You can conduct an intensive field investigation if you suspect a household is withholding information or is involved in intentional program violations. You should only do this if you have exhausted all other methods on verification and you still don't have enough information to certify, deny, or close a SNAP case.
This can include all questionable factors of eligibility. You should make all efforts to obtain the most reliable second and third-party verification available. Contacts may include the applicant or other household members, employers, banks, government agencies / nonprofits, landlords, neighbors, and utility companies. The client does not need to provide additional written authorization to complete field investigations (unless a contact requires it to give you verification). The PS-1 already gives you this authority.
If you contact anyone for information related to a client's eligibility, you must advise that person of why you are requesting it and how it will be used. If a person is unwilling to have their identity revealed to the client, you cannot use their information to make an eligibility decision or record the information in the case record. You then will need to attempt to verify that information using alternate sources.
When you begin a field investigation, you should contact the household and give them an opportunity to clear up any conflicting information whenever possible. If you cannot get in touch with the household, you will document in FACS case notes what attempts were made.
You will document in the case record all verified evidence gathered during the investigation. The documentation must include:
- The information received
- Dates of the information including date received and date that any incident occurred
- The source of verification
- Explanation of conflicting information and what attempts you made to resolve the differences with the household
- If a household refuses to cooperate to determine eligibility, record the ways in which the client was given an opportunity to do so
When completing a field investigation, it is possible to delay eligibility determination due to an ongoing field investigation. If this happens, you should send the form, Client Notice of Action Taken (Form: 08MP038E*), informing the client that the case continues to be pending.
*Form currently unavailable on the Internet, Internal only.