Food stamp programs are intended for temporary use. When you are approved for the program, you are given a certification letter stating the length of time you will receive benefits. If you still require assistance at the end of your certification period, you can re-certify by presenting your case worker with valid documentation. If you want to decline the opportunity to re-certify, you must communicate this with your case worker so that your case can be closed.
Though you are allowed to request a face-to-face interview in order to process your recertification, you can re-certify with your case worker by phone. Your recertification interview is similar to your initial phone interview with your case worker. Questions regarding income, employment status and household members will help your case worker determine if you are still eligible for the food stamp program.
Even if you are no longer able to receive food stamps, you must participate in a final interview. "Households that fail to provide the required verifications, or appear to be no longer eligible, will still be required to take part in an interview as part of the certification process," explains Gettingsnap.org. Your case worker will use the documentation you provide to temporarily close your file.
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Food stamp certification lasts anywhere from several months up to a year. The state or local agency that issued your food stamps is required to send you written notification that your benefits are up for renewal. This notification is typically mailed to you within 60 days of your certification deadline. If you do not receive a letter within 15 days of your recertification date, notify your case worker.
Elderly & Disabled
If you or someone in your household is 60 or older or disabled, an interview may not be required. However, you must return all documentation by the deadline listed in your certification letter. "Some states allow two-year certification periods for individuals who are disabled or elderly," explains the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To avoid missing your recertification after this lengthy certification period, make a note of the date your benefits are scheduled for renewal.