Please remember that while the mechanics of the Direct Certification Web Portal work very similar to prior years, we have started using Medicaid Data for matching this year and that introduces subtle changes to your processes.

In past years, programs used to match were:

Program Assistance code Eligibility
------------ --------------------- ------------

SNAP (Food Stamps) "F" Free

TANF = "A" Free

FosterChild = "W" Free

As noted, all of these were and continue to be eligibile for Free Meals. This year, we have added Medicaid as a program for matching. Due to the nature of Medicaid income eligibibility, some Medicaid Matches will be Directly Certified for Free and some will be Directly Certified for Reduced-Price meals. Direct Certification for Reduced-Price eligibility is NEW. Thus, we are adding to the codes that you will see in column "U" of various downloaded lists. The new codes, in addition to the ones above, are:

Medicaid (Free) "M" Free

Medicaid (Reduced) "R" Reduced

This introduces complexity into school enrollment processes. While data may show that a student can be directly certified for Reduced Price meals based on Medicaid Data that does not mean that the family may not still be able to prove Free Lunch Eligibility based on Family size and income data submitted by a conventional application. For that reason, parents should be notified that they can either accept the Reduced-Price eligibility through Direct Certification, or submit an application. Additionally, if a family has already been approved for Free Meals by application, a Direct Certification result of Reduced should never be the basis for taking away the Free Meal eligibility. Our website has new parent letters for Direct Certification that handle these situations.

Please contact our office if you have remaining questions.