7 CFR § 247.16 - Certification period.

(a) How long is the certification period? (1) Women, infants, and children. For women, infants, and children, the State agency must establish certification periods that may not exceed 6 months in length. However, pregnant women may be certified to participate for the duration of their pregnancy and for up to six weeks post-partum. This paragraph only applies to the recertification of women, infants, and children who were certified and receiving CSFP benefits as of February 6, 2014, and whose enrollment in CSFP has continued without interruption.

(2) Elderly persons. For elderly persons, the State agency must establish certification periods that may not exceed 6 months in length. However, the State agency may authorize local agencies to extend the certification period without a formal review of eligibility for additional 6-month periods, as long as the following conditions are met:

(i) The person's address and continued interest in receiving program benefits are verified; and

(ii) The local agency has sufficient reason to believe that the person still meets the income eligibility standards (e.g., the elderly person has a fixed income).

(b) On what day of the final month does the certification period end? The certification period extends to the final day of the month in which eligibility expires.

(c) Does the certification period end when a participant moves from the local area in which he or she was receiving benefits? No. The State agency must ensure that local agencies serve a CSFP participant who moves from another area to an area served by CSFP and whose certification period has not expired. The participant must be given the opportunity to continue to receive CSFP benefits for the duration of the certification period. If the local agency has a waiting list, the participant must be placed on its waiting list ahead of all other waiting applicants. The local agency that determined the participant's eligibility must provide verification of the expiration date of the certification period to the participant upon request.

(d) What must the local agency do to ensure that participants are aware of the expiration of the certification period? The local agency must notify program participants in writing at least 15 days before the expiration date that eligibility for the program is about to expire. The local agency must include a statement in the written notification that informs the applicant that program standards are applied without discrimination by race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 0584-0293)
[70 FR 47063, Aug. 11, 2005, as amended at 75 FR 5879, Feb. 5, 2010; 79 FR 38751, July 9, 2014]