U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 24, 2024

§ 273.26 - General eligibility guidelines.

(a) Eligible programs. The State agency may elect to provide transitional SNAP benefits to households whose participation in the following programs is ending:

(1) TANF or State Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funded cash assistance programs, as authorized under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act; or

(2) A State-funded cash assistance (SFCA) program that provides assistance to families with children. Eligible SFCA programs may include programs funded by both state and local funds provided the programs are intended to be statewide.

(b) Description of State transitional benefits. A State agency that chooses to provide transitional benefits must describe features of its transitional SNAP benefits alternative in its plan of operation, as specified in § 272.2(d)(1)(xvi)(H) of this chapter and as described in § 273.26(b)(1) through (b)(6).

(1) A statement that transitional benefits are available;

(2) The eligible programs by which households may qualify for transitional benefits;

(3) If the State agency is offering transitional benefits through a SFCA program, in addition to TANF or MOE, whether the SFCA program participation runs concurrently, sequentially, or alternatively to the TANF or MOE program;

(4) The categories of households eligible for such benefits;

(5) The maximum number of months for which transitional benefits will be provided; and

(6) Any other items required to be included under this subpart H.

(c) Eligible households. The State agency may limit transitional benefits to households in which all members had been receiving TANF, MOE, or SFCA, or it may provide such benefits to any household in which at least one member had been receiving TANF, MOE, or SFCA. If a member of a household has been sanctioned but the household is still receiving benefits, the remaining eligible household members may receive transitional SNAP benefits if the cash assistance ends for another reason.

(d) Ineligible households. The State agency may not provide transitional benefits to a household that is leaving TANF, MOE, or SFCA when:

(1) The household is leaving TANF or MOE due to a full-family TANF sanction or the household is leaving the SFCA program due to a full-family SFCA program sanction;

(2) The household is a member of a category of households designated by the State agency as ineligible for transitional benefits;

(3) All household members are ineligible to receive SNAP benefits because they are:

(i) Disqualified for an intentional program violation in accordance with § 273.16;

(ii) Ineligible for failure to comply with a work requirement in accordance with § 273.7;

(iii) Receiving SSI in a cash-out State in accordance with § 273.20;

(iv) Ineligible students in accordance with § 273.5;

(v) Ineligible aliens in accordance with § 273.4;

(vi) Disqualified for failing to provide information necessary for making a determination of eligibility or for completing any subsequent review of its eligibility in accordance with § 273.2(d) and § 273.21(m)(1)(ii);

(vii) Disqualified for knowingly transferring resources for the purpose of qualifying or attempting to qualify for the program as provided at § 273.8(h);

(viii) Disqualified for receipt of multiple SNAP benefits;

(ix) Disqualified for being a fleeing felon in accordance with § 273.11(n); or

(x) ABAWD who fail to comply with the requirements of § 273.24.

(e) Optional household exclusions. The State agency has the option to exclude households where all household members are ineligible to receive SNAP benefits because they are:

(1) Disqualified for failure to perform an action under Federal, State or local law relating to a means-tested public assistance program in accordance with § 273.11(k);

(2) Ineligible for failing to cooperate with child support agencies in accordance with § 273.11(o) and (p); or

(3) Ineligible for being delinquent in court-ordered child support in accordance with § 273.11(q).

(f) Recalculating eligibility for denied households. The State agency must use procedures at § 273.12(f)(3) to determine the continued eligibility and benefit level of households denied transitional benefits under § 273.26.

[82 FR 2043, Jan. 6, 2017]

§ 273.27 - General administrative guidelines.

(a) When a household leaves TANF, MOE, or a SFCA program, a State agency that has elected this option shall freeze the household's benefit allotment for up to 5 months after making an adjustment for the loss of TANF, MOE, or the SFCA. This is the household's transitional period. To provide the full transitional period, the State agency may extend the certification period for up to 5 months and may extend the household's certification period beyond the maximum periods specified in § 273.10(f). Before initiating the transitional period, the State agency, without requiring additional information or verification from the household, must recalculate the household's SNAP benefit amount by removing the TANF payment, MOE payment, or the SFCA payment from the household's SNAP income. At its option, the State agency may also adjust the benefit to account for:

(1) Changes in household income that it learns about from another State or

Federal means-tested assistance program in which the household participates; or

(2) Automatic annual changes in the SNAP benefit rules, such as the annual cost of living adjustment, the standard deduction adjustment, and the adjustment to the cap on the excess shelter deduction.

(b) The State agency must include in its State plan of operation whether it has elected to make these changes:

(1) At the beginning of the transitional period; or

(2) Both at the beginning and during the transitional period.

(c) When a household leaves TANF, MOE, or SFCA program, the State agency at its option may end the household's existing certification period and assign the household a new certification period that conforms to the transitional period. The recertification requirements at § 273.14 that would normally apply when the household's certification period ends must be postponed until the end of the new certification period. If the transitional period results in a shortening of the household's certification period, the State agency shall not issue a household a notice of adverse action under § 273.10(f)(4) but shall specify in the transitional notice required under § 273.29 that the household must be recertified when it reaches the end of the transitional benefit period or if it returns to TANF, MOE, or SFCA program during the transitional period.

[75 FR 4953, Jan. 29, 2010, as amended at 82 FR 2044, Jan. 6, 2017]

§ 273.28 - Application for SNAP recertification.

