Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)

Created on: 
Jun 02 2016

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.

What is Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)?

TFA is a food assistance program that provides food benefits to families leaving Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF cash assistance programs.

Who is eligible for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)?

Clients who were receiving Basic Food Assistance at the time their Temporary Assistance Food Needy Families (TANF) closed or Tribal TANF income was removed may be eligible for TFA. For more information on TFA eligibility, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0005 Who is Eligible for transitional food assistance?

Who is not eligible for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)?

TFA cannot be authorized when any member of the Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF benefits. For more information, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0005 Who is Eligible for transitional food assistance?

TFA cannot be authorized when ALL TANF/Tribal TANF members are closing for one or a combination of the following reason codes:

  • 210 - Failed Residency Requirement
  • 244 - Death
  • 249 - Receipt of Benefits from Another State During Month

TFA cannot be authorized if ANY member of the Basic Food AU is under TANF sanction for one of the following reason codes:

  • 228 - IV-D Non-Cooperation
  • 262 - Convicted of Receiving PA in 2 or more States
  • 263 - Convicted of Unlawful Practices
  • 264 - Minor Parent Inappropriate Living Situation
  • 265 - Minor Parent Failed School Requirement
  • 268 - 40% WorkFirst Sanction

TFA cannot be authorized if ALL members of the Basic Food AU (associated with the closed TANF AU) are disqualified from receiving Basic Food for any of the following reason codes:

  • 202 - Citizenship/Alien Status
  • 207 - Failed Eligible Student Requirement - Food Assistance
  • 210 - Failed Residency Requirement
  • 215 - Failed Work Registration Requirements
  • 219 - Voluntary Quit
  • 223 - Failed E&T Requirements - 2nd offense
  • 224 - Failed E&T Requirements - 3rd offense
  • 227 - Under Previous Work Registration Penalty - Food Assistance
  • 232 - IPV Disqualified
  • 244 - Death
  • 246 - Under Previous Penalty
  • 247 - Under Previous Non-Cooperation with QC Penalty
  • 254 - Under Previous Transfer of Resource Penalty - Food Assistance
  • 256 - Fleeing Felon & Parole Violation - CA/FA
  • 258 - Failed ABAWD Requirement
  • 260 - Food Assistance Voluntary Quit - 2nd offense
  • 261 - Food Assistance Voluntary Quit - 3rd or Subsequent Offense
  • 269 - 10-year Penalty for Fraudulent Statement
  • 271 - Trafficking Less Than $500 or for Controlled Substance
  • 272 - Permanent Disqualification - Illegal Trafficking more than $500 or for Controlled Substance
  • 282 - Indian Food Distribution Program
  • 411 - Transfer of Resource Disqualification 1-12 Months
  • 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits
  • 555 - Application Opened in Error
  • 556 - Non-Coop with QC - Food Assistance
  • 557 - AU Requests Closure
  • 559 - Client Already Received Assistance in Another AU for This Benefit Month.
  • 566 - Refused to Cooperate with the Application Process

How long is the Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) certification period?

The certification period for TFA is five consecutive calendar months, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0015 How long will my family receive transitional food assistance?

For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and State Family Assistance (SFA) clients, the certification period begins the month following the month of TANF/SFA closure. 

For Tribal TANF clients, the certification period begins the first of the ongoing benefit month following the removal of Tribal TANF income.

Note: If a TFA Assistance Unit (AU) has closed for Reason Code 235 - Review Not Complete, the AU should be re-opened and not reinstated. By doing a re-open of the AU, this makes sure the certification periods remain consistent with eligibility. For more information on how to re-open an AU, see How do I reopen a previously closed or denied AU?

What happens to the Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) certification period when a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Assistance Unit (AU) is reinstated?

For information about what happens to the TFA certification period when a TANF AU is reinstated, see Certification Period - What happens to the certification period for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) when a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Assistance Unit (AU) is reinstated?.

What happens when I re-screen Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)?

When a closed TFA Assistance Unit (AU) is re-screened, the AU changes back to Basic Food Assistance and the AU number remains the same. This happens even if the reopening is during the original five-month certification period.

