Q & A: Income Eligibility and Verification System (IEVS)
Income Eligibility and Verification System (IEVS)
Q1: Does IEVS requirement apply to any applicant or recipient receiving benefits under the TANF program or does it apply only if someone receives "assistance"?
A1: The IEVS requirement applies to any applicant or recipient receiving benefits under the TANF program where income or citizenship and alienage are a condition of eligibility. Section 1137(a)(1) of the Social Security Act specifies that, "the State shall require, as a condition of eligibility for benefits under [TANF], that each applicant for or recipient of benefits under that program furnish to the State his social security account number (or numbers, if he has more than one number), and the State shall utilize such account numbers in the administration of that program so as to enable the association of the records pertaining to the applicant or recipient with his account number." Thus, the requirements apply to all benefits, not just "assistance."
Q2: Does the IEVS requirement apply to benefits funded with State funds?
A2: Section 1137(b) of the Social Security Act states, "the programs which must participate in the income and eligible verification are -- (1) any State program funded under part A of title IV of this Act…." As we stated in the preamble to the final rule, requirements in the statute that use the terms "under the program," " under the program funded under this part," and "under the State program funded under this part" apply to the State's TANF program, regardless of the funding source. That is, they apply to TANF programs that are funded with segregated Federal funds, commingled State/Federal funds, and segregated State funds. Thus, the IEVS requirement applies to any benefits provided under the TANF program, regardless of funding source, where income or citizenship and alienage are a condition of eligibility. The IEVS requirement does not apply to benefits provided under a separate State program.
Q3: Does the IEVS requirement apply to benefits that can be provided to individuals regardless of income or citizenship and alienage?
A3: No. If income or citizenship and alienage are not eligibility criteria for receipt of the benefit, then verification of income or citizenship and alienage through IEVS is unnecessary. As we noted in the Answer to Q2 in the Immigration section, above, there may be circumstances where TANF funds can be used to provide benefits that are not Federal public benefits or which meet the Attorney General’s criteria. Individuals are eligible for such benefits regardless of need or immigration status, and IEVS verification therefore would not be required.