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Action of the Division of Social Services to close food stamp of a convicted drug felon


In re: DCIS No. Redacted Redacted

Appearances:
Redacted, pro se, Appellant
Judy Nelson, Case Manager, Division of Public Health
Leah Foster, Director, PPAT - Shelter Home Allendale

No Appearance by the Division of Social Services
Robert Golaszewski scheduled to appear


I. Summary of Claim

Redacted ("Appellant") is dissatisfied with the action of the Division of Social Services to close his food stamp case because he is a convicted drug felon.

The Division of Social Services ("DSS") contends that they acted properly and in accordance with DSSM policy after learning that the Appellant was a convicted drug felon.

II. Procedural History

The Appellant was issued a Notice to Close Your Food Stamps dated August 26, 2004 and effective after September 30, 2004. (Exhibit 3)

The Appellant filed a request for a fair hearing on November 12, 2004. (Exhibit 2)

The Appellant was notified by certified letter dated December 6, 2004, that a fair hearing would be held on January 4, 2005. The hearing was conducted on that date in Dover, DE.

This is the decision resulting from that hearing.

III. Findings of Fact

As the Division of Social Services failed to appear for the hearing, it is unknown why DSS issued a Notice to Close Your Food Stamps dated August 26, 2004 and effective after September 30, 2004. (Exhibit 3) The notice itself indicates that the Appellant apparently failed to answer a question on his application relating to whether his conviction was for distributing or selling drugs. (Exhibit 3) The Fair Hearing Summary, however, indicates that, "According to ARMS, client is permanently barred from receiving food stamps because of a felony drug conviction involving selling, distributing or trafficing (SIC)." (Exhibit 1)

IV. Analysis

Pursuant to DSSM 2027, individuals convicted under Federal or State law of any offense, which is classified as a felony that has the element of distribution of controlled substances, shall not be eligible for benefits under the food stamp program. Individuals convicted under Federal or State law of any offense, which is classified as a felony that has the element of possession, or use of controlled substances shall not be eligible for benefits under the food stamp program unless they meet certain conditions.

In this case, there was no evidence presented at the hearing by DSS that the client has ever been convicted of a drug felony for that has the element of distribution of controlled substances, or possession or use of a controlled substance.

The record is therefore insufficient to sustain the decision of DSS to close the Appellant's food stamp case.

V. Conclusion

For the reasons stated above, the decision of the Division of Social Services to close the Appellant's food stamp case is REVERSED. DSS shall make prompt corrective payment, if any, in accordance with DSSM §5501.

Date: February 16, 2005

STEVEN A. GREENSPAN
HEARING OFFICER

THE FOREGOING IS THE FINAL DECISION OF THE DIVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICES

POSTED

cc:
Redacted
Robert Golaszewski, DSS Pool 710

EXHIBITS FILED IN OR FOR THE PROCEEDING

  • EXHIBIT #1 - DSS Fair Hearing summary consisting of two (2) pages date-stamped November 23, 2004.
  • EXHIBIT #2 -Appellant's Request for a Fair Hearing date-stamped November 12, 2004.
  • EXHIBIT #3 - Notice to Close Your Food Stamps dated August 26, 2004, consisting of two (2) pages.


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