SR 94-04 Dated 04/94

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

INTER-DEPARTMENT COMMUNICATION

DATE:

May 18, 1994

FROM:

Office of the Director

AT (OFFICE):

Division of Human Services

SUBJECT:

Release of New Program Policy Manuals Replacing the Public Assistance and

Food Stamp Program Manuals; Release of Revised Form SS-5(i)

TO:

REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

ATTN: OES Supervisors

Effective Date:

May 27,1994

 

SUMMARY

 

The Public Assistance Manual and the Food Stamp Program Manual are obsoleted with this SR. They are replaced with two new manuals containing policy for the benefits and programs administered by the Office of Economic Services (OES).

 

ADULT ASSISTANCE MANUAL

 

This manual consists of policy for financial and medical assistance under the following categories and programs:

 

·   Old Age Assistance (OAA),

·   Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD),

·   Aid to the Needy Blind (ANB),

·   Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB), and

·   Specified Low-Income Beneficiaries (SLMB).

 

FAMILY ASSISTANCE MANUAL (FAM)

 

This manual consists of policy for financial and/or medical assistance for the following categories, coverage groups and related programs:

·   Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC),

·   Pregnant Women,

·   Poverty Level Children,

·   Children with Severe Disabilities,

·   Home Care for Children with Severe Disabilities,

·   Child Day Care for Employment and Training,

·   Emergency Assistance, and

·   Food Stamps (FS).

 

BACKGROUND

 

Purpose of the Manual Rewrite Project

 

Programmatic expansions have continued to occur during the last five years. With that has come increased complexity in determining eligibility for individuals and families who may qualify for multiple programs. Policy manuals are an essential tool which enable staff to find out what programs a client may qualify for, the criteria and rules of each program, and if eligible, the amount of benefits. The previous manuals were designed at a time when the agency administered five basic programs. Several of these programs, most notably medical assistance (Medicaid), have been fragmented, making the eligibility determination process more convoluted and difficult. OES undertook the redesign of the policy manuals as one of its quality initiatives for improving operations and service.

 

The manuals are written from the perspective of the field staff who are considered to be the main users. They contain policy material. Most procedures have been removed. Some of the procedures were duplicative of information contained in forms instructions, some related to processing the case on the Eligibility Management System (EMS), and others were unnecessary. Language has been simplified, the text is precise and concise, it is easier to reference and locate specific material, and less effort will be required to maintain it. Staff who had an opportunity to participate during the preparation of the new manuals believe that the material meets their needs.

 

Organization of the Manuals

 

Each of the manuals consists of broad groupings of policy, contained in chapters as follows:

 

·   Chapter 100, Case Processing, deals with the application process, client rights and responsibilities, case changes, redeterminations, notices, and termination of benefits.

·   Chapter 200, Program Criteria, describes the programs, the categorical requirements, and various living arrangements which may affect eligibility

·   Chapter 300, Nonfinancial Criteria, addresses the general and technical requirements, such as residency, citizenship/alien status, and enumeration.

·   Chapter 400, Resources, describes various assets in an alphabetical listing and indicates whether or not they are countable. It also addresses transfers of property, contains the resource limits, and in the AAM, protection of assets for institutionalized individuals..

·   Chapter 500, Income, describes various sources of income in an alphabetical listing and states whether or not they are countable.

·   Chapter 600, Standards and Budgets, contains the income limits, deductions and computations, In and Out medical assistance, recoupment/recovery and corrective payments/issuances.

·   Chapter 700, Miscellaneous, contains policy on issuance and replacement of benefits, Medicare buy-in, payment of funeral expenses, and in the FAM, Emergency Assistance and handling of food coupons.

·   Chapter 800, Training, Education and Employment, is applicable to the FAM only. It covers work programs, work registration, disqualifications and benefits for transportation and educational expenses.

·   Chapter 900, Child Day Care Services, is applicable to the FAM only and contains policy on reimbursement and payment for child care when related to training, education or employment.

