SAMPLE SOLUTION #6: Rolling Verification
(This is just a sample, posted by USDA, to generate discussion.)
I do my best to follow Lincoln’s advice: You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. My district office used to wait until October 1 to start verification. Nearly drove me crazy, seeing as we had downtime between accepting, processing, certifying, and verifying applications. I made a recommendation to my supervisor that we should start as soon as regulations allowed. Why not get ahead of the process? So, we pitched the idea of rolling verification to upper management. They approved our request, and we were off! My office began verification as soon as applications were approved to give ourselves as much time to contact households as possible. We select three percent of all applications approved each week from late August through the end of September and send verification notices immediately.
It really paid off! Spreading out the work of verification over a couple of months was a real administrative benefit to my office; it allowed us to spend more time on efforts to increase our household response rate. Not only were we able to place more follow-up phone calls because we were verifying fewer applications at once, but also we were able to spend more time on the phone with those households to guide them through the process. And perhaps most important, households seemed to have a much easier time getting us their income information since they had just used it during the application process.