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Advocacy Groups To End SNAP Interview Requirements

Advocacy groups and numerous others want to end SNAP interview requirements as they lead to delays and prevent eligible applicants from receiving food aid.

January 26, 2024

New York- Students along with the legal advocates are petitioning the U.S. Department of Agriculture to lift the interview requirement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program applicants so that the applicants can receive food aid.

The interview requirement is not only burdensome but also prevents those who qualify for food aid from receiving it. The spokesperson from the Department of Agriculture is reviewing its proposal.

SNAP enables low income families to buy groceries, snacks, and other non-alcoholic beverages. The study reveals that nearly 42 Million Americans receive monthly SNAP benefits.
At present, a state agency is required to complete an applicant’s initial interview either by phone or in person within 30 days of an application for SNAP.

Expedited interviews for SNAP benefits can occur within seven days for those in urgent need who fulfill specific income requirements. This expedited process also applies to seasonal farm workers, migrants, and other designated households.

Once eligibility is determined, households are notified of their certification period, which indicates the duration for which they will receive SNAP benefits. As this period nears its end, the participant’s local SNAP office provides instructions on how to recertify for continued assistance.
The agriculture department kept the interview requirement inherited from the previous food stamp program saying that the interview helps both the agency as well as households.

A review revealed that 31% of SNAP applicants in Los Angeles County were denied SNAP because they missed their interview. These missed interview denials affected nearly 40% of the eligible applicants.

The USDA encouraged states to use existing program flexibility to improve access to SNAP by online or phone SNAP applications or allowing participants to stay on the SNAP during the pandemic when the interview and other requirements were eased.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities in a recent report found out that the interview requirement can serve as an important way for states to gather accurate information and answer applicants’ questions but it can turn out to be labor intensive and can lead to delays in approval.

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North State Journal. “Advocacy groups are petitioning for the end of SNAP interview requirements”. North State Journal, January 26, 2024,
Advocacy groups are petitioning for the end of SNAP interview requirements | The North State Journal (

Last Updated: September 20, 2021