Revised January 7, 2002


Important Sources of Information on the Program and Policy
by David Super and Kathy Patchan

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I. Research:

A. Reports from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation:

1. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2000 (October 2001);

2. Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1994-1999 (October 2001);

3. The Decline in Food Stamp Participation: A Report to Congress (July 2001);

4. Changes in Client Service in the Food Stamp Program After Welfare Reform: A Synthesis of Case Studies in Eight States (January 2001);

5. Reaching Those In Need: Food Stamp Participation Rates in the States in 1998 (January 2001);

6. Theodore F. Macaluso, The Extent of Trafficking in the Food Stamp Program: An Update (March 2000);

7. Evaluation of Asset Accumulation Initiatives: Final Report (February 2000);

8. Evaluation of SSI/FSP Joint Processing Alternatives Demonstration: Final Report (January 2000);

9. Customer Service in the Food Stamp Program: Final Report (July 1999)

10. Food Stamp Participants' Access to Food Retailers: Final Report (July 1999);

11. LTG Associates, Inc., Food Stamp Client Enrollment Assistance Demonstration Projects: Final Evaluation Report (July 1999);

12. Who is Leaving the Food Stamp Program? An Analysis of Caseload Changes from 1994 to 1997 (March 1999);

13. Nancy Wemmerus, Bruce Gottlieb, Relaxing the FSP Vehicle Asset Test: North Carolina Demonstration (January 22, 1999);

14. Michael Stavrianos and Lucia Nixon, The Effect of Welfare Reform on Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients (July 23, 1998);

15. Vivian Gabor, Christopher Botsko, State Food Stamp Policy Choices Under Welfare Reform: Findings of 1997 50-State Survey. (Health Systems Research, Inc., May 1998);

16. Philip Gleason, Peter Schochet, and Robert Moffitt The Dynamics of Food Stamp Program Participation in the Early 1990s (April 1998);

17. Explanation of the E&T /JOBS Conformance Demonstrations (February 1998);

18. Mike Stavrianos, Scott Cody, Kimball Lewis, Characteristics of Childless Unemployed Adult and Legal Immigrant Food Stamp Participants in Fiscal Year 1995 (December 1997);

19. Food Retailers in the Food Stamp Program: Characteristics and Service to Participants: Summary of Report (February 1997);

B. Reports from HHS's Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE):

1. Maria Cancian, et al., The Take-Up of Medicaid and Food Stamps by Welfare Leavers: The Case of Wisconsin (Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison, June 2001);

2. Gregory Acs, Pamela Loprest, Cross-State Findings on Food Stamp Participation Rates (Urban Institute, January 2001) (from "Initial Synthesis Report of the Findings from ASPE's 'Leavers' Grants").

3. Joan Acker, et al, Oregon Families who Left Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) or Food Stamps (University of Oregon, January 2001);

4. Julia B. Isaacs, Matthew R. Lyon, A Cross-State Findings on Food Stamp Participation Rates, Based on Administrative and Survey Data (ASPE, November 2000) (from "A Cross-State Examination of Families Leaving Welfare: Findings from the ASPE-Funded Leavers Studies");

5. ASPE, Cross-State Findings on Food Stamp Participation Rates (April 2000) (from "Leavers and Diversion Studies: Summary of Research on Welfare Outcomes");

6. M. Robin Dion, LaDonna Pavetti, Access to and Participation in Medicaid and the Food Stamp Program: A Review of the Recent Literature (Mathematica Policy Research, March 7, 2000);

7. Sheila R. Zedlewski, Sarah Brauner, Declines in Food Stamp and Welfare Participation: Is there a Connection? (Urban Institute, October 1999);

C. Reports from USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) (

1. Craig Gundersen, State Use of Funds To Increase Work Slots for Food Stamp Recipients: Report to Congress (August 2001);

2. Craig Gundersen, State Use of Funds To Increase Work Slots for Food Stamp Recipients: State Data Collection Instruments (August 2001);