At any time during the transitional period, the household may apply for recertification. If a household applies for recertification during its transitional period, the State agency shall observe the following procedures:

(a) The State agency must schedule an interview in accordance with § 273.2(e);

(b) The State agency must provide the household with a notice of required verification in accordance with § 273.2(c)(5) and provide the household a minimum of 10 days to provide the required verification in accordance with § 273.2(f).

(c) Households that have met all of the required application procedures shall be notified of their eligibility or ineligibility as soon as possible, but no later than 30 calendar days following the date the application was filed.

(1) If the State agency does not determine a household's eligibility and provide an opportunity to participate within 30 days following the date the application was filed, the State agency shall continue processing the application while continuing the household's transitional benefits.

(2) If the application process cannot be completed due to State agency fault, the State agency must continue to process the application and provide a full month's allotment for the first month of the new certification period. The State agency shall determine cause for any delay in processing a recertification application in accordance with the provisions of § 273.2(h)(1).

(d) If the application process cannot be completed because the household failed to take a required action, the State agency may deny the application at that time or at the end of the 30 days. If the household is determined to be ineligible for the program, the State agency will deny the household's application for recertification and continue the household's transitional benefits to the end of the transitional benefit period, at which time the State agency will either recertify the household or send a RFC in accordance with § 273.31;

(e) If the household is determined eligible for the regular SNAP but is entitled to a benefit lower than its transitional benefit, the State agency shall encourage the household to withdraw its application for recertification and continue to receive transitional benefits. If the household chooses not to withdraw its application, the State agency has the option to deny the application and allow the transitional period to run its course, or complete the recertification process and issue the household the lower benefit amount beginning with the first month of the new certification period.

(f) If the household is determined eligible for the program, its new certification period will begin with the first day of the month following the month in which the household submitted the application for recertification. The State agency must issue the household full benefits for that month. For example, if the household applied for recertification on the 25th day of the third month of a 5-month transitional period, and the household is determined eligible for the regular SNAP, the State agency will begin the household's new certification period on the first day of what would have been the fourth month of the transitional period.

(g) If the household is eligible for the regular SNAP and entitled to benefits higher than its transitional benefits, and the State agency has already issued the household transitional benefits for the first month of its certification period, the State agency must issue the household a supplement.

(h) Applications for recertification submitted in the final month of the transitional period must be processed in accordance with § 273.14.

§ 273.29 - Transitional notice requirements.

The State agency must issue a transitional notice (TN) to the household that includes the following information:

(a) A statement informing the household that it will be receiving transitional benefits and the length of its transitional period;

(b) A statement informing the household that it has the option of applying for recertification at any time during the transitional period. The household must be informed that if it does not apply for recertification during the transitional period, the State agency must, at the end of the transitional period, either reevaluate the household's SNAP case or require the household to undergo a recertification;

(c) A statement that if the household returns to TANF, MOE, or SFCA program during its transitional benefit period, it will be asked to reapply for SNAP at the same time. However, if the household has been assigned a new certification period in accordance with § 273.27(c), the notice must inform the household that it must be recertified if it returns to TANF, MOE, or SFCA program during its transitional period;

(d) A statement explaining any changes in the household's benefit amount due to the loss of TANF income, MOE income, or SFCA program income and/or changes in household circumstances learned from another State or Federal means-tested assistance program;

(e) A statement informing the household that it is not required to report and provide verification for any changes in household circumstances until the deadline established in accordance with § 273.12(c)(3) or its recertification interview; and

(f) A statement informing the household that the State agency will not act on changes that the household reports during the transitional period prior to the deadline specified in § 273.29(e) and that if the household experiences a decrease in income or an increase in expenses or household size prior to that deadline, the household should apply for recertification.

[75 FR 4953, Jan. 29, 2010, as amended at 82 FR 2044, Jan. 6, 2017]

§ 273.30 - Transitional benefit alternative change reporting requirements.

If the household does report changes in its circumstances during the transitional period, the State agency may make the change effective the month following the last month of the transitional period or invite the household to reapply and be certified to receive benefits. However, in order to prevent duplicate participation, the State agency must act to change the household's transitional benefit when a household member moves out of the household and either reapplies as a new household or is reported as a new member of another household. Moreover, the State agency must remove any income, resources and deductible expenses clearly attributable to the departing member.

§ 273.31 - Closing the transitional period.

In the final month of the transitional benefit period, the State agency must do one of the following:

(a) Issue the RFC specified in § 273.12(c)(3) and act on any information it has about the household's new circumstances in accordance with § 273.12(c)(3). The State agency may extend the household's certification period in accordance with § 273.10(f)(5) unless the household's certification period has already been extended past the maximum period specified in § 273.10(f) in accordance with § 273.27(a); or

(b) Recertify the household in accordance with § 273.14. If the household has not reached the maximum number of months in its certification period during the transitional period, the State agency may shorten the household's prior certification period in order to recertify the household. When shortening the household's certification period pursuant to this section, the State agency must send the household a notice of expiration in accordance with § 273.14(b).

§ 273.32 - Households that return to TANF, MOE, or SFCA program during the transitional period.

If a household receiving transitional benefits starts to receive TANF, MOE, or SFCA program during the transitional period, the State agency shall use the information from the TANF, MOE, or SFCA application to re-determine continued SNAP eligibility and benefits, at the same time that the TANF, MOE, or SFCA application is being processed and follow procedures in § 273.2(j) for joint processing of SNAP/TANF applications. This includes processing the application within 30 days. However, for a household assigned a new certification period in accordance with § 273.27(c), the household must be recertified if it returns to TANF, MOE, or the SFCA program during its transitional period.

[82 FR 2044, Jan. 6, 2017