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department of health and social services

Division of Social Services

Statutory Authority: 31 Delaware Code, Section 512 (31 Del.C. §512)



Case Record Maintenance and Retention

In compliance with the State's Administrative Procedures Act (APA - Title 29, Chapter 101 of the Delaware Code) and under the authority of Title 31 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 5, Section 107, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) / Division of Social Services is proposing to amend the language in the Division of Social Services Manual (DSSM) as it relates to the retention period for case records.

Any person who wishes to make written suggestions, compilations of data, testimony, briefs or other written materials concerning the proposed new regulations must submit same to Sharon L. Summers, Policy and Program Development Unit, Division of Social Services, 1901 North DuPont Highway, P.O. Box 906, New Castle, Delaware 19720-0906 by October 31, 2005.

The action concerning the determination of whether to adopt the proposed regulation will be based upon the results of Department and Division staff analysis and the consideration of the comments and written materials filed by other interested persons.

Summary of Proposed Change


Title 29 Delaware Code, Chapter 5, Subchapter I, Public Records

Summary of Proposed Change

DSSM 1005: Changes the retention period for case records for State and/or federally funded programs from three (3) years to five (5) years.

DSS Proposed Regulation #05-55


1005 Case Record Maintenance and Retention

Case records will contain important facts regarding applicants for and recipients of DSS and DMMA services, the dates that applications for benefits are filed and the dates eligibility decisions are reached, the facts essential to determining initial and continuing eligibility for financial assistance, medical assistance, food stamps or other services, the basis for terminating assistance or services, and information regarding overpayments and claims.

The Division of Management (DMS) of the Department of Health and Social Services, in discharging its fiscal accountability, will maintain an accounting system and supporting fiscal records adequate to assure that claims for federal funds are in accord with applicable Federal requirements.

The Division of Social Services and the Division of Medicaid & Medical Assistance will maintain case records for its State and/or federally funded programs for a period of three (3) years five (5) years subject to the following qualifications:

a) The three‑year five-year retention period starts from the date of termination of cash assistance benefits.

b) The records will be retained beyond the three (3) year five (5) year period if the Division has been notified of a pending audit.

c) Records of non‑expendable property which was acquired with Federal grant funds shall be retained by the State Office for three (3) years five (5) years after final disposition of such property.

d) Any papers (forms or correspondence) in an active record which are more than four (4) calendar years old may be destroyed on site with the permission of the unit supervisor who has possession of the record. In destroying such papers, care should be taken not to destroy records of permanent value such as birth certificates, deeds, trusts, contracts, or other records of value. The following are examples of forms which may be destroyed on site:

Cash Assistance and Food Stamp budget sheets; Bank forms or statements; Wage forms or stubs; Shelter statements, bills, or receipts; Duplicate forms, letters, etc. Note: Information needed to substantiate outstanding overpayments cannot be destroyed.

Cases that are under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) or that have outstanding overpayments will be retained beyond the three‑year period and will remain intact until the investigation and subsequent legal action is complete or the overpayment is filed. Case files that have been referred to DOJ for prosecution are so indicated with a file copy of the Criminal Justice Report.

9 DE Reg. 523 (10/01/05) (Prop.)