351.5 Sources of information.

    (a) Primary sources. The applicant, recipient, members of his/her household and public records must be relied upon as primary sources of information. Information received from applicants, recipients, and members of the household must be verified. The applicant or recipient is required, wherever possible, to provide such verification by documentation. If the applicant or recipient has previously verified necessary information which is not subject to change and the social services district possesses documentation of such verification in its files, the applicant or recipient is not required to resubmit verification of such information; provided, however, that such documentation may be required in connection with any State quality control review of social services district programs. When an applicant or recipient establishes that he/she has made reasonable efforts to obtain information or verification from a third party (other than a third party who is required to be in the filing unit, or whose income is used in determining eligibility or an individual living in the household) and the third party fails or refuses to provide the information or verification or seeks to impose a charge or fee for providing the information to the applicant or recipient, the social services official must pay such fee or must assist the applicant or recipient in obtaining the information or verification from the third party or by other means as may be necessary.

    (b) Secondary and collateral sources and collateral investigation. Secondary or collateral sources of information are relatives outside the immediate family group, and other persons, agencies or resources. Collateral investigation means the collection of additional information through contacts with secondary sources such as relatives, employers, banks, insurance companies, school personnel, social agencies, and other appropriate individuals and organizations.

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