SNAP Waiver Requests
Governor Ducey and the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) have requested permission from the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) to implement program changes to help ensure Arizona families receive nutritious foods through the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
(Note: FNS has approved several waivers for states as noted below.)
Through the following waiver requests, DES will expand Nutrition Assistance benefits, and increase access to households by removing barriers to needed public assistance:
Request to Waive Interview
Waiving the interview requirement means applicants do not have to meet with a DES worker in person, limiting risk to both parties and reducing office and call center traffic. The remainder of the application process will stay the same.
FNS authorized states to adjust interview requirements when determining eligibility. View the FNS Authorization to Adjust Interview Requirements.
Request to Extend Certification Periods
Extending benefit certification periods by 90 days via an automated process will continue benefits for during this pandemic, reduce workload, and streamline administration of the SNAP program. For example, someone who is due for renewal in April will have eligibility extended 90 days before action is required.
FNS authorized states to extend certification periods by 6 months. View the FNS Authorization to Extend Certifications.
Request to Allow Hot Meals
Allowing families to use SNAP to purchase hot food makes it easier to access a wider variety of food options during a time when families may be experiencing disruption, such as decreased access to kitchens, hot meals and shelter. This would make hot/prepared food items sold in grocery stores available for purchase by participants (which is currently not permitted under SNAP). This does not include restaurant food purchases.
Request to Waive Student Criteria
Currently, eligible students may be unable to meet the required 20 hours a week of employment due to business closures. The waiver will ensure that currently eligible students will maintain their SNAP benefits when they report a change due to widespread business closures and will allow students to receive benefits with no work activity.
FNS authorized states to waive work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents participating in SNAP, including students.
Request to Increase SNAP Allotments to the Maximum
This waiver provides an emergency allotment to address temporary food needs to households to bring all households up to the maximum benefit for up to 2 months due to pandemic-related economic conditions. Contingent upon the availability of funding and ongoing need, USDA may approve additional months of emergency issuance with an extension request from the State. Depending upon household composition, this could provide an additional $25 to $150 monthly.
FNS approved the request to allow for verbal attestation in place of a signature on SNAP applications. View View FNS Approval Regarding Telephonic Signatures.