Verification is the process School Food Authorities (SFAs) conduct annually to confirm selected students’ eligibility for free and reduced price meals in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.
Step 1 - Determine if your SFA is required to complete an independent review of applications:
Schools Required to Conduct an Independent Review of Applications for School Year (SY) 2016-2017
Information for The Independent Review of Applications
Administrative Policy No. 15 Independent Review of Applications SY 2016-2017
Step 2 - Determine if your School Food Authority (SFA) must complete an Improvement Plan:
Schools Required to Submit an Improvement Plan for Certification and Verification for SY 2016-2017
If the SFA is on the list required to submit an Improvement Plan, use the following documents:
Improvement Plan for Certification and Verification
Step 3 - Determine the sampling method your SFA must use to identify applications for verification. There are three sample sizes established for verification activities. The standard sample size must be used by the SFA unless it qualifies to use one of the alternate sample sizes.
Schools Required to use Standard Sample Size for SY 2016-2017
Step 4 - Establish the Free and Reduced Price School Meals Application pool.
Only approved current school year applications as of October 1 must make up the pool.
The following students should not be included in the application pool:
Children approved through direct certification procedures such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), and foster children.
Children directly certified through other programs, including children that are documented as eligible migrant, runaway, homeless, or foster children.
Children participating in Head Start or Pre-K Even Start.
Step 5 - Calculate the sample size/number of applications that must be verified.
Follow the instructions on the sampling method information sheet(s) in Step 3.
Round up decimals to the nearest whole number.
Step 6 - Conduct a Confirmation Review of the applications selected for verification.
All approved household applications selected for verification must be reviewed for accuracy to ensure that initial eligibility determinations are correct. The review must be done by an individual other than the individual making the initial determination.
SFAs that use electronic systems are exempt from this requirement.
Document on the back of the original application the date of the Confirmation Review.
Step 7 - Notify the selected households:
Use the We Must Check Your Application form.
Give the households a due date.
Step 8 - Verify benefits for applications with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) case numbers by one of the methods below:
Send the prototype letter below to contact the local Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to verify benefits.
Review the household’s official letter from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as verification of benefits. However, the SFA verifying official must check to make sure the household is receiving TANF, SNAP, or FDPIR benefits.
Step 9 - Conduct a Follow-up Review for any household that has not responded by the original due date.
Document on the back of the original application the date of when the Follow-up Review was conducted.
Step 10 - Notify all households of the final verification determination.
Use the We Have Checked Your Application form.
Households must be given 10 day advance, written notification that benefits will be decreased.
The first day of the ten calendar day advance notice is the day the notice is sent.
Wait until the 10 day advance notification period has passed.
Step 12 - All SFAs must report verification activities and outcomes to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) annually. The results of verification are reported in the School Food Authority Verification Collection Report (SFA-VCR). The web-based report can be accessed through the Michigan Nutrition Data System (MiND) at: Michigan Nutrition Data System.
The verification results reporting will open in December 2016. The target date for opening the SFA-VCR is December 12, 2016. The SFA-VCR must be submitted to MDE via the Michigan Nutrition Data System (MiND) Michigan Nutrition Data System by February 1, 2017.
If your SFA needs to designate a new individual to complete
0 the SFA-VCR, the security agreement process for the MiND system, has been incorporated within the Michigan Electronic Grants System Plus (MEGS+) application. Your 2017 MEGS+ application for the School Nutrition Programs will have to be amended to provide that new designee access.