The SNAP Interview

All SNAP applicants must be interviewed in a timely manner, either in person or over the phone, at the time of application submission or a later date. Applicants can request an in-person interview and can bring with them whomever they choose, including legal representation.

Applicants eligible for expedited processing must be interviewed within seven days of submitting the application.

The SNAP worker will do the following in the interview:

  • Review the application
  • Clarify any incomplete or confusing information
  • Ask additional questions as needed
  • Provide a list of any missing documentation
  • Give the applicant at least 10 days to turn in the needed information

Phone Interviews

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Many SNAP applicants are automatically granted a phone interview instead of an in-office one.

Phone interviews are granted for:

  • Working families: Non-temporary assistance SNAP applicants get an automatic phone interview when one of the following conditions is met:
    • One adult on the application is working 30 hours or more per week or earning an average of at least the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) multiplied by 30 hours per week. Ultimately, the adult on the application would need to average $217.50 gross per week.
    • Two adults on the application are each working 20 hours per week or earning at least the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) multiplied by 20 hours per week. In this instance, each adult would need to earn $145 gross per week, for a total of $290 per week.
  • Applicants submitting online: ex. myBenefits or AccessHRA
  • NYC on-demand interviews: After returning their application, new SNAP applicants in NYC can call HRA at 718-SNAP-NOW (718-762-7669) between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, for an “on-demand” interview.
  • Disabled/senior applicants: Special rules apply to households composed of all elderly and/or disabled adults with no earned income. See Seniors and People with a Disability in the Eligibility Rules section for details.
  • Others by request: Other applicants who demonstrate a hardship can request a phone interview on a case-by-case basis. Hardships can include transportation difficulties, illness, prolonged severe weather, care of a household member, or work hours that conflict with the SNAP office hours.
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Authorized Representatives

SNAP applicants can appoint an “authorized representative” who can apply on their behalf, attend the interview and use the EBT card to make purchases, if approved.

The authorized representative can be a friend, a relative, someone who works for an agency, or anyone else the applicant chooses.

This person cannot be part of the applicant’s household but must be able to provide the SNAP office all the information it needs to determine eligibility, including the household’s documentation.

If an applicant wants someone to act as an authorized representative, an adult member of the household must provide a written notice to the SNAP office giving the person permission to act as their authorized representative. It is recommended to use the OTDA form LDSS-4942. The form is available in both English and Spanish, and is specifically for households wishing to designate an authorized representative. Use of this form cannot be required by the SNAP office, but it is recommended. The form is developed for use with the electronic application, but is available statewide for use with any applicant household.

The SNAP office cannot force an applicant to use an authorized representative.

Notice of Missed Interview Rules at Application

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SNAP offices must comply with federal regulations for sending a Notice of Missed Interview (NOMI) during the SNAP application and recertification process.

SNAP offices must follow these regulations during the application process:

  • The office must provide a date and time for the interview or provide the client with information about its on-demand system.
  • If a new applicant misses their interview, the SNAP office must mail a NOMI letter informing the household that it is now the household’s responsibility to reschedule the eligibility interview.
  • The SNAP office must reschedule the eligibility interview for any applicant that responds to the missed interview notice.
  • If the SNAP applicant does not contact the local district upon receiving the NOMI, the district will deny the case for failure to comply with the eligibility interview requirement, and a denial notice will be sent. The SNAP office must allow 30 days from the filing date before sending the notice.
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