Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1102.005.10 Reference Verification

IM-#137 November 21, 2005

A reference/collateral contact (CC) is an oral or written confirmation of an EU’s circumstances by a person outside the EU who has knowledge of the EU’s circumstances. The reference contact may be either in person or over the phone (TC). The acceptability of a reference contact shall not be restricted to a particular individual but may be anyone who can be expected to provide an accurate third party verification of the EU’s statements. Examples of acceptable reference contacts are:

  • employers,
  • some community action groups,
  • migrant service agencies,
  • neighbors of the EU, and
  • relatives outside the EU, if no other reference is available.

The worker must evaluate the information given by the reference by considering the reason for knowing the information and its validity. Agency employees involved in food stamp certification and/or issuance processes may not act as a reference.

When reference contact (CC or TC) is used as verification, record the:

  • name, address, and phone number of the reference;
  • relationship of the reference to the EU and why the reference is in a position to know the EU’s circumstances;
  • method of contact (phone, in person, etc.);
  • date of the contact; and
  • information provided by the reference.