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SNAP – Adjusting Interview Requirements Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

EO Guidance Document #
FNS-GD-2020-0082
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon State Guidance Memo (297.35 KB)

FNS will allow state agencies to adjust:

  • By not requiring a household to complete an interview prior to approval, provided the applicant’s identity has been verified and all other mandatory verifications.
  • By not offering a face-to-face interview or granting a request for a face-to-face interview to any household at application or recertification.
  • By not requiring households that are eligible for expedited service to complete an interview prior to approval, provided that an applicant’s identity has been identified and an attempt has been made to contact the household for an interview.

2021

January Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews

Approvals

West Virginia      

 

February Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews

Approvals

West Virginia      

 

2020

December Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews

Approvals

West Virginia      
November Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews

Approvals

Alabama West Virginia    
October Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews

Approvals

California
District of Columbia
Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
New Mexico
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Waive Initial and Recertification Interviews

Approvals

New Jersey Virginia    
September Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews

Approvals

Alabama
California
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Indiana
Michigan
Maryland
New Mexico
Ohio
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Washington
West Virginia
Waive Initial and Recertification Interviews

Approvals

Louisiana Nevada New Jersey Virginia

Denials

Alabama
California
Maryland
Michigan
North Carolina
New Mexico
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Wisconsin
Postpone Expedited Service Interviews

Denials

Alabama Maryland    
August Extensions
Waive Face-to-Face Interviews through August 31

Approvals

Alabama
California
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Indiana
Maryland
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
West Virginia
Waive Initial and Recertification Interviews through August 31

Approvals

Alabama
Alaska
California
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia*
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Nevada
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Wisconsin

*After 2nd request

Postpone Expedited Service Interviews through August 31

Approvals

New York Rhode Island    
July Extensions
Waive Face-to Face Interviews through July 31

Approvals

Alabama
California
District of Columbia
Illinois
Indiana
Maryland
Michigan
Missouri
New Mexico
New York
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Texas
West Virginia
Waive Initial and Recertification Interviews through July 31

Approvals

Alabama
Alaska
California
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia *
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nevada
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina *
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina*
Texas
Virginia

*After 2nd request

Denials

Alaska
Arizona
Colorado
Hawaii
Massachusetts
Missouri
Montana
New Mexico
Ohio
Virginia
Postpone Expedited Service Interviews through July 31

Approvals

Alabama
Connecticut
Indiana
Maryland
New York Rhode Island

Denials

Arizona
Alaska
Hawaii New Mexico Oregon
June Extensions
Alaska
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Maryland
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
New Jersey
New Mexico
Nevada
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
Virgin Islands
West Virginia
Initial Approvals
Alaska
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Maryland
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
Nevada
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Islands
West Virginia
Wisconsin

 

Policy Memo
SNAP – Adjusting Interview Requirements Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Blanket Approval
Date: March 26, 2020
RE: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Adjusting Interview Requirements Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Blanket Approval

Dear SNAP State Agencies,

As authorized by section 2302 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (PL 116-127), FNS will allow state agencies to adjust:

  • SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.2(a)(2), 273.2(e), and 273.14(b)(3) by not requiring a household to complete an interview prior to approval, provided the applicant's identity has been verified and all other mandatory verifications in 7 CFR 273.2(f)(1) have been completed. 1
  • SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.2(e)(2)(i) by not offering a face-to-face interview or granting a request for a face-to-face interview to any household at application or recertification.
  • SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 273.2(i)(3)(iii) and 7 CFR 273.2(i)(4)(iii)(A) and (B) by not requiring households that are eligible for expedited service to complete an interview prior to approval, provided that an applicant's identity has been identified and an attempt has been made to contact the household for an interview.

Under the authority of Section 2302(a)(2), FNS has determined these adjustments to be consistent with what is practicable under actual conditions in areas affected by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

These flexibilities are available for all applications and recertifications requiring an interview through May 2020 and contingent upon a state agency's compliance with the conditions 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 any or all of these adjustments, it must make a request to its respective FNS regional office and identify which ones the state agency intends to use. Any state responses will be relayed to the FNS Certification Policy 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.

Sasha Gersten-Paal
Director
Program Development Division
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

 


1 If state agencies have questions regarding other regulatory references to the interview requirement, please contact FNS.
Updated: 03/01/2021

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.