Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 63.2. Welfare (Social Services)
6/19/2019

Chapter 5. General Provisions.

§ 63.2-500. Definitions.

For purposes of this subtitle, unless the context otherwise clearly requires:

"Agreement" means the written individualized agreement of personal responsibility required by this chapter.

"Case manager" means the worker designated by the local department, a private-sector contractor or a private community-based organization including nonprofit entities, churches, or voluntary organizations that provide case management services.

"Intensive case management" means individualized services provided by a properly trained case manager.

1994, cc. 858, 951, § 63.1-133.42; 1995, c. 450; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-501. Application for assistance.

A. Except as provided for in the state plan for medical assistance services pursuant to § 32.1-325, application for public assistance shall be made to the local department and filed with the local director of the county or city in which the applicant resides; however, when necessary to overcome backlogs in the application and renewal process, the Commissioner may temporarily utilize other entities to receive and process applications, conduct periodic eligibility renewals, and perform other tasks associated with eligibility determinations. Such entities shall be subject to the confidentiality requirements set forth in § 63.2-501.1. Applications and renewals processed by other entities pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to appeals pursuant to § 63.2-517. Such application may be made either electronically or in writing on forms prescribed by the Commissioner and shall be signed by the applicant or otherwise attested to in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner under penalty of perjury in accordance with § 63.2-502.

If the condition of the applicant for public assistance precludes his signing or otherwise attesting to the accuracy of information contained in an application for public assistance, the application may be made on his behalf by his guardian or conservator. If no guardian or conservator has been appointed for the applicant, the application may be made by any competent adult person having sufficient knowledge of the applicant's circumstances to provide the necessary information, until such time as a guardian or conservator is appointed by a court.

B. Local departments or the Commissioner shall provide each applicant for public assistance with information regarding his rights and responsibilities related to eligibility for and continued receipt of public assistance. Such information shall be provided in an electronic or written format approved by the Board that is easily understandable and shall also be provided orally to the applicant by an employee of the local department, except in the case of energy assistance. The local department shall require each applicant to acknowledge, in a format approved by the Board, that the information required by this subsection has been provided and shall maintain such acknowledgment together with information regarding the application for public assistance.

C. Local departments or the Commissioner shall provide each applicant for Medicaid with information regarding advance directives pursuant to Article 8 (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.) of Chapter 29 of Title 54.1, including information about the purpose and benefits of advance directives and how the applicant may make an advance directive.

Code 1950, §§ 63-116, 63-140.3, 63-142, 63-180, 63-206; 1962, c. 621; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-107; 1970, c. 721; 1972, c. 718; 1975, cc. 524, 585; 1996, c. 511; 1997, cc. 801, 921; 2002, c. 747; 2012, cc. 240, 530; 2015, c. 513; 2017, c. 106.

§ 63.2-501.1. Application for public assistance; accurate contact information; authorized disclosures.

A. Every local department shall obtain accurate contact information from each applicant for public assistance, which shall include the best available address and telephone number of the applicant. Local departments shall also obtain alternative contact information, such as the applicant's email address and cell phone number, and the applicant's preferred method of contact, including direct mail, email, text message, or phone call.

B. To the extent required by federal law and regulations, recipients of public assistance shall notify the local department of any change in address or telephone number within 30 days of such change, and the local department shall update any records maintained by the local department to reflect the change in the recipient's contact information.

C. Contact information received and maintained by local departments shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except as required pursuant to § 63.2-102. However, information related to any application for or receipt of medical assistance services pursuant to § 32.1-325 may be disclosed for purposes directly connected to administration of the state plan for medical assistance services pursuant to § 1902(a)(7) of the Social Security Act.

2012, c. 367; 2017, c. 472.

§ 63.2-502. False application or false swearing; penalty.

Any person who knowingly makes any false application for public assistance or who knowingly swears or affirms falsely to any matter or thing required by the provisions of this title or as to any information required by the Commissioner, incidental to the administration of the provisions of this title, to be sworn to or affirmed, shall be guilty of perjury and, upon conviction therefor, shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of § 18.2-434.

