The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is responsible for administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at the federal level. An important aspect of SNAP administration is ensuring that eligible households have timely access to SNAP benefits. The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended (the Act), Sections 11(e)(3) and 11(e)(9)  requires that initial SNAP applications be processed and benefits provided within 30 days of the application date, or within 7 days for expedited applications. FNS monitors compliance with statutory requirements through the SNAP Quality Control System (SNAP-QC). Results of these monitoring activities have indicated that a majority of states do not meet the acceptable performance criterion of a 95 percent application processing timeliness (APT) rate.
This study will examine policies, waivers, administrative practices, workflow, and processes associated with the APT rates of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The primary purpose of this study is to determine best practices for facilitating high APT rates, and to identify state policy and procedural practices that hinder and facilitate high APT rates.
The study team will first review available state policy documents, procedure manuals, and administrative data. If these resources are not available from accessible sources, the study team will request these resources from SNAP offices/agencies. Following this review, the study team will collect quantitative and qualitative data via an online survey from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The total annual burden for gathering documents, manuals, and administrative data and completing the survey is an annual total of 478.28 burden hours (468.49 for respondents and 9.8 hours for non-respondents) and 418 total annual responses (296 for respondents and 122 for non-respondents).