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RULE §357.537Effect of an Administrative Determination of Intentional Program Violation

(a) If a hearing officer finds that a household member committed an intentional program violation, the household member is disqualified from the Food Stamp and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs for the following periods.

  (1) TANF. If the intentional program violation occurred on or after September 1, 2003, the person is disqualified:

    (A) 12 months for the first intentional program violation determination; and

    (B) permanently for the second intentional program violation determination.

  (2) Food Stamps. The person is disqualified:

    (A) for a period of one year upon the first occasion of any such determination;

    (B) for a period of two years upon:

      (i) the second occasion of any such determination; or

      (ii) the first occasion of a finding by a federal, state, or local court of the trading of a controlled substance (as defined in Title 21, United States Code (USC), §802) for coupons; and

    (C) permanently upon:

      (i) the third occasion of any such determination; or

      (ii) the second occasion of a finding by a Federal, state, or local court of the trading of a controlled substance (as defined in Title 21, USC, §802) for coupons; or

      (iii) the first occasion of a finding by a federal, state, or local court of the trading of firearms, ammunition, or explosives for coupons; or

      (iv) conviction of the offense of knowingly receiving, transferring, acquiring, altering, or possessing coupons, authorization cards, or access devices in any manner contrary to the Food Stamp Act of 1977 involving an aggregate amount of $500 or more.

    (D) for a period of ten years if a person is convicted in a state or federal court or is found by a state administrative hearing to have made a fraudulent statement or representation with respect to the identification or place of residence of the individual, in order to receive multiple benefits simultaneously under the Food Stamp Program.

(b) The disqualification period does not depend upon the amount of benefits involved. The disqualification period set at the time of the hearing is applicable regardless of current eligibility.

(c) The decision of the hearing officer in the Administrative Disqualification Hearing is final. The household member:

  (1) may not have this decision reversed by a subsequent Administrative Disqualification Hearing; and

  (2) for purposes of TANF decisions, may appeal that determination by filing a petition in the district court in the county in which the violation occurred not later than the 30th day after the date the hearing officer made the determination.

(d) If one hearing is held for several offenses, the Texas Department of Human Services may impose only one disqualification period.

(e) If the hearing officer imposes a one year disqualification for an initial violation, no further disqualifications may be imposed for violations occurring before the hearing decision that are later discovered. These violations may be brought to the hearing officer and, if appropriate, an intentional program violation may be found.

(f) Although the hearing officer's decision regarding the intentional program violation is final, the appellant may appeal the investigator's computation of the amount of overpayment.

Source Note: The provisions of this §357.537 adopted to be effective February 1, 1994, 18 TexReg 9857; amended to be effective September 22, 1996, 22 TexReg 2624; amended to be effective July 1, 1997, 22 TexReg 5845; amended to be effective September 14, 1998, 23 TexReg 9410; amended to be effective November 18, 2002, 27 TexReg 10753; amended to be effective September 1, 2003, 28 TexReg 6951; transferred effective September 1, 2004, as published in the Texas Register September 17, 2004, 29 TexReg 9013

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