Discontinuing Participants from the CSFP
Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
|Purpose: Beneficial Information|
To: Commodity Supplemental Food Program Local Agencies
Attention: Commodity Supplemental Food Program Managers
Date: March 2013
Subject: Discontinuing Participants from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for Not Picking Up Monthly Food Packages
|Reference: Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 247.17 and 247.33(a); U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memorandum, FD-099
This Management Bulletin (MB) establishes policy that allows Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) Local Agencies (LA) to discontinue participants from the CSFP when they do not pick up monthly food packages for three consecutive months, or three times in a six month period—whichever comes first. The CSFP is implementing this policy to enable LAs to better serve individuals on the agency’s waiting list.
It is the responsibility of the CSFP participant to pick-up their monthly food package on a monthly basis. A no-show is defined as a program participant or designated proxy who fails to pick up their monthly food package without prior notification or a reason deemed excusable by the LA (i.e., participants who require an extended hospital stay, etc.).
It is the responsibility of the LA to ensure that each participant is notified of the no-show policy during the certification and recertification process.
Result of Policy Violation
When the no-show policy is violated for three months consecutively, or three times within a six month period, the consequences are as follows:
- The first time a participant does not pick up their food package the LA is to make note of the occurrence and verbally notify the participant of the policy when they return. The LA is responsible for ensuring the participant clearly understands that after three consecutive no-shows, or three no-shows within a six month period (whichever comes first), they will be discontinued from the CSFP for a minimum of 90 days.
- The second time a participant does not pick up their monthly food package the LA is to make note that it is the second occurrence, and provide the participant with a clear written warning that an additional offense may discontinue them from the CSFP for a minimum of 90 days. The LA is to provide written notification to the participant using the Notification Letter for Ineligibility or Discontinuance for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program form (CSFP 003) available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Commodity Supplemental Food Program Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/fd/csfp.asp.
- The third time a participant does not pick up their monthly food package consecutively, or if the third no-show happens within a six month period, the participant is to be discontinued from the CSFP for a minimum of 90 days. The LA must provide the participant with written notification of discontinuance at least 15 days prior to the effective date of discontinuance. The LA is to notify the participant using form CSFP 003. If the LA determines that discontinuance of benefits may result in serious health risk to the CSFP participant, they may choose to waive the 90 day discontinuance.
Repeat Violations of No-Show Policy
A participant who accrues three 90 day periods of discontinuance due to no-show violations within 18 months is to be discontinued from the CSFP for a period of up to one year, unless the LA determines that disqualification would result in a serious health risk.
Discontinuing a Participant
LAs must provide the participant with written notification of discontinuance in accordance with Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 247.17 and 247.33(a). The written notification must include the following:
- Effective date and period of discontinuance
- Reason the participant is being discontinued from the program
- Statement of the individual’s right to appeal the discontinuance through the fair hearing process
- Statement that informs the applicant that program standards are applied without discrimination by race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability
- Copy of the appeal procedures the participant must follow to request an appeal
Note: The written notification of discontinuance must be provided to the participant at least 15 days prior to the effective date of discontinuance.
For more information regarding CSFP appeals, please refer to the CDE MB, USDA-CSFP-09-2012, Fair Hearing and Policy Procedures in the CSFP, available on the CSFP Management Bulletins Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/fd/csfpbulletins.asp.
A participant who has been discontinued from the program may reapply for CSFP benefits the calendar day following the last day of their established period of discontinuance. Should a waiting list exist at the time of reapplication, the participants shall be placed on the waiting list in the order by which they contacted the LA.
It is the responsibility of the LA to keep records of all cases of discontinued participants for a three year period from the date of issuance. These records must include documentation the participants were informed of their appeal rights. If the participant requested an appeal, the LA must maintain all records pertaining to the appeal.
If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact Irene Boubalos, CSFP Program Consultant, by phone at 916-229-3343 or by e-mail at Irene.Boubalos@dss.ca.gov.