3. Parke Wilde, Understanding the Food Stamp Benefit Formula: A Tool for Measuring the Component Effects (April 2001);

4. Robert Breunig, Indraneel Diasgupta, Craig Gundersen, and Prasanta Pattanaik, Explaining the Food Stamp Cash-Out Puzzle (April 2001);

5. Anu Rangarajan, Philip M. Gleason, Food Stamp Leavers in Illinois: How Are They Doing Two Years Later? Final Report (MPR, January 2001);

6. Jonathan Jacobson, Nuria Rodriguez-Planas, Loren Puffer, Emily Pas, Laura Taylor-Kale, The Consequences of Welfare Reform and Economic Change for the Food Stamp Program - Illustrations from Microsimulation: Final Report (MPR, January 2001);

7. Gregory Mills, Robert Kornfeld, Study of Arizona Adults Leaving the Food Stamp Program: Final Report (Abt Associates, Inc., December 2000);

8. Parke E. Wilde, Paul E. McNamara, Christine K. Ranney, The Effect on Dietary Quality of Participation in the Food Stamp and WIC Programs Education (September 2000);

9. Parke Wilde, Peggy Cook, Craig Gundersen, Mark Nord, Laura Tiehen, The Decline in Food Stamp Program Participation in the 1990's (June 2000);

10. Craig Gundersen, Michael LeBlanc, and Betsey Kuhn, The Changing Food Assistance Landscape: The Food Stamp Program in a Post-Welfare Reform Environment (March 1999);

11. Food Review: Perspectives on Welfare Reform (September 1998);

D. Report from the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation: Janet Quint and Rebecca Widom, Lindsay Moore; The Project on Devolution and Urban Change: Post-TANF Food Stamp and Medicaid Benefits: Factors That Aid or Impede Their Receipt (January 2001);

E. Reports from the Urban Institute (

1. Sheila Rafferty Zedlewski, Amelia Gruber; Former Welfare Families Continue to Leave the Food Stamp Program (April 2001);

2. Sheila Rafferty Zedlewski, Amelia Gruber; Former Welfare Families Continue to Leave the Food Stamp Program (March 2001);

3. Stephen H. Bell, The Prevalence of Education and Training Activities Among Welfare and Food Stamp Recipients (October 2000);

4. Sheila R. Zedlewski and Sarah Brauner, Are the Steep Declines in Food Stamp Participation Linked to Falling Welfare Caseloads? (November 1999);

5. Sheila R. Zedlewski, Sarah Brauner, Declines in Food Stamp and Welfare Participation: Is There a Connection? (October 1999);

F. Other Reports from Mathematica Policy Research (; Select "Nutrition" as topic of interest and "Food Stamps" as the subtopic and a list of reports will be available. For those reports without a web address, you may order them from MPR on the internet or by phone at (609) 275-2350).

1. Myoung Kim, Jim Ohls, Rhonda Cohen, Hunger in America 2001: National Report Prepared for America's Second Harvest: Final Report (October 2001);

2. Philip Gleason, Carole Trippe, Scott Cody, Jacquie Anderson, The Effect of Welfare Reform on the Characteristics of the Food Stamp Population (July 2001); www.mathematica-mpr/com/PDFs/welreffood.pdf

3. James C. Ohls, Access to the Food Stamp Program: Testimony to the House of Representatives, Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry (June 2001);

4. Allen L. Schirm; Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 1998 (January 2001);

5. Philip Gleason, Anu Rangarajan, Christine Olson, Dietary Intake and Dietary Attitudes Among Food Stamp Participants and Other Low-Income Individuals (September 2000);

6. Sheena McConnell and James Ohls, Food Stamps in Rural America: Special Issues and Common Themes (May 2000);

7. Nancy Wemmerus, Laura Castner and Dan O'Connor, Tables Describing the Asset and Vehicle Holdings of Food Stamp Participants, Nonparticipants, and Asset Ineligibles in 1994 (September 1999)

8. Barbara Cohen, James Ohls, Margaret Andrews, Michael Ponza, Lorenzo Moreno, Amy Zambrowski, and Rhoda Cohen, Food Stamp Participants' Food Security and Nutrient Availability (July 1999);

