Basic Food Eligibility PPT

Basic Food Program
is a food & nutrition program for individuals & families who meet
income guidelines. Formerly, known as the food stamp
Basic Food helps people to afford a nutritious diet by providing
eligible households an electronic benefits card & monthly
benefits to buy food at participating grocery stores.
Income limits are 200% of the federal poverty level!
 Net income limits & asset limits are waived for most
Please note we are only contractors for DSHS. We
are not DSHS employees. Our goal is to help you
understand the rules and eligibility in order to help
clients in Washington State receive Basic Food
Basic Food Program name
In Washington State the food program is
called “Basic Food Program”.
However, the federal name for the Basic
Food Program is called Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Basic Food Eligibility
Individuals who reside in Washington State must meet the
 Be a Washington State Resident
 Citizen requirements (U.S. citizens & lawfully admitted resident who
meet the 5 year residency requirement & some non-citizens.
 Individuals who are lawfully admitted but have been here for less
than 5 years, may be eligible for the State Funded Basic Food
Assistance Program (FAP)
 Must meet income requirements—before taxes & deductions
 Give DSHS their social security number
 Resource are not counted for most individuals (I.e. value of vehicle,
bank accounts)
 Agree to participate in the Food Assistance work & training program.
(if applicable)
Who is eligible for State-Funded Basic
Food Assistance Program (FAP)?
A Washington resident who does not qualify for the federal Basic food
program due to citizenship status may be eligible for the state-funded
basic food program. It consist of two groups:
Qualified aliens who have not met the requirements for age, work quarters, or 5year timeframe as a qualified alien in order to be eligible for the federal Basic
Food program.
Nonqualified aliens who are immigrants, but will not be eligible for federal
benefits unless they have an adjustment of their immigration status. These
immigrants are referred to as Persons Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL).
Persons considered PRUCOL are legally in the U.S., but do not have an official status
as a qualified alien with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immigrants,
such as applicants for political asylum or withholding of deportation, who have not
yet received a final order are considered PRUCOL.
What about individuals who are
If individuals are undocumented they are not
eligible to get benefits for
themselves……….HOWEVER, if they have
US Citizen Children or children with legal
documentation & social security number they
can apply for them.
Although the entire household is listed on the application, only
the US Citizen child will get benefits.
DSHS is not required to turn over Basic Food
applications/information over to INS.
Basic Food Eligibility
Basic Food Eligibility is always based on the
household size……
If persons are sharing a residence & they:
Buy food together;
Prepare meals together; or
Buy food and prepare meals together
They are considered part of the household size & their
income will be included to determine eligibility.
If the client applying has a biological, adoptive or step child living with
them under the age of 22, they are always considered part of the
household size….even if they don’t share the food.
What if my homeless friend lives with me—can
they apply since we share food?
(YES) When someone shares your home (except
children under age 22) DSHS will ALWAYS want
to know if they:
Buy food together;
Prepare meals together; or
Buy food and prepare meals together.
If the person applying does not currently buy and prepare food
separately from others in the home only because they have no
food or money to buy food, they can apply and only their
income will count.
Buy Share Food—DSHS rules
WAC 388-408-0035
Buying and Preparing food:
This rule (formerly known as the “purchase and prepare concept”) applies to the typical
shopping and food preparation arrangements of the people who live in the home. Persons who
normally buy and prepare their food separately can be in separate AUs if they do not have to
be in the same AU for some other reason. This rule does not force people to be in the same
AU if they occasionally share a meal or share insignificant items such as seasonings. It also
doesn’t force people to be in the same AU if they buy food and make meals separately, but eat
their meals together.
Buying and Preparing food – Temporary arrangements based on no food money: If a client
does not currently buy and prepare food separately from others in the home only because they
have no food or money to buy food, they may be a separate AU from the others in the home if they
are not required to be in the same AU under WAC 388-408-0035 (2) and they intend to buy and
prepare food separately from the others.
Shared Living Arrangement Form
Example #1
Kari & Steve are unmarried & share an
apartment. They combine their money to buy
groceries for shopping but don’t normally
prepare meals together because they work
opposite shifts.
