FAA1.D Programs Administered by FAA : 01 NA Programs : C Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)
Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program
A streamlined Nutrition Assistance application, verification, and approval process for the elderly.
Policy
The Nutrition Assistance (NA) Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) is a demonstration project approved by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The goal is to increase NA participation among the elderly population by streamlining all of the following processes:
Application
Interview
Verification
All participants of the ESAP budgetary unit must meet all of the following:
60 years old or older
No earned or self-employment income
NOTE In-kind income is not considered income for ESAP. (See In-kind Income for the definition of in-kind income.)
ESAP participants must meet the same eligibility requirements as NA participants who are elderly or have a disability. (See Elderly or Have a Disability - NA Special Considerations for additional information.)
In addition to special considerations for elderly participants, ESAP eligible budgetary units receive all of the following considerations:
A 36-month approval period
A Mid Approval Contact (MAC) is not required
A renewal interview is not required unless one of the following occurs:
Requested by the participant, see Interview Requirements when the participant requests special accommodations
Prior to denying a renewal application
When information provided by the participant or authorized representative is questionable(g) or incomplete
Assigned to Simplified Reporting (See Simplified Reporting for the types of changes that must be reported)
Simpler and shorter ESAP Application (FAA-1821A)
Designated ESAP telephone and FAX numbers for the interview and verification
ESAP participants are not eligible for benefits when disqualified for, including and not limited to, any of the following:
They are a fleeing felon
They have a disqualifying drug conviction
They have an intentional program violation
For a full list of disqualification reasons, see Disqualified Participants.
ESAP Application
All official application forms submitted are screened for ESAP eligibility. (See Application Requirements for a list of acceptable applications). The ESAP Nutrition Assistance Application (FAA-1821A) form is used for ESAP and is only used when applying for NA. The Application for Benefits (FAA-0001A) or the HEAplus online application is completed, when one of the following applies:
The NA participant is applying for other programs
The NA participant is not eligible for ESAP
When an NA participant submits an identifiable ESAP application and is not eligible for ESAP, the ESAP application is used to preserve the application date.
All ESAP new applications(g) are screened for potential eligibility for NA expedited services. (See Requirements for NA Expedited Services (NAX) for NA expedite criteria). To comply with NA expedite time frames, a notice is sent when authorizing expedited benefits with postponed verification. (For policy and procedures regarding NA expedited services with postponed verification, see NA Expedite Applications With Postponed Verification.)
ESAP Interview Process – New Application
An interview is required for all ESAP new applications. When an ESAP participant is not interviewed on the same day, an appointment notice is sent. A notice of missed interview is sent when the participant fails to complete an interview by the deadline provided by the appointment notice.
ESAP participants who do not complete an interview by the deadline provided in the appointment notice are responsible to contact FAA as soon as possible to complete their interview.
When an interview is not completed by the timely denial date, the application is denied. A new application is not required when an interview is completed by the 30th calendar day after the application is denied. The benefits are prorated from the date of the interview.
ESAP Renewal Process
The ESAP Notice of Expiration (NOE) is sent to the ESAP budgetary unit when it is time to reapply. (See NA Notice of Expiration for when the NOE is mailed). The ESAP Notice of Expiration includes the ESAP renewal application. The ESAP participant is required to complete and return the ESAP renewal application or any official application to FAA to continue receiving benefits.
A renewal interview is not required unless the participant requests to be interviewed or prior to denying a renewal application.
When a renewal application is received, FAA staff reviews the application, case information, and system interface, and completes one of the following:
Authorizes the benefits when the budgetary unit is eligible, and no discrepancies are found between the application, casefile(g), and system interface.
Sends the ESAP appointment notice when the information provided in the application, obtained from the casefile or system interface is questionable or discrepant. The participant is allowed ten calendar days to contact FAA to complete the interview.
The renewal application is denied when the participant fails to contact FAA before the timely denial date. A new renewal application may not be needed when an interview is completed within the appropriate timeframes. (See The Renewal Process (Renewals) for additional information regarding timely or untimely renewal application)
ESAP Changes/Conversions
Changes in circumstances may be reported by the budgetary unit, through systems reports or reported by a third-party. For polices on changes, see When to Effect Changes). (See NA Notice of Expiration for the NOE mail date.)
Changes in budgetary unit composition, age (turning 60), earned income, or self-employment income may result in one of the following conversions:
From regular NA to ESAP. When the budgetary unit is now eligible for the considerations offered by ESAP, all of the following applies to the budgetary unit:
The budgetary unit retains its approval period
No longer required to complete the MAC
From ESAP to regular NA. When the budgetary unit is no longer eligible for ESAP considerations, all of the following applies to the budgetary unit:
Retains the 36-month approval period
Requires completion of the Mid Approval Contact (MAC) (For additional information, see NA Mid Approval Contact (MAC))
NOTE ESAP cases that convert to regular NA in the 17th month or later in the 36-month approval period are not required to complete a MAC. (See Example 1 and Example 2)
ESAP Categorical Eligibility
When an ESAP budgetary unit is NA categorically eligible, all participants who are included and eligible to receive NA are categorically eligible. ESAP categorical eligibility includes any of the following household types:
ESAP Basic Categorical Eligibility (ESB) (See Basic Categorical Eligibility on how basic categorical eligibility is determined)
ESAP Expanded Categorical Eligibility (ESE) (See Expanded Categorical Eligibility on how expanded categorical eligibility is determined)
ESAP Regular (ESA)
NOTE NA Categorical Eligibility (Basic or Expanded) does not exist when a participant is disqualified for participation.
Verification
For the ESAP Demonstration Project, participant statement verification can be used as the primary source of verification for any of the following:
Identity
Income
Shelter expenses
Telephone expense
Utility expenses
NOTE For the ESAP Demonstration Project, participant statement verification may not be used as the primary source of verification for any of the following:
A new report of medical expenses, that exceed the standard medical deduction amount
Child Support Expense Deduction
Immigration Status
Questionable information
Examples
1) Maria’s NA benefits are approved for the months of 01/2019-12/2021.
Maria is an ESAP-eligible participant. Maria reported on 04/28/2020 (the 16th month of the 36-month approval period) that she gains custody of her 10-year-old grandchild. The change is processed on 05/04/2020 (the 17th month of the 36-month approval period) resulting in Maria’s case being converted to regular NA. Since the conversion occurs during or after the 17th month of the 36-month approval period, Maria is not required to comply with the MAC process.
1) Maria’s NA benefits are approved for the months of 01/2019-12/2021.
Maria is an ESAP-eligible participant. Maria reported on 01/05/2020 that she gains custody of her 10-year-old grandchild. The change is processed on 01/10/2020, resulting in Maria’s case being converted to regular NA during the 13th month of the 36-month approval period. Since the conversion occurs before the 17th month of the 36-month approval period, Maria is required to complete the MAC process.
Legal Authorities
last revised 02/05/2024