Just a Phone Call Away: The Association Between State SNAP Caseloads and the Waiver of the Face-to-Face Certification Interview
Pomerleau, Kyle E.
Morrison, Donna R
In the past decade, one of the fastest growing welfare programs in the United States has been the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Participation in the program has nearly doubled. At the same time, states have been implementing a series of administrative options, or waivers, that help customize the program to meet the needs of the state's population, specifically a waiver of the requirement to have a face-to-face certification interview. Using a panel data set of the states from 1996 to 2010, this paper examines whether and to what effect this waiver has on participation in SNAP at the state-level. I find that states that enacted the face-to-face waiver on average have participation rates that are .4 to .5 percentage points higher than states that have not enacted the policy. These findings hold up even with added policy controls and time lags.