Sec. 475-1-002 - PROGRAM DEFINITIONS

ยง 475-1-002. PROGRAM DEFINITIONS

The following definitions apply to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

002.01 ABLE BODIED ADULT WITHOUT DEPENDENTS. An individual age 18 through 49 who lives in a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program household which includes no children age 17 or younger and is able to work.

002.02 ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE. Overpayment(s) for the same time frame and reason, which the Department groups together into one account.

002.03 ADEQUATE NOTICE. A written notice which contains the following:

(A) The action the Department has taken or intends to take;

(B) The reason for the intended action;

(C) The household's right to request a fair hearing;

(D) The name of a person to contact for additional information;

(E) The availability of continued benefits; and

(F) The household's liability for over-issuances received while awaiting a fair hearing decision which is adverse to the household.

002.04 AGGREGATE BENEFIT. The second month of a combined allotment. All of the following conditions must be met to be an aggregate benefit:

(A) The application month must be expedited;

(B) The application received date must be the 16th of the month or later; and

(C) The household must be eligible for benefits for both the application month and the following month.

002.05 ALLOTMENT. The total value of benefits a household is authorized to receive during each month of the certification period.

002.06 APPLICATION. The action by which the individual indicates the desire to receive assistance by submission of an application.

002.07 AVAILABLE DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE: Evidence available through computer match systems.

002.08 BOARDER. An individual who either lives in a commercial boardinghouse or lives with a household and pays reasonable compensation in cash for meals and lodging. A boarder is not considered a member of a participating household and the individual's income and resources are not considered available to the household.

002.09 BONA FIDE JOB OFFER. A job offer that is considered suitable employment, as defined in this section, except for the exceptions to voluntary quit and bona fide job offers detailed in chapter three of this title.

002.10 CATEGORICALLY ELIGIBLE. Households in which:

(A) All members receive or are authorized to receive Aid to Dependent Children Program, Assistance to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled Program, State Disability Program or Supplemental Security Income payments; or

(B) At least one member is authorized to or receives either Aid to Dependent Children Emergency Assistance or Employment First supportive services.

002.11 CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY TREATMENT AND REHABILITATION PROGRAM. Any chemical dependency treatment and rehabilitation program which is a private, nonprofit organization or facility or a publicly operated community health center. Private, nonprofit treatment programs do not need to be funded under Title XIX, but must qualify for the same essential conditions as those publicly operated programs under Title XIX funding. The program must be certified to provide treatment that can lead to rehabilitation in accordance with the agency responsible for the administration of drug or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation programs.

002.12 CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. Citizenship and Immigration Services is a component of the Department of Homeland Security.

002.13 COMBINED ALLOTMENT. The prorated first month's expedited benefit and the second full month's aggregate benefit issued together as one allotment. Combined allotments are only issued to households entitled to expedited service which apply on or after the 16th of the month.

002.14 COMPLETE APPLICATION. An application that has a valid name, address and signature and contains the minimum information necessary to determine eligibility: identity, household composition, disqualification information, income, resources, student status and citizenship.

002.15 DATE OF DISCOVERY. The date the Department confirms an overpayment occurred.

002.16 DEPARTMENT. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

002.17 DISABLED. A household member who is:

(1) Receiving Supplemental Security Income under Title XVI of the Social Security Act or disability or blindness payments under Titles I, II, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act;

(2) Receiving Assistance to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled Program or State Disability Program benefits;

(3) Receiving disability retirement benefits from a government agency because of a disability considered permanent under Section 221(i) of the Social Security Act;

(4) A veteran with a disability rated or paid as total under Title 38 of the United States Code or is considered in need of regular aid and attendance or permanently housebound under Title 38 of the Code;

(5) A surviving spouse of a veteran and considered in need of aid and attendance or permanently housebound and incapable of self-support under Title 38 of the Code;

(6) A surviving child of a veteran and considered to be permanently incapable of self-support under Title 38 of the United States Code;

(7) A surviving spouse or child of a veteran receiving or approved for compensation for a service-connected death or pension benefits for a non-service connected death under Title 38 of the Code and has a disability considered permanent under Section 221(i) of the Social Security Act; or

(8) Receiving an annuity payment under:

(i) Section 2(a)(1)(iv) of the Railroad Retirement Act and eligible to receive Medicare as determined by the Railroad Retirement Board; or

(ii) Section 2(a)(i)(v) of the Railroad Retirement Act and disabled based on criteria used under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.

002.17(A) CONTINUED ELIGIBILITY FOR CONSIDERATION AS DISABLED. A person meets the definition of disabled if the individual has been determined disabled by the agencies or laws listed above. The individual does not have to be receiving a payment from the agency which determined the disability. For example, if a person is certified to receive Supplemental Security Income but is in a suspended status, the individual would be considered disabled for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program purposes.

