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SNAP Ongoing Eligibility Requirements

Every SNAP household has a certification period and assigned reporting requirements based on the makeup of each household.

Your certification period indicates how long you’ll get benefits before we review your case for renewal and your assigned reporting requirements indicates when/if you need to check-in and what information you need to report.

Read your approval notice to find out your certification period and your reporting requirements. If you aren’t sure or you have questions, please call the ESA Public Benefits Call Center at (202) 727-5355 or visit a local ESA Service Center.

For most SNAP households, check-in is required at the mid-point of the certification period.  This is called a “mid-certification” or “interim contact” where you will need to provide us updated information.  We will send you a notice when it is time to complete a mid-certification or interim contact.

In addition to these mid-point check-ins, your assigned reporting requirements will determine what changes you must report in between these check-in periods. Some certification types have more reporting requirements than others.

At the end of your certification period, you will need to complete recertification for us to determine if you are still eligible to continue receiving SNAP benefits.  We will send you a notice when it is time to complete the recertification process.

Overview of Certification Periods and Reporting Requirements

Simplified Reporting
SNAP households with the following certification periods are assigned simplified reporting requirements:

  • 6-months
  • 12-months

Households assigned 12-month certification periods must complete a mid-certification at month 6.  Households assigned 6-month certification periods do not need to complete a mid-certification. 

All simplified reporting households must complete recertification at the end of their certification period if they wish to be considered for ongoing eligibility.

All simplified reporting households must report the following changes no later than 10 days from the end of the month in which the change occurred.  If the change occurs with less than 10 days remaining in the month, the change must be reported within 10 days.

  • Your household’s gross monthly income goes over the limit for your household size at the time you applied or last recertified (see Table 1 on the SNAP General Eligibility Requirements page for the current gross monthly income limits by household size). If your income increases, but is still below your limit, you don’t have to update us.
  • A household member wins $3,500 or more in lottery or gambling winnings (a cash prize/winning won in a single game, before taxes or other amounts withheld)

Standard Reporting
SNAP households with the following certification periods are assigned standard reporting requirements:

  • 24-months

Households assigned 24-month certification periods must complete an interim contract at month 12 and recertification at the end of their certification period if they wish to be considered for ongoing eligibility.

Standard reporting households must report the following changes by the 10th of the month following the month that the change occurred.

  • Change in where the income comes from (the income source) – if the amount of income you have also changed. For example, if you start or stop a job
  • Changes to who is part of your household. For example, if you have a baby or a child moves in or out of a household member passes away or moves into a nursing home
  • Changes in where you live and any changes in how much you pay to live there
  • If you pay child support, you must tell us if you stop making payments or when your legal obligation to pay changes
  • Changes in liquid resources that make your resources more than the elderly or disabled resource limit if your household was subject to the resource test for eligibility

In addition, the following changes must be reported within 10 days of the date you receive the first payment or winnings.

  • Change in amount of income your household has if the change is more than $100 a month
  • A household member wins $3,500 or more in lottery or gambling winnings (a cash prize/winning won in a single game, before taxes or other amounts withheld)
 
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