This article is for informational purposes and in no way an invitation or advice to apply and receive a VISAN FNS Number. We do not represent the government in any way and we are in no position to provide such an information nor can we guarantee you anything if you decide to apply. This is just general information only, we leave individual cases to the discretion of each potential applicant.
An FNS number is a unique identifier used by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to track program participants and benefits. It is also known as a household identification number (HIN), client identifier, or participant identifier.
The FNS is responsible for administering the Food Stamp Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), The National School Lunch Program, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Community Food Projects (Community Facilities), Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program.
The FNS number is also used to track the benefits participants receive from these programs. This number is important because it helps the government keep track of how much money has been dispersed to each household and what the household’s current balance is.
You will need to provide your FNS number to your local grocery store in order to receive food stamps. You should also provide it to any other program administrator who requests it.
It is important to keep your FNS number safe and confidential. Do not share it with anyone who does not need it to access your benefits.
If you lose or forget your FNS number, you can call the toll-free number at 1-877-823-4369 and they will help you retrieve it.
So what do you need to do in order to obtain an FNS number?
First, you have to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. This requires you to meet specific income and asset limits as well as other eligibility criteria.
If your application is approved, the FNS number will be sent directly to you by mail within 4-6 weeks after SNAP approves your case. If you do not receive your number within this time frame, you should call the FNS Client Service Center at 1-888-843-3663 (FNS has moved this number to 877-823-4369 as of 3/1/17) to inquire about your case status. Note that you can also contact a local welfare office to check on the status of your application.
Once you have your FNS number, you should keep it in a safe place and do not share it with anyone who does not need it.
What is the Application process for FNS Number?
The steps below will guide you through the process of applying for SNAP benefits:
- Step 1. Fill Out The Application And Turn It In To Your Local Welfare Office
To apply for your FNS number, you should fill out an application and turn it in to your local welfare (public assistance) office. You can download a printable application from the FNS website or you can call 1-800-221-5689 to have a paper application mailed to you.
In most states, you do not need an appointment for this process and you can submit your application in person, by mail, or online.
- Step 2. Meet With A Caseworker At Your Local Welfare Office
After your application is received, a caseworker will review it and schedule an interview with you. This meeting is called a “caseworker consultation.”
The purpose of the consultation is to assess your eligibility for SNAP benefits. You will need to provide proof of your identity, residency, and income at this meeting.
- Step 3. Wait For A Decision About Your Application
After the consultation, the caseworker will make a decision about your application and notify you of the outcome. If you are found eligible, you will be sent a letter via mail letting you know that your FNS number has been assigned.
Note: It may take several months to complete the application, interview, and caseworker consultation process. You should contact your local welfare office if you have not received any news about your application within 90 days of submitting it.
- Step 4. Receive Your FNS Number And Start Using Your Benefits
If you are approved for SNAP benefits, you will receive an FNS number in the mail. This number is important because it identifies you as a participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
You should start using your benefits right away and show your FNS number to the cashier at your local grocery store. It is important to keep the number in a safe place and do not share it with anyone who does not need it such as friends or family members.
If your application for SNAP benefits is denied, you will be asked to submit an appeal within 10 days of receiving notice of the decision. You can find listings of local offices and phone numbers to appeal a decision in the denial letter you receive.