During screening the TFA indicator is removed and upon screening completion, the indicator displays in aces.online and ACES Mainframe as Basic Food Assistance (BF).

Online Processing

How is Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) opened?

The system automatically opens TFA when a Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) is eligible for TFA. The system opens TFA using the existing Basic Food AU number, calculates the benefits and generates Letter 008-01 (Change in Cash/Food Assistance) to notify clients about their transitional benefits.

TFA is identified by an indicator on the following pages in ACES 3G:

  • Assistance Unit Summary
  • Assistance Unit Detail
  • Eligibility
  • Eligibility Details
  • Review

TFA is identified by an indicator in the Assistance Unit summary section at the top of aces.online pages. The indicator can also be found on the following pages:

  • Summary
  • Spider
  • Eligibility Results

How are Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) benefits calculated?

The TFA benefit amount is calculated using the Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) budget from the last month on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF, minus the TANF/Tribal TANF income. Any other changes in income, expenses or household composition are not considered when calculating TFA benefits; see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0010 How is my transitional food assistance benefit calculated?

The system calculates TFA by first identifying which month the benefit amount should be based on by:

  • The paid through date on the closing TANF AU; or
  • The previous month for a denied TANF AU; or
  • The date identified by the user in the Date field on the Other Agency Application/Benefit page when Tribal TANF income is deleted.

The latest date is used if one or more of the events above occur during the same session.

Note: The TFA benefit amount and household composition is calculated using any income amount minus the TANF/Tribal TANF income that was there the day of  monthly issuance for the month TANF closes.

How do I reinstate a Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)

Reinstatement is allowed on a TFA AU in the same manner as reinstating a Basic Food AU. When TFA is reinstated within the five-month certification period, it continues unchanged.

For more information on reinstating an AU, see How do I reinstate an Assistance Unit (AU)?

Note: If a TFA Assistance Unit (AU) has closed for Reason Code-235-Review Not Complete, the AU should be re-opened and not reinstated. By doing a re-open of the AU, this makes sure the certification period remains consistent with eligibility. For more information on how to re-open an AU, see How do I reopen a previously closed or denied AU?

Do changes affect the Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) benefit amount?

After the TFA benefit amount is calculated, it is normally the same amount for each month of the five-month certification period. Changes in income, resources or expenses do not affect the TFA benefit amount. For more information, see EAZ Manual WAC - 388-489-0020 Am I required to report changes in my household’s circumstances while on transitional food assistance?

If a TFA member is removed from the TFA Assistance Unit (AU) with Reason Code 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits; the client, their income, resources and deductible expenses are removed from the TFA AU. The system recalculates the benefit using the new number of household members and the client no longer shows on the Assistance Unit Detail page. Reason codes display in the Reasons For Change section at the bottom of the Eligibility Details page to indicate the changes.

TFA benefits change if the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) standards increase or decrease.

TFA benefits change if recoupment starts, stops or changes.

What changes result in Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) closure?

The TFA Assistance Unit (AU) closes, if all TFA members in the TFA AU household are not eligible for any one of the invalid TFA reason codes.  For a list of reason codes, see Who is not eligible for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)?

If a review is not completed at the end of the TFA five-month certification period, the TFA AU closes for Reason Code 235 - Review Not Complete.

When the household requests voluntary termination of their TFA benefits or chooses to receive Basic Food Assistance instead of TFA, users need to close the TFA AU with Reason Code 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits. For more information, see:

How should I remove a household member from a Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

When a TFA Assistance Unit (AU) member moves out of the TFA household, that person and their income remain part of the TFA AU; unless, that person is removed from the TFA AU with Reason Code 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits or they are approved for Basic Food in a different AU.

  1. Update the Living Arrangement field on the Client Demographic page with Not in Home (NO) to indicate the person is no longer in the home.

When a TFA AU member dies before the TFA certification period is over, the deceased person and income remain part of the TFA AU through the end of the TFA eligibility period. At re-certification for Basic Food the deceased person is then removed from the benefits. Take the following steps to remove them from the TFA AU:

  1. Code the person as deceased by entering a date in the Death Date field on the Client Demographic page.

How do I add a new household member to an active Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

A new household member can be added to an active TFA AU, but the TFA amount and household composition do not change. For more information, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0020 Am I required to report changes in my household’s circumstances while on transitional food assistance?

