Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Interviewing for Eligibility




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In addition to the eligibility requirements for the Food Stamp program, certain other information must be given to an applicant during the initial interview.  This information is to be given orally and in writing when written information is requested and/or deemed appropriate.


(1)    Inform the applicant:


(a)   that he/she is the first source of information concerning the household’s eligibility, and that it is his/her responsibility to provide factual information which substantiates his/her statements about eligibility factors.  Advise him/her that if he/she is unable to secure the documentary evidence required to establish the household’s eligibility, he/she may request help from the worker in obtaining it, and such help will be provided;


(b)   that the Department must have substantiating information about certain factors of eligibility and will be contacting individuals and organizations in a position to know the facts of his/her circumstances in order to obtain this information.  If there is some individual or organization he/she specifically does not wish the Department to contact the name of the person or organization must be entered on the Authorization for Release of Information Form.  If it is determined that this particular person or organization is the only acceptable source for certain required information, and he/she continues to refuse permission to contact, then his eligibility for assistance cannot be determined;


(c)    that discrimination because of age, race, color, sex, handicap, religious creed, national origin or political belief is unlawful.  The Civil Rights pamphlet must be provided to each applicant.


(d)   that information about his/her household  is held in confidence with the agency.


(e)   that the federal Privacy Act can affect the household.  The Privacy Act pamphlet must be provided to each applicant.


(f)     that he/she has the right to appeal any agency action he/she believes to be discriminatory or unfair or when action on his/her request for assistance is not taken with reasonable promptness.


(g)   that it is unlawful for anyone to charge, either directly or indirectly, for help to him/her in filing the application with the agency.


(h)   that the agency has 30 days (unless the household  is entitled to expedited service) to determine food stamp eligibility and provide assistance with his/her help and cooperation.


(i)     that he/she has the responsibility to provide truthful information about his/her circumstances, substantiating information when requested, and if he/she is approved for assistance, to report any change in his/her circumstances within 10 days of the date the change becomes known to the household.


Note:   Cases assigned to Simplified Reporting are not subject to regular reporting requirements as outlined in this subparagraph.  See 1240-1-19 for Simplified Reporting Requirements.


(j)     that each applicant for assistance must furnish or apply for a social security number.


Note:  A non-applicant is not required to furnish a social security number.


(k)   that all members of the household who are required to register for or participate in a work program must do so.


(l)     that approval and payment/issuance can be made only after all eligibility requirements are met.  


(m)      that Food Stamps may be used only to purchase eligible food items.


(n)   that if his/her request is approved, he/she will receive a Benefit Security Card for use in purchasing food.


(o)   all individuals age 18-24 who are applying for Families First, Food Stamps, and/or Medicaid must be asked whether they were ever in state custody as a child.  If the answer is yes, they should be directed to for further information regarding resources that may be available. 


Glossary of Terms


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