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Comments Request - Survey of SNAP and Work

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SNAP is the largest of the nutrition assistance programs administered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is the primary policy mechanism to provide a nutrition safety net and reduce food insecurity among low-income Americans by increasing access to healthy foods. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, SNAP served 39.6 million people with an average monthly benefit of $126.96 per person.

About one-third of SNAP households have earnings from employment. However, FNS knows few details about current job characteristics and work histories of adults participating in SNAP. The Survey of SNAP and Work will provide FNS with a better understanding of current and past workforce participation characteristics among non-disabled adult SNAP participants. The survey of current SNAP participants ages 18 to 69 will provide information on employment status, length of workforce detachment, types of job held, education and training, and social, physical, and environmental barriers to work, with estimates at the national and state-levels. The six study objectives include:

  • Produce descriptive statistics on sociodemographic and economic characteristics.
  • Produce descriptive statistics on employment status and employment characteristics.
  • Produce descriptive statistics on length of detachment from the workforce.
  • Produce descriptive statistics on education and training.
  • Produce descriptive statistics on health, social, and personal factors related to employment.
  • Examine the individual associations between key characteristics and employment status adjusted for other relevant characteristics.

A two-tiered sample design that yields state level samples of non-disabled SNAP participants ages 18 through 69 will be used to address the six study objectives. SNAP participants will be selected using administrative data from state SNAP agencies. In the first stage, primary sampling units (PSUs) in each state and the District of Columbia (DC) will be randomly selected with probability proportional to the number of SNAP participants. At the second stage, non-disabled SNAP participants ages 18 to 69 in each PSU will be randomly sampled. State samples will be aggregated to obtain National-level estimates.

Affected Public

Respondent groups identified include: (1) Non-disabled individuals ages 18 through 69 that received SNAP benefits in a specific sampling month, and (2) 51 state SNAP agencies. SNAP participants include all SNAP participants living in SNAP households and eligible to receive SNAP benefits.

Estimated Number of Respondents

The total estimated number of individuals/households (I/H) SNAP participation respondents initially contacted is 88,383 SNAP participants. Out of the initial number of I/H contacted 39,780 respondents will be surveyed. In addition, 51 state SNAP Agencies (including the District of  Columbia) will be asked to provide caseload data only once to support development of the survey sampling frame. All 51 are expected to respond.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent:

The estimated number of responses 3.8 per SNAP participant respondent. The survey will be administered only once. The estimated number of responses per state SNAP agency is six.

Estimated Total Annual Responses

The estimate total annual responses is 119,361, of which 70,707 are survey respondents, 48,603 are survey non-respondents, and 51 are state agency respondents.

Estimated Time per Response

Based on pretesting of the survey instrument, the estimated time of response for SNAP participants will vary from 12 minutes to 69 minutes, with an overall average of 33 minutes (0.55 hours). SNAP participants with multiple jobs over the reference period will require more time to complete the survey than participants with one job or no jobs. The estimated time of response for state SNAP agencies is 4.3 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents

The total public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at 37,170 hours (annually). 

Page updated: January 15, 2020