002.18 DISQUALIFIED HOUSEHOLD MEMBER. A financially responsible individual who purchases and prepares meals with a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program household but is disqualified from participation.

002.19 ELDERLY. A household member who is age 60 or older. This includes people who are age 59 when they apply but who will turn 60 by the last day of the month of application.

002.20 ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER. A system that uses electronic funds transfer and point-of-sale technology for the delivery and control of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

002.21 ELECTRONIC BENEFITS TRANSFER CARD. A plastic card, similar to a debit card, which holds the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit information. The Nebraska Electronic Benefits Transfer card can be used at point-of-sale machines to buy eligible foods at stores taking part in the Electronic Benefits Transfer program.

002.22 ELIGIBLE FOODS. Any food or food product intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and hot foods or hot food products prepared for immediate consumption. Eligible foods include:

(A) Seeds and plants to grow foods for personal consumption by eligible households;

(B) Meals prepared and served by an authorized chemical dependency treatment center to eligible households, including the meals of children living with their parents in the treatment center;

(C) Meals prepared and delivered by an authorized meal delivery service to eligible households; or meals served by a communal dining facility for elderly persons, for Supplemental Security Income households, or both, who are eligible to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for communal dining;

(D) Meals prepared and served by a licensed or certified group living arrangement to residents who are disabled;

(E) Meals prepared by and served by a shelter for battered persons to its eligible residents;

(F) Meals prepared and served by an approved and authorized public or private nonprofit establishment that serves homeless persons; and

(G) In the case of homeless Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households, meals prepared by a restaurant that contracts with the Department to serve meals to homeless persons at low or reduced prices.

002.23 EXPANDED RESOURCE PROGRAM. The Expanded Resource Program provides individuals with information and referrals about various programs and services that could be of benefit to the household. Programs and services about which information and referral is provided include: ACCESS Nebraska web services, Child Care Subsidy, Medicaid, Aid to Dependent Children Program, Refugee Resettlement, Energy Assistance, and Developmental Disabilities.

002.24 EXPUNGEMENT. The process of removing Electronic Benefits Transfer benefits from a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipient's account when there has not been a debit from the account within the last 365 days.

002.25 FAIR HEARING. A hearing conducted by a Department hearing officer at a date and time set by the Department.

002.26 FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE. The Food and Nutrition Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture's Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. The Food and Nutrition Service addresses hunger and obesity issues through the administration of federal nutrition assistance programs one of which is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

002.27 GENERAL ASSISTANCE. Cash or another form of assistance, excluding in-kind assistance, financed by state or local funds as part of a program which provides assistance to cover living expenses or other basic needs intended to promote the health or well-being of recipients.

002.28 GOOD CAUSE. Circumstances in situations which are beyond the control of the applicant or participant. Good cause as a condition of failure to comply is covered in the specific sections of this title, where applicable.

002.29 GROUP LIVING ARRANGEMENT. A public or private non-profit residential setting that serves 16 or fewer residents and is licensed or certified by the appropriate state agency. To be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a resident must be blind or disabled.

002.30 HEARING OFFICER. The hearing officer is an employee of the Department of Health and Human Services or an individual under contract with the Department who is designated to conduct hearings.

002.31 HOMELESS INDIVIDUAL. A person who lacks a fixed and regular nighttime residence or an individual whose primary nighttime residence is:

(A) A supervised shelter designed to provide temporary lodging;

(B) A halfway house or similar facility that provides temporary residence for individuals intended to be institutionalized;

(C) Temporary lodging in the home of another individual for no more than 90 days; or

(D) A place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for humans.

002.32 HOMELESS MEAL PROVIDER. A Department approved public or private non-profit establishment, such as a soup kitchen or temporary shelter, which feeds homeless persons or a restaurant that contracts with the Department to offer meals at low or reduced prices to homeless persons.

002.33 INELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD MEMBER. A financially responsible individual who purchases and prepares meals with a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program household but is not eligible to participate.

002.34 INITIAL MONTH. The first month the household is certified to participate, or the first month the household is certified after not participating for more than one month.

