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Issue Alert - 07-04-02

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Date:

Apr 01, 2007

Program Area:

All programs (except Transition Medicaid)

Issue Summary:

DHS will accept verification items via email and fax. They have also clarified its verification policy on timeliness

Persons Affected:

All benefit applicants

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice 320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800)724-7441 Fax: (989) 755-3558 E-mail: info@ccj-mi.org

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000 (734) 998-6100 (734) 998-9125 Fax


Background

DHS policy requires that caseworkers verify eligibility information for all benefit applicants.   Applicants must generally verify income and expense as well as other eligibility information depending on the benefit program.  Caseworkers can also request verification on information that they find “questionable.” 

 

DHS policy states that generally clients have 10 days to submit the requested verification (or other time specified in policy).  Clients may ask for one extension of the verification deadline.  Moreover, if the client needs assistance in getting the verification item, he or she should request assistance from the caseworker. 

 

For more information on the DHS verification policy see PAM 130 and manual items related to the benefit program.

What's Happening?

DHS has issued its timeliness policy regarding faxed and email responses to verification requests as well as responses submitted to DHS after the close of business hours.

The receipt date for verification responses submitted by fax or email is the date of transmission.

Verification responses submitted after the close of business hours at the local office via the drop box or “by delivery of a DHS representative” are considered received the next business day.  While it’s unclear what “delivery by a DHS representative” means, it appears that it means any DHS worker not directly related to benefits processing such as an adult services worker or child protective services worker.  DHS policy PAM 130 is clear that a negative action notice should be sent for late verification when:

1)    the client refuses to provide verification

2)    the time period has elapsed AND the client has not made a reasonable effort to provide it.

Thus, if an applicant turns in verification to office after business hours or to a DHS representative, and the verification item is received the day after the due date, the caseworker should NOT send out a negative action notice because the client made a reasonable effort to provide the information.

NOTE:  Faxed verifications of citizenship or identity are not acceptable.  See Issue Alert – DRA citizenship requirements for more information.  Issue Alerts are posted at www.mplp.org.

What Should Advocates Do?

Advocates should make clients aware that verification responses submitted electronically via fax or email are considered received on the date of transmission and that clients should keep receipts of when the responses were submitted. 

 

Advocates should also assist clients whose applications were denied because of late verification.

What Should Clients Do?

Clients should be aware that verification responses submitted electronically via fax or email are considered received on the date of transmission and that clients should keep receipts of when the responses were submitted. 

 

Clients whose applications were denied because of a late verification submission should seek legal help.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate various sources of legal and related services, including the free legal aid office that serves your county, at MichiganLegalAid.org. You can also look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.