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.
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.
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.