Policy Memo 157C

DOH-CACFP: Number 157C (04/11)

TO: CACFP Sponsors of Child Day Care Centers

FROM: Lynne Oudekerk, State Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: Changes to the CACFP Income Eligibility Form

I. Purpose and Scope

The Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (the Act), Public Law 111-296, was signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2010. The Act makes two important changes to participant eligibility. First, the Act updates requirements for the collection of the Social Security Number (SSN) on the Income Eligibility Form (DOH-3688). Second, it provides categorical eligibility for free meals to foster children. The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance on the implementation of these provisions.

II. Background Information

  1. Social Security Number:
    1. Section 301 of this Act amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act by removing the requirement that the adult household member who signs an Income Eligibility Form must also provide his or her complete SSN, as a condition of eligibility. As amended, CACFP now requires that only the last four digits of the SSN must be provided on the form. The new requirement increases privacy protections for individuals participating in CACFP.
    2. Sponsoring Organizations should begin collecting only the last four digits of the household member's SSN on the Income Eligibility Forms, effective immediately. Until your organization has a supply of the revised forms, this can be accomplished by crossing out the first five digits of the SSN on current Income Eligibility Forms.
  2. Foster Child Categorical Eligibility:
    1. Section 102 of this Act amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to provide categorical eligibility for free meals, without further application, to any foster child whose care and placement is the responsibility of the State or who is placed by a court with a caretaker household. This provision applies only to foster children formally placed by a State child welfare agency or court. It does not apply to informal arrangements that may exist outside of State- or court-based systems.
    2. This change, which provides categorical eligibility for free meals to foster children, requires changes in the way in which Income Eligibility Forms are handled. Previously, a separate application was submitted for each foster child, who was considered a family of one. Now, the foster child's eligibility for free meals may be documented in one of two ways:

      (1) The foster child can be certified as eligible for free meals based on the submission of an Income Eligibility Form.
      • All foster children will be certified as eligible for free meals.
      • Households with both foster and non-foster children may include the foster child as a household member, including any personal income earned by the foster child, on the same form that includes their non-foster children. The Sponsor will then make an eligibility determination for the non-foster children based on the household income or other categorical eligibility information reported on the form. This will streamline the application process and may help the foster family's non-foster children qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on household size and income.
      • Foster payments received by the family from the placement agency are not considered income and do not need to be reported as income.
      • The presence of a foster child in the household does not convey eligibility for free meals to all children in the household in the same manner that participation in Food Stamps (also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) does.

      (2) The foster child can be certified as eligible for free meals without an Income Eligibility Form if the child care site receives documentation from the State or local foster agency that confirms the child's status as a foster child.

CACFP's Letter to Households (CACFP-3673) and Income Eligibility Form (DOH-3688) will be revised to reflect these changes. They will be available on our website at www.nyhealth.Gov/nutrition or by calling CACFP at 1-800-942-3858, ext. 27262.

III. Summary of Changes

The purpose of this memo is to notify Sponsors of two changes that impact participant eligibility in CACFP. The first change requires that Sponsors collect only the last four digits of the household member's SSN on CACFP's Income Eligibility Form (DOH-3688). The second change confers categorical eligibility for free meals to all foster children. Their eligibility can be documented with the completion of an Income Eligibility Form or with documentation from the State or local foster agency.