In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection associated with SNAP benefit storage and expungement provisions of the 2008 and 2018 Farm Bills.
This collection involves both a new collection and an existing collection in use without an OMB control number which is in violation of the Paperwork Reduction Act. The new collection is for providing SNAP households advance or concurrent notice prior to the state agency expunging unused SNAP benefits from the household's Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account due to nine months of account inactivity.
The existing collection is for providing SNAP households advance or concurrent notice of state agency action to store unused SNAP benefits offline due to three or more months of account inactivity and for those households to seek reinstatement of benefits prior to permanent expungement.
The Department published a proposed rule, titled “RIN-0584-AD02 2008 Farm Bill Provisions on Clarification of Split Issuance; Accrual of Benefits and Definition Changes,” on Sept. 29, 2016, (81 FR 66866), to implement the SNAP benefit storage and expungement provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, PL 110-234 (2008 Farm Bill). However, the Department published the proposed rule without taking into consideration the paperwork reduction act burden activities and publishing a 60-day notice to allow the public to provide comments.
While the off-line notice and reinstatement provisions had already been codified in SNAP regulations and, therefore, are not new requirements, the 2008 Farm Bill makes the state option to take inactive SNAP benefits off-line and the associated requirements statutory. In the final rule, the Department also intends to adopt as final the provisions in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, PL 115-334 (2018 Farm Bill), which makes additional mandatory changes to the provisions governing the storage and expungement of unused benefits.
These Farm Bill provisions require state agencies to provide a 30-day advance notice to Individuals/Households (SNAP recipients) in order to permanently expunging unused SNAP benefits after nine months of inactivity.
State agencies that opt to take unused benefits off-line after three months of SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) account inactivity must also provide up to 10 days advance or concurrent notice to the SNAP recipient before taking such action and to reinstate benefits stored off-line within 48 hours of an Individual/Household's request if the benefits have not reached the expungement timeframe. Currently, only six state agencies are exercising the option to store unused benefits off-line prior to expungement, which is depicted in the burden estimates.