 

Each Chapter is divided into subjects which are referred to as parts. A part number is three digits utilizing the first digit of the chapter number, e.g., parts 307 and 31 1 are in chapter 300. Within each part are further divisions referred to as sections. A section number is constructed from the part number followed by a decimal and two digits, e.g., sections 307.05 and 307.13 are sections of part 307, chapter 300.

 

There is a Key Word Index located in the front of each manual and a Glossary located in the back. The Table of Contents at the beginning of each manual is simply a listing of chapter number and title. Detailed Tables of Contents are located in each chapter.

 

The AAM is designed in a regular page format, with text flowing across the entire page. The FAM is arranged in a dual column format, with AFDC and all related medical assistance programs on the left, and Food Stamps on the right of each page. Text reads across the page in those instances where policy is the same for all programs. The dual column concept was chosen because the Case Technicians do multi-program eligibility and the similarities and differences in policy are more readily apparent in the side by side format.

 

Page footers contain basic information about the manuals, including the name of the agency and manual, SR number and effective date of the page, chapter number and name, and part number and name. Note that there are no page numbers.

 

POLICY

 

New Policy Incorporated into the Manuals

 

Chapter 300 in both the AAM and FAM contains expanded policy on residency for all categories of medical assistance. Federal regulations cite specific criteria used to determine state of residence, including age, institutional status, and mental competence. Policy for financial and medical assistance has also been clarified to state that an individual does not need a fixed address in order to establish residency.

 

Chapter 600 in the AAM now clearly states that OMB and SLMB one person cases are entitled to the $20 standard disregard, instead of $13. District Offices were directed to use the proper disregard via memo dated July 30, 1992.

 

Chapter 300 in the FAM now addresses institutionalization of AFDC financial assistance recipients. Prior policy stated that these individuals were ineligible because they were institutionalized. Federal regulations direct the agency to explore the situation from the perspective of temporary or permanent absence from the home, and determine eligibility on that basis. The reason for the absence is of no consequence. This change does not affect AFDC-related medical assistance eligibility.

 

Chapter 400 in the FAM addresses situations in which an AFDC family uses a vehicle as their "home". The vehicle is considered to be the home as opposed to a personal property asset and is excluded on that basis. If the family has a second vehicle, it would be treated under the vehicle Policy and excluded as a resource.

 

Existing procedures for determining AFDC-related medical assistance group composition and establishing whose income and resources are counted, were released in a memo dated February 19, 1993. This memo has been posted in the FAM and is considered to be official policy. These procedures were agreed upon through discussions with NH Legal Assistance. This agency has been awaiting the enforcement of implementation of final federal regulations on this subject which were issued some time ago. The date has been postponed several times. Because their status is questionable, we are continuing to use our own methodology and are attempting to secure a waiver from having to implement them should they ever become effective.

 

Other Changes

 

Instructions for completion of Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Number, were contained in several places. The most extensive instructions were in the enumeration sections of the Public Assistance and Food Stamp Manuals. Form SS-5(i) has been revised to incorporate the full instructions for completing the forms, along with coding and procedures. All information is now contained in one place. This information has been deleted from the new policy manuals. There are no changes to enumeration policy.

 

Policy on the verification of alien status, contained in Chapter 300 of both manuals, no longer includes INS Form AR-3 or AR3a. INS has not issued this form since 1949 and it is rarely

encountered.

 

SR's Obsoleted from the Manuals

 

Numerous SR's which were posted to the manuals are now obsolete. Some have been incorporated into the new manuals and others have been determined to no longer be applicable or necessary.

 

SR's Incorporated Into the Manuals

 

ADULT ASSISTANCE MANUAL

 

83-125

References to District Office Directors....

87-43

Transfer of HCBC-DD to DMHDS....

87-50

MA Eligibility under Section 1619 (a) and (b)....

89-59

Treatment of Payments from Medicaid Qualifying Trusts

92-37

Enhanced Family Care Facilities....

93-41

Policy and Interim Procedures for SLMB

93-75

January 1994 Mass Change....

