2018 Memorandums

PO BOX 2320

IM-#060, 10/01/2018



This memorandum is follow-up to the recent interview techniques discussed in the Dynamic Interview and Income & Expenses Training.  The change to the interview process is as a result of the Business Process Review (BPR) with collaboration of Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).

The goal of the Dynamic Interview process is to:

  • simplify the interview process for staff and customers,
  • obtain better clarifying information from customers
  • not ask the same questions of customers repetitively, and
  • make the interview process efficient.

Use the Dynamic Interview process at initial application and recertification for all programs. 

NOTE:  For Food Stamp recertification, the criteria for waiving interviews remains the same. Refer to Food Stamp Manual section, 1130.015.15 Processing Recertifications and to the Food Stamp Recertification Interview Decision User Guide.

The Dynamic Interview should follow the one-touch thought process to prevent the same application/case from being touched multiple times. This means the Eligibility Specialist (ES) will complete every action they can based on the information available at that time, before sending it on for further tasking.

In a Dynamic Interview, the interviewer does not ask the customer questions s/he has already answered on a web or paper application, when the answers do not require further clarification.  

NOTE:  Always re-ask and get better clarification about income, expenses and questionable information, even when an answer is on the application.

The Dynamic Interview is an open-ended conversation between the interviewer and the customer.  The interview should clarify answers provided on the application and to ask questions which are not on the forms, but are in the controlled flow in FAMIS or in the MEDES system.

EXAMPLE: The customer answered, ‘NO’ to “Are you a migrant seasonal farmer worker,” on the application. Since the customer already answered the question, it does not need to be asked again during the interview. 

EXAMPLE: The customer answered, ‘YES’ to paying shelter expenses on the application; however, no income was listed.  Interviewer should ask clarifying questions to determine how the customer is paying his/her expenses with no income. Since this is an income/expense question, it should automatically be re-asked.

EXAMPLE:  The Food Stamp Application does not ask about dependent care expenses, but they are an allowable expense. When the driver question appears in the controlled flow, ask if the EU has dependent care expenses and enter a comment that supports the client’s statement of expense.  Since this is an income/expense question, it should automatically be re-asked.

EXAMPLE:  The declaration questions have all been answered ‘NO’ on the application and nothing is questionable.  There is no need to re-ask these during the interview.

It is imperative that staff use worker judgement when completing interviews to identify information that needs clarification.

EXAMPLE:  A Food Stamp recertification application shows rent of $750 and a roommate who is not in the EU. Supercase Member Clearance (SCMBR) shows the roommate and Shelter Expense (SHELEXP) of $350 rent. It would be good worker judgement to ask clarifying questions about sharing expenses, record the answers in the proper fields and make comments.  Since this is an income/expense question, it should automatically be re-asked.

When an answer to a question listed on the application is left blank, it will be necessary to use worker judgement to determine whether or not clarification is required or if a blank answer on the application can be assumed as ‘no’ or ‘none’.

EXAMPLE: A new Food Stamp application is received for a homeless customer that only listed themselves in the household. They did not answer if they purchase and prepare with anyone else. No can be assumed in this scenario.

Links to the Dynamic Interview and Income & Expense Training and the Dynamic Interview Question Reference Sheet can be found on the BPR page of the Social Services intranet.


  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.