1975, c. 585, § 63.1-107.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-503. Procedure upon receipt of application.

A. Upon receipt of the application for public assistance, the local director or Commissioner shall make or cause to be made promptly an investigation to determine the completeness and correctness of the statements contained in the application and to ascertain the facts supporting the application and such other information as the local department or the Commissioner may require to determine whether an applicant is eligible for public assistance.

B. In conducting the investigation required by subsection A, and only when consistent with federal law and regulations, the local director shall verify each applicant's identity, income, assets, and any other information necessary for the purpose of determining eligibility for public assistance, eliminating the duplication of assistance, and deterring fraud.

C. In cases in which information obtained as a result of the investigation required by subsection A is inconsistent with information provided by the applicant at the time of application or otherwise suggests that the applicant may not be eligible for public assistance, the local director shall notify the applicant in writing and provide opportunity for the applicant to explain the discrepancy. If the applicant fails to respond within 10 days of the date of such notice, the local director shall deny the application for public assistance. If the applicant responds within 10 days of such notice, upon receipt of such response, the local director shall conduct such further investigation as may be necessary to verify the applicant's response and resolve the discrepancy or other issue arising from comparing the information provided by the applicant with information obtained as a result of the investigation required by subsection A. If the local director determines that the information obtained as a result of the investigation required by subsection A is accurate, and that as a result the applicant is ineligible for public assistance, the local director shall so notify the applicant and public assistance shall be denied. In any case in which the local director believes that the applicant has obtained or attempted to obtain public assistance by means of willful false statements or representations, impersonation, or other fraudulent devices, the local director shall initiate a fraud investigation pursuant to § 63.2-526.

D. The Department shall establish a means to obtain and provide the data necessary for the local departments to conduct the search required by subsection B in an automated electronic format. In doing so, the Department may use a third-party contractor. The local department shall immediately take action upon obtaining information indicating a change in a recipient's circumstances that could warrant reconsideration, cancellation, or changes in the amount of public assistance paid to the recipient in accordance with the provisions of § 63.2-514.

E. The Department shall report to the General Assembly no later than December 1 of each year the following:

1. Which specific types or sources of information local directors used, either directly or through a third-party contractor, during the past year for the purpose of verifying applicants' identity, income, assets, and other information pursuant to subsection B; and

2. Any types or sources of information that the Department plans to make available to local directors to use in the future to verify applicants' identity, income, assets, and other information and the approximate date on which the local directors plan to begin using those types or sources of information.

F. The Department shall include in its report required pursuant to subsection E the number of applications for public assistance received in accordance with this section, the number of cases in which eligibility for public assistance was approved or denied, and the number of cases referred for investigation and the reasons in each case.

G. The Board may by regulation authorize the local directors to provide immediate and temporary assistance to persons pending action of the local departments.

H. In the event that any provision of this section conflicts with federal law or regulations, provisions of federal law shall prevail.

Code 1950, §§ 63-117, 63-140.4, 63-143, 63-181, 63-207, 63-212; 1960, c. 440; 1962, c. 621; 1966, c. 112; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-108; 1974, c. 422; 2002, c. 747; 2015, cc. 509, 513.

§ 63.2-503.1. Legal presence required for public assistance; exceptions; proof of legal presence.

A. In addition to meeting the existing eligibility requirements of the benefits applied for, no person who is not a United States Citizen or legally present in the United States shall receive state or local public assistance pursuant to this subtitle, except for state or local public assistance that is mandated by Federal Law pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1621.

B. In addition to providing proof of other eligibility requirements, at the time of application for any state or local public benefit, an applicant who is 19 years of age or older shall provide affirmative proof that he is a U.S. citizen or is legally present in the United States. Such affirmative proof shall consist of documentary evidence as required pursuant to § 46.2-328.1 or a social security number as verified by the Social Security Administration. An applicant who is under the age of 19 years shall not be required to provide such affirmative proof; however, such person upon reaching the age of 19 years shall comply with the provisions of this section.

