Case Records
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Case Records

Revised March 15, 2012

Purpose: This category describes case record numbering, content format and flagging for Necessary Supplemental Accommodation (NSA) services and Limited English Proficiency (LEP) interpreter and translating services to ensure statewide consistency. This category also includes the case record transfer process and the sharing of cases.

The CFR 45.205.60 provides general guidelines regarding the maintenance of records. However, there are no specific program rules governing the maintenance and storage of financial information.


The electronic ACES system stores eligibility information including documentation regarding each case action and eligibility decision. The physical case record contains the written documents and verification items used to establish program eligibility. Documents filed in the case record provide reviewers with an eligibility audit trail.

Assignment of Numbers
  1. ACES assigns a nine digit Client Identification Number (CLID) to each person entered into the system. The CLID does not change and is used for all programs. The assigned number is stored in the ACES system even when the client is not on assistance.

  2. The case record number assigned to the physical case record is the CLID of the person identified as the head of the household in the ACES system. The first person entered into ACES and identified with valid value code [SE] on the (STAT) screen is the person identified by ACES as the head of the household. If the head of the household changes, the case number and physical record change.

  3. ACES assigns a nine-digit Assistance Unit number (AUID) to identify assistance units by program. Cash with accompanying medical benefits has one AUID. A group of persons receiving cash with related medical and food assistance benefits share two AUID numbers.

  4. Case records containing financial information are identified with the case number written in red ink on the jacket cover. Social service case records are identified with the case number written in black ink. The number appears on the jacket cover lined up against the bottom on the right side.


The head of household's CLID is 002345678. The case number would appear on the jacket cover like this:


  1. The fourth digit from the end of the case number determines the case jacket color as follows:
    0 = white 5 = brown
    1 = red 6 = blue
    2 = yellow 7 = orange
    3 = pink 8 = purple
    4 = green 9 = tan


In case number 002345678, the fourth digit from the end is “5”. The case jacket color is brown.

  1. Case records are filed alphabetically or by color and number according to CSO preference.


Case Record Format
  1. Case records for persons of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) or needing Necessary Supplemental Accommodation (NSA) must be clearly identified with LEP or NSA written on the front jacket cover.

  2. The Financial Case Record has a format for the filing of documents in three basic sections. Items are filed in reverse chronological order. That is, the most recent date on top. The sections are:

    1. Documentation section: The documentation section is attached to the inside front cover of the case record using a two-prong fastener through the top of each item. Items filed here include:

Past 14-008 documentation

Pending VOCS or FRED flag

NSA determination

Overpayment information

Intentional Program Violator (IPV) flag

Flag to identify potentially violent clients

Administrative hearing documents

  1. Main body section: The main body section contains documents submitted by the client or gathered from collateral contacts that verify situations that change. These documents establish eligibility and payment amount on a month-by-month basis. All items are bradded together in the upper left-hand corner. Documents placed here include:


Employer work estimates

Eligibility reviews

Award letters for pensions and other benefits

Income verification

Bank statements

Change of circumstances

Social service communication documents not accessible in ACES

Monthly or quarterly reports

Client’s written correspondence to the department

Start / Stop work statement

Any other document verifying a change that is not permanent

  1. Verification section: The verification section holds documents verifying eligibility factors that seldom change. These permanent documents are attached to the back inside cover of the record with a two-prong fastener through the top of the document. Documents placed here verify:

Personal Identification

Utility bills


Tax statements

Social Security numbers

Marital status

Citizenship or alien status

Birth and parental / relative relationships

Landlord statements

Non-liquid resources

Splitting, Separating, Combining Case Records
  1. Splitting or dividing case records into volumes occurs when the contents exceed the space allowed by the folder. If there are duplicate documents in the file, destroy any duplicates to save file space. Include in the new record:

    1. All documents verifying permanent factors;

    2. The last signed application or eligibility review; and

    3. Other documents less than six months old.

  2. Separate documents in a record when one household separates into two or more households.

    1. Separate all verification documents by person as indicated for each new household;

    2. Photocopy documents less than six months old that verify eligibility factors common to all household members; and

    3. File in new folders. The new case file number is designated by the new head of household’s CLID as assigned by ACES.

  3. Combine records when two or more separate households establish themselves as one family unit, as when two clients get married.

    1. Use the CLID of the new head of household to establish the ongoing case record number;

    2. Remove verification of permanent factors of eligibility from the old record and insert in the new case record folder;

    3. Note in the ACES narrative that verification documents remain in the old record when it is not possible to obtain the items or photocopy the items.

Case Transfers

Both the electronic record and the physical case record are transferred when the client moves from one CSO catchment area to another. The client can request a case transfer by phone or in writing. The worker in the new CSO can use a 450 ACES alert or email a request for transfer.

The electronic transfer takes place on-line in real time. As soon as all actions are confirmed, the electronic file is transferred to the receiving CSO into the new worker's caseload. The worker from the previous office can access the case until batch runs that night.

  1. Before electronic transfer:

    1. Complete all pending actions unless the CSO that will get the case agrees to process the actions still pending;

    2. Complete known overpayments;

    3. Provide written notice to others involved in the case (i.e., incapacity specialist, SSI facilitator, social service specialist) regarding the transfer;

    4. Update the narrative (NARR) with information about actions taken and the transfer;

    5. Transfer any pending alerts to the new worker of record; notify your supervisor to transfer any pending #450 alerts. See ACES for instructions on transferring alerts. Alerts are not automatically sent with the case.

