Q. Under the welfare reform law, individuals may be disqualified or become ineligible for a number of reasons. How should their income and resources be treated?
A. We do not plan to answer further questions until the regulations have been published. In the interim, State agencies should use their best judgment as to whether to count any or all of the income and resources of such individuals. We will either address this in the regulations or allow State flexibility in this area. Note that the income of an alien that was ineligible under the Food Stamp Act prior to the recent legislation must be counted in whole or in part and that all of the resources of such alien must be counted.
Q. Does FNS plan to assist States with the coordination of Sections 819 on comparable disqualifications, 829 on the prohibition against increasing food stamp benefits for failure to comply with another assistance program, and 911 regarding no increase as the result of fraud in a welfare or public assistance program, or are States supposed to develop their own plans?
A. For now States should develop their own plans for coordination. This may be addressed in the regulations.
Q. What will be the impact of the new legislation on existing court suits to which FNS was a party or on which FNS has oversight? For example, a court suit required FNS to monitor 5-day expedited service. With this requirement changing to 7 days, would that now be the standard against which States would be monitored?
A. In the case of expedited service, the new standard of 7 days was effective upon enactment for new applicants and that will be the standard on which States will be monitored. Court orders based on provisions in the law that have subsequently been amended are no longer valid.