340:50-15-25 - Cases referred for intentional program violation determination

340:50-15-25. Cases referred for intentional program violation determination

(a) Cases referred for an administrative disqualification hearing (ADH). Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) staff refers cases to the DHS Legal Services Appeals Unit to conduct an ADH to determine if the client committed an intentional program violation. The cases referred contain documentary evidence of intentional program violation, but do not warrant civil or criminal prosecution.

(b) Waiving ADH. OIG staff gives a client suspected of an intentional program violation the option to waive his or her rights to an ADH. The client must complete and sign Form 08OP016E, Administrative Disqualification Hearing Waiver, to request a waiver. A waiver of the hearing subjects the client to the same penalties as if the hearing process determined intentional program violation.

(c) Penalties for intentional program violation. When the ADH results in an intentional program violation determination or the client waives his or her right to the hearing process, Adult and Family Services (AFS) Benefit Integrity and Recovery BIR staff imposes a disqualification penalty.

(1) AFS BIR staff sends Form 08AD019E, Program Penalty/Disqualification Notice, to the disqualified member. Form 08AD019E includes information regarding the remaining household members' eligibility.

(2) The disqualification period for a person is one year for the first violation, two years for the second violation, and permanently for the third violation.

(A) Any person disqualified for intentional program violation prior to April 1, 1983, is considered to have one previous disqualification, regardless of the number of previous disqualifications.

(B) A person is disqualified for a period of 10 years when an ADH decision finds the person made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to identity or place of residence in order to receive multiple, simultaneous Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits.

(C) The disqualification period begins the first, possible effective month following the date AFS BIR staff mails Form 08AD019E. Once the disqualification period begins, it runs continuously until the end of the period imposed, regardless of whether the household remains eligible for food benefits during the person's disqualification period.

(D) AFS BIR staff removes the disqualified person from the household size or closes the SNAP food benefit based on an intentional program violation when it is a one person household. Per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-7-29(d)(1), the worker counts the total gross income of the disqualified person in determining the remaining household members eligibility and allows all applicable deductions for the remaining household members.

(E) A client must repay the SNAP food benefit overpayment claim regardless of any disqualification penalty imposed. AFS BIR staff sends Form 08OP118E, Food Benefit Repayment Agreement, to notify the household of the need to make a repayment plan and the repayment options available to the client per OAC 340:50-15-6.

(d) Cases determined by a court. AFS BIR staff refers all cases suspected of intentional program violation to OIG to determine if court action is feasible.

(1) When OIG staff refers the person for court action, AFS BIR staff must not discuss the overpayment claim with the household until court action is complete or AFS BIR staff notifies the worker of needed action. Local county staff forwards further information or directs client inquiries regarding the overpayment to AFS BIR staff.

(2) A court of appropriate jurisdiction may find one or more persons in the household guilty of obtaining food benefits by fraudulent means. The court may charge the person with either a misdemeanor or felony.

(3) Disqualification penalty procedures for court and ADH determined cases are the same, except for (A) through (D) of this paragraph.

(A) The court may specify the length of the disqualification. Court-specified periods of disqualification may supersede (c)(2) of this Section.

(B) A person determined by a federal, state, or local court to have committed intentional program violations of trading SNAP food benefits for firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances is subject to disqualification:

(i) for two years for the first offense and permanently for the second offense involving the sale of a controlled substance for SNAP food benefits; and

(ii) permanently for the first offense involving the sale of firearms, ammunition, or explosives for SNAP food benefits.

(C) A person convicted in a federal, state, or local court of trafficking SNAP food benefits for an aggregate amount of $500 or more is permanently disqualified from SNAP participation. Per Section 271.2 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations and Section 243 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (56 O.S. § 243), the definition of trafficking means:

(i) the buying, selling, stealing, or otherwise effecting an exchange of SNAP benefits issued and accessed via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, card numbers, and personal identification numbers (PINs) 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;

(ii) the exchange of firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances, per Section 802 of Title 21 of the United States Code, for SNAP benefits;

(iii) purchasing a product with SNAP 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;

(iv) purchasing a product with SNAP 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 SNAP benefits in exchange for cash or consideration other than eligible food;

(v) intentionally purchasing products originally purchased with SNAP benefits in exchange for cash or consideration other than eligible food;

(vi) attempting to buy, sell, steal, or otherwise affect an exchange of SNAP benefits issued and accessed via EBT cards, card numbers, PINs, 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; or

(vii) the possession of stolen SNAP EBT cards.

(D) A person is disqualified from participation in SNAP for a 10-year period when the person is found to have made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to identity or place of residence in order to receive multiple benefits simultaneously under SNAP.

(4) The court may also stipulate a repayment plan. The repayment plan cannot be renegotiated. AFS BIR staff may refer the case back to the district attorney's office when the client fails to comply with the repayment plan.

(5) Per 56 O.S. § 243(B)(5), any district attorney who enters into a deferred adjudication or who negotiates for a deferred sentence with a defendant charged with fraud must present the defendant with a disqualification consent agreement as part of the deferred adjudication or sentence.

(Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 33, Issue 24, September 1, 2016, eff. 9/15/2016 Amended by Oklahoma Register, Volume 34, Issue 24, September 1, 2017, eff. 9/15/2017)

Amended at 8 Ok Reg 3463, eff 7-31-91 (emergency); Amended at 9 Ok Reg 3945, eff 6-10-92 (preemptive); Amended at 9 Ok Reg 2473, eff 6-25-92; Amended at 10 Ok Reg 147, eff 9-14-92 (preemptive); Amended at 10 Ok Reg 1821, eff 5-13-93; Amended at 12 Ok Reg 1577, eff 1-27-95 (emergency); Amended at 12 Ok Reg 2443, eff 6-26-95; Amended at 13 Ok Reg 1805, eff 5-15-96 (emergency); Amended at 14 Ok Reg 220, eff 10-1-96 (preemptive); Amended at 14 Ok Reg 964, eff 2-1-97 (emergency); Amended at 14 Ok Reg 1351, eff 5-12-97; Amended at 19 Ok Reg 395, eff 12-1-01 (emergency); Amended at 19 Ok Reg 1119, eff 5-13-02; Amended at 25 Ok Reg 1329, eff 6-1-08; Amended at 26 Ok Reg 840, eff 6-1-09; Amended at 28 Ok Reg 850, eff 6-1-11

The following state regulations pages link to this page.