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Family Assistance Client Files

RDA Number
Effective Date
Record Series Abstract
Records include but not limited to client application, identity, address, income, citizenship verification, change report form, correspondence, client notices, benefit issuance amount, disposition of case information, request for benefit replacement, drug screening questionnaire, drug test referral, substance abuse evaluation & drug treatment referral, and other collaborative supporting verification.
Record Series Active
Cut Off at End of
If Other, Explain
Files are cut off when the Federal Government notifies the State that the records are no longer needed and or when the client is deceased or reaches their 80th birthday.
Total Retention Years
Total Retention Months
Retention End Action
Disposition Notes
Data collected from the paper records is used to create an electronic Client Case File. Program Staff input the data into the Family Assistance ACCENT database. Once data is verified in ACCENT, paper records are maintained for 1 year and then destroyed. The electronic Case Files stored in ACCENT are kept indefinitely and all information contained therein is considered of administrative and fiscal importance. In addition, Child Support, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Disability Determination Services (DDS) and DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), utilize the data collected in ACCENT in their respective program functionality. At any time during the life of a client, one could apply for or have an indirect or renewed need for benefits or claims. Client information in the ACCENT database allows the agency to determine the necessary and allowable benefit assistance to be awarded, or other financial obligations required to be reimbursed by the client. If there is, or has been, an intended program violation (IPV), the agency will serve notice to the household and all records will be kept indefinitely per 7 CFR 272(d)(2).
Record Location
Client files are located Statewide in all DHS county offices and accessed via computer by authorized program staff.
File Arrangement
Alpha and Numeric
Date Range
Allotment Code
Annual Accumulation
paper: 6 cubic feet / electronic: 15.9 gigabytes
Current Volume
paper: 16 cubic feet / electronic: 311 gigabytes
Record Value
Audit Requirements
Information Shared Outside the State
Shared Agencies
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Essential Record
Yes - Original
Essential Record Stored
The essential record is housed in the ACCENT database which is maintained and stored offsite at Iron Mountain Data Center in Colorado.
Essential Record Media Type
Confidential Legal Citation
45 CFR 92.42/7 CFR 272.1/T.C.A 71-3-1203 through 71-3-1206/ DHS Rules Chapter 1240-01-13
Does this Record Series Contain Sensitive Information?
Agency Retention
1 year paper, electronic permanent
System Name
Hardware Description
IBM ZOS 1.13 Mainframe
Software Description
IMS Data Base; COBOL, TELON Software
System Location
IBM Data Center Boulder, Colorado
Backup Procedures
Database backups are taken each weekend and are kept for 6 weeks in the IBM secured data center. Three weeks of disaster recovery backups are sent to a secured offsite location. Currently the offsite vendor is Iron Mountain in Colorado. IMS Database Change Accumulations are created daily, stored off-site, and are available if needed for disaster recovery/forward processing along with the disaster recovery database backups.
Disaster Recovery
The goal of the Disaster Recovery is to restore the use of the ACCENT system to the user community as quickly as possible following any disaster which impacts the availability of this system to the users. Recovery of this system must be given a high priority since it impacts the delivery of benefits to our clients. Workers use the Offline Interview form and the Interview Checklist when ACCENT is not available. New employees are trained during TOPNET (Worker Training) how to conduct an interview in the unlikely event that ACCENT is not available.
Data Migration Description
All modifications and enhancements to ACCENT programs must be made in the development region. Unit testing is performed in this same region, using test data created by the programmers and functional tests created by the analysts. Once a program has been successfully unit tested by the programmers and functional tests created by the analysts the program is compiled into the acceptance test region for testing by acceptance test staff. Acceptance test consists of state office policy staff and DHS analysts. A program must pass formal acceptance testing before it can be moved into the production region. The migration of all new or changed code is controlled through the Member Migration Form which must be signed by the ACCENT Project Director or backup, the Acceptance Tester and the Acceptance Test Team Manager.
Records Management Division (RMD)
No recommended changes.
Tennessee State Library and Archives
No recommended changes.
Comptroller Audit Review
We have reviewed RDA 1717 from an audit standpoint. We concur with the recommended retention and disposition specifications.
Agency Records Officer
No recommended changes.
RMD Director
RDA 1717 is a request to revise an RDA. The retention period will change from three years to five years and the format will be paper/electronic. The Abstract, Disposition Notes, and Worksheet have been updated. Recommend approval of request to revise RDA 1717.
Public Records Commission
PRC approves RDA 1717