What Is the Process for Recertifying for Food Stamps?

The process for recertification of food stamp eligibility varies by state but typically it requires updating of the food stamp recipient's household information either by a provided form or through a telephone or in-person interview. The frequency of recertification can range from one month to two years.

Typically food stamp recipients receive notification of the need to recertify before their last month of eligibility. This notice contains instructions on how to complete the process and the date by which it must be completed in order to avoid a lapse in benefits. Usually, the 15th day of the last month of the recipient's food stamps is the deadline.

Some states may require both a submission of updated information and an interview. The household information includes any changes in income, the number of people in the household and other items that can impact the recipient's eligibility. Once the agency has reviewed the information, it issues a determination of status and notifies the recipient.

Failure to comply with the time requirements for returning the recertification information or failure to attend the scheduled interview can result in denial of benefits. This closes the case file and requires the recipient to start the application process from the beginning.