Certification Period

Created on: 
Nov 15 2019

Online Processing

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.

How are certification dates determined?

Policy defines how long a case should be certified based on program code, type code, and household situation. For more information, see EA-Z Manual – WAC 388-416-0005 How long can I get Basic Food?

A certification period starts on the effective date of eligibility.

ACES uses the program and type code to set the default review end date (end of the certification period).

What are the certification period defaults?

Certification period end dates are set to default based on the Assistance Units circumstances and the other programs the client is receiving benefits from. See Certification Defaults and Allowable Adjustments Chart.

When can a certification period be adjusted?

Certification period end dates can be adjusted for certain Cash Assistance Units (AUs). For more information, see Certification Defaults and Allowable Adjustments Chart.

Certification end dates can only be changed in the ongoing month during:

  • Finalize Application
  • Eligibility Review

Certification periods for the following programs cannot be adjusted at any time:

  • Basic Food - These AUs will remain a 12 month certification period.
  • Washington State Combined Application Project (WASHCAP) food benefits - These AU's have a 36 month certification period.
  • Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) - Remain a five month certification period. (Review initiated on TFA Assistance Unit reverts the AU back to Basic Food)
  • Refugee Assistance (RF) - Remain an eight month certification period.
  • Consolidated Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP) (EA) - Is a one month certification period.
  • Diversion Cash Assistance (DA) - Remain a 12 month certification period.
  • State Supplemental Payment (SP) - Continues as an open ended certification period.

ACES automatically extends the certification period for one or two months when an application is finalized or when a review is initiated but there is not enough time for the next review to be auto-scheduled. In this situation, the review end date can be shortened but the user must be aware that if they do shorten it, the next review is not auto-scheduled.

Are Cash review periods and Basic Food certifications matched up?

For new applications processed in the same month, ACES sets the review period and certification period for the same number of months.

When Cash and Basic Food are approved in different months and there is at least six months left in the Basic Food certification period, the eligibility end dates for a new Cash Assistance Unit (AU) is set to match the certification end date for the Basic Food AU.

NOTE:  Locally printing Letter 002-01 (Approval Letter) after approval of a Cash AU does not show the matched certification end date until overnight batch processing occurs.  During overnight batch processing, the Cash and Basic Food certification end dates are matched and Letter 002-01 is sent from State Office showing the newly synced Cash certification end date.

If there is less than six months left in the Basic Food certification period, ACES sets a 12 month review period for the new Cash AU.

 At review or recertification, when a worker initiates a review for Basic Food, ACES initiates a review on a Cash AU with the same head of household.

At review or recertification, when the worker initiates a review for Cash, ACES initiates a review on the Basic Food AU with the same head of household if the certification end date is 45 days or less. If the Basic Food AU has a certification end date of more than 45 days, ACES does not allow the review to be initiated.

What happens to the certification period for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) when a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Assistance Unit (AU) is reinstated?

When a TANF or State Funded Assistance (SFA) AU that closed for any reason other than an Eligibility Review is reinstated and the client is active on TFA, the TFA AU spawns back to a Basic Food AU and retains the prior certification period end date.

  • This works the same way for Tribal TANF (TT)
NOTE:  A TFA AU does not spawn back to a Basic Food AU if the original Basic Food certification end date is in the past. The TFA AU closes for Reason Code 131- A Member of the Household is now receiving TANF or Tribal TANF.  If the original Basic Food certification end date is in the past, users should re-open/re-screen the TFA AU using the appropriate application date.

If the Basic Food benefit amount is less than the TFA amount, clients are given 10-day notice advising them of the reduction in the benefit amount.

If the Basic Food Benefit amount is greater than the TFA amount 10-day notice is waived.

If a TANF/SFA AU is reinstated and closes back down due to being over income, the TFA AU remains active.

Where do I find additional information on certification periods?

For Basic Food Certification Periods, see EA-Z Manual - WAC 388-416-0005 How long can I get Basic Food?

For Cash Assistance Certification Periods, see EA-Z Manual - WAC 388-434-0005 How often does the department review my eligibility for benefits?

For Medical Assistance Certification Periods see the following WACs:

Certification Defaults and Allowable Adjustments Extensions Chart

Program Type / Assistance Unit (AU) Circumstances

Certification / Review Period Default

Allowable Adjustments

Aged, Blind, or Disabled Cash (GA)

12 months

None

Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)

Up to 8 months

None

TANF/SFA

12 months

Can be shortened **

TANF/SFA - Homeless

12 months

Can be shortened **

TANF/SFA - Migrant/Seasonal Farm Worker

12 months

None

Medically Needy (MN) Children with Spenddown (F99) medical

6 months Can be shortened to 3 months.

MN LTC in a Medical Facility - with Spenddown (L99)

6 months Can be shortened to 3 months.

MN Pregnancy (P99) medical

6 months Can be shortened to end of month in which the baby is due.

MN SSI Related with Spenddown (S99) medical

6 months Can be shortened to 3 months.

Medical - All other Medical not associated with a cash grant

12 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - ABAWDS

12 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - Homeless

12 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - Migrant/Seasonal Farm Worker

12 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - All adult members are *elderly/disabled - no earned income or cash assistance

12 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - Associated with ADATSA

12 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - WASHCAP

36 months

None

Basic Food (BF) - All other (including non-participating ABAWDS or ABAWDS in exempt areas)

12 months

None

Transitional Food Assistance

5 months

N/A

*Elderly means a person 60 years of age or older for Basic Food.

**Minimum certification to remain in AUTO ER Schedule Cycle.

Online Processing

How is a Certification Period adjusted?

A Certification Period can be adjusted in ACES 3G during the finalize process by taking the following steps:

  1.  On the Eligibility Details page, in the Certification section, update the Review End Date field [MM/YYYY] based on ​Certification Defaults and Allowable Adjustments Extensions Chart .
  2. Confirm Benefits.

When ACES extends the review date, Review end date auto extended to insure next review is auto scheduled, and/or Related interim reports and review cycles may be auto-synchronized during batch displays on the bottom of the Eligibility Details page.​

 

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter