The Department of Agriculture published in the attached August 27, 2013, FEDERAL REGISTER notice a final rule regarding the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). The rule is designed to simplify the administration of the FDPIR and more closely align it with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamp Program). Notable among the changes is the elimination of household resources from consideration when determining FDPIR eligibility – this does not affect the requirement to meet current maximum FDPIR income limits.
The Department received 98 comments, virtually all of them favorable to the proposed changes; the final rule makes little change to the rule as proposed. The Department notes that because the FDPIR is now more closely aligned with the SNAP program, changes in that program could result in additional changes in the FDPIR. Congress is currently considering reauthorization of the Farm Bill which includes SNAP and FDPIR. The new changes to the FDPIR regulations include:
- Elimination of household resources in determining FDPIR eligibility including non-recurring lump sum payments (i.e, security deposits on rental property or utilities, tax refunds) and non-monthly per capita payments derived from profits of tribal enterprises.
- Expansion of the current income deduction for Medicare Part B Medical Insurance and Part D Prescription Drug Coverage premiums to include other out of pocket monthly medical expenses in excess of $35 for households with elderly and/or disabled members
- Establishment, by region, of an income deduction for shelter and utility expenses (Northeast, Midwest, and Mountain Plains – $400; Southeast and Southwest – $300; and West – $350.) The attached notice includes a list by state.
- Establishment of verification requirements regarding income deductions and revision of household reporting requirements, including changes in income exceeding $100
Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the rule for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations.