We have an important announcement regarding the Temporary SNAP Interview requirement changes due to the COVID-19 emergency and as authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a nationwide envelope shortage, which has impacted our agency. USDA FNS is allowing states to temporarily make adjustments to the SNAP interview requirements for applications and reapplications due to the COVID-19 emergency and as authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
The following interview requirement adjustments listed below are effective today and are being allowed through May 31st, 2024:
Waived Interview FAQ
Q1. Client applied for SNAP 8/8/22. They have received benefits in Oklahoma before and their ID was imaged previously into our system. The household declares earned income from employment at Arby’s. Paystubs dated 6/30/22, 7/14/22, and 7/28/22 were uploaded with application. Can we waive this interview?
A1. Yes, the ID is on file and the client provided current income verification. If there is no other information required, you may process the application without an interview.
Q2. Household applied for SNAP 8/12/22. They recently moved to Oklahoma from New Mexico. They declare $800/mo income, $725/mo rent, and standard utilities. No ID was submitted with the application and no previous case history has been found in Oklahoma. Since they screen as eligible for expedited services, we tried to call and did not reach them. Can we certify the case S/EO without an interview and request ID and income verification?
A2. No. An interview is not required, but ID cannot be waived. You must request verification. This can be done by phone or ADM-92 if unable to obtain information bv phone.
Q3. Client applied for SNAP 8/19/22. Interview was waived and verification requested by phone. Client came to office 9/2/22 with verification. Do we need to complete the interview while the client is in the office?
A3. No. Accept the verification from the client and proceed with the eligibility determination process.
- Do you have an ID on file?
- Do you have mandatory verification?
If yes to both, proceed with certification process.
DOCUMENT IN CASE NOTES. Case notes must still be included to document how eligibility was determined.
If no ID is on file, mandatory verification is not provided, or questionable information needs to be clarified:
- Call the client and ask for the information. Remember First Contact Resolution and please try to obtain information on the client’s behalf whenever possible.
- If the information cannot be obtained by phone, mail an ADM-92 and place case in FDENY 45.
DOCUMENT IN CASE NOTES any attempts made to contact the household along with what verification was requested.
Best Practice Guidance
Interviews are the primary point in the eligibility determination process in which the agency obtains relevant information regarding the household’s circumstances. The waiver allows us to temporary waive the interview requirement. Contacting the household prior to waiving the interview is not a requirement of the waiver. This was included as a best practice as an attempt to obtain the information in an efficient manner in order to process applications more timely and accurately. It was not intended to serve as an interview.
The language in the waiver indicates the agency is to make every attempt to obtain mandatory verification. It is unusual for an applicant to provide all mandatory verification at the time of application. For this reason, we expect phone contact will be made or attempted for a lot of applications.
Is the contact made by phone considered an interview?
No, it is not an interview. It is a request for verification or attempt to clarify information provided.
If we can’t reach the client by phone do we put the application in FDENY 59?
No, since the phone contact is not an interview, the client has not missed an interview and we have no reason to use fdeny 59. Send the client an ADM-92 requesting verification, place the case in fdeny 45, and document in case notes.
When waiving an interview, all factors of eligibility must be document in case notes. Waiving the interview requirement in no way waives the requirement to document case actions.