Direct Certification (DC) is a method to automatically qualify students for free or reduced meals using data from Family and Social Services Administration (SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid) and Department of Child Services (Foster) and matching that with the Local Educational Agency's Real Time (RT) or Enrollment and Mobility (EM) reports. Direct Certified households do not need to complete an application and will not be included in the verification process because their eligibility has already been verified.
School Food Authorities (SFA) should conduct DC as soon as it is available for the new school year before applications are released to households, and then again each month after the RT or EM reports are updated.
Click here for more information on Direct Certification.
Changes to the DC System
SFAs have the ability to download all year to date (YTD) matches or just the current matches identified for that particular month. It is important for SFAs to run their DC match downloads monthly. If an SFA misses a month, then they need to run the YTD download and then filter the information by certification date to identify any potentially missed students.
Click here for more information about the changes.
Direct Verification (DV) is the method SFAs use to quickly verify approved applications. The system pulls data from a larger eligibility period to help validate information on the household's application. This process should only be used on applications that are approved and are either being verified for cause or for the traditional October verification process. SFAs cannot use this to determine initial eligibility, this is only for verifying a previously approved application.
Click here for more information on Direct Verification.
School Voucher/Indiana School Choice Scholarship Program
Direct Certification and Direct Verification for the Child Nutrition Programs cannot be used to determine eligibility for the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program. There are other systems in the Application Center to determine eligibility for these benefits. Keep in mind that not all students that qualify for vouchers are automatically qualified for free or reduced meals, and vice versa.
Questions about the Indiana Choice Scholarship Programs? Contact ChoiceSchool@doe.in.gov.