Notice of Intended Action

Food assistance—supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), opportunity to waive right to administrative disqualification hearing, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4(3), 7.19

Untitled document

ARC 5549C

HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT[441]

Notice of Intended Action

Proposing rule making related to the supplemental nutrition assistance program and providing an opportunity for public comment

The Human Services Department hereby proposes to amend Chapter 7, "Appeals and Hearings," Iowa Administrative Code.

Legal Authority for Rule Making

This rule making is proposed under the authority provided in Iowa Code chapter 17A and section 217.6 and 7 CFR 273.16(f).

State or Federal Law Implemented

This rule making implements, in whole or in part, Iowa Code chapter 17A and section 217.6 and 7 CFR 273.16(f).

Purpose and Summary

The Department has changed the formal name of Iowa's food assistance program from Food Assistance to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to be consistent with the name of the federal program and to alleviate confusion around food benefits that are available.

Federal regulations give states the option of establishing procedures to allow an individual accused of an intentional SNAP violation to waive the individual's right to an administrative disqualification hearing. With the recommendation of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the Department has decided to take advantage of this option. The Department is responsible for investigating any case of alleged intentional program violation. The Department will notify a SNAP household when the Department submits a referral to determine whether an individual of that household intentionally violated SNAP rules. Currently, the Department's only options to ensure appropriate cases are acted upon are through an administrative disqualification hearing or through criminal prosecution by a court of an appropriate jurisdiction.

The proposed amendments give an individual who is suspected of an intentional program violation an opportunity to waive the individual's right to an administrative disqualification hearing, if the individual so chooses, on Form 470-5530, Waiver of Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing.

If the individual chooses to sign the form, the member will be disqualified from participating in SNAP for a specified time and agrees to repay any overpayment associated with the violation. No administrative disqualification hearing will be held. The same disqualification penalty will be imposed if the individual chooses to give up the right to an administrative disqualification hearing and signs the waiver form or if the individual participates in the hearing and is found to have committed an intentional program violation by an administrative law judge.

No further administrative appeal procedure exists after an individual waives the individual's right to an administrative disqualification hearing and a disqualification penalty has been imposed.

Fiscal Impact

This rule making has no fiscal impact to the State of Iowa.

Jobs Impact

After analysis and review of this rule making, no impact on jobs has been found.

Waivers

Any person who believes that the application of the discretionary provisions of this rule making would result in hardship or injustice to that person may petition the Department for a waiver of the discretionary provisions, if any, pursuant to rule 441—1.8(17A,217).

Public Comment

Any interested person may submit written comments concerning this proposed rule making. Written comments in response to this rule making must be received by the Department no later than 4:30 p.m. on April 27, 2021. Comments should be directed to:

Nancy Freudenberg

Iowa Department of Human Services

Hoover State Office Building, Fifth Floor

1305 East Walnut Street

Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0114

Email: appeals@dhs.state.ia.us

Public Hearing

No public hearing is scheduled at this time. As provided in Iowa Code section 17A.4(1)"b," an oral presentation regarding this rule making may be demanded by 25 interested persons, a governmental subdivision, the Administrative Rules Review Committee, an agency, or an association having 25 or more members.

Review by Administrative Rules Review Committee

The Administrative Rules Review Committee, a bipartisan legislative committee which oversees rule making by executive branch agencies, may, on its own motion or on written request by any individual or group, review this rule making at its regular monthly meeting or at a special meeting. The Committee's meetings are open to the public, and interested persons may be heard as provided in Iowa Code section 17A.8(6).

The following rule-making actions are proposed:

Item 1. Amend rule 441—7.1(17A), definitions of "Assistance program," "Good cause" and "Intentional program violation," as follows:

"Assistance program" means a program administered by the department or on the department's behalf through which qualifying individuals receive benefits or services. Assistance programs include, but are not necessarily limited to, food assistance the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, the family investment program, refugee cash assistance, child care assistance, emergency assistance, the family planning program, the family self-sufficiency grant, PROMISE JOBS, state supplementary assistance, the healthy and well kids in Iowa (hawki) program, foster care, adoption, and aftercare services.

"Good cause" means an intervening cause, not attributable to the negligence of a party, reasonably resulting in a delay or in attendance failure to attend, for purposes of subrules 7.4(3) and 7.9(2).

"Intentional program violation" means deliberately making a false or misleading statement; or misrepresenting, concealing, or withholding facts; or committing any act that is a violation of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food assistance program SNAP regulations, or any state law relating to the use, presentation, transfer, acquisition, receipt, possession, or trafficking of SNAP benefits or an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card. An intentional program violation is determined through a food assistance SNAP administrative disqualification hearing. The hearing, a court conviction, or when an individual signs and returns Form 470-5530, Waiver of Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing, which may result in a period of ineligibility for the program, a claim for overpayment of benefits, or both.

