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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Friday, October 11, 2013
Scanned Applications Including Record Retention

As more school food authorities are opting to use software programs to scan income eligibility applications, we have had conversations regarding their usage. Accordingly, we have adapted the following policies:

1. Be sure your software/scanner system calculates household income correctly. It should only convert all incomes to annual where more than one frequency is identified. If the frequency is just for example, every two weeks, then their income should be evaluated accordingly. Check a couple of income applications to ensure the system is programmed correctly. Check to see that when the system is converting to annual income, the correct calculation is being used. Example: weekly x 52, biweekly x 26 etc. USDA’s Eligibility Manual for School Meals addresses this issue.

2. Ensure the software/scanner system has a place to record a detailed explanation of applications that contain updated, clarified or missing data.

3. Original copies of the income applications should be retained for the school year in which they were obtained. The scanned application must be retrievable and retained by school building for three years after submission of the final claim for the current year (or until a pending audit is resolved) in accordance with 7CFR 210.23(c) and USDA's Eligibility Manual for School Meals.

4. Make sure your scanned system is appropriately "backed up" to ensure your eligibility data cannot be "lost". Be sure your system is designed to safeguard against data corruption, such as accidental deletion, equipment failures, storage media deterioration over time, or other hardware and software problems. After the application has been scanned, the scanned application becomes the official record of eligibility.

5. Scanned applications that support eligibility for Provision 2 schools must be retrievable by building and retained for three years plus the current year after the end of the provision year for which they are last used, including all extensions.

6. Original income applications should be shredded prior to disposal since the applications contain information that is regarded as highly confidential.

7. During an Administrative Review, we will review your scanned income applications in lieu of the original paper copies providing they are retrievable by school site.

If you have questions on these policies, please contact your Child Nutrition Representative at 518-473-8781. 

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.