§ 274.6Replacement issuances and cards to households.
(a)Providing replacement issuance.
(1) Subject to the restrictions in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, State agencies shall provide replacement issuances to a household when the household reports that food purchased with Program benefits was destroyed in a household misfortune.
(2) Where a Federal disaster declaration has been issued and the household is eligible for disaster SNAP benefits under the provisions of part 280, the household shall not receive both the disaster allotment and a replacement allotment for a misfortune.
(i) Replacement issuances shall be provided only if a household timely reports a loss orally or in writing. The report will be considered timely if it is made to the State agency within 10 days of the date food purchased with Program benefits is destroyed in a household misfortune.
(ii) No limit on the number of replacements shall be placed on the replacement of food purchased with Program benefits which was destroyed in a household misfortune.
(iii) Except for households certified under 7 CFR part 280, replacement issuances shall be provided in the amount of the loss to the household, up to a maximum of one month's allotment, unless the issuance includes restored benefits which shall be replaced up to their full value.
(4)Household statement of loss.
(i) Prior to issuing a replacement, the State agency shall obtain from a member of the household a signed statement attesting to the household's loss. The required statement may be mailed to the State agency if the household member is unable to come into the office because of age, handicap or distance from the office and is unable to appoint an authorized representative.
(ii) If the signed statement or affidavit is not received by the State agency within 10 days of the date of report, no replacement shall be made. If the 10th day falls on a weekend or holiday, and the statement is received the day after the weekend or holiday, the State agency shall consider the statement timely received.
(iii) The statement shall be retained in the case record. It shall attest to the destruction of food purchased with the original issuance and the reason for the replacement. It shall also state that the household is aware of the penalties for intentional misrepresentation of the facts, including but not limited to, a charge of perjury for a false claim.
(5)Time limits for making issuance replacements.
(i) Replacement issuances shall be provided to households within 10 days after report of loss or within two (2) working days of receiving the signed household statement required in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, whichever date is later.
(ii) The State agency shall deny or delay replacement issuances in cases in which available documentation indicates that the household's request for replacement appears to be fraudulent.
(iii) The household shall be informed of its right to a fair hearing to contest the denial or delay of a replacement issuance. Replacements shall not be made while the denial or delay is being appealed.
(6)Verifying issuance and household misfortune.
(i) Upon receiving a request for replacement of an issuance for food destroyed in a household misfortune, the State agency shall determine if the issuance was validly issued. The State agency shall also comply with all applicable provisions in paragraphs (a)(3) through (a)(5)of this section.
(ii) Prior to replacing destroyed food that was purchased with Program benefits, the State agency shall determine that the destruction occurred in a household misfortune or disaster, such as, but not limited to, a fire or flood. This shall be verified through a collateral contact, documentation from a community agency including, but not limited to, the fire department or the Red Cross, or a home visit.
(7)Documentation and reconciliation of replacement issuances.
(i) The State agency shall document in the household's case file each request for replacement, the date, the reason, and whether or not the replacement was provided. This information may be recorded exclusively on the household statement required in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
(ii) The State agency shall maintain, in readily-identifiable form, a record of the replacements granted to the household, the reason, and the month. The record may be a case action sheet maintained in the case file, notations on the master issuance file, if readily accessible, or a document maintained solely for this purpose.
(iii) When a request for replacement is made late in an issuance month, the replacement will be issued in a month subsequent to the month in which the original benefit was issued. All replacements shall be posted and reconciled to the month of issuance of the replacement and may be posted to the month of issuance of the original benefit, so that all duplicate transactions may be identified.
(b)Providing replacement EBT cards or PINs. In general, the State agency shall replace EBT cards within 2 business days following notice by the household to the State agency that the card has been lost or stolen. In cases where the State agency is using centralized card issuance, replacement can be extended to take place within up to five calendar days. In all instances, the State agency must ensure that clients have in hand an active card and PIN with benefits available on the card, within the time frame the State agency has identified for card replacement.
(1) The State agency shall ensure that a duplicate account is not established which would permit households to access more than one account in the system.
(2) An immediate hold shall be placed on accounts at the time notice is received from a household regarding the need for card or PIN replacement. The State agency shall implement a reporting system which is continually operative. Once a household reports that their EBT card has been lost or stolen, the State agency shall assume liability for benefits subsequently drawn from the account and replace any lost or stolen benefits to the household. The State agency or its agent shall maintain a record showing the date and time of all reports by households that their card is lost or stolen.
(3) The State agency may impose a replacement fee by reducing the monthly allotment of the household receiving the replacement card; however, the fee may not exceed the cost to replace the card. If the State agency intends to collect the fee by reducing the monthly allotment, it must follow FNS reporting procedures for collecting program income. State agencies currently operating EBT systems must inform FNS of their proposed collection operations. State agencies in the process of developing an EBT system must include the procedure for collection of the fee in their system design document. All plans must specify how the State agency intends to account for card replacement fees and include identification of the replacement threshold, frequency, and circumstances in which the fee shall be applicable. State agencies may establish good cause policies that provide exception rules for cases where replacement card fees will not be collected.
Title 7 published on 2014-01-01
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