387.7 Interviews.

    (a)  Except as provided in this Part, all applicant households including those submitting applications by mail, shall have face-to-face interviews scheduled on a specific day and at a specific time if the household is not interviewed on the same day it applies. Households in which all adults are elderly or disabled must have face-to-face interviews conducted at initial certifica­tion and at least once every 24 months unless waived for hardship circum­stances as described in subdivision (b) of this section. Except for house­holds in which all adults are elderly or disabled, face-to-face interviews must be conducted at initial certification and at least once every 12 months thereafter unless waived for hardship circumstances as described in subdi­vision (b) of this section. Earned income cases are handled in accordance with the provisions of section 387.17(d) of this Part. Social services dis­tricts must contact households having certification periods greater than 12 months no later than the last working day of the l2th month. The contact may be through interview, telephone, scheduled home visit or questionnaire sent by mail.

   (b) Upon request of the applicant household, the office interview shall be waived providing:

        (1) the household is unable to appoint an authorized representative, and has no members able to come to the social services district because all members are elderly or disabled as defined in section 387.1(n) of this Part; or

        (2) the household is unable to appoint an authorized representative, and no household member is able to get to the social services district because of transportation difficulties or hardship conditions such as, but not limited to, residing in a rural or remote area, illness, need to care for a household member, prolonged severe weather, or work hours which preclude in-office interviews; or

        (3) the household consists of only an SSI recipient classified as living alone.

    (c) The individual interviewed may be the head of household, spouse, any responsible member of the household or an authorized representative. The applicant may also bring any person such applicant chooses to the interview.

    (d) Households shall be advised of their rights and responsibilities during the interview, including their responsibility to promptly report any changes in household circumstances, the need to provide required documentation and to comply with other appropriate food stamp program requirements.

    (e) At application and recertification, households must be advised of the consequences of the head of household terminating employment without good cause and of the consequences of a person joining the household as its head if that individual has voluntarily terminated employment.

    (f) Households subject to monthly reporting retrospective budgeting (MRRB) shall be advised of the MRRB procedures as contained in section 387.17(d) and (e) of this Part.

    (g) If the applicant fails to appear for a scheduled interview, the interview shall be rescheduled, if requested by the household, without requiring the household to provide good cause for failing to appear. In the event the applicant does not appear for the rescheduled interview, the social services district need not initiate any action to schedule further interviews unless specifically requested to do so by the applicant. However, if a household misses a scheduled interview in connection with a determination of initial eligibility, the social services district must send the household a notice of missed interview informing the household of its responsibility to reschedule the interview. At recertifica­tion, a notice of missed interview is only required if the household has submitted its application for recertification.

    (h) The applicant's right to privacy and confidentiality must be protected during the interview.

    (i) For applicants for whom the office interview is waived, the social services district must conduct the interview by telephone or make a home visit. Such home visit must be scheduled in advance. In either situation, the verification requirements as specified in this Part remain in effect.

    (j) For applicants entitled to expedited service and a waiver of the office interview, the local department shall conduct the interview and complete the application process within the expedited service time standards. In situations where the application is mailed to the household for signature and the interview is by telephone, the expedited processing standard shall not include mail time. The mailing time shall only include the days the application is in the mail to and from the household, as well as the days the application is in the household's possession pending signature.

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