  2. Transferring pending cases:

NOTE: A closed or denied assistance unit cannot be electronically transferred to another office. Once screened, a case becomes pending and can then be transferred.


A case is closed at Pierce West. The client applies for benefits at King South. Because Pierce West can’t transfer a closed case electronically, King South J-screens the case and requests the physical file to be transferred from Pierce West. The client then moves to Sunnyside before the case is finalized. A worker from Sunnyside requests the electronic transfer from King South. Until the electronic transfer is done, only King South can proceed with the interviewing function in ACES.


Do not transfer electronic or paper case records of clients receiving Chemical Dependency treatment. The originating CSO and assessment center retain control of these cases throughout the client's course of treatment starting with the application. This is true even when the treatment takes place in an out-of-county facility and includes chemical dependency clients receiving food assistance. The originating CSO can waive the face-to-face interview requirement for food assistance.

The only exception to this rule is for chemical dependency client transfers from the Mt. Vernon CSO for individuals who have been at the Pioneer Center North.

  1. Electronic transfer time frames:

    1. Transfer by the second working day after the request is received.

    2. When there is a pending application or the client meets expedited service requirements, transfer by the next working day after the request is received.

  2. Physical case record time frame:  Notify the transfer-out clerk to transfer the case record file within three days of the electronic file transfer.

Shared Cases
  1. General Information:

    1. ACES links AUs together into a shared case when the AUs contain clients in common. Shared cases with common members cannot be separated.

    2. A case unit becomes a shared case when one CSO, HCS, or the MEDS unit has an AU that is active or pending and another CSO, HCS, or the MEDS unit screens in an application for assistance for a member of that AU.

    3. The only time cases are shared on an ongoing basis is when a CSO shares a case unit with the MEDS unit. Examples include:

      1. Client active in an AU administered by a CSO applies for BH Plus medical assistance;

      2. Client active in a BH Plus medical AU applies for any other type of assistance through a CSO.

    4. In all other instances, the case is shared only until one office transfers the case to the other or terminates assistance for the common members.

      1. Cases are not shared between a CSO and HCS.

      2. The CSO owns the case unit when a member of a TANF related AU is placed in long term care.

      3. The HCS office owns a case when a long-term care client also receives food assistance.

    5. BH Plus medical AUs are identified with a [Y] in the BH Plus field on the (MISC) screen and the User ID is stated. The (DONE) screen also identifies a BH Plus medical AU.

  2. Cases shared by a CSO and the MEDS Unit:  ACES assigns ownership of shared cases depending upon the head of household entered for each AU.

    1. Same head of household for all AUs: The CSO has ownership of the case unit including the BH Plus AU;

    2. Different heads of household for BH Plus and non-MEDS AU: The MEDS unit has ownership of the BH Plus AU and the CSO has ownership of the other AUs.

    3. When an AU is active in either a CSO or the MEDS Unit and a new application is screened in, edit 0229 appears with message (AU and FW are not in the same CSO).

  3. MEDS Unit responsibilities for shared cases:  The MEDS Unit is responsible for maintaining the BH Plus AU regardless of who owns the case.

    1. When the CSO has an active AU, only a MEDS worker assigned an enhanced security profile can screen Add A Program, then interview, process, finalize and later update BH Plus cases;

    2. The MEDS user must be aware of how a case action will affect eligibility on the other AUs.

    3. If a change affects the other active AUs, place the case in SPA and contact the CSO user for approval to update the other AUs;

  4. CSO responsibilities for shared cases:  The CSO maintains all non-BH Plus AUs.

    1. When MEDS has an active AU and the CSO receives an application with the same head of household:

      1. Request the MEDS Unit to transfer the case to the CSO;

      2. Upon transfer, screen with the Add A Program function, interview, process and finalize;

      3. The CSO owns the case unit even though the MEDS Unit updates the BH Plus AU;

    2. When MEDS has an active AU and the CSO receives an application with a different head of household no transfer is needed. Screen with Add A Program, interview, process and finalize.

  5. Shared Case Unit Alerts:

    1. 404 - Another CSO Updated Shared AU

      1. ACES generates to owner of the shared case after overnight batch run;

      2. Generated when action is taken on an AU linked to an active AU in a shared case unit;

      3. Generated when action is taken by the MEDS Unit on a non-MEDS AU;

      4. Review the action taken by the other office, for necessary action.

    2. 405 - CSO Updated BH Plus AU

      1. Sent to the MEDS Unit user when action is taken on an AU linked to an active BH Plus AU;

      2. Review the action taken by the other office.

CSO and HCSO Service Areas, Mail Stops and Numbers

Each CSO and HCSO is assigned a number of up to three digits to identify the catchment area in which the client receives assistance. The CSO number is not part of the CLID or AUID.

Click on a link below to go to the specific information for each region's CSO or HCS office on Appendix I - CSO / HCSO Information List.

Region 1 Region 2 Region 3
Region 4 Region 5 Region 6
Modification Date: March 15, 2012