An applicant who cannot provide proof that he is a citizen or legally present at the time of application shall sign an affidavit under oath attesting that he is a U.S. citizen or legally present in the United States in order to receive temporary benefits as provided in this section. The affidavit shall be on or consistent with forms prepared by the Commissioner, and shall be subject to and include an explanation of the provisions of § 63.2-502 relating to penalties for knowingly providing false information on a public document. The agency shall report in writing to the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth those who are determined to have falsely attested to lawful presence.

Once an applicant has provided the sworn affidavit required by this subsection, he shall be eligible to receive temporary benefits for either:

1. Ninety days or until such time that it is determined that he is not legally present in the United States, whichever is earlier, or

2. Indefinitely if the applicant provides a copy of a completed application for a birth certificate that has been filed and is pending and being actively pursued in accordance with § 32.1-259 or 32.1-260 or any substantially similar law of another state, the District of Columbia, or United States territory or commonwealth. Such extension shall terminate upon the applicant's receipt of a birth certificate or a determination that a birth certificate does not exist because the applicant is not a United States citizen.

C. The provisions of subsection B shall not apply to persons applying for benefits exempted by subsection A of this section and subsection A of § 32.1-325.03.

2005, cc. 867, 876.

§ 63.2-504. Decision of local department that applicant entitled to public assistance.

Upon completion of the investigation, the local department shall determine whether the applicant is eligible for public assistance under this subtitle, and, if eligible, the amount of such public assistance and the date upon which such public assistance shall begin. If the local department approves the payment of public assistance, such public assistance shall thereupon, until changed, modified, or revoked, be paid as hereinafter provided.

Code 1950, §§ 63-118, 63-144, 63-182, 63-208; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-109; 1974, c. 422; 2002, c. 747; 2015, c. 513.

§ 63.2-505. Determining the amount of public assistance.

The Board shall adopt regulations governing the amount of public assistance persons receive under the provisions of this subtitle. In making such regulations, the Board shall consider significant differences in living costs in various counties and cities and, unless otherwise precluded by law, shall establish or approve such variations in monetary public assistance standards for shelter allowance on a regional or local basis, as may be appropriate.

The amount of public assistance any person receives under the provisions of this subtitle shall be determined according to Board regulations with regard to (i) the property and income of the person and any support he receives from other sources, including from persons legally responsible for his support, and (ii) the average cost of providing public assistance statewide. It shall be sufficient to provide public assistance that, when added to all other income and support of the recipient (exclusive of that not to be taken into account as hereinafter provided), provides such person with a reasonable subsistence. In determining the income of and support available to a person, the amount of income required to be exempted by federal statute, or if the federal statute makes such exemption permissive, then such portion thereof as may be determined by the Board shall not be considered in determining the amount of assistance any person may receive under this subtitle.

Any amounts received by a person pursuant to a settlement agreement with, or judgment in a lawsuit brought against, a manufacturer or distributor of "Agent Orange" for damages resulting from exposure to "Agent Orange" shall be disregarded in determining the amount of public assistance such person may receive from state public assistance programs and from federal public assistance programs to the extent permitted by federal law or regulation, and such amounts shall not be subject to a lien or be available for reimbursement to the Commonwealth or any local department for public assistance, notwithstanding the provisions of § 63.2-409.

Any individual or family applying for or receiving public assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, medical assistance services for low-income families with children, food stamp, or energy assistance programs, to the extent permitted by federal law and regulation, may have or establish one savings or other investment account per assistance unit not to exceed $5,000. Any such account, including any interest earned thereon or appreciation in value thereof, shall be exempt from consideration in any calculation under any specified public assistance program as long as no funds are withdrawn from the account. The State Board shall promulgate regulations permitting the withdrawal of funds from the account for purposes related to self-sufficiency, disregarding the funds withdrawn for such purposes in any calculation under any specified public assistance program, and establishing penalties for amounts withdrawn for any other purposes or other misuse of these funds.