--Since they buy food together they would
be in the same Assistant Unit and both of
their income will be used to determine
Example #2
Kari & Steve share an apartment. Kari
prefers a vegan diet & Steve doesn’t.
Because of their diets they normally do not
buy or prepare food together. They do share
salt, pepper & spices.
Since Kari & Steve do not normally buy &
prepare food together, they are separate
Assistant Units and their eligibility is
determined separately.
Can you be a student & get
Basic Food?
Yes. DSHS considers someone a student if they are:
 Physically & mentally able to work &
Enrolled in an institution of higher education at least half-time as
defined by the institution
How does DSHS define as a institution of higher education?
It’s an institution that requires a high school diploma or GED;
 A business, trade or vocation school that requires a high school
diploma or GED
A two-year or four-year college or university that offers a degree but
does not require a high school diploma or GED.
Student Status continues…….
Students must also meet one the following:
Have paid employment of at least 20 hours per week.
Self-employed, work at least 20 hours per week & earn at least the
amount of federal minimum wage ($7.25 per hour)
Participate in state or federal work study at time they apply for Basic
Responsible for more than half the care of a dependent person in their
household five or younger.
Responsible for more than half the care of a dependent person in their
household six & eleven if DSHS determines there is not adequate child
care available.
Example #3
Karen attends a technical college that offers both a
two-year degree program & a one-year certificated
program. The degree program requires a high
school diploma or GED for enrollment, while the
certificate program has no such requirements.
Karen enrolled in the one year certificate program
Is that higher education?
No! A certificate-only program does not require a
diploma or GED. Karen is not considered to be
enrolled in an institution of higher education. Karen
is not considered a student for Basic Food.
What about students living with their
Any child (student or not) under the age of 22 living at home with their parents
can apply. However, their parents income will count towards eligibility. And
meet one of the following:
If they are students over the age of 22, they must have at least a part time job
or are self-employed-----minimum 20 hours per week or enrolled in federal or
state work-study program.
Responsible for more than half the care of a dependent person in their
household five or younger.
Responsible for more than half the care of a dependent person in their
household six & eleven if DSHS determines there is not adequate child care
And they must buy, cook & prepare their food separately.
Example #WAC 388-408-0035
Rule: Adults living at the same address as
their parents:
If a person age 18 through 21 lives at the same address as their parents, this
person can be a separate AU from the parents only if they have separate
living, cooking, and sanitation facilities.
An 18-year-old woman lives in a basement apartment at her parent’s residence.
The apartment has a small kitchen, living room, and bathroom that only the 18year-old uses. If this person usually buys and cooks her food separately from
her parents, she can be a separate AU.
Applicant age 21 lives in a camper in the parent’s yard. The camper does
not have a bathroom (only a porta-potty) so the applicant uses the
bathroom in the parent’s residence for showers. This person is not a
separate AU.
Can single individuals (people without children)
apply for Basic Food?
Able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) are age 18-49 and
have no dependents. They must, unless determined exempt, participate
in specific employment and training activities to receive food assistance.
Nonexempt ABAWDs who fail to participate may continue to receive food
assistance until September 30, 2013.
Beginning October 1, 2013, an ABAWD is not eligible to receive food
assistance for more than three full months in a thirty-six month
period unless that person:
Works at least twenty hours a week averaged monthly; or
Participates in and complies with the requirements of a work program for
twenty hours or more per week; or
Participates in a workfare program
There are some individuals who are exempt from
these changes--example:
Under 18 or individuals over 50
Determined to be physical or mentally unable to work
A member of a household with the responsibility of a
person determined to be incapacitated
 Pregnant
 Student
 Participation in a chemical dependency program
 Working a minimum of 30 hours per week
 Receiving unemployment benefits
(WAC 388-444-0035 has more exemptions)
How is income calculated?
DSHS must count actual income in the month of application. This
includes all include in the household unless that income is excluded
(WAC 388-450-0162).
