Verification General Requirements

Annually, each Local Education Agency (LEA) MUST select and verify a sample of ALL applications approved for benefits. 

The basic sample size would be the lesser of: 3% of ALL approved applications (as of October 1 of the school year) selected from “error-prone” applications or, 3,000 approved error-prone applications.  “Error-prone” applications would be those that are within $100.00 of the monthly income guidelines

There are two alternate methods, Alternate One (random) or Alternate Two (focused) sampling methods.  Prior written authorization to use an alternate method is required from the Child Nutrition Services Office.

-their “non-response rate” for the preceding year is less than 20%, or

-they are a local educational agency with more than 20,000 children approved by application as eligible for free or reduced price school meals as of October 1, and their “non-response rate” for  preceding school year is at least 10% below the“non-response rate” for the second preceding  school year.

The Verification Manual explains in further detail the entire process.

Forms that are used to complete the Verification process are shown under the Appendix 

  • The verification sample size will have to be three percent of all approved household applications. Children that are directly certified,  including those identified as homeless, runaway, or migrant by an appropriate official, will have been certified based on documentation rather than a household application and will not be in the pool subject to verification.

  • Applications to be verified will have to be selected first from those reporting household income within the monthly income eligibility limit for free or reduced price meals by no more than $100.00-Error Prone

  • For each selected application, a school district official other than the one who made the initial eligibility determination will have to conduct a confirmation review of the initial eligibility determination and correct any mistakes before attempting to verify the application.

  • If a household does not respond to the initial verification request, the school district or a contractor will have to follow up with the household to try to obtain verification information.

This was taken from:

Reducing Paperwork and Connecting Low-Income Children With School Meals: Opportunities under The New Child Nutrition Reauthorization Law by Zoë Neuberger