Code 1950, §§ 63-119, 63-145, 63-183, 63-209; 1950, p. 624; 1952, c. 62; 1954, c. 659; 1958, c. 519; 1962, cc. 363, 403; 1964, c. 92; 1966, c. 456; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-110; 1970, c. 721; 1974, c. 328; 1977, c. 503; 1989, cc. 333, 521; 1993, c. 922; 1994, c. 263; 2001, c. 483; 2002, cc. 360, 747.

§ 63.2-505.1. Transitional food stamp benefits.

To the extent permitted by federal law, the Department shall provide transitional food stamp benefits for a period of not more than five months after the date on which Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance is terminated. However, no household shall be eligible for transitional food stamp benefits if TANF cash assistance was terminated because all children in the assistance unit were removed from the home as a result of a child protective services investigation.

2005, c. 463.

§ 63.2-505.2. Eligibility for food stamps; drug-related felonies.

A person who is otherwise eligible to receive food stamp benefits shall be exempt from the application of section 115(a) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, P.L. 104-193, and shall not be denied such assistance solely because he has been convicted of a felony offense of possession of a controlled substance in violation of § 18.2-250, provided such person is complying with, or has already complied with, all obligations imposed by the criminal court, is actively engaged in or has completed a substance abuse treatment program, participates in periodic drug screenings, and any other obligations as determined by the Department.

2005, c. 576.

§ 63.2-506. Public assistance not transferable or subject to execution.

Except as provided in § 63.2-512, no public assistance given under this subtitle shall be transferable or assignable, at law or in equity, and none of the money paid or payable as public assistance under this subtitle shall be subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment or other legal process, or to the operation of any bankruptcy or insolvency laws.

Code 1950, § 63-102; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-88; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-507. Personal representatives for recipients of public assistance funds.

A. If any otherwise qualified applicant for, or recipient of, benefits accruing under the provisions of this subtitle is or shall become unable to manage the funds accruing thereunder, or otherwise fails so to manage, to the extent that deprivation or hazard to himself or others results, or, in the case of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the benefits are not being used for the children, a petition may be filed by the local director of the county or city wherein the applicant or recipient resides, in any court of that county or city having jurisdiction in fiduciary matters for the appointment of a personal representative not an employee of the local department, for the purpose of receiving and managing any such payments accruing thereunder for any such recipient or payee. The petition shall allege one or more of the above grounds for the appointment of such representative.

B. The court shall summarily order a hearing on the petition and shall cause the applicant, recipient, or payee to be notified at least five days in advance of the time and place for the hearing. Findings of fact shall be made by the court without a jury. The court may require the local director to furnish a report containing any information necessary and this report shall remain confidential. Reports and findings of fact under this section shall not be competent as evidence in any proceeding dealing with any subject matter other than provided in this section.

C. If the court finds that the applicant, recipient, or payee is unable to manage such payments, or otherwise fails so to manage, to the extent that deprivation or hazard to himself or others results, or, in the case of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the payment is not being used for such child or children, the court may enter an order stating its findings and appointing some responsible person, not an employee of the local department, as personal representative of the applicant, recipient or payee for the purpose set forth herein.

D. The court may in its discretion at the time of the appointment or subsequently require the personal representative to give bond to assure the faithful performance of the duties required. An accounting by the personal representative shall be made at least annually and the court may require additional accounting at such intervals as may be deemed necessary. Failure to render such accounts and to account satisfactorily for all proceeds received shall be sufficient cause for the removal of the personal representative. The personal representative may be removed by the court upon the petition of the local director and another such representative may be appointed. No court costs shall be assessed in proceedings under this section; however, when the accruing benefits exceed $500 per year per applicant or recipient, the clerk of the court shall assess a fee of $5.

Code 1950, § 8-750.1; 1962, c. 418; 1972, c. 73; 1975, c. 118; 1977, c. 624, § 63.1-88.1; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-508. Fees for representing applicant or recipient.

No person shall make any charge or receive any fees for representing an applicant for or recipient of public assistance with respect to his application or request for increased assistance prior to a determination thereon by the local board, whether such fee or charge is paid by the applicant or recipient or any other person.

