340:50-9-6. Procedures relating to food benefit certification renewals
(a) Worker action. The worker completes the application process and approves or denies applications for certification renewal in a timely manner, per §273.14 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The worker does not continue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits to the household beyond the certification period until he or she determines continued eligibility and recertifies the household. Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code 340:50-3-3(i) for information regarding verification required at certification renewal.
(b) Notice of expiration.
(1) A computer-generated expiration notice titled, Continue My SNAP Benefit, is sent after deadline the month prior to the last month of the certification period. The notice informs households:
(A) of the date their certification period ends;
(B) by what date they must submit their certification renewal and provide required information in order to receive uninterrupted food benefits;
(C) of methods the household may use to submit the certification renewal information including, but not limited to:
(i) online at okdhslive.org;
(ii) phoning Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) at the phone number listed on the notice;
(iii) mailing a completed and signed paper renewal form to the address listed on the notice; or
(iv) faxing or hand delivering a completed and signed paper renewal form to a local OKDHS office;
(D) of their right to request an application and file an incomplete application as long as it includes a signature and a legible name and address;
(E) how to obtain a paper renewal form;
(F) OKDHS staff contacts the household when an interview is required. The notice also advises that when an interview is required, failure to attend the scheduled interview or to reschedule a missed interview may result in a delay or denial of food benefits;
(G) proof of household income must be provided;
(H) proof of certain expenses is required before an expense deduction is given;
(I) they may submit proof of income and expenses by mail, fax, email, or by uploading documents through OKDHSLive; and
(J) of their right to file a fair hearing if they disagree with any action taken on their case.
(c) Timely certification renewals.
(1) Timely certification renewals are processed within the periods described in (A) through (B) of this paragraph.
(A) A household with a prior certification period of fewer than three months who applies by the 15th day of the last month of the certification period is provided the opportunity to participate, when eligible, no later than 30-calendar days after the date the household last received its food benefits.
(B) A household with a prior certification period of three or more months, who applies on or before the 15th day of the last month of the certification period are considered timely. When the household meets all requirements, the worker certifies or denies the application prior to the end of the certification period.
(i) Any eligible household who renews SNAP food benefits timely is provided an opportunity to participate by their normal issuance date in the month following the end of the current certification period.
(ii) To retain this right to uninterrupted benefits, the household must complete an interview, when required, and provide required verification due on or after the deadline for filing timely certification renewals.
(iii) Although a household loses its right to uninterrupted benefits, it retains its right to complete the process and receive benefits, when eligible, within 30-calendar days of the application date.
(2) A household that timely renews, but due to worker error, is not timely determined eligible is certified immediately upon being determined eligible. When the delay in certification renewal extends into the following month, the worker certifies the household back to the first day of the month following expiration of the certification period.
(3) A household applying for certification renewal in the last month of its certification period is not entitled to expedited services. When the certification renewal is certified on or before the last day of the previous certification period, the subsequent month's benefit issues on the second working day of the month.
(d) Untimely certification renewal. A household that submits an untimely certification renewal, without good cause, loses its right to uninterrupted benefits. When this occurs, the worker has 30-calendar days to certify or deny the application. When a certification renewal is not received until after the certification period expires, the application is considered an initial application and benefits for that month are prorated. When eligible, the household is entitled to expedited service, per OAC 340:50-11-1.
(e) Good cause for failure to timely renew food benefits. When the household has a good cause reason for failing to submit a timely certification renewal or completing the certification process timely and does not receive food benefits in the month following benefit expiration, it is entitled to restoration of lost benefits, per OAC 340:50-11-4. Good cause may include reasons, such as failure to receive timely notice of expiration or personal illness. ■ 1
INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:50-9-6
1. The worker, in consultation with the supervisor, determines good cause on a case-by-case basis and documents the decision in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) case notes.