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Direct Certification

Direct Certification files combine Secure Student Identifier (SSID) records that school districts submit to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) with SNAP participation and Foster records from the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS). These records are used to certify students for Free meals at participating schools.

Schools and School Districts may retrieve these records by using the Weekly Downloads, or the Membership List Upload. Free and Reduced price meal applications can be completed and submitted electronically. Medicaid data is only available for Direct Verification during the open period. For additional guidance, please check the Eligibility Manual.

USDA requires Direct Certification to be downloaded three times per year:

  • At the beginning of the school year
  • Three months after the beginning of the school year
  • Six months after the beginning of the school year

Under 7 CFR 245.6(b)(1)(v), LEAs electing CEP are required to conduct a data match between SNAP records and student enrollment records at least once annually. LEAs must continue to provide direct certification eligibility notifications to households, even if the children in that household attend a CEP school (7 CFR 245.6(c)(6)(ii)). The LEA’s public notification cannot fulfill this requirement.

Below are resources to help you navigate the Child Nutrition Direct Certification site. Updates will be posted as applicable.

Getting Started

Direct Certification Downloads

Each month, a new all-inclusive file will be available for download. The all-inclusive file will be accessible on the Monday after the first full weekend of the month. Each subsequent Monday there will be a file with new SNAP recipients or students who have had changes such as address or school change since the first Monday file.

Direct Certification with Medicaid (DC-M)

The DC-M project, authorized under section 18 of the National School Lunch Act, allow Oregon to use Medicaid program information to certify students for federal free or reduced-price meal benefits. Sponsors will use the newly created "Medicaid Demonstration Project" section of the Direct Certification website to access DC-M matches. New lists of ODHSOHA Medicaid certified students will be available on a monthly basis.

Free and Reduced Price Meal Applications

Medicaid Data (Direct Verification)

Direct Verification Section 9(b)(3)(F) of the NSLA and Program regulations at 7 CFR 245.6a(g) permit LEAs to “directly" verify approved applications selected for verification. Direct verification involves using records from public agencies to verify household income or household participation in an eligible program, helping relieve families of additional paperwork and reducing the gap in meal benefits for eligible children resulting from non-response.

If the information obtained through direct verification with Medicaid confirms a child's eligibility status, no additional verification is required. Medicaid records that may be used to verify eligibility will depend upon State income limits for these programs.  This file is only used to verify the number of people in the household and to verify income.  A name on this list does not automatically qualify a student for free or reduced price meals.

Membership List Uploads

The Membership List Upload uses the school enrollment and returns either a match or no match file. This feature does not add or delete students. It only returns results for the students added to the template. To use this feature, download the student data from the student database.

Note: Do not change/delete/rename column headers in the membership list template.

Known Issues

  • For best results when downloading files do not use Internet Explorer
  • Direct Certification downloads from the August 8, 2021 file may have inaccurately matched parents to your students. We are aware of this and are working on correcting it.
  • There is an additional approved SNAP number format to use when determining eligibility. 8 characters total in the format of 2 letters, 3 numbers, 1 letter, 1 number, 1 letter.