Any household which fails to submit requested verification documentation by the date specified by the SFA or submits verification information which does not support the initial determination of eligibility, must be sent a notice that benefits will be reduced or terminated in 10 calendar days. Please see Attachment C for the prototype “Letter of Verification Results and Change in Eligibility.”
SFAs must take the following actions if the household fails to cooperate with verification efforts:
- SFAs must follow up with families who do not respond to initial verification efforts with at least one attempt in writing (including to a parent or guardian’s email) or by telephone or text message. All attempts must be documented and ensure that LEP households are provided adequate language assistance and understand the need to respond to the verification request. Additional follow up after this is encouraged but not required.
- SFAs may contract with a third party to make additional attempts to follow up with non-responders.
- Prior to actual reduction in benefits or termination of benefits, 10 calendar days advance written notification must be provided to the household.
- The first day of the 10-calendar day advance notification must be the day the notice is sent to the household.
- The notice must advise the household of a change in benefits, reason for the change, the right to appeal and that an appeal must be filed within the 10 calendar days advance notice period to ensure continued benefits while awaiting a hearing and decision, how and when the appeal must be filed, and that the household may re-apply for meal benefits.
- If the household provides information that confirms their eligibility within the 10 calendar days, the family must continue to receive benefits.
- If there is no response, benefits must be terminated on day 11.
- Reductions or changes in benefits must be extended to all children in the household who were originally determined to be eligible by information that no longer supports the benefit level.
- Households that appeal the reduction or termination of benefits within the 10-calendar day notice must continue to receive benefits until the decision of the hearing official is made.