Sec. 65A-1.602 - Food Assistance Program Case Processing

ยง 65A-1.602. Food Assistance Program Case Processing

(1) Food Assistance Program case processing is done in accordance with the eligibility determination process in Rule 65A-1.205, F.A.C., and in 7 CFR 271.2, 273.1 - 273.18, 273.24 and 273.25.

(2) Responsible Member is defined as any member of the Standard Filing Unit (SFU) capable of representing the Assistance Group (AG) by providing sufficient and accurate information concerning the AG circumstances.

(3) Authorized Representative is defined as an adult non-household member authorized to represent the household during an interview. The authorized representative must be appointed in writing by the head of the AG, the spouse or responsible household member.

(4) 24-Month Certification Periods: Apply to AGs in which all members of the SFU meet all of the following criteria:

(a) Are elderly or disabled;

(b) Do not have any earned income; and,

(c) Have stable financial circumstances.

(5) Able Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD). ABAWDs are required to report whenever their hours of employment are less than 20 hours per week, averaged monthly. They may have their certification period shortened in order to comply with the time limit provisions assigned to them. The CF-ES Form 2095 Food Assistance Work Registration, 3/2017, incorporated by reference,, is used to inform food assistance participants about work participation requirements.

(6) Simplified Reporting (SR): Simplified Reporting is implemented pursuant to 7 CFR 273.12(a)(5) without a waiver and applies to all AGs. AGs assigned to the SR category will have a six-month certification period except for those that meet the criteria in subsections (4) and (5). The food assistance reporting requirements, per 7 CFR 273.12(a)(5)(v), do not change the reporting requirements for other programs such as Medicaid and Temporary Cash Assistance. The CF-ES Form 3052A, Change Report for Public Assistance Case Form, 7/2014, incorporated by reference,, can be used to report beneficial changes.

(7) Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Cooperation. In accordance with Section 414.32, F.S. and 7 CFR 273.11(o)(1), Child Support Enforcement cooperation by a custodial parent or caretaker relative is required as a condition of eligibility for their food assistance when an absent parent exists, unless good cause for non-cooperation exists. For the purposes of this section, "absent parent" is defined as a putative or identified noncustodial parent of a child under 18 years of age.

(a) When an application for benefits is received, information on good cause criteria will be provided using CF-ES Form 2641, Claim Notice Good Cause for Refusal to Cooperate, 4/2014, incorporated by reference, Copies of forms and materials incorporated by reference in this rule may be obtained by the public from the ACCESS Florida Headquarter's Office at 1317 Winewood Boulevard, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0700. Forms are also available on the Department's website at

(b) Right to Claim Good Cause. The right to claim good cause exists when cooperation in establishing paternity of a child born out of wedlock or in establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support order for the child or the parent or caretaker relative and the child may be against in the best interests of the child, or the parent or caretaker relative and the child pursuant to 7 CFR 273.11(o)(2)(i)(B) and (C), and (2)(iii). In accorance with subsection 12E-1.008(5) and subparagraphs (5)(c)1.-4., F.A.C., good cause shall be determined by the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement on food assistance only cases when the recipient provides sufficient documentation to justify the claim of good cause.

(c) Upon determination by the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement that the custodial parent or caretaker relative's failure to cooperate was without good cause, a food assistance penalty will be imposed for the non-cooperative individual only and a notice of adverse action will be mailed to the individual pursuant to 7 C.F.R. 273.11(o)(3) and (4). The non-cooperative individual's income will be prorated in determining eligibility for the remaining AG members. The remaining AG members meeting eligibility requirements may be approved. The non-cooperative individual will be excluded until verification of CSE cooperation is received by the Department.

(d) Upon verification that the individual is cooperating with CSE and all other eligibility requirements have been met, action will be taken to add the individual to the AG or to remove the sanction and reinstate food assistance benefits pursuant to 7. C.F.R. 273.11(o)(5).

(8) Food assistance filing units are categorically eligible if they meet any of the following criteria:

(a) All members receive income from Temporary Cash Assistance through a public assistance program funded under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act; or

(b) Are in a food assistance household that does not contain a member disqualified for any of the following reasons; felony drug trafficking, fleeing felon, intentional program violation, or employment and training non-compliance.

(9) Filing units who are broad-based categorically eligible:

(a) Have no net income limit; and,

(b) Are not tested for resources (assets).

(10) The Department uses simplified income procedures for determining eligibility for food assistance. Simplified income is found in 7 CFR 273.9(c)(3)(v) and (c)(18)-(19).

(11) The Department uses simplified resource (asset) criteria in accordance with 7 CFR 273.8(e)(19), and excluding all resources (assets), except those of filing units containing a disqualified individual.

(12) If an individual meets a criteria for food assistance disqualification, that individual will be disqualfied for Temporary Cash Assistance, and if an individual will be disqualified for Temporary Cash Assistance that individual will be disqualified for food assistance, in accordance with 7 CFR 273.11(k).

(13) Food assistance benefits are issued through the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system.

(14) Benefit Availability.

(a) Food assistance availability dates are staggered over the first 28 days of each month. Benefit availability to AGs is based on the terminal digits of the AG's case number. AGs are able to receive their monthly allotment on their assigned availability date or any subsequent day in that month. Food assistance benefits placed in the EBT account may be accessed for 365 days after the date of their initial availability in the account.

(b) The EBT system supports mass overrides of benefit availability dates in instances of disasters or other emergencies. This permits individuals in areas where hurricanes or other disasters are threatening to be able to access their benefits earlier to prepare for such events.

(New 1-31-94, Formerly 10C-1.602, Amended 7-29-01, 4-17-06, Amended by Florida Register Volume 40, Number 247, December 23, 2014, effective 1-8-15, Amended by Florida Register Volume 42, Number 081, April 26, 2016 effective 5-12-16, Amended by Florida Register Volume 43, Number 060, March 28, 2017 effective 4-12-17.)

Rulemaking Authority 414.45, 402.82 FS. Law Implemented 402.82, 414.31, 414.32 FS.

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