THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
New Online Direct Certification Matching Process (DCMP)
To provide increased access to free meals to children entitled to free meal benefits and allow for more accurate reporting, better policy and decision making at the local, State and federal levels, the Child Nutrition Program Administration (CNPA) has developed a new Direct Certification Matching Process (DCMP).
The DCMP process through the Child Nutrition Management System (CNMS) is being phased out over the 2017-18 school year with enhanced capabilities made available through the new State Match System and related business applications.
Zip code download is no longer available to SFA’s in either system; however, SFA’s can still access the DCMP through CNMS and search by Name, DOB or Case Number.
The new State Match feature provides users with access to direct certification (DC) data (e.g., SNAP and Medicaid lists) and to DC data that has been matched to New York State student records through the New York State Student Identification System (NYSSIS).
The NYSSIS system is already in-use by school personnel responsible for assigning unique IDs to students. NYSSIS uses a sophisticated matching engine to identify duplicate student records and discourage the creation of multiple student IDs for the same child. The engine is also being used behind the scenes by the State Match system to match DC records to student records maintained in the NYSSIS system. State Matching is a USDA best practice as it relieves School Food Authorities (SFAs) from having to match at the local level. Rather than DC data alone, the State Match system will deliver to SFAs student identifiers (e.g., a local ID and a NYSSIS ID) appended to DC data for easy import into food service management or other local student information systems.
The NYSSIS system and State Match capabilities are available on the New York State Education Department (NYSED) Web site, at the NYSED Application Business Portal (https://portal.nysed.gov/abp).
All SFAs are required to complete the online DCMP process a minimum of three times a year within the following timeframes: as close to the beginning of the school year as possible; by or near November 30 and by or near February 28.
The new system will process DC data monthly; therefore, SFA’s are encouraged as a best practice for DCMP to access the data more frequently to ensure that children entitled to free meal benefits receive them and to help SFAs planning to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
DCMP users will be required to certify that this information will remain confidential in compliance with the disclosure statement provided. The online DCMP will help reduce the waste from paper applications and the burden on low income households to return applications. The DCMP is intended to certify all eligible students receiving SNAP and certain Medicaid eligibles (determined by the Medicaid Administering Agency at or below 133 percent of the Federal poverty guidelines before the application of blocks, exceptions or disregards).
All SFAs are required to complete the Direct Certification Matching Process.
This applies to all schools (public and nonpublic) that participate in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food Service, or Special Milk Programs. This process is also required for SFAs implementing the Community Eligibility Provision in all years of participation, as well as for Provision 2 in both the base and all non-base years.
The following do NOT have to complete the DCMP process:
- Residential Child Care Institutions with NO day students
Families who have been electronically matched using the DCMP should be notified in writing and should be provided the opportunity to decline the benefits. Prototype letters in both English and Spanish have been included below for SFA use.
Please click on the links below to access the instructions, checklist, and prototype letter for the direct certification matching process.
New State Match System Instructions/Guidance Documents
CNMS Instructions for Direct Certification
Determining Eligibility for Free School Meals/Milk
Students’ free and reduced meal benefits can only be carried over from the previous school year for 30 operating days from the first day of school. In order to prevent eligible children from experiencing a lapse in accessing their meal benefits, SFAs are strongly encouraged to immediately direct families who have not been electronically matched using DCMP to apply for free or reduced-price school meals using one of the following methods:
- Submit documentation from OTDA’s “myBenefits” account verifying receipt of SNAP/TANF benefits. If the family submits this documentation, you should search the DCMP database using the case number search tool in order to certify the student(s) via the electronic DCMP.
- Submit a copy of the SNAP notification (certification/re-certification) letter. If you receive this notification letter, you should search the DCMP database using one of the available tools, in order to certify the student(s) via the electronic DCMP.
- Complete and submit the current year “Application for Free and Reduced Price School Meals/Milk.”
Please note that only Medicaid students found in the electronic DCMP and extension of eligibility to other household members of that student are eligible for free meals/milk. Medicaid is not a means-tested program, therefore, a Medicaid number written on an application for free meals/milk or any other form of Medicaid documentation submitted by a family does not make a student categorically eligible for free meals/milk. If you receive an application or another form of Medicaid identification, you can search the electronic DCMP for the student(s), but if not found, the family will have to submit additional documentation in order to certify the student for free or reduced price meals/milk.
If you have directly certified a student through the online DCMP and the household submits any other eligibility documentation (# 1-3 above) you should disregard the other forms of eligibility documentation and the student should retain the DCMP match on the master list.
SFAs should conduct the DCMP prior to the distribution of the parent letter and application to reduce the burden of paperwork for both households and SFAs.
The effective date of eligibility for free school meals/milk is the date of the automated data matching file which first identifies the student as eligible for direct certification, rather than the date the LEA accesses and processes the automated data matching file into their local point of service (POS) system. The date of the file will be displayed in the “Case Number” and/or the “Certification Method” column of the State Level Match screen and Search screen, respectively.
Further information regarding the requirements of using the flexibility in determining the effective date of eligibility can be found in the USDA Eligibility Manual.
Mandatory Reporting of SNAP and Medicaid Eligibles At or Before the Filing of September Claim for Reimbursement
NYSED is mandating SFAs to report the number of SNAP plus extension to other household members, and Medicaid plus extension to other household members, by service/claim site at the beginning of the school year. The Child Nutrition Management System has been updated to include this report on the SFA level page tied to the September claim for reimbursement. Please note that this mandatory report of SNAP and Medicaid DCMP eligible students, plus extension to other household members, is required only once per year, but schools who are conducting standard counting and claiming procedures must conduct DCMP at least three times per year.
The SNAP/Medicaid mandatory report is tied to the September claim for reimbursement, but may be completed any time after completion of the Annual Renewal Process. DCMP assists both standard counting and claiming and Special Provision (Provision 2, CEP) schools to certify/identify free eligible students, thereby decreasing the administrative burden of application collection/approval. This mandatory report of SNAP and Medicaid eligible students in the current year is required for Child Nutrition Program federal reporting (FNS-742 Verification Summary, FNS-834 DC Rate Data Element Report, and CEP Notification List) and other NYSED education reporting purposes (BEDS, Title 1, State Aid, etc.).
If you have any questions, please contact your Child Nutrition Program Representative at (518) 473-8781.