94-1

1994 Withholding Rates for FICA and FIT....

 

FAMILY ASSISTANCE MANUAL

 

82-26

Manual Notices of Decision....

83-125

References to District Office Directors....

89-59

Treatment of Payments from Medicaid Qualifying Trusts

89-67

Child Day Care, Employment and Training....

92-38

Addition of the Community Work Experience Program...

92-67

AFDC Standard of Need Changes....

93-60

Revised Treatment of Vehicles in AFDC....

93-75

January 1994 Mass Change....

94-1

1994 Withholding Rates for FICA and FIT....

 

Other SR's are obsoleted as they are no longer valid or useful, others because the material is posted elsewhere, such as forms and their instructions which are in the Forms Manual. The following is a list of these SR's:

 

80-26

WIN/Welfare Tax Credits

80-62

Public Health Services

85-36

JTPA Summer Youth Program

86-50

AFDC-MA for Pregnant Women

87-44

Release of Ongoing Absent Parent Locate....

89-33

Elimination of Monthly Reporting....

90-9

Medical Assistance for Poverty Level Pregnant Women

90-11

Medical Assistance for Poverty Level Pregnant Women

90-41

Revised Medical Assistance Policy and procedures for Qualified Pregnant....

91-14

Revision of Form 940....

91-28

Release of Forms 916b, 916b(i)....

91-46

Modification to Procedures Released by SR 91-28....

92-30

July Changes Based on the Poverty Level Guidelines

92-45

Release of Revised Forms 177, 914, 915....

92-58

Release of Form 177b....

93-81

Pen and Ink Correction to Public Assistance Manual

94-26

Brown v. Shalala: Second Notice to Class Members

 

SR's to be Retained in the new Manuals

 

Partly due to the transition period between completion of the rewrite and printing of the new manuals, some SR's will remain posted to the FAM and AAM until pages can be released in the next few months. Many of these were included when the manual went to print. However, the following SR's must be moved from the existing manuals and placed in the new manuals as follows:

 

·   Remove SR 94-3, Changes to the Food Stamp Recertification Process...., from the Food Stamp Manual and place it in the FAM.

·   Remove the following SR's from the Public Assistance Manual and place in the FAM:

A. 88-68: Deeming Income from Ineligible Alien/Refugee Parents....[located in front of Item 251 (b)]

B. 93-53: Revised Income Limits for Poverty Level Groups....

C. 93-59: Procedures for Processing Applications for Poverty Level Children....

D. 94-39: AFDC Emergency Assistance .... DCYS Services

·   Remove SR 94-12, Increased Income Limits for OMB, SLMB from the Public Assistance Manual and place in the AAM. The income limits for extended medical assistance and poverty level groups released by this SR were incorporated into the FAM.

·   SR 94-28, Release of Revised Rules, Policy, and Procedures for APTD.... from the Public Assistance Manual and place it in the AAM.

·   SR 92-72, Waiver of Face-to-Face Interview .... Food Stamps...., was inadvertently printed with the new FAM. It had previously been obsoleted. Remove and destroy it.

·   SR 92-67, AFDC Standard of Need Changes..... was inadvertently printed with the new FAM. The changes have been incorporated. Remove and destroy it.

 

TRAINING

 

Supervisory staff will be trained on the purpose and use of the new policy manuals at a statewide meeting to be held on May 20, 1994. Supervisors will be responsible for training their respective staff.

 

 POSTING INSTRUCTIONS

 

 Remove and Destroy Insert

 

 Forms Manual

 

 Form SS-5(i), Form SS-5(i),

 dated 7/89, (SR 89-19) dated 4/94, (SR 94-4)

 1 sheet 5 sheets

 

DISPOSITION

This SR may be destroyed after its contents have been noted and its posting instructions carried out.

 

DISTRIBUTION

This SR and manuals are being distributed to all holders of the Public Assistance and Food Stamp Manuals according to new distribution lists. The SR only is being sent to all holders of the Forms Manual. Printed copies of Form SS-5(i) will follow to all holders of the Forms Manual.

 

OES/JK/kd