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Minnesota Department of Human Services Combined Manual
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ISSUE DATE: 06/2016

Clients have the primary responsibility to verify information. When you need non-public information for proof, clients must get documents themselves or give you written permission to contact 3rd parties to verify their statements.

To use a collateral contact for proof, the client must help identify a contact. If a suitable collateral contact cannot verify or refuses to verify the facts, the client must help find another contact. A contact’s refusal to cooperate is not the client’s refusal to cooperate. See 0010.09 (Sources of Verification, Collateral Contacts).

Consent from a client to contact a 3rd party must include the name of the specific contact person and the specific information you need. A written consent may cover more than 1 3rd-party source, but must name each source individually. You may use the Authorization for Release of Information About Assets (DHS-2243) (PDF) and the General Authorization For Release of Information (DHS-2243A) (PDF) form.

If a client refuses to help or deliberately fails to cooperate to verify an eligibility factor, deny or terminate benefits. If the unverified eligibility factor affects only the client (such as immigration status), deny or end the client’s eligibility. If the unverified factor affects the entire unit (such as income), deny or close the case.


When proof is not available in the situations below, accept a signed personal statement from the client attesting to the correctness of the information:

A claim of family violence if used as a basis to qualify for the family violence waiver.

Relationship of minor child to caregiver.

EXCEPTION: DO NOT accept a signed statement from the caregiver as proof of paternity. Refer the father to the county support office to establish paternity.

Citizenship status from a noncitizen who reports to be, or is identified as, a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons, if the noncitizen reports that the noncitizen's immigration documents are being held by an individual or group of individuals against the noncitizen's will. The noncitizen must follow up with the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to pursue certification. If verification that certification is being pursued is not received within 30 days, close the MFIP case and pursue overpayments. If the ORR documents certifying the noncitizen's status as a victim of severe forms of trafficking in persons, or the reason for the delay in processing, are not received within 90 days, close the MFIP case and pursue overpayments.

Other documentation unavailable for reasons beyond the control of the client when reasonable attempts have been made to obtain the documents requested.


When a client cooperates but you still cannot find an adequate source of proof, work with the client to find the best available information. Get a signed statement from the client attesting to the correctness of the information. Do not deny benefits because you cannot get proof if the client has made all reasonable efforts.

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