002.35 INTENTIONAL PROGRAM VIOLATION. A person that intentionally:

(A) Made a false statement or misrepresented, concealed, or withheld facts for the purpose of receiving or attempting to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to which the person or the person's household was not entitled; or

(B) Committed an act that constitutes a violation of the Food Stamp Act, federal or state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program regulations, or any state law for the purpose of using, presenting, transferring, acquiring, receiving, possessing or trafficking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

002.36 INTERFACES. Automated data exchanges that provide financial and nonfinancial information.

002.37 ISSUANCE. The amount of benefits placed in recipient Electronic Benefits Transfer accounts.

002.38 ISSUANCE AND COLLECTIONS CENTER. The Department staff designated to issue all Electronic Benefits Transfer cards and to perform collection activities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Issuance and Collections Center also coordinates and tracks all transactions with the Treasury Offset Program.

002.39 LOCAL OFFICE. The geographic area office designated by the Department as the administrative unit for local program operations.

002.40 MEDICAID. Medical assistance received under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

002.41 MIGRANT FARM WORKER. A person who travels away from the place the individual calls home on an overnight basis in order to seek or perform agricultural work at one or more locations.

002.42 NON-PUBLIC ASSISTANCE HOUSEHOLD. A household that does not meet the definition of a public assistance household.

002.43 NON-HOUSEHOLD MEMBER. An individual who lives with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program household but does not receive benefits because:

(A) The individual does not purchase and prepare meals with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program household; or

(B) The individual purchases and prepares meals with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program household but is denied eligibility by program guidelines.

002.44 OVERPAYMENT. Payment(s) of more than the amount of benefits a household was eligible to receive.

002.45 PROGRAM. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as conducted under the Food Stamp Act, and federal and state Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Regulations.

002.46 PROJECT AREA. The administrative unit for operation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In Nebraska, the state has been designated as one project area.

002.47 PROSPECTIVE BUDGETING. The computation of a household's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit for an issuance month based on the Department's and household's best estimate of income and circumstances which will exist in that month.

002.48 PUBLIC ASSISTANCE HOUSEHOLD. A household in which all members in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program unit are eligible for Supplemental Security Income, Assistance to the Aged, Blind, or Disabled Program, State Disability Program, or Aid to Dependent Children Program benefits even if the benefit amount is zero, or at least one member is authorized to receive Aid to Dependent Children Emergency Assistance or Employment First supportive services. The classification of Public Assistance household is not affected by the presence of a legally assigned foster child.

002.49 QUALIFIED WORK QUARTER. A qualified work quarter includes earnings covered under Title II of the Social Security Act and earnings not covered by the Social Security Act. Quarters worked in another country can be counted as qualified quarters when social security taxes were required to be paid to the United States. Countable qualified work quarters for a non-citizen qualifying through 40 quarters are based on the sum of:

(A) Quarters the non-citizen worked;

(B) Quarters credited from the work of a parent of the non-citizen before the non-citizen became 18 including quarters worked before the non-citizen was born or adopted;

(C) Quarters credited from the work of a spouse of the non-citizen during their marriage if they are still married or the spouse is deceased.

002.50 QUALITY CONTROL REVIEW. A review of a statistically valid sample of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program cases to determine whether households are receiving the allotment they are entitled to and to ensure cases are not incorrectly denied or terminated. Program Evaluation and Review is another name for Quality Control Review.

002.51 REINSTATEMENT MONTH. A month during the certification period when a household's eligibility is re-established. The household had a change in circumstances which determined the household ineligible for a period of 30 days or less. The household receives a prorated amount of benefits during the reinstatement month.

002.52 REPORTING CATEGORIES. There are two separate reporting categories for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households. The reporting categories are:

(A) Simplified Reporting; and

(B) Transitional Benefit Reporting.

002.53 RESIDENT OF AN INSTITUTION. An Individual who is provided with over 50% of the individual's meals as part of the normal services for the institution in which the individual resides is considered to be a resident of an institution. A resident of an institution is not eligible to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, unless the individual resides in one of the facilities listed below:

(A) Federally subsidized housing for the elderly under Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 or Section 236 of the National Housing Act;

(B) Chemical dependency treatment and rehabilitation programs;

(C) Group homes for disabled individuals;

(D) Shelters for battered persons, who are considered as individual household units for the purpose of applying for and participating in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; and

(E) Shelters for homeless persons.

002.54 RESTORATION. Benefits issued to a household due to an underpayment in a prior month.

002.55 RETAIL FOOD STORE. Any of the following:

(A) An establishment or a house-to-house trade route whose eligible food sales volume is more than 50% staple food items for home preparation and consumption;

(B) Public or private communal dining facilities and meal delivery services, chemical dependency treatment and rehabilitation programs, public or private non-profit group homes, or public or private non-profit shelters for battered women and children;

(C) Any private non-profit cooperative food purchasing venture, including those whose members pay for food before receipt of the food;

(D) Public or private non-profit establishments that feed homeless persons; or

(E) A farmer's market.

