Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2011-0003
Letter Method for Direct Certification

The purpose of this memorandum is to implement a provision affecting mandatory direct certification for children in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households.

SP13-2011
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2011-0066
Direct Certification and Zero Benefit Households

Section 9(b)(12)(A)(i) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act restricts categorical eligibility for free school meals based on SNAP participation to children who are members of a household receiving assistance under SNAP. Therefore, a child who is a member of a household that is receiving “zero benefits” from SNAP is not categorically eligible for free meals, unless the child is categorically eligible for another reason.

SP03-2012
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2011-0030
Direct Certification Benchmarks and Continuous Improvement Plans

The purpose of this memorandum is to implement provisions contained in Section 101 of the Act which establish direct certification rate benchmarks for states and require continuous improvement plans (CIPs) from states that do not meet the benchmarks.

SP32-2011
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2013-0058
Release of the New State Agency Direct Certification Rate Data Element Report (Form FNS-834)

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (PL 110-246) and the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, as amended by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA, PL 111-296) require that children living in households receiving assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program be directly certified for free school meals under the National School Lunch Program and/or the School Breakfast Program.

SP50-2013
Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2005-0007
Direct Certification and Direct Verification for National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 allows children to be certified as eligible for free meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) based on participation in other programs authorized under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended. No further application by the child’s household is necessary.

FD-045
Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Evaluation of Demonstrations of National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Direct Certification of Children Receiving Medicaid Benefits: Access Evaluation Report

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA; P.L. 111-296) required the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to conduct a demonstration that adds Medicaid to the list of programs used to directly certify students for free school meals. Although students receiving Medicaid are not categorically eligible for free meals, the DC-M demonstration authorizes selected States and districts to use income information from Medicaid files to directly certify those students found to be eligible for free meals.

Resource | Policy Memos | FNS-GD-2013-0088
Attachments to SP12-2014: RFA for Participation in Demonstration Projects to Evaluate Direct Certification with Medicaid in SY 2014-15

FNS invites state agencies that administer the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program to apply to participate in demonstration projects that will evaluate the effectiveness of conducting direct certification with the Medicaid program.

Resource | Research | Payment Accuracy and Program Integrity
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress School Year 2011-2012: Report to Congress

Student eligibility for free meals is determined by application or by direct certification. Although direct certification systems vary by State and LEA, all such systems are designed to eliminate the need for paper applications. Effective in SY 2011-2012, LEAs must conduct direct certification three times per year: once at or around the start of the school year, and again three and six months after that initial effort. All direct certification systems now match student enrollment lists against SNAP agency records and the records of other assistance agencies whose participants are categorically eligible for free meals. The matching process, whether automated or manual, requires no action by the children’s parents or guardians.

Resource | Research | Demonstrations
Evaluation of Demonstrations of National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program Direct Certification of Children Receiving Medicaid Benefits: Year 1 Report

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA; P.L. 111-296) required the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to conduct a demonstration that adds Medicaid to the list of programs used to directly certify students for free school meals. Although students receiving Medicaid are not categorically eligible for free meals, the DC-M demonstration authorizes selected States and districts to use income information from Medicaid files to directly certify those students found to be eligible for free meals.

Resource | Research | Assessing/Improving Operations
Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program Report to Congress: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2014-2015

This report responds to the requirement of Public Law 110-246 to assess the effectiveness of State and local efforts to directly certify children for free school meals. Direct certification is a process conducted by the States and by local educational agencies (LEAs) to certify eligible children for free meals without the need for household applications. The 2004 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act required LEAs to establish systems to directly certify children from households that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by school year (SY) 2008-2009. This report presents information on the outcomes of direct certification for SY 2014-2015.