Item 2. Amend rule 441—7.2(17A) as follows:

441—7.2(17A) Governing law and regulations. In the absence of an applicable rule in this chapter, the DIA rules found at 481—Chapter 10 govern department appeals. Notwithstanding the foregoing and the rules contained in this chapter, to the extent that federal or state law (including regulations and rules) related to a specific program is more specific than or contradicts these rules or the applicable DIA rules, the program-specific federal or state law shall control. For example, food assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) appeals shall be conducted in accordance with 7 CFR 273.15 and 7 CFR 273.16, and medical assistance appeals shall be conducted in accordance with 42 CFR Part 431, subpart E, and Part 438, subpart F.

Item 3. Amend paragraph 7.4(3)"a" as follows:

a. Food assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid eligibility, healthy and well kids in Iowa (hawki), fee-for-service Medicaid coverage, family planning program and autism support program. For appeals pertaining to food assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid eligibility, healthy and well kids in Iowa (hawki), fee-for-service Medicaid coverage, the family planning program or the autism support program, the appellant must appeal on or before the ninetieth day following the date of notice of an adverse benefit determination.

Item 4. Amend paragraph 7.4(3)"i" as follows:

i. Assistance program overpayments. For appeals pertaining to the family investment program, refugee cash assistance, PROMISE JOBS, child care assistance, medical assistance, healthy and well kids in Iowa (hawki), family planning program or food assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) overpayments, the party-in-interest's right to appeal the existence, computation and amount of the overissuance or overpayment begins when the department sends the first notice informing the party-in-interest of the overissuance or overpayment.

Item 5. Adopt the following new rule 441—7.19(17A):

441—7.19(17A) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) administrative disqualification hearings. The department acts on alleged intentional program violations either through an administrative disqualification hearing or referral to a court of appropriate jurisdiction. An individual accused of an intentional program violation may waive the individual's right to an administrative disqualification hearing in accordance with the procedures outlined in this rule.

7.19(1) When a case is referred for an administrative disqualification hearing, the appeals section shall provide written notification to the individual that the individual can waive the right to an administrative disqualification hearing by signing and returning Form 470-5530, Waiver of Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing.

7.19(2) By signing Form 470-5530, Waiver of Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing, the individual:

a. Waives the right to an administrative disqualification hearing;

b. Consents to the SNAP disqualification period designated on Form 470-5530, Waiver of Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing, and a reduction of benefits for the period of disqualification; and

c. Acknowledges that remaining household members, if any, may be held responsible for repayment of the resulting claim.

7.19(3) An administrative disqualification hearing shall be scheduled if the individual does not sign and mail or fax Form 470-5530, Waiver of Right to an Administrative Disqualification Hearing, to the appeals section within ten days of receipt of the written notification stating the individual can waive the right to an administrative disqualification hearing. The date on which the written notification is received is considered to be five days after the date on the notification, unless the individual shows the notification was not received within the five-day period.

7.19(4) An individual who waives the right to an administrative disqualification hearing will be subject to the same penalties as an individual found to have committed an intentional program violation in an administrative disqualification hearing.

7.19(5) No further administrative appeal procedure exists after an individual waives the individual's right to an administrative disqualification hearing and a disqualification penalty has been imposed. The disqualification penalty shall not be changed by a subsequent fair hearing decision.

Human Services Department

Open For Comments

This notice is open for comments for 5 more day(s). If you'd like to comment, select or click the text you wish to comment on in the document, or click the button below to make a general comment about the document. Comments will be collected through 4/27/2021

NOTE: You can also click the text in the document to make comments about specific sections.

Official Document

  • Food assistance—supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), opportunity to waive right to administrative disqualification hearing, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4(3), 7.19
  • Published on 4/7/2021
  • 65 Views , 0 Comments
  • Notice of Intended Action

The official published PDF of this document is available from the Iowa General Assembly’s Administrative Rules page.

View Official PDF

View the Iowa Administrative Bulletin for 4/7/2021.

View Bulletin

Administrative Rule References

The following administrative rule references were added to this document. You may click a reference to view related notices.

Rule 441-7.1 Rule 441-7.19 Rule 441-7.2 Rule 441-7.4 Rule 441-7.4(3)"a" Rule 441-7.4(3)"i" Rule 441-7.9

Keywords

The following keywords and tags were added to this document. You may click a keyword to view related notices.

Assistance program overpayments Governing law and regulations
Click To Comment