Assessment of Alternatives to Face-to-Face Interviews in SNAP

To examine how/if eliminating the client interview for SNAP benefits affects administration of the SNAP program and client outcomes.

Grants for this Program

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Assistance shall be used to defray the cost for the states to implement the demonstrations and participate in the evaluation of the demonstrations.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Allowable use of funds includes, but is not limited to, personnel costs; office and research supplies; travel for data collection; and technology (both hardware and software) necessary for operating the Cooperative Agreement.

Beneficiary Eligibility

This project will be beneficial to both state and local SNAP offices, as it will inform them of how eliminating the face-to-face interview for SNAP applicants affects the administration of the program. The clients, in turn, will benefit from the project because the findings of the study will be used by the state and local offices to improve their administration of the program.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Applicants will submit their response to the RFA through FNS will prescreen all applications to ensure that they contain the required documents and information. If an application does not include all appropriate information, FNS will consider the application to be non-responsive and will eliminate it from further evaluation.

Following the initial screening process, FNS will assemble a panel to review and determine the technical merits of each application based on how it addresses the required application components. The panel will award the grants to applicants whose application best demonstrates the capacity to implement and operate the pilots. Preference will be given to those applications that address all of the criteria completely, explain in detail how the pilot will be designed and implemented, and show capacity and willingness to cooperate fully with the data collection and evaluation. In addition, the applications that best detail a process for collecting the necessary information from clients to verify cases with minimal contact under the no interview model will merit higher scores. Additional points will also be given to states applying for the regular evaluation but have the capacity to conduct more than the minimum suggested QC-like reviews at the pilot site.

The selection official will consider the panel s recommendations. The selection official may consider other FNS priorities, such as geographic, demographic, socioeconomic diversity or size of QC sample in addition to the scores assigned by the technical review panel. FNS reserves the option to select one or more lower-rated applications in order to achieve a diversity of projects and regional representation.


Aug 01, 2011: by 5:00PM.


Executive Order Assessment of Face-to-Face Interviews.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 30 to 60 days.


From 30 to 60 days.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

28 months - September 2011 through December 2013. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Four equal installments.

Post Assistance Requirements


No program reports are required.

No cash reports are required.

Quarterly progress reports from each participating state will provide details about the status of the demonstartions.

No expenditure reports are required.

The external third party evaluator will monitor the demonstartions and conduct the evaluation.


No audits are required for this program.


No Data Available.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 10Not Seperately Identifiable; FY 11 $450,000; FY 12Not Seperately Identifiable

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

No Data Available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Rosemarie Downer 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: Phone: 7033052129 Fax: 7033052576

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Applications must adhere to the format described in the RFA. The application must include:

Cover Sheet
Table of Contents
1. Application Summary (1 page limit)
2. Pilot Design and Implementation (20 page limit)
3. The application should also specifically address the following questions.
• How would implementing the no interview model change the overall processing of cases?
• How will the state handle subgroups in the pilot area that are receiving a different interview method under a current waiver?
• How will the state handle walk-in clients at the no interview site?
• If a client asks for a face-to-face interview at a no interview site, how will that be tracked for data purposes?
• Will the no interview model change the way expedited cases are processed?
• How will the state implement the pilot to reduce the potential of increased error rates and erroneous denials?
• What is the level of modernization in place in the state and how does that affect the pilot site? Indicate if there will be additional changes in the pilot or comparison areas or the state during the study.
• What is the state s capacity for conducting QC-like reviews and their ability to provide the data required by the evaluator? How many reviews can the state conduct and over what time period? Explain any deviation from the suggested number of interviews or timeline.

4. Staffing and Management of the Grant.

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