayment plan. The repayment plan cannot be renegotiated. AFS BIR Unit staff may refer the case back to the district attorney's office when the client fails to comply with the repayment plan.
(E) If a court fails to impose a disqualification or a disqualification period for an IPV, OKDHS must impose the appropriate disqualification penalty specified in this Section unless it is contrary to the court order.
(3) Disqualification consent agreement. Per 56 O.S. § 243(B)(5), any district attorney who enters into a deferred adjudication or who negotiates for a deferred sentence with a defendant charged with fraud must present the defendant with a disqualification consent agreement as part of the deferred adjudication or sentence.
1. To ensure the household does not receive a benefit increase when a person is disqualified, Adult and Family Services Benefit Integrity and Recovery staff codes the person as disqualified in the Family Assistance Client Services Household tab of the Interview Notebook.