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USDA/FNS RIN: 0584-AD61 Publication ID: Fall 2008 
Title: Verification of Eligibility for Free and Reduced Priced Meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs 
Abstract: In response to Public Law 108-265, which amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, the verification procedures in 7 CFR 245, Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools, will be revised to require that: 1. Local Educational Authorities (LEAs) verify the eligibility of children in a sample of approved free and reduced-price school meal applications. The basic sample size would be the lesser of 3 percent of all approved applications (as of October 1 of the school year) selected from error-prone applications or 3,000 approved error-prone applications. Error-prone applications would be those defined as within $100 a month or $1200 annually of the applicable income limit or, alternately, under criteria set by USDA. However, local educational agencies that qualify could choose 1 of 2 alternate sample sizes (effectively the options established in current regulations) if: -- Their nonresponse rate for the preceding school year is less than 20 percent, or -- For a local educational agency with more than 20,000 children approved by application as eligible for free or reduced-price school meals as of October 1, their nonresponse rate for the preceding school year is improved by 10 percent from the nonresponse rate for the second preceding school year. A nonresponse rate is the percentage of approved household applications for which verification information has not been obtained by a LEA. When verifying eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals, local educational agencies can first use direct verification and obtain and use income and program participation information from public agencies administering certain programs. The programs are: The Food Stamp Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, State TANF programs, State Medicaid programs, or similar income-tested programs (or other sources of information). In cases in which there are not enough error-prone applications to comply with the options, local educational agencies would be required to randomly select additional applications to fulfill the percentage or number requirement. 2. Requires local educational agencies to complete all verification activities (including required "follow-up" activities) by November 15 of each school year; States may extend this deadline to December 15 under criteria set by the Secretary. It will also require local educational agencies to make appropriate modifications to eligibility determinations based on their verification activities. 3. It also allows local educational agencies to "decline" to verify up to 5 percent of their verification sample and replace the declined applications with other approved applications. 4. Requires that the local educational agency provide written notice to households selected for verification. The notice must include a toll-free phone number that the household can call for assistance with the verification process. (04-019) 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 210    7 CFR 245   
Legal Authority: PL 108-265   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  12/00/2008    
Interim Final Rule Effective  01/00/2009    
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  04/00/2009    
Final Action  12/00/2009    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
James F Herbert
Regulatory Review Specialist
Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
3101 Park Center Drive,
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone:703 305-2572