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Implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Recertification Timeliness Measure Pilots

EO Guidance Document #
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PDF Icon Policy Memo (5.64 MB)
DATE: February 13, 2012
SUBJECT: Implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Recertification Timeliness Measure Pilots
TO: All Regional Directors
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

In December 2011, we issued a memo requesting your assistance in identifying state volunteers to pilot the SNAP recertification timeliness measure. The pilot will help finalize the recertification timeliness measure before all state agencies are required to collect recertification timeliness data in fiscal year (FY) 2013.

We are happy to announce that fourteen states have agreed to participate in the pilot: Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and Washington. We want to thankyou for your help in identifying a diverse group of volunteer states that represents each region. We believe that these states will provide us with vital information about the recertification timeliness measure as we move forward towards nationwide implementation.

We expect the pilots to begin no later than March 2012 using the November 2011 quality control (QC) sample, which are required to be reported in March. States will code the timeliness of recertification applications in Item 70 of the FNS 380-1, which is available now for the pilot states in the SNAP-QCS computer system. Non-piloting states may see Item 70 in the system, but will not be able to enter any information into the data fields. We encourage states to begin the pilot as soon as they feel comfortable with the measure and the tools we have provided. The pilots will run for four months (the November 2011 through February 2012 QC sample months). All pilot testing work is expected to be done no later than June 30, 2012 to provide us with enough time to analyze the data and feedback before we finalize the recertification timeliness measure. Throughout the pilots, we will analyze data and seek feedback to ensure that the measure is working as intended.

As you are aware, a workgroup of national and regional Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) policy and QC analysts designed the recertification timeliness measure along with several tools to broaden understanding of the recertification timeliness measure. Enclosed, you will find five tools that will help you and your volunteer states begin the piloting process. The workgroup designed the materials with training and data collection in mind, so reviewers may use some tools as they review for recertification timeliness and use others for training purposes. We do not expect the states to use all the tools, although they may choose to do so. The tools may change if concerns are identified.

When the pilots are completed, we will ask you and the states which tools you found useful and what changes are necessary before we finalize the tools for FY 2013.

We will be asking the federal QC review staff to check the codes used by the states as they review the cases for the pilot states. This will be done to identify any issues about the accuracy of the state coding.

Since these are pilots, much may change before we implement the final recertification timeliness measure nationwide in FY 2013. Please make sure the piloting states are aware that their feedback is essential to the success of this measure. What they tell FNS will be vital in the development of the final tools and coding for the recertification timeliness measure. The pilots will allow FNS to develop the best recertification timeliness measure possible, ultimately benefitting clients and state agencies.

We plan to do a kick off conference call for the pilot states and regions to talk through the process and answer any questions that arise. There will also be a couple of calls arranged to allow states to share with each other and us any problems or concerns that come up about the measure. We look forward to an open dialog to make sure that we get sufficient feedback to identify states concerns.

Again, thank you for your help soliciting volunteers for the pilot and your support of recertification timeliness measure.

Lizbeth Silbermann
Program Development Division
Ron Ward
Program Accountability and
Administration Division


Updated: 02/13/2012

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.