SNAP participants are required to comply with Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) reviews. Non-compliance is “refusal to cooperate”. Refusal to cooperate is the household’s unwillingness to cooperate. For a determination of refusal to be made, the household must be able to cooperate, but clearly demonstrates that it will not take actions that it can take, to complete the QA/QC review.
The QA/QC reviewer will contact staff when the household does not respond to attempts to contact or attain information. The IM-311Q, QC Referral for Contact/Sanction, will be sent to staff. The 311Q will notify staff of the determination of refusal or failure to cooperate made by the QA/QC reviewer. Once received, staff have 5 calendar days to attempt contact either by telephone or by sending the IM-31Q, Notice of Contact Requested.
The household has 10 days to respond to the agency. If the household responds, advise them to contact the QA/QC reviewer by telephone and to cooperate with the QA/QC reviewer to prevent the case from being sanctioned for refusal to cooperate. If the household does not respond, start the process for sanction if QA/QC determined a refusal to cooperate.
It is the responsibility of staff to enter the sanction in the eligibility system for refusal to cooperate. The household is no longer eligible to receive SNAP benefits once the determination is made until compliance. It is important to explain to all participants the need to cooperate with reviews and the consequences of refusal.
Instances where the household’s unwillingness to cooperate with a quality control review include:
- the household does not respond to an IM-31Q, Notice of Contact Requested, that has been handed to a household member;
- the household, verbally or in writing, demonstrates that it will not take actions that it can take;
- the household does not return a signed release of information form within 10 days of agreeing to do so;
- the household does not keep a scheduled appointment they agreed to and does not make contact with QA/QC to reschedule.
NOTE: The household may want to cooperate but lacks transportation or a telephone to contact the office. This is a failure to cooperate. If there is any question as to whether the household has merely failed to cooperate, as opposed to refuse to cooperate, the QA/QC reviewer will not request to terminate benefits. If the household wants to cooperate but does not have transportation, the reviewer will arrange to meet them.
EXAMPLE: Mr. B has been interviewed by the QA/QC Reviewer. Additional information is requested from Mr. B concerning the household’s income. Mr. B does not provide the information within 10 calendar days. The QA/QC Reviewer contacts staff to request that they contact the household. Staff sends an IM-31Q, Notice of Contact Requested, requesting the household contact the agency. Mr. B calls the agency and states he will not provide income information. This is a refusal to cooperate. The agency begins the sanction process.
EXAMPLE: QA/QC contacts staff and has determined a failure to cooperate and requests they contact the household. An IM-31Q, Notice of Contact Requested, is sent requesting the household contact the agency. The household does not respond within 10 calendar days. The address is correct and mail is not returned. This remains a failure to cooperate as no contact has been made with the household. It must be verified that the household has knowledge of the QA/QC review to establish a refusal to cooperate. The agency will NOT sanction the benefits.