9. Harold S. Beebout, Fluctuations in Food Stamp Program Participation (April 1998).

G. Reports from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) (; Select "GAO Reports" and scroll to "Find GAO Reports" and type in publication number listed in parentheses below):

1. Food Stamp Program: Program Integrity and Participation Challenges (GAO-01-881T); June 27, 2001

2. Food Stamp Program: Implementation of the Employment and Training Program for Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (GAO-01-391R); February 27, 2001

3. States Seek to Reduce Payment Errors and Program Complexity (GAO-01-272); January 19, 2001

4. Food Assistance: Reducing the Trafficking of Food Stamp Benefits (T-RCED-00-250); July 19, 2000

5. Food Stamp Program: Data on Assistance to the Elderly (RCED-00-223R); June 28, 2000

6. Food Stamp Program: Better Use of Electronic Data Could Result in Disqualifying More Recipients Who Traffic Benefits (RCED-00-61); March 7, 2000

7. Food Stamp Program: How States Are Using Federal Waivers of the Work Requirements (RCED-00-5); October 29, 1999

8. Food Stamp Program: Households Collect Benefits for Persons Disqualified for Intentional Program Violations (RCED-99-180); July 8, 1999

9. Food Stamp Program: Various Factors Have Led to Declining Participation (RCED-99-185); July 2, 1999

10. Welfare Reform: Few States are Likely to Use Simplified Food Stamp Programs (RCED-99-43); January 29, 1999

11. Food Stamp Program: Information on Employment and Training Activities (RCED-99-40); December 14, 1998

12. Food Stamp Overpayments: Households in Different States Collect Benefits for the Same Individual (RCED-98-228); August 6, 1998.

13. Food Stamp Program: Characteristics of Households Affected by Limit on the Shelter Deduction (RCED-97-118); May 14, 1997


II. Data:

A. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households (annual series; reports from 1997 through 2000 are posted at with earlier years available in hard copy from Office of Analysis Nutrition and Evaluation, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22303)

B. State Activity Reports (annual series; available through federal fiscal year 1999 from FNS's Program Accountability Division, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302): aggregate annual data by state on participation, issuances, administrative costs, fair hearing results, fraud investigations, administrative disqualifications, and claims establishment and collections.

C. Program participation data: monthly state data for FY1998 through FY2001 and national data on participation, costs, and benefits provided to food stamp beneficiaries for years 1969 through 2001 (

D. Food Stamp Statistical Summary of Project Area Operations Report (available from FNS's Program Information Division, Data Base Monitoring Branch, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302): reports on individual and household participation and total issuance by county for most states in the months of January and July, divided only by public assistance and non-public assistance households.

E. States collect a variety of other data for reports to USDA or for their own internal use; data reported to USDA is often held by the Food Stamp Program's Program Accountability Division, the Data Base Monitoring Branch of the Program Information Division, or the Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation.


III. Recent Regulations ( or available through Although some of these regulations have implementation dates in the future, many codify parts of the PRWORA that became effective in 1996:

A. Claims collection: 65 Fed. Reg. 41752 (July 6, 2000); correction of typographical errors and effective date published at 65 Fed. Reg. 47587 (August 2, 2000).

B. Non-discretionary Provisions of PRWORA: 65 Fed. Reg. 64581 (October 30, 2000).

C. Noncitizen Eligibility and Certification Provisions of PRWORA (the "NECP Rule"): 65 Fed. Reg. 70134 (November 21, 2000).

D. Personal Responsibility Provisions of PRWORA: 66 Fed. Reg. 4438 (January 17, 2001) Note: the effective date for this rule has been postponed from April 2, 2001, until July 31, 2001, and the date by which states must implement had been postponed until October 1, 2001. 66 Fed. Reg. 8886 (February 5, 2001); 66 Fed. Reg. 29661 (June 1, 2001).

