Verification 1. If a family was on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously called food stamps) at the time of the application and were selected for verification and are no longer receiving food stamps at the time of verification, would the students still be free at verification? If the family has documentation to prove that they were receiving SNAP (food stamps) at the time of the application the students would still be free. If the family cannot supply documentation of receiving SNAP (food stamps) at the time the application was completed, then the verification would show that they are not eligible for free meals based on SNAP (food stamp) status. The household could reapply by completing an income application and verifying that income. This may be done at the time of verification so there is no interruption in student meal service. 2. Does the verifying official and confirming official have to initial the application or do they sign off on the Application Tracker? If the confirming official confirms all applications they can sign off on the application, however any application that is pulled for verification must also have the confirming official and verifying official sign off on the Application Tracker. 3. If the district has to use the standard sample size verification procedures (formerly error prone verification) are SNAP (food stamp) applications verified? The only time SNAP (food stamp) applications would be verified by a district using the standard sample size verification is if there are not enough applications that qualify as error prone to complete the sample size and a SNAP (food stamp) application was selected at random from all applications on file. See Page 87 of the manual for more instructions. 4. If you are using Alternate 1 for verification, do you still need to keep track of all error prone applications? No. See pages 88-89 for instructions on Alternate 1 verification. 5. Did CNU, ADE change the verification terms to Alternate 1 and Alternate 2 just to mess with our minds? No, USDA did that to all of us. 6. If a dual eligibility application is chosen for verification do we verify the income or the food stamps? Both. See pages 103 - 104, question 15 in the manual. However, only the side of the application that was necessary for the district’s verification activity (for example if district must use standard sample size – formerly called error prone) is reported on the Verification Summary Report (FNS-742). 7. If a household is terminated due to non-response on verification, can the household reapply? Yes, but the new application must be verified at the time the household reapplies. See Page 99 of the manual for more information. 8. If the district must verify 3% of the applications and there are a total of 101 applications can the district verify 3 applications? No, the district would verify 4 applications (3.03 applications) always round up when determining the number of applications to be verified. 9. If the district pulls more applications than is required for verification (for example 3% is 40 applications and we pull 50 applications to verify) how is non-response calculated? The non-response rate is calculated on the number of applications pulled for verification. The district should not be pulling more applications than the 3% required to meet the verification requirement. 10. What if a household responds by saying they will not send verification information because the status has changed? The household responded and the student’s meal status is changed to paying status. The determining official should document the call for evidence of response. Per USDA instructions this would be considered a “No Response” due to the household not turning in verification documentation. 11. If the district confirms all applications at the time of determination do the applications that are pulled for verification have to be confirmed again? Yes. The confirming official must sign off on the application tracker when the application is pulled for verification and the application is confirmed the second time. 12. Can a household use income tax return from previous year for verification? Only for self employed or seasonal workers. Everyone else would need to verify current income, not previous year’s income. 13. Should I code error prone applications at the time of determination or later? If the district must use error prone applications for verification activities it is best to designate error prone applications at the time of determination. 14. What defines a questionable application that should be verified for cause? Knowledge beyond the application, for example someone puts zero income on the application and the determining official knows the person works at a local store then this would be a questionable application. 15. Can verification activities begin before October 1st? Yes, see the top of page 85 of the manual. 16. Does the verification notice to households have to be certified? No, it is not required, however that is a good way to document that the household received the verification letter. Pre K and / or contract meals 1. If the district has always contracted Head Start meals, wouldn’t it be better if those children were put on a list and child nutrition count them for reimbursement? If the Head Start program is contracted meals then the meals will not be reimbursable in our program. Pre School students do not count in the state funding formula, so the increase in free and reduced lunch percentages would not matter to the district. 2. Can students in a school funded pre school program complete applications and would those students be included in verification? Yes, see the Commissioners Memo that is published each school year regarding Preschool October 1 reporting. These applications would be included in verification activities. Pre School students do not count in the state funding formula, so the increase in free and reduced lunch percentages would not matter to the district. 3. If Head Start meals are contracted would those Head Start students be put on the Child Nutrition roster? If these meals are contracted then those students will not be on the roster and will not be reported in APSCN Cycle 2 Reports 336 or 436. 4. If Preschool meals are on contract does the household complete an application? You do not claim reimbursement on contract meals so you do not need an application. All meals are sold at the same price regardless of who consumes the meal. 5. If Head Start and Even Start students are not served meals by the district’s child nutrition program can the students be approved for free meals so that the district has a better percentage of free and reduced? If the students are not being served reimbursable meals by the child nutrition program then the students cannot be approved for free meals. Pre K eligibility does not count in determining state funds. 6. How should ABC students be handled at the beginning of the school year since ABC guidelines indicate that no child should be denied a meal? All children are considered paid until current eligibility can be established. If the student is a sibling on an application from the previous year then the student can receive meal benefits based on the 30 day carryover. ABC funds can be used to pay for student meals prior to determination of eligibility. After determination of eligibility the ABC program has funds to pay the reduced portion of reduced price meals and the full cost of meals served to paying students.
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