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USDA/FNS RIN: 0584-AD87 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Eligibility, Certification, and Employment and Training Provisions  

This final rule amends the regulations governing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to codify provisions from the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246) (FCEA) concerning the eligibility and certification of SNAP applicants and participants and SNAP employment and training.

Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 273   
Legal Authority: Pub. L. 110-246    Pub. L. 104-121   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

This rule amends the regulations governing SNAP to implement provisions from the FCEA concerning the eligibility and certification of SNAP applicants and participants and SNAP employment and training. In addition, this rule revises the SNAP regulations throughout 7 CFR part 273 to change the program name from the Food Stamp Program to SNAP and to make other nomenclature changes as mandated by the FCEA. The statutory effective date of these provisions was October 1, 2008. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is also implementing two discretionary revisions to SNAP regulations to provide State agencies options that are available currently only through waivers. These provisions allow State agencies to average student work hours and to provide telephone interviews in lieu of face-to-face interviews. FNS anticipates that this rule will impact the associated paperwork burdens.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246).


Most aspects of the rule are non-discretionary and tied to specific requirements for SNAP in the FCEA, and others were new program options the FCEA created that State agencies may include in their administration of the program. FNS did consider alternatives within these mandatory and optional FCEA provisions addressed in the rule. For example, under the new optional provision implementing section 4119 of the FCEA, Telephonic Signature Systems, FNS considered what specific conditions must be satisfied for a signature to be considered a spoken signature.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The proposed rule estimated total SNAP costs to the Government of the FCEA provisions proposed in the rule to be $831 million in fiscal 2010 and $5.619 billion over the five years of fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2014. The final rule will present a revised cost analysis. There are many potential societal benefits of this rule, including that certain provisions in the rule will reduce the administrative burden for households and State agencies.


The statutory and discretionary changes under consideration would streamline program operations. The changes are expected to reduce the risk of inefficient operations.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  05/04/2011  76 FR 25414   
NPRM Comment Period End  07/05/2011    
Final Action  11/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Local, State 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Charles H. Watford
Regulatory Review Specialist
Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
1320 Braddock Place,
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone:703 605-0800

Lynnette M. Thomas
Chief, Planning and Regulatory Affairs Branch
Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition Service
3101 Park Center Drive,
Alexandria, VA 22302
Phone:703 605-4782