Code 1950, § 63-103; 1968, cc. 466, 578, § 63.1-89; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-509. Public assistance subject to amendment or repeal of laws.

All public assistance granted under this subtitle shall be deemed to be granted and to be held subject to the provisions of this subtitle and any amending or repealing act that may hereafter be passed, and no recipient shall have any claim for compensation, or otherwise, by reason of his public assistance being affected in any way by any amending or repealing act.

Code 1950, § 63-104; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-90; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-510. Obligation of person to support certain children living in same home; penalty.

A person shall be responsible for the support and maintenance of any child or children living in the same home in which he and the natural or adoptive parent of such child or children cohabit as man and wife and any such person who without cause willfully neglects or refuses or fails to provide for such support and maintenance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of § 20-61.

A pregnancy or the birth of a child during the time a person occupies the status set out above shall not be required as proof of cohabitation.

The obligations imposed herein shall continue so long as such person occupies the status herein described.

1972, c. 536, § 63.1-90.1; 1974, c. 464; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-511. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2016, c. 452, cl. 1.

§ 63.2-512. Recovery of public assistance erroneously paid.

Any assistance or part thereof erroneously paid to a recipient or former recipient may be recovered by the Board or local board from the recipient or former recipient as a debt. In accordance with Board regulations, the amount erroneously paid may also be recovered from the income, assets or other property of the recipient or former recipient or from the public assistance payable to the recipient.

1975, c. 320, § 63.1-127.2; 1983, c. 449; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-513. Notification of change in circumstances.

If at any time during the continuance of public assistance any change occurs, including but not limited to, the possession of any property or the receipt of regular income by the recipient or by any person who is included within a recipient's grant, that, in the circumstances upon which current eligibility or amount of assistance were determined, would materially affect such determination, it shall be the duty of such recipient to notify as defined by regulation the local department of such change, and the local board may either cancel the public assistance, or alter the amount thereof.

Any recipient who knows or reasonably should know that such change in circumstances will materially affect his eligibility for assistance or the amount thereof and willfully fails to comply with the provisions of this section, is guilty of a violation of § 63.2-522.

Code 1950, §§ 63-124, 63-149.1; 1952, c. 533; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-112; 1973, c. 482; 1975, c. 320; 1980, c. 19; 1986, c. 93; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-514. Reconsideration or changes in amount of public assistance; cancellation.

A. Eligibility for public assistance shall be reconsidered in accordance with federal law or regulations by the local department at least annually or upon receipt of information indicating a change in the recipient's circumstances that may affect the amount of assistance paid to a recipient or the recipient's eligibility for assistance and at such other times as the local board may deem necessary. As part of such reconsideration, the local department shall conduct an investigation to determine whether a recipient is eligible for renewal of public assistance. Such investigation shall include a review of information described in subsection B of § 63.2-503 for each applicant. After such investigation, the amount of public assistance may be changed or public assistance may be entirely withdrawn, if the local department finds that the recipient's circumstances have altered sufficiently to warrant such action.

B. In cases in which information obtained as a result of the investigation required by subsection A is inconsistent with information provided by the applicant, the local department shall notify the applicant in writing and provide opportunity for the applicant to explain the discrepancy. If the applicant fails to respond within 10 days of the date of such notice, the local department shall refuse to renew the applicant's eligibility for public assistance. If the applicant responds within 10 days of such notice, upon receipt of such response, the local department shall conduct such further investigation as may be necessary to verify the applicant's response and resolve the discrepancy between information provided by the applicant and information obtained as a result of the investigation required by subsection A. If the local department determines that the information obtained as a result of the investigation required by subsection A is accurate and that as a result the applicant is ineligible for public assistance, the local director of social services shall so notify the applicant and public assistance shall be denied. In any case in which the local department believes that the applicant has obtained or attempted to obtain public assistance by means of willful false statements or representations, impersonation, or other fraudulent devices, the local director shall initiate a fraud investigation pursuant to § 63.2-526.