E. Additional final rules expected this summer: Work Provisions of PRWORA (based on proposed rules published at 64 Fed. Reg. 72195 (December 23, 1999) and interim final rules published at 64 Fed. Reg. 48246 (September 3, 1999)) and Change Reporting (based on proposed rules published at 61 Fed. Reg. 66233 (December 17, 1996) and extensive guidance issued in the interim (see below).

F. Miscellaneous final rules published or expected on technical issues involving retailers, wholesalers, and electronic benefit transfer (EBT), including:

1. Revisions to the Retail Food Store Definition and Program Authorization Guidance, 66 Fed. Reg. 2795 (January 12, 2001)(Note: the effective date of this provision has been postponed twice).

2. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Systems Interoperability and Portability, 65 Fed. Reg. 49719 (August 15, 2000)(interim final rule).


IV. Guidance:

A. Reporting and Budgeting Issues:

1. Questions and Answers on the Noncitizen Eligibility and Certification Provision (NECP) Final Rule (March 20, 2001);

2. Universal Quarterly Reporting Waivers (January 10, 2001);

3. Guidance on Treatment of Unearned Income from Private Sources (January 10, 2001);

4. Quarterly Reporting and Clarification and Expansion of Waivers (December 9, 1999);

B. Other Financial Eligibility Issues:

1. Memo on the FY2001 Agricultural Appropriations Act to Streamline Food Stamp Asset Rules to the TANF Vehicle Rules (January 4, 2001);

2. Questions and Answers on Categorical Eligibility for Food Stamps (October 21, 1999);

3. General Assistance and Public Assistance Diversion Payments (June 16 and July 2, 1998);

C. Improving Program Access:

1. Questions & Answers on the Final Rule on Noncitizen, Eligibility and Certification Provisions of PRWORA—Second Section (June 2001);

2. Improving Food Stamp Program Access: State Best Practices (August 2000);

3. The Nutrition Safety Net: Help for the Elderly and Disabled (February 24, 2000);

D. Immigrants' Eligibility:

1. Sonya Schwartz, Immigrant Access to Food Stamps: Overcoming Barriers to Participation (Food Research and Action Center, October 30, 2001); documents/sonya.pdf

2. INS Guidance on Public Charge, "A Quick Guide to 'Public Charge' and Receipt of Public Benefits (October 18, 1999);

3. Miscellaneous Policy Clarifications Relating to Immigrants

4. Joint Guidance on Citizenship, Immigration Status, and Social Security Numbers;

E. Three-Month Cut-off for Childless Adults Ages 18 to 49:

1. Guidance for States on Use of Discretionary Food Stamp Program Time Limit Exemptions (February 27, 1998);

2. Memos on FY2001 and FY2000 Allocation of the 15% Exemptions and Work Requirement Waivers as well as Miscellaneous Guidance on the 3-Month Time Limit and the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program (April 3, 1997);

3. Waivers of Work Requirement Time Limits Based on Insufficient Jobs (March 10, 1997);

F. Miscellaneous Policy:

1. Letter to States on Adjustment of Food Stamp Quality Control Liabilities (January 18, 2001); Copies available at FNS's Program Accountability Division, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302

2. Cumulative Questions and Answers on Certification and Work Issues in PRWORA (July 1999);

3. Cumulative Questions and Answers on Food Stamp Fraud, Disqualifications, and Recipient Claims (January 29, 1998);


V. Reports from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

1. Dorothy Rosenbaum, Side-by-Side Comparison of Food Stamp Provisions in Proposed Farm Bills (rev. December 7, 2001)

2. Ray Horng and Stacy Dean, States' Vehicle Asset Policies in the Food Stamp Program (rev. November 7, 2001)

3. Liz Schott, Stacy Dean, Jocelyn Guyer, Coordinating Medicaid and Food Stamps: How New Food Stamp Policies Can Reduce Barriers to Health Care Coverage for Low-Income Working Families (September 14, 2001)