DSHS uses a clients present, past & future income to determine
They use two methods to estimate income:
Anticipating monthly income (AM): They use this method, to estimate the
actual income the client expects to earn.
Averaging income (CA): With this method, they add the total income a client
expects to receive for a period of time & divide by the number of months in the
period. DSHS determines a monthly amount of their income based on how often
you are paid:
If they are paid weekly, they multiply the expected income by 4.3;
If they are paid every other week, they multiply their expected income by
What if a client is self-employed?
They need to provide proof of their income & business receipts. If client does not provide
any receipts (only income) DSHS will only deduct $100.00 from their self employment
DSHS will also accept the most recent tax return. The client must include the entire tax
return including all schedules (.i.e. schedule c, f) They will add together their gross selfemployment income and any profit they make from selling your business property or
They will subtract the business expenses and
Divide the remaining amount of self-employment income by the number of months over
which the income will be averaged.
DSHS does not accept the following deductions on the self-employment
a. Federal, state, and local income taxes;
b. Money set aside for retirement purposes;
c. Personal work-related expenses (such as travel to and from work);
d. Net losses from previous periods;
e. Depreciation; or
f. Any amount that is more than the payment you get from a boarder for lodging and
Self employment continues……
What if a client did not file a tax return?
DSHS will add together their gross self-employment
income & profits from selling a business property or
equipment over the period of time the business has been
in operation within the last year
Subtracting their allowable business expenses
Average the income they estimate a client will get for
the coming year
 Client must have proof of income & receipts!
Self Employment Worksheet DSHS 07-042B
What if a client has a
Self-employment is complicated. And when a
client has an LLC or Corporation that’s even more
 When a client is incorporated that means they
are NOT self-employed. They will normally write
themselves a check each month. DSHS needs
the complete tax return including schedule “k”
along with proof of their income from the
corporation. And year end dividends paid out at
the end of the year.
Self-employed client applies for Basic Food on April
14. Worker determines income from self-employment is
primary source of household income and calculates
average monthly income verified from most current
federal tax return which shows gross income from
Schedule C for previous year, after deductions allowed
under WAC 388-450-0085, as $16,500. Worker divides
this amount by 12 to get average monthly income of
$1,375. This amount is used to calculate benefits for
month of application and ongoing months. Benefits for
application month are prorated to include April 14-30.
What if a client is paid in cash?
DSHS still needs to verify their income!
Employer statement by telephone or in writing
Bank statement that shows direct deposits (many
deposits show the net amount, client may need to
show gross income)
Collateral statement
Statement of collateral Information
DSHS 14-222
How much does a client receive in benefits?
Are there deductions?
Monthly benefits will vary depending on the number of people in the
household, income & living expenses.
Standard Deductions
6 or more
Actual cost of dependent child care expense for
clients who are:
Looking for Work
Attending training or education to prepare for employment
More information on deductions & benefits………...
It’s the income after your deduction that determines your monthly
benefit amount.
20% deduction for earned income
Medical expenses over $35.00 (clients who elderly or disabled
Legally obligated child support
Shelter Cost (Up to $469.00 if no one in the household is elderly
or disabled) DSHS won’t request proof unless it’s
Household Size
Maximum Benefits
Let’s practice!!
How long does eligibility last?
DSHS now certifies almost all households for
1year. Homeless and ABAWDS are now
certified for 1 year instead of just 6 months.
The only households that are not certified for 1
year are WASHCAP clients (this is a project with
SSA for certain SSI clients and is mostly
automatic) and those on transitional food
What documentation do you need in order
to get approved?
Provide social security number (person
applying for benefits)
Proof of identity (head of household) Please note
if client does not have proof of identity, DSHS can verify identity
through their various computer systems. If a person is completing an
interview by phone, they don’t have to bring us ID before we can issue
their benefits as we can identify them in other ways.
Proof of income (Remember eligibility for Basic Food is
based on household size)
Proof of living expense
Additional benefits when you’re
receiving Basic Food!
Recipients also automatically qualify for the
Washington Telephone Assistance Program (WTAP) or
Free Cell Phone with 250 minutes
Automatically enrolls school-age children in the free school meal
Shows that your family meets the Women Infants & Children
(WIC) income test.
