Local Control, Discretion, and Administrative Burden: SNAP Interview Waivers and Caseloads During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Colleen Heflin, William Clay Fannin, Leonard Lopoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Agriculture waived the certification interview for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), substantially reducing the administrative burden associated with SNAP application for both applicants and agencies. Using primary policy data collected from ten county-administered states, we find that only 27% of counties implemented the interview waiver. Further, models of local decision-making indicate that public health risk, demographic vulnerability and economic need, and political orientation in the county were not statistically significant predictors of waiver use. Finally, we find that the waiver choice did affect SNAP caseloads: using difference-in-difference models that make use of the natural experiment, we find that counties that adopted the SNAP interview waivers experienced a 5% increase in SNAP caseloads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-346
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Volume53
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023

Keywords

  • administrative burden
  • discretion
  • local control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Local Control, Discretion, and Administrative Burden: SNAP Interview Waivers and Caseloads During the COVID-19 Pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this