NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Program Recertification Costs: Evidence from SNAP

Tatiana Homonoff, Jason Somerville

NBER Working Paper No. 27311
Issued in June 2020
NBER Program(s):Health Economics, Public Economics

Recipients of means-tested program benefits must periodically document continued eligibility through a recertification process. We find evidence that the administrative burden associated with SNAP recertification leads to decreases in program participation. Cases assigned to later recertification interview dates, which leave less time to reschedule missed interviews, are over 20 percent less likely to recertify than cases assigned to interviews earlier in the month. Cases that fail recertification due to later assignments lose an average of $600 in benefits in the following year. These losses are highly skewed: many cases quickly re-enroll, while one quarter remain off SNAP for over a year post-recertification.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27311

 
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