How Does Someone Get Recertification for Food Stamps?

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Filing a recertification form ensures that food stamp benefits continue without interruption. A caseworker typically mails recertification forms to appropriate clients toward the end of a certification period.

A caseworker may mail a recertification form at a client's request, or a client may pick up a recertification form in person at his local office of the department of human services. Caseworkers typically mail recertification forms 45 to 60 days before a client's certification period ends.

A notice usually accompanies the recertification form that includes the date when certification ends, the date by which the applicant must recertify and the consequences of failing to do so. Depending on the client's case, his certification period may be roughly two to 12 months.

California requires an individual with an open food stamp case to reapply for food stamps no later than the 15th day of the month when the certification period ends. The recertification process entails an in-person interview, although in some states a phone interview is sufficient. California, for example, requires all of its counties to waive the in-person recertification interview.

If any aspects of a client's financial, health or living status have changed during his certification period, he must supply supporting documents. However, if nothing has changed, the client may not be required to show any supporting documents.

Failure to recertify may result in an interruption of food stamp benefits. A client must submit an entirely new application for food stamps so as to reactivate benefits.