Clarification of Direct Verification
|DATE:||August 31, 2006|
|SUBJECT:||Clarification of Direct Verification|
Special Nutrition Programs
Section 9(b)(3)(F) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) permits local educational agencies (LEAs) to “directly” verify approved households’ applications which are selected for verification. This is accomplished by obtaining and using income and program participation information from a public agency administering the Food Stamp Program (FSP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), the state Medicaid program or similar income-tested programs determined by the Secretary. The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify state agency procedures for direct verification, especially concerning the use of Medicaid data.
Children who are members of households participating in the FSP, FDPIR and TANF are categorically eligible; children who are participating in the state Medicaid program are not. Medicaid data may only be used for verification purposes and not certification. Also please note that in this memorandum “eligible child(ren)” means children certified for free or reduced price school meals whose household application has been selected for verification.
PROCEDURES APPLICABLE TO ALL PROGRAMS
In other words, for direct verification, state agencies may use:
- the latest available information for one month (within the 180-day requirement); OR
- information for all months from the month prior to application through the month direct verification is conducted.
Verification for children approved for free meals is complete if Medicaid data indicates that the percentage is at or below 133% of the Federal poverty line.
Verification for children approved for reduced price meals is complete if Medicaid data indicates that the percentage is at or below 185% of the Federal poverty line.
As mentioned above:
- Medicaid information may only be used for direct verification, not for certification; and
- if no child’s participation in the Medicaid program is confirmed through direct verification, regular verification procedures must be followed.
Please contact your Regional office if you have any questions.
STANLEY C. GARNETT
Child Nutrition Division
The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.