Section 801 - Definition of Certification Period
Q. Can FNS still waive the certification period requirement in the
A. The amendment to section 3(c) of the Food Stamp Act made by section
801 of the PRWORA removed the authority to grant waivers of the certification
period requirements of the law. Waiver authority still exists under the
demonstration project provisions of section 17(b). FCS may also grant
waivers of the 2-year certification period for monthly reporting households
on reservations, as provided in section 6(c)(1)(C)(iv).
Q. What kind of contact is needed at the end of 12 months for elderly
and disabled households?
A. State agencies may determine what kind of contact to require, such
as a face-to-face interview, a telephone interview, or completion of a
Q. Are States required to certify everyone for 12 months?
A. State agencies are no longer required to certify certain types of
households for specific periods. However, no certification periods can
be longer than 12 months except for households in which all adult members
are elderly or disabled and households on reservations that are required
to report monthly.
Q. Section 805 puts a 90-day limit on the time a household living
with others can be considered homeless. Does this mean that the certification
period for this type of household cannot exceed 3 months?
A. State agencies can determine how long the certification period should
be for these households.
Q. Regarding the definition of a certification period, what is meant
by contact? Must this be a face-to-face or would a telephone or mail contact
A. We will either address this in the regulations or allow State flexibility
in this area. In the interim, States may use their discretion.
Q. Some States now have waivers to allow households other than those
with elderly or disabled members to have certification periods longer
than 12 months. Since the waiver authority has been removed from the law,
what does this mean for current and future waivers in this area?
A. You will receive further guidance in this area.
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