An annual interview is required for each application unless the interview can be waived. FSD staff shall attempt to complete all interviews during business hours via:
Interviews are key for gathering accurate, individualized information about each EU in order to determine eligibility.
During the interactive interview, FSD staff must discuss:
FSD staff must attempt to contact applicants screened for expedited service by phone to complete these interviews expeditiously. If staff is unable to reach the applicant, yet there is available proof of identity, and the household appears eligible for expedited benefits, staff will approve the application using expedited criteria. This attempted contact must be documented on the Eligibility Unit Member Role (EUMEMROL/FM3Z) screen.
If an in-person or telephone interview is started but cannot be completed for any reason:
In these situations, FSD staff shall:
Encourage the applicant to complete the interview as soon as possible
Face-to-face interviews may be waived for all households. It is not necessary to meet with EU members face-to-face to conduct an interview; thus, interviews can be completed by phone. Face-to-face interviews must be completed upon request.
NOTE: Hardship does not need to be explained by the EU or documented by the agency when face-to-face interviews are waived.
Interview policies must be followed regardless of how the interview is completed.
When conducting an interview over the telephone, discuss the same information as would be discussed in an office interview. Also explain the applicant's rights and responsibilities and any form to be sent to the EU for its information or completion.
If the office interview is waived and a telephone interview cannot be completed, conduct a home visit with approval from management. A home-based interview may only be conducted if a household meets hardship criteria and the household must request a home-based interview. Schedule the home visit in advance with the applicant by telephone or in writing. Use scheduled home visits to obtain verification only when documentary or collateral evidence cannot be obtained by other means.
If an applicant's interview is not completed the same day as application, FAMIS will automatically generate and mail applicants an interview letter (FA-334). The FA-334 notifies applicants that it is their responsibility to contact FSD during business hours to complete their interview within 5 calendar days of application, or upon receipt of the letter. Effective June 20, 2016, interviews are not scheduled for applicants by FSD.
The Notice of Missed Interview (FA-335) is sent to applicants that have not completed their interview by the deadline in the FA-334.
FSD staff are encouraged to complete all required interviews within 20 days of application in order to adhere to processing time frames.
If the EU is applying for both IM and Food Stamp benefits, conduct a single interview for all programs involved. Complete an interactive interview in FAMIS and obtain additional information needed for the IM programs using IM forms. If Food Stamp eligibility is established prior to determining eligibility for IM, proceed with the appropriate action on the Food Stamp case rather than delaying action until the IM determination is made.