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Why Refer to the Basic Food Program (BFP)? A training module for WIC staff.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Refer to the Basic Food Program (BFP)? A training module for WIC staff."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Refer to the Basic Food Program (BFP)? A training module for WIC staff

2 Objectives STAFF WILL UNDERSTAND: The importance and need for the BFP The importance and need for the BFP How the BFP can be promoted to WIC clients How the BFP can be promoted to WIC clients Barriers to the BFP Barriers to the BFP Eligibility and application processes Eligibility and application processes Key resources available for BFP referrals Key resources available for BFP referrals

3 Why refer to the BFP?

4 Reason #1

5 Hunger and Food Insecurity: WA State 4.4% of WA residents food insecure with hunger 4.4% of WA residents food insecure with hunger –5 th in nation 12.5% of WA residents food insecure without hunger 12.5% of WA residents food insecure without hunger –10 th in nation Effects of hunger Effects of hunger –delayed physical, psychosocial, and cognitive development

6 Reason #2

7 WIC & BFP Work Better Together Both WIC and BFP are associated with  increased food security in both adults and children  higher nutrient intakes  Both WIC and BFP participation have been shown to increase nutrient intakes (iron and zinc) in children

8 Reason #3

9 BFP Can Help YOUR Clients (1) Additional Aid Additional Aid –When WIC benefits are no longer available  Maternal depression when assistance is no longer available –Can negatively impact child health –Those who qualify for BFP may also qualify for financial assistance for heating, electricity, and telephone costs *Must live in Seattle city limits for certain benefits

10 BFP Can Help YOUR Clients (2) Option for variety Option for variety –Many WIC clients surveyed expressed wishes for more variety with WIC checks  i.e.: fruit or culturally appropriate foods –BFP Cards are accepted at Farmers Markets  Columbia, Lake City, University, Magnolia, West Seattle  Participants take BFP Quest Cards to information booth, receive tokens for requested amount

11 Who is Using Basic Food?

12 Program Utilization Currently BFP serves Currently BFP serves –Statewide: 403,992 –Nationwide: 21 million  51.1% are children aged 18 or younger Usage by WIC clients Usage by WIC clients –According to CIMS data 75% of PH-S&KC WIC clients are NOT participating in the BFP –However…2/3 of WIC clients are still living at or below federal poverty level

13 So why is the BFP under-utilized by WIC clients?

14 Perceived “Barriers” Paperwork too long Paperwork too long –TRUTH: Application 3 pages and there’s help! Benefits not worth time Benefits not worth time –TRUTH: Avg mo benefit $80/person and $186/household in 2002 Intimidating environment Intimidating environment –TRUTH: Resources available to help you be prepared and confident!

15 Perceived “Barriers” Assuming ineligibility Assuming ineligibility –TRUTH: Eligibility screening calculators available online Embarrassment Embarrassment –TRUTH: WIC staff encouragement can help eliminate this!! WIC provides enough benefit WIC provides enough benefit –TRUTH: BFP provides more variety and culturally appropriate foods

16 The best way to eliminate these barriers is to increase knowledge!!

17 SO…What are the requirements for eligibility??

18 Clients Must Have… 1. Washington State Residency 2. A Social Security Number For every household member requesting benefitsFor every household member requesting benefits In process of applying is OKIn process of applying is OK 3. Appropriate Citizenship Status U.S. Citizen or U.S. NationalU.S. Citizen or U.S. National Most legal immigrantsMost legal immigrants 4. Income within limits

19 What is required of legal immigrants?

20 Legal Immigrants Must have documentation of legal status Must have documentation of legal status Have Sponsor Have Sponsor Must have or be in the process of applying for SS# Must have or be in the process of applying for SS# –Can receive benefits while waiting for # to be issued

21 Immigrants Without Legal Status Undocumented/No SS# Undocumented/No SS# –Can apply for BFP if at least one member of the household has documented status and SSN –Request benefits for that member only DSHS is not required to turn BFP information over to INS DSHS is not required to turn BFP information over to INS

22 Promoting the BFP to immigrants Any thoughts?

23 Suggested Approach Penny Lara-Figueroa, PH-S&KC Penny Lara-Figueroa, PH-S&KC –Reassuring clients that food assistance will not affect their or their children’s citizenship status is key-many clients have heard misinformation  Make client feel comfortable-one word could turn them away –Avoid using words “legal” and “illegal”  Emphasize that every case is different  Use hand-out to back up what you say  Mention taxes paid in US help pay benefits for children born in US

