The CAO must assign a certification period once it determines that a household is eligible to participate in SNAP. A certification period is the period of time within which a household is eligible to receive benefits. The CAO assigns the longest certification period possible based on the household's circumstances and characteristics. See Section 575.2.
SNAP benefits stop at the end of each certification period. The CAO continues benefits only after renewal of eligibility. See Chapter 576, Renewal.
7 CFR § 273.10(f)
The household must receive written notice of the begin and end dates of the certification period. See Section 575.4.
The certification period is based on calendar months. It begins the first day of the first month of eligibility.
A household applies in January and is eligible for benefits in January. The application is processed in February. The certification period begins in January.
A household applies in January and is not eligible for benefits in January. The CAO processes the application in February. The household is eligible for benefits and the certification period begins in February.
An eligible household that is not receiving a benefit because of proration is considered eligible in that month. The month that the benefits are prorated to $0 is the first month of the certification period.
See Appendix A for Certification/Renewal Chart.
Reissued June 10, 2015 , replacing March 1, 2012