C. If the local director does not act within 30 days of the receipt of information affecting the amount of assistance or the eligibility therefor as to any recipient, or if the circumstances require immediate action, the Commissioner may make necessary adjustments in the amount of public assistance or suspend further assistance to any such individual pending action by the local department.

Code 1950, §§ 63-123, 63-149, 63-187, 63-214; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-113; 2002, c. 747; 2015, c. 509.

§ 63.2-515. Notice to applicant or recipient of decision.

As soon as the local board makes any decision granting, denying, changing or discontinuing any grant of public assistance, it shall give written notice thereof to the applicant or recipient.

Code 1950, §§ 63-121, 63-140.5, 63-147, 63-149, 63-185, 63-187, 63-214; 1962, c. 621; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-114; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-516. Record of decision.

The local board shall preserve for such time as the Commissioner may prescribe, a record of its decision and all supporting documents and records including the findings and recommendations of the local director.

Code 1950, §§ 63-122, 63-140.6, 63-148, 63-186, 63-211; 1962, c. 621; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-115; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-517. Right of appeal to Commissioner.

Any applicant or recipient aggrieved by any decision of a local board in granting, denying, changing or discontinuing public assistance, may, within thirty days after receiving written notice of such decision, appeal therefrom to the Commissioner.

Any applicant or recipient aggrieved by the failure of the local board to make a decision within a reasonable time may ask for a review of the same by the Commissioner.

The Commissioner may delegate the duty and authority to duly qualified hearing officers to consider and make determinations on any appeal or review by an applicant for or recipient of public assistance concerning any decision of a local board. The Commissioner shall establish an appeals review panel to review administrative hearing decisions upon the request of either the applicant or the local board. Such panel shall determine if any changes are needed in the conduct of future hearings, or to policy and procedures related to the issue of the administrative appeal, and periodically report its findings to the Commissioner.

Any applicant or recipient aggrieved by any decision of a local board concerning food stamps may appeal to the Commissioner in accordance with federal law and regulation.

Code 1950, §§ 63-131, 63-140.8, 63-153, 63-195, 63-216; 1962, c. 621; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-116; 1970, c. 361; 1972, c. 718; 1975, c. 524; 1997, c. 412; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-518. Action by Commissioner on appeal.

The Commissioner shall provide an opportunity for a hearing, reasonable notice of which shall be given in writing to the applicant or recipient and to the proper local board in such manner and form as the Commissioner may prescribe. The Commissioner may make or cause to be made an investigation of the facts. The Commissioner shall give fair and impartial consideration to the testimony of witnesses, or other evidence produced at the hearing, reports of investigations of the local board and local director or of investigations made or caused to be made by the Commissioner, or any facts which the Commissioner may deem proper to enable him to decide fairly the appeal or review.

Code 1950, §§ 63-132, 63-140.9, 63-154, 63-196; 1962, c. 621; 1968, cc. 578, 781, § 63.1-117; 1972, c. 718; 1975, c. 524; 1997, c. 412; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-519. Finality of decision of Commissioner.

The decision of the Commissioner shall be binding and considered a final agency action for purposes of judicial review of such action pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

Code 1950, §§ 63-134, 63-140.11, 63-156, 63-198; 1962, c. 621; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-119; 1989, cc. 677, 734; 1997, c. 412; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-520. How public assistance paid.

Public assistance shall be paid to or on behalf of the applicant monthly, or at such other time or times as the regulations of the Board may provide, by the treasurer, the district fiscal officer, or other disbursing officer of the county or city, upon order of the local board or local director, from funds appropriated or made available for such purpose by the local governing body of such county or city. Wherever two or more counties or cities have been combined to form a district pursuant to § 63.2-306, such public assistance payments shall be made by the district fiscal officer.

In the event, however, that the Board adopts regulations to provide for state issuance of public assistance payments, such public assistance shall be paid by the State Treasurer. In emergency situations or in the event of delay or error in a state issuance of public assistance payments, emergency payments may be issued by local boards as authorized by Board regulations.

