Case Notes: UpdatedBest Practices

Keep these ideas in mind to create the best case notes possible.

What is the Case Note Generator?

The Case Notes Generator, also known as the Statewide Case Note and Interview Guide, is an online office form in which interview questions are listed in a consistent order. This is used for applications or review processes for all programs that require an interview. This is used to ensure workers are asking required questions and addressing the information necessary to determine eligibility.

Who Reads Case Notes?

Many different people have access to and read case notes. It is important that case notes be written so that anyone reading the case note understands the actions taken by the worker and what information was used in making the decision. Your case notes may be accessed by workers at OKDHSLive! to answer customer questions. Supervisors and auditors may review your case notes.

Be sure to write your case notes so that they read professionally and accurately. Don’t use texting spellings or abbreviations or develop your own codes. Use only the abbreviations and acronyms found in the Common Abbreviations and Acronyms in Case Notes list. Include only facts in your case notes; avoid opinions. Case notes may be read in a court case. Think about what you are writing before entering it into case notes.

When Should I Enter Case Notes?

The Case Note Generator should be used for all programs that require an interview such as applications or renewals (annual reviews). The resulting document that is emailed to you can be copied and pasted into the Case Information case note tab in a narrative format. Other FACS case notes summarize information that was entered in the various tabs during client contacts, case reviews, and when there are changes reported to the case.

Enter FACS Case Notes at the time of the interview

Information is entered into the Case Note Generator and the FACS Interview Notebook tabs during the interview. If you already have the necessary documentation of earned income; be sure to use the MICAL to calculate monthly income and copy and paste the information into case notes.

Enter FACS Case Notes when the case is reviewed or updated.

Case notes are entered for the Mid-Certification Renewal or other reviews as you enter each FACS tab to update the appropriate blocks for documentation. The information should correlate with information found in that particular FACS Tab as the worker completes the MCR.

Enter FACS Case Notes when changes are reported and acted upon

When changes are reported and acted upon, you will document the changes reported and the action taken in the FACS tab that most closely correlates to the type of case change being made. (For example, a rent increase making a change to the Shelter tab should have Shelter tab case note.)

As some changes affect multiple factors of benefit eligibility, there may be several different FACS case note entries for each change. This same method should be used for documenting the clearance of data exchange exceptions.

What Case Notes Must Do

  • Transmit a clear message
  • Inform and justify action taken on the case
  • Describe how eligibility, continuing eligibility, or ineligibility was determined, what verification was used, and how income was calculated.
  • Document who is and who is not included in the benefits and if not included, why are they not.
  • Record
  • All case actions taken and the reason for the action
  • Date any overpayment claim(s) were discovered and calculated, along with related circumstances surrounding the claim
  • Information if the client is participating in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) administered through the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office, if applicable
  • Date of any referral
  • All client contracts or contacts with other persons who provide information used to determine eligibility. Include the date of the contact, the person’s name, phone number, and specific information you were given

Do not include confidential information or other comments that are not required to support actions taken by the worker to determine initial or continued eligibility.


Be sure to record significant dates other than the current day’s date in the case note. Once changes have been made in FACs you cannot retrieve the old information that was showing on the tabs.

Explain why the action was taken. It helps you know what is going on in the case without having to rely on your memory. It also helps anyone else who is currently involved with the case or becomes involved in the future to know what happened and why at a specific point in time.

Avoid Oversimplifying and Entering Too Little Information

  • Too Little: John is paid $2100 monthly salary.
  • Better: Client’s spouse, John, receives full-time salary, paid $2100 on 15th of each month.
  • Even Better: Client’s spouse, John, receives a salary for 40 hours, working 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday with no overtime, and is paid $2100 on the 15th of each month.

Which Case Notes are Most Scrutinized?

  • Earned Income
  • Projecting income?
  • What is representative?
  • Documenting it from client’s statement to case action
  • Child Supporting Payments Received and/or paid to others
  • Deprivation in TANF
  • Anything to do with TANF work
  • Child care plan of service, need factor, CS cooperation, etc.

Household Composition (Whose income is counted, etc.)

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