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Library: Policy

340:65-1-3. Case records

Revised 6-1-09

      The purposes and objectives of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) are carried out on a case-by-case basis.  The decision on each case must be based on facts, be free of error and prejudice, fair to the person, and within the law and OKDHS policy.  The case record is the means used by OKDHS to document the factual basis for decisions.   • 1

Revised 1-15-19


1.(a) Definition of Adult and Family Services (AFS) case records.The AFS electronic case record is an accumulation of imaged documents organized into packets based on case actions that document a client's eligibility for and receipt of benefits.The case record also includes all electronically maintained data associated with the same case number.For legal requirements and audit purposes, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) retains case records for at least three years after all benefits included in the case close.Case records are retained longer than three years when legal action requires certain case records be maintained or there is an outstanding overpayment debt.

(b) Family case record maintenance.DHS maintains a separate electronic record for each family case.

(1) Electronic information is maintained in the Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS), the PS-2 information management system (IMS), and the OKDHSLive database.Information entered into PS-2 IMS and OKDHSLive is preserved until the case record is destroyed.

(2) The FACS system includes an Interview Notebook, an Eligibility Notebook, and FACS case notes.The worker uses FACS to process applications, renewals, and change actions, and FACS case notes for case documentation.

(A) The FACS system only maintains a record of the most recent information entered into each FACS tab with the exception of FACS case notes.FACS maintains a history of all recorded case notes so it is not necessary to print or image case notes.

(B) The information entered into the FACS Eligibility Notebook tabs is transferred to PS-2 IMS to process and approve or deny benefits and services, and issue notices.

(3) Imaged documents are maintained electronically by case name, case number, and the date the document was imaged.

(A) After a document is imaged, it is placed in the worker's Inbox on the Family Support Imaging Workflow.

(B) The worker checks his or her Inbox daily to organize and file imaged documents into specific case records.The worker:

(i) completes a packet cover sheet to associate each document with a specific action taken on a case, such as a certification, renewal, case change, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work assignment, overpayment referral, or fair hearing;

(ii) completes a separate packet cover sheet for each document that verifies a non-variable eligibility factor and identifies it by name, such as identity, Social Security cards, birth certificates, citizenship or alien status, divorce decree, or the name of another legal document; and

(iii) enters information in the detail area of the cover sheet, when needed, to fully describe the document.  This helps the worker decide which documents he or she needs to examine further before taking action on the case.

(C) To access imaged documents after they are removed from the worker's Inbox, staff clicks on Family Support Image Retriever on the computer desktop.

(i) A query criteria screen appears.The more details the worker enters on this screen, narrows the search.

(ii) When the worker wants to see all imaged documents included in a case record, entering only the case number is recommended.When the worker wants to only see all imaged applications or renewals in his or her caseload, the worker enters FSS-1 in Form Type, the county code, and his or her worker number.

(iii) A query results page appears based on criteria entered in the search.To open a document from this page, the worker single clicks on the document icon at the beginning of the row or double clicks anywhere on the row.

(4) The worker images all documents associated with eligibility decisions to the case record, especially signed applications, mid-certification renewals, certification renewals, and renewals.

(A) When the client completes the application, mid-certification renewal, certification renewal, or renewal:

(i) with the worker using FACS, the worker must print the application or renewal, get the client's signature, and image it in the case record to preserve and document the client's signed statements regarding eligibility.When requested, the worker provides a paper or electronic copy of the completed application, certification renewal, or renewal to the household, in the format requested by the household; or

(ii) using OKDHSLive!, the client signs the application, certification renewal, or renewal electronically.The data is stored in the OKDHSLive database and may be retrieved as a report when the client requests a copy.

(B) When changes occur after the interview, the worker must document the changes in FACS case notes.

(C) Case notes are not given to the client or anyone outside of DHS except, when:

(i) required by a court order; or

(ii) requested by a client who requested a fair hearing.

(D) During an interview, it is best practice for the worker to enter a case note in each FACS tab giving specific details or verification related to that tab.At the point the worker certifies an application, completes a renewal, or makes a case change, the worker enters a general narrative regarding the action.Case notes must:

(i) describe how initial eligibility, continuing eligibility, or ineligibility was determined, the verification used, and how income was calculated;

(ii) record all case actions taken and the reason for the actions;

(iii) record information concerning a client's participation in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) administered through the Office of the Attorney General.Refer to the ACP article on Quest.When the client participates in the ACP:

(I) the location of the client's residence is not recorded; and

(II) notices and forms are sent to the ACP address;

(iv) record the date of any referral and to which services the client was referred.When the worker completes:

(I) a child welfare (CW) referral, the worker documents the CW Hotline referral number provided, when the referral is made.When contacted by CW, the worker documents the date of the contact and any information that affects case benefits, such as a change in household composition; or

(II) an Adult Protective Services (APS) referral, the worker documents whether the referral was made to APS Hotline staff or completed online.A referral number is not available when the referral is made.When contacted by APS, the worker documents the date of the contact and any information that affects case benefits, such as a change in household composition;

(v) record all client contacts, including:

(I) the date and purpose of the contact;

(II) the name of the person contacted;

(III) whether the contact was by phone, in the office, or at another location; and

(IV) the information obtained; and

(vi) not include personal comments, observations, or confidential information that is not required to support actions taken by the worker to determine initial or continued eligibility or service needs.An example is documenting a medical diagnosis, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in FACS case notes when all that is needed is a statement that medical information is in the case record exempting a person from work registration or supporting an incapacity decision.

(c) Information only material.Information only material includes records of inquiries that are not classified as requests for services and correspondence regarding persons not known to DHS and is filed alphabetically.The earliest material regarding a person is filed on top, and replies and subsequent inquiries are attached in chronological order.When there is an existing case record or when one is established, the information only material is imaged to that case record.

(d) Transfer of case records.When a county office receives a request for benefits or services or any change on an existing case in which the receiving county is not the county of record, there is no need to request a case transfer from the previous resident county.The receiving county teleprocesses the case to a worker in the receiving county that handles the request.This rule applies even when there is a delinquent renewal or a pending application due.

(1) When transferring a case record, it is important that staff ensures the address change, county of residence, and county of service fields are correctly entered in IMS.

(2) When a client contacts a county office to request case transfer and does not need service at that time, staff updates the address on the case and instructs the client to contact the county office of residence or apply or renew benefits online, when services are needed.

(3) When the client contacts another county for an application, renewal, or a change, staff in that office teleprocesses the case(s) into his or her county, district, or region to handle the request or action.

(4) When a county office receives an application through a third party that is meant for another office and has had no contact with the client, staff in that county updates IMS to reflect the correct office with 99/01 as the supervisor/worker and routes the application through imaging within two business days.

(5) When a county office receives a transfer request regarding a TANF case, staff in the resident county contacts the receiving county office to ascertain the correct worker/supervisor numbers for case assignment.

(6) To transfer a case that is in denied, closed, or suspended status, staff must re-enter the effective date of the negative action.When an inactive case was deleted from the ALFX file, staff uses PS1-B transaction to assign the case number.

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