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SNAP - Waive Fair Hearing Timelines Guidance

EO Guidance Document #
FNS-GD-2020-0126
Resource type
Policy Memos
Waivers
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (194.25 KB)

FNS is allowing states flexibility regarding fair hearing timeframes. As needed, state agencies may extend the fair hearings process up to 120 days from receipt of the request for fair hearings that were already in process or for which requests are received from March 1 through May 31, 2020. Also, the time frame for sending notices confirming oral withdrawal requests may be extended up to 30 days from receipt of the request for such requests received during this same time period.

2021

May 2021 Extension
Hawaii Massachusetts Michigan North Carolina
April 2021 Extension
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts Michigan North Carolina
March 2021 Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
New Mexico
North Carolina
February 2021 Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Massachusetts
Michigan
New Mexico North Carolina
January 2021 Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Massachusetts New Mexico North Carolina

 

2020

December Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Massachusetts New Mexico North Carolina
November Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Mexico North Carolina
October Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Mexico Rhode Island
September Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
New Mexico
Pennsylvania Rhode Island
August Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Mexico
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Vermont
July Extension
Hawaii
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Mexico
North Carolina
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Utah
Vermont
June Extension
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
Washington
Wisconsin
West Virginia
Wyoming

 

Resource
SNAP – Temporary Waiver of Time Frames for Fair Hearings Due to Novel Coronavirus
(COVID-19) – Blanket Approval
DATE: April 13, 2020
RE: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Temporary Waiver of Time Frames for Fair Hearings Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Blanket Approval

As authorized by SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 272.3(c)(1)(i), the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will allow state agencies flexibility in the time frames for fair hearings in SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.15(c) and (j)(2).

Under the authority of 7 CFR 272.3(c)(1)(i), FNS may authorize temporary waivers to deviate from specific regulatory provisions when they cannot be implemented due to extraordinary temporary situations. FNS has received multiple requests from state agencies for these flexibilities and has determined that approval is appropriate due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

FNS encourages states to use existing flexibility to conduct hearings by alternate means, such as telephone or video conference, when possible, to meet the standard required time frames. As needed, state agencies may extend the fair hearings process up to 120 days from receipt of the request for fair hearings that were already in process or for which requests are received from March 1 through May 31, 2020. The time frame for sending notices confirming oral withdrawal requests may be extended up to 30 days from receipt of the request for such requests received during this same time period. This waiver is contingent upon a state agency’s compliance with the conditions, including prioritizing completion of the fair hearing process for any household whose process was delayed due to this flexibility, and evaluation requirements detailed in the attached enclosures, which are due 45 days after expiration (July 15, 2020).

If the state agency elects to implement these flexibilities, it must notify its respective FNS regional office, which will acknowledge receipt. State responses will be relayed to the FNS State Administration Branch.

FNS is ready to provide technical assistance to state agencies as they seek to maintain operations and serve clients during the current public health emergency. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your respective regional office representative.

Ronald K. Ward
Director
Program Accountability and Administration

Updated: 05/13/2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.