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Reasonable Pursuit of Verification

The federal rules require you to use “reasonable efforts” to verify eligibility within the expedited time limit. The First Contact Resolution article outlines what you should do.

What do you verify?

In most instances, you should verify residence and income during the time limit. Use documentary evidence (when available), collateral contacts, and the client’s statement appropriately.

As long as you accomplish it within the time limit, you may verify all factors of eligibility. Do not delay certifying benefits beyond the time limit for factors other than identity.

For example, you may ask for the Social Security number (SSN) of all household members, but when the household is not able to provide the number, postpone verification.


  • The client who lacks good cause must provide a SSN by the second full month of participation for all household members except newborns.

  • The client must provide a newborn's SSN by the next certification or at 6 months of age, whichever is later.

You may try to verify questionable work registration or ABAWD exemptions, but do not exceed the expedited-service time limit to do so. You must postpone verification when you cannot it obtain within the time limit.

How long do you wait?

During the interview, attempt to verify all eligibility factors. When you are unable to verify everything but have at least verified identity, you may postpone verification. Do not delay certification when it is unlikely the household will be able to provide further verification. You should not wait the full expedited time limit before postponing verification.

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