Code 1950, §§ 63-126, 63-140.7, 63-150, 63-190, 63-213; 1956, c. 578; 1962, c. 621; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-120; 1970, c. 721; 1972, c. 718; 1973, c. 201; 1974, cc. 488, 503; 1975, c. 337; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-521. Change of residence.

Any recipient of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or medical assistance who moves from one county or city in this Commonwealth to another county or city therein, shall thereafter be treated as if the grant of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or medical assistance had been made by the county or city into which he moves, and the local board of the county or city from which he moves shall transfer all necessary records relating to the recipient to the local board of the county or city into which such recipient moves.

Code 1950, §§ 63-130, 63-152, 63-194; 1952, c. 449; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-121; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-522. False statements, representations, impersonations and fraudulent devices; penalty.

Whoever obtains, or attempts to obtain, or aids or abets any person in obtaining, by means of a willful false statement or representation, or by impersonation, or other fraudulent device, public assistance or benefits from other programs designated under regulations of the Board, State Board of Health or the Board of Medical Assistance Services to which he is not entitled or who fails to comply with the provisions of § 63.2-513 is guilty of larceny. It shall be the duty of the local director, the Commissioner of Health or the Director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services to investigate alleged violations and enforce the provisions of this section. A warrant or summons may be issued for each violation of which the local director, the Commissioner of Health or the Director of the Department of Medical Assistance Services has knowledge. The local director, the Commissioner or the Director shall ensure that the attorney for the Commonwealth is notified of any investigation or alleged violation under this section. Trial for violations of this section shall be in the county or city from whose local department assistance was sought or obtained.

In any prosecution under the provisions of this section, it shall be lawful and sufficient in the same indictment or accusation to charge and therein to proceed against the accused for any number of distinct acts of such false statements, representations, impersonations or fraudulent devices that may have been committed by him within six months from the first to the last of the acts charged in the indictment or accusation.

Code 1950, §§ 63-137, 63-140.14, 63-159, 63-201, 63-217; 1952, c. 533; 1962, c. 621; 1968, c. 578, § 63.1-124; 1972, c. 659; 1975, c. 207; 1978, cc. 535, 672; 1982, c. 282; 1984, c. 578; 1986, cc. 93, 551; 1995, c. 294; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-523. Unauthorized use of food stamps, electronic benefit transfer cards, and energy assistance prohibited; penalties.

Whoever knowingly and with intent to defraud transfers, acquires, alters, traffics in or uses, or aids or abets another person in transferring, acquiring, altering, trafficking in, using, or possessing food stamps, electronic benefit transfer cards or other devices subject to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations regarding Electronic Fund Transfers, 12 C.F.R. § 1005.1 et seq., or benefits from energy assistance programs, or possesses food coupons, authorization to purchase cards, electronic benefit transfer cards or other devices subject to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations regarding Electronic Fund Transfers, 12 C.F.R. § 1005.1 et seq., or benefits from energy assistance programs in any manner not authorized by law is guilty of larceny.

A violation of this section may be prosecuted either in the county or city where the public assistance was granted or in the county or city where the violation occurred.

1975, c. 388, § 63.1-124.1; 1978, c. 731; 1984, c. 535; 1994, c. 249; 2002, c. 747; 2016, c. 501.

§ 63.2-524. Denial of benefits upon finding of fraudulent acts.

Any individual applying for or receiving benefits under the federal Food Stamp program or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program may be denied such benefits in accordance with federal law if such person is found by a court or pursuant to an administrative hearing to have intentionally (i) made a false or misleading statement or misrepresented, concealed or withheld facts, or (ii) committed any act intended to mislead, misrepresent, conceal or withhold facts or propound a falsity, for the purpose of establishing or maintaining eligibility for such benefits.

The Board is authorized to adopt regulations governing conduct of administrative hearings and denial of benefits authorized by this section.

1989, c. 373, § 63.1-124.2; 1992, c. 189; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-525. Payment by Department for legal services.

