Title: Section 359.9 - Penalties.

359.9 Penalties.

(a) Individuals found to have committed a public assistance-IPV, either through an administrative disqualification hearing or by a court of appropriate jurisdiction, or who have signed either a waiver of right to an administrative disqualification hearing or a disqualification consent agreement, will be ineligible, individually or as a member of an assistance unit, to receive public assistance:

(1) for six months for the commission of a first public assistance-IPV; or

(2) for 12 months for the commission of a second public assistance-IPV or when the offense results in the wrongful receipt of benefits in an amount between $1,000 and $3,900; or

(3) for 18 months for the commission of a third public assistance-IPV or when the offense results in the wrongful receipt of benefits in an amount in excess of $ 3,900; or

(4) for five years for the commission of a fourth or subsequent public assistance-IPV.

Findings of the commission of intentional program violations in the ADC and HR programs prior to August 20, 1997 must be considered in determining the sanction to be imposed for a public assistance-IPV.

(b) The sanction in subdivision (a) of this section is in addition to, and not in substitution for, any other sanctions which may be provided for by law with respect to the offenses involved. However, the social services official or court official assessing penalties against a public assistance recipient for an act of fraud or misrepresentation may consider whether to impose such penalties based upon the existence of the penalties described in subdivision (a) of this section.

(c) Individuals found to have committed an FS-IPV, either through an administrative disqualification hearing or by a court of appropriate jurisdiction, or who have signed either a waiver of right to an administrative disqualification hearing or a disqualification consent agreement, will be ineligible to participate in the Food Stamp program:

(1) for one year for the commission of a first FS-IPV;

(2) for two years upon:

(i) the commission of a second FS-IPV; or

(ii) the first occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of a controlled substance for coupons; and

(3) permanently upon:

(i) the commission of a third FS-IPV; or

(ii) the second occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of a controlled substance for coupons; or

(iii) the first occasion of a finding by a Federal, State, or local court of the trading of firearms, ammunition, or explosives for coupons; or

(iv) the conviction of an offense for knowingly using, transferring, acquiring, altering or possessing food stamp coupons, authorization to participate cards or access devices in any matter not authorized by this Part if such food stamp coupons, authorization to participate cards or electronics devices have a value of $500 or more.

(d) If a court of appropriate jurisdiction determines that an individual has engaged in conduct that would constitute an intentional program violation in accordance with the standards described in section 359.3 of this Part, the social services district must impose the penalties specified in this section, except as otherwise set forth below:

(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, an individual found guilty of an intentional program violation must be disqualified from the public assistance or Food Stamp program for the length of time specified by the court, if the court has imposed a disqualification period for such a violation.

(2) With respect to an FS-IPV, if a court fails to impose a disqualification period, the social services district must impose the disqualification penalties specified in subdivision (c) of this section, unless such imposition is contrary to the court order. With respect to a public assistance-IPV, if a court fails to impose a disqualification period, the social services district may impose the disqualification penalties for a public assistance-IPV as specified in subdivisions (a) and (b) of this section.

(3) If disqualification is ordered by a court, but a date for initiating the disqualification period is not specified, the social services district must initiate the disqualification period for currently eligible individuals within 45 days of the date the disqualification was ordered.

(4) If disqualification is not ordered by a court, but disqualification must be imposed as the result of a criminal or civil court determination finding that an individual has engaged in conduct that constitutes an intentional program violation, the social services district must initiate the disqualification period for currently eligible individuals within 45 days of the date of the court determination.

(5) No individual may be sanctioned for a public assistance-IPV on the basis of a conviction in a State or Federal court if that conviction is based on a plea of guilty unless the individual was advised on the record in the court proceeding that his or her conviction may serve as the basis for disqualification from receipt of public assistance benefits and in writing prior to or at the time of entry of the plea of the disqualification provisions contained in this section. An individual not so advised may, however, be subject to an administrative disqualification hearing on the same set of facts as the court proceeding, provided that neither the conviction itself nor the records of the court proceeding may be used in any manner in the administrative disqualification hearing, nor may the office or a social services district, any person acting on behalf of the office or a social services district or any witness presented by the office or a social services district, disclose the existence of the court proceeding in any manner to the hearing officer prior to the entry of the plea.

(e) The social services district must disqualify from the appropriate program(s) the individual(s) found to have committed an intentional program violation, or who have signed a waiver of right to an administrative disqualification hearing or disqualification consent agreement in cases referred for prosecution, but not the entire assistance unit or household of such individual(s), except as provided in subdivision (f) of this section.

(1) A disqualified individual is ineligible to participate in a program from which he or she is disqualified for the periods provided in this section.

(2) If an individual signs a disqualification consent agreement, the period of disqualification will begin within 45 days of the date the individual signed the disqualification consent agreement unless the disqualification consent agreement is incorporated into a court determination issued at a later date or a court determination has specified the date for initiating the disqualification period, in which event the social services district will disqualify the individual in accordance with the court order.

(3) If an individual signs a waiver of right to an administrative disqualification hearing or has been found to have committed an intentional program violation through an administrative disqualification hearing, the period of disqualification will begin with the first month which follows the date the individual receives written notification of disqualification after having been found to have committed an FS-IPV, and must begin no later than the first day of the second month which follows the date of the notice of disqualification after having been found to have committed any other intentional program violation.

(f) The remaining members of the household which contained an individual who has been found to have committed an FS-IPV must agree to make full restitution within 10 days of the date that the social services district's demand letter is mailed, or the household's monthly allotment will be reduced. If the remaining household members agree to make full restitution but fail to do so, the social services district must reduce the household's monthly food stamp allotment. Restitution must begin during the period of disqualification imposed by the social services district or a court of law. Any public assistance overpayment must be recovered in accordance with the provisions of section 352.31 of this Title.

(g) If there is a determination that a member of the household or assistance unit has committed an intentional program violation, the social services district must take immediate action to send the individual a notice of disqualification as set forth in section 359.10 of this Part.

(1) In the case of an individual who is not currently in receipt of public assistance, federally funded aid to dependent children or food stamps, the disqualification period will be postponed until after a re-application for benefits under the applicable program has been approved.

(2) Once a disqualification penalty has been imposed against a member of the household or assistance unit, the period of disqualification continues uninterrupted until completed regardless of the eligibility of the other members of the household or assistance unit. However, the disqualified member's household or assistance unit continues to be responsible for repayment of any overpayment or over-issuance which resulted from the disqualified member's intentional program violation regardless of the household's or unit's eligibility for home relief, aid to dependent children or food stamps.

(h) Social services districts must report to the department information on individuals who have been found to have committed an intentional program violation by a hearing decision or a court or who have signed a waiver of hearing or a DCA. The following data must be submitted on each individual:

(1) full name;

(2) social security number;

(3) date of birth;

(4) number of disqualification(s) (1st, 2nd, 3rd, ect.);

(5) date disqualification took effect for a current otherwise eligible individual; and

(6) length of disqualification imposed or to be imposed. This information is to be submitted no later than 20 days after the date the disqualification took effect, or would have taken effect for a currently ineligible individual, the imposition whose disqualification penalty will not be imposed until the individual becomes eligible for assistance or benefits. This information is to be updated by social services districts where appropriate.

 

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