Interviewing: Questions Workers Should Ask During Interviews

One of the most important tasks in determining eligibility for benefits is conducting the interview. Interviews are considered successful when the worker obtains information that is both accurate and complete. Use the following guide for interviews to assist you while you obtain the necessary information you need to determine eligibility for your clients.

Questions to ask while entering information on the Case Info Tab:

  • “Do we have the correct name and address on this screen?”
  • “Have you moved or changed your address recently?”
  • “Are there any helpful instructions for how to find your home? Apartment building number, name of nearest intersection, etc.?”
  • “Tell me what type of housing you have.” “Do you live in a house or an apartment? Do you rent or own?”
  • “What phone number can we use to reach you should we have further questions?” “Is it a cell, home, or work telephone number?”
  • “Are there any other family members or friends we can contact if we are unable to contact you for any reason”? “What is their telephone number(s)?”
  • “Do you want to assign any individual to be an Authorized Representative for your case?”
  • “What is the primary language spoken in your household? Do you also read this language?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Household Tab:

  • “Please tell me about all the people who stay in your house.”
  • “Have you or anyone in your home lived in any other state in the last year?” “What states”? Did anyone receive any benefits while there?”
  • “Do all of these people live or stay at this address?”
  • “Do all of these people eat together?”
  • “How are each of you related?”
  • “Has any person moved out of your household in the last year?” “Is there anyone who is temporarily away from the home?” “When will they return?”
  • “What is each person’s name as it is listed on their Social Security Card?”
  • “What is each person’s Social Security number and date of birth?”
  • “Was anyone born in another country?”
  • “Is there anyone in the household who is currently a student?” “What level of education have they completed?”
  • “Are you currently serving, or have served in the military?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Income Tab:

  • “Who receives money in your household?”
  • “How might we verify this income?”
  • “Who is the employer?”
  • “What type of work is this?” “Do you receive any tip, bonus, or commission income?”
  • “How often do you get paid?”
  • “Do you get paid on the same day every week or every other week?”
  • “Do you consider these earnings reflective of future earnings?”
  • “Do you have any deductions taken out of your paycheck?”
  • “Does anyone have a part-time job?”
  • “Does anyone receive any income that is not work related such as child support, alimony, or contributions from family and/or friends?”
  • “Do you consider yourself to be self-employed? Do you have any expenses associated with self-employment?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Expedited Services Tab:

  • “What is the total amount of income your household will receive this month?”
  • “How much do you pay for your shelter, rent, or mortgage?”
  • “How much cash/money do you currently have in hand or in bank accounts?”
  • “Are you a seasonal or migrant farm worker?”
  • “Does anyone in your household receive tribal commodities?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Resources Tab:

  • “Where do you cash checks?”
  • “Do you have a checking or savings account?”
  • “What bank do you use?”
  • “What type of vehicles do you own?”
  • “Is your name listed on any other person’s checking or savings account?”
  • “Do you have access to anyone else’s checking or savings account?”
  • “Have you sold a vehicle, home, or land in the last 5 years?”
  • “Does anyone in your household have any life insurance policies?”
  • “Does anyone in your household have any stocks, bonds, or trust funds?”
  • “Does anyone in your household receive any income from land or mineral rights?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the SNAP Tab:

  • “Is anyone in your household on strike?”
  • “Is anyone in your household a fleeing felon?”
  • “Do you wish to have an authorized representative for your case?” “What is their name, address, relationship to you, & phone number?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the ABAWD tab:

  • “Do you and your household agree to register for work if none of the exemptions are met? (Explain Work Registration Exemptions)”
  • “Is anyone in the household currently attending school?”
  • “Is anyone in the household receiving unemployment insurance benefits, or waiting to be approved for unemployment insurance benefits?”
  • “Is there anyone in the household that is unable to work due to a physical or mental condition?”
  • “Is there anyone in the household taking the role of a caretaker for any incapacitated person of any age?”
  • “How many hours a week do you work?” “What is your hourly rate of pay?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Deprivation Tab?

  • “Are there any children in the household whose parent(s) are absent?”
  • “Have you or the children had contact with him/her?” “When and how often?”
  • “What kind of physical care, financial care or guidance does he/she provide?”
  • “What are the names of other relatives, and where can they be reached?”
  • “What are the names of friends of his/hers, and where can they be reached?”
  • “In the case of an emergency, how would you contact him/her?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Child Care Tab:

  • “Are you starting a new job?” “Are you in danger of losing a job due to a lack of child care?”
  • “Have you visited any child care facilities prior to this application?”
  • “How has child care been provided for before?”
  • “Are you currently paying someone to watch your child(ren)?” “How much are you paying per month in child care costs?” “Does anyone help you pay the child care cost?”
  • “Who can provide care in the case of an emergency?”
  • “How many days a week will you need child care?”
  • “What is your work or school schedule?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Medical Tab:

  • “Is there anyone in the household in need of medical services?”
  • “Is there anyone in the household that is currently pregnant?” “What is the due date?” “What is the expected number of births?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Expenses Tab:

  • “Does anyone in the household pay court ordered child support?”
  • “Does anyone in the household pay any money towards child care costs?”
  • “Does anyone in the household pay any money towards monthly prescriptions, co-pays for doctor appointments, or hospital bill balances?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Shelter Tab:

  • “Do you pay any money towards heating or cooling your residence?” “Who is responsible for paying the utility bills?”
  • “How much is your monthly rent payment?” “Does the monthly payment include the utilities?”
  • “Do you have to pay taxes and home insurance separate from your mortgage?”
  • “Have you changed residences in the last year?”
  • “Do you pay a monthly bill for a home telephone line or cell phone?”
  • “Have you recently had a change in your mortgage or rent payment?”
  • “Who is responsible for the rent or mortgage payment in your household?” Is this payment split among household members?” “How much does each person pay towards the rent or mortgage payment?”
  • “Are you required by the lease to have renter’s insurance in order to live there?”

Questions to ask while entering information on the Social Services Tab:

  • “Are you or anyone in your family currently involved in an abusive situation?”
  • “Do you want help preventing child abuse or do you need help getting away from an abusive situation?”
  • “Does anyone in the household have any serious or ongoing health problems; need help finding a doctor; or need any birth control/ family planning resources?”
  • “Is there anyone in the household that needs help regarding drug or alcohol abuse; quitting tobacco; or gambling addition?”
  • “Does anyone in the household need help finding employment”?
  • “Is there any need for developmental screenings for children or for assistance in finding quality child care?”
  • “Do you need a referral for food resources?”

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