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ISSUE DATE: 12/2014

Protect clients’ individual and civil rights at all times.

At application, recertification, and on request, inform clients of their rights to:

Be told orally and in writing of their rights and responsibilities.

Receive assistance program informational brochures.

An explanation of all the programs, including the benefits and limitations of each.

An explanation of eligibility requirements for all programs, including exemptions from program requirements. An explanation that receipt of SNAP has no bearing on any other program’s time limits that may apply to the household.

Review program regulations, manuals, instructions, and state plans.

File an application the same day they contact the county agency if they contact the agency during office hours.

Request a fair hearing through the county agency or the state agency. See 0027 (Appeals).

Be told that a formal application is needed to determine eligibility and exercise their right to appeal the county agency’s decision.

Apply or re-apply for assistance programs at any time even if they seem to be ineligible.

Receive prompt action or notification of delay on their application. See 0005.12.15 (Application Processing Standards).

Receive written notice of approval or denial of the application and reason for denial. See 0026 (Notices).

Receive written notice of how the agency calculated their benefits and why benefits increased, decreased, or ended. See 0020 (Net Income Limits), 0026 (Notices).

Other services and programs offered by the county agency.

Be told that notice of approval of Employment Plans are sent to the client’s residence and this may impact the client’s safety. Refer clients to the Safe At Home Program if they have concerns. See 0029.29 (Safe At Home Program).

Special help, if needed to understand and provide information. For example, interpreters for participants with limited English language proficiency or hearing impaired clients. See 0003.09.12 (Client Rights - Limited English Proficiency).

Services and programs offered by other agencies, when appropriate. See 0029 (Other Related Programs).

Have anyone they choose represent or aid them in applications, recertifications, appeals, or any contact with the county or state agency. The person does not have to be an attorney. See 0005.06 (Authorized Representatives).

Fair treatment under federal and state law and to file a complaint if they feel they have been treated unfairly. See 0003.09.03 (Client Rights - Civil Rights).

Have complaints concerning poor customer service resolved and the resolutions documented.

Have information collected kept private by the county agency. See 0003.09.09 (Client Rights, Private and Confidential Data).

Have their privacy and confidentiality ensured during the interview.

Have their interview scheduled in order to accommodate any special needs, when possible.

Protection. If there is a reason to suspect abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults, refer the information to social services. The client’s cooperation with social services is not a condition of eligibility.

Clients have additional rights under specific programs.


Clients have the right to family planning information. Refer clients who request family planning help to family planning services provided by the county agency or an outside agency.

Clients have the right to manage their financial affairs, unless the county is making protective or vendor payments in compliance with 0024.09 (Protective and Vendor Payments).

Clients who are victims of family violence have the right to request exemption from the 60-month limit for a Family Violence Waiver. See FAMILY VIOLENCE in 0002.23 (Glossary: Fair Hearing...). Also see 0005.12.12.09 (Family Violence Provisions/Referrals), 0028.15 (Employment Plan (EP)).


Follow MFIP, EXCEPT the Family Violence Waiver does NOT apply to DWP, as DWP months do NOT count toward the 60-month MFIP lifetime limit.


Expedite SNAP to units who qualify. See 0004.03 (Emergency Aid Eligibility - Cash Assistance), 0004.04 (Emergency Aid Eligibility - SNAP/Expedited Food), 0004.06 (Emergencies - 1st Month Processing).


Follow general provisions.

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