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Revised Policy on Certification Periods for Zero Income Households

EO Guidance Document #
FNS-GD-2014-0038
FNS Document #
FD-135
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
DATE: May 13, 2014
POLICY MEMO: FD-135: Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)
SUBJECT: Revised Policy on Certification Periods for Zero Income Households

This memorandum provides revised policy guidance on certification periods pertaining to zero income households in FDPIR. FNS Handbook 501 provides that households who report zero income month after month must be asked as to how they sustain themselves and other household members. The information provided by the household must be documented in the case file. Per prior policy, households reporting zero income were generally assigned a one- to two- month certification period.

FDPIR revised policy for zero income households provides for certification staff to continue to question and document households that report zero income. However, certification periods have been revised to allow for longer certification periods, if the zero income household is verified to be stable with regard to lack of income. Households reporting zero income with unstable circumstances, i.e., households who could receive income soon, must continue to be assigned shorter certification periods. This revised policy is consistent with that of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Please reference FNS Handbook 501, Section 5112 B3 and B4. The revised policy for certification periods of zero income households is as follows:

B3. Households reporting zero income but with circumstances that are verified to be stable and not likely to change soon should be assigned certifications periods consistent with their circumstances, but generally no less than three months.

B4. Households reporting zero income with unstable circumstances, e.g., households who could receive income soon, must be assigned one- or two-month certification periods.

Any additional questions should be addressed to the appropriate FNS regional Office

Laura Castro
Director
Food Distribution Division

05/13/2014

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.