4. The Food Stamp Program Can Be Improved for Working Families (August 1, 2001)

5. Work and the Food Stamp Program (July 20, 2001)

6. David Super, Background on The Food Stamp Program, (July 10, 2001)

7. Stacy Dean, Testimony of Stacy Dean before the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on Agriculture, (June 27, 2001)

8. David Super, Summary of Food Stamp Provisions in S. 940/H.R. 1990: The "Leave No Child Behind" Bill, (June 14, 2001)

9. Daniel Tenny, Senate Bill 583/House Bill 2142: The Nutrition Assistance for Working Families and Seniors Act,(June 13, 2001)

10. David Super, Food Stamp Overpayment Error Rate Hits Record Low (April 30, 2001).

11. Dorothy Rosenbaum and David Super, Understanding Food Stamp Quality Control (April 30, 2001).

12. David Super and Stacy Dean, New State Options to Improve the Food Stamp Vehicle Rule (rev. January 16, 2001).

13. Stacy Dean and David Super, Overview of The Food Stamp Time Limit for People Between Ages 18 and 50 (rev. December 2000).

14. Stacy Dean, Making Food Stamps Work: Important New State Option for Semi-Annual Reporting Could Dramatically Improve the Food Stamp Program for Working Poor Families (December 2000).

15. Stacy Dean and Dorothy Rosenbaum, Linking Medicaid and Food Stamps: Four Little-known Facts about the Food Stamp Program (November 30, 2000).

16. Dorothy Rosenbaum, Improving Access to Food Stamps: New Reporting Options Can Reduce Administrative Burdens and Error Rates (September 2000).

17. Sharon Parrott and Stacy Dean, Food Stamps Can Help Low-Income Working Families Put Food on the Table (March 31, 1999).

18. Stacy Dean, Research Findings Show 18- to 49-Year-Old Food Stamp Recipients Are Disadvantaged and Can Face Major Difficulties in the Job Market (December 29, 1999).

19. Stacy Dean, Restarting the Clock on the Food Stamp Three-Month Cut-off (December 7, 2000).

20. Stacy Dean, Many Areas That Qualify for Waivers Do Not Appear on the Department of Labor's List of Labor Surplus Areas (December 7, 2000).

21. Stacy Dean, Exempting Individuals from the Three-month Food Stamp Cut-off (December 7, 2000).

22. Stacy Dean and Dottie Rosenbaum, Linking Medicaid and Food Stamps: Four Little-Known Facts about the Food Stamp Program, (November 30, 2000)


VI. Information State and Local Agencies are Required to Maintain:

A. Sources of information on individual households:

1. Requirement to document case files: 7 C.F.R. § 273.2(f)(6)

2. Requirement to retain information: 7 C.F.R. §§ 272.1(e) and (f)

3. Households contemplating hearing requests: 7 C.F.R. § 273.15(i)(1)

4. Households that have requested hearings: 7 C.F.R. § 273.15(l)(1)

B. Sources of information on state policies:

1. Sources of state policy: 7 C.F.R. § 272.3(a)

2. Public access to state policies: 7 C.F.R. §§ 272.1(d) and 295

3. Hearing procedures: 7 C.F.R. § 273.15(i)(3)

4. Waivers: 7 C.F.R. § 272.3(c)(2) and (d) see also FNS's data base of state waivers at:

C. Sources of Information on State Agencies' Operations

1. Summaries of hearing decisions: 7 C.F.R. § 273.15(q)(5)

2. Management Evaluation (ME) reviews: 7 C.F.R. §§ 275.5-275.9

3. Quality Control (QC) reviews of "negative" cases: 7 C.F.R. § 275.13

4. Corrective Action Plans (CAPs): 7 C.F.R. §§ 275.16-175.19

5. Data analysis and evaluation requirements: 7 C.F.R. § 275.15

6. Complaint analyses: 7 C.F.R. § 271.6(a)(3); see also 7 C.F.R. §§ 271.6(a) and (b) (setting out state and federal complaint procedures, respectively)

7. Record retention requirements: 7 C.F.R. § 275.4

8. Federal statistical reports: 7 C.F.R. §§ 295.4 and 295.5