What’s Changed on 04/06/2020
What’s Changed on 04/06/2020
 
This page relays to staff and the public of changes to the Cash and Nutrition Assistance Policy (CNAP) Manual regarding policy, procedures, and forms. Reminders and general information may also be displayed on this page. Prior What’s Changed pages are listed in FAA6.R01 of the CNAP Manual.
 
The above list summarizes the information on this page. Within the CNAP Manual, each item listed above links to screens below.
Reminder: Waiver of the Interview and Signature Requirements
An Urgent Bulletin was issued on 04/03/2020 to inform staff that the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has approved waivers to disregard the requirement for an interview and the signature requirement for applications when certain criteria is met. This is in an effort to provide expedient assistance and ensure that benefits are made available to those in need as soon as possible. These waivers were approved under authorization of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Public Law 116-127, HR 6201).
 
Waiver of the Interview Requirement
The interview waiver applies to all CA and NA application determinations completed April 6, 2020 through May 31, 2020. All mandatory factors, including identity (See FAA2.K03C - Verification of Identity), must be verified.
 
Contact with the household is required when any information on the application is questionable and cannot be verified by State Verification Exchange System (SVES) information or current verification in the case file. When mandatory factors cannot be verified using the verification process, the interview cannot be waived.
 
Follow the Case Processing Without Interview Standard Work when processing these applications.
 
For additional information, see the Application Processing without Interview Flowchart.
 
Waiver of the Signature Requirement
The signature waiver applies to CA and NA applications dated March 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020.
 
When conducting a phone interview and the technology for a voice signature is not available, the participant may verbally attest to the information provided on the application.
 
When conducting a phone interview with an unsigned application or attempting contact in order to acquire verbal attestation, staff must document that the applicant verbally attested to the information provided on the application. The following information must be documented in the case file:
 
Case name
Date and time of application
A summary of the information to which the participant verbally assents
The participant’s responses indicating agreement or disagreement
 
For additional information, see Verbal Attestation of Signature Desk Aid.
 
Reminder: Extension of NA Renewals and Mid Approval Contacts
An Urgent Bulletin was issued on 03/30/2020 to inform staff that the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has approved a waiver to extend NA renewals due in March, April and May 2020 by six months. This is based on guidance included in Public Law 116-127, HR 6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FNS waiver also suspends the requirement for Mid Approval Contact (MAC) due in March, April and May 2020.
 
FAA systems is adjusting the NA approval period end date for the effected cases. The NA renewal due date for these cases will be adjusted in AZTECS as follows:
 
March 2020 to September 2020
April 2020 to October 2020
May 2020 to November 2020
 
For combination cases, the CA approval period will be aligned with the NA approval period.
 
FAA Systems is working on suspending the MAC requirement and all notices involved in the MAC process for the effected cases.
 
No action is needed by staff for the extension of the NA approval periods. Staff must not take any adverse action based on failure to complete a MAC until the benefit month of June 2020.
 
FAA Systems and FAA Policy are creating a notice that will be mailed to budgetary units impacted by this change. The notice informs the participant their approval period is being extended or their MAC requirement is suspended.
 
Reminder: Gila River COVID-19 Emergency Fund
An Urgent Bulletin was issued on 04/02/2020 to inform staff that the one-time Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) COVID-19 Emergency Fund is not countable as income or a resource. This Emergency Fund payment is being disbursed from Community accounts to provide the tribal government with the ability to quickly act in order to meet the needs of its members.
 
The Gila River Indian Community is going to issue a one-time Emergency Fund payment of $500 on April 3rd, 2020 to each tribal member who is 18 years of age or over.
 
This Emergency Fund payment is not countable for Nutrition Assistance (NA) and Cash Assistance (CA) as income or a resource.
 
Key the OX Unearned Income Code in the INC TYPE field on UNIC in the month the income is received.
 
Key OX on the FIAC or LIAS AZTECS screen for any money remaining in the following month as a resource.
 
For additional information, see FAA4.A02, FAA4.H03T, and FAA4.B03P in the Cash and Nutrition Assistance Policy (CNAP) Manual.
 
Staff must ensure that documentation supports the income budgeted for NA and CA.
 
Reminder: Temporary Suspension of Jobs Work Requirement, Cooperation with DCSS and Federal and State Time Limits
An Urgent Bulletin was issued on 03/31/2020 to inform staff that the work requirements, cooperation with the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) and the Federal and State time limit requirements for the Cash Assistance (CA) program are suspended until further notice.
 
NOTE The Urgent Bulletin does not apply to Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribal TANF. See Hopi Tribal TANF and Pascua Yaqui Tribal TANF for additional information.
 
Jobs Work Requirements
The suspension of the CA work requirements covers the Jobs Program, the TPEP Jobs and the Tribal NEW work programs. The JPPO requirement and the TPEP pre-compliance requirement are also suspended.
 
Although the work requirements and the pre-compliance requirements are suspended, FAA staff must continue to key the appropriate Referral or Exemption Reason Code in the PAR/EXEM field of the WORW screen. FAA staff must also advise CA participants that participation in Jobs, TPEP Jobs or Tribal NEW work program is not required, and that no negative actions will be taken for failure to comply for the duration of the suspension.
 
There are no changes to the AZTECS keying procedures for TPEP cases. FAA Systems is working on an enhancement to AZTECS to allow TPEP benefits to issue to the client without participation in work program activities. Until AZTECS enhancements are completed, FAA staff are required to contact the FAA Systems Help Desk at (602) 771-7984 to request the release of TPEP benefits. FAA Systems will issue an informational bulletin when programming is added to AZTECS.
 