24 What are the income limits??

25 Income Limits Includes: Wages Wages Tips Tips Unemployment Benefits Unemployment Benefits –Prior to monthly deductions and taxes Does NOT Include: Wages from students <18 Wages from students <18 Earned income tax credit Earned income tax credit Energy assistance Energy assistance Bona fide loans Bona fide loans Most student financial aid Most student financial aid Dependent upon household size

26 Household Size Max GROSS Monthly Income Allowed (<130% federal poverty level) (<130% federal poverty level) Amount of Food Stamps You MAY Qualify For 1 $0 to $973 $10 to $141 2 $974 to $1,313 $10 to $259 3 $1,314 to $1,654 $10 to $371 4 $1,655 to $1,994 $10 to $471 5 $1,995 to $2,334 $10 to $560 6 $2,335 to $2,674 $10 to $672 7 $2,675 to $3,014 $10 to $743 8 $3,015 to $3,296 $10 to $849

27 Additional Requirements: BFP and Students Student defined as age enrolled half-time or more in an institution of higher education. Student defined as age enrolled half-time or more in an institution of higher education. To receive BFP students must meet one of the following criteria: To receive BFP students must meet one of the following criteria: –Have at least a part time job or are self-employed  At least 20 hours per week – Enrolled in federal or state work-study program –Are a single parent or caring for child under age 5

28 Recent Changes to Note…

29 Resource Limits No Longer Apply Effective May 1, 2004: Effective May 1, 2004: “CATEGORICAL ELIGIBILTY” Washington State will no longer look at resources as a Basic Food eligibility factor for most individuals and families whose income is below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level.

30 Old Resource Limits Included: Cash Cash Vehicle equity ≥ $4,650 Vehicle equity ≥ $4,650 Bank accounts Bank accounts Property Property Stocks and bond Stocks and bond Must be 60 yrs)

31 More Changes... By October 31, 2004 WA State will implement simplified reporting for the BFP By October 31, 2004 WA State will implement simplified reporting for the BFP –Only need to report:  Increase in income that would result in ineligibility  A change in address –Every 6-12 mo must complete a semiannual report OR participate in an eligibility review Former drug felons will be eligible for Basic Food benefits effective July 1, 2004* Former drug felons will be eligible for Basic Food benefits effective July 1, 2004*

32 What can your clients expect? BFP Benefit Timeline

33 Application Application for Benefits Application for Benefits –Complete and sign in two places:  On line 1 and at bottom of page 4  On page 4 client signs that he/she has read and understands “Client Rights and Responsibilities” Submit to DSHS Community Service Office (CSO) by mail, fax or by hand. Submit to DSHS Community Service Office (CSO) by mail, fax or by hand.  CSO determined by Zip Code  Zip codes serviced by Clinic –Pierce County residents to Pierce Co. CSO

34 Interview Notice Client receives notice of interview Client receives notice of interview –Faxed or mailed application  Notice by mail –Hand delivered application  Interview date/time established on delivery  Some CSOs allow client to wait for same-day interview * Clients can request phone interview

35 Review Timeline Expedited Service Expedited Service –“What do I do if I need food right away?”  Instructions on front of application  If client qualifies, review within 5 days Otherwise, regulation allows 30 days for processing the application Otherwise, regulation allows 30 days for processing the application  Most CSOs have policy of “As soon as possible” * Review lasts an hour to an hour and a half

36 What Clients Need to Bring to the Interview Proof of Identity Proof of Identity –Birth Certificate, Immigration documentation, Social Security cards –For all household members Proof of Housing Proof of Housing –Statement from Landlord, rental agreements, mortgage payments, and utility costs, etc –Completed Shared Living Statement Proof of Income Proof of Income –Pay stubs, unemployment stubs, grants and loans, trust fund monies, child support/alimony, etc

37 Receiving Benefits Eligibility determined at interview Eligibility determined at interview –Client receives Quest card, PIN and instructions for accessing benefits the same day However, the majority of clients fail to bring some form of required verification to interview!! However, the majority of clients fail to bring some form of required verification to interview!! –Delays benefits until all items are received

38 How to Refer in YOUR Clinic (1) Example Clinic Points of Referral Points of Referral –Application Worker  Name(s) –Hours of availability –Ability to take more clients  How to Refer to AW: –Call for appointment availability –Direct clients to office –Outreach Worker  Dates Availability  How to refer –Direct clients to lobby, or inform clients of dates/times of availability

