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Additional HIP RFA Questions

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Note: We have continued the practice of numbering questions by group and will do so with each set of Q&As posted. For references to question numbers starting with A, B, C, D, E, F and G see the set of Q&As posted on March 2, 2010. Questions referring to numbers starting with H are in the set of Q&As posted on March 5, 2010. Questions referring to numbers starting with I are in the set of Q&As posted on March 9, 2010. Questions referring to numbers starting with J can be found within this document.

J1. In the paragraph from page 17 of the RFA below, FNS requires a letter from a "large supermarket." Retailer types reported in our databases and in the referenced SNAP 2008 annual report do not specify a retailer type of "large supermarket." Does FNS mean that they require a letter from a "supermarket" or a "large grocery store" both of which are defined in databases and the above mentioned FNS report on retailers. I assume that FNS means "supermarket," but please confirm.

A. Yes, we mean at least one supermarket.

J2. I am writing to ask for a copy of the changes to the X9.58 standard in support of the HIP Program. If you would kindly forward me those changes, or provide me with a link to the changes on your website, it would be greatly appreciated.

A. The changes to the X9.58 Standard required for HIP are not yet finalized. In fact, we are now reconvening the X9ab11 Electronic Benefits Transactions Working Group to address changes necessary for both Internet Shopping and HIP. The first meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm EDT.

We expect the major change will be the addition of three more code types to bit 54-2: Additional Amounts, Amount Type. For the 200 message, a new amount type code would be used to designate the value of HIP-eligible vegetables purchased. Inclusion of a HIP value in Bit 54 would identify the 200 message as a HIP transaction.

For the 210 message, there would be two new amount types; one for the HIP incentive earned with the current purchase and one for the month-to-date earnings, so they can be printed on the receipt. Bit 54-1 for all three types would be set to code 98 (for SNAP). Bits 54-3 and 54-4 would be handled as currently described in the X9.58 standard. If you would like to participate in this working group, your organization must be a member of the X9 organization. The least expensive membership type is a Category E Working Group membership at $410. More information on how to join can be found at

J3. When we are designing the pilot project, is it possible for us to have our entire project focus on families with kids?

A. No. The pilot should be designed to include the entire SNAP population.

Page updated: March 25, 2022