If a household member is to be added to the TFA AU, using the Add a Person process take the following steps:

  1. On the Assistance Unit Detail page, code the new member as an applicant with Applicant (PN) as their financial responsibility code.
  2. When finalizing the add a person, the system changes the new member to a Non-Member (NM) with Reason Code 130 - Not TFA Eligible - Not Recipient of BF in Prior Month.

What happens when a review is initiated on a Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

When a review is initiated on an active TFA AU, it goes through Basic Food eligibility. If eligible, the AU changes back to Basic Food Assistance and the AU number remains the same.

Any client coded on the Assistance Unit Details page as a Non-Member (NM) with Reason Code 130 - Not TFA Eligible - Not Recipient of BF in Prior Month is included in the Basic Food household and if they pass all eligibility for Basic Food, they are an active Recipient (RE) in the Basic Food AU.

What is the process to delete Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) income?

To delete Tribal TANF income, take the following steps:

  1. Go to the Case Actions page. For more information, see How do I access the Case Actions page in ACES 3G?
  2. Click the Start Changes link in the Change of Circumstances section on the Case Actions page. 
  3. On the Other Agency Application/Benefit page, complete the following fields:
  • Type field - Select Tribal TANF (TT) from the drop down list.
  • Status field - Select Yes Eligible for TFA (Y) or Not Eligible for TFA (N).
  • Date field - Enter the [date the status became effective].
  1. On the Unearned Income page, delete the Tribal TANF income by selecting the Delete Details button at the top of the page.
  2. From the Navigation tree, select Review.
  3. If there are no errors on the Review page, click Eligibility on the Navigation tree.
NOTE: If the Type, Status, and Date fields are not completed when deleting Tribal TANF income from the Unearned Income page, error messages display on the Review page requiring completion of this page.
  1. On the Eligibility page, a Details link displays to the right of any AU that is currently active. Click the Details link.
  2. Review the Eligibility Details page for each AU. If all looks correct, click Confirm Benefits.
  3. Click Commit Changes on the Eligibility page.

Mainframe Processing

How is Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) opened?

The system automatically opens TFA when a Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) is eligible for TFA. The system opens TFA using the existing Basic Food AU number, calculates the benefits and generates Letter 008-01 (Change in Cash/Food Assistance) to notify clients about their transitional benefits.

TFA is identified by an indicator on the following screens:

  • CHIS - Client Participation History
  • PART - Client Participation History
  • STAT - Assistance Status
  • ELIG - Non-Financial Eligibility
  • CLLI - Client List for Case Unit
  • MISC - AU Non-Financial Miscellaneous
  • DONE - Session Summary.

How are Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) benefits calculated?

The TFA benefit amount is calculated using the Basic Food Assistance Unit (AU) budget from the last month on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF, minus the TANF/Tribal TANF income. Any other changes in income, expenses or household composition are not considered when calculating TFA benefits; see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0010 How is my transitional food assistance benefit calculated?

The system calculates TFA by first identifying which month the benefit amount should be based on by:

  • The paid through date on the closing TANF AU; or
  • The previous month for a denied TANF AU; or
  • The date identified by the user in the Application/Benefit section on the UNER screen when Tribal TANF income is deleted.

The latest date is used if one or more of the events above occur during the same session.

How do I reinstate a Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

Reinstatement is allowed on a TFA AU in the same manner as reinstating a Basic Food AU. When TFA is reinstated within the five-month certification period, it continues unchanged.

For more information on reinstating an AU, see How do I reinstate an Assistance Unit (AU)?

Note: If a TFA Assistance Unit (AU) has closed for Reason Code-235-Review Not Complete, the AU should be re-opened and not reinstated. By doing a re-open of the AU, this makes sure the certification period remains consistent with eligibility. For more information on how to re-open an AU, see How do I reopen a previously closed or denied AU?

Do changes affect the Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) benefit amount?

After the TFA benefit amount is calculated, it is normally the same amount for each month of the five-month certification period. Changes in income, resources or expenses do not affect the TFA benefit amount. For more information, see EAZ Manual WAC - 388-489-0020 Am I required to report changes in my household’s circumstances while on transitional food assistance?