Notwithstanding any provision of §§ 2.2-2814, 2.2-2815, 2.2-2816, 2.2-2823, 2.2-2824, 2.2-2825 or § 2.2-2826 to the contrary, whenever there shall be authorized by law an assistant attorney for the Commonwealth and such assistant's duties consist of the prosecution of public assistance fraud cases pursuant to §§ 18.2-95, 18.2-96, 63.2-502, 63.2-513, 63.2-522, 63.2-523 or § 63.2-524, the Department may, with the consent of the attorney for the Commonwealth of the jurisdiction, contract with the county or city or combination thereof for whom such assistant attorney for the Commonwealth is authorized regarding the duties of such assistant and regarding the payment by the Department of the entire salary, expenses, including secretarial services, and allowances of such assistant, as shall be approved by the Compensation Board, for the entire time devoted to these duties. Any such contract may provide that the county, city, or combination thereof shall pay the entire amount of such salary, expenses, and allowances and that the Department shall reimburse such county or city therefor. The amount of such salary, expenses, and allowances shall be set by the Compensation Board as provided by law.

1991, c. 5, § 63.1-124.3; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-526. Statewide fraud control program.

A. The Department shall establish a statewide fraud control program to ensure that fraud prevention and investigation are pursued throughout the Commonwealth. The Board shall adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

B. Each local department shall establish fraud prevention and investigation units only insofar as money is appropriated therefor, which shall be staffed with sufficient qualified personnel to fulfill the regulations adopted by the Board. Solely for the purposes of obtaining motor vehicle licensing and registration information from entities within and without the Commonwealth, each local department fraud prevention and investigation unit shall be deemed to be a criminal justice agency as defined in § 9.1-101. The local departments may contract with other local departments to share a fraud prevention and investigation unit and may contract with private entities to perform fraud investigation. Any private entity performing fraud investigations shall comply with the requirements of § 30-138 and shall not be deemed to be a criminal justice agency.

C. The duties of fraud units may include but shall not be limited to (i) developing methods to prevent the fraudulent receipt of public assistance administered by the local board and (ii) investigating whether persons who receive public assistance through the local board are receiving it fraudulently. The fraud unit shall provide whatever assistance is necessary to attorneys for the Commonwealth in prosecuting cases involving fraud.

D. There is hereby created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Fraud Recovery Special Fund, hereafter referred to as "the Fund." The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller. All overpayment moneys collected or recovered by local departments related to food stamp, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and other federal benefit programs administered by the Department net of any refunds due the federal government shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Fund, except as prohibited by federal law or regulation. Any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of each fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Moneys in the Fund shall be used solely for the purpose of funding state and local fraud control programs.

Funding for local and state fraud control activities shall be comprised of (i) general funds appropriated for this activity, (ii) any federal funds available for this purpose, and (iii) balances in the Fund.

E. Local departments shall apply to the Commissioner for reimbursement from the Fund for the local share of direct costs. The Commissioner shall authorize reimbursements to the local departments from the Fund as provided in the general appropriation act. To receive or continue receiving reimbursements from the Fund, the local departments shall administer their fraud and investigation units in compliance with Board regulations. The number of local fraud workers for which the state will provide reimbursement in each locality shall be determined by Board regulations.

1992, c. 190, § 63.1-58.2; 1998, c. 775; 2000, c. 459; 2002, c. 747.

§ 63.2-527. Notice of earned income tax credit.

The Department shall provide notice regarding the availability of the federal earned income tax credit authorized in § 32 of the Internal Revenue Code and the state earned income tax credit authorized in subdivision B 2 of § 58.1-339.8 to all recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families pursuant to Chapter 6 (§ 63.2-600 et seq.), food stamps pursuant to § 63.2-801, or medical assistance pursuant to § 32.1-325 who had earned income in the prior tax year based on information available through the Virginia Employment Commission and, according to information made available by the Virginia Department of Taxation, either did not file federal or state income taxes or filed taxes and did not claim the federal or state earned income tax credit. Notice shall be distributed to recipients annually and shall include information on the qualifying income levels, the amount of credit available, the process for applying for the credit, and the availability of assistance in applying for the credit.

2008, c. 86; 2016, c. 29.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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