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256J.09 Applying for assistance.

Subdivision 1. Where to apply. A person must apply for assistance at the county agency in the county where that person lives.

Subd. 2. County agency responsibility to provide information. A county agency must inform a person who inquires about assistance about eligibility requirements for assistance and how to apply for assistance, including diversionary assistance and emergency assistance. A county agency must offer the person brochures developed or approved by the commissioner that describe how to apply for assistance.

Subd. 3. Submitting the application form. A county agency must offer, in person or by mail, the application forms prescribed by the commissioner as soon as a person makes a written or oral inquiry. At that time, the county agency must inform the person that assistance begins with the date the signed application is received by the county agency or the date all eligibility criteria are met, whichever is later. The county agency must inform the applicant that any delay in submitting the application will reduce the amount of assistance paid for the month of application. A county agency must inform a person that the person may submit the application before an interview appointment. To apply for assistance, a person must submit a signed application to the county agency. Upon receipt of a signed application, the county agency must stamp the date of receipt on the face of the application. The county agency must process the application within the time period required under subdivision 5. An applicant may withdraw the application at any time by giving written or oral notice to the county agency. The county agency must issue a written notice confirming the withdrawal. The notice must inform the applicant of the county agency's understanding that the applicant has withdrawn the application and no longer wants to pursue it. When, within ten days of the date of the agency's notice, an applicant informs a county agency, in writing, that the applicant does not wish to withdraw the application, the county agency must reinstate the application and finish processing the application.

Subd. 4. Verification of information on application. A county agency must verify information provided by an applicant as required in section 256J.32.

Subd. 5. Processing applications. Upon receiving an application, a county agency must determine the applicant's eligibility, approve or deny the application, inform the applicant of its decision according to the notice provisions in section 256J.31, and, if eligible, issue the assistance payment to the applicant. When a county agency is unable to process an application within 30 days, the county agency must inform the applicant of the reason for the delay in writing. When an applicant establishes the inability to provide required verification within the 30-day processing period, the county agency may not use the expiration of that period as the basis for denial.

Subd. 6. Invalid reason for delay. A county agency must not delay a decision on eligibility or delay issuing the assistance payment except to establish state residence by:

(1) treating the 30-day processing period as a waiting period;

(2) delaying approval or issuance of the assistance payment pending the decision of the county board; or

(3) awaiting the result of a referral to a county agency in another county when the county receiving the application does not believe it is the county of financial responsibility.

Subd. 7. Changes in residence during application. The requirements in subdivisions 5 and 6 apply without regard to the length of time that an applicant remains, or intends to remain, a resident of the county in which the application is made. When an applicant leaves the county where application was made but remains in the state, section 256J.75 applies and the county agency may request additional information from the applicant about changes in circumstances related to the move.

Subd. 8. Additional applications. Until a county agency issues notice of approval or denial, additional applications submitted by an applicant are void. However, an application for monthly assistance and an application for emergency assistance or emergency general assistance may exist concurrently. More than one application for monthly assistance, emergency assistance, or emergency general assistance may exist concurrently when the county agency decisions on one or more earlier applications have been appealed to the commissioner, and the applicant asserts that a change in circumstances has occurred that would allow eligibility. A county agency must require additional application forms or supplemental forms as prescribed by the commissioner when a payee's name changes, or when a caregiver requests the addition of another person to the assistance unit.

Subd. 9. Addendum to an existing application. An addendum to an existing application must be used to add persons to an assistance unit regardless of whether the persons being added are required to be in the assistance unit. When a person is added by addendum to an assistance unit, eligibility for that person begins on the first of the month the addendum was filed except as provided in section 256J.74, subdivision 2, clause (1).

Subd. 10. Applicants who do not meet eligibility requirements for MFIP-S. When an applicant is not eligible for MFIP-S because the applicant does not meet eligibility requirements, the county agency must determine whether the applicant is eligible for food stamps, medical assistance, diversionary assistance, or has a need for emergency assistance when the applicant meets the eligibility requirements for those programs.

HIST: 1997 c 85 art 1 s 5

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Revisor of Statutes