002.56 SEASONAL FARM WORKER. A person who works on a farm or ranch on a seasonal basis when the work is generally within commuting distance of the individual's home. A person who works on the individual's own or leased or rented farmland on a year-round or seasonal basis is neither a seasonal farm worker nor a migrant farm worker.

002.57 SHELTER FOR BATTERED PERSONS AND CHILDREN. A public or private nonprofit residential facility that serves battered persons and their children. If this facility serves other individuals, a portion of the facility must be set aside on a long-term basis to serve only battered women and children.

002.58 SPONSOR. An individual who has executed an affidavit of support on behalf of an alien as one of the conditions required for the alien's entry into the United States.

002.59 SPOUSE. Two individuals who would be defined as married to each other under applicable state laws.

002.60 STAGGERED ISSUANCE. An issuance cycle which ensures households will receive their benefits on the same day of each month.

002.61 SUITABLE EMPLOYMENT. All work is considered suitable unless one of the following situations exists:

(A) The wage offered is less than the highest of either the applicable federal minimum wage, the applicable state minimum wage, or 80% of the federal minimum wage if neither the federal or state minimum wage is applicable. The training wage may be substituted for the federal or state minimum wage in situations that warrant the payment of a training wage. The training wage of at least 85% of the federal or state minimum wage may be paid to employees under age 20 for up to 90 days under certain conditions;

(B) The employment offered is on a piece-rate basis and the hourly yield is likely to be less than the applicable wages above;

(C) The individual, as a condition of employment, is required to join, resign from, or refrain from joining any legitimate labor organization;

(D) The work offered is at a site subject to a strike or lockout at the time of the offer, unless the strike has been enjoined under the Taft-Hartley Act or unless an injunction has been issued under Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act;

(E) The individual can demonstrate or the Department becomes aware that:

(i) The degree of risk to health and safety is unreasonable;

(ii) The individual is physically or mentally unfit to perform the work as documented by medical or other evidence;

(iii) Employment offered within the first 30 days is not in the individual's major field of experience;

(iv) The nature or hours of the work interfere with the individual's religious observances, convictions, or beliefs; or

(v) The distance of the employment from the individual's home is unreasonable, considering the wages and the time and cost of commuting. Daily commuting time must not exceed two hours per day, not including time required to transport a child to and from a child care facility. The employment is not considered suitable if the distance prohibits walking and public or private transportation is unavailable.

002.62 SUPPLEMENT. Additional benefits issued to a household within the current month. Supplemental issuances cannot be used to offset overpayments.

002.63 SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME. Monthly cash payments made under the authority of:

(A) Title XVI of the Social Security Act, as amended, to the aged, blind, and disabled;

(B) Section 1616(a) of the Social Security Act; or

(C)Section 212(a) of Public Law 93-66.

002.64 TIMELY NOTICE. A written notice which contains all the elements of adequate notice and also is mailed at least ten calendar days before the action takes place. The mailing date of the notice is day one of the ten-calendar-day period. A timely notice may also be called a notice of adverse action.

002.65 TRAFFICKING. Trafficking of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits includes:

(A) The buying, selling, stealing, or otherwise effecting an exchange of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits issued and accessed via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, card numbers and personal identification numbers, or by manual voucher and signature, for cash or consideration other than eligible food, either directly, indirectly, in complicity or collusion with others, or acting alone;

(B) The exchange of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances, as defined in section 802 of title 21, United States Code, for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits;

(C) Purchasing a product with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits that has a container requiring a return deposit with the intent of obtaining cash by discarding the product and returning the container for the deposit amount, intentionally discarding the product, and intentionally returning the container for the deposit amount;

(D) Purchasing a product with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits with the intent of obtaining cash or consideration other than eligible food by reselling the product, and subsequently intentionally reselling the product purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in exchange for cash or consideration other than eligible food;

(E) Intentionally purchasing products originally purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits in exchange for cash or consideration other than eligible food; or

(F) Attempting to buy, sell, steal, or otherwise affect an exchange of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits issued and accessed via Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, card numbers and personal identification numbers, or by manual voucher and signatures, for cash or consideration other than eligible food, either directly, indirectly, in complicity or collusion with others, or acting alone.

002.66 VERIFICATION. Information obtained to establish the accuracy of information provided by the household. The use of third-party information or documentation to establish the accuracy of statements made by the household or provided on the application.

002.67 VOLUNTARY QUIT. Voluntary termination of employment of 30 or more hours per week or the equivalent of 30 hours per week times minimum wage. An individual who terminates a self-employment enterprise or resigns from a job at the employer's demand is not considered to have voluntarily quit.

(Amended effective May 21, 2016. Amended effective July 4, 2020)

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