Some people who are income eligible
will get “Zero” benefits…….
According to Federal Law, after a client pays
rent, utility, child care expense, 30% of their
net income that is left needs to pay for food.
Therefore, if the 30% that is left over is more
then the maximum amount of Basic Food
benefits for that family size, they are
considered income eligible for Basic Food
with -0- benefit amount.
Some people who are income eligible
will get “Zero” benefits…….
Family size is 1 or 2 & they meet income guidelines,
they will automatically default to $16.00 for US
Citizens and $8.00 for clients eligible for state
funded Basic Food.
Remember…….even if the client is income eligible
but they gets “zero” benefits they are still eligible for:
Telephone Assistance Program
Free lunch program for their children
Meet the income test for WIC
Does client need a face-face interview?
What happens if they miss their appointment?
In most cases clients can do an interview over the phone or they can go into a
local CSO between 8:00-2:00 each day for an in-person interview. You can
apply and receive benefits the same day even if the case is not considered
expedited. Applications that are completed on line or mailed need to show
up in their ACES computer system before the client can have an interview.
Effective date of approval
Once approved coverage will start on the date the application was received.
What if the client misses their appointment?
If a client fails to keep or reschedule their interview in the first 30 calendar days
after their application is received their application will be denied on the 30th
day. If the client is still interested in Basic Food benefits, they will need to
reapply. Benefits will be based on your second application date.
What happens if I need Basic Food
The client may be eligible for expedited benefits. Which means
they could get benefits within 5 calendar days. The client must
provide proof of who you they are and meet one of the following
Have gross monthly income, before taxes, under one hundred
fifty dollars and have available cash one hundred dollars or less;
Have gross monthly income, before taxes, plus available cash
of less than your total shelter costs (rent or mortgage and the
utility allowance
Be a destitute migrant or seasonal farm worker household and
your household's available cash is one hundred dollars or less.
Expedited Food Assistance
If client is eligible for expedited service & not required to have an
office interview they can have a telephone interview and still get
benefits within five days.
Client will be required to prove their identity in order to get
benefits within five days. Other required verifications may be
In order to get continued benefits clients will need to provide
additional documentation. If the client applied before the 15th of
the month, DSHS will issue one month’s benefits and the client
has thirty days from the date of application to give us any
postponed verification; or
If they applied after the 16th of the month, DSHS will issue two
months’ benefits & the client will have until the end of the second
month to give us any postponed verification.
What happens if I’m denied?
WAC 388-406-0065
 For cash or medical assistance, they have 30
days to submit the requested documents to
For Basic Food, they have sixty days from the
date they applied for benefits.
How does a client get an EBT card?
If a person already has an EBT card from a previous time, that card
is still good and they won’t need another one. If they are new to
receiving benefits or they no longer have their old card, they may
want to go to the local CSO to pick up their initial card as having it
mailed to them could take up to 10 days.
When a client loses their card it can take up to 10 days to replace.
It’s quicker to call JP Morgan directly for a new card
If a client is homeless (known as homeless by DSHS) they can get
their cards at the CSO.
If DSHS suspects fraud, it can take longer for a client to receive a
1. Make sure you have a signed DSHS consent.
2. Review the rules in DSHS EAZ Manual
Call the Statewide Call Center for assistance 1-877501-2233.
If the issue is still not resolved ask for a lead worker.
If you’re still not having any success remember the
client has the right to request a fair hearing!
Contact Information……
Thank you to Truong Hoang, Financial CoordinatorPublic Relations Manager (DSHS) & Linda Yokes Medical Financial Coordinator (DSHS) for their
collaboration in reviewing the slides.
Liz Snow -Community Outreach Coordinator (206)830-7655, &
Anna Zimmerman -Outreach and Marketing Coordinator (206)
830-7652 WithinReach ( or 1-888-436-6392.
Daphne Pie -Program Manager, Public Health-Seattle & King
County ( (206) 263-8369 or
Thank you all for attending!!!
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