If a TFA member is removed from the TFA Assistance Unit (AU) with Reason Code 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits; the client, their income, resources and deductible expenses are removed from the TFA AU. The system recalculates the benefit using the new number of household members and the client no longer shows on the STAT screen. Reason codes display in the Reasons field at the bottom of the FSFI screen to indicate the changes.

TFA benefits change if the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) standards increase or decrease.

TFA benefits change if recoupment starts, stops or changes.

What changes result in Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) closure?

The TFA Assistance Unit (AU) closes, if all TFA members in the TFA AU household are not eligible for any one of the invalid TFA reason codes.  For a list of reason codes, see Who is not eligible for Transitional Food Assistance (TFA)?

If a review is not completed at the end of the TFA five-month certification period, the TFA AU closes for Reason Code 235 - Review Not Complete.

When the household requests voluntary termination of their TFA benefits or chooses to receive Basic Food Assistance instead of TFA, users need to close the TFA AU with Reason Code 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits. For more information, see:

How should I remove a household member from a Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

When a TFA Assistance Unit (AU) member moves out of the TFA household, that person and their income remain part of the TFA AU; unless, that person is removed from the TFA AU with Reason Code 549 - Voluntary Termination of Transitional Food Benefits or they are approved for Basic Food in a different AU.

  1. Update the Living Arrangement field on the DEM1 screen with [NO] - Not in home to indicate the person is no longer in the home.

When a TFA AU member dies before the TFA certification period is over, the deceased person and income remain part of the TFA AU through the end of the TFA eligibility period. At re-certification for Basic Food the deceased person is then removed from the benefits. Take the following steps to remove them from the TFA AU:

  1. Code the person as deceased by entering a date in the Death Date field on the DEM2 screen.

How do I add a new household member to an active Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

A new household member can be added to an active TFA AU, but the TFA amount and household composition do not change. For more information, see EAZ Manual - WAC 388-489-0020 Am I required to report changes in my household’s circumstances while on transitional food assistance?

If a household member is to be added to the TFA AU, using the Add a Person process take the following steps:

  1. On the STAT screen, code the new member as an applicant with [PN] - Applicant as their financial responsibility code.
  2. In Finalize, the system changes the new member to a [NM] - Non-member with Reason Code 130 - Not TFA Eligible - Not Recipient of BF in Prior Month.

What happens when a review is initiated on a Transitional Food Assistance (TFA) Assistance Unit (AU)?

When a review is initiated on an active TFA AU, it goes through Basic Food eligibility. If eligible, the AU changes back to Basic Food Assistance and the AU number remains the same.

Any client coded on the STAT screen as a [NM] - Non-member with Reason Code 130 - Not TFA Eligible - Not Recipient of BF in Prior Month is included in the Basic Food household and if they pass all eligibility for Basic Food, they are an active [RE] - Recipient in the Basic Food AU.

NOTE: When a review is initiated on a TFA AU prior to the end of the 5-month certification period, the REVI screen displays Edit 2163 - REVIEW INITIATED EARLY ON TRANSITIONAL FOOD ASSISTANCE.

What is the process to delete Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) income?

To delete Tribal TANF income, take the following steps:

  1. From the AMEN, select Option R - Interim /Hist Change and complete the following fields:
  • AU ID field - Enter the [assistance unit ID] or
  • Client ID field - Enter the [client ID].
  1. On the UNER screen, complete the following fields in the Application/Benefit section:
  • Type field - Enter [TT] - Tribal TANF.
  • Stat field - Enter [N] - Not TFA Eligible or [Y] - Yes TFA Eligible.
  • Date field - Enter the [date the status became effective].
  1. Delete the Tribal TANF income on the UNER screen, by entering [Y] in the Del field next to the Tribal TANF income. Press <F24> to delete.
NOTE: If the Type, Stat, and Date fields are not completed when deleting Tribal TANF income from the UNER screen, error messages display on the ERRO screen requiring completion of these fields.

 

See ACES Screens and Online Pages for an example of pages or screens used in this chapter.