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SNAP PHE Flexibilities

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), in addition to the monthly SNAP emergency allotments that are distributed, DSS is operating with the following, federally approved, SNAP waivers/flexibilities

  1. Interviews at Application and Recertification

    The Department will not be required to interview SNAP households at initial application or recertification for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, provided that all of the following conditions are met:

    • Identity has been verified
    • The SNAP application or recertification is complete, not questionable, and all information to establish eligibility is provided
    • Mandatory verifications are provided, complete, and not questionable
    • The household will be approved for continuing eligibility
    • The household does not request an interview

    If the household must submit mandatory verifications, a request for information will be sent to the household along with an interview notice. If the household responds with the mandatory verifications, but does not complete the interview, and all other eligibility criteria are met, the interview will be waived, and the case will be granted.

    Expedited Processing

    If a household is determined eligible for expedited processing, the SNAP interview may be postponed in accordance with traditional postponed interview waiver and the household will be granted for the appropriate expedited period. If all mandatory verifications are subsequently provided, and the above criteria are met, staff can waive the postponed interview.

  2. Waiver of the Periodic Report Form (PRF) Process

    Traditionally, most SNAP households are required to complete a PRF at the mid-certification point (6 months after their initial application or last renewal). As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are suspending the requirement for households to submit PRFs for all SNAP enrollees through the end of the PHE.  This means that households will not be receiving PRFs in the mail to fill out during this time period.

  3. Suspension of ‘ABAWD’ work requirements

    ABAWD = Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. ABAWDs without an exemption are only eligible for SNAP benefits for three months in a 36-month period. This SNAP time limit for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut is suspended for the duration of the Public Health Emergency, per Congressional action and through 12/31/2022 in CT. Further information at www.ct.gov/snap/abawd.

  4. Modified Exemptions for College Students
  5. During the Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), in addition to traditional student exemptions, students in higher education who meet either of the below criteria may be eligible for SNAP benefits regardless of their student status:

    • The student is eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular school year even if the student did not complete any hours of participation.
    • The student has an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year on their financial aid award letter. 

When the Federal PHE ends, a college student will be required to be participating in work study, or have another exemption allowed under normal policy to be eligible for snap.

A college student’s EFC will no longer assist the qualification process.

If you are currently active SNAP and using these flexibilities, they will no longer apply at your next recertification at least 30 days after the federal PHE ends.  Also, 30 days after the PHE ends, these flexibilities will no longer apply to new SNAP applicants.

If you are a college student and you meet SNAP eligibility requirements, you may be eligible for SNAP if you meet one of the following exemptions.

Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year

Eligible to Participate in a state or federally funded work study program, regardless of intent to participate.

Are under age 18 or are age 50 or older.

Participate in a state or federally funded work study program.

Have a physical or mental disability.

Care for a child under the age of 6.

Work at least 20 hours a week in paid employment.

Responsible for the care of a dependent child at least age 6 but under age 12 if the student does nothave adequate childcare.

Participate in an on-the-job training program.

Full-time student who is a single parent responsible for the care of a dependent child under the age of 12.

Receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) assistance.

Are enrolled in a TANF employment and training program.

Are assigned to, placed in, or self-placed in a college or other institution of higher education through:

A SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) program.

A program under Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA)

A Trade Adjustment Assistance Program under Section 236 of the Trade Act of 1974.