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Flexibility to Allow Telephone Interviews in Lieu of Face-to-Face Interviews for Quality Control Case Reviews

EO Guidance Document #
FNS-GD-2020-0013
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon State Guidance Memo (20.81 KB)

The Secretary is allowing states to conduct telephone interviews in lieu of face-to face-interviews for SNAP Quality Control (QC) purposes. Initially all states were allowed to conduct SNAP quality control interviews by phone.

June Extensions

The following states have opted to extend this adjustment through June 30.

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Virgin Island
Washington
West Virginia
Wyoming

 

Extensions

On July 17, 2020, FNS issued a memo allowing states to extend this adjustment until Sept. 30, 2020.

On August 25, 2020, FNS will allow state agencies to suspend requirements at 7 CFR 275.12(c)(1) to conduct Face-to-Face interviews for QC active reviews through Dec. 31, 2020.

On April 30, 2021, FNS issued a memo that SNAP QC will resume nationwide starting July 2021, with special QC review procedures related to COVID-related adjustments, and provides state agencies with a blanket waiver of the QC face-to-face interview.

 

Resources
Flexibility to Allow Telephone Interviews in Lieu of Face-to-Face Interviews for March. April and May 2020 Quality Control Case Reviews
DATE: March 13, 2020
SUBJECT: 2200007 - Flexibility to Allow Telephone Interviews in Lieu of Face-to-Face Interviews for March. April and May 2020 Quality Control Case Reviews
TO: Regional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Directors Food and Nutrition Service

In response to requests from states for flexibility to allow for greater social distancing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Secretary is allowing states to conduct telephone interviews in lieu of face-to face-interviews for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Quality Control (QC) purposes. This wavier applies to regulations at 7 CFR 275.12(c) and Chapter 4, Section 420 of Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Handbook 310 that require a face-to-face interview as part of the QC review and is effective until May 31, 2020. States may conduct telephone interviews for all cases reviewed in March, April, and May of 2020, regardless of sample month.

If a state elects to conduct interviews by telephone, the state must notify the appropriate FNS regional office prior to this election. Each QC case file must be documented to show the reason a face-to-face interview was not conducted and the FNS 380-1 must indicate a telephone interview was conducted. All other requirements specified in SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 275.12 remain in effect under this waiver, including penalties for household refusal to cooperate with a QC reviewer.

Please provide this information to your states. States must notify FNS if they intend to implement telephone interviews during this period~ any state responses must be relayed to the FNS national office QC Branch as you receive them for recordkeeping purposes.

Ronald K. Ward
Director
Program Accountability and Administration Division
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

03/13/2020

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.