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Center for Policy Research

Policy Brief

Waiving SNAP Interviews during the COVID-19 Pandemic Increased SNAP Caseloads

Colleen Heflin, William Clay Fannin, Leonard Lopoo, and Siobhan O’Keefe

C.P.R. Policy Brief No. 9

January 2024

Colleen Heflin

Colleen Heflin

Clay Fannin headshot

William Clay Fannin

Leonard Lopoo headshot

Leonard M. Lopoo

Food insecurity in the United States reached historically high rates during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus substantially increasing demand for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To facilitate access to SNAP during the pandemic, the federal government granted state SNAP offices the option to waive the interview requirement – an administrative burden associated with the SNAP certification process. This brief summarizes findings from a recent study that used data from SNAP offices across 10 states to examine the impact of SNAP interview waivers on SNAP caseloads from January 5th to April 30th of 2021. Findings reveal that counties that implemented the SNAP interview waiver experienced an estimated 5% increase in SNAP caseloads compared to counties that did not.

CPR Policy Briefs present concise summaries of findings from recent research conducted by CPR affiliates in the areas of crime and the law, economic wellbeing and poverty, education, energy and the environment, families, health, public finance, social welfare, urban and regional economics, and other policy-relevant domains.

Center for Policy Research
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