No negative actions should be taken for failure to comply with the Jobs Program, TPEP Jobs and Tribal NEW work requirements. For current CA cases, FAA Systems is working on ending sanctions for noncompliance with the work requirement that are already imposed for the month of April 2020. This will allow the affected households to receive their full benefits.
 
Cooperation with DCSS
The requirement to cooperate with DCSS is suspended until further notice.
 
For an initial CA application, FAA staff must check AZTECS to determine whether a valid exemption reason or good cause for noncooperation has been previously determined. When an exemption reason or good cause was previously claimed by the household and verified by FAA, the appropriate code must be keyed in the AF Cooperation Code field on the APPD screen. When keying a Good Cause Code, key the effective date in the Good Cause Effective Date field on the APPD screen. The effective date will be the same date the action is taken by staff.
 
To allow FAA staff to immediately authorize CA benefits, staff will use the following special keying procedures on the APPD screen until the suspension of the cooperation requirement is lifted:
 
For households that do not have a previously verified exemption or good cause reason, key the CO Cooperation Code in the AF Cooperation Code field on the APPD screen.
 
NOTE The CO Cooperation Code should be used for CA applicants who are required to cooperate with DCSS.
 
Key the Date of AF Cooperation field on the APPD screen with the date the action is taken by staff.
 
The Date of AF Cooperation field on the APPD screen is now an open field.
 
No negative actions should be taken for failure or refusal to cooperate with DCSS on any CA case. FAA Systems is working on ending sanctions for noncompliance for failure or refusal to cooperate with DCSS that are already imposed for the month of April 2020. This will allow the household to receive their full benefits.
 
Federal and State Time Limits
The Lifetime Benefit Limit (LIBL) and the State Benefit Limit (STBL) counters will be suspended for all CA households.
 
There is no keying change in AZTECS when the CA household has not met or has not exceeded LIBL or STBL.
 
When a CA application is received and the LIBL or the STBL has been met or exceeded, FAA staff must check the case file to determine whether there is an existing valid extension reason for the household. When no valid extension reason exists, FAA staff must key the CE code in the AZ EXT RSN or EXT RSN AF field on WERE.
 
FAA Systems has suspended the use of Denial or Closure Reason Codes for the Jobs work requirement, cooperation with DCSS and the Federal and State time limits for CA.
 
Reminder: Suspension of ABAWD, NA E&T, and Voluntary Quit Requirements
An Urgent Bulletin was issued on 03/27/2020 to inform staff that provisions in Public Law 116-127, HR6201 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) allows for the temporary suspension of ABAWD, NA E&T work registration requirements, and Voluntary Quit/Reduced Work Effort (VQ/RWE) requirements. In an effort to provide expedient assistance and ensure that benefits continue uninterrupted, the following changes to the Nutrition Assistance (NA) program are in effect until further notice:
 
ABAWD
ABAWD work requirements have been suspended. FAA Systems has created a new
ABAWD Exemption Reason Code of CE. Staff should continue to follow policy on determining an ABAWD exemption using the existing exemption reasons. When a participant does not meet an exemption, and would normally have been coded NE on WERE, staff will key the new CE, HR6201 Families First Exempt, Exemption Reason Code.
 
When keying the new CE Exemption Reason Code on WERE, staff will get an edit message on WORW requiring a change in the FS PAR/EXEM field to RR.
 
NA Employment & Training (NA E&T)
Work requirements for NA E&T have been suspended. FAA staff will continue to key the appropriate referral codes in AZTECS but participation is not required. No negative actions should be taken for failure to comply with work requirements
 
Voluntary Quit/Reduced Work Effort (VQ/RWE)
During this time, staff must ensure NA participants are not disqualified or NA households closed for VQ/RWE. The VQ code has been suspended and FAA Systems is attempting to identify those individuals and households under a VQ/RWE disqualification and to remove those disqualifications. This will allow benefits to continue benefits.
 
Staff must ensure no negative actions are taken due to noncompliance of work requirements.
 
General Information: Jobs Program Contact Information for Customers Regarding Work Requirements
The Division of Employment and Rehabilitation Services (DERS) provided the following information:
 
Many program services remain available to assist clients in preparing and searching for employment. To protect the health of our clients and staff, these services are available remotely by phone or computer. Jobs Program staff can continue to assist clients in job placement, develop and modify Employment and Career Development Plans (ECDPs), enhance clients' employability, job search skills, and provide transitional support services.
 
TANF and SNAP Jobs Program Contact Numbers:
 
Maricopa County 1 (866) 299-6757
Outside of Maricopa County (520) 881-0570
SNAP Employment & Training Representatives (833) 762-8196
 
Provide this information to customers who wish to volunteer for Jobs Program services.
 
General Information: Deactivation of the F035 Notice
During the current State of Emergency, the ABAWD Participation and Referral (F035) notice will not be available for staff to send to ABAWD participants. This change was completed because of the temporary suspension of ABAWD work requirements. The ABAWD Participation and Referral (F035) notice was deactivated on 03/30/2020.
 
General Information: Forms Update
Changes to Forms – 03/28/2020 through 04/03/2020
 
As a reminder, it is important not to save documents on your desktop or a folder. It is better to use the form you need directly from the Document Center. Forms are frequently updated and sometimes the current form must be used for programming purposes.
 
Revised forms:
 
No forms were revised during the specified period
 
Newly created forms:
 
No forms were created during the specified period
 
Revised Marketing Materials (Posters, Pamphlets, Flyers):
 
No revisions to marketing materials were made during the specified period