This sub-topic does not apply to a person who is applying only for medical benefits, since an eligibility interview is not required.
For SNAP units containing a unit member who is employed, schedule a phone interview instead of a face-to-face interview at the Family Community Resource Center unless the SNAP unit requests a face-to-face interview. If the SNAP unit requests a face-to-face interview conduct one.
An applicant may claim that it's a hardship to come to the Family Community Resource Center for an interview. A hardship includes, but is not limited to:
- problems related to health, transportation, ongoing severe weather; or
- hours of work or educational activities that conflict with Family Community Resource Center hours; or
- lack of necessary child care; or
- fear of danger arising from past or ongoing domestic or sexual violence, or the risk of future danger, to any member of the household.
For SNAP, the unit may also waive the Family Community Resource Center interview if:
- the unit includes all qualifying members (see PM 05-06-01); or
- the unit is unable to appoint an approved representative; and
- there is no other adult SNAP unit member who can come to the Family Community Resource Center.
Accept the applicant's statement of the hardship. If there are 2 adults in the home, ask if the 2nd adult can come to the interview instead. If no adult can come to the office, arrange to conduct the interview by phone or in the applicant's home.
Explain to the applicant that a phone or home interview may delay the initial receipt and reduce the amount of benefits they qualify for. Explain to them that either of these things can happen if delays occur because information has to be sent through the mail. See WAG 02-05-07 for what to do when the applicant is not home.
If the applicant wants a phone or home interview and the Family Community Resource Center does not have written phone or home interview procedures, get permission to conduct the interview from the Family Community Resource Center Administrator (LOA) or designee.
Use special procedures to conduct interviews and process requests for benefits for:
- A person being released from a DHS facility (see WAG 02-05-08).
- A Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child who lives in a DHS facility (see WAG 02-05-09).
- An SSI applicant or approved SSI client who is applying for SNAP benefits at an SSA office (see WAG 02-04-06-b).