39 How to Refer in YOUR Clinic (2) Example Clinic Points of Referral (cont.): Points of Referral (cont.): –Hopelink Outreach  Dependent on need  Will establish regular schedule you can refer clients to  What would work best for North? –How to Refer to Hopelink:  Direct clients to lobby, or inform of date/times of availability

40 Resources for the BFP Application Process

41 Flyers and Handouts 1. BFP Information for Clients -Spanish and English 2. What WIC staff need to know about eligibility and referrals 3. “Good News” Immigration Info -Spanish, Russian and English 4. Resources for the BFP application process 5. CSO locations * Suggestion: Resource list (#4) can be printed on the back of #5 & #2

42 Let your clients know about these Resources!! Hopelink Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Both offer help with the BFP application process * Let your clients know that these agencies are credible, reliable and are there to serve THEM!! Confidentiality is assured

43 Helpful Websites FNS Frequently Asked Questions NW Justice Project Food USA DSHS https://wws2.wa.gov/dshs/onlinecso/Food_Assistance_Program.asp Online income eligibility calculator www1.dshs.wa.gov/ESA/TEC

44 Re-cap: Why Should you Refer Clients to BFP? 1. BFP addresses food insecurity 2. BFP is under-utilized by WIC clients 3. To help eliminate perceived barriers **TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE**

45 Now that you have the info, how will you promote the BFP to YOUR clients?

46 Role Play: Five minute Promotion of Basic Food Program 5 Key Points to Address: 1. Promote BFP based on client income 2. Address Client Interest –Why BFP would be beneficial to client  WIC perspective i.e.: culturally appropriate food 3. Client Eligibility –Reassurance 4. What clients should expect –Timeline 5. Where to go –Point of Referral

47 Additional Resources and Information

48 Detailed Legal Immigrant Info Must have documentation of legal status Must have documentation of legal status –DSHS will assist in paying for documents if needed Have Sponsor Have Sponsor –If client had an individual sponsor on or after December 19, 1997, sponsor's income may be included in determining eligibility  Unless the applicant is under 18 years old or has acquired 40 Social Security work quarters Must have or be in the process of applying for an SS# Must have or be in the process of applying for an SS# –Not all applicants for state-funded Basic Food need an SS# –Must have receipt of application from Social Security Administration –Can receive benefits while waiting for # to be issued

49 Resources Rose D, Habicht JP, Devaney B. Household participation in the Food Stamp and WIC programs increases the nutrient intakes of preschool children. J Nutr Mar;3: Rose D, Habicht JP, Devaney B. Household participation in the Food Stamp and WIC programs increases the nutrient intakes of preschool children. J Nutr Mar;3: Perez-Escamilla R, Ferris AM, Drake L, Haldeman L, Peranick J, Campbell M, Peng YK, Burke G, Bernstein B. Food stamps are associated with food security and dietary intake of inner-city preschoolers from Hartford, Connecticut. J Nutr. 2000;130(11): Perez-Escamilla R, Ferris AM, Drake L, Haldeman L, Peranick J, Campbell M, Peng YK, Burke G, Bernstein B. Food stamps are associated with food security and dietary intake of inner-city preschoolers from Hartford, Connecticut. J Nutr. 2000;130(11): FNS Frequently Asked Questions Website. FNS Frequently Asked Questions Website. Food USA Website. Food USA Website. DSHS Website. DSHS Website. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Trial Eligibility Calculator. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services Trial Eligibility Calculator. DSHS Eligibility Requirements for State Funded Benefits through the Basic Food Program DSHS Eligibility Requirements for State Funded Benefits through the Basic Food Program Casey P, Goolsby S, Berkowitz C, Frank D, Cook J, Cutts D, Black MM, Zaldivar N, Levenson S, Heeren T, Meyers A. Maternal depression, changing public assistance, food security, and child health status: Children's Sentinel Nutritional Assessment Program Study Group. Pediatrics. 2004;113(2): Casey P, Goolsby S, Berkowitz C, Frank D, Cook J, Cutts D, Black MM, Zaldivar N, Levenson S, Heeren T, Meyers A. Maternal depression, changing public assistance, food security, and child health status: Children's Sentinel Nutritional Assessment Program Study Group. Pediatrics. 2004;113(2): Food Stamp Program: Average monthly participation in persons. USDA Website. Food and Nutrition Service. Food Stamp Program: Average monthly participation in persons. USDA Website. Food and Nutrition Service.


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