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 After such investigation, the amount of public assistance may be changed or public assistance may be entirely withdrawn, if the local department finds that the recipient’s circumstances have altered sufficiently to warrant such action.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.