Cases with the Same HoH/Payee
The cases that are required to be split, that are identified in PM 04-06-01, must not be merged with other cases, even if they have the same HoH. Otherwise, all other cases with the same HoH can be merged.
After Phase 2 implementation, Potential Merge Cases are identified in the Conversion Summary Information section on the Case-Search Summary page. A Potential Merge Case situation occurs when two or more cases have the same HoH based on an Individual ID match. Staff decides at what point to merge the cases.
When two or more cases are merged, one case is identified as the target case, and the other cases are source cases. The target case is the case that will be retained ongoing. The individuals on the source case(s) will be approved and certified into the target case, and the source case(s) will be canceled. This action will result in a notice of decision to inform the client about persons added to the target case, and any resulting changes to the target case. A cancellation notice for the source case is not sent. Refer to the Resource Center for IES for information about how to merge cases.
Potential Merge Cases are excluded from the Auto-REDE process (see WAG 19-02-04).
If the cases are in different offices, the source cases must be transferred to the office where the target case is. The merge action should be completed in the target case office. If the cases contain different addresses, confirm that the target case has the correct address before merging.
When is the Best Time to Merge Cases?
The best time to merge cases is when a redetermination, or other change, is due to be processed on one of the EDGs.
When cases are merged, the original certification periods for each EDG are retained. Once merged, the goal is to align the certification periods on the IES case whenever possible. In order to align the cert periods, when a REDE is due for a SNAP or medical EDG on the case, IES allows an early REDE to be completed for other medical EDGs on the case as long as the early REDE does not violate continuous eligibility policy (see PM 19-02-07).
Whether or not the EDGs can be aligned, it is best to merge cases when a REDE is being processed. When a REDE is processed on the same day after a merge action was taken on the case, the notice for the REDE (the latter action) will override the approval notice that would have been sent as a result of the merge action. This will result in less client confusion about any resulting changes taking place as well as confusion due to multiple notices.
- Example: Ms. Jackson has an All Kids Share case for her granddaughter and an ACA Adult case with SNAP for herself and her granddaughter. The AK Share case is at the All Kids Unit and the ACA/SNAP case is at a FCRC. The cases are identified as potential merge cases. The AK Share case has a certification period ending in June 2018. The ACA/SNAP case has a certification period ending in February 2018.
- Prior to processing the REDE in January 2018, the FCRC worker contacts the AKU to request that the Share case be transferred to the FCRC to be merged. The FCRC worker merges the cases. On the same date the worker certifies the REDE for all the EDGs. Ms. Jackson is approved for FamilyCare and her granddaughter continues to qualify for AK Share. Since continuous eligibility is maintained for the child, her new certification period is aligned with her grandmother's medical & SNAP EDGs (March 2018 to February 2019). One form 360C Notice of Decision is sent to the client.
Cases in Same Household with Different HoH/Payee
You may have more than one case in the same household that have members in common, but have different payees. That may occur in situations where cases cannot be combined, such as when you have two SNAP EDGs of unrelated persons who do not buy and prepare meals together, or two separate TANF EDGs in the same household.
On the other hand, there will be some Medical only cases in the same household that can be merged, but are not required to be merged. If the clients choose to have multiple medical cases merged, they must decide who will be the head of household for the combined case. That case will be the target case.
- Example 1: Mr. and Mrs. Smith live together and have separate ACA Adult cases in their own names. Mrs. Smith contacts the FCRC to report an address change for herself and her spouse. The worker advises Mrs. Smith that they may choose to have the cases merged for their convenience. Mr. and Mrs. Smith decide that they want their cases to be merged, and that Mrs. Smith will be the HoH. Mrs. Smith's case is identified as the target case. When the cases are merged a notice is generated for the target case. A cancellation notice is not generated for the source case.
- Example 2: Mr. Jones receives FamilyCare for himself and All Kids Assist for his two children, Tom age 18 and Sandra, age 14. He files taxes and claims both his children as dependents. When Tom reaches age 19, his All Kids benefits are terminated. Mr. Jones may request that Tom be added back to his case (as an ACA Adult) because Tom is his tax dependent, or Tom may apply for medical benefits on his own behalf. Tom is not required to be in his father's case. However if he applies separately, his father's income must be taken into consideration because he is being claimed as his father's tax dependent.
- Note: When IES has information that the 19 year old who is aging out of a case is in the same tax filer unit as the HOH, the system will automatically determine whether the 19 year old qualifies for the ACA Adult program. However, since the CDB does not contain tax filer information to send to IES at case conversion, IES will apply relationship rules to MAGI cases until staff have entered tax filer information into Data Collection.
SNAP and cash cases may also be merged with medical cases at the customer's request. When SNAP or cash is merged with a medical only case, IES will default the SNAP or cash case to be the target case. This ensures that the person who is the payee on the LINK account can continue to access SNAP or cash benefits without delays.
- Example 3: Mr. and Mrs. Jones live together and have separate ACA Adult cases in their own names. Mr. Jones' case contains a SNAP EDG in which they are both included and is maintained at the local FCRC. Mrs. Jones' ACA Adult case is maintained by MMU. During the SNAP REDE, Mr. Jones requests that their cases be merged for their convenience. The worker advises them that since Mr. Jones' case contains SNAP, he would be identified as the HoH (target case). They decide that they want their cases to be merged. The FCRC worker requests MMU to transfer Mrs. Jones' medical case to the FCRC for the purpose of merging it with Mr. Jones' case. When the FCRC worker merges the cases a notice is generated for the target case. A cancellation notice is not generated for the source case.