Verification Process Guidance for SY 2021-22
This webpage reminds school food authorities (SFA) to complete their School Year (SY) 2021–22 verification process by November 15, 2021.
For the 2021–22 SY, SFAs that collected household meal applications must complete the verification process. SFAs that collected alternate household income forms (AIF), do not need to complete verification on AIF. However, all SFAs, regardless of meal application or AIF collection, are required to complete the verification report in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) no later than January 15, 2022.
Verification is the annual, mandatory process that confirms the eligibility of a sample of approved household meal eligibility applications in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, and the Seamless Summer Feeding Option for the 2021-22 SY. Each year, SFAs must select and verify a sample of applications approved for free and reduced-price (F/RP) meal benefits. The required sample size of applications that SFAs must verify is based on the number of approved applications the SFAs have on file on or before October 1. Each SFA must complete the verification process of the required sample size of meal applications by November 15. Please note that if meal applications were collected for the California Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), SFAs are still required to complete the verification process.
For helpful resources in completing the verification process, such as The Verification Process training video, please visit the California Department of Education (CDE) Verification Materials web page.
The verification process must confirm the eligibility status of a student household’s monthly income or if any member of the household is participating in CalFresh, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, or that the applying student is Other Source Categorically Eligible. For further information, please read the chapter on Verification in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Eligibility Manual for School Meals on the USDA 2017 Edition of the Eligibility Manual for School Meals web page.
Exceptions to the Verification Requirement
Verification efforts are not required:
- For students who have been directly certified as eligible for the Free & reduced-price (F/RP) meals, including students who are documented as eligible migrant, runaway, homeless, foster, or participating in Head Start or Even Start
- For students in residential child care institutions (RCCI); however, SFAs must verify applications for any nonresidential students attending the RCCI’s school
- In schools where all students are served with no separate meal charge, no eligibility determination is made, and no meal reimbursement is claimed (e.g., nonpricing programs claiming only the paid rate of reimbursement)
- In schools participating in the Community Eligibility Provision
- In schools participating in Provisions 1, 2, or 3, except in base years, when SFAs collect applications for all students in attendance
- In schools participating in the Seamless Summer Feeding Option and that processed only alternate household income forms
Verification Sample Size and other Reminders
- To determine your sample size, visit the CDE verification Worksheet to Determine Verification Sample Size web page.
- For additional details on how to determine your sample size, visit the CDE Sample Size for Annual Verification web page.
- With the exception of verification for cause (the process in which SFAs verify questionable applications), SFAs must not verify more or less than the standard sample size or the alternate sample size (when eligible) and must not verify all applications. SFAs can only use verification for cause in addition to verifying the required sample. Learn more about verification for cause on the CDE Verification for Cause in the School Meals Program web page.
SFAs must submit their annual verification report (VR) to the CDE in the CNIPS by January 15. The CDE will notify SFAs by email when the report is available in the CNIPS. For details on how to complete the VR in the CNIPS visit the CDE Verification Reporting web page.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) County Specialist. The SNP County Specialist list is available in the Download Forms section of CNIPS, Form ID Caseload. You can also contact the SNP Office Technician, by phone at 916-322-3005 or 916-322-1450 to be directed to your SNP County Specialist.