How to Respond to Recertification Requests from Newly Elderly Households
Sometimes a household will alert your management office that it now qualifies as elderly. For example, the head of the household may have reached age 62 and the household now wants the additional allowances that elderly households are entitled to. Such requests may take some managers by surprise, leaving them unsure how to respond.
HUD rules require you to do an interim recertification, upon request, under these circumstances. As with other interim recertifications, you’ll need to verify all new facts relating to the change in household status and the additional allowances to which the household is entitled.
Elderly Household Basics
Under HUD rules, a household qualifies as elderly based on either age or disability. The occupancy handbook defines an elderly household as a household in which the head, co-head, or spouse is either disabled or age 62 or older [Handbook 4350.3, Fig. 3-6]. The definition of “disabled” that applies in this instance is the same one that’s used to determine eligibility to live at the site [Handbook 4350.3, Fig. 3-6].
Households may not designate new or different members as their household heads, co-heads, or spouses for purpose of qualifying as elderly households.
When Is Interim Recertification Required?
HUD requires you to do an interim recertification whenever there’s an increase in the number of allowances to which a household is entitled [Handbook 4350.3, par. 7-10(B)(2)]. This would include a newly elderly household because an elderly household is entitled to two allowances that other households aren’t—a $400 elderly household allowance and a medical expense allowance [Handbook 4350.3, par. 5-10(D),(E)].
Note, however, that HUD doesn’t require newly elderly households to inform you of this change and HUD doesn’t require you to do an interim recertification unless you’re informed.
What to Do
When a household informs you that it now qualifies as elderly, the only information you must verify to process the interim recertification are the facts relating to the household’s new status and new allowances.
There are only two circumstances that would cause a household to qualify for the first time as an elderly household—the household head, co-head, or spouse (1) has reached age 62; or (2) has become disabled [Handbook 4350.3, par. 5-9(B)(2)].
For the first circumstance, you need only verify the birthdate of the member in question, and then only if you haven’t done so in the past. You can obtain a copy of a birth certificate, baptismal certificate, census record, official record of birth or other authoritative document; or a copy of the receipt of Social Security retirement benefits.
For the second circumstance, you must verify the disability, as well as the household’s medical expenses, because it now qualifies for the medical expense allowance.