SNAP: Changes: Best Practices to Avoid Invalid Negative Case Actions

Imaging
Continuing Best practice in Place: With Imaging, we have been able to obtain all the required documents needed to complete the negative reviews on the majority of the cases. It seems county staff are doing a better job having the case information imaged. When there were actual case files, there seemed to be more instances of the documents not being filed in the records and left on someone’s desk.When documents could not be located, this left the review open for a potential agency caused error. Now when a document is needed, the county is very quick to image the documents. The response time is faster than when there were case files.
Scanning
Suggested Best Practice: County staff needs to make sure the information is scanned quickly and to the correct case. We have seen a few where there was information in the record being reviewed that was for another client.
Mid-Cert Renewal Process
Suggested Best Practice: Check the mid-cert renewal when it comes in for missing verification. Look to see if verification is in the case or can be obtained through DHS records, such as another case or BEN, SDX, or UIB screens. The mid-certification renewals need to be acted on before the month’s negative action deadline.  If all verification is provided prior to the deadline, the renewal needs to be processed.  Not processing the renewal prior to the negative deadline when the renewal is complete is the largest portion of the 22% error rate for Negative cases.
Documenting in FACS
Continuing Best Practice that could use reminders: Document clearly any negative action. Explain what income was used and show calculation. If all income provided was not used in the calculation, then explain why it wasn’t used. Thorough documentation of the action is the key to Negative Action reviews. There were a few invalids called in FFY 2013 that could have been considered correct had documentation been included.
‘Real Time’ Documenting
Suggested Best Practice: Document cases at the time of the case action. QC reviewers cannot use case notes documentation on a case action that was entered after the case was pulled for the review. A few of the FFY 2013 invalid actions were due to lack of documentation for the time frame. It was later entered but could not be used.  It is like it never happened for our review purposes.Make sure there are imaged ADM-92s, appointment letters or FACS case note documentation on appointments or to support verification requests.
Address Check
Continuing Best Practice: Check for changes in address on all forms/verifications submitted. Update address immediately, regardless of whether verification to complete application or review has been submitted. Document why a mailing address is not being changed when client reports a physical address change and there is a different mailing address.
Address Change Sources
Suggested Best Practice: Address changes can come from a variety of sources. In addition to being reported directly by the recipient, address changes may also be reported during the renewal process (either on paper or through OKDHSLive!), the application process (either paper or through OKDHSLive!), or through a data match process with the United States Post Office (USPS).

Immediate action should be taken on any reported address change so that subsequent notices will be sent to the correct address.

Address changes reported through OKDHSLive! will show on the OKLVRNW or OKLVAPP documents on DiscImage. If the OKDHSLive! action creates an auto-renewal, the address change will automatically show on the case.

Address changes received through the data match process with the USPS will show on the worker’s G1DX screen and on the G3 error screen of the case. The error type will begin with “ADC.” The transaction G3COA will show the new address as reported to the USPS.

The PS-1 should also be evaluated for a matching address. Many times the worker is not the person who puts the case in app status, so the worker need to ensure the address is current. QC has to make sure the notice of the negative action being reviewed was sent to the correct address of record.

Not allowing 10 days on requests
Continuing Best Practice: On the lack of 10 days, the worker should evaluate when they are issuing an ADM 92 to the client. If there’s less than 10 days remaining in the application period, the worker should not place the case in FDENY 45. If the worker allows a date past the negative deadline date, then the application cannot be denied until the timeframe has passed to prevent an invalid action. Also, the worker needs to double check for typos on the ADM-92 (such as the month) and ensure the form allows for a full 10 days (not 9 days) to request verification. The date of request is day zero –count forward from there.
Elderly/Disabled Households (E/D HH) and Calculating Net Income
Suggested Best Practice: We have seen cases where there were E/D HH members that were denied due to excess income. Staff are calculating the gross income standard when denying these type applications rather than calculating the net income. Luckily, on the case actions we have seen, the HH was still over the net income, but this continued practice could lead to potential invalid actions. Also, we don’t see much documentation regarding medical expenses for these HH. Case notes don’t indicate whether medical expenses were addressed.A reminder should be sent periodically to remind county staffs these E/D households are subject to net income standards and to inquire about potential expenses, including medical.

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