THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
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, and better policy and decision making at the local, State and federal levels, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) provides a state-level Direct Certification Matching Process (DCMP).
The DCMP provides school food authority (SFA) 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 and State Match capabilities are available on the NYSED Web site, at the NYSED Application Business Portal (https://portal.nysed.gov/abp).
For new SFAs: Once the SFA has obtained a UEI code, and as applicable, SORIS code, a SEDDAS account will be set up for the SFA Superintendent or CEO (designee) and a notification email will be sent automatically. To avoid the email landing in the designee’s spam folder, the designee should set the SEDDAS firstname.lastname@example.org and the email@example.com as safe email addresses. The designee can then access the direct certification data or delegate a person(s) within their organization to access this data.
All SFAs are required to complete the Direct Certification Matching Process.
All schools (public and nonpublic) that participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program are required to complete the DCMP. DCMP is optional for schools participating only in the Special Milk Program. SFAs must conduct DCMP 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.
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.
SFAs implementing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) district-wide, must conduct the DCMP, once annually, in all years of participation. Provision 2 (P2) schools must conduct the DCMP process, once annually, 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
The system processes DC data monthly; therefore, SFAs are encouraged, as a best practice, to access the data more frequently to ensure that children entitled to free meal benefits receive them. More frequent matching, leading to more matches, can also help SFAs planning to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).
DCMP users are required to certify that this information will remain confidential in compliance with the disclosure statement provided. The online DCMP helps 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).
Families who have been electronically matched using the DCMP should be notified by the SFA 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. These prototype letters are also included in the 2022-2023 SY Income Eligibility Guidelines, Application, and Related Information.
Three Main Functions of the State-level DCMP
- State Matches - provides access to direct certification data pre-matched to your students using the student’s NYSSIS ID. Check here first for your eligible students.
- Search - allows you to search direct certification lists (SNAP & Medicaid).
- Bulk Search - allows you to perform a batch search of direct certification lists by uploading a file listing multiple student records.
NYSSIS ID’s are NOT a requirement for DCMP
NYSSIS ID numbers are not required to attempt a DCMP match. Access to the NYSSIS online system application is required because, that is where Medicaid and SNAP files are stored.
The NYSSIS ID itself is only one of many data elements (like first name, last name, guardian, address, etc.) that may be used to compare across records. If a student has never participated in the NYS Testing/Data Warehouse system, then they will never have had a NYSSIS ID, so one wouldn’t be available for use in a comparison. Many students who are eligible for Child Nutrition programs have never been in the NYS Testing system, so a NYSSIS ID is NOT a requirement.
The SFA has the option to upload a roster of its students, which will provide the SFA with possible match results. When a roster is uploaded, the data submitted for each student is compared to ALL available SNAP and Medicaid records. If a potential match is found, it is displayed. The SNAP and Medicaid data includes children ages 3-21. Therefore, if you include those children on your roster, the DCMP system will “look” through the SNAP and Medicaid data to see if there is a match.
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. 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 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, to certify the student(s) via the electronic DCMP.
- Complete and submit the current year “ Free and Reduced Price Income Application for 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 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.
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 “DC Eligibility Date” column of the match results. Further information regarding the requirements of using the flexibility in determining the effective date of eligibility can be found in the USDA Eligibility Manual.
 USDA has approved a waiver to allow School Food Authorities (SFAs) that operated the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) during the 2021-2022 SY to carry over the most recent student eligibility information on file, as far back as SY 2019-2020, for up to the first 30 operating days in the 2022-2023 SY or until a new eligibility determination is made, whichever comes first. This waiver is effective for the carryover period during SY 2022-2023.
Mandatory Reporting of SNAP and Medicaid Eligibles At or Before the Filing of September Claim for Reimbursement
NYSED requires 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 (CNMS) 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. 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 (UEI, Title 1, State Aid, etc.).
Please click on the links below to access instructions, checklist, and prototype letters for the direct certification matching process. The Child Nutrition Program Office is not able grant access to the NYSSIS State Match System or update accounts. Please refer to the ‘How to Grant NYSSIS State Match Entitlements’ link for step-by-step instructions.
State Match System Instructions/Guidance Documents
*Please note, because of on-going maintenance and enhancements to the DCMP system, screen shots and descriptions included in the instructions/guidance documents may be different from the current website; however, the overall functionality remains the same.
A “How To” tour within the Bulk Search feature is available to help you navigate through the upload process. “How To” tours will be developed soon for the Search and State Match features as well.
If you have any questions, please contact your Child Nutrition Program Representative.